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But not a really big one. I am just talking about a little 10 watt or so turbine. I am thinking I will mount it right above my solar landscape panel. Maybe the panel could provide a little more wind as the air tries to go up and over it. This location is not ideal but it makes mounting the unit much easier. Normally, you want unobstructed clean air for any wind turbine.
The hope for this little unit would be in the winter. The last three winters the landscape lights have gone dark from the middle of December until the middle of January. Coming on for maybe a few day here or there. Since the lights don’t use very much I only need to replace a minimal amount. Of course, in the middle of winter, the Sun may not come out for a couple of weeks. That is what make a hybrid system so nice. When the Sun is out, the battery gets charged for the solar panel. When it is cloudy, the wind is usually blowing. That is where the small turbine helps out.
Wind is a 24 hour a day resource. In my area the wind seems to die down after sunset but one can still have breezy nights. Even with a small turbine, say 10 watts, you could capture over 200 watts on a breezy day. That would power my lights for more than a few days. The big debate now is what size to get? There is a small outfit that makes “project” windmills. USA Wind Generators, makes 10, 30, 50 125 and larger wind generators at a very reasonable price. The 10 watt model can be had for about $30 +shipping, The problem for the two smallest models is startup wind speed. I don’t see many 15mph days. The 50 watt model can only survive 20mph winds. i.e. say good bye in a thunderstorm.
My current thought is the remove two blades for the 50 watt model. This means I would have two extra blades and the unit should be able to survive higher winds. The output will be less but it is already high enough. The start-up speed will change but hopefully it will not go up too much. My only wish now would be for a metal hub instead of a ABS plastic.
I can’t let it simmer. I mean on some days I use almost 30 kW hours extra just to cool my home! And I only live in Indiana. Think of the people that live further south and want to keep their house cool.
My AC unit is almost ten years old. I think I can make a great case to replace it before it breaks down. Knock on wood, we have had no problems with it at all! It’s just very inefficient. Currently, I am thinking about an inverter unit. This brand also has a zone feature. Since I think the upstairs needs far more AC then the entire house it may save me money just because of the zone feature.
Next step is to get some quotes.
Someone, not me, forgot to close the umbrella on the back patio. Well, a storm came through and blew it right into the house. One window is now broken. So the question is,
Repair or Replace?
How efficient are my windows right now? Not very. I have double pane with 7/8″ argon filled gap. No low-e coating. From what I can tell, that is about R-2.5. In another blog, I figured I was wasting twice as much energy from heating my house because of windows and doors. Not that all of that waste can be stopped. I still need t get into the house! But, if even 50% of the heat loss is from the windows, I could save money by upgrading. (R-2.5 is equal to a U value of 0.4)
I can replace the window for over $600 or repair it for $240. This was a very easy decision, repair. I am not ready to spend $600 for one window. I want to replace them all and not right now.And I don’t have thousands of dollars. But…
How much would I save if I were to replace my windows with the installers recommended R-8.3 window. If installation was comparable to what I have now then I would lose 3X less energy. That would be about 35% saving in lost heat energy. Or, very close to a 20% total saving in total energy. How much would the saving in $$$ be. Well not as much as you think. Maybe $200 a year in heating saving, and another $50 in cooling. A non-cost adder would be increased levels of comfort. I know I would save more money by replacing my HVAC and it would cost less. But neither are happening anytime soon.
I have the unit currently on water heat duty. I use only 20 kW hours a month of the little 20 gallon hot water heater. Now I would like to get some good data for just the AC unit. One small problem is that the furnace fan will not be included on the TED 1000 display. I think I can just calculate the additional wattage and add it to the final number without too much of a problem.
Since my new electric bill just came out I have to wait almost two month to compare with the electric company. That does not stop me from comparing to the TED 5000 I have installed on the main house panel though. As I figured from before I would guess a new unit could save about 200 kW hours of a current 500kW hour AC load. Now I get to see if I really have a 500 kW hour a month load. :-)