Batteries are an important part of your solar kit installation if you plan on using your stored solar power when the sun goes down. Most solar kits don’t come with batteries, so you will have to choose the best battery for your needs. Luckily you can use the above formula to work out exactly what you need to keep your system powered up when you need it the most, at night.

A turbine that produces around 5 kW worth of energy can produce approximately 8,000 kWh per year, assuming there are decent winds to power it. Given ideal conditions, you will be able to recoup your investment in three to five years, depending on your monthly energy consumption and other related factors. If, however, your property doesn’t get enough wind then it may take a little more time to recover your initial investment.


Installing DIY solar panels is potentially dangerous from a number of perspectives depending on whether you are physically installing them yourself or hiring a contractor to do it. The installation itself can potentially be dangerous if you are not used to working at heights or with DC electricity and there can be ongoing risks of fire if the electrical work is not done by an experienced and qualified solar electrician.
If you haven’t correctly judged the condition of your roof, you could face additional expenses for repairs, and might even have to redo the entire installation after getting a new roof. Installing solar panels incorrectly can also cause new problems, like roof leaks. A professional installer knows how to install solar panels without causing costly roof damage—and you have the peace of mind that if anything did go wrong, they’ll cover the cost of fixing it.
We purchased a couple of these solar panels and compared them to the Windy Nation 100 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline Solar Panels and found that at least for the panels that we received, they produced a similar number of watts with the same sun exposure. The HQST and the Windy Nation Panels are all very good quality and well built. Probably the only difference is that the Windy Nation panels are more expensive and the MC4 cables are a little longer. We eventually purchased 18 more HQST panels and we hooked up 20 of these panels to create a 24V 2kW system on top of our garage. The 20 panels generate post-inverter about 11kWh per day during sunny days in Northern California that we can use or feed back into the grid. We never measured how much inverter loss there is though. Most of the panels face south, but we also face some of the panels west because electricity prices are much higher for us in the late afternoon. I'm happy with their performance, as it has reduced our electricity bill by about $100 per month, so the system should pay for itself in a couple of years! We would install more, but we have run out of easily accessible roof space.
It is hard to beat the advantages of solar: No moving parts. Warranties of 25 years are common for PV modules. No maintenance, other than the occasional hosing-off if you live in a dusty place. The installed price of a 6 kW wind turbine on a good height tower is about $50,000 (and we are not even counting the money you are going to sink into maintenance of that wind turbine). At the time of this writing, half that money will buy you about 7 kW of installed solar panels. In our not-so-sunny Ottawa location those solar modules will produce around 8,000 kWh of electrical energy per average year, and they will do that for 30 years or more.
Solar panels are becoming more user-friendly, but as of now, their integration still requires a level of technical know-how that many consumers lack. The panels must be mounted and secured to your home’s roof, positioned to capture the maximum amount of sunlight, and correctly integrated into your home’s electrical system. As such, we recommend that consumers always work with qualified installers to receive the full value of their solar investment.
When you decide to DIY your solar panels, remember that you get what you pay for. A home solar kit may be less expensive, but solar installers offer tremendous value for relatively little additional cost (remember that ten percent figure?). When it comes to installing an expensive electrical system on your property, finding someone who knows what they’re doing can actually save you both time and money in the long run.
This larger sized rotor means it has a bigger wind catchment area, and a pretty low cut-in speed too. The cut-in speed (the speed of wind at which it starts producing energy) is just 5.6mph, so energy can be generated with relatively light winds. It also features an automatic breaking system, which protects the system against sudden gusts of wind that can cause damaging voltage surges.
Our largest solar panel. Portable rugged and powerful. Our largest solar panel. Portable rugged and powerful. Designed for mobile base camps and die-hard adventurers a standard MC4 connector for third-party charge controllers and built-in charging cable for Sherpa Power Packs and Goal Zero Yeti Solar Generators. Can be chained in series or parallel to collect more power from ...  More + Product Details Close
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) National Wind Technology Center provides information about NREL's small wind turbine testing and development. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NREL have selected four partners (Intertek Testing Services NA, Inc. in New York, Kansas State University, The Alternative Energy Institute at West Texas A&M University, and Windward Engineering, LLC in Utah) to establish small wind Regional Test Centers to conduct tests on small wind turbines to meet national and international standards. Reports from these Regional Test Centers are available for consumers.
Of course, the optimal situation is when you consume your own electricity during the day, for example charging an electric car, plus enough to zero your bill. Then, the cost to you of the electricity is whatever your PV installation costs were over the lifetime of the system, for example $10K for 5kW of panels generating 20 kWh per day on average makes 146 GWh (over 20 expected years) = 6.85 cents/kWh (and 0 cents for every kWh after 20 years). For this reason, electric cars and PV solar go very well together, each amplifying the savings from the other.
Roof mounts are especially great since they're aesthetically pleasing and don't take up any space in your actual yard. There's a lot to consider with roof mounts, however. Most importantly, you'll need to think about the actual strength of your roof. If you live in an older house, you might have to get your roof redone before you can start bolting PV panels to it. Thirty panels weighs an awful lot, and it'd be a shame to have the whole thing come crashing down into your living room. Besides the strength of your roof, you'll need to make some decisions as to whether it's the most effective location.
"I came across Wholesale Solar's website and found out that we could purchase a system and install it ourselves. I researched their products and called several times with questions. Wil was readily available to answer every question, spent time looking at pictures that I sent of our property, and gave us several options that he felt would work well.
12V, 110Ah UPG AGM (absorbed glass mat) batteries are shock-resistant and maintenance-free, producing higher cranking amps, extremely low (1–3%) self-discharge rate and greater vibration resistance. Non-hazardous, non-spillable battery design requires no water additions and rugged construction withstands harsh conditions. Two batteries included in this offer, providing a 12V, 220Ah system.
The included charge controller is a PWM unit and it features overload and short circuit protection. By the way, the wind turbine doesn’t come with a pole that you should buy separately. Well, you never need a technician to set up this off-grid power kit. You can easily put the parts together to bring into life a cool off-grid power system. Eco-Worthy also sells 500W, 600W, and 1400W variants of the wind-solar kit.
Before choosing a wind system for your home, you should consider reducing your energy consumption by making your home or business more energy efficient. You can start by learning how electricity is used in U.S. homes. Reducing your energy consumption will significantly lower your utility bills and will reduce the size of the home-based renewable energy system you need. To achieve maximum energy efficiency, you should take a whole-building approach. View your home as an energy system with interrelated parts, all of which work synergistically to contribute to the efficiency of the system. From the insulation in your home's walls to the light bulbs in its fixtures, there are many ways to make your home more efficient.

“The vision of the project is to make PV systems similar to an appliance, something that can be installed quickly, easily and safely, even by someone with no prior PV installation experience,” says Jacquie Ashmore, CSE engineering program manager. “If you buy a washing machine, you don’t buy 18 different components and assemble it yourself. You buy one big appliance and have it installed by a contractor or hook it up yourself.” 
One- to 10-kW turbines can be used in applications such as pumping water. Wind energy has been used for centuries to pump water and grind grain. Although mechanical windmills still provide a sensible, low-cost option for pumping water in low-wind areas, farmers and ranchers are finding that wind-electric pumping is more versatile and they can pump twice the volume for the same initial investment. In addition, mechanical windmills must be placed directly above the well, which may not take advantage of available wind resources. Wind-electric pumping systems can be placed where the wind resource is the best and connected to the pump motor with an electric cable. However, in areas with a low wind resource, mechanical windmills can provide more efficient water pumping.
×