Backwoods Solar is proud to offer hybrid solar-wind solutions for off-grid power use with Primus Wind Turbines. When considering off-grid renewable sources of energy to power your home, there are many options available. Solar panels for your home is the most obvious choice due to low cost and readily available products but what happens when that first storm comes and the wind is blowing and the sun isn’t shining?
Many homeowners are looking at supplementing their solar panel systems with a secondary input source. With the availability and decreasing cost of small, off-grid wind turbines that operate in even modest wind conditions, many people are choosing a hybrid approach.
Hybrid Off-Grid Power Systems
Hybrid systems that incorporate both solar panels and wind turbines to form a perfect complementary relationship with each compensating for the weaknesses of the other system. Where solar is best during the daytime, wind power works throughout the night. Where solar is better through the summer months, wind power can be better in winter months.
Balancing Solar Panels for Homes
Solar power, though relatively inexpensive, is not always as reliable or efficient as possible in times of low sun. To generate power, solar panels must collect sunshine at sufficient intensity and at the right angle. This does not occur at night, or when it is cloudy and overcast. If snow covers the panels, power is not generated until the snow melts or the solar panels are cleaned off.
This can cause charging issues in battery-based systems that rely only on solar power where storms occur often or are in parts of the world where winters are extremely short. Adding a wind turbine to a solar-powered system can lengthen battery life by reducing the depth and frequency of discharge. Since these off-grid systems are powered by wind when solar power is unavailable, it avoids drawing down the system’s batteries and increases battery life.
Balancing Wind Turbine Systems
It is easy to see that wind power can complement solar in many instances because it often produces the most power precisely when solar power is reduced or unavailable, such as at night, in inclement weather, and during winter. Wind often blows during long winter nights and is, on average, actually stronger in inclement weather.
During winter, average wind speed is highest, as is air density-both factors that contribute to wind generating more power when solar power tends to be least available. To enhance power reliability and build in redundancy, many off-grid homes are now being retrofitted with small, off-grid wind turbines.
Primus’ turbines are designed to generate power at wind speeds as low as 6 mph, and can generate as much as 40 to 80 kWh a month per turbine depending on conditions. They are available in several models for areas with different wind speeds and climates. Each turbine measures about four (4’) feet in diameter, weighs about 13 pounds, and costs only around one thousand dollars per unit.
A single wind turbine is able to provide an additional renewable energy source for charging batteries. If more power is required, several turbines can be combined together. Far from a new concept, small off-grid turbines from Primus have already been installed worldwide with over 150,000 units currently operating in the field.
If you’re interested in setting up a hybrid wind and solar off-grid power system, Contact Us today at Backwoods Solar online or by phone (208) 263-4290 to discuss customizing your project for your home or business today.
ref: Del Williams