Renewable Energy and Hybrid Power The Combining of two or more Energy sources to make your alternative Power System fully functional year round.
Renewable Energy Making Your Own Clean Electricity
Generating electricity using your own small Hybrid Power system from Renewable=Energy fits the circumstances and values of many home and small business owners. People enjoy the independence they gain and the knowledge that their actions are helping the environment not to mention the significant amount of money they save..
Hybrid Power system incorporating Renewable Energy system can be used to supply some or all of your electricity needs. Some people, especially those in remote areas, use the electricity from their systems in place of electricity supplied to them by power providers (i.e., electric utilities). These are called stand-alone (off-grid) systems.
Others connect their systems to the grid and use them to reduce the amount of conventional power supplied to them through the grid. A grid-connected system allows you to sell any excess power you produce back to your power provider.
Connecting Your System to the Electricity Grid
While Renewable Energy systems are capable of powering houses and small businesses without any connection to the electricity grid, many people prefer the advantages that grid-connection offers.
A grid-connected system allows you to power your home or small business with Renewable Energy during those periods (diurnal as well as seasonal) when the sun is shining, the water is running, or the Wind is blowing. Any excess electricity you produce is fed back into the grid. When renewable resources are unavailable, electricity from the grid supplies your needs, thus eliminating the expense of electricity storage devices like batteries.
In addition, power providers (i.e., electric utilities) in most states allow net metering, an arrangement where the excess electricity generated by grid-connected Renewable Energy systems "turns back" your electricity meter as it is fed back into the grid. Thus, if you use more electricity than your system feeds into the grid during a given month, you pay your power provider only for the difference between what you used and what you produced.
Your local system supplier or installer should know about and be able to help you meet the requirements from your community and power provider.
Metering and Rate Arrangements for Grid-Connected Systems
The Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act of 1978 (PURPA) requires power providers to purchase excess power from grid-connected small Renewable Energy systems at a rate equal to what it costs the power provider to produce the power itself. Power providers generally implement this requirement through various metering arrangements. Here are the metering arrangements you are likely to encounter:
• Net purchase and sale
Under this arrangement, two uni-directional meters are installed—one records electricity drawn from the grid, and the other records excess electricity generated and fed back into the grid. You pay retail rate for the electricity you use, and the power provider purchases your excess generation at its avoided cost (wholesale rate). There may be a significant difference between the retail rate you pay and the power provider's avoided cost.
• Net metering,
Net metering provides the greatest benefit to you as a consumer. Under this arrangement, a single, bi-directional meter is used to record both electricity you draw from the grid and the excess electricity your system feeds back into the grid. The meter spins forward as you draw electricity, and it spins backward as the excess is fed into the grid. If, at the end of the month, you've used more electricity than your system has produced, you pay retail price for that extra electricity. If you've produced more than you've used, the power provider generally pays you for the extra electricity at its avoided cost. The real benefit of net metering is that the power provider essentially pays you retail price for the electricity you feed back into the grid.
Some power providers will now let you carry over the balance of any net extra electricity your system generates from month to month, which can be an advantage if the resource you are using to generate your electricity is seasonal. If, at the end of the year, you have produced more than you've used, you forfeit the excess generation to the power provider.
These are some Renewable Energy technologies available for use today:
• Small-Solar electric systems
• Small-Wind electric systems
• Small Hybrid Power systems (Solar, Wind, hydro).
Before you purchase and install a small renewable=energy system, you should analyze your electricity loads to see if one of the small renewable=energy systems can meet all or enough of your electricity needs. Technology below makes it cost effective and easy to implement but knowing your demand for energy will help you make the right alternative power choice.
Renewable Energy Choices made easy
Electric Energy Analysis can Identify Your Electricity Loads
Calculating your electricity needs is the first step in the process of investigating Renewable Energy systems for your home or small business. A thorough examination of your electricity needs helps you determine the following:
• The size (and therefore, cost) of the system you'll need
• How your energy needs fluctuate throughout the day and over the year
• Measures you can take to reduce your electricity use.
Conducting a load analysis involves recording the wattage and average daily use of all of the electrical devices which are plugged into your central power source, such as refrigerators, lights, televisions, and power tools. Some loads, like your refrigerator, use electricity all the time, while others, like power tools, use electricity intermittently. Loads that use electricity intermittently are often referred to as selectable loads. If you are willing to use your selectable loads only when you have extra power available, you may be able to install a smaller renewable=energy system.
To determine your total electricity consumption:
• Multiply the wattage of each appliance by the number of hours it is used each day (be sure to take seasonal variations into account). Some appliances do not give the wattage, so you may have to calculate the wattage by multiplying the amperes times the volts. Generally, power use data can be found on a sticker, metal plate, or cord attached to the appliance.
• Record the time(s) of day the load runs for all selectable loads.
See Learn More on the right side of this page (or below if you've printed it out) for resources and tools to help you analyze your electricity loads.
For information about determining the overall energy efficiency of your home, see energy audits:
Energy Audits made Simple
Electric Energy Analysis can Reduce your Energy Needs
There are many ways you can reduce electricity use in your home and help reduce your energy bills. Also, if you're interested in using a small Renewable Energy system to make your own electricity, reducing your electricity loads will help make your system more cost effective.
You can reduce electricity use in your home by focusing on where and how you use electricity in these areas:
• Appliances and electronics
Purchase energy-efficient products and operate them efficiently.
Purchase energy-efficient products, operate them efficiently, and incorporate more day lighting into your home using energy-efficient windows and skylights.
• Electric space heating and cooling
Purchase energy-efficient electric systems and operate them efficiently. Incorporate passive solar design concepts into your home, which include using energy-efficient windows. Properly insulate and air seals your home. Select an energy-efficient heating system that doesn't use electricity.
• Electric water heating
Purchase an energy-efficient electric water heater and operate it efficiently. Or select an energy-efficient water heater that doesn't use electricity.
To improve the overall energy efficiency of your home, see Home Energy Audits.
Home Energy Audits
Operating Your System Off-Grid
If you're designing a new home, you should work with the builder and your contractor to incorporate your small renewable energy system into your whole-house design—an approach for building an energy-efficient home.
Stand-alone systems are more cost-effective than connecting to the grid.
For many people, powering their homes or small businesses using a small Renewable Energy system or a Hybrid Power that is not connected to the electricity grid—called a stand-alone system—makes economic sense and appeals to their environmental values.
In remote locations, stand-alone systems can be more cost-effective than extending a power line to the electricity grid (the cost of which can range from $15,000 to $50,000 per mile). But these systems are also used by people who live near the grid and wish to obtain independence from the power provider or demonstrate a commitment to non-polluting energy sources and to get out of the never ending increase in energy rates.
Successful stand-alone systems generally take advantage of a combination of techniques and technologies to generate reliable power, reduce costs, and minimize inconvenience. Some of these strategies include using wind and solar systems and reducing the amount of electricity required to meet your needs.
Your local system supplier or installer, a local renewable- energy organization, or your state energy office should be able to help you navigate the specific requirements in your community.
Renewable Energy used by Hybrid Power System supplies this building all of its energy needs.
Hybrid Power from Solar/Wind Electric Systems
According to many Renewable Energy experts, a small Hybrid Power electric system that combines wind and solar (photovoltaic) technologies offers several advantages over either single system.
In much of the United States, wind speeds are low in the summer when the sun shines brightest and longest. The wind is strong in the winter when less sunlight is available. Because the peak operating times for wind and solar systems occur at different times of the day and year, hybrid systems are more likely to produce power when you need it. Hybrid Power systems can be stand-alone systems, which operate "off-grid"—not connected to an electricity distribution system. For the times when neither the wind nor the solar system are producing, most hybrid systems provide power through batteries and/or generator power, which can be magnetic which requires no use of fuels or renewable- energy sources. If the batteries run low, generator can provide power and recharge the batteries or run the electrical system indefinitely.
Keep in mind that if your Hybrid Power system will only be Wind/Solar that the storage capacity must be large enough to supply electrical needs during non-charging periods.
Battery banks are typically sized to supply the electric load for one to three days.
Whatever your Hybrid Power plan ends up incorporating into your overall energy production needs you can be proud of the contribution you will make to reducing our dependency on conventional fossil fuel as well as your efforts to improve our environment. Saving money is a great bonus for being an alternative power producer.
Small Wind electric systems are one of the most cost-effective home-based Renewable Energy systems. These systems are also nonpolluting.
If a small Wind electric system is right for you, it can do the following:
• Lower your electricity bills by 50%–90%
• Help you avoid the high costs of having utility power lines extended if you live in a remote location
• Help uninterruptible power supplies ride through extended utility outages.
Small Wind electric systems can also be used for a variety of other applications, including water pumping on farms and ranches.
Wind and Solar Hybrid
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