Every turbine should include an owner's manual or operations manual to provide the consumer with scheduled and unscheduled maintenance information as well as other unique product information. Scheduled maintenance guidelines should be followed. If you do not have the expertise to maintain the machine, ask whether your installer provides a service and maintenance program.
Always, as in always, remember to take your first and most important safety precaution before you strap on your safety harness belt and take your first step up the tower: Shutdown the turbine and furl the blades before you ascend. If you leave the machine running, a sudden shift in the wind’s direction can spin the blades right into you, slicing and dicing you as if you were so much meat and cheese for a chef’s salad.

The most irritating situation many consumers face after purchasing a costly wind turbine is the need of air-flow. They end up feeling that why they haven’t bought a can of wind with the turbine to see it working. To eliminate such frustrating situation, Missouri Wind and Solar has kept this kit’s cut-in speed in 6 MPH. Carries a 3 YEAR limited warranty.

Most people on forums and blogs who tout DIY kits as big money-savers also have a lot of pre-existing expertise about solar, electricity, and construction. You can tell because of how they rattle off terms that most people don’t understand. For those few expert people – maybe they do save money with kits. Maybe. And if you know someone like that, they’ll assure you how simple it all is. For them. But not for you.
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What’s surprising about the Mathers’ situation is that their local wind speeds are not ideal, yet home wind power works beautifully for them. “Technically, if you look at wind maps, we’re in a bad location for wind, but we wanted to be off-grid for environmental reasons,” Cam says. The biggest issue with the Mathers’ property is that they have too many trees, and even though their small wind turbine is easily 40 feet above the tree line, the landscape slows down the wind. Wind still makes sense for them, though, because they’re off the grid, so their only electricity is what they produce and then store in batteries. They started with solar panels, but adding a wind turbine to the mix made the whole system much more stable and efficient — a major benefit when you’re solely responsible for generating your own electricity.
Now that you know the pieces of the DIY solar power kit that you’ll need, don’t forget about the installation, permits, and regulations involved in residential solar energy systems. Even though you’re doing it yourself, you need backup from the professionals – electricians, roofers, engineers, and others to determine if the system you’re installing is functional, appropriate, and safe and whether your home is suitable for the installation of the solar system.
Combiner / circuit breaker box is a key piece of equipment that begins to bring the pieces of equipment together that allows you to generate electricity. We use almost exclusively Midnite Solar and OutBack combiners and breakers because they are safe, durable and easy to wire. NEC (National Electrical Code) says that each series of strings of panels are to be wired to it's own circuit breaker. Midnite Solar and OutBack combiner boxes make this task easy providing a breaker to turn off and on each string for any purpose. The combiner box is usually located directly under a ground mount array.
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So how does a seemingly simple looking panel harness sunlight and transform it into electricity? Solar panels contain photovoltaic cells. These cells are where the conversion from light to electricity takes place. The cells must be made of a material like silicon or a similar single cell semi-conducting material. As light enters the cells, the semi-conductor pulls the energy in the form of electrons from it and allows them to flow through the material. In essence, this flow is actually a current. While the absorption of the light into the cell is enough to free electrons, the cells also contain an electric field that can steer the electrons where they need to go. The current is then steered to the bottom of the panel where it can then be collected and drawn for use externally.
Designed carefully, this sleek looking model not only gives an overwhelming view to your dwelling but also complements the solar power. Plus, you can think of using it for a variety of locations- both urban and rural areas. In fact, the maker encourages you to use this device for charging batteries on your vessel, cabins, pavilion or recreational vehicle. Small nuts and screws are included with other essential segments.
There is no energy in the wind at those wind speeds, nothing to harvest for the turbine. While it may make you feel good to see your expensive yard toy spin, it is not doing anything meaningful in a breeze like that: To give you some idea, a wind turbine with a diameter of 6 meters (pretty large as small wind turbines go) can realistically produce just 120 Watt at 3.5 m/s wind speed. That same turbine would be rated at 6 kW (or more, see the next section), so energy production at cut-in really is just a drop in the bucket. What is more, due to the way grid-tie inverters work, you are about as likely to be loosing energy around cut-in wind speed to keep the inverter powered, as you are in making any energy, resulting in a net-loss of electricity production.
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.
Is the wind resource at your site good enough to justify your investment in a small wind turbine system? That is a key question and not always easily answered. The wind resource can vary significantly over an area of just a few miles because of local terrain influences on the wind flow. Yet, there are steps you can take to answer the above question.
Where the reputable, and more expensive manufacturers are good in honouring their warranties, you are likely on your own with the cheap stuff. Even with a good warranty, take our word for it that you would much rather not make use of it. Even if the manufacturer supplies replacement parts, it is still expensive to install them. Not to mention that your turbine will not be making energy meanwhile.
Whether or not your wind turbine is connected to the utility grid, the installation and operation of the wind turbine is probably subject to the electrical codes that your local city or county government, or in some instances your state government, has in place. The government's principal concern is the safety of the facility, so these code requirements emphasize proper wiring and installation and the use of components that have been certified for fire and electrical safety by approved testing laboratories, such as Underwriters Laboratories. Most local electrical codes requirements are based on the National Electrical Code (NEC), which is published by the National Fire Protection Association. As of 2011, the latest version of the NEC began including sections specific to the installation of small wind energy facilities.[37] The NEC is available for purchase online at the National Fire Protection Association website[38] and can also be found at most local libraries.
The key to making it all work cost effectively is a really cost-effective system to bolt together over the existing parking spaces. If you can minimize the engineering, steel, concrete and building permit aspects, then things start looking much better. (The same argument applies to choosing small, lightweight bike infrastructure over the massive stuff we need to build to support cars!)
CONS: This solar thermal system does not have battery bank and is not able to accumulate thermal energy after producing it. When it’s sunny, solar collector produces heat, but it is necessary to use it instantly for space heating. If the sun does not shine, it is necessary to block the air supply to the solar collector, otherwise the room will begin to slowly cool off. This can be solved by installing shut-off valve, which should reduce unnecessary heat loss.
In the spirit of self-reliance and ecological responsibility, wind farms and wind generators have become an increasingly logical option for energy. The wind generator kits available are a huge step in that direction. Wind generators create and provide energy by harnessing an inexhaustible, renewable resource: the wind. There is a large inventory of wind generator kits available on eBay. The basic components of a wind generator kit include the wind turbine, the blades and hub, and the tail. There are many additional choices to consider with your wind generator such as tower height and length, amount and size of blades, and power translating efficiency. Wind/solar hybrid designs, tail extensions, and other customizable options and add-ons are also available, depending on your wants and needs. You can even add decorative details with a colored or American flag emblazoned tail. Alternative energy is becoming a more popular choice for people willing to invest in both the wind generator as well as the path to non-polluting energy it is forging.
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.

At the time of writing, I’ve had the system online for 27 mostly-January days, including a couple of writeoffs where the panels were covered in snow. It has still averaged about 10 kWh of electricity production per day, which is more than the average consumption of the whole facility. Put another way, the 265 kWh of electricity is enough to power an electric car for roughly 1000 miles of driving.
Prior to conducting an on-site measurement campaign, some small wind project developers use state wind maps to conservatively estimate the wind resource at turbine hub height. While these maps can provide a general indication of good or poor wind resources, they do not provide a resolution high enough to identify local site features. State wind maps cannot include information on complex terrain, ground cover, wind speed distribution, direction distribution, turbulence intensity, and other local effects. Purchased maps or services can often provide higher resolution and more flexibility with zooming, orientation, and additional features. Pay attention to a map's height above ground as it relates to the potential project's tower height. Adjusting the wind speed for the height difference between the map and the turbine height adds a potential source of error depending on the wind shear exponent that is selected, and the greater the height difference the greater the potential error. Therefore, for small wind generator applications, 30- to 40-m wind maps are far more useful than 10-, 60-, 80-, or 100-m wind maps. It is also important to understand the resolution of the wind map or model-generated data set. If the resolution is lower than the terrain features, adjustments will be needed to account for local terrain effects.[26]
I installed a DIY system last year and my biggest problem in Iowa was, it would snow, then get really cold. The snow would then basically freeze in place until it was well above freezing for a few days or even a week. I went out a couple times after it was above freezing with the hose and would spray them to help melt the snow. It also didn’t help that the bottom of my panels isn’t the bottom of the roof, so the snow will start sliding off the panels, then get caught by the snow stuck on the roof instead of falling to the ground. I’m not too worried about it this year though, because I’ve banked an almost 2Mw credit, from my little 3.8 kw system.
With over 100% year-on-year growth in PV system installation, PV module makers dramatically increased their shipments of solar modules in 2010. They actively expanded their capacity and turned themselves into gigawatt GW players.[39] According to PVinsights, five of the top ten PV module companies in 2010 are GW players. Suntech, First Solar, Sharp, Yingli and Trina Solar are GW producers now, and most of them doubled their shipments in 2010.[40]

Great post, thank you. I have been on the fence on this one for the same reasons. I will get it done this year, though the ridiculous tariffs really chap my hide. I haven’t found a good green clothes drying strategy for Western Washington, so this will help cover electric dryer costs. Your post did not discuss the ‘harm’ identified by some utilities in having ‘too much’ daytime production. My assumption is that the grid tying incentives will phase out as more homes adopt solar and that a shift to a battery system may be required. At any rate, this is good stuff!


We installed solar on our 45-degree metal roof last year. We previously had problems with ice sheets that would shoot off and put bystanders in danger. The panels do not melt the snow, but seem to be advantageously working as snow and ice-guards. Interestingly we have noticed that the light passes right through the snow and we still get power. On a bright day it still seems to run just about full generation.
Perform a local wind survey. This is an essential step, and will show whether a turbine is a feasible prospect or not. You can do this yourself using a wind meter. You would need to measure the wind at the prospective installation site on a daily basis for a long period of time (+1 year) to get worthwhile data. The other option is to use public information collected by meteorological agencies.
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.
Best of all, the package embodies almost all the accessories- from blades and nose cone to hex key and bolts. The only drawback of this low budget turbine is its inability to start up at low wind speed. On the opposite end of the spectrum, once it starts, it keeps producing energy ceaselessly. However, its affordable price and the included big and tiny constituents have earned a great Thumbs Up from a lot of users.
The soldering is super easy and will go fast once you get the hang of it.  This is a great first soldering project because it is so easy.  Put the cells face down on the table and bring the tab from the front of one cell to the back of the next one.  There will be metal squares or pads on the back of the cell.  Press the tab down on the metal pad with the soldering iron to heat them and then press the solder on the tab.  The solder will melt and attach the tab to the pad.  If you aren’t experienced at soldering, make sure you heat the metal and apply solder to the metal.  Do not heat the solder.  If you end up with the tab connected to the pad and nice shiny solder, you’re doing it right.  Keep going until you have 9 cells in line like this.
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