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.
Silicon based modules: aluminum frames and junction boxes are dismantled manually at the beginning of the process. The module is then crushed in a mill and the different fractions are separated - glass, plastics and metals. It is possible to recover more than 80% of the incoming weight. This process can be performed by flat glass recyclers since morphology and composition of a PV module is similar to those flat glasses used in the building and automotive industry. The recovered glass for example is readily accepted by the glass foam and glass insulation industry.
I bought a diy solar panel guide before starting my project. The one I chose is called Green DIY Energy. In order to help people out, I bought several of the most popular guides and reviewed each of then. Green DIY Energy is the most comprehensive with over 200 pages of ebooks and 6 DVD quality videos that cover the entire build process from start to finish. I especially liked the videos. When I built my first solar panel I followed along with the videos and at the end of the weekend, my solar panel was finished.
Without a deep cycle battery system, you will be unable to store the electricity that your solar power unit generates. This means basically that you will only have power when the sun is shining. Deep cycle batteries are specially configured to be charged and discharged frequently with a high demand system like a solar power system. The battery monitor provides a visual gauge of the electricity generated and stored by your solar power system, while the solar charge controller manages the process of charging your deep cycle batteries making sure they receive just the right amount of power but controlled and regulated throughout the day.
If you prefer to buy your solar energy system, solar loans can lower the up-front costs of the system. In most cases, monthly loan payments are smaller than a typical energy bill, which will help you save money from the start. Solar loans function the same way as home improvement loans, and some jurisdictions will offer subsidized solar energy loans with below-market interest rates, making solar even more affordable. New homeowners can add solar as part of their mortgage with loans available through the Federal Housing Administration and Fannie Mae, which allow borrowers to include financing for home improvements in the home’s purchase price. Buying a solar energy system makes you eligible for the Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, which is a 30 percent federal tax credit on your system that is available through 2022. Learn more about the ITC.
VAWT type turbines have no inherent advantage over HAWT type turbines. There, we have said it! VAWTs do not do any better in turbulent wind than HAWTs. Leaving the Savonius type VAWTs out (the type that looks like an oil drum cut in half – they have very poor efficiency anyway), both horizontal and vertical type turbines rely on an airfoil, a wing, to produce power. Airfoils simply do not work well in turbulent air; the wind needs to hit them at just the right angle and eddies wreak havoc. Couple that with the insistence of vertical axis turbine manufacturers to install their devices on very short towers or rooftops, and you get the picture. It will not work.
The trouble with rated power is that it does not tell you anything about energy production. Your utility company charges you for the energy you consume, not power. Likewise, for a small wind turbine you should be interested in the energy it will produce, for your particular site, with your particular annual average wind speed. Rated power of the turbine does not do that. To find out about energy production take a look at the tables presented earlier.
Turbine B This turbine came from the manufacturer with a rating of 2000 watts 5 28 inch blades with minimal swept area. After checking the blade calculator we located at warlock engineering we discovered that to achieve a mere 200-300 watts at the National Research energy laboratory standard 24.6 mph design. This would be the wattage output if the turbine were well designed as advertised, started up in the low winds as advertised. The reality is that many of these turbines are not well designed nor built and output negligible power over time unless operating in strong winds. Hypothetically we will for the sake of discussion give turbine B the benefit of the doubt and say it produces 2000 watts for a half hour during a high wind storm. In this instance the turbine would have produced 1 Kwh and generators minimal if any power in average winds due to poor design, cogging and other design flaws. Again giving some of these type products the benefit of the doubt and “credit” from production of another KWH over the course of the rest of the day trickle charging in 12-18 mph winds this product may output for the purposes of discussion 2 KWH per day. Over the course of a month you would have something more along the order of 60 KWH produced in the same time frame.
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.
Use this worksheet to determine what size battery bank is required for your system. Battery size, or capacity, is measured in amp-hours. Battery voltage is determined by the number of "cells" in series. All lead-acid battery cells have a nominal output of 2 VDC. Actual cell voltage varies from about 1.7 VDC at full discharge to 2.4 VDC at full charge. 12 VDC lead-acid batteries are made of 6 separate cells in one case. 6 VDC batteries are made of 3 cells in one case. Putting battery cells in parallel increases amp-hour capacity, but does not change voltage.
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.
Now the hardest part of building the solar panel system, which requires increased care and seriousness in the quality of the work done, is connecting the panel to a pack of batteries and then to an inverter. You can use a computer UPS (Uninterruptible Power Source), but you’ll need more power to power your home. However, the batteries don’t have to be new, and they can be the lead-acid type, but it’s advisable that you should buy specially crafted ones for power storage and deep cycle use, since car batteries can only cope with high loads for a short time, and if they’re accidentally discharged below a certain threshold, you lose them for good.
Keep in the mind the costs associated with mounting your solar energy systems. You’ll need racking equipment to attach the solar panels to your roof and you’ll need the correct mounting system for your yard as well. And also keep in mind you need to really research the best positioning of the system to maximize the amount of sunlight you capture, taking into account the location of the sun during peak sunlight hours in addition to the location of any shade inhibiting objects (e.g., trees, buildings). Even one panel that is blocked from the sun due to a shade tree can inhibit the efficiency of the entire solar energy system.
In most cases, it is quite advantageous to interconnect a small turbine with the customer's utility service, thereby using the utility for backup power to cover the variability of the turbine's energy production as well as storage of excess energy. Such interconnection typically requires utility permission, which is usually in the form of an interconnection agreement. This agreement will address metering and billing arrangements with the utility and may include requirements for additional safety equipment or procedures, protection devices, and inspections.
Turbines used in residential applications can range in size from 400 Watts to 100 kW (100 kW for very large loads), depending on the amount of electricity you want to generate. For residential applications, you should establish an energy budget and see whether financial incentives are available. This information will help determine the turbine size you will need. Because energy efficiency is usually less expensive than energy production, making your house more energy efficient will probably be more cost effective and will reduce the size of the wind turbine you need (see How Can I Make My Home More Energy Efficient?). Wind turbine manufacturers, dealers, and installers can help you size your system based on your electricity needs and the specifics of your local wind resource and micro-siting.
On-site data measurement adds a new layer of confidence to the techniques discussed above, but with substantial additional costs, effort, and time, especially when the preferred methodology is to match turbine hub height and collect data for a minimum of 1 year. Obtaining several years of data is better, or 1 year that can be referenced to a longer-term data set if there is good correlation with the on-site data. A number of small, affordable wind data collection systems are available for on-site measurement and are best run for at least 1 year. These systems include anemometers, wind vanes, and temperature sensors that are mounted as close to hub height as possible. Calculating the wind shear exponent requires collecting data at two different heights. Having wind shear data is essential for conducting an accurate analysis of the cost versus benefits of taller towers. In addition, analysis must be performed to determine wind speed averages and extremes, wind distribution, Weibull parameters, the wind direction rose, turbulence intensity, vertical wind shear exponent, and associated uncertainties.
Easy to set up. Easy to use. Great for educational purposes. Can't be used without an household 120VAC electrical outlet available. This is a "grid-tied" solar kit, not for standalone applications. 230W is the "maximum" output power on a bright sunny day, but after conversion efficiency losses, this is only minimal output power, which won't make a big difference in saving electricity, not to mention it can only be used in the daytime. A bit pricey, but at only $2.69/watt not too shabby for a "starter kit" in solar energy.
The second most popular solution is to have a battery installation that gets charged during the sunny hours, and then when it gets dark you can switch to an inverter which changes your stored DC voltage into AC voltage for your appliances. Most solar reliant houses will have DC LED lighting to make the most of the lower power consumption of these efficient lighting products.
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 –
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.
Another, low-cost option in areas hostile to net-metering is to start with a small solar system designed to power the base load of the house, i.e., the electrical devices that run constantly or regularly. In most houses this will be the fridge/freezer, radon mitigation fans, internet routers, etc. This type of system can have a relatively quick payback period since all or most of the power produced gets consumed on the spot.
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Most in the industry agree that 11 m/s (24.6 mph) makes for a good rated wind speed. Go above it and very soon the turbine should be hard at work to protect itself from destruction, by furling, governing, or shutting down. Those that do not will likely face a short and tortured life. If we agree on 11 m/s, an equation for a realistic rated power number is as follows:
Good points to make as i just recently designed my own mounts, but mine will be heavier duty than anything I’ve even seen in the USA since I’m mostly concerned about theft. I’m glad I’m outside the USA and don’t have to worry about all the paperwork, and since I’m a fabricator with a background in wiring, the only issue that I needed assistance with was the correct angle. Good reading and if I were in the US I would definitely hire someone to deal with all the headaches you mentioned.
Customer charges can take a variety of forms, including interconnection charges, metering charges, and standby charges. You should not hesitate to question any charges that seem inappropriate to you. Federal law (Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, or PURPA, Section 210) prohibits utilities from assessing discriminatory charges to customers who have their own generation facilities.
Since wife is into historic preservation buy older homes to fix up and remodel for extra cash every few years so we have always been limited by the home as it was originally designed. Well we are finally considering doing one for ourselves and with the kids finishing high school it can be much smaller. Reading your blog has given inspiration for many aspects of our lives, working less, living more and enjoying simple things. Thank you!
Note: This wind turbine kit works best indoors using a fan to simulate the power of wind. Use a standing or box fan with multiple power settings. The pictured wind turbine was built from the components in this kit. Purchase extra Styrofoam trays to experiment with even more blade patterns. The Wind Turbine Science Kit includes easy-to-follow instructions and supplies for seven experiments.
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.
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%