Bergey Excel

NEOHNEOH Solar Expert Posts: 74 ✭✭
Here is a 5.5 year study of a Bergey XL 22' diameter Wind Turbine an top of a 100' tower.
Sounds good, right?

Bottom Line is ....
The Wind Turbine is a net cost to the school, on average, of $4,806.00/year over the past 5.5 years.
OUCH !!!

Only $700 worth of electricity, at $0.117/KWH, is generated and sold each year (GTI?).
Apparently, lightening strikes are not cover by insurance?

This Bergey generates electricity that costs approx $1.00/KWH.
It may be true that it decreases your electric bill by $700/year but it costs you $5,500/year to do so!

Interesting statistic - on average, it generates power only 7% of the time per year.
That is much lower than I ever imagined - just 2 days a month. HUH???
Obviously, very location dependent but still 7% is so low.

http://www.buckeyepower.com/wind-turbine-research-project

If this was off-grid then costs would be even higher: add Batteries and Charger/Inverter vs. GTI.
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Comments

  • 65DegN65DegN Solar Expert Posts: 106 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel

    Someone didn't do a very thorough site analysis it seems or a very good cost / benefit analysis. At a good site a Bergey 10KW will put out ~10,000 KWH per year. This machine hasn't accumulated that many KWH in 5 years.
  • 65DegN65DegN Solar Expert Posts: 106 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel

    I see on that same page there is a 2.3 KW solar test installation that produces 250 KWH per month or 3,000 KWH per year.
    What is puzzling is the annual cost of solar power at $2,400 per year or $0.80 a KWH. I wonder how they arrive at that number.
  • NEOHNEOH Solar Expert Posts: 74 ✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel

    65DegN,

    "... What is puzzling is the annual cost of solar power at $2,400 per year ..."

    The $2,400 yearly cost is the $200 monthly equipment cost payment x 12 months
  • NEOHNEOH Solar Expert Posts: 74 ✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel

    65DegN,

    ".... Someone didn't do a very thorough site analysis it ..."

    In Ohio, that inland location is a very good flate site with average 6.5 m/s winds at 80 Meters. They are just 10 miles West of the location that has avg 7.0 m/s winds - very rare in Ohio! The school's tower is only 100' tall. But a taller tower means more lightening strikes, more damage and more costs. There may be windier locations in Ohio, like directly along the shore of Lake Erie, but that is not possible for this school or most people. This experiment provides excellent proof that using medium sized Wind Turbines in Ohio to lower your Electric Bill is most likely impossible.

    Could something be wrong with the Wind Turbine or GTI given 6.5 m/s avg wind ???
  • 65DegN65DegN Solar Expert Posts: 106 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel

    Equipment costs? Does Ohio have a charge for connecting to the grid and calls it equipment costs?
  • 65DegN65DegN Solar Expert Posts: 106 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel

    NEOH, something is seriously wrong if that site has 14.5 MPH average wind speed at anywhere near 100' above ground. Looking at the site on Google Maps it appears to be almost wide open and flat. That machine should pay for itself in ~8 years. At 6000KWH per year thats less than 30% of what it should be generating at that wind speed.
    Accorcing to the Bergey CAD performance software that machine should be producing about 25,000 KWH per year.

    http://www.bergey.com/bergey/pages/technical.html
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,136 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel

    yearly maintenance? lower and raise?
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • NEOHNEOH Solar Expert Posts: 74 ✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel
    65DegN wrote: »
    Equipment costs? Does Ohio have a charge for connecting to the grid and calls it equipment costs?

    (Message regarding the Solar Panels)
    The Equipment Costs are for "the Solar Panels, the Rack, the GTI and Monitoring Equipment, etc". The payment on the loan for the equipment is $200/month or $2,400/year.
  • NEOHNEOH Solar Expert Posts: 74 ✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel
    65DegN wrote: »
    NEOH, something is seriously wrong if that site has 14.5 MPH average wind speed at anywhere near 100' above ground. Looking at the site on Google Maps it appears to be almost wide open and flat. That machine should pay for itself in ~8 years. At 6000KWH per year thats less than 30% of what it should be generating at that wind speed.
    Accorcing to the Bergey CAD performance software that machine should be producing about 25,000 KWH per year.

    (Message regarding the Wind Turbine)
    Maybe, they need to install an Anemometer to measure the wind to compare with the Watts being generated.
    The two lightening strikes could have damaged something that was not repaired.
  • 65DegN65DegN Solar Expert Posts: 106 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel
    NEOH wrote: »
    (Message regarding the Solar Panels)
    The payment on the loan for the equipment is $200/month or $2,400/year.
    OK, so that loan will at some point be paid off and the solar electricity will basically be free.
  • 65DegN65DegN Solar Expert Posts: 106 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel

    NEOH, yea, that is very wierd. Maybe I'll make some calls next week and find out whats going on. Should be interesting.
  • NEOHNEOH Solar Expert Posts: 74 ✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel
    65DegN wrote: »
    OK, so that loan will at some point be paid off and the solar electricity will basically be free.

    Their Solar installation has a cost of $200/month and generates about $30 worth of electricity (GTI) per month.
    They have a net loss of $170 / month.
    In 20 years when the loan is paid off, they will stop losing $170 per month.

    It costs them $0.80 / KWH to generate the electricity and they sell it for $0.11 / KWH.
    It is 7 times more expensive for them to generate electricity than the Commercial Grid can - ouch.
    Their $30,000 installed cost (very high?) is preventing any ROI.
  • 65DegN65DegN Solar Expert Posts: 106 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel

    Contacted Third Sun solar, they have dropped 'wind' from their company name. Had a real nice conversation with a fellow there. He said that the wind resource turned out to be insufficient around the area they work in so they no longer install wind systems. Apparently the area along L. Erie and near Toledo are the only areas where wind power looks viable.
  • MadJackMadJack Solar Expert Posts: 37
    Re: Bergey Excel

    This sounds like something the TEACHERS should be teaching their classes for "ECOnomics"! But then the 'green movement' may die... hmmm.
  • AndersonAlternativeAndersonAlternative Registered Users Posts: 1
    Re: Bergey Excel
    NEOH wrote: »
    (Message regarding the Wind Turbine)
    Maybe, they need to install an Anemometer to measure the wind to compare with the Watts being generated.
    The two lightening strikes could have damaged something that was not repaired.

    That would be my guess. I own an XL.1 and I've had sacrificial wires get blown twice. It's only a few bucks to replace them, but unless you do so, it stops producing any power. It's also possible that the rectifier could get damaged, in which case it may be delivering between 0 and 2 of the 3 phases, severely decreasing efficiency.

    I don't know precisely how much power my XL.1 produces on average, but I wouldn't want to rely on it solely for my power needs. That said, it is perfectly complimentary to my solar power. During the winter, evenings, and storms, the turbine maintains battery voltage in the face of little solar resource. That's a life saver because it means I don't have to run my propane generator hardly at all. The few times it went out of commission for a week or two because of a lightning strike, I definitely felt the absence in my energy production.

    Trying to figure out the price per kWh is meaningless in an off-grid situation. The purpose is to be fully powered at all times, and the Bergey XL.1 allows me to do that. It's funny that we only require solar panels and wind turbines to "pay us back". We never require that of a car or washing machine or refrigerator. Those things all perform some particular service that we require. Do you compare the cost of your car to what it would cost to take the bus or to call a cab every time you want to go somewhere and require that it beat that cost? No, because it is valuable to have your own vehicle for many reasons. Likewise it is valuable to have an off-grid home for many reasons and there's little point in comparing it to what it would cost for grid power, because grid power falls short in so many other ways.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel

    It's a fact that you cannot generate your own power for less money that you can buy it off the grid for. Anybody who thinks living off-grid is cheaper is misinformed. If you try to boil it all down to costs for off-grid you're over-analyzing and missing the big picture. Analyzing cost/kWh only applies to people with grid-tie systems, and too many of those deal with fudged numbers that aren't accurate anyway.

    When you live off-grid 24/7/365 the idea is keep the power on without running the generator. If you think you're gonna do this with just solar power, I got news for ya. For the month of December roughly 50% of all our power came from wind, about 33% from the generator and 17% from solar. In the summer time the role of wind and solar reverses and the wind power takes back seat. It's all about having a balanced system to keep the power on with minimum gen run time, not cost/kWh.

    After living without utility power for 11 years this coming June, my wife and I would not hook up to it even if they ran the high-lines to our place for free, paid us to use the electricity from it, and gave us a big bonus check at Christmas time. When we selected the location we wanted to live we ended up spending a lot of money over the last decade to get it the way we wanted it and be independent. While our independence is rather expensive, neither one of us will give it up for free electricity off the grid because then we'd lose what we worked so hard to build.

    It ain't about cost/kWh.
    --
    Chris
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    It's a fact that you cannot generate your own power for less money than you can buy it off the grid for. Anybody who thinks living off-grid is cheaper is misinformed.
    It ain't about cost/kWh. Chris

    Chris, you must be mistaken man, "everyone" knows all they need do is stick a $300 solar panel, or wind turbine on the roof and all their energy woes are a thing of the past! :D
    "It ain't about cost/kWh." So TRUE! It's a way of life I won't trade!
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel

    Nothing irks me more than somebody that doesn't know us that comes to our place and thinks we "got it made" when they see all our equipment and no powerlines coming into the place.

    My best reply that I've come up with is, "yeah - spend fifty thousand and you can 'have it made' too."
    --
    Chris
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 885 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel

    Only 50 thousand Chris? That must be "so far":D

    Ralph
  • ThomThom Solar Expert Posts: 185 ✭✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel
    Chris, you must be mistaken man, "everyone" knows all they need do is stick a $300 solar panel, or wind turbine on the roof and all their energy woes are a thing of the past! :D
    "It ain't about cost/kWh." So TRUE! It's a way of life I won't trade!

    I think the Harbor Freight panels cost less then that on sale ! Plus you get 12v light bulbs. It's all you will need . Ha ha

    Thom
    Off grid since 1984. 430w of panel, 300w suresine , 4 gc batteries 12v system, Rogue mpt3024 charge controller , air breeze windmill, Mikita 2400w generator
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    My best reply that I've come up with is, "yeah - spend fifty thousand and you can 'have it made' too."

    Grid is not free neither. You would have to pay them quite a bit to connect you. If it's more than a mile, it could be very high amount. And after you're connected, they send you a bill, month after month, after month ... In addition to the KWh price you also pay fees ... And everything goes up 10% every year.

    So, with your $50K investment, you may not be much worse costwise compared to what you would have with the grid.

    And then you get so many other benefits ...
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel

    That could all be. I haven't actually checked on it for about five years now. We're 2.5 miles and the cost in 2002 to get a single phase line run was $168,000. My wife wanted some things we didn't have and that's when we started spending money.
    --
    Chris
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    My wife wanted some things we didn't have and that's when we started spending money.

    That sentence can stand all on its own. :p
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel

    Yes, it certainly can. But I shouldn't blame it all on her either. If anybody thinks I miss getting up at 3:00 in the morning in the dead of winter to start a stubborn Techumseh powered gas charger because our batteries were flat and the inverter we had at the time was sounding its alarm, well .......... I don't. :cool:

    Seriously though, there was many times I wondered if there was a light at the end of the tunnel. And that causes you to wonder about a lot of the decisions you've made. And my wife never complained. Ever. Just sometimes she said she wished that someday..........

    Over the past decade its been generators that have kept the lights on here. Not solar panels and not wind turbines. Generators. The solar panels and wind turbines have definitely reduced the amount of time that we have to run generators. But without those generators our off-grid experience would've ended years ago.
    --
    Chris
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    Over the past decade its been generators that have kept the lights on here. Not solar panels and not wind turbines. Generators. The solar panels and wind turbines have definitely reduced the amount of time that we have to run generators. But without those generators our off-grid experience would've ended years ago.

    That's right, but once you have your generator, inverter and batteries, then solar panels and wind turbines become much better option (compare to generators) in all respect. They're cheaper, less noisy, they do not smell and do not consume fuel.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    That's right, but once you have your generator, inverter and batteries, then solar panels and wind turbines become much better option (compare to generators) in all respect. They're cheaper, less noisy, they do not smell and do not consume fuel.

    I don't really look at any one component of it being a better option. It's an integrated system and they all work together. However, there is only one of them - the generator - that can do the job 100% of the time with 100% reliability. Therefore it is, to my way of thinking, the single most important component of the system since the inverter, batteries, solar panels and wind turbines can all fail and the generator is the one and only component you got that can keep the lights on when everything else goes south.

    And yes, I realize that's not the "dream" or ideology of people wanting to move off-grid. But a few years experience and you will learn that it is fact.
    --
    Chris
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    Therefore it is, to my way of thinking, the single most important component of the system since the inverter, batteries, solar panels and wind turbines can all fail and the generator is the one and only component you got that can keep the lights on when everything else goes south.

    An additional way of looking at it is that it is a lot cheaper to have both a generator and a (cheap, small, fuel guzzling?) backup generator available than a complete backup solar or wind system. :-)

    You can have extra panels, two wind turbines, a couple each of charge controllers and inverters, but you will have only one battery bank.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 885 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel

    I almost always aggree with what Chris says, but this time ...not so much "the generator is the one and only component you got that can keep the lights on when everything else goes south" I wish I knew then what I know now about generators. There would not be a 10kw diesel in the shed, it would be more like what Chris has in the demo. The 10kw unit here has had it's injector pump rebuilt (in a cold December!), a new voltage regulator, needs a new engine control module... Maybe Chris's quote should recommend a "... reliable generator as the one and only ..." :p

    Ralph
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel

    We made the same mistake. It's funny in a way - the Bergey in this thread appears to not be doing all that well, which is not surprising because I've seen one that actually pencils out on a grid tie. But many off-grid folks have made mistakes that are just as big. A 6 kW inverter with a 10, 12, or 14 kW generator. Some even over 20 kW. And a lot of them diesels that end up having problems because they're not getting worked hard enough when they run. And the people that have them avoid running them like the plague because they're expensive to run.

    Our 6 kW generator was too big for us and it was hard to keep it at full load when it started. We ran a lot of LP gas thru that thing that got wasted because the generator was over-sized for our needs. I see lots and lots and lots and lots of off-grid people who have all done the same thing. I know one fellow that has a Xantrex XW4024 inverter and a 8 kW Generac Guardian that he bought for his standby generator. He figured he was going to live like a king. Except he found out he can't even afford to run that Generac because it makes fuel disappear faster than beer at a frat party.
    --
    Chris
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Bergey Excel
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    I know one fellow that has a Xantrex XW4024 inverter and a 8 kW Generac Guardian that he bought for his standby generator. He figured he was going to live like a king. Except he found out he can't even afford to run that Generac because it makes fuel disappear faster than beer at a frat party.

    I have Xantrex XW6048 and 10KW Generac. In real life it happened to be more like 8KW because above this it starts losing frequncy. It's designed for short runs to charge batteries. 6-7KW is going to the charger and the rest is left to support current loads. Of course, I will need a different smaller generator for emergencies, but for regular battery charging it's about the right size.
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