Both on and off the grid, wind or solar energy systems can help houses become energy self-sufficient. By generating electricity on site using clean, quiet, reliable and sustainable technology the environmental impact of a building can be minimised.
Off the Grid
Wind and solar systems can enable homes to obtain complete independence from electricity bills and avoid the often heavy cost of bringing in the mains. A battery store is used to enable peak loads to be run and systems need to be designed to meet worst case weather conditions.
Best performance is obtained by practising energy conservation through choosing energy efficient appliances and minimising electricity use as well as matching use to times of generation wherever possible.
Many homes in remote areas are beyond the reach of the electricity grid and would traditionally use a diesel generator for power. However, these can be noisy, expensive to run, high on maintenance and inefficient when lightly loaded.
Addition of a battery store and inverter/charger will compliment this to give minimum generator use and 24hr power ... including a wind turbine or solar array can eliminate the need for a generator altogether.
All loads can be run on conventional 230Vac wiring. Typically the requirements are for lighting (using low energy electronic compact fluorescents); TV; stereo; fridge; household appliances tools etc. all run from the inverter. Heating is usually by solid fuel and cooking from bottled gas. The generator is then only needed for occasional battery charges and to run heavy loads.
Wind & Solar systems are all different; in some solar will be more relevant; in others, wind turbines -or the two can be combined together.
Wind & Solar Remote Home Power Systems
On the Grid
Where the mains is available wind and solar systems can simply hook into the conventional electricity supply reducing power requirements.
No battery storage is required as power generated is used firstly by site loads and any surplus exported to the grid. This acts like an energy store supplying power in times when demand exceeds production. Power is still available at night or in times of unfavourable weather but greatest savings are obtained by matching electricity consumption to generation.
Power generated is first used within the property to reduce electricity consumption and any surplus is exported to the grid.
Feed in tariffs are available to enable income to be obtained for both generated and exported power.
Wind and Solar On-Grid Home Power Systems
Almost any home with a south facing un-shaded location for a solar array can benefit with reduced electricity bills and a cleaner electricity supply by installing a PV system. Those properties wiith good wind exposure can make use of wind power.