IE: 5 - 13 watt light bulbs X 5 hours per day = 65 watts. 18 CF refrigerator @ 5 amps x 120VAC = 600 watts x 6 hours per day = 3,600 watts. THIS IS IMPORTANT: When we say "list your loads", we mean all your loads. From the cell phone chargers to a hair dryer. Need Help? If you download the Excel worksheet you will only have to indicate how much of each piece of equipment you have and how long your run it.
Nice work! I’ve been looking at panels on craigslist, and almost considered picking up an inverter you can plug in to an outlet so I could create a quick DIY portable setup – maybe around 1KW. These cheap inverters do have island protection, but poor efficiency and are not UL certified. I do still like the concept of system that can just be plugged in with an extension cord to a structure in the backyard…
Most locations getting a permit is a relatively easy task – it doesn’t require being a master electrician. In the vast majority of places you don’t need to be a licensed electrician in order to do electrical work on your own home. Anyone who’s done electrical work on their house (like adding an outlet, or rewiring a bathroom) will likely have gotten a permit for it (or should have.) So should be familiar with most of the permitting process. If they haven’t done any electrical work like that previously, then probably installing solar isn’t a good time for them to learn electrical skills.

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.


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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.
If your wind turbine is connected to the local utility grid so that any of the power produced by your wind turbine is delivered to the grid, then your utility also has legitimate concerns about safety and power quality that need to be addressed. The utility's principal concern is that your wind turbine automatically stops delivering any electricity to its power lines during a power outage. Otherwise line workers and the public, thinking that the line is "dead," might not take normal precautions and might be hurt or even killed by the power from your turbine. Another concern among utilities is whether the power from your facility synchronizes properly with the utility grid and it matches the utility's power in terms of voltage, frequency, and power quality.
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.
Going solar has major financial benefits: it reduces your monthly electricity costs and can even increase the value of your home. Incentives like the federal tax credit for solar can reduce your net cost by 30 percent or more, but solar is still a big investment, and the price tag can result in sticker shock. To save money, it’s no surprise that many homeowners are considering DIY. Below, we break down the top pros and cons that you need to know about do it yourself solar energy before making a decision as well as the DIY solar process.
I was researching this recently, seems like such a good idea. From what I understand – still in test and a year or two out. They are trying to make out it will cost not much more than a regular (well a tile) roof. They have two types of identical looking tiles, one that produces electricity and one that doesnt (thinking being that entire roof (particularly the N facing) will not be photo-voltaic). Cost per square depends on the mixture of the 2 tiles but it looked to me to be in the $50 –
Small wind energy systems can be connected to the electricity distribution system. A grid-connected wind turbine can reduce your consumption of utility-supplied electricity for lighting, appliances, and electric heat. If the turbine cannot deliver the amount of energy you need, the utility makes up the difference. When the wind system produces more electricity than the household requires, the excess is sent or sold to the utility. These arrangements with the utility company are typically called net metering or net billing, and they address the value of the electricity sold or net excess generation, the time period for valuing the electricity (typically annually or monthly), and any other contractual requirements with the utility.
Another thing to double-check on DSIRE is the installation requirement for any incentive programs you may apply for. Although I'm sure that the most Instructables users will opt for a DIY solar installation, you may not be qualified for state or local grants if you don't hire a government-approved contractor to do it for you. That said, a do-it-yourself solar project is both fun and rewarding! Check out the further reading for some advice on DIY solar.
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.
Solar panels, grid-tie / off-grid kits and home backup power. The do-it-yourself (DIY) craze is hardly crazy when one considers the mind-boggling cost savings resulting from this trend nationwide. In fact, many people wouldn't call it a trend at all, merely a return to the practical know-how of yesteryear when people simply had to do it themselves and took great pride in their handiwork! Yet few DIY projects are as cost-saving and investment-rich as the installation of a solar system.
The energy it calculates is in kWh per year, the diameter of the wind turbine rotor is in meters, the wind speed is annual average for the turbine hub height in m/s. The equation uses a Weibull wind distribution with a factor of K=2, which is about right for inland sites. An overall efficiency of the turbine, from wind to electrical grid, of 30% is used. That is a reasonable, real-world efficiency number. Here is a table that shows how average annual wind speed, turbine size, and annual energy production relate:
Most people don't think in terms of particles, but light actually hits the PV (photovoltaic) cells as photons. As each photon hits the PV cell, it gives up an electron. While this is putting it somewhat simplistically, this is, indeed, the moment of conversion. The freed electron is absorbed by the silicon where it flows with other electrons into current; hence, electricity is born. Some scientists would say that the real tricky part is enhancing the cell with an electrical field to get all these electrons in line to flow as a current in the required direction: enter silicon.
(A) The size and or number of solar panels is calculated from the total energy requirements + allowing for wire and inverter transmission loss (20% rule of thumb) less the lowest solar irradiance available in the area of the system which is usually the shortest daylight month of the year (December). In a hybrid system, you are not only considering the solar array but also the average available wind for your area. The combined input of both systems must equal your daily output during the shortest day of the year or you will certainly strain your battery bank capacity.
Now you will need to attach the cells to the substrate.  Some silicone caulk will work best.  Be sure to apply just enough caulk to the middle of the back of each cell.  The wood will expand and contract with heat so using a single dot of caulk in the middle of the cell will allow the wood underneath to expand without problems.  Putting caulk at each corner, for example, wouldn’t allow the expansion to happen without damaging the bond.
Use a Wind Speed Measuring System: Though not as accurate as more expensive system, you can purchase for under $60 equipment to directly monitor your sites wind speed allowing you to record to your satisfaction your available wind resource. (Tech Solar Transmitter Wireless Weather Station WA-1070T.) The measurement equipment must be set high enough to avoid buffering created by buildings and trees. The best location would be at the top of the proposed tower height you intent to place your turbine.
Wow, a lot of negative comments about this brief article!… but this isn’t one of them. I considered DIY solar before I started working at a solar EPC company, and being in finance, I often thought about the economics of the decision. Yes, there are a lot of factors to consider (geography, regional utility prices, etc..), but in the end I always came to the conclusion that this work is best done in the hands of the pros. This decision is relatively easy when you consider that the Fed ITC, or state incentives, cannot be applied to DIY labor; you’re essentially paying about $60/hr for an experienced installer that charges $90/hr.

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What size of a solar panel system is best suited for your electricity usage? Does your roof have sufficient space at the correct angle? Where should panels be positioned, and what is the optimal tilt for the panels? What solar technology is most appropriate for you, based on your climate and other unique needs? Can your roof bear the load of solar panels? These technical questions (and many more!) can easily be answered by a solar installer. A good installer will have a long track record, and experience with all types of roofs and situations.
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