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My parents need some sort of backup power at their home on the coast, this weekend the power went out and the sump pump in the basement went out as well, thus when they went down stairs they found 2 inches of water flowing from the open dirt basement, through the door and into the garage, flowing out of the garage door. they were not the least bit happy and decided they want a backup system. They were originally thinking of a cheap 1000 watt generator but I suggested a wind generater because it would run of a free resource (wind) which we have a surplus of on the coast.

so what do you guys think of these models?
http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11173498&whse=BC&Ne=4000000&eCat=BC|114|3241|57032&N=4018034&Mo=1&pos=5&No=1&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&cat=57032&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C&ec=BC-EC10617-Cat3241&topnav=
http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11173181&whse=BC&Ne=4000000&eCat=BC|114|3241|57032&N=4018034&Mo=1&pos=5&No=0&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&cat=57032&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C&ec=BC-EC10617-Cat3241&topnav=


I am leaning toward the higher wattage model to hook up a bank of marine batteries. They need this to be able to work the sump pump, fridge/freezer, wood pelet stove, lights at night and the occasional tv if possible. THey usually have the power go out 2-3 times a year for a few days at a time and 2 years ago they didnt get power for over a week.
 

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just waitin' for it
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Being on the beach, I imagine they have an unlimited supply of wind! Sounds like a great idea. 1 thing to consider... instead of getting cheap marine batteries, consider an AGM "deep cycle" battery with 200Ah capacity, or a couple of them. It'll provide more power, longer. Remember that it'll take between 350-400 watts to power most refrigerators. Consider building your own wind-gen. (A lot of labor). The prices on the ones you linked seemed reasonable. See below for more info!
Battery: http://www.affordable-solar.com/8A4D.deka.battery.mk.agm.htm
Wind: http://www.otherpower.com/otherpower_wind.html (see projects at bottom of page)
 

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Quaerite primum regnum De
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Might be worthwhile looking up a solar/wind calculator on the web. It could help you find out what would best suit your needs.
Also keep in mind;
With a wind generator you will need a tower or pole of suficent height to mount it on. These are usally sold seperatly and can sometimes be a challenge to erect without heavy equipment. The generator will need to be high enough so that the airflow around it is uninterupted by trees, wire, buildings....
Some municapalties have regulations on wind generators and towers.
Some wind generators create alot of noise noise and vibrate alot. Your neibours might not apreciate the noise.
Just a few things I found out about them while looking into getting one. Hope this helps you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Might be worthwhile looking up a solar/wind calculator on the web. It could help you find out what would best suit your needs.
Also keep in mind;
With a wind generator you will need a tower or pole of suficent height to mount it on. These are usally sold seperatly and can sometimes be a challenge to erect without heavy equipment. The generator will need to be high enough so that the airflow around it is uninterupted by trees, wire, buildings....
Some municapalties have regulations on wind generators and towers.
Some wind generators create alot of noise noise and vibrate alot. Your neibours might not apreciate the noise.
Just a few things I found out about them while looking into getting one. Hope this helps you.
I think solar may be severly limited because it is only sunny 25% of the time out there, most of the time it is fog or overcast skies. my parents home is in an unincorperated part of the county and I do not belive that there are any ordinances barring wind turbines as this county is one of the most "green" counties in the peoples republic of Kalifornia and that is really saying somthing ;)
 

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Actually a solar/wind calculator is a tool which you can input info about the appliances you wish to plan on running with the power source, and other revalant info, to find what your power requirements are. Then it can be used to detrmine witch system is best for the location. You may have to do a little research on your local anual weather, but I think it is well worth it.

This is just one that I found.

http://www.advancegreen.ca/en/technology.php

There's lots more out there. Hope this helps.
 

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I have the Air X 400 mounted on the mast of my 37ft sloop rigged boat down in San Diego. Its hooked up to 4 x 8D marine deep cycle batteries and it has not only served me well while making passages but in addition it was really nice sitting on the back of my boat watching brown outs in parts of San Diego during the last recent energy crunch while sipping a cold one. It really worked well on my boat! I have a few solar pannels too but the Wind Genset was the biggest bang for the buck and it works 24/7 if there is 7-8 mph of wind blowing and living on the coast this was almost a given each day. It does make a little bit of noise but I dont find it to be annoying, just noticable.

JME...
 

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A wind generator coupled with a regular gen set would be best bet for this application. Murphys law: The wind will knock down the power lines and then immediately stop. For a really quiet wind generator, do a google search for Aerotechture. We are putting on in at the ranch to augment the solar system during winder months. Right now, we are just riggin up the wiring as the tower is built.
 

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Back when I was in college I designed a house that was to be located in a state park area of Alaska with no access to power. This home was totally self sufficiant with wind generator and wood fired boiler. All the comforts of home with no utility bills. It also was set up for a backup generator for the occasional no wind days. If I can ever find my info on this house I will post it here.
 

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Could you please provide specs and manufacturere or web site for this? Sounds exactly what I have been looking for. Many Thanks!
 

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For such intermittant use,I think they'd be better served by buying a Honda 2000i portable generator,and having at least two sump pumps,preferably new ones.Or just get a good Honda powered trash pump.
 

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With modern Neo-Magnets, it is possible to build a "dragless" wind gen... therefore making almost no noise. (Though RPM's probably need to be higher, just a thought)
 

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For such intermittant use,I think they'd be better served by buying a Honda 2000i portable generator
yeah but when the state governments will subsidize about half of the cost for renewable energy sources in many cases why not take advantage of it and install a decent little system to give you a start. Then your not dependednt on having fuel on hand at a time when fuel might be difficult to resupply, further more you can knock off a little on your utility bill every month right now. And with backward metering in many places heck you might just end up getting a check from the power company!
 

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Alot of my blueprints were wrecked when my basment flooded in 97'. What I can remember is the windmill came from Northern Tool and the Wood Boiler came from a company in northern Minnesota. The house was wired for both 12v and 110v with an inverter. All the pumps where converted to 12v. The out building was built for battery storage and snowmobile, 4-wheeler storage.(no roads) The owner wanted to live there permanently so the extra cost was not a problem. One room of the house was super insulated and cooled by mother nature and was used as a cooler. The main thing with this house is the abundant wood supply that was available for the wood boiler and fireplace inside the home. The wood boiler was used to heat the domestic hot water for showers and heating the home, storage building. The site did have a well so water wasn't a problem. The windmill would run most of the time due to the area which recieved an average of 7mph winds. A backup generator was available when the wind died down or when extra power was needed. The main problem with this site was all the materials had to be helicoptered in. I never did get pictures of the home when it was finished. Hope this helped.
 

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Get an engineer out to do a wind study on your property, or do one yourself. In a great many places (like our mountain top) wind can come from two directions at once. The resultant turbulance EATS traditional windmills, they break, sheer off blades, ruin the generator assembly, and wind up as the noisiest beasts around. There is a new generation of vertically oriented windmills, such as the Aerotechure I mentioned earlier and the Delta II we are installing on the hill.

The vertical orientation makes the windmill much more stable in turbulent winds, and it is capable of catching wind from any direction... at the same time. They are efficient, quiet and do not require the elevation that traditional horizonatally oriented windmills do. They are also unfortunately very pricey, and if we were not a demonstration site, we would probably be waiting a few years for the price to go down.

If you are a crafty creature, you can go to www.instructables.com and find instructions on making your own for less than $200, something I might play with once I whittle down the cabin-do list.
 

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Here a link to Otherpower.com website. They describe themselves as: "The Cutting Edge of Low Technology". They have LOTS of projects that usually can be self-built, and for a lot less than store-bought stuff. It's also lots of fun, and really satifying when you can turn the light switch on, knowing that you're making the power.

Here's the link: http://www.otherpower.com/

Enjoy!!!
 

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I built a wind turbine in my backyard but did not turn out to great. I was going to use a dc motor from a lawn mower but the turbine could not turn the motor. I am now installing a light from a bicycle that produces 3 watts. I will just be able light up my back yard.
This is a link to a video of the turbine.
Homemade Wind Turbine
 

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My parents need some sort of backup power at their home on the coast, this weekend the power went out and the sump pump in the basement went out as well, thus when they went down stairs they found 2 inches of water flowing from the open dirt basement, through the door and into the garage, flowing out of the garage door. they were not the least bit happy and decided they want a backup system. They were originally thinking of a cheap 1000 watt generator but I suggested a wind generater because it would run of a free resource (wind) which we have a surplus of on the coast.

so what do you guys think of these models?
http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11173498&whse=BC&Ne=4000000&eCat=BC|114|3241|57032&N=4018034&Mo=1&pos=5&No=1&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&cat=57032&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C&ec=BC-EC10617-Cat3241&topnav=
http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11173181&whse=BC&Ne=4000000&eCat=BC|114|3241|57032&N=4018034&Mo=1&pos=5&No=0&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&cat=57032&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C&ec=BC-EC10617-Cat3241&topnav=


I am leaning toward the higher wattage model to hook up a bank of marine batteries. They need this to be able to work the sump pump, fridge/freezer, wood pelet stove, lights at night and the occasional tv if possible. THey usually have the power go out 2-3 times a year for a few days at a time and 2 years ago they didnt get power for over a week.
Let’s look first at the electrical devices that are wanting to be operated.

What is the sump pump wattage? A low estimate for a 120v model might be 120 watts. I saw a 12v backup model that draws 240 watts and is charged from house current while city electricity is on. The cost is about $400.00.

What is the wattage of the refrigerator? A basic modern refrigerator compressor will draw approximately 2 amps (240 watts) while running. During defrost cycles the wattage will be approximately 400 to 800 watts for approximately 20-30 minutes two to four times a day. During start-up, the compressor will draw 4 to 10 times the amperage before it is up to speed. During compressor start-up the wattage will climb to approximately 2,400 watts. If the refrigerator is an expensive side-by-side, the wattage draw will likely be considerably higher.

How many lights are to be used? What is the wattage of each bulb? Two each 60 watt light bulbs will draw 120 watts. Two hours of 120 watts is 240 watt hours.

What is the wattage of the television? A typical modern television will draw approximately 15 watts while turned off, and use approximately 180 to 240 watts while on. Two hours of watching television would consume approximately 480 watt-hours.

What it the wattage of the pellet burner? I have not seen a pellet motor before, but I suspect that the wattage ought to be reasonably low, perhaps 60 watts.

To power the refrigerator, sump pump, two light bulbs, the television, and the pellet burner for two hours, the system would have to be able to provide approximately 1,000 to 2,000 watt-hours each hour in use. Using 12v storage batteries, the amperage draw would be approximately 83 to 167 amps. In a best case scenario with an eye for dependability and long life of the storage batteries, the maximum draw from each battery would be kept at or below 20 amps. Five to ten storage batteries would be needed to provide electricity and overcome efficiency losses in an inverter for one hour. For each additional hour, the battery bank must be doubled. If the city power is off for three hours, then there will be needed approximately 15 to 30 storage batteries.

Storage batteries require at least about 2 amps input to charge well. For a one hour backup battery bank, the charge rate needs to be approximately 10 to 20 amps. For a three hour backup, approximately 30 to 60 amps are needed to charge the batteries.

The Air 400 wind generators are rated at a maximum of 400 watts with 27 amps in a 26 mph wind. The maximum output will likely not be achieved beyond once or twice a year, and for no more than perhaps a few seconds. Expected output would remain within the 1 to 5 amp range during normal breezy days.

I used two of the 300 watt Air wind generators for two years on my property. (Taken from a homesteading book I wrote several years back): “The total output of the two generators combined was under 1000 ampere hours for the full three months of the first summer, less than what one PV panel puts out in two weeks. A gasoline generator could have produced the same output with 2 gallons of gas. The cost was over twice as much as PVs and produced one sixth of the power.”

My Air 300s were mounted on a hill that got an almost constant wind. The Airs that I owned were extremely undependable, the advertised ratings were half of the actual output, the noise level in high winds sounded like a prop airplane taking off, and there was absolutely nothing good about the wind generators.

In my opinion there is little or no chance whatsoever of the Air model providing the needed electricity to power the appliances mentioned. It is of course possible to mount 50 Air wind generators along with 50 storage batteries and hope that city power does not go down for more than an hour or two, but a gasoline generator would work much better and do it for about $40,000.00 less.

Now if the home owner were to switch to 12v DC appliances, the same devices could be operated every day of the year with about 3-5 PV panels (depending on the amount of sunlight in the region). The reason that the backup system costs so much for the 120v AC appliances is because the appliances waste electricity worse than a 4 mpg car wastes gasoline.

If a battery backup system is necessary, why not just charge the batteries with the available 120v AC house current? For a 3 hour backup during stable 26 mph winds that do not change speed or direction, and in a universe where everything is idyllic and perfect, the house would need approximately 12 Air-400 wind generators to power the few appliances.

Now let’s go back to the original question about powering the house for up to two weeks, which is 336 hours. 336 hours times 1,000 to 2,000 watts needed per hour equals about 336,000 to 672,000 watt-hours needed. 336 times the approximately $40,000.00 needed for one hour, sums to around $13,440,000.00. Yep, I’d like to be the guy making the commission off that sale! :D

Yea, a gasoline or diesel generator is sounding pretty good right about now, huh? :D But the generator must be no smaller than 4,000 watts so that it can start the refrigerator as well as run at under half the rating so as to maximize dependability. The user also needs to remember to unplug everything from the generator before it runs out of fuel or else the generator wiring will burn-out.
 

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Neal, those air units are made about 100 miles from me and are put together from cheap gm alternators. They are junk at best, and have a failure rate of I would be willing to bet 80% or more. They will also never reach there stated output. Take a look at these from virgina. They are incredible at worst. Watch the vidios and you will see the differece almost instantly. Magnets, wire etc. Awesome !

http://www.hurricanewindpower.com/servlet/StoreFront
 
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