This page is under HEAVY construction and will get more globed onto it in the very near future.
I have wanted to be able to produce electricity, at least in part, with my home. I have sun that is continually pounding on my roof and doing nobody any good. I live near Lake Michigan so it is almost always windy here. Since the winters are long here with little sunshine but the wind blows hard and the summer has long days of sunshine, a combination of solar and wind power generation seems like the best idea.
I have had quotes for solar only that exceeded $50,000. I couldn’t stomach that, even with the tax break or kickback. That would be a 20 year commitment and frankly not in my financial plan at all. Doing a little digging, I could find various sources for solar panels that would cost me about $1 per watt. I need to be able to generate about 1200 KW/hr per month to cover or more than cover my energy usage needs.
This is my reference for what I am doing to achieve energy independence, reduce my cost of living and reliance on energy from the utilities.
Why Energy Independence is Important
The cost of electricity is generally going up. In my lifetime, it has gone up year after year. Either by increased usage or the utility company raising their prices. I would like to control this expense, especially because I like technology and the more devices I employ the higher my electric bill will become, so I think it would be better to get ahead of this rather than start turning off the things I enjoy.
Where I live, we get winds that knock out power from time to time. Back to my love for technology, I don’t like it when my things are off. I would like to be able to keep my Linuxy things on and even if I have to power down my air conditioner, at least my lights and other creature comforts can keep going.
I am not sold on the “carbon footprint” argument but I do think that since I have the knowledge and the drive, I would like to be a net contributor to the world. My obsession for tech shouldn’t just take from this world. It’s not like the roof of my house is busy with anything else and my basement certainly has the room for the equipment. The question really became, where do I begin?
Since I was poking around online, I started clicking on anything that talked about solar and set up a meeting with a sales representative of a Home Solar provider. The financial commitment that any of these systems required did not fit my goals and ambitions. This sharpened my resolve in finding sustainable do-it yourself answers.
My personal set up
This is a work in progress. My status as of last writing, 19 Jun 2020, I have some equipment I am in the process of getting operational. It is an inverter that handles Solar and Wind generation input. This won’t be enough for my home but 1800 Watts is better than 0 Watts.
Currently, the system I have needs new batteries, maybe more. I’ll find out as time permits.
For simplicity, I am starting with a single 100w solar panel and see what I can learn from there. I will follow that up with a small windmill and start experimenting with it. There are lots of little parts and pieces that this will all require yet.
My first solar / wind back up solution purchased and repaired to get it operational for experimentation
Information about grid-tie inverters