Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Lemming herder!
Joined
·
1,189 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok, launching into this feet first and planning on building myself a VAWT.

Have a good idea of how to fabricate some of the mechanical (steel and fibreglass are not a problem) but even after doing searches and reading a bit am still floundering a bit with the electrics.

Anyone have any info on exactly how much power output you'd need to power and average off grid house of say 3-4 ppl ?

I know thats a very loose thing to estimate.

Some estimates I've read are quoting 10-12KW.

Most of the commercial units I've seen (and bloody expensive at that) are only 3KW to 5KW.

Any suggestions or comments on power rating or advice otherwise would be great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
I too am looking at building a vertical windmill. I am getting squirrel cages from old swamp coolers to catch the wind and turn the alternator(s). I am building a small one in the next week to test it out. I also need info on the electrical side of this project.

What are you using to turn the alternator?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
553 Posts
Ok, launching into this feet first and planning on building myself a VAWT.

Have a good idea of how to fabricate some of the mechanical (steel and fibreglass are not a problem) but even after doing searches and reading a bit am still floundering a bit with the electrics.

Anyone have any info on exactly how much power output you'd need to power and average off grid house of say 3-4 ppl ?

I know thats a very loose thing to estimate.

Some estimates I've read are quoting 10-12KW.

Most of the commercial units I've seen (and bloody expensive at that) are only 3KW to 5KW.

Any suggestions or comments on power rating or advice otherwise would be great.

It really depends on the family as to how much electricty they use. Such as water pumps that put out a lot of water or those that have to pull water from way deep in the earth will use more electrity. Anything that heats will use a TON of electricity. Such as a electric dryer or an electric stove will use up a lot of KW. Same thing with cooling, though not quite as dramatic. A freezer for some is their biggest drain on their power.

What you need to do is check you meter and see how much power you are using. Look at you appliances and see which ones you are planning on running off of your generator. If you are planning on going totally off the grid you will have to make changes in your life. Not huge ones but you will not be able to take a shower while the cloths dryer is going, things like that. Unless you put up multiple generators. Such as I have two wind generators and 6 solar generators. I also use much less power than most people, but I like my bath house to have hot water on demand. If you are just looking to run the water pump and the freezer check out how much power the appliances that you have need to run.

Once you know how much power you need to run your household and where you are willing to cut corners you can better judge what kind and how many generators you will need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
553 Posts
Just to give you an example on how hard it is to judge these things, in Tenessee the average family uses 1303 KW a month. In New York the average family uses 535. In California it is 683 KW and in Arkansas it is 1077 KW per month. It is so hard to judge what another family will use without knowing specifics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Not to sound like an ass, but why not just look at your power bill? It should have total usage for the month in KWh. They normally give you what you used during the same time last year. If you went through your old bills, you could get a good idea of what you actually use, and there won't be so much guesstimate in it...
 

·
Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
Joined
·
67,152 Posts
The first thing is to take a critical look at what electrical things are absolutely critical. We've narrowed it down to just the well pump, and enough power to keep a few deep cycle batteries charged to run spotlights if needed, and a radio. The rest is just foofoo stuff that isn't important enough to worry about.

Who needs a TV anyway? That's a big part of what caused society to rot this bad the first place. A refrigerator? Nice luxury, but you can store food by dehydrating and canning it. Hand washing clothes saves big on energy in a crisis. Not fun, but not bad either. There's a lot of places where you can trim energy needs during a crisis.

The more you can cut your energy requirements, the easier they are met and the less expense you'll have in building your system. Add up the current draw of your remaining necessities and you'll have a good idea what your actual needs are going to be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,304 Posts
Just to give you an example on how hard it is to judge these things, in Tenessee the average family uses 1303 KW a month. In New York the average family uses 535. In California it is 683 KW and in Arkansas it is 1077 KW per month. It is so hard to judge what another family will use without knowing specifics.
Sure it is. In TN and AR, the families use an air conditioner all summer. In NY, they don't, and in CA, most don't most of the time. That's the disparity you're seeing.

But yeah you won't be able to get closer than a rough average without knowing specifics.
 

·
Wanderer
Joined
·
3,269 Posts
Ok, launching into this feet first and planning on building myself a VAWT.

Have a good idea of how to fabricate some of the mechanical (steel and fibreglass are not a problem) but even after doing searches and reading a bit am still floundering a bit with the electrics.

Anyone have any info on exactly how much power output you'd need to power and average off grid house of say 3-4 ppl ?

I know thats a very loose thing to estimate.

Some estimates I've read are quoting 10-12KW.

Most of the commercial units I've seen (and bloody expensive at that) are only 3KW to 5KW.

Any suggestions or comments on power rating or advice otherwise would be great.
Best resource I've found is the Backwoods Home Magazine articles by Jeff Yago. He's an engineer who works with alternative energy, especially wind, solar and micro hydro. His articles are clear and understandable with plenty of detail so you can figure out your own requirements and how to do it, yet not so technical that a layman won't understand it. Check their website at www.backwoodshome.com.
Standard disclaimer, I subscribe to the magazine, but have no other interest in it.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top