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An affordable small scale wind turbine.

The Air Breeze by Southwest Windpower is a small 17 pound wind turbine for remote and low power applications. The Air Breeze packs a punch with it’s blades designed to operate quieter and only takes wind speeds of 6 MPH to start generating power. The wind generator can produce power anywhere from 6 MPH – 110 MPH wind speeds giving you a wide range of wind speeds to maximize your return on investment. A major improvement over other small scale wind turbines in terms of power output at low wind speeds and ease of operation. The Air Breeze will need a pole, inverter and batteries (if you a planning a stand alone system) for a compete system. At 28MPH the Air Breeze is rated to produce 200 watts, thats quite the power for the small unit. In terms of kWh (kilowatt hours) produced the graph above shows the pure effectiveness at lower wind speeds. Has anyone had experience with small scale wind? have you considered wind power for your home or...

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SF offers over-the-counter wind turbine permits

This month it has become easier to deploy your own residential / light commercial wind turbine in the city of San Fransisco because of the open market permitting became final by the city’s building and planning department, the Mayor of SF fully supported the proposition and put together a task force to update the city’s building code to allow wind turbines such as the skystream 3.7 onto private properties. SF is really leading the space in the solar power market and is now supporting wind power big time. SF has taken one of the most difficult steps in installing a small scale wind turbine, the permitting process into a simple one through over the counter permits. This should encourage small scale wind power development across the city! More cities need to follow the lead of SF, they are the leading city in the USA when it comes to renewable energy power generation. The goal of every city should be to make the permitting process easier for solar power and wind turbines if distributed power generation can get some solid traction in the mainstream market. A lot of cities out there claim to be “green” also known as green wash, because when a resident or business tries to install a solar or wind power generator they have to jump through hoops to get a final permit. Does anyone have story dealing with your permitting process with your city when installing solar power or a wind turbine? Please...

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Day4Energy starts production of 25% cheaper solar panels

Day4 Energy, a company based in Canada has improved their manufacturing technique which will introduce a new line of solar panels that will cost 25% less and have a greater output then previous models of solar panels. The company redesigned the solar cell structure and improved the electrodes, which increases the solar panel output to 17-18%, a significant improvement from their current output of 14.7 solar panel efficiency rating. Basically Day4 Energy was able to make the top layer of the solar panel thinner thus improving the amount of sun that can be converted into electricity and rearranged the solder points of the solar cells to areas which provide maximum sun exposure to each individual solar cell. This is a great sign for the industry as the manufacturers continue to innovate in their space and bring the costs down, which has a trickle effect down the entire supply chain in which the savings are passed down to you, the solar power shopper. We are looking forward to see the PTC ratings (an independent test, in outdoor real world conditions of the solar panels stated efficiency) These new solar panels are in production and will be on the market in 2009. What do you think about this type of manufacturer...

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Working Safely With Solar Photovoltaic Systems

Solar photovoltaic systems generate high amounts of electricity that can injure , cause death or start a fire if not installed and maintained safely, remember when you buy a solar power system, you have mini power plant on the ground or the roof, so think about safety first. Sandia National Labs and Daystar published a free book called, “Working Safely with Photovoltaic Systems” to help educate you how to install and maintain a solar power system safely. The guide states that most of the safety measures are plain common sense although you can get injured working on any size of solar power system if your not careful. Only a few people have been hurt working on PV systems, and according to the book no direct deaths have been reported working on a solar power system, but that does not mean you should let your guard down when installing or maintaining a system. What I found interesting in the comprehensive book is the following overview of hazards: Hazards working with solar pv systems.Outdoor Exposure – If your working outside in the summer time, use sunscreen, wear a hat, keep your limbs covered and drink plenty of water. In the winter time dress warmly and wear gloves. Insects and Pests – Insects often move into the solar panel j-boxes, some wasps can build a nest on the metal framing, rattle snakes and fire ants can be using the underside of the solar array as shade, so be careful when crawling under a solar panel array, these insects and pests can cause some painful injury. Cuts & Bumps – A solar power system is made up of metal framing, bolts and nuts, wires, junction boxes that may have sharp edges. If your are working under and array or one that is above your head, wear a hard hat! Falls, Sprains and Strains – Typically solar power system are installed high on the roof or in remote locations on the ground which can cause falls. When working with your solar power system, wear comfortable shoes, never wear steel toe shoes. If you are using a ladder, make sure its firmly set on the ground and be extra watchful on windy days when solar panels can act as a wind sail and possibly knock you off a ladder. Burns – Metal exposed in the sun can reach temps. up to 80 degrees, which can cause burns if extended contact is made. If you are working with a concentrated solar power system, temperatures can become very hot and can be very dangerous. To prevent burns wear gloves so you mitigate the risk. Acid – If...

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Off Grid Inverters – Modified Wave vs. Pure Sine Wave

Designing an off-grid solar power or wind turbine systems can be confusing, because of figuring out the sizing requirements of the system by conducting a load calculation off all the appliances that reside within a building. Also you have to understand the difference between Modified Wave and Pure Sine Wave inverter to figure out what type of inverter is right for your renewable energy power generation project. Modified Sine Wave is a rough, noisy electrical signal that does not work with all appliances, although Modified Sine Wave inverters are much more affordable then their Pure Sine Wave counterparts. Have you ever heard a florescent light bulb make that annoying buzzing sound? Well that is the type of feedback you will get when running lights, computers, tvs and most other electronics on a Modified Sine Wave signal. Most electrical equipment will work but will no perform as well as pure sine wave, appliances such as microwaves will not work, laptops may power on be crash often due to the dirty signal Pure Sine Wave is clean electricity, similar to the electricity we get from our utility company. Compatibility is the major advantage of pure sine wave because every appliance and electrical equipment is made for Pure Sine Wave signals. With this type of inverter, you will not have to guess if what you are plugging into your AC outlet will work with your solar power or wind turbine system. The advantages of clean electricity also comes with a higher price...

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RV Solar Power Kits
Aug14

RV Solar Power Kits

Are diesel prices costing you a fortune to keep your RV’s battery bank charged? Well many RV owners have started to incorporate solar power into their lifestyles to offset the use of their diesel generators which significantly reduces the operating costs of powering your RV. Solar panels can be either mounted flat or pitched on your RV’s roof space, although when laying the solar panels flat they operate at a higher then normal temperatures, which cases efficency losses. Solar Power mounts for RVs are typically adjustable, so while you are on the go, you can flatten the solar panels, and pitch them while you are stationery. You have to make sure when your putting a system together that you are using the proper charge controller and deep cycle batteries will be needed for maxium system performace over its lifetime. It all depends on your lifestyle to find out what type of system you will need to offset your usage. We have offer some pre-packaged RV kits that include compatbile solar panels, charge controller and mounts designed specifically for...

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