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Old 03-18-2011, 05:13 PM  
mohel
 
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Keizer, OR
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maybe a small water turbine for supplemental power. If i can find the right property...
20 years ago some people were developing small hydro units intended for East coast streams & mill ponds. Industry once was almost completely dependent on hydro.
Power Companies bought up the rights and they disappeared by the designs are filed as patents. They can give you a good idea whats entailed and reasonable generation expectations.

Microhydro:
RISE Information Portal - Technologies - Micro Hydro
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:00 PM  
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danville, kentucky
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it's been awhile since i posted on here. i now have eight harbor frieght solar panel kits in a bracket i made just for them running to a outback mppt charge controler. i have twenty two deep cycle batteries rated for 115 amp hours each. i have twelve 100 watt panels in a ground mount i can change the angle on when the seasons change. i have 8 more 100 watt panels new in the boxes in the garage and 1 on a fedex truck that will be here tomorrow. when i get a total of 12 i will biuld a new rack and grid tie them like the other 12 are now.

i'm using a xantrex grid tie inverter. it is rated for 5000 watts. i had to jump through flaming hoops and sign away my first born male son to the electric company to get net metering. i have managed to cut my bill in half and have the battery bank for a back up when the power is out to run lights and the tv. i had to buy a 5000 watt/10,000 watt surge pure sine wave inverter, but it is worth it. pure sine wave inverters make a cleaner power source than what you get from the power company.

i have added two 1500 watt windturbines to the battery bank as well. lets say the battery bank is never not fully charged.

my next home will be off grid. i will run everything from a big assed battery bank. i'd like to have a 9,000 amp hour batery bank. i'll end up with around 48 solar panels of 100 watts and upto 235 watts, 6 1500 watt wind turbines and if i find the right land maybe hydro electric. i will be biulding a 3500sqft berm home with a very large trombe wall facing due south. i'm doing rain storage right now to water my gardens. i'll biuld a 10,000 gallon cistern and filter the rain water for the next home. i don't want to have to pay a company for anything other than internet and my cell phone.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:27 AM  
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That was a really interesting read. Thanks!
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:41 PM  
mohel
 
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Keizer, OR
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i now have eight harbor frieght solar panel kits in a bracket i made just for them running to a outback mppt charge controler. i have twenty two deep cycle batteries rated for 115 amp hours each. i have twelve 100 watt panels in a ground mount i can change the angle on when the seasons change. i have 8 more 100 watt panels new in the boxes in the garage and 1 on a fedex truck that will be here tomorrow. when i get a total of 12 i will biuld a new rack and grid tie them like the other 12 are now.

i'm using a xantrex grid tie inverter. it is rated for 5000 watts. i had to jump through flaming hoops and sign away my first born male son to the electric company to get net metering. i have managed to cut my bill in half and have the battery bank for a back up when the power is out to run lights and the tv. i had to buy a 5000 watt/10,000 watt surge pure sine wave inverter, but it is worth it. pure sine wave inverters make a cleaner power source than what you get from the power company.

i have added two 1500 watt windturbines to the battery bank as well. lets say the battery bank is never not fully charged.
All that yet you aren't off grid completely? Are you running more than usual amounts of appliances?

Could you give us a rough cost estimate for what you have purchased?
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:06 PM  
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danville, kentucky
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i'm not off grid in this home. if i had been thinking like i am now 6 years ago when i biult this house i would have put the braker box in the garage. then i could easily start taking rooms off the grid and putting them on the battery bank with inverters. but i wasn't thinking like i am now.

the battery bank was around $2500. the twelve solar panels i have grid tied are around $3500. in another week i will have a total of twelve more(another $3500) to biuld a rack for and grid tie in. that should wipe out my electric bill in the summer monthes when we get alot more sun in the day. i'll have to just about double it for winter to cover the bill.

the xantrex gt 5.0 grid tie inverter set me back around $3300. the wind turbines i have were around $160 each for the pma's,hub and blades. i have to make the mounting brackets myself and the tail shafts. i wired them up with 2/0 weld cable that is rubberized so it won't twist and brake. they run to the battery bank.

the outback charge controler for the harbor frieght solar panels set me back over $600.

me electric bill was over $300 a month every month. i figure in 8 years the system will pay for itself if i put up 48 solar panels of at least 100 watts each. i will have 24 panels in another week.

we have not changed the way we have lived any at all. why change how you live? why not just biuld a system larger than what you need to cover your lifestyle now taht way if something changes to where you need more power you will have it.

that is how i'm going to do my next home. biuld the system to twice what we need to cover future what if's. we have a 7 year old boy and a 3 month old baby girl now. i figure teen years will see a big surge in power usage, so double up on panels,turbines, and batteries.
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Old 07-21-2011, 06:58 PM  
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I'm fascinated by solar energy and have been thinking about it for years for my summer cabin. It pretty far removed from the road, so to run hydro in to it would cost me many thousands of dollars.

All I really need power for are a few lights, a radio and some small kitchen appliances like a microwave and toaster, a mini fridge and eventually a pump for a well.

What would I need for a scenario like that and how much do you figure it would all cost?
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:07 AM  
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danville, kentucky
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first off i would go gas for the frig,stove,drier, and a hot water now tankless water heater. when you do away with your 220 volt needs it gets alot cheaper from there on. you'll need a good set of batteries. my next home will have twenty of these. Solar Cell, Solar Panel, Solar PV, Solar Products, Charge Controllers, Solar Trackers my home now won't use the power 3 of these have in a day without 220 volt stuff.

i figure with twenty of those if the sun fails to come up and the wind doesn't blow for a month no problems. we will live just fine.


i have people all the time ask about the over 2200 amp hour battery bank in my garage. i''l call the old lady sitting in the living room and ask her to go to the back bedroom and cut off all the 220 crap. you know the stove,water heater, clothes drier, plug in the garage and central air. you know the huge power draws. when i have a flash light ready i tell her to turn off the main braker from the power company. when all the lights are out i take a dual male ended cord 20 ft long and plug one end into my 5000 watt/10,000 watt surge pure sine wave inverter. the other male end i plug into the outlet in the house. when all the lights come on and she reprograms the television they **** them selves.

that is what the battery bank is for at my house. we have wood heat. i keep a pallet of 1lb propane tanks in the basement. we need the battery bank for lighting, the frig,both deep freezes and the television. we don't have satellite. we have digital antana's hooked up.

i live at the lowest point in my nieghbor hood. when to water pumps are off we still get water. there are 4 springs feeding a stream in my back yard as well.

needless to say i'm no fool. my next home will be amazing.

foregt the microwave. gas for the frig and stove. the rest can be done with a battery bank of several 115 amp hour batteries and several 100 watt panels IF the sun will work with you. add a windturbine or two if the wind is your friend and your set. well a good inverter is a must. you will want a pure sine wave inverter. pure sine wave is cleaner energy than what you will get from the electric company. no joking about that.

foreget doing a frig. get the frig out of a camper, the regulator and you are golden. the toaster can be done on the stove if you got to wal-mart and buy a over the burner toaster in the camping department. i've been doing it for years at our cabin. just started doing it at my home 6 monthes ago.

i can talk yu through making a dc generator from a one wire altenator and a side shaft lawn mower engine anytime you are ready. i've been there and done that as well.

if you can get a 220 inverter that will fit the 220 plug in your cabin you can use a large battery bank to run the entire cabin if you go gas with you magor 220 items. the breaker box will turn 220 into 120 to run things. been there and done that before as well.

it is all up to how you want to do it.
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Old 07-24-2011, 04:08 PM  
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Kent, Ohio
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I'm fully on board with solar heating, and large-scale thermal generation plants make sense.

But have the prices of PV panels, equipment, and energy costs shifted significantly in the past few years? The last time I priced them out, PV energy systems would take over 30 years to recoup their costs, but they had an expected service life of less than 20. (And the batteries even less).

With Time-Of-Use metering becoming more common, I wonder about the feasibility of timing grid-charged and grid-tied storage systems to reduce electrical costs, by storing low-cost, off-peak power and providing it back at high-cost, peak rates.
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Old 07-24-2011, 05:09 PM  
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danville, kentucky
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well you have to watch who you buy from. i have found several places that have 100 watt panels for around $2.45 a watt. if you purchase 10 or more you can get them for under $1.99 a watt. the ones i've been using are rated 100 watts each, and have actually been producing anywere from 115-125 watts each.

the payback time depends upon how big of a system you biuld and what your normal electric bill costs.

myself i'm not doing it to "go green". i'm not into the entire green movement. it is a croch of $hit al gore and the liberial morons have dreamed up to get even richer. i'm doing it to cut my bill down. i figure after i get my next home set up with what i have now and more it'll pay for itself and save me money. the batteries have a 10 year warrenty on them and a 20 year life span as well. i know people who have been running thier homes of the same 6 volt forklift batteries and solar panels for 27 years and no problems yet.

it all depends on what you plan to do. i plan to biuld avery large system with a monster battery bank. i plan to biuld it large enough to have plenty for future growth in years to come.
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:59 PM  
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Kent, Ohio
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well you have to watch who you buy from. i have found several places that have 100 watt panels for around $2.45 a watt. if you purchase 10 or more you can get them for under $1.99 a watt. the ones i've been using are rated 100 watts each, and have actually been producing anywere from 115-125 watts each.

the payback time depends upon how big of a system you biuld and what your normal electric bill costs.

Add the total cost of your system, divide by the total PV panel wattage times the efficiency of your inverters, divide by 1000, and multiply by the expected cost of grid power per kilowatt hour. That's the best-case number of hours you have to run that system to break even. To get the worst case, multiply by the efficiency of your battery bank.

Electricity typically costs somewhere between 4 and 12 cents/kilowatt-hour, so the panels alone (at $1.99/watt) require ~16500 to ~49750 full production hours. Figuring an optimistic average of 8 to 12 hours of production per day, that's somewhere between 4 and 17 years just for the PV cells. Add the cost of the batteries, inverter, wiring, mounting hardware, etc, and it's pretty damn difficult to break even, let alone turn a profit without some sort of tax credit or something.

It would generally be more cost effective to dump that money into a savings account, and pay your electric bill out of that. Which is why PV production hasn't taken off.

I THINK that the energy demands for creating PV cells has come down below parity. It used to be that it took more power to produce a PV cell than that cell would produce throughout its lifetime.
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myself i'm not doing it to "go green". i'm not into the entire green movement. it is a croch of $hit al gore and the liberial morons have dreamed up to get even richer. i'm doing it to cut my bill down. i figure after i get my next home set up with what i have now and more it'll pay for itself and save me money. the batteries have a 10 year warrenty on them and a 20 year life span as well. i know people who have been running thier homes of the same 6 volt forklift batteries and solar panels for 27 years and no problems yet.

it all depends on what you plan to do. i plan to biuld avery large system with a monster battery bank. i plan to biuld it large enough to have plenty for future growth in years to come.
Fair enough - there are plenty of good reasons to have your own battery and generation capacity in place. Not having access to the power grid is a big one. A Less-than-utterly-reliable grid power is one. Remote locations, where you might be stranded for long periods of time. The fun of doing it. A location where electricity costs are exorbitantly high. Take advantage of tax exemptions. When I look into it, it would be more cost effective for me to charge battery packs from the grid, using them either as an emergency power supply, or possibly for time-shifting from off-peak charging to on-peak consumption.
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