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Old 08-28-2011, 08:30   #11
LongGun1's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: N E Louisiana & N Arkansas
Posts: 12,791
Originally Posted by emt1581 View Post
Seems like wind is a LOT more powerful and efficient. However I'm only basing this on what I've seen on some store's sites in regard to the wattage, amperage, and voltage offered when looking at wind generators/turbines vs. solar panels. For $100 you can either buy a 15-45 W solar panel or a 150 W wind generator.

But I know, as with all things, there is more than what is seen only at first/face value. So lets compare the two. Lets talk about things like cost, capability, value, efficiency, durability, etc. when looking at the two.

Ideally I'd like to combine both systems although first I'd like to start with wind.

Share your thoughts.


1st off...good replies from the previous posters!

You need to check the average wind speeds in the siting area..

.. before seriously considering wind as an option.

You need to understand how different micro-turbines handle excessive wind speeds..

(to help protect from overspeed damage)

..the smallest ones tend to use blade twisting/resonance to do so.

That resonance (which can sound like flatulence)...can be transmitted into the home thru structure vibration during storms & other high winds..

..especially if improperly mounted or if the rubber shock mounts have hardened due to age or are missing.

Many inexperienced/unknowing people will naively rubber mount the turbine pole to the side of the house..

(with the poor little turbine just feet above the roof line)

..but leave the metal base of the pole touching the concrete!

Best to site turbines downwind of the home..

..but keep in mind you need to properly site the turbines.. both upwind & downwind obstructions can cause energy robbing & turbine damaging turbulence.

That means the turbine needs to be really up there..

..80, 120 or more feet high..

..and much taller than upwind & downwind obstructions.

There are formulas on this available online or in shortcuts.

There may be issues with neighbors or restrictions...environmental issues with protected species of birds like raptors.

Unlike PV...which normally will be the majority of cost in a large home system..

..properly sited micro-wind turbine (or micro-hydro turbine) tends to be less than the inverters, battery bank, charge controller, wiring, lightning protection, etc.

In can easily spend (much) more money for the tower..(and putting it up)

..than the turbine itself.

Which is a yet another good reason to not jump in without doing your homework.

Why spend big bucks & effort on a tall tower..

..just to put up a very small inexpensive 100w turbine than will generate very little power for your investment.

You also have to figure in voltage drop on long wire runs..

..much more energy lost with a little 12 volt turbine than one running at 48 volts or higher.

You may find the larger micro-turbines are actually by far the best value...

..especially when you factor in the tax credits & other federal/state/utility RE incentives available!

And then there is turbine maintenance..

..which means bringing the turbine down to where you can work on it..

..or someone climbing the tower to work on it!

This is just the tip of the iceberg...

(though backup power has been a side business of mine for many years & a lifelong interest...

..simply no way can or will I cover the plethora of details remotely on an internet forum)

..and though it may sound like I am against wind power..

..actually I am greatly in favor of micro wind..(& micro-hydro) vs. PV...

(with the towers & micro turbines to show for it... )

..especially for the SHTF prepping & self-reliance aspect.

Just do your homework..

..& you will come to the conclusion what is best for your backup power needs.
"Got Preps"??

"Accuracy first, Speed second.....Speed first, Accuracy never"

Last edited by LongGun1; 08-28-2011 at 08:56..
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