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Solar Hot Water

Tracker 1&2

Array 3

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Wind Turbine






This is October 2008.   Back to September.   Forward to November.

After several months of flawless operation of the 3.2 KW wind turbine it is clear that the turbine generates less than 1/15 of the power a similar sized solar array would generate during those months. I hope for better performance in the winter. As of right now 1 KW of solar generation with 450 AH/10hour rate battery would be a vastly better investment for less money. Even a Bergey 7.5 KW battery charger turbine would theoretically only perform 3 times better, which would still be below acceptable generation levels, and would have cost an extra $12 grand. Something to think about for all those people selling, buying and investing into wind power in Missouri !!!! We will look forward to the next six months to see what happens during the historically windiest season. We used 83 KWh from grid power for the whole month of October!!!!! If we were grid tied there would have been a surplus of power net metered to our credit.

10/1 PV production 15.22 KWh Turbine production 0.31 KWh.

10/2 PV production 12.84 KWh. Turbine production 0.63 KWh.

10/3 This morning before the sun I recalibrated the system to make it think it has a new battery. The reason being it thought the battery bank drops to only 60% capacity overnight and it would over charge every day and say it was dropping to under 70% every night there by engaging the boost cycle every day. It is clear the bank has more power than the Sunny Islands think as even if the SI say it has 60% the voltage is too high to be right. And the SI says 60 % but it takes only a couple hours of PV generation to boost the bank to 57 volts. So it sits there day after day charging at MAX. That can't be good for the batteries and I think I understand that the system is NOT recording the generation of the wind turbine properly, there by thinking it is lower than it really is. The Charge factor is at 1, which is impossible and the soc is dropping faster than it really should, thinking there is less capacity than it really has. Experience suggests that if the soc is truly at 60% the voltage should be about 48.5 volts and that is not the case, at 60% now the bank is still at 49.7 volts. So I stopped the system this morning and restarted it and went to the quick start configuration, to new battery, and recalibrated the system. I have had trouble before with the system NOT keeping track of the wind turbine generation properly. To be sure I have checked several nights that the water pump, refer, and other circuits in the house were turned off and the soc still plummets without any demand, but the voltage suggests there is no problem in the bank.  I have been worried the battery shunt is inaccurate since a short while after I put it in. This still may be the problem. In May 08 we had a couple good days of turbine generation and it failed to register completely into the bank. Yesterday I also changed the configuration of the turbine charge controller to turn off the 40 second delay on reg off and on. It would over volt very high if the battery bank is full and a gust drove the turbine to high charging capacity, once even turning off the SI's due to very high voltage. That also can't be good for the AGM batteries. So now the turbine charge control turns off and on instantly without the delay. So the batteries must endure another over charge cycle today as the system finds it's center again. But it should have a rest for a few weeks after, and I will see if the system is faulting on turbine power calibration. In fact there is a passage in the SMA manual that the battery state of charge is more accurate if you recalibrate at regular intervals. So I recalibrated this morning. Also, I changed the two fans in our fireplace heatilator from 33 watt to 16 watt motors without changing the cfm. So we cut the demand in half!!! It is amazing how many things we can reduce demand by half or more by simply using more efficient motors. PV production 13.32 KWh. Turbine production 0.0 KWh. Water at 63C.

10/4 PV production 13.16 KWh. Turbine production 0.00 KWh. Hot water at 64C.

10/5 This morning I decommissioned the system and restarted it with the two SI's switched as to main function. The left SI is now commissioned as Master split 2SI PV only. I changed the shunt and battery temp wires to the new master SI., and re zeroed the shunt. Also changed the patch cable to the new M-S configuration. The left side is tied into L1 and should be Master anyway. PV production  13.93 KWh. Turbine production 0.08 KWh. Water at 56C. Battery soc 92%

10/6 PV production 11. 66 KWh . Turbine production 0.28 KWh. Water at 46C. Clouds came in about noon. Battery soc 83%

10/7 PV production 2.04 KWh. Turbine production 0.20 KWh. Water at 36C. Very cloudy and rainy all day. Windy enough to spin the turbine and still the PV out generated the turbine by a factor of 10! Battery soc 72%

10/8 PV production 16.40 KWh. Turbine production 2.62 KWh. Water at 53C. Battery soc 95%

10/9 PV production 11.1 KWh. Turbine production 0.0 KWh. Water at 62C. Battery soc 96%. After dark with no wind the batteries are at 50.4 volts. Mid to low 49's in the mornings.

10/10 Adjusted the solar panel trackers one position lower Zenith today. PV production 12.44 KWh. Turbine production 0.61 KWh. Water at 60C. Battery soc 98%

10/11 PV production 11.93 KWh. Turbine production 0.06 KWh. Water at 59C. Battery soc 92%.

10/12 PV production 13.07 KWh. Turbine production 0.72 KWh. Water at 49C. Battery soc 90%. In the summer we opened up the windows at night to flywheel cooler temps into the stone work and now, for about ten days we have been opening up the house during the day to flywheel warmer temps into the thermal mass. Just a little interaction into the workings of a few windows results in comfortable temperatures in the house well into cold fall nights. And an interesting study into multi level layout versus topography and house alignments with the solar angles and window placement to achieve good air flow due to temp extraction and not external wind. Temperature extraction is if we have a solarium, used as a greenhouse or just garden area in the South side of a building with interactive vents up and through the home. All this on the upmost level of the house. The next room to the South and at a lower altitude, thence most of the interactive venting is windows facing North, into the woods, or through earth cooled/warmed below ground thermal mass. Heating of the solarium can be used to vent cool/warm outside air through the thermal mass in the central living area as heat buildup in the solarium will operate the difference engine through the night. Therefore, the design of the structure can regulate temperature inside the structure well into summer or winter, and  fully, spring and fall from the difference in day and night temperatures coupled with solar collection by the solarium. Habitat Difference Engine for creating a breeze to regulate heat in interior thermal mass. Cheers! No electricity needed, or totally automated by RE and computers.

10/13 PV production 9.85 KWh. Turbine production 0.19 KWh. I switched to grid at 20:00. Low hot water and two more days of bad weather expected. Battery soc at 68%. Turned on electric hot water heater. Solar hot water at 42C.

10/14 Used 10 KWh of grid power so far at 7:00. Mostly hot water manufacture. Switched back to RE at 11:20 hours. Back to grid at 15:21. PV production 6.4 KWh. Turbine production 0.00 KWh. Battery soc 75%. Ran 6 hours and socked away some energy on cloudy conditions. If I had hot water I could switch to RE for the night. Not enough sun to heat up the water past 39C.

TURBINE BROKE TODAY 10/15 Switched to RE at 9:26. Sunny now but expecting storms later. Used 29 KWh from the grid for October so far. 16:42 The turbine production so far is 0.52, there is a storm coming. It will be interesting to see how much generation the storm winds bring. 18:28, PV production 10.12 KWh. Turbine production 0.65 KWh. Water at 42C. Battery soc 89%. Well...lightning affected the turbine for the third and maybe fourth time. It stopped all functions of the turbine, as if it completely died.

10/16 ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY FROM WHEN WE STARTED INSTALLING THE TRACKERS! I turned off the power from the battery bank and disconnected the line from the turbine for a few moments and got a positive response from booting up the regulator when I switched the DC power back on. However,...,the turbine does not generate anymore. It is shorted out to the dump. The voltage is below reg on and the wind is blowing and the turbine acts like the break is on. When I disconnected the switch from the turbine it started spinning and ran up to generation voltage. When I switched the power back to the control the turbine stopped. So, !!!I think the charge card is finished!!!. Again!. We are back to full battery soc and HOT water. Still only 29 KWh used from the grid for the first half month of October. PV production 16 KWh. Turbine production 0.00 KWh.

10/17 Well I guess I will order a new charge card to get the turbine going again. New Rule! Always disconnect the power lines from the turbine to the controller in the event of any weather. This will drastically reduce already poor generation in summer as most of the generation is from weather fronts. This will be the third charge card. The cost of replacing the charge cards is several times the value of the electricity generated. The new turbine has generated a total of 76 KWh since July, $7.00 worth. Repair costs total over a thousand dollars plus $1500 shipping,  if not under warranty%$#@!, since March, with an estimated total electricity generation worth $16.00. PV production 14.97 KWh. Turbine broken. Water at 60C. Battery Full.

10/18 PV production 14.55 KWh. Turbine inoperative. Water at 63C. Battery soc 93%.

10/19 8:00 hours, I disconnected the power from both sides of our turbine controller and applied the turbine brake. I reset the SI 5048's to new battery, none shunt, and set the Amphours to 875 instead of 900. We will determine if it is possible to remove the turbine and tower and replace it with a Wattsun 225 tracker and 16 KC 130 PV panels next week. We would build the tracker on top of the tower mast base. Plenty of roots for the job. The only question is will the SI and SB system make the right voltage at the protected distribution panel with the 1,700 foot run up the mountain. PV production 14.92 KWh. Battery soc 90%. Water at 58C.

10/20 PV production 16.2 KWh. Ordered a new charge controller circuit board for the turbine.

10/21 PV production 6.2 KWh. Heavy clouds

10/22 PV production 9.17 KWh. Switched to grid power at 17:00. Heavy clouds

10/23 PV production 4.12 KWh Heavy clouds

10/24 PV production 5.56 KWh Heavy clouds

10/25 PV production 17.33 KWh Switched back to RE at 5:00 hours on the 25th. Water recovered from 23C. to 53C. Total grid power usage for October is 83 KWh, last year October usage was 1200 KWh from the grid. Sunny days forecast for the rest of the month.

10/26 PV production 16.53 KWh. Water at 56C.

10/27 PV production 13.91 KWh. Water at 47C. Battery soc 92%. Still no circuit board.

10/28 The turbine circuit board arrived today and it is installed, shunt re zero'd, and charging again. Cheers!!! PV production 17.67 KWh. Turbine production 0.12 KWh. total pv production figure 3273.93 KWh.

10/29-31, went to a renerable energy conference. While I was away all systems performed well. PV production for three days 37.33 KWh. Turbine production 0.83 KWh.

This is October 2008.   Back to September.   Forward to November.


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