Once you figure out where to put the long “lines” shown above, you measure them out and snap chalk lines right over top of your existing roof material. Then, use some sturdy 2.5″ lag bolts and washers to hold down the L-shaped brackets that come with the solar racking kit. Pre-drill each hole, and inject in some “Through the Roof” sealant with a normal caulk gun before driving in those bolts – this creates a permanent watertight seal. (There are also special brackets to accommodate different roof styles like tile and metal).

How high is your tower? Hands down, the biggest mistake a homeowner can make with a small wind turbine is putting the turbine on too short of a tower. Like solar in the full sun with no shade, any renewable energy source must have good access to the fuel that drives the electricity. There is nearly 100% more power available in 10 MPH winds than 8 MPH winds.
The key items in a solar kit are solar panels, a charge controller, a battery, and an inverter. Some solar kits will include a few of these items, leaving you to buy the other components separately. Here is a simple diagram that explains how the solar system relates to each component, and what they each do.  Note that the solar kits in this review do not include batteries and we have included advice on several battery options in the Buyers Guide.
A typical home uses approximately 10,766 kilowatt-hours (kWh), an average of 897 kWh per month.[11] Depending on the average wind speed in the area, a wind turbine rated in the range of 5 to 15 kW would be required to make a significant contribution to this demand. A 1.5-kW wind turbine will meet the needs of a home requiring 300 kWh per month in a location with a 14 MPH (6.26 meters per second) annual average wind speed.[12] The manufacturer, dealer, or installer can provide you with the expected annual energy output of the turbine as a function of annual average wind speed. The manufacturer will also provide information about any maximum wind speeds at which the turbine is designed to operate safely. Most turbines have automatic overspeed-governing systems to keep the rotor from spinning out of control in extremely high winds.
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When thinking about the “costs” of solar, you have to also consider the savings you’ll be enjoying on your power bills. That is the point, after all, right? But those savings build up over the life of the system. And good solar installations will last 30 to 40 years. By that point, the initial sticker price will be a distant memory. What has happened in those decades since then – that’s what really matters.

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.

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.

This can get a bit tricky, but once you get the hang of it, can be done fast enough. First, some technical notes: In order to get higher voltage, you need to connect two cells in series. This means that the negative part of the first connects to the positive part of the second. As you continue to add more cells in series, you will get a higher voltage from side to side on your solar strip. This is all good, but if your cells are small-ish, they won't generate much amperage. So even if you have a high voltage, you probably won't be able to give it any load (probably will hardly light an LED). In order to get higher amperage through the circuit, you need to connect cells in parallel (positive side to positive side, negative side to negative side). When you do this, make sure the positive and negative leads (copper mesh in this case) don't short themselves out.
Flashing 6 Times: High temperature protection; Flashing 7 Times: PWM driving undervoltage/overvoltage; Flashing 8 Times: Internal voltage reference undervoltage/overvoltage; Flashing 9 Times: Sensor bias current error; Flashing 10 Times: Hardware zero passage detection failure. Noted that the above operations can only be performed with the power grid connected.
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.
Since we mentioned maintenance: Consider that in a reasonably windy place a wind turbine can run 7000 hours or more per year. If it were a car, going at 50 km/h (30 mph), it would travel 350,000 km (or 200,000+ miles). That means you should plan for an annual inspection, and perform the needed maintenance (greasing for example), regardless of the recommendation of the manufacturer. It is just as important to inspect and maintain the tower annually. We know of a tower that collapsed because nuts worked themselves loose from their bolts over 2½ years time, no inspection nor maintenance were done during that time, ultimately leading to its undoing. Wind turbines and towers live in a very harsh environment. It is important to check for issues, such as loose bolts or tower guy wires that need re-tensioning, before they become a problem.
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Equipped with a 3-phase External Rectifier pigtail. This small black connector on the back of the unit allows you to run less costly 3-conductor wire to your battery location instead of large heavy battery cables in addition to lessening the voltage loss you get with DC power. Once at the battery location the 3-phase power is fed into the included Charge Controller and is converted to DC for connection to the battery.
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.
The ability of solar modules to withstand damage by rain, hail, heavy snow load, and cycles of heat and cold varies by manufacturer, although most solar panels on the U.S. market are UL listed, meaning they have gone through testing to withstand hail.[21] Many crystalline silicon module manufacturers offer a limited warranty that guarantees electrical production for 10 years at 90% of rated power output and 25 years at 80%.[22]
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I’ve often wondered whether it would make sense to “shade” all parking lots with solar panels. Drive to the mall (I know you don’t, but others do) and there’s acres and acres of cars baking in the sun. Mount the solar panels just high enough to comfortably walk, drive, and park beneath then rake in the free solar. In fact, if it’s it’s a commercial parking lot, you can charge customers a premium for the shade and the warm fuzzy feeling that they’re part of saving the planet. Same goes for parks in need of a little shade.

Every household will need to run its own cost-benefit analysis on this basic trade-off. Buying your own system costs more up front but pays bigger dividends; leasing lets you access cheaper electricity with little or no money down, but the benefits are more limited. If you lease, the company you contract with owns the system, and you pay them a certain rate for the electricity; when the lease is up, they might take the system away. When you own the system, it can keep working for you long after it pays off the cost of the purchase. Make sure you compare the total lifecycle cost of the lease and weigh the savings against the benefits you would get from ownership.
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You’ve heard it on the news and you’ve read the latest reports. Solar power is projected to become cheaper than coal in about 10 years. Just consider the significant drops in the cost of going solar – since 2009, solar prices have dropped 62%! What was once a far-reaching solution to lowering your home energy bill has now become a reality in the life of many homeowners. In fact, DIY residential solar kits are appearing on the shelves of big box stores. As a homeowner, you’re ready to get in on the action! And with a DIY kit, how hard could it be to start saving money on your monthly electric bill? In this article, we’ll cover what you’ll do to install a home solar energy system and the pros and cons of the DIY method versus hiring the professionals.
You need to better explain how the soldering/connection process goes. Between connecting the cells in series to increase voltage and then connecting the …buses in parallel to increase the amperage, the average, e.g. uninitiated DIYer will be confused. It’s commendable you want to share your knowledge but it has to be done in a way that even the …”lowest common denominator” will understand it.
Crystalline modules are the big blue panels that usually come to mind when you think about solar power. They're very efficient and very durable. A 40 year lifespan is more than you can ask of many home improvement projects, and gives you more than enough time to make your money back in savings. A drawback of crystalline is installation. These cells require a somewhat elaborate racking system. We'll cover racking on the next page.
Several companies have begun embedding electronics into PV modules. This enables performing maximum power point tracking (MPPT) for each module individually, and the measurement of performance data for monitoring and fault detection at module level. Some of these solutions make use of power optimizers, a DC-to-DC converter technology developed to maximize the power harvest from solar photovoltaic systems. As of about 2010, such electronics can also compensate for shading effects, wherein a shadow falling across a section of a module causes the electrical output of one or more strings of cells in the module to fall to zero, but not having the output of the entire module fall to zero.
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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.

Nominal voltage [17]refers to the voltage of the battery that the module is best suited to charge; this is a leftover term from the days when solar modules were only used to charge batteries. The actual voltage output of the module changes as lighting, temperature and load conditions change, so there is never one specific voltage at which the module operates. Nominal voltage allows users, at a glance, to make sure the module is compatible with a given system.
Deciding the size of your system is the next step. With a grid-tied system, size is less critical, because the grid supplies power when your PV system falls short. Systems as small as a couple hundred watts are practical, but you can also install panels that will produce enough electricity for all your needs. Review how much electricity you use now, and then estimate what you will be able to save by applying conservation and efficiency measures throughout your home. This will give you an idea of how big a system you’ll want to build. You certainly can build a system smaller than this, but it may not pay to install a larger one. Look up your state on DSIRE to learn about net metering rules where you live, including how much you can get paid for generating excess power.

The peak power rating, Wp, is the maximum output under standard test conditions (not the maximum possible output). Typical modules, which could measure approximately 1 m × 2 m or 3 ft 3 in × 6 ft 7 in, will be rated from as low as 75 W to as high as 350 W, depending on their efficiency. At the time of testing, the test modules are binned according to their test results, and a typical manufacturer might rate their modules in 5 W increments, and either rate them at +/- 3%, +/-5%, +3/-0% or +5/-0%.[18][19][20]
This items including : 2pcs 400W wind turbine with grid tie controller ,2pcs waterproof grid tie inverter ! Why Off Grid Systems Should Include Wind? Wind provides power at night. Wind is strongest during the winter months when solar resources are limited. Wind provides power during poor weather conditions. Air density is higher in colder weather and maximizes power production.
DIY solar is for someone capable of reading with understanding. For any DIY that does not want to take the time to study about what he is planning to do, then DIY solar is a big fire risk for the homeowner DIY. Solar is not too difficult, but it is not easy as pie either. Wire sizes, connections, and fusing have to be undersood, and contrary to most DIY experiences with electricity, DC is a very unforgiving beast; way different from AC.
We powered all our electrical needs on a 40 ft boat we lived aboard for 11 yrs. We bought Kyrocera245 watt panels X 3 for $1.00 a watt delivered in 2010 and in 2014 they hd gone up in price because of demand. Our battery bank was 12 group 31 AGM batteries on a MPPT controller. We ran a chest freezer and full size refrigerator. plus regular stuff for daily life. For AC we had to have shore power. I don't think prices have come down in the 30 yrs I have been using solar. Nothing is free!
Great article. We just signed a contract to have panels installed but I had done a little research on a DIY setup. In the end, I felt the personal risk – shutting off the breaker panel, connect new 2-way electric meter, climbing around 2-story roof with lots of heavy materials – wasn’t worth the potential savings compared to hiring a professional contractor. What prompted you to decide that you could complete this hi-voltage, rooftop project without professional help?

Solar Power Rocks provides free comprehensive guides to solar policy and incentives for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, along with hundreds of helpful and informative articles about recent solar news and general information related to home solar power. For media inquiries, general questions, or to report an error, you can reach us here.
A solar installation is a mini-power plant on your roof. It requires knowledge about how to work with DC electricity, wiring, inverters and battery banks. Home solar installations are optimal on rooftops, so there's the danger inherent in working at heights. In many cases, DIY projects are not permitted to be tied into the grid by the local utility, which means if your system is not producing enough electricity, there's no back-up. Many states do not allow DIY electrical systems to begin with. While there may be an initial cost-savings, the disadvantages of DIY solar installations include many factors.
Turbine A has a steady output of 250 watts constant therefore in 4 hours it produces 1 kilo watt hour. Over the period of a day the same wind generator in this example would produce 6 killo watt hours of the course of the day. 24 hours divided by 4 is 6 KWH. Estimating at this rate we can presume that at this average turbine A would generator about 180 KWH per month
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.
We decided to go with a grid-tied system, which is much more cost effective than an off-grid system. One advantage is that you don’t have to buy batteries, which are expensive and have to be replaced from time to time. You can also choose to install a smaller, less expensive system that generates just a portion of your electricity. On the downside, grid-tied systems provide no electricity when the power grid is down.
Some solar panel system setups have a single inverter (often called a “string” inverter) for the entire system. Some have a microinverter attached behind each panel. The most important thing to know about inverters is that they convert DC electricity, produced by the solar panels, into alternating current (AC) electricity. That’s the good stuff that powers your home. Now we’re getting somewhere.
Glue all cans together using adhesive silicone resistant to high temperatures, at least up to 200°C/400°F. There are glues and silicons on the market that can easily withstand temperatures up to 300°C/570°F. Top and bottom of all pop cans are compatible and fit perfectly one onto another. Put some glue or silicone on the edge of one can and press it against the other. In this way the glue/silicone will not run away from the edge. Picture 4 shows inside view of two pop cans glued together, while series of stacked and finished cans is shown in Picture 5.

You’re spending on the wind turbine for spinning and this should happen at a low wind speed of course. Because if you bring a turbine home and it just keeps staring at you, no doubt all your money (no matter how less it is) has gone to trash. To help you shun such regrettable purchase, the manufacturers have engineered this model with 2.5 m/s start-up wind speed. So, if you’ve a tight-budget and aiming to collect an energy generator that does everything well and most things best, look no further than the Mophorn 400W Wind Turbine.


While I think on a personal level, distributed solar/storage is great, it just doesn’t seem to scale on a system level, since there is a lot of economies of scale in terms of cost (compare $1/W utility PV vs. $2-3/W rooftop PV), and a lot of benefits from geographical diversity, both in terms of load (your load is way more spikey than CO’s average load), and renewables (while your solar array might be doing bad during a cloudy winter day, the wind could be howling at a wind farm in Iowa or it could be sunny in New Mexico). If we really want to go 100% carbon free, we will need all the geographical diversity and economies of scale that we can. A bunch of people with rooftop solar + a battery won’t cut it sadly.
And even after you learn enough to know what all that means, you now have to make a decision about quality. Which kits are better? How do I know? So now you’re scouring consumer reports charts, reading reviews, wondering where the panels were made, and if that manufacturer even has a phone number (some solar panel kit manufacturers are in China and have zero customer service).

According to the AWEA Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard, the Rated Annual Energy of a wind turbine is the calculated total energy that would be produced during a 1-year period with an average wind speed of 5 meters/second (m/s, or 11.2 mph).[22] The following formula illustrates factors that are important to the performance of a wind turbine. Notice that the wind speed (V) has an exponent of 3 applied to it. This means that even a small increase in wind speed results in a large increase in power. That is why a taller tower will increase the productivity of any wind turbine by giving it access to higher wind speeds.


I have spent my entire morning calculating and re-calculating wind turbines’ kW—their capacities and limits for generating electricity and energy in kilowatts per hour.  I consider this morning-long math marathon a mark of my emerging sophistication as a windophile, a crucial step in my apprenticeship as a “windsmith.”  Yes, Paul Gipe, author of the seminal text on wind power, dubbed the experts in all things windy “windsmiths.”  I like it; I want to become one; hence the protracted math homework on wind turbines’ “kW.”
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If you do have a suitably sunlit rooftop to work with, Weissman says, make sure it’s in good shape structurally. Solar installations these days can come with warranties for 20 or 25 years. If your roof will need a renovation a few years down the road, it’ll be easier to take care of that before the array goes up. That way, you won’t have to pay in extra time and money to disconnect your panels during the roof renovation and put them up again afterwards. While you’re at it, make sure you won’t run afoul of any homeowners’ association covenants that ban rooftop solar for aesthetic reasons.
It is unfortunate to see how well marketing for small wind turbines is working: I often see people post questions on forums, where they are looking for a wind turbine “with a low cut-in wind speed”. Depending on whom you ask, the cut-in wind speed is either the wind speed where the turbine starts turning, or the wind speed where it starts to produce some power. For most wind turbines it is around 2.5 – 3.5 m/s (5.5 – 8 mph), and it is an utterly meaningless parameter.
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