by Duliskov, Survival Blog:
For any significant solar power generation, plan to cover your entire roof with panels. Consider installing a few panels on the roof of your trailer, if you have one; this will give you mobile power and better concealment. If you make the panels tilt or slide out from under each other, you can significantly increase the total surface exposed to the sun while stationary. Alternatively, install the panels on a ground support for easy access and scalability. Make sure that the selected location does not have structures or trees casting a shadow over, and take photos in different times of the day and all seasons. Power generation capability of slightly shaded solar panels drops dramatically, even if the shadow covers only 5% of their surface. If you don’t have the luxury of time, you can use an application to simulate where the shadows of each object will be at any given moment in time, summer or winter. (For example, you can use “Light Trac” iPhone app.)
The distance between the panels and the battery bank is essential, especially in case of low voltage, 12-24 Volt transfer to battery charger. The cable will dissipate part of the current as heat, wasting it, and the cables will be extremely expensive. A better option is to use a higher voltage, for example 96 Volts, or installing an inverter at the panels and sending an AC current down the line to the battery bank. Another option is to install individual self-synchronizing inverters for each panel. They will synchronize frequency with each other and the utility power, so you can simply plug them into your house grid via a special switch and feed your house simultaneously from the solar panels and utility power at the same time. The battery bank will be charged from any outlet in your house. This will make solar contribute to your energy bill without re-arranging your incoming utility lines and will be transparent to your utility company. Alternatively, it is possible to isolate few circuits on a separate panel to be only fed by solar and the battery bank.
Wind Energy Generation
Wind power is noisy. If you install wind turbines on a mast connected to the frame of your house, you will hear the grinding noise throughout your house, especially with larger turbines. Smaller turbines are not going to satisfy your power needs of a larger bank, but they can supplement a solar array or generator. Specialists in wind energy say “go big or forget about it”, because wind energy is extremely inefficient in the case of small scale generators. I never installed a wind turbine, but I read many books and distilled for myself the following: don’t do wind under 5 KW; for the cost of installation and maintenance, you could buy a larger solar system and have less trouble over time.
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