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Thread: Grid connect solar/wind power setup

  1. #1
    Senior Member Moof's Avatar
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    Default Grid connect solar/wind power setup

    Hi all,

    I am looking at doing my part for the environment and getting a grid connected solar power sutup and possibly add a wind turbine or two.

    I like the idea of a grid connect system as you dont need batteries and you get paid for the electricity you make and dont use as this goes back into the grid and someone else uses it. Really you just store it in the grid and take it out when you need it.

    I live on 55 acres on the bank of a large lake there is a fair bit of wind so I may as well use it, and I can locate the turbines well away from the house up behind the sheds if there is noise.

    The government has a rebate of up to $8000 for solar grid connects and estimate it will cost me about $4000 for a 1 kw solar set up.

    I know it costs less for a wind setup with the same power output (if you have wind).

    Is ther anyone on here that has either setup that they can tell me about and any hints or info the sellers/installers dont tell you??

    Thanks
    Moof



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  • #2
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    watchdog's Avatar
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    Cool


    They sell solar panels , regulators , wind turbines (with towers if you sign an indemnity )
    I'm not to sure about the mains interface equipment though

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    Junior Member James's Avatar
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    iv heard its pretty expensive to set this up, iv only set up once house with solar.
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    Senior Member z80's Avatar
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    $4000 for a 1Kw solar setup is very ambitous.

    You will need 12x80 watt panels and if you can get them for $600 each wholesale it still amounts to over $7k.

    make sure you get mono-crystalline they are better.

    You will need mounting frames for them, the wiring at those currents is expensive.

    Wind turbines are a joke.
    They sell you 400 watt unit that in reality only produces about 70 watts.

    That's cause they rate their peak value which is P=(peak/2) *0.7071 watts
    Of course a gale force wind will give you 140 watts...but it wrecks the blades first.

    To connect to the grid you will need a grid interactive inverter.

    They are not cheap, and do fail when out of warranty, with no-one really fixing them in aftermarkets.

    To get your "rebate", first you have to be ripped off.

    You'll need to engage one of the dope smokin' Nimbin membership to "professionally" install it and sign it off, at their inflated rates.

    Even if you have an electrical engineering degree they will tell you that it's the rules of engagement.

    After all what would you know? They've done the TAFE course for installers.

    Of course the "members" at the time of announcement have no sunset clause on their credentials, nor do they require to prove their ability.


    In my case I actually bought the panels wholesale and did the job cheaper than claiming the "rebate".

    As for pumping it back on the grid...stuff that, I use every bit I produce, any excess goes into the hot water element.


    Oh...and if you think one kilowatt of panels produces a kilowatt then you are misled.
    Try about half that on average....and I am talking BP Solar, not crap.
    In my case I planted 2 kilowatts to produce one kilowatt useable.


    As for the Oatley turbines...how can peak be 500w and power 300w?
    I wouldn't touch their turbines...those specs are a joke.

  • #5
    Member vampyre's Avatar
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    I am looking at building a VAWT (vertical axis wind turbine).Here are the plans



    Vamp
    De
    VK3AWG

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    Senior Member Studio1's Avatar
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    I install remote area power systems here in New Zealand and for a typical system you will need to invest around $15-20k.

    This will give you solar panels, deep-discharge cells, a pure sine inverter, a controller and all cabling.

    If you wish, you can add wind turbines and hydro turbines to this system and really make it sing - but of course the cost goes up.

    To date, I have not installed any grid-interactive systems. The power companies are still squabbling about how it will work, who will pay what, how people will get their credits etc blah blah blah..

    The junk that places like Oatley and Jaycar sell is to be avoided. Most of it is made in China, and that spells out only one thing - CRAP.

    At the end of the day, you will just send good money down the drain if you try to do a system on a budget using cheap equipment. I don't sell any junk to my customers - it's all top spec gear, and it lasts. There is also plenty of backup long after the warranty has run out too.

    In my view, I'd far sooner spend $20k on my own power system than be at the mercy of the grid and paying outrageous amounts of money to them every month!

  • #7
    Senior Member Studio1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vampyre View Post
    I am looking at building a VAWT (vertical axis wind turbine).Here are the plans
    Vamp
    Savonius rotators are a great way to produce energy. Easy to build, less complex than bladed turbines, take up less space and are easier to maintain. The simplest way to make one is grab an old 44 gallon drum and cut it in half. You'll need to be able to weld however - as you then need to assemble the two halves on a simple frame with a shaft and bearings.

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    Junior Member TZB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Studio1 View Post
    The simplest way to make one is grab an old 44 gallon drum and cut it in half. You'll need to be able to weld however.
    Just a word of warning here. Please be bloody careful doing this. 2nd hand drums have a habit of blowing up and killing the person working on them. I would recommend filling them with inert gas first. If it has had flammables in it, purely washing it out with water doesn't work.

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    Senior Member Studio1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TZB View Post
    Just a word of warning here. Please be bloody careful doing this. 2nd hand drums have a habit of blowing up and killing the person working on them. I would recommend filling them with inert gas first. If it has had flammables in it, purely washing it out with water doesn't work.
    Errr... yes.. valid point.

    I forget that people are inherently stupid sometimes and would do such things as taking a cutting disc to a drum that has recently been full of petrol.

    So, if you are going to follow this path and use a second hand drum, find one that has had dishwashing liquid or some such non-flammable content.

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    Junior Member Bluedog's Avatar
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    the panels for a 1kw system do end up costing about $4500, but you will have to add the grid-tied inverter ,racking frames, installation labour, cabling etc.
    if you have a blackout your house wont have power unless you add batteries.
    these setups are becoming popular out my way
    myself i am standalone solar, never have a blackout and had a 1kw system which i recently added another kilowatt of panels to.( BP 24 volt panels.) the rebate took about a month to come through
    cheers
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    Senior Member z80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vampyre View Post
    I am looking at building a VAWT (vertical axis wind turbine).Here are the plans



    Vamp

    Nice link, pity the author has plaguarized it from one of Lenz's designs.


    This is the site that is probably the source:-




    You will find all the chord cals necessary to easily design your own.

  • #12
    Senior Member z80's Avatar
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    Talking about 44 gallon drum versions etc, when I was really enthusiastic about 5 years ago, I hopped on a plane to Tasmania to check out in person what this guy was up to.

    Amazing what you can do with an old commodore rear tailshaft and differential....

    It was a calm afternoon, and he gave it a little nudge and away it went.

    Quite frightening really.....



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    Member AceR's Avatar
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    I'm going down the wind power path as well. This is a good link. You can make a good turbine out of the guts of a washing machine and some PVC pipe as blades. Start small, do all your testing and then go bigger and bigger or more and more

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    Hey Guys post some pic's of your set-up we like to see.

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    have a chat to hippiesparx over at whingepool. He installs grid connected systems.

    Bluedog is my reference for anything off grid.
    Everything else is trial and error for me.

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