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I'm not an addict... honest!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With the current hoo-hah about energy prices, it got me thinking about a small turbine in order to make my detached garage self sufficient for electricity

Idea is to save some money and I'm looking what the minimum spend would be to achieve a relatively low use (weekends) system - mainly lighting, lawn mover in summer, jet wash, hand power tools and garden lighting

I'm wondering if the following would suffice:
300w wind turbine
Charge controller
100Ah battery
2000w inverter


Biggest hitters would be:
Lawn mower is 1300w and would be used for 30-40 mins 2x week in summer max
Jetwash at 1800w might be a step too far if I spent 1hr+ cleaning the drive but ok for short burst car washing
Rarely if ever would multiple loads be running simultaneously

Would a relatively small turbine top up the battery between usage with inconsistent wind blowing - It would also be compromised because I want to keep it fairly discreet and only be a few feet above the height of the garage and obstructed from the wind by the house if the wind blows from the south - westerly winds are unobstructed - prevailing southwesterly = iffy

I'd still have mains supply so running low on stored energy wouldn't be a massive issue. Could I use a 20a change over switch where the mains power comes into the garage to switch between the 2 supplies?

I think I'd need to look at it as a hobbyist rather than a tree hugging environmentalist cos it would probably take longer than the life expectancy of the equipment (or me) to recoup the costs

Thoughts?

:)
 

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740 Posts
A few years back we had an off grid static caravan at the coast, I ran the electrics at 12v using a large 40w solar panel and four leisure batteries at 100ah with a charge controller, I tried to use a small inverter at first to run 240v items but the inverter uses power to convert so I ran flat very quickly, this was using the odd light and tv, I did try a home made wind turbine ,made from a running machine 180v dc motor ,which worked surprisingly well through the charge controller. The only downside was in windy conditions when fully charged what to do with the extra energy. The bought turbines have internal brakes that slow charging down or angle the blades to stop them turning. I ended up with 12v bus bulbs (from actual 70’s double deckers) and a 12v telly , if you didn’t know you wouldn’t have noticed it was only a 12v system. Obviously no 240v supply so we had a small petrol generator for emergencies. After everything I’d spent. (far more than I’d spend on actual electric bills) I’d need to run it for around 5years to see a return. But did feel good to be independent and not tied to the grid.
 

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Without wishing to be an eco-warrior, I wish to live as sustainably as possible, so I recently had a visit from the friend of a friend who is a green energy consultant. He told me that a wind turbine would probably never pay for itself, nor would it make much of a contribution to meeting our energy needs, but that's because we're on the wrong side of the country (Buckinghamshire). We've therefore gone down the solar route and our domestic system came online last week. As it has been sunny recently we haven't drawn any energy from the grid and have actually sold off our surplus.

This summer I intend to build a workshop in the garden which will be off-grid solar with a generator back-up. There are lots of second hand components out there, as long as you know what you're doing to see if they work. I've been looking at this off and on over the last six months and have noticed that prices are going up and availability is coming down, presumably because everybody is buying them up due to the current energy situation. It has crossed my mind to buy my off grid system sooner rather than later, for no other reason than it'll be cheaper. I also wonder whether it's like having money in the bank, but I'm not going to buy up a load of stuff which will need to be stored just in case there's a chance of making a few quid. However, I suspect that buy now might be shrewd advice.
 

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Help! I'm trapped in here
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I’d like to know more, a lot more about small wind turbines as I’m hoping to set-up a small bolt hole/studio space in a location that could easily make good use of the readily windy environment. I’ll also be looking into air source heat pumps and solar as well.
 
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