Off Grid Wind Power
Hybrid Wind Solar

Generating Off Grid Wind Electrical power is a cost effective way to supply electricity to a remote, not connected to the grid home or a ranch. You need to consider some practical aspects before you launch a wind generator project.

Site Requirements

The land size needs to be at least 1 acre (4,000 square meters) and the wind turbine tower should be remote enough from buildings. Usually a permit and compliance to local building codes is required.

System Components

Here is a list of components for the off grid wind turbine

  • A wind turbine, most off grid homes will need a 2kW to 3 kW turbine. Most turbines generate erratic AC (alternate current) current that goes down the tower to a full wave rectifier. Some wind charge controllers integrate a built-in full wave rectifier
  • A wind turbine tower; As a rule of thumb the tower should rise 30 feet (9 meters) above any buiding or other object within 500 feet (150 meters)
  • A Batteries Bank with enough storage off grid batteries
  • A Charge Controller, the over-charge protection (insurance policy) for the batteries
  • A off grid inverter
  • Wind Turbines needs electrical load (charging current to the batteries) and might be damaged if they work into an open circuit. In case the home consumption is low and the batteries are fully charged, a Dump Load (AKA shunt load) absorbs the electrical energy on a resistor. The generated heat can be used to heat up water or air
  • Accessories such as DC circuit breaker between the batteries and the inverter, power, voltage and current meters, a system controller

Backup Generator

A off grid solar generator can serve as a backup and share the charge controller, batteries and inverter with the wind turbine. This is a hybrid wind solar generation system

Installation and Maintenance

Locate the charge controller, batteries and inverter in a small cabin as near to the tower base as possible to avoid long DC power lines (DC currents are high). Don’t worry about long AC power lines from the tower base to the home mains, because the AC current can be handled with ease. For a really long distance, you can use an up-transformer near the tower base and a down-transformer near the home mains. The three points to watch are the erection of the tower, sizing the system correctly and the electrical wiring. It is important to provide a good DC grounding and a good AC grounding and to have a lighting storm protector (the storm attracts itself to the tower like bees are attracted to honey). If you Do It Yourself, I recommend getting a certified electrician advice before you wire it up and electrical inspection before you turn the generator on for the first time

Wind Energy Buyers Guide From Northern Tool

Shopping for Off-grid Wind turbines

Most stores can provide pre-sale support. Adhere to the manufacturers owner manuals and it is good to have a central monitoring display. Life expectancy can be 15-20 years, however batteries life time is shorter in the range of 5-10 years.

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