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Wind Energy and the Grid

Posted By: Maya House

Wind Energy and the Grid - 09/30/12 06:35 PM

I know I've read about this somewhere before, but can't seem to find the string now. If I put up a wind turbine, I believe BEL will NOT buy back any excess energy generated. However, can I tie into the grid, or will I have to use batteries.

Thanks in advance for any expertise out there before I begin this part of the adventure!
Posted By: Capt. Hollywood

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 09/30/12 07:24 PM

You will need batteries anyway to store the energy generated by the turbine.

If you hook into the grid you will need a safety transfer switch, so that when the power goes out your turbine isn't sending power down the grid lines and electrocuting BEL workers.

Check with BEL about the excess power buying, the old dial meters would just run backwards when you were pumping excess power into the grid so you would get a discount on your consumption bill is how they used to "buy back" small generating station power.

I don't know if it still works with the new digital meters.

Anyway you will need permits and an electrical engineer if you are going to hook into the grid.

I'm no expert, but know a little from a hobbyist POV.

PM me if you need more info.

Posted By: Chica Blanca

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 10/01/12 02:49 PM

Maya House,
Go solar and use wind as a back up only. We do not have enough constant wind to make a turbine worth the expense, especially if you already have BEL. Plus any turbine large enough to generate any kind of wattage will have to be on a 30' pole above the house and tree line to avoid turbulence. They are not silent either. You will need batteries for storage or the power will only be available when it is being actively generated. Storage is always the issue for homes or power plants.
Check with Customs Department about a special duty on solar. When we brought in our turbine and a set of batteries last year, we were told if we had 1 solar panel we could have qualified for a discounted duty on a "solar system".
Our panels, small turbine and 16 dry cell batteries run our entire house. We have no plans to hook up to BEL when they get to our neighborhood.
Good luck!

[Linked Image]
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 10/01/12 04:39 PM

Coleen - you are so far ahead of the curce you are speeding down hill. Keep up your good work.
And I appreciate your willingness to share your knowledge.
Posted By: Maya House

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 10/02/12 03:02 PM

Coleen - I'm SO glad I asked, and completely appreciate you taking the time to give such an informed response. I will definitley be looking at copying your model. Would love to be able to meet up sometime in December, if you would be available and wouldn't mine, to dig a little deeper into the specifics before I make the plunge.
Thanks again!!
Posted By: Bear

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 10/02/12 03:14 PM

I would add that wind turbines in close proximity to bird roosts and flyways have been the cause of some bird mortality. Not saying it should preclude their use, just adding that bit of info into the mix when considering their siting.
Posted By: Maya House

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 10/02/12 04:27 PM

I completely agree, Bear!!
Posted By: ron

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 10/02/12 09:18 PM

In the 4 years I've had my turbine, I've never seen a dead bird from the spinning blades. Just saying that to add to the mix. Of course my solar panels haven't killed any birds either.
Posted By: Maya House

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 10/02/12 10:52 PM

The only problem with 'seeing' dead birds from turbines, is that they are normally scooped up as food before they're seen by a human.

Here's a great presentation on the Causes for Bird Mortality - http://www.sibleyguides.com/conservation/causes-of-bird-mortality/
Posted By: champion

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 10/02/12 10:54 PM

Better stop all planes from fly'n too.
Posted By: Bear

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 10/02/12 11:03 PM

Indeed Champion, particularly since birds are known to be the cause of plane mortality...and, as planes are known to be the cause of human mortality, it follows that birds are the cause of human mortality. So by installing a wind turbine you reduce human mortality. I think the grid may just balance afterall.

PS Good observation about the "corpora delicti" MayaHouse smile

Posted By: Decompression

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 10/03/12 03:24 AM

Maya...with your PV and wind turbin set up, may I ask what your DC voltage is, pre- inverter?

My background is in Electrical Utility Substation Design and Maintenance. DC battery systems are a huge part of the electrical grid system.

Just curious.

DC
Posted By: Maya House

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 10/03/12 04:27 AM

Hi Decompression - I don't have the PV and turbine system yet, and was on here exploring the feasability and looking for some expertise from those that have gone down this road before me.
Posted By: Decompression

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 10/03/12 04:41 AM

I am sorry Maya. My mistake.Lost track of the poster names.

My question was of course for Chica Blanca.

My bad.

DC
Posted By: Maya House

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 10/03/12 04:53 AM

No worries! :-)
Posted By: Chica Blanca

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 10/03/12 04:22 PM

Decompression and Maya House,
Let's see if I can answer some questions. The hubby is trying to get me to be able to rattle the spec's off of our system.
The house runs on 110v, normal fridge (LG French Door),dish washer,with gas stove, water heater and clothes dryer. We have 8 180w panels that charge 16 dry cell batteries for a 48 volt system. Plus a 400w wind turbine that doesn't charge as much as it keeps the batteries topped up at night (when the wind blows). We know the power consumption of everything in the house and use accordingly. Dishes and laundry are done around noon, peak power input. All LED lights. No A/C, we could have to double the system for a small split unit. I'm waiting and hoping they become more energy efficient in the next few years.
Currently with no wind or sun we are running our generator to charge the batteries for the day. That takes about 3 hours and a gallon of gas. We run it about 20 days a year.
I hope this helps.
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 10/03/12 05:41 PM

Bear - I think you are mistaken - Birth is the cause of death.
Posted By: Maya House

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 10/03/12 11:10 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Chica!! Excellent information!
Posted By: Maya House

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 10/03/12 11:10 PM

(The hubby should be PROUD!!) :-)
Posted By: Decompression

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 10/04/12 04:21 AM

Thank you Chica Blanca.
Very informative. The 48 vdc makes a lot of sense, but why dry cell batteries instead of wet cell? From my experience, wet cells last longer ( with maintenance of course). And dry cell batteries are prone to thermal runaway.

Are your batteries kept relatively cool? ( I know, it's Belize)

DC
Posted By: Chica Blanca

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 10/04/12 03:12 PM

DC,
Just talked to the hubby and I was wrong on the batteries. We have AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries. We have two sets of eight 6 volt batteries are wired in sequence for a 48 volt "battery". With these two "batteries" wired in parallel. They are sealed with no maintenance, other then an automatic equalizing done by the charge controller twice a month. They came in a storage cabinets that looks like a large electrical panel box. We have an energy room that all the equipment is kept out of the elements.No heat problems.
These batteries with proper usage should last 10 years. The key in only discharging them down as little as possible. We only discharge our system to 90% full. Every 10% discharge uses 1 year of the life span of the battery. So if we discharged to 50%, our batteries would only last 5 years. This is what fouls most first time users, they run down the batteries until dead and they only last a year or so. We have seen this on two different houses near us. It is a quite expensive mistake to make.
I hope this helps.
Posted By: Decompression

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 10/05/12 04:00 AM

Thanks !


DC
Posted By: JEL

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 01/25/14 11:22 AM

Hey forum,

I have both wind and solar connected (not enough panels yet) at my house and was wondering about batteries.

Is it possible to use golf cart or marine batteries until I save enough money to purchase solar batteries?
Posted By: BassMachine

Re: Wind Energy and the Grid - 04/27/14 07:31 PM

Originally Posted by JEL
Hey forum,

I have both wind and solar connected (not enough panels yet) at my house and was wondering about batteries.

Is it possible to use golf cart or marine batteries until I save enough money to purchase solar batteries?


Depends how much power your setup is bringing in. If you only have a small setup then a 12 volt (6-Cell) car or truck battery will do the job although it isn't designed for it so I guess you can but at your own risk.

basic safety precausions, use goggles, wear gloves and make sure you're NOT grounded and don't connect it up for 2-3 hours after the batterys last charge as a precausion that hydrogen is still present.
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