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About Marilyn
TEL. 01263 761402
FAX. 01263 768167
Marilyn Brocklehurst
B.A.(Hons) Dip Lib FEA MCLIP
Church Lane, Alby
Norwich NR11 7HB
The BEST of the Books from ALL of the Publishers!
Talks & INSET
We are fortunate in having the space for a wind turbine and arrays of solar panels and for 90% of business hours throughout the year our electricity is provided by sun and wind including some heating.
We try to minimise wastage by recycling boxes and packaging.
Our lighting is almost all by LED.
Our computers are power efficient Apple Mac Minis.
Included in our fleet of vehicles we have 3 hybrids, one of which is a plug-in type which is charged by sun & wind.

Our wind turbine was erected on the 18th Feb.'99. It was made by Proven Engineering (now Kingspan Wind) and has a rotor diameter of 5.6 metres (18ft 4in). It sits on top of a self-supporting 9m (29.5ft) pole. The rotor has three wood laminate blades which drive a brushless permanent magnet generator. No gearbox is required resulting in a machine that is efficient, quiet and reliable in operation. The turbine provides a 48volt 3 phase output which is rectified to charge a 48 volt lead acid battery.

It starts to produce power in about a 6 mph wind. At 15 mph 2 kW is generated. Power rises to a maximum of 5.5 kW at 23 mph with rotor speed hitting 200 rpm.
Above the rated wind speed of 23 mph the blades, which operate downwind of the pole, automatically alter their pitch to limit maximum speed so that the turbine can withstand the strongest gales even without a load.
It is worth noting that the power in the wind is proportional to the cube of the windspeed. i.e. a little more wind means a lot more power.

240 volts a.c. mains is produced from the battery via a 4.5 kW pure sine wave inverter. In 1999 the cost of the whole system was £16,000. No grant aid was sought. It has now paid for itself! (we do our own servicing).
Hopefully it has another 8+ years of life left.

Although the power is not metered, an estimated 9,000 kW/hours is generated annually.
Our power provider is the admirable 'Good Energy'.

Having the turbine helped the Book Centre win the Penguin Award for Green Retail Initiative in 2008.
Our nearest competitor was WH Smith!
Wind & Solar
Initially, when I only had a few panels, I mounted 8 of them on a rotating frame to track the sun. This was working fine untill a series of gales proved too much for the mechanism and I abandoned that design for a more durable static arrangement using extra panels which I have since aquired.

There are over 40 panels now and they are deployed on scaffolding frames to catch early morning and evening sun as well as pointing in the traditional south direction. They are angled to maximise winter sun.

On an average cloudy day they provide the bookshop's 'base load' power requirement of 1.8kW.
When the sun shines, a lot more options are possible.
A useful amount of heating now comes from solar/wind including the use of a 'day' storage heater.

The panels have been drawn from a variety of eBay sources and most are arranged in pairs to charge the 48 volt battery. Twelve of the panels are connected directly to separate inverters.

A maximum of 15kW has to be controlled (including wind power) and I have designed circuitry to do this.
It is possible to go 'off-grid' - at least through the sunniest 8 months of the year but we will still remain grid connected to ensure a stress-free experience for our staff and customers.

It is a good feeling to know that with care we can be self-sufficient!

I am happy to share my experience of wind and solar power - drop by for a chat.
Ask for
Simon (

Power from the Wind
Power from the Sun