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Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 3132
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
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I am posting this for our distinguished guest Howard Johns to hopefully give me some advice.

We live on a hill top (ridge) with both south and north facing slopes. Most of the year we have northerly winds.
Currently we are grid dependent for electric power.

I have been trying to decide on the best way to set up for energy independence from the grid.
I know we have the space available for ground mounted solar panels but with all the wind we get (and the fact that we have already had three two week periods of no sun) it seems like wind power might need to be considered.

The local alternative energy guys all say we don't get enough wind in Arkansas to use wind power. On our place I have measured 20 mph winds that lasted for 9 hours straight.
Most of the time the winds will hit this speed and higher (in gusts) for a minimum of 2 hours a day. When we don't have winds, it is dead calm.

Now my current thinking is that we should put in enough panels to reach 2kwh minimum since I want to have a grid tied set up but I also want to be able to throw a switch and disconnect from the grid if a storm knocks out the grid power.
What I am having a difficult time with (information wise) is whether or not a wind generator would be a good addition to this sort of system. It would be a no brainer if we lived in Texas or any other place that had sustained winds.
In our particular situation there is probability that a wind generator would be working at least 20 days in any month. I just can't find anyone that will tell me if this is feasible or if it is hopeful thinking.

I am designing for using fairly large PV panels (250's and up to 300's) but with the way cloud cover can come and stick around for weeks at a time, I would like a backup for helping charge a battery bank so we don't have to be so dependent upon the grid.
I also realize that statistics show different wind data that what I am collecting at our location, making it hard to get a firm answer from the local alternative energy companies.

Mr. Johns, am I just spinning wheels with this idea of solar augmented by wind?  Could it be that this sort of setup would be the best way to go? 
Since we are still in the building phase on our farm, I can make building adjustments easily.  I do know we will need a tower or pole for the wind generator that would be around 60 feet tall to get into "clear" wind above our tree line.
Mounting such a tower or pole would be easy to stabilize since I can reach bed rock by digging down 3 feet where I believe the best location for wind power is.

Thank you for your time and I really appreciate any help.


expectation is the root of all heartache - shakespeare. tiny ad:
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