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Debby36 03-21-2009 06:00 PM

Wind Energy
I have been to several forum sites asking about wind energy without results. I am looking for information on affordable systems (under $10,000). I would especially like to find a system that lends itself to do it yourself installation.

hondadrv24 03-21-2009 06:14 PM

I see these guys advertising on my local site. Home they say it cost around 11 or 12 thousand to set up.
good luck

GreenIsGood 03-22-2009 05:11 AM

In the world of wind energy, you're not really going to be able to do much with $10 or less. You could, if you did all the work yourself, install a nice Southwest Wind Power Whisper 500 on a small-ish tower. This produces 3,000 watts of power – maximum. That's a lot for a wind generator. But now you'll need a number of other things, such as a battery bank. Our battery bank alone, which lasts us 2-days, was $12k. You'll also need something like a Midnight E-panel, and all the wiring. If you are on-grid and live in a high wind zone, then the tower, converters and switchers will cost about $12k.

3,000 watts is not really very much, once you start using your fridge, freezer, etc. And forget about a 220-volt air conditioner, for example. We have nothing that is 220-volt. When any motors kick in – even 110-volt, they suck the batteries down fast. Many large 110-volt shop tools won't get enough power for their surge needs. You could augment an on-grid system with this, but your payback will take forever.

Having been down the road, I'd have to say that if you're not going to spend at least $25k, you won't get much in the way of wind power systems. If you want a small 1,000 watt system, you could get it for under $10k, but what would you use it to power – realistically? Such systems will charge batteries, but slowly.

One of the things people don't consider when going to wind or solar is the loss of power from the wiring and equipment involved. The inverter, for example, uses some of your precious power. So do charge controllers and chargers. Then there is the wire from the wind tower… You will also have to maintain your wind turbine – which means the tower needs to facilitate this.

I hope this helps you a little bit.

Debby36 03-28-2009 09:10 PM

There have to be some positive aspects of wind energy. It's time to find ways to help "save the planet". Anything out there in the way of solar, that is efficient and cost effective?

GreenIsGood 03-30-2009 04:56 AM

Solar & Wind - same problems
I believe the problems with using these sources are identical: not enough people are using them, so the costs are prohibitive. Also, the technology is lagging. Our system runs on a 24-volt battery bank. We know we'll have to replace these very costly batteries (Rolls Surrette) in time - probably in about 8 more years. We already dread that day, and figure it will cost (then) close to $15k - plus all the labor, which we'll do ourselves.

When all is said and done, a 130 watt solar panel costs anywhere from $1,300 - $2,000 to install, depending on whether you're adding it or starting out. 130 watts of power is not much at all! In our zone, we can count on 5-hours of sunlight per day. That means to charge our battery bank requires requires a LOT of panels!

More people using solar and wind will help, as will better (MUCH better) tax breaks for installing the equipment.

Debby36 03-30-2009 10:33 PM

Don't you think all of these systems will become more cost effective as more people install? I can remember the inflated prices on micro wave ovens and VCRs when they came out. If we can believe Obama, the tax breaks and incentives are suppose to be in the works.

GreenIsGood 04-04-2009 05:28 AM

More people - better prices
Yes, if more people bought solar and wind alternatives, they'd be cheaper - no doubt. Unfortunately, I am confident that Obama does not plan to make realistic tax breaks available. If the administration was serious about getting Americans into using alternative energy, they'd give a 90-100% tax break for money spent. That would get people buying it - and getting their payback in reasonable time frames, and also motivate many companies to get products out, which would make it very competitive.

kwmainer 08-14-2009 11:24 PM

At what point is a wind turbine even feasible for home use? There are those wind field maps, which have zone numbers. What I can't figure out is... what zone do you have to been in to even have it be worth your $$$$ and effort to attempt using wind power???


Nestor_Kelebay 08-19-2009 10:57 PM

They're experimenting with a new design of windmill for residential applications at the University of Manitoba. It's called a "VAWT", or Vertical Axis Wind Turbine, and according to the advertising, produces about 1200 watts and costs about $10,000. I don't know if it has batteries to store energy or any way of feeding power from the turbine back into the electrical grid. Prolly not.

It apparantly performs significantly better than propeller style windmills, and it's designed to take advantage of the increase in wind speed that occurs on the roof tops of buildings, even short buildings like houses. It's vertical axis design means that it's unaffected by changes in the wind direction.

For more info, contact the Global Wind Group in Winnipeg at their web site:

They sell and install the turbine, but considering it's still being tested at the U of M, there's the good possibility of ongoing design changes to the models that are sold.

kwmainer 08-20-2009 10:25 AM

Verticle blade turbine concept
Thanks, Nestor...

Interesting concept. Not much hard data at site/up front. But it looks intriguing. Also looks like it could be 'user' DIY to roof. They appear to have two models to sell at the moment.

I'll be watching this for more developments.

thanks again.

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