Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Not so minor detail

I guess, while we're in the Red Tape and Paperwork Phase of the GREAT WIND POWER PROJECT 2012, I could answer what has to be a burning question, keeping everyone up late at night by now, I'm sure. In other words, I just realized that I never clearly and concisely - the goal of communication - reported what exactly we have selected as our small wind power system. Sorry. So without further ado, the GREAT WIND POWER PROJECT 2012 Small Wind Power System Specs:

Bergey Excel 1 (1kW)
Bergey Tilt-up guyed tower (Bergey refers to this as a "tubular" tower on their site.)
Powercenter charge controller

We are still going back and forth between the 80 and 100 foot tower. Rather, The Husband is doing his usual back and forth agonizing decision making process. I would like it noted for the record that I voted for the 100 foot tower. I also really wanted a lattice tower but the budget vetoed that. It is cheaper to get this tilt-up tower and a VersaClimber rather than using a lattice tower as a VersaClimber.

The turbine does NOT require a "dump load" for over production, however, it is an option. Ideally, we could use more hot water. Specifically, I'd like some hot water in the Summer. A tidy, but bit pricey, solution would be to change out our current boiler tank for the model that includes the ability to add an electric heating element to it. Another option is to just install an electric hot water tank. However, this not only takes up more floor space in the Mechanical Room but I'd have two hot water systems working independently. Good or bad? Not sure. An initial thought is that with a heating element in the boiler tank, in the Summer, I could have the wind (and excess photovoltaic that we currently over produce in the Summer) make hot water in the boiler tank. In the Winter, when I've got fires going, I'd get my usual up to 107 degree water in the boiler tank. With the turbine spinning in the Winter, I could get a little kick in the heating element in the boiler tank. If I could get that tank to heat up to at least 125, I could start running my in-floor, radiant loops in the bathroom. If things get really hot, I could also heat the front porch. If things get too hot, we'll melt the snow outside (dump zone for the boiler). Not too worried about that. All of those initial thoughts need to be considered with the initial thoughts on the possibility of expanding the hot water system further with a solar hot water heating system. Does everyone's brain hurt now? If you can gut it out a little further with me here, add in the variable to the equation that we really don't know exactly if and or how this will work. The whole "results may vary" thing. We consider all of these thoughts to fall under the blanket term "brain storming" and we're not allowed to make fun of each other when we brain storm. Yes, I'm asking you to please not make fun of me. This is the kind of behind the forehead and in between the ears stuff that everyone trying to do this alternative energy (or anything else for that matter) is going to have to go through. If you are in the dreaming and planning stage, feel free to borrow our brain storming rule. It really opens up the mind for lots of ideas and you will find your solution(s).

I'll get into more nitty, gritty details on decisions, how's, why's, etc. in the coming days. I just wanted to get this minor detail out ASAP. Schew, now we can all sleep better. ; )

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