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March 2008    Back to Journal Index   On to April  HomeThis month should see the completion and commissioning of the Wind Turbine. I think I can be ready to stand up the turbine on 3/8, but the lightning suppressors don't ship till 3/7. One goes at the top of the tower. I'm not climbing that skinny pole 63 feet to install it after, so I need to wait. At thirty one maybe, not at fifty one.  Still have not installed the proper battery bank.

3/1/08 Windy and sun expected today. Switch to solar at 06:30 hours. Need to use some energy out of the batteries so they will fully charge today. If they are on float they won't gain charge above 70% until the systems time cycles. If I can drop the batteries to 69%, the timing cycle resets to boost charge.  With the sunny day forecast today we will have more than power for the house and boost charge to 90% batteries. 07:38 hours, generation overcomes demand. Back on battery boost. PV production 14KWh. Switch to grid at 17:02 hours.

3/2/08 19 mph winds forecast today. We will harness them soon. Switch to solar at 12:00 hours. Not home to switch earlier. PV production 7.3 KWh. Storms coming with heavy rain turning to heavy snow. I'll save my batteries in case the grid power goes out. Switch back to grid at 17:28 hours. 24 mph winds forecast tonight.

3/3/08 Rain storms all day turning to sleet in PM. PV production .5 KWh. Picked up the pipe for the wind turbine tower mast. 3 X 22 feet equals 66 feet tall.

3/4/08 Cold with four inches of snow. No work on the turbine today. I used a plastic leaf rake to brush snow from the PV panels this morning. With a longer handle, may be the perfect tool for this job. Switch to solar power at 08:40. 08:55 all snow melted off and up to full power. Switch back to grid power at 15:12 hours to charge batteries. PV production 11 KWh.

3/5/08 Cloudy all day but charged batteries. PV production 3 KWh.

3/6/08 Sun came out at 11:00 hours and switched to solar power. Switched back to grid at 15:00 hours with clouds returning. PV production 6.5 KWh. Ordered 8 8D batteries to replace the insufficient 16 light duty batteries now in the battery bank. Our 20 hour rate will be 1960, up from 800 now. Once we get rid of the electric water heater and dryer, this should work well. And finally run our system full time. Especially with the turbine installed. The tower pipe is here and ready to begin assembly.

3/7/08 Cloudy all day. PV production 3.6 KWh. Windy!

3/8/08 Switch to solar power at 7:21 hours. Switch back to grid at 18:00 hours. PV production 18 KWh.

3/9/08 Switch to solar power at 9:09 hours. Hazy. Switch back at 20:25 hours. PV production 19.5 KWh.

3/10/08 Switch to solar power at 8:56 hours. Switch back to grid at 18:00 hours. PV production 18 KWh.

3/11/08 Switch to solar power at 7:10 hours. Switch back at 19:19 hours. PV production 17 KWh. Battery on float mode.

3/12/08 Switch to solar power at 8:10 hours. PV production 17.7 KWh. Switch back to grid at 19:26 hours.

3/13/08 Switch to solar at 9:00 hours. Switch back to grid at 19:00 hours. PV production 12 KWh. Partly cloudy to mostly cloudy.

3/14.08 Switched to solar at 14:00 hours. Busy lifting the turbine into the air. It's up and spinning. Then the wind died down before I could throw the switch. Soon, very soon the wind will generate electricity for us. Just as soon as it blows again! PV production 8 KWh.

3/15/08 Switched to solar at 9:00 hours. Squeezing the Bugs Out of the turbine. PV production 9 KWh.


3/16/08 Switched to solar at 10:00 hours. Turbine came on line at 10:00 hours. I moved the turbine readout screen into the house right next to the computer. I can view the wattage and amperage charging as I write. PV production 7.7 KWh. 8 hour wind turbine production on a calm wind day at 18:00 hours, .5 KWh. Still generating. 19:55 hours and the turbine just hit 1265 watts and not a breeze here at the house. Now over 1500 watts at 19:57 hours. Dropping back to low triple digits, but still...

3/17/08 6:50 hours. Turbine power at 5.27 KWh, for the first twenty hours of life. The batteries are really full but the Sunny Islands don't have the extra battery shunt yet and they think the batteries are low. Otherwise I think the system could have run all night last night. Turbine spiking at 1900 watts and 30 amps this morning. First job of the day will be to install battery shunt. Just saw 2878 watts at 40 amps turbine generation. Looking outside I would say there is no wind. 15 mph wind forecast today and tonight with clouds and rain this evening. Reset battery voltage and battery charge parameters including new shunt with SMA tech. support help. Now we watch and learn how the Sunny Islands deal with the new DC charging. 18:00 hours, total wind turbine production 9.28 KWh. 24 hour turbine production 8.6 KWh. PV production 2.5 KWh.

3/18/08 Heavy rain with no breeze, all day long. PV production .36 KWh. As of 16:44 hours Turbine production .26 KWh, all last night. Total turbine 9.54 KWh. Winds should pick up from the North this evening. Recalibrated the shunt and reset to new batteries for practice. The Negative polarity shunt shows negative amperage when something is generating and positive amperage when the demand needs power from the batteries. I saw it register negative amperage last night when the turbine was charging and negative amperage when the PV panels were kind of charging today, and a steady 1.6 amp positive amperage with NO generation and no load. This will be an interesting meter to monitor. Thanks again to for the free use of this shunt. Thanks to Bill B. at SMA for his patience with this hillbilly.

3/19/08 Winds started at about 02:00 hours and I saw turbine generation briefly at 3300 watts and 40+ amps. Switched to RE system at 06:20 hours.  Just saw the turbine go to 3500 watts and at 3600 watts switched to 'off-reg' for a few moments. Our Sunny Islands seem to accredit the turbine DC generation now. COOL! It is a rainy dark day and the turbine is out generating Earthbilly Manor's demand. Evening sun coaxed the trackers west pushing a few extra KWh into the battery bank. PV production 4 KWh. At 18:00 hours turbine production for the day is 12.1 KWh. Total turbine production 21.64 KWh. Switched back to grid at 19:32 hours due to low wind.

3/20/08 Only .33 KWh from the turbine overnight. We are expecting a sunny day today. Switch to RE power at 07:42. Oh Boy! Windy tomorrow, with overcast. PV production 16.3 KWh. Turbine production for the day .4 KWh. Total turbine 22.03 KWh. Switch to grid power at 21:00 hours.

3/21/08 Switch to RE power at 06:52 hours. I still haven't been able to go overnight because of the small batteries and using RE to make hot water and cooking. I can't store it so I might as well use it. switch to grid at 19:27 hours. PV production 8.8 KWh. Turbine production 6.11 KWh. Total Turbine 28.14 KWh.

3/22/08 Switch to RE power at 01:45 hours. The wind must be blowing on the mountain tonight. Turbine production maintains 1500 to 3000 watts much of the time for two hours. Lost some to OFF-REG, in other words the battery bank was full, the demand was low and there was no place to go with the energy so it got dumped. A week to go till our new battery bank arrives. Sometimes we need to handle 50 amps charge from the turbine and 30 amp charge from our two PV arrays while running the house on minimal usage. Possible 110 amp charging with the final or third PV array installed on a windy sunny day. Switch back to grid at 18:06 hours. PV production 13 KWh. Turbine production 5.62 KWh and OFF-REG most of the day. Total turbine 33.76 KWh. If I didn't need to go on grid to heat water after sun set, cook and dry clothes, I could stay off grid most of the time. The turbine is charging batteries right now after dark. 6 to 15 amps about half of the time.

3/23/08 Switch to Earth Power at 17:00 hours.  PV production 3.2 KWh. Turbine production 2.45 KWh. Total turbine 36.21 KWh. Switched back to grid at 21:00 hours.

3/24/08 Switch to Earth Power at 08:06 hours. No wind last night. PV production 18.7KWh. Turbine production .53 KWh. Turbine off-reg most of the day due to lots of sun and high batteries. Total turbine 36.74 KWh. Switch to grid at 19:00 hours. Switch back to RE Power at 21:55. It looks like if the batteries are high and the sun is out the turbine simply stays off reg, which seems to mean the brakes are on and the turbine prop barley turns in most winds.

3/25/08 Still on RE Power at 05:00. Switch to grid power at 06:22 to heat water for morning sprits. As soon as the water heater stops I'll go back on RE power. Switch to RE power at 07:02. Switch to grid at 17:10. PV production 16.9 KWh. Turbine production 3.51 KWh. Total turbine 40.27 KWh. Switch back to RE power at 20:20.

3/26/08 Still on RE power. 19:07 hours. Turbine generating at 12 to 35 amps this evening, 700 to 2300 watts. PV production 8.6 KWh. Turbine production at 19:09 hours 1.6 KWh. 41.87 total. Switch to grid at 19:12 to heat water. Switch back to RE at 21:30.

3/27/08 Switched to grid at 7:00. Switched back to RE at 10:22. Switched to grid at 19:30 and back to RE at 21:20. Had our first severe storm with hail, lightning and severe winds. Turned off the turbine before weather got here. Turned it back on after it passed. PV production 6 KWh. Turbine production 1.5 KWh. Total Turbine 43.37 KWh.

3/28/08 At 4:00 windy and lots of turbine generation. Switch to grid at 7:43 for water heating. Left it on grid till 14:00 hours and switched back to grid at 18:00 hours. PV production 8 KWh. Turbine production 5.68 KWh. Total turbine production 49.05 KWh. Switch back to RE power for the evening at 20:36.

3/29/08 Switched to grid at 8:00 and switched back to RE at 8:41. Good wind this morning. Overcast. The turbine makes it possible to run the house on cloudy days and at night. The PV panels are generating 300 watts today and the turbine is generating 500 to 3200 watts most of the time right now at 10:44 hours. It's one of those humid 40 degree windy cloudy days. Just heard our electric utility voted to allow under 10 KW RE systems grid tied without extra insurance, just last night. !!!WOO-HOO!!! Our net meter will be installed the week of April 7. That means no more switching back and forth from RE. COOL! Switch to grid for cooking and dryer at 12:30 hours. Switch to RE at 13:45. The turbine total shows good generation today. Switched back to grid at 17:30. No wind and no sun. PV production 3 KWh. Turbine production 8.12 KWh. TTP 57.17 KWh.

3/30/08 Switch to RE at 10:28. Switch to grid at 12:30. PV production 2.4 KWh. Turbine production 2.57 KWh. TTP 59.74 KWh.

3/31/08 Switch to RE at 6:40. Wind forecast good. Switch back to grid at 7:27 due to no generation. A good wind gust once in a while and no sun expected today. I'll switch back if steady winds get here. There is a storm arriving at 18:00 hours and I'll leave the turbine on. Nothing over 55 mph expected. No problem in the storm. Turbine operating when I went to sleep.

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