Next morning at 0840 the blades began to turn and generation started. All ran more or less smoothly, although if you stood next to the turbine you could detect a slight clonk as the blades rotated and a groaning noise as the turbine head rotated on the tower. There is also a whistling sound off of a blade due to an imperfection which carries a fair distance, but these are teething troubles and I wasn't overly disappointed.
Generation was in the order of a kilowatt or so every couple of hours, but in the evening the wind got up to 15 knots gusting 25kt, about 7 m/s gusts 13 m/s. I was happy to see 2.5 to 3 kw an hour being made, and my wife and children also enjoyed the novelty of watching the dials move on the rectifier as power was produced.
At about 11 pm my wife was standing watching the dials and the output on the inverter box as the wind was gusting a bit and she was interested to see what the readings were. The inverter disconnected saying something like "PV voltage overload, Disconnect DC."
A few seconds later it reconnected, disconnected again, and a few more seconds later a number of explosions occured in the inverter box. If you have ever seen a steam train blowing off steam, that is the best description of what occured in my hallway. The noise was the same, except there was smoke everywhere, not steam. My wife got one hell of a fright (she was actually shaking with shock for a long time afterwards, and I have to admit,so was I), and ran to get the children out of the house, and I switched off the isolating switches on the control board. She later told me that only my feet were visible through the smoke. We opened all the doors and thanks to the strong breeze the house soon cleared, but we were all extremely shaken by the event. I phoned the owner of the installing company who was also shocked by what had happened. He advised that we stop the turbine as well which we did. After two hours the inverter box was cool and the smell died down enough for us to close the doors, although the windows were left open and we passed a worried night with little sleep.
The next day our installers arrived to take out the inverter and compile a report. They had been away on another island working on another project and had dropped everything to come and do this, which was appreciated. The initial inspection revealed a number of blown capacitors. (I have to say here I have complete faith in the firm that installed my system).
Everyone involved is being extremely helpfull and is taking this very seriously, but our confidence in the safety of the design as it is at present has been considerably dented. If we hadn't been there to switch off, what would have happened? I don't fancy the idea of coming home to a house full of toxic smoke and dead cats, or worse, no house at all. The unexpected happens sometimes and I hope a solution is found to stop a re-occurence.
Total output since installation 21kw, total generating time about 14 hours, then bang! I am sure things will get sorted out eventually but doubts on safety will linger for some time. I will keep you posted on events.