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Hydro/Wind/Wood/Geothermal And other types of alternative energy

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Old 12-19-2014, 11:38 AM
Mitch Male Mitch is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: 50 miles North of Chattanooga
Posts: 74

If the grid goes down and stays down, quit worring about enough power to run a freezer. It's much cheaper to own a large pressure cooker and about 12 to 15 cases of Mason canning jars. You will have about 3 days to get that meat canned. Or watch it spoil

In the mean time, enjoy your freezer.
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Old 12-19-2014, 12:47 PM
recoilless_57mm's Avatar
recoilless_57mm Male recoilless_57mm is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 407

Originally Posted by randallhilton View Post
Just out of curiosity I would love to hear from those of you who have been harnessing the wind for your electric power for 3 years or more. Have your generators been durable? What sort of maintenance have you had to perform? What sort of challenges has the weather brought you?

thanks in advance!
I had a wind generator in the late seventies. It was on top of a Rohn 100 ft. type SSV tower. The unit weighed approximately 500 pounds when totally assembled. I was at the time in my life that I could service this unit on a monthly basis. It was build well enough that I only needed to take the prop down twice and the generator down once in the 10 years that I had it. I did this using a jin-pole and winch assembly. The generator charged a 55 thousand watt battery bank. The batteries were the most work at the time. It required a steady 15mph wind to generate its 4000watt max output.

Now lets fast forward to 65 plus years old. I no longer desire to climb towers and dangle 100 feet in the air. Just climbing the tower at this age is work and I feel I am in fairly good condition. What use to be a couple of hours of service in the air turns into all day. Major problems turn into needing help when I can find it or paying someone to give a hand. I wound up giving the unit away just to have it removed. It came down using a 25ton crane that could pick at 125'. The up side was a made a very good friend in the end.

The wind seldom blows all the time and usually not at 15 mph. If you want that kind of wind you have to go 140 to 170 feet in height, go back to paragraph above on hanging out at 100'.

Batteries are a big service issue. They are expensive and require careful maintenance. When you are working with this kind of wattage, even at the low voltage of 36vdc, you have to be careful. All your connections have to be kept clean and tight. Dirty or loose connections are a no-no.

In conclusion, I would think very carefully about wind energy as a do-it-yourself energy source. I don't even trust it commercially. I can tell you for a fact commercial units are rated at 30% efficiency. This leaves the cost of electricity from wind at over double the cost of traditionally generated energy. I would simply learn to do, without in a SHTF situation should it happen. Having a fully functioning wind generator is not for the light of heart.

I hope this helped.
Be polite, be professional and have a plan to deal with everyone you meet.
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Old 06-20-2015, 02:18 PM
JimGagnepain Male JimGagnepain is offline
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 15

Originally Posted by Faith123 View Post
If we weren't so far north, we could probably get by with just solar. We were able to run a small refrigerator, microwave, compressor, and power saw while the sun was out with minimal drain that was made up quite quickly. In the winter we won't really need the fridge, so we could probably survive on just solar. Randallhilton, if you are setting up a system in Texas, I would suggest solar. Unless you wanted the novelty of a turbine. Think of it like a porsche. You could do without it, and having one is cool, but when something goes wrong, you are going to pay for your replacement parts.
I'm new here, and we installed a wind turbine on our site. We have a Skystream model which was Southwest Wind Energy's successor to the Whisperer, mentioned by another poster. I would agree with the solar recommendation. We also have solar PVs. They are very reliable. We have friends who's solar PVs are still producing, just like the day they were installed, 20 years later. We had some early issues with our wind turbine, and had to have a few warranty repairs done. Since then, no problems for the last 3-1/2 years. Good thing too, because Southwest Wind Energy, went bankrupt, and my warranty is now worthless. An Oregon company took over Southwest Wind Energy, so parts are still available, but they are not assuming any of the warranty liability. This somewhat describes the state of the overall residential wind energy market, where Southwest Wind Energy, the largest manufacturer at the time, originally based in Flagstaff, AZ, went under.
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