Maine solar house tour,how to power my home with solar,solar panel lease massachusetts - Try Out

This prepping and survival blog post compares wind turbines to solar panels — the two most common off-grid power sources. A 100-watt solar panel sells (as of this writing) for around $200 to $250, making the price about $2 to $2.50 per watt. However, a 100W solar panel is not going to give you 1200 watt-hours of power for 12 hours of daylight. A solar panel has a rated power of 100 watts if it produces 100 watts in mid-day full sun (ideal conditions).
The power output of a wind turbine is equal to the power in the wind times the efficiency of the turbine in turning that wind power into electricity.
The power in the wind is calculated as the wind speed cubed times the density of air times one half times the swept area of the turbine (all in metric units) to obtain the power in Watts.
So by choosing a higher wind speed for the rated power, a company can claim a higher power rating. I suggest that you figure on getting at most 150 watts per square meter of swept area from a small wind turbine.
If you could obtain the rated wind speed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, you would get 10,512 kWhr per year from a 1.2 kW rated turbine. Right now, solar panels are significantly less expensive than wind turbines, in terms of the power that you get per day. Solar panels (PV) are a good way to have some source of electric power in situations where connection to the grid is impractical. True, but I’m thinking more along the lines of a smaller power system for charging phones, 12-volts, laptops, etc. I’ve crunched the same numbers and found them both to be horribly expensive and inefficient. Adding a couple of motors and light sensors you can obtain much more power for a little work.
Houses built to the Passive House standard: The most rigorous building energy standard on the planet! Services include a home performance energy audit, installation of energy efficient improvements and a final home evaluation.
Under the legislation, the state would study solar power’s financial value and set goals for certain amounts of generation. Any perception that Maine is too cold or cloudy to take advantage of solar energy should fade, they say, because of action taken recently in other Northeast states. A solar panel array on the roof of a house on Lynda Road in Portland gathers sunlight Wednesday.
Matt Bush, Seth Kiernan and Brandon Bernard of ReVision Energy install support systems for solar panels on a house on Falmouth Road in Falmouth. Maine is the only state in New England without any specific policies that support solar energy, advocates say. That interest will be gauged Tuesday in Augusta, when the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee holds a public hearing on a bill meant to encourage greater development of solar power in Maine.
The bill has attracted co-sponsors who include leading Democratic lawmakers and a co-chair of the energy committee. But questions are being raised about the wisdom of setting ambitious goals for solar-electric installation before the overall costs and benefits are calculated. Led in part by imports from China, panel or module prices have tumbled in recent years, which has greatly cut the cost of producing electricity. Advocates like to point out that Germany averages one-third less sunshine than Maine, but has had periods when the sun has provided more than 30 percent of its consumed power. Not as frequently mentioned is that Germany’s solar boom has been driven by generous feed-in tariffs and other subsidies that are now being reduced. The German experience highlights the critical role that public policy plays in the development of solar energy.
Maine has between three and four megawatts of installed capacity now, with one megawatt enough to power 167 average homes. ReVision, the state’s largest solar installer, has 60 employees and has put up more than 3,000 systems in Maine and New Hampshire. But megawatts may not be the best way to gauge solar power in Maine, said Patrick Woodcock, director of the Governor’s Energy Office. CMP spokesman John Carroll noted that the bill would ask the Public Utilities Commission to study the value of solar energy and report back to the Legislature in January 2015.


In Boothbay Harbor, the PUC is overseeing an experiment testing a combination of solar power, efficiency measures and backup generation as a cheaper alternative to building a new transmission line. Here at MaineToday Media we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion.
A brand new passive solar house completes the first piece of a long held dream for homeowner Jason Peacock. Heating will be handled by electric heaters and an all-in-one air source heat pump by Polar Air (found at Maine Green Building Supply).
Jason will be writing here at Green Homes of Maine about his experience with building this home in the coming months! This property is the solar house of a private family, but they have placed detailed information online. This makes sense because the angle of the sun and occasional cloudiness will reduce panel output considerably. The American Wind Energy Association has published standards for wind turbine specs here [PDF].
Huge multi-megawatt off-shore wind turbines placed high above sea level have an efficiency of 25 to almost 40 percent efficiency.
Some companies use a higher number, so that their wind turbine will have a higher power rating. What I’d like to find is an off-the shelf (or easy to assemble kit) wind turbine, of about 1 to 2 square meters swept area, for about $100 to $200 dollars. While on the surface the solar panels seem economical, in practical terms the cost of the panels doesn’t even come close to the total. They are adjuncts to the cloudy-day failings of the panels or are supplemental to the grid-tie.
New York, for instance, announced a $1 billion plan this month to install enough solar-electric panels to power 465,000 homes. Maine has only three to four megawatts of installed capacity at a time when solar power is taking off around the Northeast. Under the legislation, the state would study solar power’s financial value and set goals for certain amounts of generation.
One would revive a recently repealed rebate program for installing certain wind- and solar-energy equipment. In the United States, people who install renewable energy systems, including solar, qualify for a 30 percent credit on their federal taxes. The solar bill would set a goal of at least 40 megawatts by 2016, 200 megawatts by 2020 and 500 megawatts by 2030. To hit the 40-megawatt benchmark, Mueller figures solar panels could go on 4,000 homes and 330 businesses.
Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic, said the goals reflect how far behind Maine is in encouraging solar development. The solar panels work best in the summer, when the demand for electricity in the resort town is highest. The two bedroom, one-and-a-half bath sits on a Frost Protected Shallow Foundation (popular in Scandinavian countries).
A natural stain was used to color the concrete floors on the first level, while locally sourced pine was used in the second floor bedroom.
Dual flush toilets, and a low flow shower head minimize water usage in the home, while a 110 volt solar powered well pump brings fresh cool well water into the house. The house being so tight coupled with the solar gain on the concrete slab keeps the home moderate even without heat. We should expect the price per watt to go up for smaller units because there is a certain minimum cost to make any product.
Similarly, a wind turbine is rated at say 1,000 watts if it produces that amount of power at its rated wind speed. But a small wind turbine, even one with an excellent design, in your backyard is probably about 20% efficient at best. But that assumes zero percent humidity, an altitude of sea level, and a temperature of 14 degrees centigrade (57.2 F). But based on the power in the wind and the rated power, some companies are essentially claiming an efficiency higher than an off-shore multi-megawatt multi-million dollar turbine. Unless you live in an RV loaded with 12 Volt appliances, you need to convert the power output from the panels into something that standard appliances need as a usable form with an inverter.


The other, called a feed-in tariff, would require utilities to buy power from small generators of renewable power at a set rate.
In one year, it doubled the solar capacity that had been installed in the state over a decade. Jason also works at Maine Green Building Supply where he has honed his sustainable knowledge. Open cell spray foam insulation equaling an R-25 value in the 2×6 wall construction with a thermal break on the studs and R-50 in the ceilings keeps things well insulated.
Wall finishes include pine clapboard, American Clay natural finish, and no-voc paints throughout. LED lighting throughout the house manages a very low electrical draw while proving a nice spectrum at night. Air conditioning is not needed (but will be an option with the Heat Pump) as again the tight envelope of the home creates a moderate, year-round temperature. At 20 degrees (68 F), 500 meters of altitude, and 50% humidity, the air density is about 8% less, and so is the power output.
So when you combine all of the above factors, the rated power of a wind turbine may have little to do with its actual power output.
And when the wind is faster, most turbines will not produce more power than at the rated speed. Even though practically you can only expect it to run at about 40% capacity (2400w), it will do that pretty much 24 hours a day (we don’t really get frozen rivers or even snow here). The current 3,000-megawatt goal includes $40 million a year in state funds for utility incentive programs for small and mid-sized projects.
Passionate about green, when Jason bought 36 acres of land just outside of Wiscasset, Maine he had a very specific vision in mind. From the house plans to hand selecting every material and driving each nail, this home has been a labor of love. For the exterior, Jason chose fiber-cement board with a rain-screen wall detail for its durability and reducing ongoing painting maintenance. The kitchen (images coming soon) boasts a highly efficient refrigerator, magnetic induction range, no dishwasher, and Paperstone countertops.
All the electricity on sunny days is provided by a 3.6 kilowatt photovoltaic array on the roof. The price per watt drops significantly at that price-point, but it is still at an affordable level. When the wind is slower, the power output falls dramatically — again because the power is dependent on the wind speed cubed. Similarly, unless your day rises and sets with the sun, any use of the solar power at night (or cloudy days?) requires a storage system of some kind AKA batteries. It’s still not enough to recover the investment in the hydroelectric turbine anytime soon, but it seems to be the most efficient way.
This, mounted over high quality vapor permeable moisture barrier (Vapro Shield) creates an ability for the house to dry out well. The house is grid tied, so on days like the one we visited where the array pumped out 18.5 kWhrs of power, Jason is banking credits with CMP to be used later.
If we multiply 4200 watts times 12 hours of daylight times 30 days, we get 1512 kilowatt-hours per month. Take away about 8% for a lower air density than the ideal, and you have about 150 watts per sq m. Not the Walmart automotive batteries, but special deep cycle batteries like for a golf cart or indoor forklift. Apparent in every detail of the design and finishes, Jason’s knowledge of products and materials shine in a very deep green hue.
The Windspire turbine is 1200 watts rated power (1.2 kW), but only 2000 kWhr per year by AWEA specs. Jason loved the look of the machine tooling that had taken place long ago, saving it from the wood chipper and usage as wood pellets.



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