Wind turbines need wind to produce energy. That message seems lost, not only on most small wind turbine owners, but also on many manufacturers and installers of said devices. One of the world’s largest manufacturers of small wind turbines, located in the USA (now bankrupt by the way, though their turbines are still sold), markets their flag-ship machine with a 12 meter (36 feet) tower. Their dealers are trained to tell you it will produce 60% of your electricity bill. If you are one of those that is convinced the earth is flat, this is the turbine for you!
The first component we are going to wire is the Charge Controller.At the bottom of the Charge Controller there are 3 signs in my charge controller. The first one from the left is for the connection of the Solar Panel having positive (+) and negative (-) sign. The second one with plus (+) and minus (-) sign is for the Battery connection and the last one for the direct DC load connection like DC lights.
Micro-inverted solar panels are wired in parallel, which produces more output than normal panels which are wired in series with the output of the series determined by the lowest performing panel (this is known as the "Christmas light effect"). Micro-inverters work independently so each panel contributes its maximum possible output given the available sunlight.[15]
A Homeowner’s Guide to Solar Financing: Leases, Loans and PPAs – This guide from the Clean Energy States Alliance helps homeowners navigate the complex landscape of residential solar system financing. It describes three popular residential solar financing choices and explains the advantages and disadvantages of each, as well as how they compare to a direct cash purchase.

The article says it “may” cost you more. Meanwhile ive seen articles describing how installer have shortened previous install times from days to hours. Costs continue to decrease, probably from healthy competition. Your best DIY time is spent understanding the available technology, financing options, incentives, tax breaks, and where vendors will willingly compete for your business. The combined incentives are substantial, in some cases 60% of total cost, not including the reduced power bills. My advice is to Learn the costs and technology and ask for itemized quotes that include; panels, mounts, inverter(s), cables, meter, misc hardware, and most of all, labor. Incentives and discounts should also be separately itemized. Major components should include suppliers and model/part numbers. Car repair vendors are required to do this by law. I can think of no reason why this should be any different. If they wont quote component prices at least insist on supplier/part numbers so you can cost them yourself. If they wont commit to part numbers then cross them off your list. There are plenty of vendors out there. Base all figures assuming you will buy and own the system. You can quote financing, leasing, and service options separately. Get several contractor quotes and compare. You can readily price the same parts from online suppliers, then calculate the markup for each quote. As some have already noted here, the markup can be very high. Is the vendor making $10+K profit for a one or two day install? Published data shows that half the nations installers quote flat rates of $4.90 per KW – thats $25,000 for a 5KW system! And most people are unaware of the markup. Solar vendors have honed the “Green Power” pitch to the calculator challenged. The tax breaks and incentives make this worse. Legislators please take note. Incentive rules have produced a Cartel, where most incentive $$$ go to contractors at the expense of the consumers. Please join me, to the degree that you are able, to be an informed consumer. I am particularly offended by sales people who ask for my birthday (credit check) in the first minute. I am in the market for a solar power products and might later be interested in their financing, but only if it suits me. Birthdays are a major source of identity theft. Say no until its the proper time to discuss financing and then insist they put in writing their legal obligation to prevent disclosure. Solar power is becoming mainstream and economical. some helpful info. 1) For comparison, panels are specified by max power, aka “Standard Test”. Typically 200 to 300+ watts per panel. 2) add up past 12 power bills to get an daily average KW-HR usage. 3) Size your system to provide daily average in a few hrs. Example: 5KW system provides 20KW-HR in 4 hrs. 4) panels generate about 12 to 14 w/ft-sq. 5KW needs ~ 400 ft-sq. Or (20) 250 watt panels. 5) you need south facing surfaces. See panel sizes for how to arrange and fit on your roof or possibly ground area. 6) panels are available at http://www.wholesalesolar.com, prices are $0.90 – $1.20/watt. Look for durability and warranty. 7) Grid tie inverters will run $2000 to $3000 for 5 to 10KW system. Look for efficiency, monitoring, and warranty. 8) Fed provides 30% tax credit. Find your state incentives for tax relief, low interest loans, permit rebates, etc 9) Power companies need renewable sources (you!) and they are reluctant to inform you about it 10) “Grid Tie” systems are most typical. “Backup” and “Off Grid” systems require more (serious DIY!) research. 11) Some places have complicated permitting. See “CPF DOE Permitting study” at https://solarpermit.org Good Luck!
I recently talked to a senior executive in on of the biggest solar panel kit website and surprisingly, he even agreed that for the vast majority of people a DIY solar project isn’t a great idea. But for those who are interested in learning more about the cost and processes associated with DIY solar panel installation, additional information can be found at SolarReviews.
FEATURES: Made for both land and marine. Integrated automatic braking system to protect from sudden and high wind speed. Easy DIY installation methods with all materials provided. Can be used in conjunction with solar panels. MPPT Maximum power point tracking built into the wind turbine generator. Made with high quality Polypropylene and Glass Fiber material with a weather resistant seal.
I don’t think people have fully realized the consequences of prices this low. Price per kWh installed could (with appropriate automation) reach under 1 cent per kWh over 25 years (the cells themselves accounting for just a quarter of this), meaning you can install enough solar panels to still provide electricity on cloudy days and with battery backing during nighttime while still being cheaper than fossil fuels.
The NPower 400 Watt wind turbine is the ideal choice for off-grid power requirements. Charging begins at wind speeds as low as 5.6 MPH, providing clean, green battery charging. High quality marine-grade coating and construction is ideal for both land and sea environments. Includes MPPT (maximum power point tracking) charge controller, which optimizes power production. Aluminum alloy construction with low-noise 47.2in. dia. carbon fiber composite blades. Optional tower mounting kit (Item# 121072) is sold separately.

I would recommend micro-inverters on each panel if shading is an issue. That way only the panel with shade will suffer from power degradation as opposed to the entire array suffering when using a single inverter. They also give you ability to monitor each panel on-line for performance/issues etc. Makes troubleshooting a breeze. Also when factoring in future performance don’t forget to include panel power degradation. After roughly 20 years you should still be seeing at least 80% output from the panels themselves though, so not a huge issue.


Wafer thin lightweight and can mold to a Wafer thin lightweight and can mold to a curved surface. These Semi-Flexible Solar Panels are made of the high efficiency mono-crystalline solar cells and strong enough to be walked on. Semi-flexible Panels are weather water and corrosion resistant making them a perfect option for marine applications RVs camping and emergency ...  More + Product Details Close


Step 5 is really confusing. Needs more detail. It looks like you took tabbing wire and soldered it in one long strip across the negative face of the bits. Then placed the whole string of bits on a large piece of copper mesh. So that only accounts for the positive to pos. and neg. to neg. Is there some other wire that goes over and under the bits? Could you please add pictures of attaching the where the positive and neg. parts are also?
The 800-watt inverter (with a 2,000-watt surge capacity) will run a small vacuum cleaner, a drill or a small drill press, a sander, a jigsaw or small band saw, but not a large circular saw. It will handle many toasters and coffee makers, but not all. A blender would be child's play for this inverter, a microwave an impossibility. A hair dryer on low, yes; on high, forget it.
Since the energy output to the loads must be balanced by the energy input from your solar panels and wind turbine, we need to calculate your daily charge requirement in amp hours as that number will come in handy later. Take your total daily watt hours x 20% (rule of thumb) to account for losses in inverter, circuits and wire transfer. Now divide by the system voltage you chose based on the previous section and write this number down. This is the charge in amp hours your solar panels will have to provide each day to meet your load requirements you have set. Example 5,000 watts daily load total X 20% = 6,000 watts / 48 volt system = 125 amp hours that will need to be generated. Example #2, 5,000 watts daily load total X 20% = 6,000 watts / 24 volt system = 250 amp hours that will need to be generated.
Good information and BAD information in this post, some “misleading” information also. Looking at solar systems, I have had contactors come in and give me estimates. typical system for my house is about 24,000 dollars from each company. Great, not to bad since I am wanting a 20K system. but then i look at the actual cost: cost of the system 12,000, cost of installation, 12,000. Hmm, Now, to get government incentives I need to have a professional install it, my incentives come out to about 9,000 in my area, so by having a professional install it, I get incentives, oh wait, no, they get money, I still owe them 3,000 + 12,000 for the system. Seems that I can do it myself and save 3,000 even though I don’t get the incentives. This article makes a big deal of incentives from tax rebates as a good reason to get a professional installer, when in reality, the only one who gets paid on that incentive is the installer using it to promote their services. this article was probably written by an installer. check you incentives and check labor for the system. finally “the optimal angle” for setting up solar panels, Hmm, go to the solar calculator and enter your location, optimal angle now known. not hard. Linking the solar panels, hmm, built in connectors on most of them make that easy. permits, if you need them for your location, go to county and get them, pay 50 – 500 (depending on how much your county rips you off) note they will charge you for permits from contractors and charge a fee to get them. Roof, if your roof is in that bad of condition, or you think it may be, ground mount the panels. No reason to call a professional unless you want to.
Of course, there are lots of secrets you’ll find out only through practice, but the overall idea is that such a system is cheap and for 200 watts of power you’ll need solar cells worth about $200 and batteries worth about $400 to $500. If you get an inverter from ebay, or even better, buy a used UPS (handle with care), you’ll not go over $500 for the whole system. If you want to really power your entire home, you’ll need about $1,000 to become truly energy independent (as in not paying a dime to electric utilities). How does that sound?
This is pretty key. If your roof is covered in shade most of the day throughout the year, it might not have a favorable enough “solar window” to justify the costs of panels. That’s something you’ll want to assess before you move forward. If your roof won’t cut it, or you can’t make the call because you rent your apartment or live in a multi-unit building, you don’t have to give up on solar power altogether. Instead of installing your own panels, look into shared or community solar. This approach lets many different customers buy a stake in a solar installation and receive credits on their electricity bills.

Wind energy systems can be one of the most cost-effective home-based renewable energy systems. Depending on your wind resource, a small wind energy system can lower your electricity bill slightly or up to 100%, help you avoid the high costs of extending utility power lines to remote locations, and sometimes can provide DC or off-grid power.[2] In addition, wind energy is clean, indigenous, renewable energy.
If you go with crystalline modules, solar module racking (the bits and pieces that hold your panels in place) may be the most important part of your project. Here, we'll discuss a few things to keep in mind while you determine where you want your solar panels to go. If there's too many obstacles to crystalline panels, you'll definitely want to consider thin-film instead.
Crystalline solar panels (both monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels are more efficient than thin-film solar panels. But, they’re also more costly because they are more pure. Monocrystalline solar panels have been found to capture about 18-21% of the sun’s rays, where thin-film solar panels average around 15%. All panels have an average life span of 25+ years; crystalline silicon solar panels have lifespans up to 40 years. Intuitively, the more efficient the panels, the less you’ll need to buy.
Safety: It is important to note that we are dealing with DC current. So the positive (+) is to be connected to positive (+) and negative (-) with negative (-) from Solar Panel to Charge Controller. If it gets mixed up, the equipment can break and may catch fire. So you need to be extremely careful when connecting these wires. It is recommended to use 2 color wires i.e. red color for positive (+) and black color for negative (-). If you don’t have red and black wire you may wrap red and black tape at the terminals.
Module electrical connections are made in series to achieve a desired output voltage or in parallel to provide a desired current capability (amperes). The conducting wires that take the current off the modules may contain silver, copper or other non-magnetic conductive transition metals. Bypass diodes may be incorporated or used externally, in case of partial module shading, to maximize the output of module sections still illuminated.
However, a new tariff on steel and aluminum imports proposed last week may make a bigger impact on American manufacturers, said CNN Money in a recent report. In fact, it is feared it may spark an international trade war which will have impacts on a variety of products, in particular, those made of metal. But solar equipment is relatively insulated from these increases and while there may be temporary fluctuations in prices for solar equipment, the overall effect should be negligible. Across the country, utilities are investing in renewable energy technologies at a rapid pace, based on long-term studies which predict solar panels will continue to become more affordable, according to a top energy policy and legal expert in an opinion published by Forbes.
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This is great. With all the things going on around us about solar energy we forget that fundamentally solar energy is the natural evolution of the electricity, power and energy industry. If the consumer also becomes the generator and all are electricity self sufficient where solar solutions seem to be going then imagine what fantastic future we can build for ourselves.

Great post! I’m new to MMM and came across this quite by accident, but I loved this post and felt compelled to give you some addtional information. I work in the energy services industry and know a lot about this at scale. I have wondered how it would work in a DIY situation and this was very helpful. Something that could be helpful for you would be a power monitoring system to show you how it is all working in a comprehensive system. I came across this company (based in Boulder, CO), http://www.egauge.net/, through work and am very interested in getting this technology into my projects. It may be a little higher priced for a residential/small commercial DIY, but very user friendly and informative. It will allow you to monitor the energy use (in/out) of every circuit in your panel so you know track how much you are producing, consuming and selling to your electric car chargers.
Before we discuss power centers (Inverters), lets hit on what a charge controller does. A charge controller is an electronic voltage regulator used in off-grid hybrid solar wind systems with battery banks to properly control the charge from the solar panels or wind turbine keep the voltage to the battery bank within acceptable limits. The charge controller automatically tapers, stops, or diverts power when batteries become fully charged. Without a charge controller your solar panels or wind generator would continue to send electricity to the battery bank and eventually destroy your batteries.
What is a small wind turbine? Anything under, say, 10 meters rotor diameter (30 feet) is well within the “small wind” category. That works out to wind turbines with a rated power up to around 20 kW (at 11 m/s, or 25 mph). For larger wind turbines the manufacturers are usually a little more honest, and more money is available to do a good site analysis. The information in this article is generic: The same applies to all the other brands and models, be they of the HAWT (Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine) or VAWT (Vertical Axis Wind Turbine) persuasion.
Because wind speeds increase with height, the turbine is mounted on a tower. In general, the higher the tower, the more power the wind system can produce. The tower also raises the turbine above the air turbulence that can exist close to the ground because of obstructions such as hills, buildings, and trees. A general rule of thumb is to install a wind turbine on a tower with the bottom of the rotor blades at least 30 feet (9 meters) above any obstacle that is within 300 feet (90 meters) of the tower.[14] Relatively small investments in increased tower height can yield very high rates of return in power production.

Where can I compare solar panel prices online? How much do solar panels cost in Denver Colorado and what is the payback period? How much do solar panels cost for homes in Orlando and Miami, Florida in 2018? Wiring solar panels: Do you wire solar panels in series or parallel? What is the cost of solar panels in Las Vegas, 2018? A new website suggests Americans may be overpaying for electricity by a whopping 27.6 billion per year


What size of a solar panel system is best suited for your electricity usage? Does your roof have sufficient space at the correct angle? Where should panels be positioned, and what is the optimal tilt for the panels? What solar technology is most appropriate for you, based on your climate and other unique needs? Can your roof bear the load of solar panels? These technical questions (and many more!) can easily be answered by a solar installer. A good installer will have a long track record, and experience with all types of roofs and situations.
Cells are usually sold in lots of 36, 100 or 108.  Stay away from 100 cell lots if you are going to be building the typical 36 volt panel.  A set of 108 cells will be enough to make 3 standard 36 cell panels.  I also recommend buying cells that are already tabbed.  “Tabs” are the thin pieces of metal attached to the cell for wiring them together.  Buying pre-tabbed cells will make the wiring much easier.  It is worth paying a little extra to get pre-tabbed cells.
The higher you climb, the more you expose yourself to the elements. Everything that persuaded you to mount your wind turbine way up in the air is everything that poses a safety risk. The wind blows harder and more steadily up there than it does on the ground, so the chill factor intensifies. Even if your routine maintenance requires relatively delicate work with nuts, bolts, caps, and wires, protect your hands from cold…Or heat. In the winter, frostbite can set-in within just a few minutes of removing your gloves. Use gloves with clips if it’s cold so won’t drop them. No matter what season you climb the tower, make sure you stay hydrated because dehydration mimics intoxication. Also, make sure you stay nourished because a sugar lull will affect your concentration, balance, and coordination.

One of the mistakes which is often made by the newbie who is trying to size a generator is that they buy specifically by a voltage classification. Remember as we discussed before windmill generator builder tend to rate their voltages at direct drive rpm 150-250 at a given voltage. This does not mean that if the permanent magnet alternator is turned at a higher RPM that the generator will not exceed 24 or even 48 volts. This is to say that in the case that you may have a hydro machine is cable of higher gearing and higher RPM that it may be better to in fact us a 24 or even a 12 volt rated permanent magnet alternator.
The basis of producing solar panels revolves around the use of silicon cells.[41] These silicon cells are typically 10-20% efficient[42] at converting sunlight into electricity, with newer production models now exceeding 22%.[43] In order for solar panels to become more efficient, researchers across the world have been trying to develop new technologies to make solar panels more effective at turning sunlight into energy.[44]
Stand-alone systems (systems not connected to the utility grid) require batteries to store excess power generated for use when the wind is calm. They also need a charge controller to keep the batteries from overcharging. Deep-cycle batteries, such as those used for golf carts, can discharge and recharge 80% of their capacity hundreds of times, which makes them a good option for remote renewable energy systems. Automotive batteries are shallow-cycle batteries and should not be used in renewable energy systems because of their short life in deep-cycling operations.[16]
Moreover, the kit has a unit of Eco-Worthy’s wind and solar hybrid controller, and other accessories like wires and cables. So it is easy for you to set up a solar-wind hybrid off-grid power station in your home. That would ensure you a more reliable alternative energy source. Use the link below to buy a unit of 1000W Eco-Worthy solar wind power kit. You also have other variants of the solar-wind kit there.
Net metering / net billing—For electric customers who generate their own electricity, net metering allows for the flow of electricity both to and from the customer. When a customer's generation exceeds the customer's use, electricity from the customer flows back to the grid, offsetting electricity consumed by the customer at a different time during the same billing cycle. In effect, the customer uses excess generation to offset electricity that the customer otherwise would have to purchase at the utility's full retail rate. Net metering is required by law in most U.S. states, but state policies vary widely. See also behind-the-meter.*
Going solar has major financial benefits: it reduces your monthly electricity costs and can even increase the value of your home. Incentives like the federal tax credit for solar can reduce your net cost by 30 percent or more, but solar is still a big investment, and the price tag can result in sticker shock. To save money, it’s no surprise that many homeowners are considering DIY. Below, we break down the top pros and cons that you need to know about do it yourself solar energy before making a decision as well as the DIY solar process.
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