About Homemade Power – Solar and Wind

Solar power can be harnessed at home. Wind CN505 power station can be used also. Your purpose and requirements determine the type, size and cost involved to do it all yourself. Many people use wind turbines to top up solar power during cloudy days when there is less sunlight. In your own situation you may not get a lot of wind, but really, your power needs determine the power generation so wind power should not be forgotten. No matter what amount of homemade power you want to generate, it can be assumed that solar panels will be needed, along with a few more components to connect and convert the solar power produced.

Many people are interested in solar power these days but are not sure weather it is a good investment or if their budget or location supports it. I’ll answer those questions here.

Let’s look at some general considerations in the solar power equation. If you currently have an average home and pay around for electricity over the next 30 years. It is that compounding rate working against you. This is if inflation rates stay the same. In the last decade several categories of consumables have exceeded the general inflation rate, and energy is one of them.

For the last 35 years, solar panel costs have remained constant at around $5 per watt. In the last two years the prices have dropped considerably. You can purchase high-grade panels for under $2 a watt now. As well, there is a 30% federal tax credit on residential solar. This is not a write-off, it is basically cash-back. Systems installed before 2016 qualify for this credit.

There are basically two types of solar power installations. The first is “Grid-Tie”. This is where your solar panels feed electricity directly back into the power lines. When you do this, your meter “spins backwards”. At night you draw power from the power lines as usual. Whatever power you created during the day comes directly of your bill. The downside of grid-tie is that if the power lines go down, you do not have power. Even in the day, your system must be turned off so that you do not feed power into lines while the repair technicians are working on them. Your location must have a “Net-Metering” agreement with the local commercial power company. This allows you to feed power into their lines and have them ostensibly pay you for it. The second type of system is “Battery-Based”. This is where you charge up batteries during the day and use the power from them at night. In this type of system, you’ll have power pretty much constantly. The downside is that the cost of batteries is high and they must be replaced every decade or so.

With the grid-tie system, you must have a NABCEP-certified electrical installer to build your system. Anything that attaches to the main electrical lines has to be inspected as well (permitting and inspection). With a battery-based system, if you are the home-owner, you can do the work yourself (in most jurisdictions). The cost of having a grid-tie system professionally installed is comparable to buying batteries for a battery-based system you install yourself. You can also do a hybrid system and add some batteries to a grid-tie system to give you a little back-up power. Most people just buy a generator for back-up power on grid-tie systems.

Solar power generation is increasingly becoming a better alternative for many people to consider doing themselves, especially if governments subsidised our own attempts to make power from renewable energy. So if you keep that in mind, over the medium to long-term, solar and wind power is financially viable. Obviously if you are looking at the possibility of installing your own homemade power system you will be curious as to the costs of building solar power and whether or not it is worth doing.

Every household will have different circumstances. I know of many families with children who are living totally free from the grid. They do not rely solely on their local electricity provider or have dumped their provider outright, to run their home on solar and wind without connecting to the grid at all. Typical families like this simply went ahead and weighed up the costs of traditional electricity versus homemade power. In your case, you may find it viable to use solar power along with your grid power (electricity provider). It is perfectly normal and a great thing to achieve in these fossil fuel starved times.

In a typical scenario you could generate power from solar panels and a small wind turbine, and store the power in a bank of deep cycle batteries in a shed next to the house. The battery power is converted into AC power with an inverter and that power can then be used to run standard household appliances.

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