Surprisingly solar photovoltaic panels produce energy more efficiently
at colder temperatures. This only partially offsets the lack
of sunlight during winter months. Combined with a wind turbine
it is possible to get all required electrical energy in the
winter from renewable sources even in Canada. Copyright 2004
types of solar photovoltaic panels are available. The most
widely used panels are the rigid type originally developed
for the space program. These panels combine many solar cells
into a panel. Solar cells of different types (chrystaline,
poly chrystaline) are available providing different levels
of energy conversion efficiency. Some newer panels are flexible.
Other newer systems are increasing the density and efficiency
of the solar cells. Solar panels come in a wide variety of
sizes and rated power output.
thinking suggests that the best use of solar panels or flexible
solar cells are when incorporated directly into the design
of the structure. Home, apartments and office towers are now
using solar panels in the roofing, as siding, for shading
and much more.
The use of an
inverter allows DC current to be transformed into AC current. The
Trace inverter below is a smaller unit rated at 2500 watts. This
unit is being hooked up to the wind turbine using the thick white
cable to the left of the picture.
Trace inverterabove is being hooked up to a 1kWh wind turbine
(a Bergey XL1). The laptop computer runs software that allows
the inverter to be configured and for monitoring the amount
of power generated. Copyright 2004 John Wilson
can be hooked up to the utility grid in a number of different ways.
Some wind turbine systems come with the required electronics to
hook up to the grid directly. Other systems may require the use
of an additional inverter system to convert DC to AC current. Grid
connections can be made in a number of different ways. Direct connections
through your electrical meter will turn that meter backwards when
more energy is generated than used. A "net metering" approach
provides two meters so that generated electricity is supplied directly
into the grid and measured so that the bill may be reduced by the
appropriate amount (or you may be able to get paid for excess beyond
what you use in some places).
means that all the energy generated by the wind turbine will be
used or stored on site. No connection to the utility grid is available
in this configuration. This situation requires a substantial investment
in batteries and charge control management systems so that excess
energy can be stored for use when peak demands arise.
modern house uses 15 solar panels on a tracker and a large
bank of batteries to provide all required power off-the-grid.
In order to minimize the power requirements this house has
a super efficienty SunFrost refrigerator. The heating system
is an in-floor hydronic system with a high efficiency in-line
gas boiler. Copyright 2004 John Wilson
on the Web on how you too can take advantage of solar, wind, straw
bale, green roofing and to learn much more about the construction
of the Wilson home see - http://www.NaturalLifeNetwork.com/wilson
/ Martin Liefhebber
The firm is the award winning architect for the Wilson House.
Breathe Architects is an unique design firm with leading edge expertise
in ecological and renewable energy systems. The firm combines a
variety of interrelated disciplines to develop affordable and environmentally
Construction Inc. (formerly C & R Construction) / Colin Richards
Kolapore Construction is in the custom home construction business
with a distinct view to the integration of natural, ecologically
friendly, and renewable energy resources.
Corporation / Leonard Allen
We are innovators, committed to a leadership role in the development
and utilization of solar electric technologies in mainstream applications.
Our team is building a unique company that is powered by vision...
a vision that sees our products providing an avenue for transparent
integration of renewable energy into everyday markets.