Wind and Solar for Your Home
How would you like solar and wind power right in your own back yard? Arizona is not the windiest state, but Southwest Windpower up in Flagstaff has been making small-scale efficient windmills for individual properties for years, and now they have a model that has solar attached to create clean energy practically around the clock. As there are many properties on an acre or more in the South Mountain and Laveen areas, these could be a great addition to your yard if you live in the area.
Southwest Windpower’s new Sky Stream Hybrid 6 combines a wind generator and six solar panels with a GPS controlled tracking mechanism that follows the sun for more efficient energy production. This tracking helps deliver as much as 35 percent more power than fixed panels.
Pairing solar and wind-power generation have become a no brainer in many parts of the state and country. Bringing both into local backyards–and since both have seasonal lulls at different times–this combination ensures reliable electricity from wind and sunlight depending on availability.
This 1.5 kw Wind and Solar Hybrid System from Silicon Solar functions both on and off grid. The system charges a small set of batteries and when the batteries are fully charged the unit grid connects and will slow your meter or even turn it backwards. In the event of a grid failure, the system reverts to a stand alone (off grid) function and will continue to supply your home with power for essential loads (water, refrigeration, boiler operation). This system features a proven 1 kw wind turbine which peaks at 1300 watts, in addition to more than 500 watts of solar input. This system will keep you up and running when all else fails, like a “clean energy” generator.
Remember that as with any solar application, it is best to make sure that all of the energy and comfort systems in the house or building you own are working as efficiently as possible and using the least amount of energy before you add solar or wind power. Then you will get the most return from the energy created on site. To accurately figure out how to make all of your systems work as efficiently as possible, a HERS energy rating is recommended by a reputable Energy Rater (we used to call these Energy Auditors –and you may remember that I had one perform a simple audit of my home a few years back).
Now most Energy Raters use the HERS (Home Energy Rating Systems) to assign a value of energy efficiency to a home. It’s like miles-per-gallon for a car. You can use this rating and the included suggestions and fixes to upgrade the efficiency of your property and save energy and money while keeping comfort at the same level.
You can go to the website to get details for a free Sitelook wind and solar energy assessment.
Written by Chris Bale
For more information, Chris Bale can be reached at 602-573-0700. chrisbalesgreenteam.com. Bale also hosts the Radio Show “Real Estate Radio with the Green Team” Saturdays on AM 1480 KPHX at 11 am.
Photo of Southwest Windpower Sky Stream, taken by Theresa Bierer