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wind power

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by evilgijoe88, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. evilgijoe88

    evilgijoe88 Monkey+++

    ive been looking at these quite a bit lately along with trying to get land off of dirtcheapdirt.com im thinking the wind power, maybe a few smaller solar cells(3-400 watts total) and woodburning heat and a stove. but i have no hands on experience with these things. let me know if that site is even worth it.
  2. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    We've got a resident wind power expert that I'm sure will chime in.... It's either EL or Quigley, I can't remember which.
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    In very rough terms, you are looking at 3000frns per kw installed for the Bergey machines. (New commercial power plants run close to 2000frns per installed kw last I looked.) You'll need to run a life cycle cost analysis to figure out the payback if that is a concern. It'll take a while, trust me. However, once you have it installed, the upkeep should not be onerous. The thing about the Bergey machines is that the optimal size for what you are looking for isn't there in a single machine. I'd say a household living frugally (powerly speaking, of course) should be looking in the 2.5 to 5 kw sized units, which puts you in multiple smaller machines. Way more than you need for steady running, but wind is fickle (and your load is variable) and you'll want to be able to recharge your batteries. Additionally, with more than one machine, you'll have partial backup in the event of a glitch. Between solar and wind, you can probably do quite well off grid. (Especially in eastern WA.)

    For starters, the 500kwh household is completely inaccurate these days. That was the standard back in the 50s and 60s used for power cost comparisons between different areas. With today's appliances and "stuff", base your life cycle cost analysis on 1000kwh per month. You will probably use less if you are serious about living at minimum, then you can use a lower number. Haul out your electric bills and see what you've been using and find the per kwh price, go from there. Note that the less you use, the longer the payback period will be. All that means is that you have to factor longer maintenance into the computations.

    Consider that you may want some heavy electrical stuff, like deep well pumps and welders. Those will take big battery banks and rather expensive inverters. Add that to the cost during setup. (The well pump really should be 220 or 240 volts.) Of course, you can use engines for both; might be a good idea to do that anyway.

    "Free" it won't be. Free of external bugaboos, it is. Just don't forget the water to wash off the solar panels after the damn dust storms you'll be seeing.

    Our resident expert is Quigley_Sharps. He knows megawatt machines very well. Not at all sure how conversant he is with this size machine.
  4. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    ........ I guess add Ghrit to that expert list. :)
  5. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    I deal in 1.65 megawatt Turbines and larger with variable pitch fast active stall.
    The ones you are looking at with the lattice towers will work as long as the power consumption is with in its limits.
    The lattice tower's sometimes have a problem of self destructing due to the vibrations of the wind whipping git around, you may have to add a dampener system like milk jugs with water in or on them hanging from it.
    Im not sure how large you are willing to go with?
    10 kW - Bergey Excel-S, with GridTek 10 Power Processor - 240 VAC, 60 Hz or 230 VAC, 50 Hz, Single Phase ?
    Or small battery charger?
    Another thing to consider is there a 6 month service schedule on these? Spare part availability and warranty the are a lot of wearable items in turbines and blade cracks, one bird and you will need a crane and time and money to fix.

    More later im tired after a 15hr day
  6. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    You would also need to be sure to figure just what you are willing to change to other meathods other than electric (like a gas powered pump to get water out of the well into a water tower then gravity feed to the house, posibly propane or kerosine refridgeration, etc) and what you want to run on 12 volt DC circits and what you need 120 or even 240 AC for. You will loose some power running through the invertor so the more (like lights and such) that you run on DC the less you loose to that. Then figure, like Ghrit mentioned, how much juice you need and ad at least 10% to it.

    Now if grid juice is an option you might want to also consider hooking up to the grid in addition to alternative offgrid power sources. You can then have it set up to keep the battery bank charged up and then feed all extra power produced back into the grid. Then if you have cloudy weather for solar or no wind for wind turbans for longer than your batteries would have carried you or you just need extra juice that day/wek/month (say construction/remodeling/special projects/etc) then you are still good to use from the grid. OTOH if you are produceing more than you need then the electric company is required to pay YOU for the net ammount of electricity you feed into the grid. Then if the grid goes down you can have either a manual or automatic switch or both to disconect your system from the grid and be able to use what ever you produce.
  7. evilgijoe88

    evilgijoe88 Monkey+++

    thank you all for this info, it seems that i have alot more research left to do. my summer energy consumption is only app 600-650 but i know it could easily change on a bad day.
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

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