SystemSystem Posts: 2,511 admin
hello guys im a newbee to wind power i have been getting parts to go to windpower i live on top of a mt. and get alot of wind here so i think this would be the best alternative elec. later i will add on some solar. what is the best book that explains every thing in laymans terms, one that tells me what to get size kinds etc. also im trying to find the three sided towers that zig zag up but dont know where to look any ideals.
thanks frank


  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: newbee

    You may be jumping the gun a bit. In most cases solar gives you a better energy return per $ than small-scale wind. Although on top of your mountain you may have lots of fog and clouds and not much sun, but plenty of breeze. Keep in mind that for wind power to work you need a steady, consistent ~20 mph. What feels like a lot of air moving to us humans isn't so much so to a turbine.

    You should always start by evaluating your energy needs, and design your system around them. It's difficult to factor in wind power because of the inconsistencies. But when it comes to D-I-Y wind power, the people at Otherpower have lots of information.

    Not to put you off, but please read NAWS 'disclaimer' on the wind products they sell:
    It's rare that someone who sells the stuff will warn you in advance that it's not quite as wonderful as others would have you believe.

    It's always best to do the research and ask the questions before you spend the money!
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,019 admin
    Re: newbee


    Besides Otherpower, there is a good wind guy here (actually wrote the book on wind).

    Is Wind The Answer? Read This First Paul Gipe

    And a beginners article from Home Power Magazine:

    Wind Power Basics

    All links are from NAWS wind page.

    In the end, you need swept area (larger diameter blades collect more power), tall towers (recommend 60' minimum--may cost more than the wind turbine itself), free of turbulence (at least 30' above and 500' away from trees, buildings, etc.), turbines with mechanical speed governing (electronic speed control is not enough), and plan on taking the turbine down every 6-12 months for maintenance (crane truck, folding tower, etc.). And figure on a major rebuild replacement every ~2-6 years or so...

    And follow up on recommendations by calling/visiting "successful sites" with at least 1 year on the pole themselves. And ask how they are logging their monthly power generated.

    In the end--what is your needs... You don't have grid power (to expensive to run poles) or you have Grid power and just want to save some money...

    In general, solar/wind/etc. will not save you money (fed and state rebates can make systems break even or even save money).

    Your best place to spend your money and time is 1. conservation; 2. monitoring your monthly/seasonal power usage; 3. define your power needs (grid tied, off grid, Grid Tied with emergency backup power--Hybrid system, etc.); 4. do a cost / benefit calculation for the major types of alternative energies that make sense for your location (typically in rough order of $$$/btu-watt; solar thermal hot water/heating, solar electric grid tied, solar electric hybrid, off grid solar, off grid wind).

    I am, personally, not a believer in "cheap", reliable, cost effective small wind. Generally, if you require off grid power--build your system around solar+battery+inverter and get it running well (and a backup genset)... Once you got is running and stable, look into off-grid wind and install one if you wish (with a Amp*Hour/Watt*Hour meter to log wind turbine output)... Review results for 6-12 months to see if you want to put more money into solar or wind--or you are OK as is.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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