Newby looking to understand KWH produced

Discussion in 'Connecting to the Grid' started by Mark, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. New to the forum and looking to decide bewteen wind or solar. Building a house in Northen Wisconsin and trying to decide. Site is on a ridge and gets a nice steady wind. We are grid tied and will use a radiant heat system that has solar hot water as the primary and an electric boiler as back up. Boiler will kick in on really cold or cloudy spells which is why the wind system could help offset the electric boiler. It is a getaway place so concerned about the maintenance and issues of a turbine since i wont be there for weeks at a time vs the zero issue solar set up.

    I know that wind speeds vary but how much are the grid tied systems putting back into the grid per month? What would a 500w unit really generate in KHW in a month? Theoretical would be 360 KWH if you could get full output 24hrs for 30 days. Can we get some posts of actual monthly outputs? I can see hundreds of YouTube posts of a few minutes but nothing wih clear long term power data.

    Thanks I advance and appreciate the no BS discussions as most boards are junk.

  2. TomT

    TomT WindyNation Engineer

    timber likes this.
  3. Thanks Tom. The solar is as expected for your location and not bad for a non tracked panel.

    Keep me posted on your winter output. Wnd in IL and WI has picked up with the season.

    Anyone else have data?
  4. Minnesota

    Minnesota WindyNation Engineer

    A good 12-foot diameter 24V turbine at a rotor height of 33-feet does 2900 kWh annually in a 12mph area. Measured!!
  5. Minnesota- thanks for he info. What would the budget be for a system like that?

    Assume you would need a 2.4 KW solar array to compete with that system so that would be the cost comparison.

    We are in Viroqua not that far from MN.

  6. Minnesota

    Minnesota WindyNation Engineer

    There are several variables. A guyed tower with grid-tie only, about $8K. Freestanding tower, grid-tie, batteries and inverters, up to twice that. This is w/o considering rebates and credits. All items are commercial grade and professionally installed and inspected. Payback is still very long, so your rationale for using alternative energy needs to involve more than economics.

    Most people who live off the grid have both wind and solar if their site supports it, and they also have a generator. The batteries simply need to be kept charged by any means possible.

    If you are grid-connected, PV wins the economic argument except in places where wind is almost always present, such as mountain tops and ocean fronts.

    Keep in mind that $1 spent on conservation saves $3 on the cost of an alternative energy system. Here's a taste of a few sites I visited recently that you might enjoy watching:

    ecar likes this.
  7. bluejay

    bluejay WindyNation Engineer

    If you are not there to supervise during extreme winds,I would think about solar..Grid can shut down and grid ties can sit idle with no problems..Wind has alot more problems that can arise...
    Testing is almost done on a new unit that will turn the brake(oversize load on) and shut down the turbine if the grid goes down.If used with grid ties with dump overload on them it is a foolproof safety measure...
  8. WindyFAQ

    WindyFAQ WindyNation FAQ Staff Member

    i have an all electric house and have been looking into wind generators. I use about 3800 kw per month and wondered if it is possible to put a a generator large enough to run everything with out spending a fortune or is this to much and what can i realistically put up. where I live average wind speed is 12 + mph and I have 8 unobstructed acres to place furnace takes about 14,300 wats to run. thanks for any info and help
  9. Minnesota

    Minnesota WindyNation Engineer

    The Bergey 10kW unit produces ~1100 kWh/m in a 12mph ave area, and costs $32k for the turbine w/grid tie inverter, but not the tower. I think you will need a small fortune.
  10. leamywind1

    leamywind1 WindyNation Engineer

    Some quick reality numbers
    3800kw per month times 12 months 45,600 kw / year. Holly cow!!
    Just to do 50% with solar you would need 23,000 watt system. That is like (100) 235w solar panels

    Provided and Installed for $5/watt

    Cost $115,000.00 not including any rebates.
    If you are willing to install a system like that me and the boys will be right over.:)

    All kidding aside, have you done anything in the home to lower your kw usage first?
    Like Tom said above, that is where you want to start first.
    Minnesota likes this.
  11. WindyFAQ

    WindyFAQ WindyNation FAQ Staff Member

    I live in a very windy area of west Texas. I have two eletrical boxes. One for the barn and out buildings and one for the main house. In reviewing both bills for the last year the lowest was around 60kwh to less than 1200 kwh. Both bills were similar. I want to put up a tower and generator for each area. What would you recommend?
  12. leamywind1

    leamywind1 WindyNation Engineer

    Hello, to review real quick. You have two seperate services/meters/bills?
    60kw/1200kw per month or yr?
  13. If you are looking to model wind/solar resources at your location, try the National Renewal Energy Laboratory website:

    Good Luck!

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