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Solar or Wind in Pacific Northwest?
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I was wondering if anyone is aware of the feasability of building solar and/or wind generators in my particular region (greater Vancouver area, Pacific Northwest). I am talking small scale, for a single household.

Also I am curious if anyone has any opinions of the guide that is for sale in the link below. Infowars.com has appearantly reviewed many how-to manuals and recommends this.

http://www.homemadeenergy.org/?hop=cyprusmet

Thanks,


1983 Mercedes Benz 300SD
290,000 miles. 50K on alt fuels.
 
Location: North Shore Vancouver | Registered: October 22, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I really hope someone who has actually inspected this guide replies. Quite frankly, it looks like a big sales job and the kind of thing I buy and when it comes in I feel like I could have written better. Long on general information, short on real nuts and bolts info.

Hopefully it's really worth it. If so, I'd be willing to buy.


2002 F-250, 7.3l on WVO since '04
'82 VW Rabbit diesel 1.6l na
'83 GMC 6.2l Class C RV
'85 F-350, 6.9l flat bed
'85 E-350, 6.9l cube van
2 Mercedes 300SD's
3 Chinese Changfa-style diesel generators- 12kw, 8kw & 7.5kw
Mitsubishi 3 cyl diesel generator/light tower
Kubota 2 cyl. diesel, water cooled air compressor
Onan 12.5kw air-cooled diesel genset
I run my company entirely on renewable energy including electricity from generators running on biofuels.

 
Location: El Dorado, Ark | Registered: July 04, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Do you mean Vancouver Island, or Vancouver, Washington? If Vancouver, WA, then solar can be good but you'll need plenty of panels to get decent power during the winter. (Make lots of electricty to store in your battery bank during your rare times of sunny weather.) Unless you are on a hilltop, you might not have enough wind to go that route. The time I lived in Ptld. I was not impressed with the wind possibilities, and solar seemed to be less-than-optimal but still doable.

Good luck! And let me know if you want any help setting up systems. I'd love to jump in and lend a hand so I can get some hands-on learning. (I'm already pretty knowledgable with "head" knowledge, but I lack the actual hands-on.)

Dan


99.5 Jetta TDI, Elsbett single-tank (incl. modified injectors & glow plugs, FPHE, heated filters), running on WVO/Diesel blend
 
Location: Oregon | Registered: March 19, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Bernie, I hope you are well.

It seems so damn cloudy around here, I gotta think a guy would need several football fields of solar pannels just to power one house.

On the other hand, a giant funnel aimed at the sky could focus enough rainwater to power the whole city!...
 
Registered: September 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That's pretty funny Jeff^.
Coyo~ I'm in Vancouver BC. Not the Island, but on the coastal mainland. My gut feeling is it may not be cost effective due to the 7-8 months of rain forest climate and the fact that decent winds are few and far between but then that's all relative to the cost of electricity isn't it?

I've still got my eye out for a nice oil furnace to burn biodiesel or SVO FWIW.


1983 Mercedes Benz 300SD
290,000 miles. 50K on alt fuels.
 
Location: North Shore Vancouver | Registered: October 22, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sorry for my mistake: having never been to Canada I often get Victoria confused with Vancouver. (They're both "V" names in the SW corner of Canada... Roll Eyes )

Dan


99.5 Jetta TDI, Elsbett single-tank (incl. modified injectors & glow plugs, FPHE, heated filters), running on WVO/Diesel blend
 
Location: Oregon | Registered: March 19, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wind power potential is so site-specific that it's potential cannot be easily generalized, expect to say that there are successful examples of small and large-scale wind power projects scattered around the Pacific NW. I don't know of any specifically in Vancouver, but have seen some small wind turbines further in the interior. There's a very large windfarm in Western Alberta, on the way to Lethbridge, not that it has any bearing on Vancouver, other than to show that wind power has been successfully developed in Canada.
Your local Solar capability is a bit easier to figure out. Have you read any helpful books describing how to plot your skyline on a sunpath? That's a good starting point, and doesn't need any expensive software from Bill Ford. The local airport and Canadian Aviation Administration may have useful solar insolation records, in addition to their usual wind records. Also consider asking at any local Universities - they are likely to have at least one department or professor with interest in both wind and solar.

A quick review of Bill Ford returns conflicting reviews - some folks think he's wonderful, others think he's scamming the public. I would recommend contacting him and asking for names of his customers in your area that you can talk to. He may not give you their contact information directly, to protect their privacy, but he should be able to ask them to contact you. If he cannot do that, then I would recommend pursuing the concept by other means.

A note about solar power - I began with a minimal system on my barn, just to experiment with and to learn what it was like. When the grid power failed at a critical time during chick hatch, we used the "experimental" system to keep the incubators running. That paid for the enlargement of the system and we've been happy with it ever since. A simple energy cost analysis would never have justified the system we have, but saving several years of Chicken breeding program did. Will you use the power simply to augment your normal grid supply, or will its reliablity be worth a premium? It's unlikely to pay for itself otherwise.

Cheers,
JohnO
My barn has been off-grid for about 8 years. We're planning to rewire the house lights to use the off-grid power next year.
 
Location: Moses Lake, WA, USA | Registered: August 15, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Sorry for my mistake: having never been to Canada I often get Victoria confused with Vancouver. (They're both "V" names in the SW corner of Canada... )



That's okay Coyo. Well forgive you THIS TIME, but don't let it happen again (LOL)!!!!

Victoria is near the souther tip of Vancouver Island and is our provinces' capital city. Vanvouver is accross the water from victoria, about 4 hours drive north of Seattle, Washington state.

Provinces are the Canadian equivelant of American states.

Canadian are generally like a cross between Americans & Brits.
 
Registered: September 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I assume you will have the same problem as most of the rest of the North West with solar, and lack of sunshine in the winter.

Here is the chart of cloudy days in Seattle.
http://www.city-data.com/city/Seattle-Washington.html



Actually, it seems to be a bit worse in the summer than say Eugene, Oregon for example.

Anyway, with my tests in St. Louis, I was getting about 10% the power generation on cloudy days as sunny days.

A big battery bank can compensate somewhat, but it is hard on the batteries to run them discharged in the winter.

However, if you are "grid-attached", then you really only need to worry about average power generation. Many communities have excellent power buy-back programs. But, you also have monthly fees which quickly chew up much of your savings.

Wind generation, on the other hand, may have some potential.

It really depends on how much wind you have in your neighborhood (say 20 or 30 feet or more in the air). And, of course, whether you have an adequate place to erect a tower.

There are several large power generation projects along the Columbia gorge & south central Washington. And, I could also imagine coastal winds. But, I don't know how sheltered your area is.

Lots of info on this website, especially for do-it-yourself wind generation.

http://www.fieldlines.com/
 
Location: Oregon | Registered: October 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by welder:
That's okay Coyo. Well forgive you THIS TIME, but don't let it happen again (LOL)!!!!

Victoria is near the souther tip of Vancouver Island and is our provinces' capital city. Vanvouver is accross the water from victoria, about 4 hours drive north of Seattle, Washington state.

Provinces are the Canadian equivelant of American states.

Canadian are generally like a cross between Americans & Brits.


Thanks for the wit! It's easier to laugh at myself when others agree. Big Grin I've been to Port Angeles and Neah Bay - does that count since I could at least see Canada?

I speak English, but you speak Canadian, eh? Wink

Dan


99.5 Jetta TDI, Elsbett single-tank (incl. modified injectors & glow plugs, FPHE, heated filters), running on WVO/Diesel blend
 
Location: Oregon | Registered: March 19, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
I speak English, but you speak Canadian, eh?



Y'all don't speak English.

Y'all speak American huh.
 
Registered: September 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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quote:
Originally posted by welder:
quote:
I speak English, but you speak Canadian, eh?



Y'all don't speak English.

Y'all speak American huh.


The Britts can be so hard to understand....

Do you use Boots and Bonnets on your cars up there in Canada?

Or Hoods and Trunks? Or perhaps you have a better term.

What about Gallons? How many Liters to the Gallon?

Anyway, good luck on your project.
 
Location: Oregon | Registered: October 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a 6kw solar system in Southern Oregon. We seem to have a lot more clear days in the cold months than you do in the North. I can tell you that the output in the winter even on a clear day is about 1/3 the output on a summer day (over 40kwh/day). This 6kw system covers about 70% of the household power usage in the summer and 10% in the winter using a heat pump year round. You would definitely need non electric heating and cooling to be self sufficient.

The only reason I put the system in besides the environmental benefits is that Oregon has one of the best solar incentives in the US. Without the incentives it would take about 100 years for the system to pay for itself in the Pacific Northwest.
 
Registered: July 30, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I gave up on watching my solar system in St. Louis on a daily basis. And, eventually went to a simple diode as a controller as I was somewhat underpowered.

Anyway, the angle of your panels is important... and tracking is the best.

I had my panels mounted on a 30-35 degree roof...

And, so the "sweet spot" for charging was actually late fall and early spring.

Summer heat also reduces the power output of the panels.

My next system will at least do pivoting the panels on the roof to adjust for the noontime angle of the sun... if not full tracking.

Solar Hot Water, of course, requires less tracking than solar electric.
 
Location: Oregon | Registered: October 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Do you use Boots and Bonnets on your cars up there in Canada?

Or Hoods and Trunks? Or perhaps you have a better term.

What about Gallons? How many Liters to the Gallon?



Canadian English is a sort of mixture of pure British English & Americanised English.

We genarally say hoods Z& trunks, although I've met Brits landed her who say boots & bonnets.

There are 3.78 Litres to the American gallon. I buy milk in 4 litre jugs, so they are slightly more than an American gallon.
 
Registered: September 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/grd/996728782.html
If I lived on the coast I'd take a good look into one of these.


1983 Mercedes Benz 300SD
290,000 miles. 50K on alt fuels.
 
Location: North Shore Vancouver | Registered: October 22, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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-An Amazing DIY Solar Panel Tracking Device
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiNZKHU0jTM

...if you have juniper
 
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada | Registered: September 30, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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