thoughts on Blue planets 600watt turbine?

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  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,784 admin
    Re: thoughts on Blue planets 600watt turbine?

    And to answer your question "is 1,150 KWH a lot?"

    It depends. In North America, the average home bill is probably around 1,000 kWH per month. Those that live in hot climates can easily hit 1,000-2,000 kWH per month or more during summer.

    My home of 4 Near San Francisco (summer, no A/C, natural gas for cooking/heating/hot water), I got it down once to ~175 kWH per month... Probably run closer to 250 kWH or a bit more these days. The natural gas bill runs around $20 to $60 per month (summer/winter).

    Just to give you an idea, 175 kWH per month:

    175,000 Watt*Hours / (24 hours per day * 30 days per month) = 243 Watts 24x7

    A 50 watt lamp running 24x7 would be around 20% of my total energy consumption. I have an old stereo that took 40 watts just on standby. Most of my appliances are on power strips now to turn them off when not in use--Unless I have put a Kill-a-Watt meter on them to verify that they draw near zero Watts when off (the newer devices have much lower standby losses than those of years past).

    If you have never done a real electrical energy audit before--It pretty possible that you can knock 25 to 50% off of your bill. If you have electric hot water and other large electric appliances (or, for example, a computer server or two that run 24x7), you could even do better.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: thoughts on Blue planets 600watt turbine?

    I've been tossing around the numbers for saving on the electric hot water heater myself. Trouble is, with our cheap rates and low usage the payback period for even a timer (about $75 here) seems to be "forever". So my next experiment is going to be trying to remember to turn it off at night and on in the morning manually for a month and see if there's any difference in the electric bill.

    Yeah, I know; I'll forget to turn it off or back on and screw up the whole experiment. :blush:
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,784 admin
    Re: thoughts on Blue planets 600watt turbine?

    Adding insulation around the water heater will probably save you more money (at least around here, there are labels all over the water heaters warning not to add external insulation while the government is telling us to insulate them. :confused:).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: thoughts on Blue planets 600watt turbine?

    Bill;

    It's a new water heater with "greenfoam" insulation. You can't detect any heat on the side with your hand, unlike older models. It's already obviously more efficient than the old one! :D
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: thoughts on Blue planets 600watt turbine?

    Re hot water heaters, adding insulation and/or timers - - my persona experience.
    When I worked away, traveling home only on wk-ends I had a 20 gal hot water tank. Not very big. I added between one and two feet of extra fiberglass Pink insulation all around and over the tank, as well as 4 inches foam under it. From that point on, I realized that with all that extra insulation, a timer would be a waste of money, time and effort. Why? Because I'd shut off the power to the heater Sunday afternoon, shower @ 4AM Monday and head off to work. Late Friday night I'd get back home and find the water still hot enough to have a comfortable shower before I turned the power back on. So it was obvious that for normal day to day use, with all that extra insulation, the water just wouldn't cool off enough through the night to even trigger the thermostat on.
    My present solar hot water system uses a 60 gal foam insulated tank, and that too now has a good two feet of fiberglass Pink over and around it, as well as 4 inches foam under. If there's no sun when I'm using sun to heat it during Spring, Summer and Fall, I can continue to use only what I NEED, and still have enough well over a wk later. It usually loses a degree and sometimes two overnight, but I'm not sure how much of that is lost through the insulation and how much the result of conduction to, or random mixing with the cold water in the lower part of the tank.
    Thus my advice - - add all the insulation you can. If you're not using hot water, the only energy you have to pay for is what's needed to replace heat lost out through the tank insulation. BTW, the tank I have now, as it came from the factory, had 2 inches foam insulation, roughly equal to R10 or R15. My house walls are now insulated to R40 and my attic is insulated to R80. So R15 isn't much for a hot water tank, although the retailers will beg to differ.
    I never did think like a "normal" person. :D:D
  • SYKEKOSYKEKO Registered Users Posts: 10
    Re: thoughts on Blue planets 600watt turbine?
    BB. wrote: »
    the average home bill is probably around 1,000 kWH per month. Those that live in hot climates can easily hit 1,000-2,000 kWH per month or more during summer.

    If you have never done a real electrical energy audit before--It pretty possible that you can knock 25 to 50% off of your bill. If you have electric hot water and other large electric appliances (or, for example, a computer server or two that run 24x7), you could even do better.-Bill

    Im burning 1150 on a two month time frame (60days) and that is the plan im gonna go over everything and probably put some things on a timer, Im gonna see how much I can knock off.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: thoughts on Blue planets 600watt turbine?
    inetdog wrote: »
    I'm betting that those 4 watt LEDs are competitive with the 13 watt CFLs mostly because the place you are using them wastes a lot of the omnidirectional output from the CFLs, while the LEDs send more of their output in the direction you want. That does not make them any less competitive, but it means that they are not twice or three times as efficient by the conventional measurements.

    You raise an interesting (and correct) point. That said, I am running 4 watt LEDs in standard bulb configuration for general area light instead of the 13 watt CFLs. But for task lighting, link the bench or desk or reding chair, I have some very bright, very directional 4 watt LEDs . The point is, put the light where you need it, general lighting doesn't need to bee too bright if proper task lighting is used.

    T.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: thoughts on Blue planets 600watt turbine?
    SYKEKO wrote: »
    Hi im new to this whole wind/solar power stuff, I've seen that canadian Tire was selling the Blue planet wind turbines. Now whats everyones thoughts on these? their priced at 240 bucks (reg 799). Im mostly interested in lowing my power bill, cause the numbers keep rising lol. Anyways would this be a good starter that could pay for itself and then some? or is this a complete waste of time

    To make a long story short (and I didn't read the whole thread yet), I would say a complete waste of time. While I have no experience with this particular turbine you asked about, I have not seen too many microturbines that are successful energy producers. They are better suited to the hobbiest that just wants a small wind turbine that produces a couple amp-hours now and then - something to play with, but not very useful.
    --
    Chris
  • Lee DodgeLee Dodge Solar Expert Posts: 112 ✭✭
    Re: thoughts on Blue planets 600watt turbine?
    ...snip...
    It's come down a bit from the $1 per kW hour off-grid, $0.50 per grid-tie standard but on the whole it can't compete with most commercial utility rates without some incentive somewhere. I think Photowhit has managed a remarkable $0.26 per kW hour production cost for his system, which is still not on par with your thirteen cents utility rate.

    In short, it may reduce your electric bill but that's not the same thing as saving money.

    I am coming up with very different results for three grid-tied solar PV systems that I am tracking here in a sunny part of Colorado (5.78 kWh/m^2/day annual avg.). The numbers that I get are $0.06/kWh, $0.08/kWh, and $0.08/kWh, not the $0.50/kWh that you are quoting. These results are based on actual costs in the U.S. (after rebates) and measured collected energy over about 2 years, and assume a degradation of 0.65% per year, and a lifetime of 25 years with an inverter replacement at 12.5 years. I have spelled out all the details here and see Table 3 for cost per kWh. Your $0.50/kWh value for a grid-tie system must be based on outdated data or places where the solar insolation is very poor. In fact, where did that value come from?

    Electricity costs here are roughly U.S. average costs, $0.11/kWh from one utility and $0.13/kWh from the other. You can see that the grid-tied solar PV is more than competitive with these rates. I do use costs after rebates, since all the competitive energy sources also include various subsidies (e.g., Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act). I don't know what rebates/subsidies are available in Nova Scotia (where the original poster is from), and the solar insolation there appears to be not so great (3.91 kWh/m^2/day avg. in Sydney, NS).
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,784 admin
    Re: thoughts on Blue planets 600watt turbine?

    Most of the costs we talk about here are for "off grid" systems (or battery backed hybrid systems). It is difficult to get under ~$1 per kWH unless you have been very careful in your purchases (good prices, used equipment, DIY as Chris did with his wind turbines), and don't have a "battery oops" that takes out a bank before its time :cry:.

    And that usually includes being able to use a large percentage of the power generated (i.e., cost $/kWH is not not $$$/PV Watts predicted power) but actual power used (very difficult to use 100% of available power on a battery system every day--Usually closer to 66 to 75% of daily harvest is used). And if a part time home/cabin--Those weeks/months of non-use--Is just so much solar energy never to be used.

    For Grid Tied systems--yes, they are probably getting down in the sub $0.10 per kWH costs these days in sunny areas (assuming inverters and panels last, warranties honored, etc.).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: thoughts on Blue planets 600watt turbine?

    You know, I actually wrote "It's come down a bit from ..."

    And not everyone lives in a sunny local or gets incentives on equipment purchase or a decent price on sell back or can by stuff on the cheap.

    If I give generalized answers, I get complaints. If I give specific answers, I get complaints.

    You don't like my answers; don't read them.
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,381 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: thoughts on Blue planets 600watt turbine?
    Lee Dodge wrote: »
    I am coming up with very different results for three grid-tied solar PV systems that I am tracking here in a sunny part of Colorado (5.78 kWh/m^2/day annual avg.). The numbers that I get are $0.06/kWh, $0.08/kWh, and $0.08/kWh, not the $0.50/kWh that you are quoting. These results are based on actual costs in the U.S. (after rebates) and measured collected energy over about 2 years, and assume a degradation of 0.65% per year, and a lifetime of 25 years with an inverter replacement at 12.5 years. I have spelled out all the details here and see Table 3 for cost per kWh. Your $0.50/kWh value for a grid-tie system must be based on outdated data or places where the solar insolation is very poor. In fact, where did that value come from?

    Electricity costs here are roughly U.S. average costs, $0.11/kWh from one utility and $0.13/kWh from the other. You can see that the grid-tied solar PV is more than competitive with these rates. I do use costs after rebates, since all the competitive energy sources also include various subsidies (e.g., Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act). I don't know what rebates/subsidies are available in Nova Scotia (where the original poster is from), and the solar insolation there appears to be not so great (3.91 kWh/m^2/day avg. in Sydney, NS).

    So what $$$ per watt X years is the return reasonable. For instance I am replacing $0.175 kWh power on peak with solar production on a 12.5 Kw system where is per watt cost per year? This should be pretty algorithmic. My initial out of pocket was $1.60 per watt. Say inverter replacement is $2900 X 2 for a pair of 6000 watt inverters would equal $0.464 per watt. The system produces 20,000 kWh annually per PVwatts, replacing $35,000 worth of purchased power @ $0.175 kWh over 10 years.

    This certain looks like a no brainer at about 5 or 6 years even including a inverter swap at 10 years.
  • Lee DodgeLee Dodge Solar Expert Posts: 112 ✭✭
    Re: thoughts on Blue planets 600watt turbine?
    solar_dave wrote: »
    So what $$$ per watt X years is the return reasonable. For instance I am replacing $0.175 kWh power on peak with solar production on a 12.5 Kw system where is per watt cost per year? This should be pretty algorithmic. My initial out of pocket was $1.60 per watt. Say inverter replacement is $2900 X 2 for a pair of 6000 watt inverters would equal $0.464 per watt. The system produces 20,000 kWh annually per PVwatts, replacing $35,000 worth of purchased power @ $0.175 kWh over 10 years.

    This certain looks like a no brainer at about 5 or 6 years even including a inverter swap at 10 years.

    My payback time is 7 to 9 years, and my electric rates are lower than your peak rates, so we are getting similar kinds of numbers. The costs for the three systems that I am tracking here ranged from $1.73 to $2.50 per watt after rebates, so similar to, but slighter higher than your costs.

    So I would generalize and extrapolate our results to say that in the southwestern part of the U.S., grid-tied solar PV at current typical subsidized rates can compete with utility-supplied electricity, which has its own set of subsidies. If subsidies for solar PV are abolished, and subsidies for other electricity generating sources are not abolished, then new solar PV might not be competitive.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: thoughts on Blue planets 600watt turbine?

    You'll find hindsight to be 20/20.
    In the meantime have fun :D
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,381 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: thoughts on Blue planets 600watt turbine?
    Lee Dodge wrote: »
    So I would generalize and extrapolate our results to say that in the southwestern part of the U.S., grid-tied solar PV at current typical subsidized rates can compete with utility-supplied electricity, which has its own set of subsidies. If subsidies for solar PV are abolished, and subsidies for other electricity generating sources are not abolished, then new solar PV might not be competitive.

    Yep I would agree, When I did mine it was $6 a watt but the utility had a $3 a watt rebate and the feds 30% and the state $1000. When I ran the numbers then it made perfect sense. I think it can still make sense today even though the utility is down to $0.20 a watt in rebates as the installed cost are now in the $3.75 to $4.00 a watt range. The pay back is slightly longer. Also my TOU plan is now locked and I am grandfathered in @ the $0.175 peak rate. The newer TOU plans while having a shorter time duration of noon to 7 PM the rates are much higher @ $0.2477 kWh or the super peak rates 3PM-6PM @ $0.465 kWh.
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: thoughts on Blue planets 600watt turbine?
    SYKEKO wrote: »
    THANK YOU, so idealy one would want a turbine built to make 100-200 watts+ at 10mph and to have somthing put in place so it cant reach higher speeds that would make it blow apart. Starting to see the picture here with trying to have your cake and eat it too. As for your neighbour in 20 years he never made any power?? even on the windy days?? Guess this would explain why most of you guys have solar panels and no wind turbines listed after your posts. Thanks again you'll saved me alot of headache and cash.
    Now seeing as you have solar panels how are they working for you? I have 2 solar panels the blue planet 1.5 watt ones that you hook up to car batterys to trickle charge them. nothing like yours but im able to make 7 volts with them on a good day lol.

    Wind is generally a lot riskier than solar for a residential system. One reason is that it is a lot harder to evaluate the wind resource at a given location than it is to get a pretty accurate idea of how much a PV system would produce. An unfortunately large number of people spend money on wind turbines based on the fact that the wind sometimes blows their hair around rather than doing a year long wind study at the precise location and height where their turbine would be installed. Most of them are very disappointed with their results, especially since there are plenty of folks perfectly willing to sell them what is basically junk which wouldn't harvest a significant amount of energy even if the wind resource were there.
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