off-grid solar and wind power specialists

 Is Solar Energy Or Wind Power Right For You ?

Tree flagging - a sure sign of good wind speeds...

Remote Power - Site Location And Resources

The site location, layout and resources are all important when considering an off-grid solar or wind power system.

The available natural resource for any site dictates the type of system best suited to supply the power. Globally, sites closer to the equator will have more sun, whereas those nearer the poles are likely to have higher wind speeds.

If you are considering solar panels, the selected installation area needs to be unshaded all year round, bearing in mind the low winter sun angle and long winter shadows.

In Europe, the solar array will need to be facing roughly towards South, ideally with potential to tilt the panels at an angle of 30 to 60 degrees from the horizontal.

If you are considering a wind turbine, the area must not be surrounded by trees or buildings. The mast needs to be as tall as possible. A wind generator needs a clean, smooth, laminar flow of air, as any turbulence seriously reduces the output.

Solar & Wind Power Economics

Generating power from solar & wind energy is not cheap. The equipment required can be an expensive capital outlay. Additionally, at remote sites, the power generated needs to be stored in batteries which are also costly.

However, for many off-grid sites, the cost of a mains connection often makes a stand-alone power system economically viable. Even in less remote areas, the costs of running mains cables can be very high, especially if roads or car parks have to be disrupted.

The economics of any off-grid solar or wind energy system are directly related to the amount of energy required. This is why high efficiency is vital, as each watt saved by efficient appliances reduces cost of the system significantly.

Common Solar & Wind Myths

Solar panels take more energy to manufacture than they ever produce ?

Most modern solar panels have an 'energy payback' of around 3 years. Some pv technologies have an energy payback of under a year. Solar pv has a working life of over 40 years.

Wind generators take more energy to manufacture than they ever produce ?

Modern large scale wind turbines have an 'energy payback' of under a year. Smaller scale wind generators will have a longer payback, probably more like 3 to 5 years. Most wind generators have a working life of around 20 years.

Next... How much power do you need ? >

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