Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Good Day

Today: A 30 percent chance of showers, mainly before 11am. Partly cloudy, with a high near 61. Windy, with a southwest wind between 36 and 43 mph, with gusts as high as 65 mph.
There are those who advocate solar only and shun wind. Their arguments are valid -- moving parts, periodic maintenance, low sustained wind speeds. One extra solar panel can offset the electricity generated by a 400 watts generator on a 45 feet tower. Technically, they are right.

However, I chose to install a wind generator and am pleased with it. The winds began yesterday morning and my batteries were full before noon. This morning they are near full from the reduced overnight winds. Today I'll listen to the occasional shriek of the generator as wind gusts of 30 to 35 mph flex the blades before the electronic brake engages. Rather than an alarm it has become a pleasant musical sound. It's a sound that warms my self-sufficient heart.

I installed the system four years ago and powered it up on October 6. The following week a windy period began and the shriek wasn't as comforting since I was listening and watching to make sure my workmanship was equal to the challenge. On the first windy night Julie found it impossible to sleep and asked that I flip the switch to engage the brake. Now, we sleep through the music.

I live in a low area on the southwest side of a cinder cone that protects us from the worst of the wind so we'll not get sustained speeds as predicted but we'll enough wind to make it a good day for generating electricity.


Blogger Buffalo said...

Do you have back-up power sources or do you depend on the grid during low wind periods?

10/11/2008 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger MojoMan said...

Diversification seems prudent. Do you ever get cloudy but windy stretches when the solar panels are weak but the turbine is spinning steadily?

What's the wattage of your solar panels? How much battery capacity do you have?

10/12/2008 05:48:00 PM  

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