If you’re considering some type of alternative energy system in order to lower your electric bills, or even go off grid and provide all of your power, there are two basic choices. The first is a wind power based system; wind generators, windmills, or wind turbines. The second is a solar power based system; solar panels or cells. Each of these has their own particular merits, but neither one is perfect. The problem with both of these systems is that in the event that there is no sun or wind, you won’t be generating any power. So what should you do? The answer is to combine the two into a hybrid system.
What is a hybrid system? It’s a combination of 2 or more alternative energy sources; solar power and wind power for instance. By combining two or more separate systems, you’ll help to even out their characteristic peaks and valleys in power production. Solar panels only produce energy when they are exposed to sunlight. This renders them useless at night or on a cloudy day. If you set up a hybrid system and combine a wind generator with your solar panels, there is a much better chance that you’ll produce usable energy even when your solar generator won’t. When it comes to extending your power production, it’s easy to see the benefits of a hybrid system.
If you want to go completely off the grid, and need a constant supply of power, you’ll need to add some type of engine driven electrical generator to your hybrid system. This generator would be used to charge your storage batteries in the event that there was no wind or sun to generate power for a considerable period of time. The downside to this is that the generator would most likely be driven by an engine that requires a supply of costly fuels; diesel, gasoline, or propane. Depending on the size of your storage system – size and number of batteries, the amount that the generator would have to run could be greatly minimized.
So before you start building, it’s a good idea to identify exactly what your power requirements are, whether you’ll be grid-tied, and how much reserve power you’ll need. Knowing this will help you decide what type of hybrid system is right for your situation.
In order to achieve the maximum benefit from wind and solar power, you’ll need some information and guidance to get you started in the right direction. Since there are a lot of “plans” out there, you’ll want to start out right by ensuring that you’re using the best wind turbine plans and solar panel plans available. You wouldnt want to waste your time and money on inferior products would you?
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