How much do I need?

Jan 30, 2009 10:44 pm
How much do I need?

I have a vary large home and property with lots of gagets and stuff. I want to power it all with wind and solar power. I want to generate about 9K to 10K kilowatts per month. What size wind/solar or just wind and just solar system do I need?
220 Posts
Jan 31, 2009 02:50 pm
Re: How much do I need?

 lucky for us, if we are on the grid our local utility provider has been keeping very good records of our power use. so a good starting point is our utility bill. if this is a standard residential rate it will be in kwhs used for the billing period and often broken down to average daily use. (some of the commercial rates with demand calculations can be difficult to decipher as to actual usage)

 here in the u.s. the average is somewhere around 900kwh's a month-aprox 30kwh a day.

 our forum host here at altE has some easy to use calculators for helping to get an idea as to sizing for our needs. check it out here:

 have a look around their learning section for some good info on both solar pv and wind. with wind (more-so than solar) alot will depend on available resources (wind speed).

 if you have your utility bills handy but are unsure of how to work the numbers into the calculations, come back here and you will find plenty of help. the folks here can get real close to real life system expectations given accurate data.

 regards, dave

edit:live link
« Last Edit: Jan 31, 2009 02:56 pm by david ames »
Feb 1, 2009 08:31 am
Re: How much do I need?

Indeed. It is all about averages. Any and all "energies" demand a resource of one kind or another. In your case Mr.Bartlett you want to utilize the Sun and Wind. Nothing new really. I mean humans beings have been doing this since, well since there has been humans! Just recently though for the purpose of generating electricity. Which I believe is what you wish to do. So with that in mind I'll get back to averages.
Average wind speed and average solar radiation for the purpose of generating electricity will obviously be higher or lower as determined by what region of the planet Earth we are referring to. Obviously the equator will have a greater average of solar radiation than say, the North or South poles. Like wise, a mountain top will have a greater average of high speed sustained winds than forrest floor would.
All common since, right? Right!
Even the amount of consumption of a resource is based on averages for a region. For example: Someone living near the North pole would have to rely on a greater average of energy for the purpose of heat, where as a person living near the equator might rely on a greater average of energy for the purpose of cooling or less for heat. Lets face it we humans adapt to warmer climates with much less effort than cold climates but it would seem that we prefer a place more "in between." Not to hot, not to cold, at least were averages over the seasons are concerned. With that in mind, here are some average wind speed and average solar radiation charts for the U.S.of A.

I believe what you will want to do is "predict" daily power production from Sun and Wind for your specific site on our Earth as averaged out over the year. This should give you something with which to compare with your electric utilities monthly bill.
In a "nutshell" one will spend an almost equal amount of money to harvest solar and wind energy and convert it into electricity as one would pay for a life time of electricity generated from any other source. We have commoddities brokers to blame for that. The reason for non-polluting renewable energies is precisely that. They are non-polluting and renewable. As opposed to other resources used for generating electricity such as burning coal.

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