Newbie with a question about personal Wind Turbines for the home! First post!

C_HeathC_Heath Registered Users Posts: 23 ✭✭
Hey guys,

Ive searched around quite a bit. Heck, took me a while but I stumbled on this forum so Ill just ask here. I have been lately obsessed with my power usage and bill at home. My energy company just let us know that in the next 3 years that they would raise rates by 45%. I dont think so. I live in a home with my wife and 3 females and we use roughly 2000 kwh per month. I installed a wood stove and our bill fell from $210 per month to $106 pretty easily.

Now, the owner of our work building has a personal turbine in his yard. Its not the little one either. Ill say its 50 feet tall and has a concrete pad thats 10ft x 10ft. When I ask him about it, he blows me out and says, that things makes me about $50 per month. The only thing I wish is that id gotten a bigger one and walks off. Its almost like he wants to be the only one in our small town to have one. But, anyhow.......

Is this worth it or not? Id like to pursue this but I cant spend $10k on a turbine. I can however spend $700 - $2000 on one. With that said. What will it take to eliminate those last 1600 kwh's so Id have NO power bill?

Lets face it, I dont need to charge a deep cycle battery. I want to have NO power bill. What would I need?

thanks.

Comments

  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Newbie with a question about personal Wind Turbines for the home! First post!

    Unfortunately, it is practically impossible to build something that would produce 1600 kWh/month for $2,000.

    The best you can do is to conserve energy. With 5 people, it should be easy to decrease your consumption well below 1600kWh/month.
  • C_HeathC_Heath Registered Users Posts: 23 ✭✭
    Re: Newbie with a question about personal Wind Turbines for the home! First post!

    after reading around on this site. I have found that even spending $15k on a wind stream ( oh and I also found out this is what my neighbor has) that even that would save me anywhere from 9 - 33% on my power bill! Are you kidding me? This wind turbine thing is a hobby for people. Lets spend $20k to save $30 per month. LOL.

    Funny thing is that I was considering one of those home depot jobs. LOL. dang.
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,348 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie with a question about personal Wind Turbines for the home! First post!

    Solar is the way to go, and hard to beat, but $2000 isn't going to cut it, more like $10,000 and some conservation. YMMV depending on the utility
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie with a question about personal Wind Turbines for the home! First post!

    our best bet is to do all the conservation ycan. Your cheapest energy dollar is one you don't spend. Look for every little savings, consider solar hot water, which is (generally) your fastest solar pay back investment. It also lends itself to DIY. Get a KILL-A-WATT meter and look at all y devices. Power strip eleconics when they are off. All thoe wall warts at 5 watts a shot add up. (24*5=120wh/day! If you have 6 of them, you use more than I use IN TOTAL per day!)

    Then look at PV as opposed to small scale wind. The great irony of small scale wind is...if you have enough wind to be useful (greater thn ~12 mpg AVERAGE) then y have too much wind for the hardwre to be viable. Virtually no one has had any good, long term good luck with small scale wind..

    Tony
  • C_HeathC_Heath Registered Users Posts: 23 ✭✭
    Re: Newbie with a question about personal Wind Turbines for the home! First post!
    icarus wrote: »
    our best bet is to do all the conservation ycan. Your cheapest energy dollar is one you don't spend. Look for every little savings, consider solar hot water, which is (generally) your fastest solar pay back investment. It also lends itself to DIY. Get a KILL-A-WATT meter and look at all y devices. Power strip eleconics when they are off. All thoe wall warts at 5 watts a shot add up. (24*5=120wh/day! If you have 6 of them, you use more than I use IN TOTAL per day!)

    Then look at PV as opposed to small scale wind. The great irony of small scale wind is...if you have enough wind to be useful (greater thn ~12 mpg AVERAGE) then y have too much wind for the hardwre to be viable. Virtually no one has had any good, long term good luck with small scale wind..

    Tony

    Thanks a lot! I am DIGGIN the DIY solar water heater. After about 12 videos on YouTube, ithink Imay try it. I still want a turbine tho!
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie with a question about personal Wind Turbines for the home! First post!

    be careful as to whom it is that you view as some may not be that good to follow in their footsteps for your circumstances. for instance some designs may not account for below freezing weather or if you use a closed system with something like antifreeze it needs to be double walled in case of leaks.

    i would recommend started off as everybody else says and try to go conservative. there are some things you can do like cfl bulbs, timers, power strips, etc that even the most careless female may be able to incorporate. your mileage may vary considerably here and i know that first hand, but they can't thwart all measures taken even though it seems like they try to.

    for power generation, i'd advise going with the more efficient solar grid tie system as you still have the dependability and availability of the utility. if you want to grow it then something like the enphase system is good. these are roof mounted gt inverters that are attached to the pvs. some call these ac panels, but i don't like the reference. i'm not sure of the overall costs on implementing them, but the pv and inverter combo will be in the area of $400 and this could be in the area of 200w-250w. 4-5hrs of full sun will be upwards of about a kilowatt hour of power for each one of these little combos you get installed. cost-wise, solar will outdo wind and won't have the high maintenance wind has. there are other items that come into play with this enphase system and others can chime in on these costs. odds are you will need to save a few more $ to implement anything. of course, anything you implement, solar or wind, will need inspected and approved before the switch can be thrown on.
  • peakbaggerpeakbagger Solar Expert Posts: 341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie with a question about personal Wind Turbines for the home! First post!

    I expect the neighbor has a perverse sense of humor and realizes that his wind turbine was dumb investment.Maybe it makes him feel happy that others suckers pay "high tuition" also to find tou just how badly they spent their money.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie with a question about personal Wind Turbines for the home! First post!
    peakbagger wrote: »
    I expect the neighbor has a perverse sense of humor and realizes that his wind turbine was dumb investment.Maybe it makes him feel happy that other suckers pay "high tuition" also to find out just how badly they spent their money.

    EXACTLY!!!
    And regarding conservation - - not kidding, most people have been brought up to believe that what in reality is nothing short of obscene waste of electricity, is "normal use". And that idea has been quietly promoted by electric utility companies. It takes a complete rethink of how you are living and wasting energy to realize the savings that can be had when all that waste that people refuse to admit to, is finally cut to using only what is actually needed. And no, I'm not joking! People are totally blind to their waste, they just can't see it. Or refuse to see it. Instead they cuss the electric company for the high bills!
  • C_HeathC_Heath Registered Users Posts: 23 ✭✭
    Re: Newbie with a question about personal Wind Turbines for the home! First post!
    peakbagger wrote: »
    I expect the neighbor has a perverse sense of humor and realizes that his wind turbine was dumb investment.Maybe it makes him feel happy that others suckers pay "high tuition" also to find tou just how badly they spent their money.


    I totally agree with you. I think he realizes that. He spent 20k to produce 1800kwh in an 18 month period.
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie with a question about personal Wind Turbines for the home! First post!
    And no, I'm not joking! People are totally blind to their waste, they just can't see it. Or refuse to see it. Instead they cuss the electric company for the high bills!

    So let's say I conserve and reduce my bill. That's good. Now you begin conserving and my bill goes up! (because the electric company has to spread their costs among fewer kwh). People are totally blind to the corporate bloat in the electric company, they just can't see it. Or refuse to see it. They should cuss the electric company for the high bills!

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,348 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie with a question about personal Wind Turbines for the home! First post!
    vtmaps wrote: »
    So let's say I conserve and reduce my bill. That's good. Now you begin conserving and my bill goes up! (because the electric company has to spread their costs among fewer kwh). People are totally blind to the corporate bloat in the electric company, they just can't see it. Or refuse to see it. They should cuss the electric company for the high bills!

    --vtMaps

    While this is true to a certain degree, there is definitely a fix cost component to grid tie electric. All that generation, transmission and transformer infrastructure does cost money to stand up and maintain. On the other hand those costs look pretty reasonable when you start to look at what replacing the utility with off grid technology would cost and the effort required for you to maintain your own battery storage infrastructure.

    So last month I generated more than I used or bought so I had no Delivery service charge, no environment benefits surcharge, no system benefits charge, no power supply adjustment (fuel costs), no Federal transmission and ancillary services.

    I did have Customer Account charge of $6.90, Metering of $5.39, Meter reading of $1.80, Billing of $2.03, and the low cost fixed adjustor (LFCR) of $0.05 for a fixed cost of $16.17 and then $3.12 in taxes and fees from the government. So for $19.29 total cost I got 100% benefit from my grid tie solar, and got to purchase 413 kWh of off peak power generation for $0.0204 a kWh ($8.44) and they "stored" my excess on peak generation of 833 kWh for future use. The LFCR is the kicker, as that one is the shoe in the door to make sure they stay profitable. http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?18676-Last-month-s-gas-bill&p=144219#post144219

    So I get to buy a more reasonable size grid tie solar system that would be about 40% (rough SWAG) the size that I would need to be off grid to meet my peak summer loads, I get long term storage of my kWh for later use, I avoid the costs of battery purchase and maintenance all for under $20 month. What do I gain? Reliable low cost power. I can continue to live a typical suburban life (with conservation of course cause I have skin in the game). What do I loose? A few minutes of usage during a very rare outage. What do they gain? Renewable Energy Credits, they can sell my excess to my neighbor and get the full price of on peak power at up to $0.254 a kWh, the service delivery charges and all the other non fixed cost charges without providing much infrastructure (pretty much a transformer hop). They also get to avoid adding additional peak generation and transmission capacity.

    All this seems like hardly an unfair arrangement for me or them. I don't feel like they are gouging me and the net metering system they have laid out is fair for both parties. They can still make a profit off my solar system and answer to share holders. Perhaps for once it is the elected Public Utilities Commission that keeps this under control. (OMG did I just say a government entity is going good!!!!)

    I can see that as Solar comes more and more online the fixed costs will rise, but with the current penetration into the grid is is hardly a blip in the accountants bottom line and that for the foreseeable future it will remain a non issue.
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Newbie with a question about personal Wind Turbines for the home! First post!
    solar_dave wrote: »
    All this seems like hardly an unfair arrangement for me or them. I don't feel like they are gouging me and the net metering system they have laid out is fair for both parties. They can still make a profit off my solar system and answer to share holders.

    How are they making profit from your solar? If I'm not missing something, they re-sell it to your neighbor for the same price as they bought it from you. This doesn't make any profit.
  • C_HeathC_Heath Registered Users Posts: 23 ✭✭
    Re: Newbie with a question about personal Wind Turbines for the home! First post!

    Just for the record, I have went from 2000 kwh in jan of this year to just over 1500 kwh in march by using wood heat. I added cfl's but with 3 kids and 2000 sq ft home, it's freaking hard to save. My family is on board with this. I am and have learned a ton in the last few days about solar. I would probably have to do the battery bank way to have some backup power in the event of a power outage.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,180 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie with a question about personal Wind Turbines for the home! First post!

    Just wait for the utilities to start charging you for not only the delivery cost on your CONSUMPTION but also on your GENERATION , ie to take the power away from your house
     
    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
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,348 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie with a question about personal Wind Turbines for the home! First post!
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    How are they making profit from your solar? If I'm not missing something, they re-sell it to your neighbor for the same price as they bought it from you. This doesn't make any profit.

    Actually no, My price is a grandfathered rate of $0.175 per kWH for On peak and at year end the settle up my excess at $0.065 per kWh (generation avoidance rate). They get the transmission cost and service delivery for almost nothing out of their pocket basically a transformer hop to the neighbor, no substation cost, no high Voltage long distance transmission but they do charge the neighbor those rate fees.

    I just never buy on peak power only off peak night time power. The new TOU rates the are much higher $0.254 per kWh on peak as well. It is all to their advantage.
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,348 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie with a question about personal Wind Turbines for the home! First post!
    westbranch wrote: »
    Just wait for the utilities to start charging you for not only the delivery cost on your CONSUMPTION but also on your GENERATION , ie to take the power away from your house

    When that happens then it is time to put some more smarts in the system and consume all the on peak here and buy the cheap off peak only. Actually I think the AZ Public Utility Commission realizes the utility gets some pretty good financial advantages from small solar.
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Newbie with a question about personal Wind Turbines for the home! First post!
    solar_dave wrote: »
    Actually no, My price is a grandfathered rate of $0.175 per kWH for On peak and at year end the settle up my excess at $0.065 per kWh (generation avoidance rate). They get the transmission cost and service delivery for almost nothing out of their pocket basically a transformer hop to the neighbor, no substation cost, no high Voltage long distance transmission but they do charge the neighbor those rate fees.

    I just never buy on peak power only off peak night time power. The new TOU rates the are much higher $0.254 per kWh on peak as well. It is all to their advantage.

    So, they buy at $0.065 kWh and sell at $0.254/kWh. That's a good deal for them. How many kWhs do you sell them every year?
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,348 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie with a question about personal Wind Turbines for the home! First post!
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    So, they buy at $0.065 kWh and sell at $0.254/kWh. That's a good deal for them. How many kWhs do you sell them every year?

    Really not that much Last year it was about 3000 kWh. I would really like to sell them more by conserving more usage, always looking for ways to do that. In the fall months after the AC season I generate way more than I use. I would like to get to the point where in summer I am not strapped with the delivery charges, I go over my yearly total delivery in Aug. usually and want to eliminate that set of fees. The service delivery is based on your annual consumption in total, off peak plus on peak to that point in the year. The $195 as a credit on the account keeps my utility bill at $0 till some time in the spring.

    While their method of net-metering is complex, I think it is pretty fair for both parties considering they are a for profit company. If you think it it easy to figure out look at this:
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,180 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie with a question about personal Wind Turbines for the home! First post!

    they left off the $2.00 (we get charged) for providing a paper bill! They want you to go e-bill...
     
    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
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,348 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie with a question about personal Wind Turbines for the home! First post!
    westbranch wrote: »
    they left off the $2.00 (we get charged) for providing a paper bill! They want you to go e-bill...

    Not really I think the billing fee is higher if you have a paper bill. :D:D:D

    I think one of the most stupid is the Franchise fee, to use the right of way they have to pay the city.
  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963 ✭✭
    Re: Newbie with a question about personal Wind Turbines for the home! First post!

    I hate e=bill, didgital manuals, online banking and direct deposite. It makes computing no longer fun. Plus you have to keep inc in your printer if you want hard copies and internet conection is no longer an option.
    Cheers
    gww
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