Watching the meter TURN BACKWARDS

Discussion in 'Connecting to the Grid' started by murray2paddles, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. murray2paddles

    murray2paddles WindyNation Engineer

    On quite a few occasions I had the pleasure of standing outside watching my meter turn backwards. Each time there was an approximate 15 gusting to 20 mph winds fanning my Windy 750 five blade hub. This turbine was feeding into a SWEA( plug in ) grid tie inverter system from Holland.
    Although there were weakness in the inverter system with the chip tunning to match the power output of the 750,, I had no complaints watching that old style meter with the clock face and turning wheel going in a reverse direction.
    To make this happen I also ran my freezer, fridge, sump pump and computer off of one of the other towers which has a battery bank.

    Now sounds great BUT,, I also had to work hard at it to make it happen and in doing so over the past few years I think the single greatest bit of wisdom I have learned while trying to make power is HOW TO CONSERVE POWER !
    That has been the single most effective thing to learn on a windy day or a day of no wind. If you are not using it, turn it off. When leaving rooms turn the lights off. turn the TV, computer radio and so on and so on OFF !

    In this learning process I purchased a simple "Kill A Watt" meter. I went through most every electrical item in my house measuring the amount of V and Amps, each item uses while in an operation mode and in a resting mode. I was so dam surprised at the outcome learning what I always thought as my small electrical appliances had big appetites for hydro

    I will share a few example with you but will give the results for the Watts only:
    small kettle to make coffee 950 W
    Toaster using one side only 850 W
    Small micro wave 1700 W
    42 " Plasma TV 325 W
    Satellite receiver 21W
    Sump pump 600 W
    Dam, and how many watts was I making on my windiest day ?????

    All the turbines we purchase do make hydro, some better than others but the single most important items I believe are readjusting a style of living and really taking the time to think about how you plan to make use of the hydro you are possibly going to produce and how much hydro can the turbine you plan to use GIVE BACK TO YOU for your wind conditions !

    I am enjoying the learning this provides & how it affects my outlook on life. I just hope new technologies will allow us to leave a green planet for our grandchildren to enjoy.
  2. Minnesota

    Minnesota WindyNation Engineer

    Yes, I too conserve and have all the loads in my house characterized for ON and WARM START (like a TV that has instant-on capability) Kill-a-Watt meter. I am down to a normal day's use of 5KWH which is basically my PC at 100w for 14 hours, a TV for 14 hours, an Energy Star fridge, and a few lights here and there. On hot days I cool the house with a 20" window fan blowing out hot air from and upstairs window in the morning and drawing in the cool morning air through first floor windows, and then locking in the coolness all day to avoid running the air conditioner at all. The fan costs 100w for 4 hours (0.4kwh) which is equivalent to running the air conditioner for just 2.5 minutes!

    I use to keep my PC running 24/7 with the monitor off when not in use but that "costs" an extra 1KW/d vs. just shutting it down when I'm done. I also have spare TVs and stereo gear on power strip switches that are kept off rather than suffer up to 100w/hr of "Vampire power" losses from the warn-start circuits.

    Of course come Winter in MN the elec bill is dominated by the furnace blower and room electric space heaters making my ave kwh/d more like 30kwh/d. :x

    I'd like to find a way to unplug my fridge through the winter by somehow using the cold outside air via a special passive "window-fridge" that has yet to be invented.
  3. mark99

    mark99 WindyNation Engineer

    I have used a 54 watt circulator to heat my water for years. In the summer it goes to solar panels and in the winter it goes to my wood stove. I to hate to run my fridge when it’s colder out side then in my freezer. I have offend wondered it would be worth putting a copper coil out side and one in my fridge. The coils could be filled with glycol and the circulator could be turned on and off by a t-stat. When it warms up let the compressor take over. What does the compressor draw for wattage? The only reason I am bring this up is you are the engineer.
    The other thing I wanted to mention was a web sight Green When I put my lighting and TV on a windmill-solar panel system the TV was the largest load. I replaced it with one that draws 65 watts and stand by loss was 2 or 3 watts. It might be worth looking into. Mark99
  4. leamywind1

    leamywind1 WindyNation Engineer

    Great post's guys.
    Yes, being energy efficiant is the first step when going green. There are alot of people out there that miss this first step. I too have converted to LED and CFL lighting.Timer and Motion activated lighting in my kids and bath rooms as well as just lowering our energy consuption all toghther. I also have (2) solar power attic fans and solar heat for our pool and some solar led outdoor lighting. Energy star appliances too. Our one fridge is in the garage and hardley runs in the winter but I do love both fridge ideas. I am starting to run out of room on my roof for solar and wind!!!
    Watching the meter turn backwards PRICELESS!!You guy's are great.

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