Wind vs sun

parbob1parbob1 Registered Users Posts: 29 ✭✭
I have a cabin/office in up state  NY.   I use daily, Totally off grid.   Im the past I would run the generator 4-8 hours per week to charge the batteries.. 
my old inverter failed and I have replaced it with the following
Schneider Electric SW Conext 4048
 AGS
Combox
16- 235 6V batteries 
im looking forward to hooking my well pump to my panel ( as before it was powered by the generator on a separate box)
other than the well pump, the blower on the wood stove is the only large use of electcity..
I am going to install solar pannels in the spring, but I’m really thinking about Wind,
1) what are the pro/cons of wind and how evaluate if there is enough wind?
2) I know nothing about solar...  what size panels would I need, what else would I need, were is a good starting point to educate myself.

 SW Conext 4048
 AGS
Combox
16- 235 6V batteries 
Honda 6500 gen

Comments

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,401 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Look at the trees in your area if they look like this  then wind may be a viable option, otherwise solar will probably be the best choice. The amount of energy needed along with available sun will determine the amount of PV required to support them and maintain battery health, best to start with loads, then work from there.
     
     
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    900W  3 × 300W No name brand Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal as a backup system. 
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergencies and welding.
  • parbob1parbob1 Registered Users Posts: 29 ✭✭
    The only reason I thinking wind is the big boys are installing. A wind farm all around me.  Granted they are putting the wind mills on top of the hills and I’m in the valley (about a 350’ differences in elevation ) and yes last year the trees looked like that lol
     SW Conext 4048
     AGS
    Combox
    16- 235 6V batteries 
    Honda 6500 gen
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,928 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm sure you know the wind on top of the hills may be multiples greater than the wind in the valley. The hills protecting the valley to a degree. 
    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
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,142 admin
    edited October 7 #5
    The trees grow like that (permanently flagging) or just looked like that during a storm?

    If your area is miserably windy (flagged trees) and you can put up a 30-60+ foot tall tower, and the noise of the turbine won't bother you or your neighbors... Then perhaps a wind turbine could work for you.

    Be aware, the cost of the turbine itself is justs fraction of the cost of the foundation and free standing tower, cabling, controller, and renting a lift/crane truck to install/service the turbine.

    Planning your loads (Watt*hours per day) and what is the location (hours of sun per day by season). Do you have good sun (no trees or mountain to the south, etc.) is where to start.

    Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • clockmanfranclockmanfran Registered Users Posts: 28 ✭✭


    'BB' said...........

    Be aware, the cost of the turbine itself is justs fraction of the cost of the foundation and free standing tower, cabling, controller, and renting a lift/crane truck to install/service the turbine.

    Yes, 'BB' is correct....

    I have 3off 12 footers, 3.7 meter diameter Wind Turbines, that are the Hugh Piggott design, (40 years in Scotland).  They have been up nearly 10 years now, but maintenance can be a 3 day time consuming hassle.

    Even though I do the inspection and maintenance each year,

    1.    Balancing the blades, re-painting/sealing, or the wild horse on top of the pole will shake it self to bits, NB the first 4 years is not an issue but after that the moisture and rain will eventually get in those blades.

    2.    Adjusting the blade holding clamp hubs.

    3.    Adjusting clearance for the stator and rotating magnet discs.

    4.    Checking the tower cables, untwisting, etc.

    5.   Checking the phases output is balanced.

    6.   Repainting the Turbine metal work after removing rust and rust staining.

    7.  Controls, checking the bridge diodes to ensure all three are sharing the work, and their connections.

    8.   Diversion controllers, inspect check cable clamping, and very very importantly check the Dump Loads.  The connections to the resistor loads have a habit of detaching themselves if a screw terminal, think glowing red temperatures, now i use clamp bolt and double lock nut.

    In Conclusion .......

    I do not know many commercial manufacturers of domestic wind turbines, under 5kW, that can give a good trouble 10 year period of running.

    If I knew 10 years ago what i know now, then i would just stick to PV.

    I just walk around my PV and inspect from a distance, it just sits there, with no drama.

    Today, PV is very cost effective against the same energy output of a Wind Turbine.

    (BB, On other Forums, the Mods remind me that their Forum is a Wind Turbine Forum and my Empirical evidence comments are not helpful, ????)

    But I do love my Wind Turbines, I think it makes a personal statement, as well as giving me wild RE Power when its overcast raining and gloomy/dull all day, and off course they generate at night. 

    Everything is possible, just give me Time.

    The OzInverter man. Normandy France.

    3off Hugh P's 3.7m dia wind turbines, (9 years running).  ... 5kW PV on 3 Trackers, (5 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. 

  • parbob1parbob1 Registered Users Posts: 29 ✭✭
    Wow, thank you for info, I had no idea onthe maintenance required . I think I’ll start planning the PV .   Thank you for the info, BB and CMF
     SW Conext 4048
     AGS
    Combox
    16- 235 6V batteries 
    Honda 6500 gen
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,142 admin
    edited October 7 #8
    DIY (Do It Yourself) wind turbines are probably one of the few things that "home made" seem to be better than any of the presently available commercial products--Like CMF did.

    And, for our forum, we want everyone to discuss the good and the bad of any power solution.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • ThomThom Solar Expert Posts: 185 ✭✭✭
    I’m glad I have my small windmill in November,December.  I get much more power from my panels most of the time . The 20 year warranty on panels is much better then 2 on a windmill. If I built a new system all panels.

    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
  • parbob1parbob1 Registered Users Posts: 29 ✭✭
    I know I’m simplifying the math. I have a 48v system 2 stings of 8 -6v 235 batteries  (235x2=470)  (470x15%=70) so 400 amp hour @. 50% is 200 amp hours of battery capacity  correct?
     SW Conext 4048
     AGS
    Combox
    16- 235 6V batteries 
    Honda 6500 gen
  • parbob1parbob1 Registered Users Posts: 29 ✭✭
    Type pic
     SW Conext 4048
     AGS
    Combox
    16- 235 6V batteries 
    Honda 6500 gen
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,142 admin
    I am not sure where the 15% comes in (unless you are including AC inverter losses)... But:
    • 470 AH * 0.50 = 235 AH battery bank (1/2 capacity)....
    If you want to know AC stored energy, assuming you are drawing at ~C20 (20 hour discharge rate) or:
    • 435 AH / 20 hour rate = 23.5 Amps
    • 23.5 Amps * 48 volts * 0.85 AC inverter eff = 959 Watts average AC load
    • 435 AH * 48 volts * 0.85 AC inverter eff * 0.50 of capacity = 8,874 Watt*Hours of stored energy (AC from inverter)
    Lead Acid Batteries have pretty "variable" capacity (hot vs cold, low current draw vs high current draw) and variable "useful" energy storage (are you drawing 10 amps * 55 volts = 550 Watts or 10 amps * 46 volts = 460 Watts).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,015 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just by way of illustration of Bill's answer, my nominal 700ah bank at ~11°C currently shows ~600ah capacity. It will get colder, and apparent capacity will drop another 100-150ah or so. That's at a 20hr or 5% rate of discharge though.

    If it discharges more slowly, as it typically does, capacity will be higher.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • parbob1parbob1 Registered Users Posts: 29 ✭✭
    Ok so the AC inverter loss is
     SW Conext 4048
     AGS
    Combox
    16- 235 6V batteries 
    Honda 6500 gen
  • parbob1parbob1 Registered Users Posts: 29 ✭✭
    Not deducted from the battery bank capacity 
     SW Conext 4048
     AGS
    Combox
    16- 235 6V batteries 
    Honda 6500 gen
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,142 admin
    edited October 10 #16
    It does not really matter as long as you are consistent.

    I like to put the efficiency against the loads. DC loads, no efficiency derating.

    The battery ah rating is also itself used for charging, so you do not want to derate the battery bank for charging calculations.

    Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • parbob1parbob1 Registered Users Posts: 29 ✭✭
    in my Conext ComBoc under  
    Batt Capacity -- select Battery capacity -- do i enter 470Am or 235Am

     SW Conext 4048
     AGS
    Combox
    16- 235 6V batteries 
    Honda 6500 gen
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,142 admin
    It is actually Battery Bank Capacity...

    Batteries in series add voltage (12+12=24 volts)

    Batteries in parallel add Amp*Hour capacity (235 AH + 235 AH = 470 AH).

    When you have series/parallel batteries... The series battery connections set the battery bus voltage (8x 6 volt batteries = 48 volts)

    And in your case, you have two parallel strings (235 AH per string * 2 strings = 470 AH total).

    And your battery bank is 48 volts @ 470 AH capacity (8 batteries per series string * 2 parallel strings = 16 batteries total).

    Note that the total energy stored is the same... Power = Voltage * Current ... You double the voltage (batteries in series) OR double the Amps (batteries in parallel)-- Either equals the same power (or in this case, the stored Energy Watt*Hours = V*A*H)... 

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • parbob1parbob1 Registered Users Posts: 29 ✭✭
    coming from my 2001 SW 4024 to my new Conext system has been fun.  NAWS & Comext have been great.  Today I got everything working, except my AGS.  That’s tomorrow project.  To remotely monitor my system and make changes is awesome.
     Thanks Bill 

    Bob
     SW Conext 4048
     AGS
    Combox
    16- 235 6V batteries 
    Honda 6500 gen
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,142 admin
    edited October 11 #20
    Hopefully AGS (automatic generator start) works well for you... For quite a few people, AGS has been difficult (between programming issues on the Inverter/AGS controller, AGS to genset Controller wiring, and genset systems controller).

    Also, there are many things that can go wrong with AGS... Until you got it running/stable, I suggest you do not use AGS when you are not home at first. Many more wild and wonderful way things can fail. Nothing like a broken fuel line on the engine+electric fuel pump/gravity fed fuel to put a hurt in your day.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • 706jim706jim Solar Expert Posts: 217 ✭✭✭
    My camp is on an island. I have a Dwyer wind speed meter that I sometimes use to check wind velocity when it seems particularly strong. At dockside, the wind feels like it could blow you off your feet sometimes, yet the Dwyer shows maybe 25-30mph tops.
    As all wind turbines are rated in the most positive light, my experience with wind speed close to the ground should tell you that theoretical and actual wind generator output values will differ wildly depending on tower height, topography and wind obstructions.
    In my area (Canada) I think wind power would be unreliable just due to ice formation on the blades and the resulting destructive blade imbalance.
    Island cottage solar system with 1400 watts of panels, Trace DR1524 MSW inverter, Trace C40 PWM controller 8 Trojan L16's. Insignia 11.5 cubic foot electric fridge. My 26th year.
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭
    I have had a SWWP turbine (10 years) and a Bergey XL1  (4 years) for a total of 14 years.  When you get ice build up from freezing rain they just stop turning.  The ice changes the profile of the blade airfoil and destroys it's lift/torque characteristics...stops rotating.  It's not a weight thing.  When the sun comes out the ice melts.  Sometimes there's a little movement as one blade sheds ice, but no out of balance catastrophic destruction.  And that's a good thing.

    In all those years the 1kw of wind power would provide about 700kwhrs in a year.  2.1kw of pv contributes about 2200kwhrs in a year.  Small wind is valuable in a total off grid setup, but when I started the pv cost $8 per watt.  Over panelling was not an option.  

    Ralph
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭✭✭
    parbob1 said:
    Type pic
    Just a note on that box - that wood isn't going to last long.
  • parbob1parbob1 Registered Users Posts: 29 ✭✭
    Got the AGS working today,   And yes a generator is a fire waiting to happen. (Gas, oil and electricity)It is in a shed 25’ form the building.  And yes until I am very confident in the AGS/generator it will not be unattended..
    the set up was fairly easy it’s a 2 wire start.   Did 3 start/stop cycles with out a hick up.

    fyi the battery box is unfinished. Insulation and a lining yet to be installed. Waiting for the power vent to arrive.


     SW Conext 4048
     AGS
    Combox
    16- 235 6V batteries 
    Honda 6500 gen
  • parbob1parbob1 Registered Users Posts: 29 ✭✭
    edited October 13 #25
    BB comments were spot on..,after a few start and stops ( via changing the parameters ) all was good. Today I let everything run normal.   Nothing went well...after reread the manual and lots of changes I think I got it.   As of right now then Generator is switched off 
     SW Conext 4048
     AGS
    Combox
    16- 235 6V batteries 
    Honda 6500 gen
  • MrM1MrM1 Registered Users Posts: 305 ✭✭✭
    edited October 15 #26
    parbob1 said:
    in my Conext ComBoc under  
    Batt Capacity -- select Battery capacity -- do i enter 470Am or 235Am

    Being an SW owner,  there is no way to adjust the Absorb cut off / switch over to float other than the battery Amp Capacity setting (well except for using the absorb timer - but even with the timer I think it still uses 2% Battery Capacity if you have a long absorb time set).  But the Amps cut off for the switch over from Absorb to Float is 2% of capacity and that is fixed at 2% of the Battery Capacity setting you input.  The user cannot adjust this 2%.  And even with the 2% fix,  it still cuts off on the hi side when charging (that is, higher than 2%).  So if you want longer absorb times that are controlled by battery capacity and not the SW absorb timer (which also still uses the 2% of capacity setting),  just know you may need to experiment with the number you use for Battery Capacity that you put into the SW to achieve the proper charge on your battery bank - generally based on a Hydrometer reading.
    I have a 435 Ah battery bank and have my capacity set at 50 Ah and it still switches over from Absorb to float at about 6 amps.  Nope ... not a true 2%.   And my bank according to SG is not at 100% SOC.  So if you want or need a longer absorb time you put in a lower capacity than your actual battery bank.  And even then it still may not be long enough to achieve 100% SOC using a hydrometer.  So ...
    My work around is to also set Float to the same voltage as absorb and use the charger timer charge block (not the absorb timer) when using the SW to charge.  Then I can get a controlled time and how long my batteries stay charging at absorb voltage. 
    If I use the SW charger for EQ,  I set all the voltage values to the same voltage - Bulk / Absorb / EQ - to the manufacture EQ voltage (well except Trojan is 32.4v and the SW only goes up to 32v),  and starting with an already near 100% SOC charged bank,  I start EQ and use the Charge  Block to control EQ time.  Over wise you are limited to EQ in 1 hour increments as the SW stops EQ after an hour for each EQ session and a good EQ often takes longer.
    Your Mileage may vary.
    REC TwinPeak 2 285W 3S-3P 2.6kW-STC / 1.9kW-NMOT Array / MN Solar Classic 150 / 2017 Conext SW 4024 Inverter latest firmware / OB PSX-240 Autotransfomer for load balancing / Trojan L16H-AC 435Ah bank 4S connected to Inverter with 7' of 4/0 cable / 24 volt system / Grid-Assist or Backup Solar Generator System Powering 3200Whs Daily / System went Online Oct 2018 / System, Pics and Discussion
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