If you mess something up during the installation, even something minor, you’ll bear the full weight of all the additional costs that result. Remember – this is about cost savings, and if solar panel kits actually deliver any. So, what happens if you make a minor mistake when you wire your panels to your inverter, and the inverter malfunctions a few years later?
At work we install large off-grid solar battery systems, but not with NiFe because the ones we looked at had high internal resistance and low charging efficiency, which would require much larger arrays. The people we have talked to that do use them say they are a PITA to maintain and take a lot of water, and that they wouldn't buy them again. At least they don't suffer from sulfation. I think they are worth watching to see if they improve, but I wouldn't suggest using them now unless you like to fiddle with batteries.
I’m working on getting the power company (which is owned by our small city) to change this policy, however, since they recently announced a goal of moving to 100% renewable power by 2030. I’m one of the few people who will make the switch even if it costs me MORE than coal-generated electricity, so I don’t actually care about the payback period. But most people require a financial incentive to make a change.
For simple installations such as solar garden lighting or heating your swimming pool with the power of the sun, there are viable, effective, and affordable DIY options on the market. However, with larger projects, such as whole-house solar, the process requires quite a bit of knowledge of electrical systems. Here are a few things to consider before going forward with your DIY solar project.
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Net annual energy production—The amount of annual energy (usually in kilowatt hours) produced or estimated for a given wind turbine at a given location, after subtracting losses from the gross annual energy production. A variety of losses may be estimated for obstacle wind shadows, turbulence, turbine wake effects, turbine availability, high-wind hysteresis effects, electrical efficiency, blade icing, blade soiling and surface degradation, idling parasitic losses, control errors, low temperature shutdown, utility system maintenance, and other issues specific to a given turbine installation.
There are many practical applications for the use of solar panels or photovoltaics. It can first be used in agriculture as a power source for irrigation. In health care solar panels can be used to refrigerate medical supplies. It can also be used for infrastructure. PV modules are used in photovoltaic systems and include a large variety of electric devices:
Local airport or weather stations can offer local wind data, but these data may be less reliable than actual site data. If airport data (typically recorded at 30 ft or 10 m above ground) or weather station data (typically recorded at 5 to 20 ft above ground) are used, inquire not only about the site's current equipment and location but also if it is historically consistent with the data collection equipment and siting. Equipment at these sites is not primarily intended for wind resource assessment, so it may not be positioned at an appropriate height or in a location free of obstructions. Unfortunately, airport and weather stations are usually far from the site of interest, with considerably different orography, tree cover, and monitoring height, making these data of questionable usefulness. Given the expertise required to effectively establish and correlate wind resource data, the data provided by airport and weather stations may only provide a rough screening assessment.
Your goal is to expose the solar panel to as much sunlight as possible. First and foremost, this means you need to avoid shade - one panel in the shade can affect the efficiency of the entire system. Be sure to keep details in mind: Will the neighbor's big oak tree grow in the next ten years? Will something that's out of the way at this very second be casting a shadow later in the day? You also need to consider the qualities of your roof. In order to get the most direct sunlight, your panels should point towards the equator (South, in the Northern hemisphere) - will your roof accommodate this? And is the roof big enough to hold your panels? Another, more obscure consideration is your homeowner's association. Some people think solar panels are an eyesore (personally, I think they make your house look great) and may have banned them in your neighborhood.
The term solar panels is often used for a few different types of products that produce energy by collecting sunlight. We most commonly use the phrase to refer to the type that converts sunlight directly into DC electricity. Less frequently, people will use the term in reference to solar thermal collectors, which typically heats a liquid such as water, or solar air heaters, which heats air directly.
Paying to have solar panels cleaned is often not a good investment; researchers found panels that had not been cleaned, or rained on, for 145 days during a summer drought in California, lost only 7.4% of their efficiency. Overall, for a typical residential solar system of 5 kW, washing panels halfway through the summer would translate into a mere $20 gain in electricity production until the summer drought ends—in about 2 ½ months. For larger commercial rooftop systems, the financial losses are bigger but still rarely enough to warrant the cost of washing the panels. On average, panels lost a little less than 0.05% of their overall efficiency per day.
Flagging—The deformation of local vegetation toward one direction, indicating the prevailing wind direction and relative strength (more formally called Krummholtz formation). Flagging is sometimes used with the Beaufort scale to generate an initial estimate of local site conditions. (Note: flagging does not determine the wind resource, but is a confirming indicator of it. For example, sometimes flagging is the result of sunlight availability, or trimming of tree branches near electrical lines. The assessor needs to understand when flagging is relevant, or when it is a confirming indicator of another condition at the site.)
Given these numbers it is not surprising that consumers start to wonder if they could buy the equipment themselves and contract someone to do the installation, permitting and inspections. The reality is that there are a lot of other costs that go into providing a fully installed solar system other than the cost of the solar panels themselves, but given the above numbers it’s understandable that many people want to investigate DIY solar projects and buying solar panel kits online. If you are considering buying a solar panel kit then we have reviewed each of the leading solar kit websites below, but before considering buying any kit you should probably read up on the pros and cons of doing a DIY solar project.
Batteries – an off-grid system will need a bank of batteries to store the electricity. The turbine will produce electricity whenever it spins above the cut-in speed. So you can stockpile this energy in the batteries for when it is needed. Lead acid batteries (deep-cycle) are the most common kinds to use. They can be wired in series or parallel to make a battery bank.
Varied wind resources can exist within the same property. In addition to measuring or finding the annual wind speeds, you need to know about the prevailing directions of the wind at your site. Knowing the prevailing wind direction(s) is essential to determining the impact of obstacles and landforms when seeking the best available site location and estimating the wind resource at that location. To help with this process, small wind site assessors typically develop a wind rose, which shows the wind direction distributions of a given area. The wind rose divides a compass into sectors (usually 8 or 16) and indicates the average wind speed, average percentage of time that the wind blows from each direction, and/or the percentage of energy in the wind by sector. Wind roses can be generated based on annual average wind speeds, or by season, month, or even time of day as needed.
Home wind energy systems generally comprise a rotor, a generator or alternator mounted on a frame, a tail (usually), a tower, wiring, and the "balance of system" components: controllers, inverters, and/or batteries. Through the spinning blades, the rotor captures the kinetic energy of the wind and converts it into rotary motion to drive the generator, which produces either AC or wild AC (variable frequency, variable voltage), which is typically converted to grid-compatible AC electricity.
Solar panel has been a well-known method of generating clean, emission free electricity. However, it produces only direct current electricity (DC), which is not what normal appliances use. Solar photovoltaic systems (solar PV systems) are often made of solar PV panels (modules) and inverter (changing DC to AC). Solar PV panels are mainly made of solar photovoltaic cells, which has no fundamental difference to the material for making computer chips. The process of producing solar PV cells (computer chips) is energy intensive and involves highly poisonous and environmental toxic chemicals. There are few solar PV manufacturing plants around the world producing PV modules with energy produced from PV. This measure greatly reduces the carbon footprint during the manufacturing process. Managing the chemicals used in the manufacturing process is subject to the factories' local laws and regulations.
I had a very good experience ordering online with GoGreenSolar.com. After thorough online research, I found GoGreenSolar offered the components I was looking for, available for delivery at the most affordable prices, including shipping and handling. I basically ordered the parts to put together my own energy saving solar panel system. They were not only delivered in a very timely manner, but all of the parts were quality built, nothing broken or damaged. I would definitely recommend going to their site when considering solar panels.
If a solar professional determines that your roof is not suitable for solar, or you don’t own your home, you can still benefit from solar energy. Community solar allows multiple people to benefit from a single, shared solar array that can be installed on- or off-site. Costs associated with purchasing and installing a solar energy system are divided among all of the participants, who are able to buy into the shared system at a level that best fits their budget. Learn more about community solar.
Between maintenance and repairs, it would greatly help and keep your cost down if you can do some of the work yourself: Being able to safely tilt the turbine tower up or down will save you money. Understanding how the turbine works, how to stop it safely, how to trouble-shoot at least the minor issues can keep you in the black. We understand that installing a wind turbine is not for everyone. In fact, towers are dangerous, and for a good installation the devil is in the details. An experienced installer can make a real difference in putting up a turbine that will work better, and be more reliable over time. We really encourage you to have a professional installer to do the initial installation. However, throwing up your hands and calling your installer for routine maintenance, or every time there is a minor issue, will likely make you an unhappy wind turbine owner (even if it is your installer’s dream).
My position is that solar is not good enough for places that are not sunny most of the year, and that includes most of the North East USA. In a few years, when the panel efficiency gets greater with the retail sale of dual-gate and possibly tri-gate or more gate solar panels, then we will have something. Folks should install what works right for their area, and in much of the US, solar is a good idea; just not all of it, not yet.
How, you ask?? As it happens, our garage roof is by far the sunniest part of our property, so that’s where we put the panels. You can look for “holes” in the canopy too – a tool called the Solar Pathfinder is good for this purpose. Or you can go hardcore Mustachian: take pictures of the south-facing part of your house at different times of day, at different times of year, and then chart the pictures out to see where the sun shines reliably :)
If you regularly find your lawn furniture blown over, or have to collect it from the neighbour’s yard, your house needs to be repainted every year or two because it constantly gets sand-blasted, and where the trees have funny shapes (and not because your power company has been doing the pruning), that is when you know you live in a windy place where a wind turbine is likely to make economic sense.
Are you in the US? You can install solar panels and feed them into the grid if so. By law the power companies have to buy any electricity you produce. In some states it's much easier to implement than others though, check with local solar companies. You always use off the grid, but whatever you produce is fed into the grid during daytime. That offsets your electric bill. In most states the electric company just gives you a credit for whatever you produce, not a check in the mail.
With the increasing levels of rooftop photovoltaic systems, the energy flow becomes 2-way. When there is more local generation than consumption, electricity is exported to the grid. However, electricity network traditionally is not designed to deal with the 2- way energy transfer. Therefore, some technical issues may occur. For example in Queensland Australia, there have been more than 30% of households with rooftop PV by the end of 2017. The famous Californian 2020 duck curve appears very often for a lot of communities from 2015 onwards. An over-voltage issue may come out as the electricity flows from these PV households back to the network. There are solutions to manage the over voltage issue, such as regulating PV inverter power factor, new voltage and energy control equipment at electricity distributor level, re-conducting the electricity wires, demand side management, etc. There are often limitations and costs related to these solutions.
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. In addition, wind energy is clean, indigenous, renewable energy.
This step is better with two people, especially on a steep roof. Starting at the furthest corner from the location of your inverter, connect each the panel’s wires to the matching ones on its host inverter. Set the panels down straight, and use the click-in clamps that come with the racking system to clamp down the panel using your cordless drill/driver.
Electric cost adjustment—An energy charge (dollars per kilowatt-hour) on a utility bill in addition to the standard rate in the tariff, which is associated with extra costs to purchase fuel, control emissions, construct transmission upgrades, and so on. These various costs may be itemized or rolled into one electric cost adjustment rate. Sometimes referred to as fuel cost adjustment.
Governor—A device used to limit the RPM of the rotor. Limiting RPM serves to reduce centrifugal forces acting on the wind turbine and rotor as well as limit the electrical output of the generating device. Governors can be electrical, also know as "dynamic braking," or mechanical. Mechanical governors can be "passive," using springs to pitch the blades out of their ideal orientation, or an offset rotor that pitches out of the wind, or "active" by electrically or hydraulically pitching blades out of their ideal orientation.*
An off-grid inverter must supply enough power to meet the needs of all the appliances running simultaneously. Before selecting an inverter, you must know the watts your appliances will require and their amp and surge needs. Sizing an inverter for an off-grid system, which is based on instantaneous load, is very different from sizing a grid tied inverter, which is determined by the solar panel array size. In the case of an off-grid inverter, the inverter has to provide enough energy to all the AC loads, sometimes at the same time. Say you need to simultaneously power 3,000 Watts from various appliances. For an off-grid system, you’d need an inverter that could supply at least that amount. Note that the solar array size does not enter into this inverter sizing since the inverter pulls its power from the battery bank.
Going forward, there is hope for the small wind future! Certification programs are under way in various places to provide real turbine performance data. In North America this is being spearheaded by the Small Wind Certification Council, which requires third-party certification of turbine performance in a standardized fashion. Manufacturers will no longer be able to fudge power curves, or specify ‘rated power’ at hurricane-force wind speeds. This will allow you, the consumer, to compare turbines on a much more even footing.
If you answered no to any of the above questions, you should probably hire a system integrator or installer. Contact the manufacturer for help or call your state energy office and local utility for a list of local system installers. A credible installer may be able to provide many services such as permitting, obtaining interconnection approval, etc. Find out if the installer is a licensed electrician. Ask for references and check them. You may also want to check with the Better Business Bureau.
The ability of an off-grid inverter to surge to a higher level than its rated continuous output for a short duration to turn over the locked rotor of large loads like well pumps is critical. The inverter specifications that should be looked at are the Maximum Output Amps and the AC overload capability. If there are large loads a good number to look for is a five second surge capability of at least 1 ½ times the rated output of the inverter. If you have a deep well pump, the minimum requirement may be 3X the continuous run amps.
PV (photovoltaic) systems can be grouped into two categories, off-grid and grid tied. In off-grid systems the energy produced by the solar panels must match the daily demand of the home or cabin, and the power is stored in a set of batteries. With grid-tie solar systems, the local utility company functions essentially as the battery bank during the night. In America, most solar systems are grid-tied with all of the excess electricity generated being fed back to the utility grid hence the term NET metering.
That being said in and generator you have windings. These are the wires that you see in the casing that are wrapped in close proximity. These wires have and enameled coating which has a temperature rating at which if it is heated beyond the coating burns off and the generator or even an electrical motor will burn up. Therefore it is important to understand that in any generator if too much torque is applied for the size windings or wire gauge then the amperage flow builds up heat and any generator can burn up if too much input torque is applied for a given generator. This is why matching a wind turbine to a generator set is important.
Local utilities and regional power authorities are investing increasing resources to solar power generation. Both private and government-owned utility companies can leverage the recently-extended federal tax credits to encourage additional investments in renewable energy by their individual customers. As solar power generation increases on the large scale, prices for equipment will be driven down further, making it more feasible for a homeowner to invest in solar installations on their homes.
But alas, the inverter is what it is. It cannot be connected to another inverter to provide more power (though more expensive models can be), nor can it be configured to operate at a higher input voltage, should you ever get ambitious and change the system voltage to 24 or 48 volts. On the other hand, at $65, does it really matter? A slightly-used 800-watt AC power source that can draw power right off the battery is a handy accessory any vehicle would be proud to have tucked away next to the spare tire.
As the section above shows, anything under 5 m/s annual average wind speed is not going to be worth-while if you want any economic benefit out of a wind turbine. Even with government incentives, you would be better off with solar for most places. Let us take this a bit further, and assume your backyard is pretty windy, a full 6 m/s (13.4 mph) annual average wind speed at 100′ height. You get a 6 kW wind turbine installed, and shell out $50,000 for that privilege. If the installer did her job properly, the turbine is spinning in nice, clean, laminar air, and it will produce around 13,000 kWh per year. You are the kind of person that wins the lottery on a regular basis, marries a beauty queen (or king), and has kids that all go to ivy-league universities; your wind turbine never breaks and you do not have to shell out a single buck for maintenance over 20 years. Now your turbine has produced around 260,000 kWh of electricity, which works out to 19.2 cents per kWh in cost. Maybe you pay more than for electricity and it is worth it, but your are likely not getting rich, and any repairs and maintenance will drive that price up in a hurry.
The first words of everyone calling us are “the wind is blowing here all the time”. People consistently overestimate how windy their place actually is. They forget about all the times the wind does not blow, and only remember the windy days. Such is human nature. Before even considering a small wind turbine you need to have a good idea of the annual average wind speed for your site. The gold standard is to install a data-logging anemometer (wind meter) at the same height and location as the proposed wind turbine, and let it run for 3 to 5 years. Truth is that it is usually much too expensive to do for small wind turbines, and while logging for 1 year could give you some idea and is the absolute minimum for worthwhile wind information, it is too short to be very reliable. For most of us, the more economical way to find out about the local average wind speed is by looking at a wind atlas, meteorological data, airport information and possibly the local vegetation (for windy spots the trees take on interesting shapes).
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While we cannot defy the laws of physics as the current advertised power output values of many companies selling these type of products do. Hurricane products have a proven track record of producing more power over time than any of the other leading brands we have tested. Our buck boost mppt controllers and larger blade swept area and generator rotor and stators coupled with our buck boost MPPT controllers just make more power over time period.
Cities and suburbs had failed to keep pace with advances in alternative energy because they came of age in the sixties when everyone believed fossil fuel would last until nuclear power satisfied all our electrical needs. Now, as eagerness for the wind and solar power drives engineers and planners, preliminary studies suggest just about every North American community has geographic and weather conditions conducive to hybrid wind and solar power installations. We still can use our fingers to count the number of communities seriously considering investment in wind turbines.
Each module is rated by its DC output power under standard test conditions (STC), and typically ranges from 100 to 365 Watts (W). The efficiency of a module determines the area of a module given the same rated output – an 8% efficient 230 W module will have twice the area of a 16% efficient 230 W module. There are a few commercially available solar modules that exceed efficiency of 24% 
Wind Resource Considerations -- If you live in complex terrain, take care in selecting the installation site. If you site your wind turbine on the top of or on the windy side of a hill, for example, you will have more access to prevailing winds than in a gully or on the leeward (sheltered) side of a hill on the same property. You can have varied wind resources within the same property. In addition to measuring or finding out about the annual wind speeds, you need to know about the prevailing directions of the wind at your site. In addition to geological formations, you need to consider existing obstacles, such as trees, houses, and sheds. You also need to plan for future obstructions, such as new buildings or trees that have not reached their full height. Your turbine needs to be sited upwind of any buildings and trees, and it needs to be 30 feet above anything within 300 feet.
Beaufort scale—A scale of wind forces, described by name and range of velocity, and classified from force 0 to 12, with an extension to 17. The initial (1805) Francis Beaufort wind force scale of 13 classes (0 to 12) did not reference wind speed numbers but related qualitative wind conditions to effects on the sails of a frigate, then the main ship of the Royal Navy, from "just sufficient to give steerage" to "that which no canvas sails could withstand." Although the Beaufort scale has little use in site assessments, a system of tree flagging observations has been used to estimate prevailing wind directions and levels on the scale over time.