Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Solar panel plus wind turbine report

If for some crazy reason you have been reading this blog you would know I have been experimenting with wind and solar power. Here is a report that may help you decide if you want to go off grid. I have found that here in southeast Indiana the wind just does not blow at a speed fast enough to produce the power to do little more than trickle charge the batteries. The 750 watt inverter draws more than the turbine will keep up with and with a 15 watt lightbulb attached it will run down the battery very quickly. The solar panels I used put out 4 amps in bright sunlight. Solar is a better choice for this part of the state. Even with overcast skies they will produce 1 amp. My panels are ground mounted, and this may be a better location than on your roof, why, It snows and completely blocks out the sun. You can sweep the snow off and not risk falling off the roof. The combination of solar and wind that I have will run a few lights or some small appliances with 5 very heavy duty 12 volt batteries. I can run my Ham radio station for an extended time tho. I bought all it took to get this monster up and running at used prices. I cut the cost at every point I could and scrounged everything I could, still it was very expensive to construct. I find it to be a great conversation piece and a fun thing to experiment with, but practical its not. By the time the system saved you enough to pay for itself all would be worn out. Buy your watts from Duke or REMC or move to where the wind speeds are grater and the sun shines most of the time. One good note is I have 5 batteries fully charged if the grid falls off....... its been fun.