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Thread: Solar and wind power opinions

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    Default Solar and wind power opinions

    I've done alot of homework on them. I've settled on a 24volt system with at least three 240 watt panels . Thinking of adding a small wind turbine tied in. Looking for opinions from those with experience. System will need to handle one full time resident..on demand propane water heater..monitor heater...basic lights..basic outlets.. Does the turbine keep the battery bank up in the short sun/no sun months ? I will have a generator on site to charge the system if needed...but hoping to avoid that with the wind turbine.

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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Go with moncrystalline panels. I find the reflection off the snow in winter gives higher outputs than you would expect. Go with all LED lights. Go with mppt controller. Unless you have a lot of wind a turbine can be more of a pain than anything [for the money I would go with more battery or panels].

    • Monocrystalline solar panels have the highest efficiency rates since they are made out of the highest-grade silicon. The efficiency rates of monocrystalline solar panels are typically 15-20%.
    • Monocrystalline silicon solar panels are space-efficient. Since these solar panels yield the highest power outputs, they also require the least amount of space compared to any other types. Monocrystalline solar panels produce up to four times the amount of electricity as thin-film solar panels.
    • Monocrystalline solar panels live the longest. Most solar panel manufacturers put a 25-year warranty on their monocrystalline solar panels.
    • Tend to perform better than similarly rated polycrystalline solar panels at low-light conditions.
    • Higher output in cold weather.
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    So add panels..and battery capacity over the turbine..sounds like a winner. I just got the feeling the turbine was a sales " add on". Also heard you can damage panels by sweeping off the snow....any truth to that ? Either way... How to remove the snow safely?

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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Mine are mounted vertically because of the sun angle in the winter. What would you use to sweep the snow off your car window, that would be good for a solar panel too. They are designed to resist hail and high snow loads and wind.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
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    I'm contemplating a frame to hold solar panels that can rotate and pivot. For a "small" installation that should be doable without too much investment. I'm not talking about a sun-tracking mechanism, just the ability orient the panels for optimal insolation for winter and summer.

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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChugiakTinkerer View Post
    I'm contemplating a frame to hold solar panels that can rotate and pivot. For a "small" installation that should be doable without too much investment. I'm not talking about a sun-tracking mechanism, just the ability orient the panels for optimal insolation for winter and summer.

    Yes, that would help, plus it would help when removing snow.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

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    Hey Music, would you recommend mounting the panels on a roof, or in a lower location for easier cleaning, and to make it easier to orient them towards the sun?
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChugiakTinkerer View Post
    I'm contemplating a frame to hold solar panels that can rotate and pivot. For a "small" installation that should be doable without too much investment. I'm not talking about a sun-tracking mechanism, just the ability orient the panels for optimal insolation for winter and summer.
    In Alaska the output is something like haft as much as it would be in Nevada. For maximum efficiency you need to be pointing at the sun. For that to happen the panels need to be move several times per day depending on where you are, except in the winter. There is another option....split the panels, have two panels adjusted for the morning to 12 moon sun and a 2nd set from moon to the evening sun. Of course you will have to run the numbers to determine which is the best option.

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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeRoss View Post
    Hey Music, would you recommend mounting the panels on a roof, or in a lower location for easier cleaning, and to make it easier to orient them towards the sun?
    Lower is better and easier.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChugiakTinkerer View Post
    I'm contemplating a frame to hold solar panels that can rotate and pivot. For a "small" installation that should be doable without too much investment. I'm not talking about a sun-tracking mechanism, just the ability orient the panels for optimal insolation for winter and summer.
    Chugiak, here's my rotating system. I built it myself, the key was to build it so it sits flat. Then mount the whole thing at an angle toward the sun.
    Now when I manually turn it, the angle changes to actually follow the setting sun.

    IMG_20160209_100557480.jpg
    IMG_20160209_100625448.jpg
    May the rivers be crooked and winding, and the portages lonesome, leading to the most "Amazing View".

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    Member LindenTree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindenTree View Post
    Chugiak, here's my rotating system. I built it myself, the key was to build it so it sits flat. Then mount the whole thing at an angle toward the sun.
    Now when I manually turn it, the angle changes to actually follow the setting sun.

    IMG_20160209_100557480.jpg
    IMG_20160209_100625448.jpg
    Another shot of its changing angle/rotation.
    IMG_20160209_100649176.jpg

    I have heard but not seen a rotating system that follows the sun on its own.
    You fill up a resivior with water every morning, the water drips through some mechanism and converts that energy into some mechanism to turn the panel.
    May the rivers be crooked and winding, and the portages lonesome, leading to the most "Amazing View".

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    Member cod's Avatar
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    Copper Valley Electric in Glennallen has a very nice computerized solar panel setup that follows the sun thru out the year. It's at their main office there if you are ever up that way and get a peak at it. Pretty neat.
    My buddy lives off the grid full time with his panels, wind turbine, batteries, and generator (for occasional necessity.) He gets most power off the panels but when the wind blows it does his power output wonders.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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