Here is the Question i need answered

t12zht12zh Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
I have realized that for my area the wind is not that great. they call it Class 2 and will maybe touch on a little of class 3. Wind Power Density (W/m2) = 100 to 150 Speed (b) m/s (mph) = 4.4 (9.8) to 5.1 (11.5)
I want to buy the best quality Generator on the market today or within less than a say a year.
I think a cost of between 500.00 and 3,000.00 is a more realistic number for turban itself, but still need to look at a DC power center, Battery Bank and Inverter System that i will buy anyway. If i over buy just a little that is ok. me. I do concrete and also do caissons for a living.
I already have a very good steel pole, it will hold any generator i choose, and will also get me 20 to 40 feet up no problem.
I have a crane truck and can do all the labor of Elect. welding and fab work needed.
It is going to be used for a 2 person well insulated south facing home that is part underground.
I would like any input you could give me.


  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,970 ✭✭✭
    Re: Here is the Question i need answered

    I think your way off, more than 2X on the low-side for a quaility wind genny

    Then there is the tower, installation, maintance ect ... I just don't see how it would make sense for location. If your in the what-if mode, do the same calculations for PV and remember, the wind genny will come down about 10 time for service for the same life of PV
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,684 admin
    Re: Here is the Question i need answered


    You might want to keep your posts in one thread--makes it easier to keep the discussions together for one project (I am not a moderator here--).

    Note, from Wind-Sun's wind turbine sales page:
    A note about wind generator power ratings.

    All wind generators (from all manufacturers) have somewhat "generous" ratings, as the power output is usually specified as the MAXIMUM output. In real life in most cases you will be lucky to get even half of that. Also, most people tend to over-estimate how much wind they actually get. Most wind generators require winds in the 12 to 20 MPH range - 25 MPH is Beaufort 6 - the stage where the wind starts to "whistle" on wires and structures.

    Problem is that wind power is the cube of the wind speed... No matter the design/size of the wind turbine, low speed winds have very low power density. If you do not have steady winds that are over 12 mph (such as a canyon, mountain top, coastal bluff, etc.), most areas do not have steady higher speed winds--and/or have turbulent flow (trees, bluffs, buildings) which pretty much kill good production.

    Your forty foot tall pole should not be an issue (FAA) unless you are close to an airport. Your bigger issue will be the local building department. Is the area upwind free of trees/buildings to give you clean air?

    On the other hand, Pueblo Co (that is where you are from, right?), has very good sun throughout the year (PDF file of Colorado Solar Power availability).

    Are you on grid or off grid with this application (electric utility connection)? In most areas, wind is highly seasonal and unless the "windy season" coincides with your needs (say water pumping in the summer), wind by itself, in most areas, is a poor power source for year round requirements. Also, wind turbines tend to be pretty noisy--so keep it a bit away from your home.

    From hunting around your various threads (on this one subject) you talk about use with a home and looking at a grid tie type wind turbine. But you also talk about DC, batteries and inverters...

    You really need to specify your requirements... A grid tied solar PV system is going to be the least amount of ongoing maintenance and supply the most consistent power at the lowest cost.

    Anything that is off-grid capable all of a sudden goes from ~95% efficient to ~60% efficient (or less) because of battery losses, inverter losses, charge controller losses, and the fact that you can only economically store about three days of power.

    Whereas a Grid Tie system with net metering can "store" power for 1 month to 1 year (depending on your utility's net metering plan--mine is a 1 year net metering plan where excess kWhrs is converted to funny money that is deposited in my account and is withdrawn during the winter--and since my period starts in the fall, I can go negative in the account and go positive with next summer's surpluses. In my case, at the end of one year I pay the negative balance or lose any positive balance).

    I live in a city (& little wind)--so Wind on a stick is out for me--I looked at an off grid/hybrid system but decided that it made much more sense for me to be Grid Tie (no emergency solar power during a failure) and use a backup generator instead (cheaper, and so far, I have not had any--of the rare--power failures last more than an hour in the last 50 years).

    I know that because you have the knowledge and tools to build, erect, and service a wind turbine system--it looks like a cheap way to get power--verses Solar PV where 50% of the system cost is the panels themselves... But I am concerned that you may get little useful power from a turbine in your area for much of the year. A solar PV system would seem to be a better performer overall.

    Also, you may wish to look into solar thermal heating--a less costly method of gathering BTU's and, if you do the work yourself, you can save quite a bit of money (you will have to address the issues of freezing weather unless you do a pure hot air type system).

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • t12zht12zh Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Here is the Question i need answered

    Thankyou for taking the time to give me your input.
    I bought this place for the land, I have lived here in a modular home ( hate the house) for 10 years and will be building my solar berm style home soon.
    Just want to get started on this in the near future.
    The area upwind is free of tree's exc.
    I am on grid now.
    I have paid Elect. company $5518.45 (average has been 46.57) this is from 9/4/1997to 9/4/2007.
    I have paid propane company $8,734.85 From 10/29/1998 to 10/29/2006(this house is bad in the winter).
    I am 47 years old and will need to build the new house proper for 2 people.
    *********I will take a look at a grid tie PV system.***********
    Solar thermal heat is my #1 focus (Radiant Floor Heat Water heat exc.)
    I would just like to have one.
    Thankyou from Greg
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,684 admin
    Re: Here is the Question i need answered


    If you are looking to save money--the first place to go is conservation. And it sounds like you are a good start with your solar berm home.

    Solar PV Grid Tie is certainly going to be much less costly than any off-grid/battery backed solutions. You can try some back of the envelope calculations, but for some rough numbers--A turnkey installed solar Grid Tied system in an area with good sun is probably around $0.25 per kWhr. For an off grid solar PV system, including battery replacement (and no generator costs), the power costs roughly around $1.00 per kWhr.

    At least at this time, solar grid tie can be close to your cost of power (in an expensive state like California)--but in many other areas it does not always save money.

    Conservation, Energy Star Appliances, turning off items not in use (standby mode on older equipment can use quite a bit of power, using a laptop computer, etc.). Also, use a Kill-A-Watt meter to measure how much power each 120 VAC appliance uses (fridge, freezer, computers, TVs can use quite a bit of power). For larger appliances/240 VAC and such--I used an old utility meter.

    Solar hot water and heating seems to be a good place to actually save money--but you have to watch for maintenance, freezes, failing pumps, leaks, and such too.

    Grid Tie solar PV is pretty close to maintenance free (wash the panels once in a while--possibly replace an inverter once every 10 years or so over the next 25-30 years)...

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • t12zht12zh Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Here is the Question i need answered

    As of this weekend i ordered the P4460 meter and two more books.

  • t12zht12zh Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Here is the Question i need answered

    Well i came a long way since i posted this.
    I now have 12 new panels.
    And also have a ton of hardware Unirac electrical. exc.
    I also have enough pipe to make a 80 foot wind tower.
    I also learned that i need to convert my 12 volt Wind Generator to 48 volt.

    I have anouther thread running in this forum on inverter i need.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,684 admin
    Re: Here is the Question i need answered


    You may have come along way--however my answers remain remarkably similar over the last couple years.

    I still like my "wind on a stick" line though. :D

    -Bill :roll:
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
Sign In or Register to comment.