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Published on June 27th, 2015 | by Glenn Meyers

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Off-Gridders Applaud: Hybrid Solar/Wind System For Homes

Maine-based wind energy pioneer Pika Energy* now offers an appealing hybrid solar/wind system that can be used for homes or businesses. For those wishing to move away from the financial and power security constraints of being grid-dependent, this system is worth checking out.

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This hybrid system has been created to tap into two viable renewable electricity platforms (wind and solar) to take advantage of the strengths of both of those forms of renewable energy. By combining solar and wind, a more continuous clean energy system is available — solar for sunny, windless days, and wind when access to sunshine is not possible.

As to how much wind is needed to operate this system, the Pike Energy Q&A page provides solid research information:

The more wind you have, the more energy your turbine will produce. Our T701 turbine starts producing power at winds of 7 mph. A small wind turbine works best in regions with an average wind speed of at least 10 mph (4.5 m/s) at a height of 90 feet (30 m). Consult your state’s average wind speed map to assess your area’s wind resource.

Product Demonstration

According to Pika Energy press information, a home in Cassadaga, New York, became the site of Chautauqua County’s first home wind turbine. The system combined Pika Energy’s 1700-watt T701 wind turbine and a DC microgrid solution. They additionally installed a 6000-watt array of solar panels, allowing them to generate their energy from a combination of the two sources.

Backup Storage Considerations

Add to this hybrid system an energy storage unit like the Tesla Powerwall and going completely off-grid comes much closer to reality.

Energy storage is a rapidly growing field. Although Pika Energy doesn’t provide energy storage products, its engineers work continuously to ensure its product line is compatible with available electricity storage products. The company supports most battery chemistries and battery banks with voltages ranging from 24V-48V DC.

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Estimated Cost

A typical wind/solar hybrid Pika system will cost $20,000–25,000 installed. The Pika wind-only system runs closer to $15,000 installed (see video below). As for ROI on either platform, payback depends on wind activity and available solar irradiation. The cost of electricity, plus local and national incentives, should also be factored into any calculation. The system allows 2 kW of solar panels to be connected and combined with the wind turbine’s output, and it has a capacity of 1.5 kW.

This clean energy system will be exciting to watch as it gains a foothold in the renewable energy marketplace.

Video and images via Pika Energy

*This article was kindly supported by Pika Energy


 

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