Just found this site tonight at work.
I’m a pretty competent diy’er (carpentry, basic electrical, plumbing, etc).
You may have answered this before in the magazine (never heard of until tonight).
I live in Eastern Wyoming, outside of town on a west facing rise, and we have lots of wind. Blows most everyday 10-20 mph with many times throughout the year windstorms of up to 90 mph gusts.
I have a 76 14×70 mobile home, I have built around and wired. My well is 500 feet down and pump is about 400 feet down. I am single and 60 yr old.
My dryer is 220 and 5 year old (rarely use it—–hang dry). Refrigerator is 5 year old 110 volt average household size. Washing machine is brand new 110 volt.
Phantom current draws from, digital clocks on coffee maker, 110 volt microwave, tv, vcr/dvd player. I have two laptop computers both on 24 / 7
Standard mobile home furnace with blower and a 110 volt augur driven pellet stove (main heat). Propane water heater
As I am working in and on house, I use skil saw, tabletop, router, small air compressor, etc (one at a time)
Have already installed low energy light bulbs, most times only one or two are on at a given time.
I am considering going to wind and or solar energy alone or as supplement., and I have a couple questions if you can help.
1. Realistically in a 10-20 mph wind, how many rpms could I expect from a wind turbine?
2. Batteries, how many and what type / size, if used to support the whole house as needed (course I could switch back to grid, if heavy usage required it)
3. If wind turbine, how big a generator would you recommend (ac or dc out put and amp / watts)
4. Same for solar panel.
5. Power inverter, should batteries be wired for 12, 24 or 48vdc
6. Utility company requires an auto cutout if backfeeding to the grid, in case grid goes down. Is there one that would allow the generator / solar to continue to feed house, but not the grid if the grid goes down, and then refeed the grid when grid comes back on line?
Thank you for any assistance you can give, and I will continue my research.
Lots of questions and as a new reader I need to remind you and other new readers that we try and stay with general type questions since not all specific details are know or given to allow a more specific reply, nor do we have the time on a free advice basis. However, this should give you a good direction to head.
If you are in an area with a good constant wind most of the year then a wind system may be your best bet, but I caution that many people think they have lots of wind when in fact its not enough to justify the cost of the equipment. A good indication is if there are others in your general area using wind systems. Its good that you have minimized your electric loads, and that should always be the first step.
We don’t size wind turbines on a RPM basis. All modern wind turbines are sized to provide a given “watts” output for a given wind speed, and very few models can produce any power under 8 to 10 MPH. At 20 MPH you mentioned is a good wind level for most wind turbines, but you will most likely still need to raise the turbine at least 50 or more feet above the ground to really make it cost effective as the wind is almost double the ground speed as you get 50 to 100 feet above the highest nearby trees or structures.
There is no “generator” as separate from the wind turbine. This comes as a package, with the number and diameter of wind turbine blades matched to the internal generator section. Many turbines also include an internal voltage regulator for direct connect to batteries, while larger models have a separate voltage controller installed near your batteries. There are many different models and types, including direct grid connect inverters specially designed to take the DC or “wild” AC voltage from a wind turbine and match it to the 240 volt AC grid connection to allow selling all generated wind power back to the utility.
If you want the system to provide power without the utility grid, your system will require batteries and a DC output wind turbine. A separate DC to AC inverter is then used to supply your critical electrical loads from the wind charged battery bank. The size of the wind turbine depends on your pocketbook and the size of the battery bank. The size of your battery bank depends on the size of your pocketbook and how many hours or days you need to power your electric loads without the utility grid. Most systems end up being sized based on how much money you are willing to spend, since you will use all the power generated.
Remember, these are 2 separate wiring systems if you want to power your home without the utility grid. The battery bank supplies the AC inverter which supplies your critical loads, not all loads. The separate wind turbine and charge controller re-charges the battery bank.
Thanks for the response. I am still evaluating wind turbine versus Photo voltaic.
I am 15 miles west of town. On a hilltop, there are NO trees anywhere near High prairie). We are on 5 acre lots nearest house is 100 yds east. In southwest Wyoming so we have more sun days than not, so I could go either way.
One question I forgot to ask, when you have the time.
Utility company requires all alternative energy sources tied to the grid have an automatic disconnect feature, if the grid goes down, so my power output won’t electrocute any line workers.
Who makes one of these units and is there one that will kill power going out to grid, but leave power to the house?
Thanks for your time.
All utilities that allow grid tie sell back of power require this, but its not a “switch” as you suggest.
You need to buy a DC to AC inverter that carries these ratings on the label, UL 1741, IEEE 1547, IEEE 929.
These indicate the inverter will shut down and not sell power back on the grid if the grid goes down, and will not anti-island which means it will not be fooled by sensing other inverters also connected nearby and think the grid is still active when it is down.
You can use about any wind turbine that will charge a battery bank then use the battery charge to supply the grid through the inverter. They also make several inverters that are designed to take the ‘wild” output from a wind turbine and convert directly into grid power without a battery bank, but you need to make sure the wind turbine and inverter are matched correctly.
Hope this helps,