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Author Topic: OFF-GRID Wind Turbine & Solar PV combo  (Read 3245 times)
Photosolo
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« on: August 19, 2020, 10:56:01 PM »

Hi guys
A little help / advice would be much appreciated.
I'm in the process of building an off grid home in North Wales.
All going well I'd like to get the renewables sorted (in some shape) for next Spring.

We have 5 acres of S/E facing hillside.
I'd really like to utilise a Wind Turbine as its Wales & Solar is not always easy to come by

I can find plenty of Inverter chargers for PV combined with a backup Genny but no mention of combining with a wind turbine?
Any tips on companies/products to help that would be much appreciated
Thanks
Dan

My rough plan:
  6Kw PV panels - (20 x 300W)
 10Kwh Battery (Lithium) 48v
 Lister Genny
 2Kw (ish) Wind Turbine (Variable Pitch)


 
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todthedog
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2020, 06:06:41 AM »

You need a mix of power sources, many folk live north of you and find PV of great use I certainly would not dismiss it. Our off grid experts will be along shortly . Good  luck .
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Kidwelly South Wales
camillitech
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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2020, 07:58:42 AM »

Morning PS,

do not dismiss solar so readily, I live several hundred miles north of you and have been off grid for decades. Solar is far more reliable, cheaper and predictable than wind. Much as I love my 6kW and 3kW wind turbines it is the solar that provides most of my useful and useable energy. Sure in an 'off grid' scenario wind is an essential or at least extremely desirable generator during the winter months but it will give you many sleepless nights and provide hours of tinkering if you do not shell out big bucks. The first thing you must do is asses your needs and log your wind speeds at the turbine site and hub height https://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/an-off-grid-journey/ My house is totally 'off grid' not even a phone line or water supply and is all electric but you really do need to do an 'energy audit' first. When I moved here, I too thought wind was the answer as I had plenty of it, after 35 years, if I were to do it again with solar as cheap as it is now I'd go all solar with a feckin great thermal store and big log batch boiler. Or, I'd keep my eye out for a second hand grid tied 5 or 6kW Proven/Kingspan or Britwind/Evance and 'AC couple' them but that's getting complicated  Grin

Good luck, Paul
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http://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/

'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SMA SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 9kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
Photosolo
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2020, 08:13:00 AM »

Thanks Paul,
I totally get what youíre saying regarding solar. Perhaps the sensible option is to start with just solar & a genny. And collect some more data for the wind first.
What size PV & storage do you have?
Does it produce much energy through Nov - Feb ?
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pantsmachine
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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2020, 09:05:12 AM »

The energy audit advice is great. We are up in NE Scotland. Recently added more panels and went from 5.12kwp to 7.07kwp. The extra panels made an immediate difference and in overcast poor weather managed to kick out over 1kwh of power constant. Doesn't sound much but these were days when we'd have been grid grabbing. Instead we squeaked through, the batteries were charged and all was well. The moral of this story is 'go massive' in your array sizing. Better to have too much and not need it. The sizing of your battery store will likely develop over time and experience so make sure your battery side can be expanded if need be.
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8.045kWh PV system with Solar edge
9.6kWh Pylon tech battery storage
18kWh Heater Storage
Solar I boost charging 12kWh 210 ltr OSO system tank
Deep insulation, air leak controlled home
Zoned CH wet system & Hive 2
Burley W/Stove
Low energy bulbs
24 kW Leaf
Veg patches & wood fired hot tub
biff
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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2020, 09:23:18 AM »

 Good Morning PS,
       I have to agree with Paul, I am however addicted to our wind turbine (s). I have visions that some of these days, I will have to stand up in a group of like wise serious minded folk and say,,, My name is Biff and I have problems with Wind Turbines.... 
    PV is the bees knees. No moving parts and it is ridiculously reliable. If you have any kind of sunlight you will have some power. In winter our 3.8kw still generates 3 to 400watt but because it is just Mrs Biff and I, we generally get by without any hardship because we have our turbine to make up the difference  in those 4 months where the sun don't  perform like we would like it.
 We have a DC charger that I fire up occasionally to charge our forklift cells.
    Like Paul says. You calculate your proposed demand of electricity and work from there.
 Map everything and keep it as simple as possible .
    Good luck
         Biff
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camillitech
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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2020, 09:58:58 AM »

The energy audit advice is great. We are up in NE Scotland. Recently added more panels and went from 5.12kwp to 7.07kwp. The extra panels made an immediate difference and in overcast poor weather managed to kick out over 1kwh of power constant. Doesn't sound much but these were days when we'd have been grid grabbing. Instead we squeaked through, the batteries were charged and all was well. The moral of this story is 'go massive' in your array sizing. Better to have too much and not need it. The sizing of your battery store will likely develop over time and experience so make sure your battery side can be expanded if need be.

Hi PM,

despite having some 9kW (thanks to Navitron sale) I get very little through the winter months, only around 60kWh from 4.75kW last November, December, January. However my location is on the western side of a hill so I lose the winter sun for three months. Yup, if I were to do it again I'd 'go massive' on the PV and have a wind turbine for fun.
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http://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/

'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SMA SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 9kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
heatherhopper
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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2020, 10:17:57 AM »

Welcome back Dan.
It might be useful to know how far advanced your project is from the previous posts,

here- https://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,29981.0.html

here - https://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,31225.0.html

and here -  https://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,31217.0.html

in which there was plenty of information and advice offered regarding off-grid set-up.

For example (and relevant to this particular post) you previously stated " we are surrounded by Forrest so Wind isnít going to work either". Is this still the case or (as you implied might be the case) have the trees been felled and, importantly, are not going to be replanted?

Do you now know what your power consumption is, or is likely to be, and is that what you have based your rough plan on? If not, how are you estimating your required generation and storage? Remember that planning using annual and monthly averages is of little use when you are planning for fluctuating, day to day, generation keeping the lights on!

I think if you can not have wind in the mix and are not willing to burn a lot of diesel your rough plan falls a bit short on several counts.

I love PV but it has it's limitations - just as an example mine is south facing and summer optimised and averaged <5kWh per day 13-18th of this month - yes the array is relatively small but this is August not December Sad
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Off grid AC coupled, 6kW Proven, 2.8kW PV, SMA SI/SB/WB Inverters, 4x576ah Rolls batteries @ 24v, 25kW Biomass Boiler, Wood Stoves, Spring/Well water. Sorry planet - I did try.
Pile-o-stone
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« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2020, 10:23:06 AM »

Yup, if I were to do it again I'd 'go massive' on the PV and have a wind turbine for fun.

What would 'massive' look like? It'd be interested to know what people's thoughts were on the size of an off-grid array and battery would be to allow someone to be off grid on solar.

I know that this is obv. reliant on individual usage (i.e. some may have space and water heated via biomass, some may also cook using wood), but a general 'rule of thumb' from the off-grid experts would be very interesting.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2020, 02:20:26 PM by Pile-o-stone » Logged

5.18 kWp PV systems (3.68 E/W & 1.5 E).
Solar iBoost+ to two immersion heaters on 300L thermal store.
Vegan household with 100% composted food waste
Mini Orchard and Allotment in progress
biff
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« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2020, 10:44:06 AM »

Plumbing layouts are all important
         Years ago, I would be handed a large expensive looking  box with exciting power shower details stamped all over it in red and blue and boasting 8.5KW in power.
 And asked to,,, Fit that while you'r  at it.
You would almost think the lecky was free. Then that crept up past 9.5kw which at that time, I knew was insane.
  Good quality thermo wax valves were starting to become popular and had an excellent reliability and user friendly record. So if you can remember to lay out your plumbing so that you can use a header tank to pressurised your gravity fed showers using wax valve mixer taps. Then consider a large bore gravity powered DHW system with a  non cycling flap valve near the boiler and C/H  pump. The flap valve prevents the pump from cycling the hot, using the Gravity pipes next to the boiler.
 The whole idea of these details is that your stove can perform , heating the water without the pump and the showers don't  depend on lecky either. If your battery bank is running low in the winter months these kind of details can prevent total shutdown and save your expensive batteries. Every little helps.
     Biff
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camillitech
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« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2020, 11:41:58 AM »

Yup, if I were to do it again I'd 'go massive' on the PV and have a wind turbine for fun.

What would 'massive' look like?

I reckon 10 times your summer demand for total 'diesel free' use. If I didn't have my winter shading issue and heated my water with wood and a batch boiler I could easily manage with a 10kW array I'm sure. Seem to think I 'budgeted' around 1500kWh per month for heating and DHW in the winter.

 

And those will be old calcs, I now have a much larger PV array and a 6kW turbine

Cheers, Paul

« Last Edit: August 20, 2020, 11:44:38 AM by camillitech » Logged

http://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/

'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SMA SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 9kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
pantsmachine
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« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2020, 11:44:08 AM »

Nov to Jan are rubbish for me too(37,19 & 35 kWh for each month) last year.They should rise by around 30% this year with the system extension.
As Biff says a wee turbine Birling away charging the bank would be just the ticket. Then a genny for when it falls over!

The energy audit advice is great. We are up in NE Scotland. Recently added more panels and went from 5.12kwp to 7.07kwp. The extra panels made an immediate difference and in overcast poor weather managed to kick out over 1kwh of power constant. Doesn't sound much but these were days when we'd have been grid grabbing. Instead we squeaked through, the batteries were charged and all was well. The moral of this story is 'go massive' in your array sizing. Better to have too much and not need it. The sizing of your battery store will likely develop over time and experience so make sure your battery side can be expanded if need be.

Hi PM,

despite having some 9kW (thanks to Navitron sale) I get very little through the winter months, only around 60kWh from 4.75kW last November, December, January. However my location is on the western side of a hill so I lose the winter sun for three months. Yup, if I were to do it again I'd 'go massive' on the PV and have a wind turbine for fun.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2020, 02:09:13 PM by pantsmachine » Logged

8.045kWh PV system with Solar edge
9.6kWh Pylon tech battery storage
18kWh Heater Storage
Solar I boost charging 12kWh 210 ltr OSO system tank
Deep insulation, air leak controlled home
Zoned CH wet system & Hive 2
Burley W/Stove
Low energy bulbs
24 kW Leaf
Veg patches & wood fired hot tub
heatherhopper
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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2020, 12:25:27 PM »

Quote
I know that this is obv. reliant on individual usage (i.e. some may have space and water heated via biomass, some may also cook using wood), but a general 'rule of thumb' from the off-grid expert would be very interesting.

I do not class myself as an expert but can certainly state that there is no rule of thumb - simply because there are so many variables for each individual situation. Note - I am only referring to situations in the UK or of similar latitude and climate. Bottomless pockets helps. Key variables are obviously consumption and weather but even if you know these, what generation and storage you install, it's purpose, efficiency, cost and adaptability invites even more variables.

The only variable that that can be "controlled" is consumption (even this is highly seasonal) and you can plan nothing unless you know the range of consumption you will live within. You can then size a PV based set-up to provide uninterruptible provision. Great, but this will inevitably involve loads of inbuilt redundancy by way of over-size (and not just the PV and battery). Cost lunacy and certainly not within any sustainability ideal - you may as well install less and include some diesel generation as back-up or just get a grid connection and purchase from a "renewable" supplier.

Whatever you do there will be compromises but a balanced system should be the prime aim. Starting small and building up to something more ideal is often mentioned on here and is good advice but potentially more expensive in the long run and certainly more involved.
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biff
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« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2020, 01:58:50 PM »

To be totally Diesel free,
             Was my dream. I would have an animal of a battery bank. 2ton of lead acid, 60 cells ,strings of PV  which were set to dump at 138vdc,  but then we had weeks of freezing fog, no sun of any sort, the roads all covered in 4 inches of solid ice. Our beautiful beast of a bank frozen to the extent that it could not take the charge from the turbine nor could it obey the demand for power.
  It was as if someone watching was saying,,, Right sir, what is your next move,.
  But we had a 5kw keystart diesel geni and a smaller  2 8kw geni and for weeks I was pouring diesel into them,
    Yes, it is a question of compromise . I insulated the battery bank. I designed and built a 2kw x 120v  dc Charger that actually produced electricity as Cheap as 10cents an hour,  Charge for  max if 100mins and  then run for another 4 hours not taking the bank down below 123vdc under load.
 But it not diesel free. We will upgrade our PV  and add another 2kw. I am in the process of installing a second bank that will stay full due to a blocking diode and only come into use if the main bank sows signs of getting down to 123vdc under load  The main bank, 60 forklift cells had a hard life before they ever met me. I would have no change out of £8,000 squids if they decided to lie down and die, hence the care and respect towards them. They have been doing the business since late 2008. A decent drink every 3 to 4 months,  35ltrs on Average.
    To be absolutely 100% fossil fuel free, ,, I don't  think is possible but we can set up systems that use a fraction of the fuel that we use at present.
   I designed and built very simple petrol/car alternator chargers and after they delivered a steady 150amp into a large battery bank, I came to the conclusion that such systems are certainly feasible but with bottled gas.
  We cruise through the 8 months of the year  but then the squeeze of winter tests if you have done your homework.
 Our PV heats 500ltrs of water between 2 tanks. 
  It is all a question of balance and compromise.  Compromise,  don't  mean that you have to go without. It just means that you save your electricity and use it wisely
    Sorry about the sermon effect..
      Biff
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pantsmachine
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« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2020, 02:23:32 PM »

A really good read Biff. I like the idea of a propane fired homemade genny feeding a battery bank. That's a good idea and cleaner than a diesel engine.

Biomass gas, veg oil, other alternatives, the dream would be to have a usable stream on one's land.
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8.045kWh PV system with Solar edge
9.6kWh Pylon tech battery storage
18kWh Heater Storage
Solar I boost charging 12kWh 210 ltr OSO system tank
Deep insulation, air leak controlled home
Zoned CH wet system & Hive 2
Burley W/Stove
Low energy bulbs
24 kW Leaf
Veg patches & wood fired hot tub
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