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disconnects for your clean energy system

Clean energy systems such as a wind turbine or solar panels which produce electricity that are attached to a building need to have safety devices called “disconnects” according to the NEC (National Electric Code) Each major component of a clean energy system including inverters, and charge controllers, batteries (if your system is battery based) must be able to be disconnected from sources of power. To be compliant with NEC code, your disconnects must: be switches or ciricut breakers be installed in an accessible location must not have any exposed live conductors clearly display the on/off position be compatible with the system’s voltage and current The picture above shows a Xantrex DC Disconnect that meets all NEC code requirements. Overcurrent protection circuit breakers maybe used as disconnects. Only switched fuses can be considered disconnects. The NEC code says a solar photovoltaic system can have 6 or fewer disconnects, switched circuits or circut breakers to cut off all sources of...

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What is anti-islanding on a grid tie inverter?

Linemen who work for the utility company have a dangerous job because they are the people who are dispatched when an electrical line has gone down. Even though most linemen assume the line is live when they reach the scene to repair a broken connection, its still important to think about their safety. That is why most grid tie inverters on the market have an “anti-islanding” function built into the inverter’s software. The term “anti-islanding” refers to a feature of a grid tie inverter that senses when there is an power outage and shuts itself down and stops the production of electricity. There is a common misconception within solar panel and wind turbine consumers that if there was a blackout their grid tied system would keep them going through an outage, well this is not true because of grid tie inverter anti-islanding feature will stop the production of electricity when the gird goes down. You have to realize that when you own a grid tie system, the energy is stored in the grid, so the system is as reliable as the grid itself. When the grid goes down, the anti-islanding feature on the grid tie inverter will realize that either there was a sudden change in system frequency, voltage, rate change of frequency, increase in kW beyond normal levels, or a change in kVAR and shut down the inverter. When the inverter shuts down your system is no longer producing electricity for the safety of the people who will be working on the grid to repair it. There are grid tie inverters that are still under development such as the TerraWatt Power inverter which works during an outage because the inverter redirect the power being generated by a system back into the property without shutting down and keeps the linemen safe because the TerraWatt Power inverter does not send electricity into the grid when it senses there is an...

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Boston City Hall turns to Wind Power

Boston City Hall installed a wind turbine this month on their flat roof to generate electricity from wind resources. Boston City Hall decided to use the SkyStream 3.7 wind turbine to help them demonstrate and analyze the power of wind in Boston. The best part about this deployment of the Skystream 3.7 is that it is in an urban area, therefore it will raise awareness of this great wind turbine to the people. The wind turbine was donated by Southwest Wind Power to Boston’s City Hall. The Wind Turbine is 40 feet tall, the rotors diameter is 12 feet and weighs 170 pounds and can produce 1.9 kilowatts of clean wind power. Boston’s Mayor Thomas M. Menino wanted to install a larger wind turbine until the idea was shot down by engineers because of wind turbulence reasons. Typically wind turbines need to clear trees and buildings located near the installed turbine so it can get the maximum air speed to generate electricity. The interesting part is they installed the Skystream on their roof, I have never seen one installed on top of the roof, what do you think, is it a good idea to install wind turbines on...

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Prepaid electric bill for life.

When you install a grid tied solar panel system or wind turbine your prepaying your electric bill, it is that simple although many consumers when shopping for a clean energy systems are shocked by the cost up front cost. This the the fist time in history people now have the chance to buy technology to produce their own electricity! People can finally become producers and not just consumers at the mercy of big energy. Since we have been used to paying electric bills on a monthly basis, most customers don’t realize how expensive electricity is over a long period of time when they see the cost of buying solar power to energize their home. I noticed when consumers buy a clean energy system, all of a sudden they start thinking about energy efficiency although when just paying month to month for electricity from the utility company customers are more wasteful. It seems like when customers become their own producers, they start to appreciate the long term value of electricity. Why do you think people who buy their own clean energy system become more cautious of their electric usage after they install a...

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