Is a wind turbine worth it?

cptdondocptdondo Solar Expert Posts: 90 ✭✭✭
I have some property in Southern New Mexico - Luna County, just north of the Mexican border.

For about 6 hours a day I get winds between 10 and 25 MPH.  I'm wondering if a small wind generator would be worth it in addition to a 2kW solar set up.

Thanks!

Comments

  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,362 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 18 #2
    I think you will find that most think using the funds to just buy more panels is probably the best way to go.  Turbines seem to take a lot of Maintenance like greasing ...  they also have failures for not doing some kind of braking during high winds.  With the price of panels today you should look at what you might get going the other way.

    Did you have a specific generator in mind?
  • cptdondocptdondo Solar Expert Posts: 90 ✭✭✭
    No idea on a generator yet.  Just started looking around trying to figure out if it's worth it.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,137 ✭✭✭✭
    Sounds like good parameters for a wind turbine though. Lots of steady wind - not too strong. Ideal range for the most part.

    Thing I like about wind is charging the batteries when the sun is down. I consider erecting mine at time. It was set up as a 12 volt but I think that switching the alternator to 48 volts is supposed to be easy. Though many things prove - not so easy.

    I'm also gearing up for moving again - Colorado is too blue for my tastes. Etc.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • cptdondocptdondo Solar Expert Posts: 90 ✭✭✭
    Anyone have any experience with these folks?

    Especially the 1500W version?

    https://www.amazon.com/stores/Automaxx/page/A5E5C2C1-1FE8-43E8-B40E-2335BF1DBB1B?ref_=ast_bln
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,137 ✭✭✭✭
    Not enough reviews to know for sure. Note that I did not analyze the reviews either.

    I did spend a lot of time on live aboard sailing boards. Those folks always strongly preferred solar panels over wind. The noise of the wind turbines get obnoxious when you can't place it sufficiently far away.

    You are reporting unusually favorable conditions for a wind turbine. Why not go for it - if you feel you can overcome the negative comments in the reviews? 3 star ratings concern me - I prefer 4.4 stars or better. But users tend to make significant mistakes in their solar adventures. There are dozens of potential pitfalls awaiting the solar newcomer.

    Most common mistakes in my estimation:
    Too small of energy production grid.
    Incompatible array of panels.
    Wind turbine mounted too low and/or too close.
    Insufficient battery bank.
    Wrong type of batteries.
    Too large of inverter.
    Too much drain via energy hogs in refrigeration, televisions, video games etc.
    Too small of wiring. 12 volt DC requires giant cables compared to 120 volt AC.
    Not being able to constantly monitor system voltage levels.
    Batteries being exposed to excessive heat.

    With a 2 kW set up - I would encourage a 48 volt set up for several reasons.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • cptdondocptdondo Solar Expert Posts: 90 ✭✭✭
    My penciled in system looks like this so far:

    Outback Radian GS4048A-01 4,000 Watt Advanced Inverter/Charger
    8 ea. REC Solar N-PEAK Series 330 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Module
    Morningstar TriStar 60 Amp MPPT Solar Charge Controller With Digital Meter
    8 ea. US Battery L16E XC2 360Ah 6 Volt Flooded Deep Cycle Battery

    It is 48V, and I'd probably run a bunch of stuff on 12/24V, so I'm not sure if I need an inverter that large, and I'd need a buck converter to get it to 12V.  But I want to be sure I can grid tie the system if and when the electric company gets power to me. So far this is all up in the air.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,505 admin
    I always start with the math to check for basic sizing/balance... 4 kWatt AC inverter is not a small system... 2,000 Watt or less--medium.

    Anyway, assuming you are full time off grid, 2 days of stored energy, 50% max (planned) discharge... Based on your battery bank:
    • 360 AH * 48 volts * 0.85 AC inverter eff * 1/2 days storage * 0.50 max discharge = 3,672 WH per day
    As a start, I would be suggesting something like a 1,200-1,500 AC inverter, 3,300 WH per day, to run a full size refrigerator, LED lighting, washing machine, solar friendly well pump, LED TV, Laptop computer, cell phone charging, etc... Pretty close to a "near normal" electric existence for off grid home (using propane, etc. for cooking, heating, hot water, etc.).

    Next, charging the battery bank... 5% to 13%+ typical--5% for weekend/sunny weather, 10%+ suggested for full time off grid:
    • 360 AH * 59 volts charging * 1/0.77 panel+controller deratings * 0.05 rate of charge = 1,379 Watt array minimum
    • 360 AH * 59 volts charging * 1/0.77 panel+controller deratings * 0.10 rate of charge = 2,758 Watt array nominal
    • 360 AH * 59 volts charging * 1/0.77 panel+controller deratings * 0.13 rate of charge = 3,586 Watt array "typical" cost effective maximum
    And based on location (hours of sun per day, by season). Deming NM, fixed array, facing south, 32 degrees elevation (1kWatt array below). Looking at the first column is hours of sun per day (ignore the next two):
    https://pvwatts.nrel.gov/pvwatts.php
    MonthSolar Radiation
    ( kWh / m2 / day )
    AC Energy
    ( kWh )
    Value
    ( $ )
    January6.0913617
    February6.7013116
    March7.3615719
    April7.8115619
    May7.6015519
    June7.2813917
    July6.6913316
    August6.9213617
    September7.1213817
    October6.8314318
    November6.1512916
    December5.7912916
    Annual6.861,682$ 207

    Based on 3,672 WH per day, December 5.79 hours of sun per day:
    • 3,672 WH per day * 1/0.52 off grid AC system eff * 1/5.79 hours of sun per day = 1,220 Watt array "December break even"
    You have lots of sun year round--So, 5% to 10% charging array would be 1,379 to 2,758 Watt array minimum suggested... 

    For a 360 AH @ 48 volt battery bank, roughly a 3,600 Watt max inverter suggested (call it 4 kWatt--close enough for solar)... However, depending on how you use your power (lots of power all day and/or all night long, then ~1,800 Watt AC inverter minimum is not bad to run the fridge and the rest of the loads. If you have a solar "unfriendly" well pump (240 VAC, 2 HP or so), then a near 4 kWatt inverter could be needed to start/run the pump motor.

    A 4k Watt inverter would use the 3,672 WH daily harvest in less than 1 hour at "full power"... Unless you have a shop (or larger well pump) with large loads that run short periods of time, your conservation minded home is usually going to draw much less average power.

    If you plan on getting utility power in a hand full of years and would be "happy" with just a backup genset for a few days/week or so of power failure (once a year or less)--The Hybrid solar system is a pretty expensive solution. A GT solar power system is just panels + GT inverter--No batteries, no charge controllers, no battery replacement every 5-7 or so years, etc.... GT systems are generally much cheaper to install and maintain (replace a bad panel or bad inverter every 5-10+ years) vs the cost of a full battery bank hybrid inverter system (something like 1/4 the cost for GT system of similar capacity).

    Down side is see if your utilty even allows GT Inverter connection (some may give problems with Hybrid (Battery) inverter systems)... The utilities and state PUCs are becoming less enamored with GT power systems (and reducing the subsidies that GT inverter systems receive).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • clockmanfranclockmanfran Registered Users Posts: 65 ✭✭✭
    cptdondo said:
    Anyone have any experience with these folks?

    Especially the 1500W version?

    https://www.amazon.com/stores/Automaxx/page/A5E5C2C1-1FE8-43E8-B40E-2335BF1DBB1B?ref_=ast_bln



    No, in my opinion its not worth it.     It will just be disappointment. 


    Put up the equivalent cost of more PV panels.

    As you can see in my bottom notes, I have 3 off 12footers Hugh Piggott design.

    For a 1.8m diameter Hugh's figures for his design gives an average output on a good site of about 4m/s wind of about 30kW a month.  

    Everything is possible, just give me Time.

    The OzInverter man. Normandy France.

    3off Hugh P's 3.7m dia wind turbines, (11 years running).  ... 5kW PV on 3 Trackers, (6 years) .... 9kW PV AC coupled using Used/second hand GTI's, on my OzInverter created Grid, and back charging with the AC Coupling and OzInverter to my 48v 1300ah batteries. 

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