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It’s not all about the wind generator, think about the pole!

You don’t want to put a solar panels in the shade, just like you don’t want to put a wind generator on a short pole. Wind Generators perform better the higher they are up in the air, therefore a taller pole the more you electricity you will produce. A taller pole may lead to a faster return because you can catch more wind but it also leads to a higher upfront cost for the pole. According to wind power experts in a Homepower magazine article, “How Tall is Too Tall” a wind turbine’s blades should at least be 30 feet above the tallest object within a 500 feet radius of the wind power system. The pole and the wind generator itself must be sat securely because this can make a huge difference in making or breaking your return on investment. A wind power system with a weak foundation in a high wind area will not outperform a wind power system in an area with medium wind speeds with a solid foundation. A taller pole can raise maintenance costs and may cause issues acquiring building permits if your home or business is close to other structures. Also if you have neighbors near by, they maybe worried about the aesthetics if the pole / tower is too...

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3 tips to keep your inverter humming for a long time.

An inverter is an important element of a solar power system. As you may or may not know the inverter turns DC (direct current) produced by solar panels or wind turbines into AC (Alternating Current) which our household appliances need. The inverter acts like a conversion device and its important to keep the unit functioning properly to get the most juice out of your system. Inverters typically have at least a 10 year manufacturer warranty, the following tips can keep your inverter running in tip top condition for many years. 1. Don’t mount the inverter in places with direct sunlight – its important to keep the inverter cool, therefore the best places to mount the inverter would be your garage or the side of the house that is shaded or not directly in the sun. The last thing you want to do is bake your inverter in the beating sun. 2. Outdoor enclosure – If you decide to mount your inverter outside in the shade it is important to put inverter in a waterproof enclosure. You can buy enclosures at any electrical supply store. You want to make sure the inverter stays dry at all times, it can be very dangerous to allow the inverter to get wet. EDIT: thanks the to reader comment to improve the quality of this post, I should of been more specific here. Some inverters need a to be put in a enclosures while most have weatherproof casing around them, which would not require an enclosure. It depends on the inverter if you need an enclosure or not. 3. Use Compatible equipment – many times people destroy inverters because they using incompatible equipment. For example if you buy a 1kW (kilowatt) inverter don’t try to plug in 1.5kW (kilowatts) of solar panels, overloading an inverter will destroy it. If the inverter is made for solar panels, don’t plug in a wind turbine or a combination of solar and wind. Also grid-tied inverters are not compatible with a battery backup bank. Read the instruction manual before you purchase an inverter so you know what is compatible. Also make sure you use the proper size wiring that is recommended in the owners manual. EDIT: Overloading an inverter could destroy it. Again depending on the type of inverter. Some inverters will just decrease in performance when you exceed the rated watts, although some inverters will get damaged. Also something to consider, if you go over the rated wattage, will the manufacturer honor the warranty if something goes...

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The basics of Solar Panel / Wind Power building permits

Add it to your project costs, it is going to cost you to acquire building permits to install solar panels to your roof or put up a wind turbine in your back yard. Yes the city will make some money from you. It’s unfortunate, but its just part of the solar / wind power installation process. Each city is different from what they will want to see to approve you for a building permit, typically they want to see engineering drawings which you should be able to get from your retailer (dry stamped) or a certified engineer (wet stamped). The average cost to secure building permits for a residential clean energy project can be anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. After you secure you building permits you are read to install, congrats your finally over the boring part and now reaching the fun part of installing your own solar or wind power system, a skill that will prove to be very valuable over time. Once you have installed the system a building inspector from the city will inspect your system to make sure it meets the cities building codes. Depending on the city getting past the inspection can be a breeze or a...

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Issues to consider when shopping for wind power

Many consumers come to us asking about prices and figure that is the only barrier to purchasing a wind power system, although it goes much further than just prices. When putting up a wind power system you have to consider the following points: 1. Does your project site at least have 10mph wind speeds? check your wind speed here.2. Does your property have at least a half acre with unobstructed views? 3. Does the city zoning allow a structure 42′ feet tall? 4. Does your utility company have an interconnection agreement? 5. Have you considering speaking to your neighbors to let them know you maybe purchasing a wind power system that maybe visible from their home? Typically the city will require building permits to put up a solar or wind power system and there will be a fee for building permits you have to pay to the city. The city may also require tower engineering drawings that you may have to get from a certified engineer if you are building a custom tower to put up your wind...

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The Pickens Plan – wind power for america

T. Boone Pickens, a very successful American business man who made his fortunes in the oil & gas industries is working with GE Wind Power to invest and deploy large scale wind power farms. They call it the Pickens Plan, it’s specifically geared to attack the 700 billion dollars that is leaving the USA every year to foreign oil. Pickens claims by creating a network of wind turbines, we can break free from foreign oil and keep the energy security of America safe. The USA has an abundance of wind power resources, the US is the Saudi Arabia of wind power resources. According to wind power data, the Great Plains states are home to the greatest wind energy potential in the world! The plan calls for heavy investmet in wind power farms and cars that run on natural gas (which I think is a bad idea) Pickens Plans Pros: cleaner greener energy create more jobs and revive rural America a step in the right direction to get us off foreign oil. Pickens Plans Cons: the plan calls for natural gas as a fuel source for cars Wind power farms are a form of centralized energy (keeps the production out of the hands of the people) So what do you think? how can the plan be...

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