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An Off-the-Grid Tale: those who live in areas with little wind

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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 02:50 PM
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An Off-the-Grid Tale: those who live in areas with little wind
I came across a posting from a person who lives in an area that doesn't get a lot of wind and learned that his small wind turbine wasn't making enough power...
I found this out through experimentation with home built wind generators, and the amount of production I got wasn't at all feasible for the outlay of cash.

Coupled with a solar (PV) array, I found something interesting...

When we didn't have sun, the wind turbine produced fairly well to fill the gap in sun charging time.

In the evenings, mornings, when the cloud cover prevented solar production, the wind was blowing at a pretty good rate and helped to 'Finish Charge' the batteries in my off grid project.

Here is a lesson for us all: nothing can do it all. As things stand for most folks today, they are stuck with Oil, Natural Gas, Coal, maybe Hydroelectric, and maybe nuclear power as well. Not one of them can provide all the energy my family uses in a day, here in Texas we get our electricity from Coal, Natural Gas, Nuclear and Wind. Since I'm disabled we couldn't get the electric car so my wife is still driving the Highlander ($52 at last fill-up). Our hot water heater is natural gas, as is the clothes dryer but everything else is electric.

Likewise, renewable energy sources cannot "do it all" either. As a nation, we will need all of the renewable energy sources, wind, solar, geothermal power, tidal, wave, and ocean current power where applicable. For those of us who would rather unplug from the grid, it'll take more than solar alone or wind alone. Think about having both (and any others that apply to you). And last but not least: NegaWatts (the power you DON'T use because you put in extra insulation, got rid of those old appliances and bought ones with the Energy Star label, changed out a light bulb with one that is more efficient, etc).
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FedUpWithIt All Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 06:42 AM
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1. We're currently running on solar alone and plan to put up a turbine
when we can afford to put one together, for the less sunny, but typically more windy, days.

We've had to change the way we view power. We are conscience of it and as a result, we have developed a great appreciation for it. We are now running our fridge/freezer, computers (desktop and two laptops on occasion) lights, a small LED tv and things that require occasional power like the vacuum. We've moved away from things like electric coffee makers and use manual items wherever possible (Which really adds little or no time but sometimes adds more enjoyment ie. the kids love the homemade stove top popcorn and like twirling the handle on the whirley pop.)

i am always of the viewpoint that all change in a positive direction on the energy front is a good thing. Use less, replace as much as possibly with clean alternatives, work toward efficiency...these things will have an impact because none of us live in a bubble. We are one family, but it is becoming increasingly clear, that others DO take note and once seeing the possibilities begin to move themselves.

Nice OP, thanks :hi:
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 12:03 PM
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2. Use less, replace as much as possible with clean alternatives, work toward efficiency
That sums up my view precisely. Living off-grid is a long range plan for me. Just want to start taking small steps toward that goal.
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