Pebble Island, Falkland Islands

Sheep Station Power Supply (Diesel Retrofit)

The picture shows a 7.5 kW Bergey turbine installed at a sheep farm on Pebble Island in the Falkland Islands (off the southern coast of Argentina). The wind resources are excellent so the wind turbine produces a lot of electricity. This one small wind/diesel hybrid system powers four houses and a small guesthouse. People come from all over the world to bird-watch on Pebble Island.

The system was installed in 1988 and the wind system has operated with few problems. However, the first two static inverters installed were under-sized and not reliable enough. There were also significant problems with the wiring between all the buildings. As a result, the complete system had poor availability until 1994. The system now has a 20 kW advanced inverter system from Australia and it works very well. Pebble Island is a good example of the improvement in inverter technology in the last few years.

Using European Commission grants to reduce the costs of equipment, the Falkland Islands Development Authority (FIDA) has now retrofitted over 45 wind systems to diesel powered farms throughout the islands. Since the funding came from Europe, FIDA was required to use a European wind turbine. The model chosen, Proven (Scotland), has worked well.