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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.
The cost has dropped significantly in the last several years, making it such that, with tax incentives or rebates, a grid-tie solar system will pay for itself in just a few years. Essentially, for the price of a few years electricity, you get 25 to 35 years of electricity. In fact, solar systems will likely keep on producing electricity at a lower rate for even decades after that.
Rated power of a wind turbine may not be quite as meaningless as cut-in wind speed, though its use is limited. It could have some utility to quickly compare, or get a feel for, the size of the wind turbine, but only if those rated power numbers were taken at the same rated wind speed, and if the manufacturer is giving you a realistic number (many inflate rated power). A much better measure of turbine size is, simply, their diameter. As shown above it is by far the best predictor for power output.
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.[27]
The map above gives a great indication of general areas that receive a good amount of wind, but the immediate surroundings are vitally important too. A wind turbine must be able to function unimpeded from trees, hills, buildings or anything else that might affect the wind. Good sites for wind turbines would be hilltops, plains, fields, and ocean fronts. Anything close to a forest, city, or valley would run the risk of not getting a strong enough wind.
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Hey, one thing i see all the time with solar projects is all anybody uses is 12v deep cycle batteries. These batteries were mostly meant for boats, high cranking amps and could be discharged more without killing the life of the battery. The best battery to use is deep cycle 6v batteries wired in series to give you one big 12v battery. If you want lots of power stored for longer use, use 6v batts. Another thing that you need to think of if you are going off grid is your solar array needs to be big enough to not only run the things you want but also put out enough power to recharge the batteries at the same time or each time you start to use the batteries they will just be drained more and more until they are dead. System needs to be bigger than for just running the house. If you are totally off grid then your system needs to keep the batteries charged the whole time the house is draining power. Same thing either way you look at it.

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.
Interconnection standards—Specifies the technical and procedural process by which a customer connects an electricity-generating device to the grid. Such standards include the technical and contractual terms that system owners and utilities must abide by. State public utility commissions typically establish standards for interconnection to the distribution grid, while the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) establishes standards for interconnection to the transmission grid. While many states have adopted interconnection standards, some states' standards apply only to investor-owned utilities and not to municipal utilities or electric cooperatives.*
Another important part of a solar installation is meeting all of the necessary regulations. A professional installer can help you navigate the complicated details of ensuring that your equipment and install complies with all local, state, and national building and safety standards. You may need to get approval from a local electrical inspector, and your installer will also make sure you’re meeting all applicable electrical codes. You may need approvals from city planning departments. Your installer will also help you work with your insurance company to meet any special requirements they may have. Your power company will also have specific requirements, and working with a solar installer will help you get everything set up correctly. Although it’s not a regulation, you’ll also want to follow all of the requirements that your solar panel manufacturer has laid out in their warranty, so that if you ever need to replace a panel you know that you’ve met all of their guidelines for installation.
Home wind turbines are electric generators that convert wind energy into clean, emission-free power. Although most large wind farms exist to power certain towns and communities, there are also smaller wind turbines for homes and homeowners. These smaller turbines can be installed on any part of your property to cover some or even all of your monthly energy needs.
Wire size and breakers are the final items in your hybrid solar wind design to consider, but no less important. To have a safe off-grid system, you will need to install breakers and choose the right size wire. If you select one of our pre-wired power systems with your kit, we do all the heavy lifting for you because right size breakers are pre-engineered and pre-wired into each of our power centers. You simply have to hang and connect it following our wire diagram which is supplied with all our kits. It is no accident you will only find Midnite Solar and OutBack combiner boxes built into our off-grid systems. They are reliable, UL listed and simple to install.
9 Feb 2013 at 7:40am --> . . California Solar Panels in California Solar. Looking for California residential solar panels, california solar panel manufacturers, california solar shingles, california solar energy, california solar water heater, california wind power, california solar panels rebate, commercial solar panels, used solar panels california, solar panel manufa...
I found that the best way to connect between two cells was to use hot glue and some conductive mesh. The mesh is good since it allows light to come through it, and we all love glue guns. So all you need to do is glue the mesh onto the solar cell surface. Its always better to have a longer strip of mesh on the surface, with a big enough shared surface space between the two. Always check with a multimeter that there is connectivity, and that there is voltage coming through. Its a bummer later to try and figure out where the problem is.

Chemicals such as Boron (p-type) are applied into the semiconductor crystal in order to create donor and acceptor energy levels substantially closer to the valence and conductor bands.[26] In doing so, the addition of Boron impurity allows the activation energy to decrease 20 fold from 1.12 eV to 0.05 eV. Since the potential difference (EB) is so low, the Boron is able to thermally ionize at room temperatures. This allows for free energy carriers in the conduction and valence bands thereby allowing greater conversion of photons to electrons.
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.
Honestly, had I known my life as a supermom would involve these sophisticated equations and engineering concepts, I would have changed my Berkeley major from English to Engineering.  The way I see it, calculating my wind turbine’s kW requires the same intellect and imagination as conjuring the manifold meanings in “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.”  C’mon, if I can do Wordsworth, surely I can do Watt times 1000.  “Wind turbine kW” will become my favorite metaphor for “dollars saved.”

It ‘d be good if each American homeowner could buy and install his own little household power plant, setting himself free from the grid. But the physics of wind power just does not work that way. Geography, topography, climate, and housing density allow well over 90% of American homeowners to buy wind turbines just barely big enough to power their blenders or waffle irons-nothing more. For most American homes, a single small wind generator has approximately the same value as a yard gnome.
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.
“How do I get a permit to build this thing?” Your city’s building department probably has a page describing how to apply. For example, here’s the one for Longmont. The trickiest part is generating a “one-line diagram”, but I cheated by just photoshopping my own details into the example provided with my city, leading to this result, which they approved without question.

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.


However, you are going to have to pay a licensed contractor to install the system and much of this savings may go to them. Because most licensed and experienced solar electricians work for solar companies they will often charge quite a lot for installation because they perceive they have lost the ability to make any margin on equipment. This may change over time but currently this is a big factor in why it is very difficult to save much money from a DIY solar project.
The biggest reason most people opt for DIY solar is cost - a professionally-installed system can cost 10-20% more. But overall cost-savings may be eaten up with other concerns. Your whole-house solar project must be completed according to the National Electric Code, and pass state (and/or local) electrical inspections. If you're not familiar with these codes, it's easy to make a mistake which will require an adjustment. Those can be costly.

Most small wind turbines do not perform quite as well as their manufacturers want you to believe. That should come as no surprise at this point. What may be surprising is that even the turbines of the more honourable manufacturers that are honest about performance fall short, more often than not. The likely cause is turbulence and improper site selection.


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.
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.

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.
Wind power can be used in off-grid systems, also called stand-alone systems, not connected to an electric distribution system or grid. In these applications, small wind electric systems can be used in combination with other components -- including a small solar electric system -- to create hybrid power systems. Hybrid power systems can provide reliable off-grid power for homes, farms, or even entire communities (a co-housing project, for example) that are far from the nearest utility lines.

The new HO series system can run on the grid as a "Grid-Tie" or it can run in a rural setting with no grid power at all. The system is very versatile to be able to run as a Grid-Tie or an Off-Grid system. So, if you are interested in the new HO Series turbine here are some links to videos of the system in action, this is a grid tied system and we can still sell you any size that fits your budget in time to take that tax credit.


Battery bank sizing is the part of the hybrid solar wind system that has a higher probability of causing you problems that other parts of your system. Use the battery sizing worksheet to help you through this critical stage. Factors such as your budget may tempt you to look to cheaper battery alternatives, but a quality battery will pay off over the years. We recommend you choose a 2V or 6V battery and connect them in series so that the total equals the system voltage you initially selected.
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.
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From a strictly financial perspective, I’m still not sold. The returns you mentioned (about 12%) are great but aren’t factoring in the loss of principle. I suppose the system will have value in the future for resale, but I have a hunch in ten years that setup will be laughably outdated. Not as outdated as no setup, however :) But it’s not all about the money, and I appreciate the clear info. It looks much more DIY than I thought.

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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]


Harnessing the power of the sun is a wonderful option to help combat pollution and lower your energy costs. When considering a do-it-yourself solution, the options can be limited - and quite complicated. A short list of the pros and cons of DIY solar can be found here, but this article will explore some of the lesser-known pros and cons of a DIY solar project in 2018.
I had modified an alternator myself using the permanent magnet rotor and the low wind speed winding.  It actually starts charging at about 5~6 mph.  Recently I lost my setup to 95 mph winds and am just getting around to get it back up and running.  I recommend going up a step or two in the sizing of the guy wires.  Use the double clamp method on all guy wires for the most secure step up.  You will not regret it in the long run if you ever run into a similar situation.  I do recommend the kit over messing with the old alternators, the cost savings is very small.
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