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Get Powered Up! Certified Energy Manager Jeff Yago answers your alternative energy questions

Wondering about a great new energy-saving device
you found on the Internet? Then CLICK HERE!

Sorry. Jeff no longer answers questions online.
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Archive for the ‘110/120VAC’ Category


Turbine choice

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

Hi Jeff,

I’m building a new home on a 35ft high bluff overlooking Cook Inlet. We have a healthy amount of wind, and I would like to generate some of my electricity requirements with a wind turbine. I was thinking in the 3-5kw range. The 2 names up here most often used are Kestrel and Skystream. Are those my best options or do you recommend another brand?




Sounds like a wind turbine will work really well at your location. However, larger models like you are looking for will require a very tall and very heavy tower. Also, servicing a wind turbine on top of a 75 foot tower is not for the meek.

If you do not want to install this heavy tower, perhaps you might consider installing two (2) smaller wind turbines which can be “tilt-up” type towers. They may be just as tall, but can be raised and lowered without climbing.

I have on client with two 500 watt wind turbines on his farm house, and another client that has two 1,500 watt turbines on his greenhouse, both trying to avoid a major steel structure standing near their home.

Otherwise, for a larger system you will need a regular installer with a very tall crane, and have some type of service contract.

Good Luck,

Jeff Yago

Hi Jeff,

That sounds like a good solution. And I like the idea of a tilt up tower. How far can I go with 24V from my house where I need the power and how do I best convert the 24V into 240V AC?



If you have to run DC wiring very far, you want to have it as high a voltage as possible. If this will be a battery based system, you would want a 48 volt DC system, and keep the wire run under 200 feet or you will need a really expensive and large size copper cable.

You use a DC to AC inverter. Check out Outback and Xantrex brands. Most are 120 volt AC output, so for 240 volt AC you will need two identical units or a 120 to 240 volt transformer.


Good Luck,

Jeff Yago


Electric operating costs

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Hi Jeff, since electric companies charge a consumer by the kilowatt hour is their any advantage to running an appliance on 220 volts instead of 110 (assuming the appliance is located close to the electric panel) ? Amperage is cut in half but the wattage is the same.




Rule #1 – The electric companies will always get you.

Rule #2 – Go back and read rule #1

Residential electric kWh meters have dual coils, each adding to the spin of the meter. One coil is reading the load on L1 & Neutral leg (120 volts AC) and the other leg is reading the load on L2 & Neutral leg (also 120 VAC).

Any load in your home connected to both L1 and L2 leg (220 to 240 VAC) is being read by both coils together.

This means that it makes no difference of your loads are 110, 120, 220, or 240 volts, the meter will read and spin the dial accordingly.

Note that the meter is reading “watts” not amps and volts. This is why it makes no difference what the voltage is. If you take a given watt load and could cut the amps in half, the voltage will double.

Example – 20 amps X 110 volt = 2,200 watts. or 10 amps X 220 volts = 2,200 watts

Bottom line, connect the appliance to the correct voltage it was designed for.

Jeff Yago



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