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Re: [a-w-h] SkyStream in an off-grid hybrid system...

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  • Darryl Thayer
    My skystream experiance is limited, but it appears to be quite an interesting machine (perhaps it is a little small for what you want). The sykstream can be
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 4, 2008
      My skystream experiance is limited, but it appears to
      be quite an interesting machine (perhaps it is a
      little small for what you want). The sykstream can be
      AC coupled to an Outback inverter system. The same
      system can handle your solar input, and if you select
      an inverter-generator for backup can mesh all three.
      (the generator I have tried is the Honda) So from
      experiance I can state this works. There are other
      ways to make these connections, but becarfull to
      select units that have demonstrated sucessful
      connection.

      I also have sucessful experiance with the Bergery, in
      a DC coupled system using Outback..

      The arrangment for DC coupled is to have solar and
      wind (and possibily generator) supply power to the
      battery systems. The inverter sells power to your
      load from the batteries. In an AC coupled wind
      system, the Outback supplies power-signal to your Wind
      machine, and it (Outback) converts this power to the
      battery system. In both cases if the wind has more
      power than you want you can dump the power to a
      valuable load, such as a water heater, or space heat,
      or other valuable use.

      One last note, the wind seems to come in big lumps,
      and the solar in smaller lumps. So the fraction of RE
      you want depends upon in part upon the battery size.

      The wind machine is the most problematical part, so
      chose carefully.
      Darryl

      --- bigdogues <bigdogues@...> wrote:

      > Hi all,
      > I am in process of building a new home in central NH
      > and due to the extreme length of the
      > driveway have decided to go off-grid. I have toured
      > several homes in my area and find that
      > I should be able to do this easily and affordably.
      > Right now I am debating going either
      > straight solar or going with a hybrid system. I tend
      > to lean towards the latter. (wind blows
      > when the sun isn't shining and all) My home site is
      > on top of a ridge with good exposure
      > and what I think is decent wind, 5 m/s at 50m annual
      > according to the wind maps. I have
      > been looking for a good quality gennie that will
      > work well in this system and be rugged
      > enough to survive New England winters. I have been
      > thinking about this for a very long
      > time. I had even considered building my own but I
      > have a three year old so time is now
      > very precious.
      > A lot of the machines I have looked at in the past
      > have been either way too big or too
      > small or just too heavy to handle easily. And I have
      > read about many failures of all types of
      > mills in the past.
      > Now the SkyStream has caught my eye. I like the
      > simplicity of the unit and I have read
      > reviews by people who say it can handle real nasty
      > weather. Not to mention the fact that it
      > can be mounted on a mono-pole increases the WAF
      > greatly. I have read that this mill can
      > be used in a battery charging system but I am
      > wondering about the way it would be tied
      > in. Would this system be less efficient due to the
      > type of mill this is versus a DC mill?
      > Would the cost in additional inverters and
      > transformers make it uneconomical to use?
      > Any and all thoughts are appreciated.
      > Thanks.
      >
      >



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    • Steven Woodcock
      What you re looking to do, bigdogues, is roughly similar to what I plan to do. I ve tracked my current houses usage for the last 6 years and it seems that a
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 6, 2008
        What you're looking to do, bigdogues, is roughly similar to what I plan to do.

        I've tracked my current houses' usage for the last 6 years and it seems that a Bergey XL10 will do the trick for me (with about 30% production above my current use). I too have to build a house off-grid and since it's not built yet, I'm figuring that a.) it'll be larger so there will be more devices to use more power but b.) they'll all be more efficient--so I'm basically using the numbers I have now.

        I did make ONE concession in my calculations that I suggest you might want to make too. The wind in my area is rated pretty good at Category 6, but I did all of my calculations for the Bergey's production (they have a fine spreadsheet for this on their website) with the site rated at Category 5. As an engineer, I like having an error margin! ;)

        Anyway, good luck. I hope that helps!


        ===============================
        Steven Woodcock
        From the High, Snowy Mountains of Colorado

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Matt Tritt
        To: bigdogues
        Cc: awea-wind-home@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Monday, February 04, 2008 8:47 AM
        Subject: Re: [a-w-h] SkyStream in an off-grid hybrid system...


        5 M/S @ 50 meters means that you will have something more in the 4.5
        range. You'd probably better do your own site analysis before leaping.

        Matt

        bigdogues wrote:

        > Hi all,
        > I am in process of building a new home in central NH and due to the
        > extreme length of the
        > driveway have decided to go off-grid. I have toured several homes in
        > my area and find that
        > I should be able to do this easily and affordably. Right now I am
        > debating going either
        > straight solar or going with a hybrid system. I tend to lean towards
        > the latter. (wind blows
        > when the sun isn't shining and all) My home site is on top of a ridge
        > with good exposure
        > and what I think is decent wind, 5 m/s at 50m annual according to the
        > wind maps. I have
        > been looking for a good quality gennie that will work well in this
        > system and be rugged
        > enough to survive New England winters. I have been thinking about this
        > for a very long
        > time. I had even considered building my own but I have a three year
        > old so time is now
        > very precious.
        > A lot of the machines I have looked at in the past have been either
        > way too big or too
        > small or just too heavy to handle easily. And I have read about many
        > failures of all types of
        > mills in the past.
        > Now the SkyStream has caught my eye. I like the simplicity of the unit
        > and I have read
        > reviews by people who say it can handle real nasty weather. Not to
        > mention the fact that it
        > can be mounted on a mono-pole increases the WAF greatly. I have read
        > that this mill can
        > be used in a battery charging system but I am wondering about the way
        > it would be tied
        > in. Would this system be less efficient due to the type of mill this
        > is versus a DC mill?
        > Would the cost in additional inverters and transformers make it
        > uneconomical to use?
        > Any and all thoughts are appreciated.
        > Thanks.


        .


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Steven Woodcock
        Howdy Michael: Well, your tone strikes me as a bit confrontational--there s really no need. I didn t really talk ANY particular numbers to my way of thinking.
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 7, 2008
          Howdy Michael:


          Well, your tone strikes me as a bit confrontational--there's really no
          need. I didn't really talk ANY particular numbers to my way of thinking.
          But still, it would be good to outline my basic thoughts, so here we go.

          If you go to the Bergey website (http://www.bergey.com/) they have a
          wealth of information and some nifty Excel spreadsheets to help you
          determine what a Bergey should produce in your area (follow the Technical
          Stuff link on the left). Since I'm offgrid you'll be wanted to take a
          gander at the Bergey XL-R tools.

          According to the Colorado Wind Map (which you can find several place;
          the link I used was at
          http://www.eere.energy.gov/windandhydro/windpoweringamerica/maps_template.asp?stateab=co)
          my property rates as a US Category 6 area--averaging 18.8 to 20.8 mph
          (that's 8.4 - 9.3 meters/second for those using metric). That's rated at 50
          meters off the ground and I didn't plan on my tower being that high, so to
          be a good engineer I treated my property as having US Category 5 winds
          (averages of 17.7 0 18.8 mph, or 7.9 - 8.4 meters/second). The Weibull K
          factor is 2.0 at 1500 meters; the property is actually at 8000 feet (or
          about 2575 meters).

          Fortunately the spreadsheet takes all of this into account (since air is
          less dense at altitude), so when you crunch the numbers a Bergey-R system
          should produce (on average) about 64 kWh/day, or 1947 kWh/month.

          At the current home we've done okay, though our electrical usage is
          slightly above the city average (a factor I attribute mostly to our two
          waterbeds and the out-of-date fridge, freezer, and range). The city bills
          provide for excellent tracking of electrical, gas, and water usage though
          and were spot on the couple of months I measured my usage assiduously. At
          any rate, over the past 6 years our average electrical needs have been 29.58
          kwH/day, or about 887 kWh/month.

          Using those base numbers it looks like the Bergey will generate more
          than double the amount of power I need. I don't trust things that look that
          good though--they're suspicious. Since I like to have an error margin, I
          assume I'll use more power (+20% at 1064 kWh/month) and that systems never
          work as well in "real life" as their advertising would have you believe
          (-20% at 1557 kWh/month), so taking those factors into account it looks more
          like I'll draw just under 70% of what I should generate (1064/1157)--so that
          gives us a safety and "growth" margin of about 30%.

          This is good--I think any system where somebody has to worry about
          "turning on the dryer" isn't sized big enough, frankly.

          I suspect the company that I use to install the thing (sidenote:
          Anybody have somebody to recommend along the Colorado Front Range?) will
          want me to go mixed solar and wind, which I'm semi-okay with as long as it's
          not a big hit to my building budget. If solar IS too expensive to do up
          front I can easily run the lines parallel to the lines coming from the wind
          turbine down to the inverter room, and add on later. Once you've got the
          trench dug it's just as easy to run two supply lines as one, I should think.

          As to cost, that kind of depends on what the various installers want to
          do and charge. The basic Bergey package (again, from their site) for an
          Excel-R and 30 meter tower, together with associated inverters, batteries,
          and assorted whatnot, runs about $52K U.S. I can do the trenching work
          (save some bucks there) and will do the bulk of the wiring inside the
          inverter room unless that's utterly against warranty, so with taxes and
          stuff I'm probably look at closer to $60K. I can't really work out a
          cost/kW since I don't know for sure what the whole thing will cost, what
          kind of rebates there might be, the interest rate, etc. And how much I have
          on hand to put as a downpayment, of course.....no idea what/if installer
          type companies do that kind of thing or not.

          I could probably go with something less productive and cheaper, but I
          don't really see much out there that fits my profile. The Endurance looks
          like one possibility, as does the VT 10-240 (Ventera). They look to be
          slightly less (which probably means Bergey is at a bit of a premium due to
          reputation). I assume they will both perform similarly to the Bergey. The
          installer company will have the experts of course, and we'll see what they
          think.

          Choice? Economic sense? Don't really have a choice so the economic
          sense is somewhat moot anyway. Utilities estimated that running a supply
          line back to my property would cost in the neighborhood of a million
          bucks--and I'm pretty sure it would be the dead-lowest priority in the
          county to get it fixed should it break in a storm.

          The odd thing is that I never really PLANNED to build a house "off-grid"
          but that's where the property is, and there's a certain appeal to not
          depending on the grid I'll have to admit. We'll probably eventually add a
          propane generator as a backup in case the danged turbine blows over or
          something but I suspect I'll have other things to spend the construction
          dollars on at first.

          So there ya go....basic numbers, all subject to change of course.

          How's that?

          ===============================
          Steven Woodcock
          From the High, Snowy Mountains of Colorado



          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "mmk_tsm" <mmk_tsm@...>
          To: "Steven Woodcock" <wyrdhaven@...>
          Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 11:55 AM
          Subject: Re: [a-w-h] SkyStream in an off-grid hybrid system...


          Steven,
          I would say you are talking very abstract no's. Why dont you
          share some of your assumptions with the readers. Such as;
          XL10 - what is rated output? What % of rated output are you banking
          on?
          Your usage - you say you have measured it? What are your kw/h
          figures? What are maximums? Are you going to be able to cope when
          the missus turns on the dryer?
          And most importantly I would say - how much is all this going to
          cost? Pounds shillings and pence - will it make any sense?
          Economically?

          Michael.



          --- In awea-wind-home@yahoogroups.com, "Steven Woodcock"
          <wyrdhaven@...> wrote:
          >
          > What you're looking to do, bigdogues, is roughly similar to what I
          plan to do.
          >
          > I've tracked my current houses' usage for the last 6 years and it
          seems that a Bergey XL10 will do the trick for me (with about 30%
          production above my current use). I too have to build a house off-
          grid and since it's not built yet, I'm figuring that a.) it'll be
          larger so there will be more devices to use more power but b.)
          they'll all be more efficient--so I'm basically using the numbers I
          have now.
          >
          > I did make ONE concession in my calculations that I suggest you
          might want to make too. The wind in my area is rated pretty good at
          Category 6, but I did all of my calculations for the Bergey's
          production (they have a fine spreadsheet for this on their website)
          with the site rated at Category 5. As an engineer, I like having an
          error margin! ;)
          >
          > Anyway, good luck. I hope that helps!
          >
          >
          > ===============================
          > Steven Woodcock
          > From the High, Snowy Mountains of Colorado
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: Matt Tritt
          > To: bigdogues
          > Cc: awea-wind-home@yahoogroups.com
          > Sent: Monday, February 04, 2008 8:47 AM
          > Subject: Re: [a-w-h] SkyStream in an off-grid hybrid system...
          >
          >
          > 5 M/S @ 50 meters means that you will have something more in the
          4.5
          > range. You'd probably better do your own site analysis before
          leaping.
          >
          > Matt
          >
          > bigdogues wrote:
          >
          > > Hi all,
          > > I am in process of building a new home in central NH and due to
          the
          > > extreme length of the
          > > driveway have decided to go off-grid. I have toured several
          homes in
          > > my area and find that
          > > I should be able to do this easily and affordably. Right now I
          am
          > > debating going either
          > > straight solar or going with a hybrid system. I tend to lean
          towards
          > > the latter. (wind blows
          > > when the sun isn't shining and all) My home site is on top of a
          ridge
          > > with good exposure
          > > and what I think is decent wind, 5 m/s at 50m annual according
          to the
          > > wind maps. I have
          > > been looking for a good quality gennie that will work well in
          this
          > > system and be rugged
          > > enough to survive New England winters. I have been thinking
          about this
          > > for a very long
          > > time. I had even considered building my own but I have a three
          year
          > > old so time is now
          > > very precious.
          > > A lot of the machines I have looked at in the past have been
          either
          > > way too big or too
          > > small or just too heavy to handle easily. And I have read about
          many
          > > failures of all types of
          > > mills in the past.
          > > Now the SkyStream has caught my eye. I like the simplicity of
          the unit
          > > and I have read
          > > reviews by people who say it can handle real nasty weather. Not
          to
          > > mention the fact that it
          > > can be mounted on a mono-pole increases the WAF greatly. I have
          read
          > > that this mill can
          > > be used in a battery charging system but I am wondering about
          the way
          > > it would be tied
          > > in. Would this system be less efficient due to the type of mill
          this
          > > is versus a DC mill?
          > > Would the cost in additional inverters and transformers make it
          > > uneconomical to use?
          > > Any and all thoughts are appreciated.
          > > Thanks.
          >
          >
          > .
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Steven Woodcock
          Howdy Roger: I did indeed see that article--it s in the same issue of Home Power that compares/contrasts several different wind systems. That s the basis of
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 8, 2008
            Howdy Roger:


            I did indeed see that article--it's in the same issue of Home Power that compares/contrasts several different wind systems. That's the basis of my choice of Bergey and listing of the other possibilities. A good article, well done by Home Power--I've been a fan of their stuff for quite some time.

            Thanks for the point though!

            Steve

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: roger dixon
            To: 'Steven Woodcock' ; 'mmk_tsm' ; awea-wind-home@yahoogroups.com
            Cc: tangled_wood@...
            Sent: Friday, February 08, 2008 7:27 AM
            Subject: RE: [a-w-h] SkyStream in an off-grid hybrid system...


            If you haven't seen this article, perhaps it will help you in your choice of equipment to fit your needs. Discount the NJ map and use your CO wind mapping. Don't forget that proper micro siting will have an impact on your actual production.

            Roger Dixon



            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
            From: awea-wind-home@yahoogroups.com [mailto:awea-wind-home@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Steven Woodcock
            Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 9:43 PM
            To: mmk_tsm; awea-wind-home@yahoogroups.com
            Cc: tangled_wood@...
            Subject: Re: [a-w-h] SkyStream in an off-grid hybrid system...


            Howdy Michael:

            Well, your tone strikes me as a bit confrontational--there's really no
            need. I didn't really talk ANY particular numbers to my way of thinking.
            But still, it would be good to outline my basic thoughts, so here we go.

            If you go to the Bergey website (http://www.bergey.com/) they have a
            wealth of information and some nifty Excel spreadsheets to help you
            determine what a Bergey should produce in your area (follow the Technical
            Stuff link on the left). Since I'm offgrid you'll be wanted to take a
            gander at the Bergey XL-R tools.

            According to the Colorado Wind Map (which you can find several place;
            the link I used was at
            http://www.eere.energy.gov/windandhydro/windpoweringamerica/maps_template.asp?stateab=co)
            my property rates as a US Category 6 area--averaging 18.8 to 20.8 mph
            (that's 8.4 - 9.3 meters/second for those using metric). That's rated at 50
            meters off the ground and I didn't plan on my tower being that high, so to
            be a good engineer I treated my property as having US Category 5 winds
            (averages of 17.7 0 18.8 mph, or 7.9 - 8.4 meters/second). The Weibull K
            factor is 2.0 at 1500 meters; the property is actually at 8000 feet (or
            about 2575 meters).

            Fortunately the spreadsheet takes all of this into account (since air is
            less dense at altitude), so when you crunch the numbers a Bergey-R system
            should produce (on average) about 64 kWh/day, or 1947 kWh/month.

            At the current home we've done okay, though our electrical usage is
            slightly above the city average (a factor I attribute mostly to our two
            waterbeds and the out-of-date fridge, freezer, and range). The city bills
            provide for excellent tracking of electrical, gas, and water usage though
            and were spot on the couple of months I measured my usage assiduously. At
            any rate, over the past 6 years our average electrical needs have been 29.58
            kwH/day, or about 887 kWh/month.

            Using those base numbers it looks like the Bergey will generate more
            than double the amount of power I need. I don't trust things that look that
            good though--they're suspicious. Since I like to have an error margin, I
            assume I'll use more power (+20% at 1064 kWh/month) and that systems never
            work as well in "real life" as their advertising would have you believe
            (-20% at 1557 kWh/month), so taking those factors into account it looks more
            like I'll draw just under 70% of what I should generate (1064/1157)--so that
            gives us a safety and "growth" margin of about 30%.

            This is good--I think any system where somebody has to worry about
            "turning on the dryer" isn't sized big enough, frankly.

            I suspect the company that I use to install the thing (sidenote:
            Anybody have somebody to recommend along the Colorado Front Range?) will
            want me to go mixed solar and wind, which I'm semi-okay with as long as it's
            not a big hit to my building budget. If solar IS too expensive to do up
            front I can easily run the lines parallel to the lines coming from the wind
            turbine down to the inverter room, and add on later. Once you've got the
            trench dug it's just as easy to run two supply lines as one, I should think.

            As to cost, that kind of depends on what the various installers want to
            do and charge. The basic Bergey package (again, from their site) for an
            Excel-R and 30 meter tower, together with associated inverters, batteries,
            and assorted whatnot, runs about $52K U.S. I can do the trenching work
            (save some bucks there) and will do the bulk of the wiring inside the
            inverter room unless that's utterly against warranty, so with taxes and
            stuff I'm probably look at closer to $60K. I can't really work out a
            cost/kW since I don't know for sure what the whole thing will cost, what
            kind of rebates there might be, the interest rate, etc. And how much I have
            on hand to put as a downpayment, of course.....no idea what/if installer
            type companies do that kind of thing or not.

            I could probably go with something less productive and cheaper, but I
            don't really see much out there that fits my profile. The Endurance looks
            like one possibility, as does the VT 10-240 (Ventera). They look to be
            slightly less (which probably means Bergey is at a bit of a premium due to
            reputation). I assume they will both perform similarly to the Bergey. The
            installer company will have the experts of course, and we'll see what they
            think.

            Choice? Economic sense? Don't really have a choice so the economic
            sense is somewhat moot anyway. Utilities estimated that running a supply
            line back to my property would cost in the neighborhood of a million
            bucks--and I'm pretty sure it would be the dead-lowest priority in the
            county to get it fixed should it break in a storm.

            The odd thing is that I never really PLANNED to build a house "off-grid"
            but that's where the property is, and there's a certain appeal to not
            depending on the grid I'll have to admit. We'll probably eventually add a
            propane generator as a backup in case the danged turbine blows over or
            something but I suspect I'll have other things to spend the construction
            dollars on at first.

            So there ya go....basic numbers, all subject to change of course.

            How's that?

            ===============================
            Steven Woodcock
            From the High, Snowy Mountains of Colorado

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "mmk_tsm" <mmk_tsm@...>
            To: "Steven Woodcock" <wyrdhaven@...>
            Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 11:55 AM
            Subject: Re: [a-w-h] SkyStream in an off-grid hybrid system...


            .


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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