Can I use solar and wind power together?
Yes, it is very simple to use both solar panels and wind generators in the same battery pack. To do this you simply run the power from the wind generators and the solar panels to a set of buss bars.
What is better, wind or solar power?
There is no easy answer to this questions. It honestly depends upon the weather conditions in the area that you live in. Wind and solar power are great compliments to each other. Solar power is your day time power source. If you are in an area that usually has sunny days this will provide the bulk of your power. Wind power takes up the slack at night or during storms when the sun is not shining. If you are in an area that receives a lot of snow you will want to add quite a bit of wind power to take over during storms when the solar panels are covered in snow.
I have a 3 bedroom home. How many wind generators do I need to install?
The number of bedrooms or square footage of a home do not determine how much power the home will use. To determine how much power you will need to check your utility bills. The bill should give you an average monthly usage and may even give the average per day. If the numbers on your utility bill are per month you will need to divide the kw hours by the number of days that you were billed for. This will tell you the average amount of power that you use each day. If you are using only solar power you will then divide the number of kw hours that you use each day by 6 hours. Even though you have more than 6 hours of daylight this would be the average number of peak hours of production. An example would be 900kw hours per month / 30 days = 30 kw hours per day. Divide this by 6 hours and you need to produce 5 kw of power which would be 5,000 watts of solar panels. If you are also using wind power you can reduce the amount of solar panels. Using the same amount of power use per month, let’s figure on an area that gets approximately 15 MPH winds for 10 hours per day. You can then take that number to the charts for the wind generators to see how much power you would receive from the wind generators. If you were using one of our Mallard SP80 wind generators, you can eliminate one of the solar panels. This would be relatively low winds so if you often have higher wind speeds you can eliminate more of the solar.
Do I have to use a diversion regulator?
If you are using the power that is produced by the wind and solar system as fast as it is being produced you will not need a diversion regulator. If you are able to keep track of the battery voltage and are available to divert any extra power yourself you will not need a diversion regulator. However, if the system will be sitting unmonitered it is best to use the diversion regulator and dump load to prevent the batteries from overcharging.
What can I use as a diversion/dump load?
You can use anything in the voltage of the system that you are using. We will use a 12 volt system as our example. You can use 12 volt light bulbs, a 12 volt water heating coil, a small 12 volt heater or even another 12 volt battery bank. This is a good way to store the extra power without overcharging the first battery bank.