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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 11/21/2012 6:07:48 PM EST
My dad and I have been bouncing ideas off each other about how to get power out to our barn...which happens to be 1400 ft from the house (which is the nearest electrical tie in) out in Central Colorado. We have decided on using DC power with a 2000W inverter (for charging the occasional powertool battery). We were thinking of using RV batteries and LED lighting (maybe some kind of trickle supply for our tractor). The main question is what would be a better solution, wind or solar?

Was thinking about something like this. Main power would come from batteries so we really just need the turbines to keep the batteries charged (not talking about daily use here). We have the wind supply to turn the turbines so that's not a major concern. We really don't know what to do for solar but we are open for suggestions. We are leaning more towards the wind power right now. The only other thing that would be constantly on is a project of mine to put a HSMM-MESH node out there for a IP camera watching a bit of highway locally known as "Dead Man's Curve" (12V 1A input rating but not quite sure of the actual draw). Any suggestions/help would be greatly appreciated. Right now we are tight on money, so the current budget for the total project (including wiring and everything) is $500.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 7:59:36 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/21/2012 8:02:59 PM EST by kaos]
I'm not an expert, just a guy who's been looking at it too.

The sun generally shines approximately half the day. You can easily add more solar arrays.

Depending on your location/elevation/topography/season, the wind doesn't always blow, and frequently it is too slow or too fast.
And it's a little more complicated to add more wind turbines to a generator array, (footings and towers, and such). Charging small batteries with variable wind always seems to lead to low power unless you spend more on redundant turbines to ensure minimum charging.

I think there's a higher break-even threshold for wind powered electric, but that's my take on the subject.

I'm a bigger fan of wind power pumping water into a holding tank. There's more leeway for variance.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 9:03:50 PM EST
An 1800 watt inverter is going to take up half (or more) of your $500 budget. You need this with solar or wind
A couple of 96 amp/hour deep cycle batteries will set you back another $100/each. Two will get you a full hour of 1800 watt power draw. You'll need to do some sole searching on how many you think you need.
A 100 Watt solar panel and a charge controller will set you back about $250 - $275. A 100 watt panel will take about 2 days to fully recharge a 96 amp/hr battery (with no load on it) .

Figure about 6 hours of charging in the winter. A 100 watt panel gives you approximately 500 watt/hrs of usable power on a sunny winter day. If your camera is always on, and draws the full 1 amp/12 volt, it will eat half of what a 100 watt panel provides.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 2:04:30 AM EST
It cost me 18,000 to add 7.5kw to the roof of my house this covers about 2/3 of the electricity I use. This next year I hope to double that and be a net producer.
There is still a tax break of 30% in place if certain standards are met. which makes the whole thing almost worth while.
Tax break expires in 2016.
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