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In 2018 Learn How to Build a Home That Uses Wind Power and Solar Power




Does this home really run on wind power and solar power?

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My parents envisioned their two-story dream home at the top of a huge mountain in Nova Scotia, Canada. With approximately 2400 square feet of living space, it was equipped with modern appliances and was very cozy. The remote location of their property would prevent it from being on the power grid which pushed my parents to investigate renewable energy. The answer was the wind and solar power with a backup generator and wood- burning fireplaces, including a Temp-Cast 2000. Once these systems were installed, they provided enough energy to live comfortably all year long. I have quoted my father directly on his experience with building and living in a home powered by the wind and sun so you can hear it first hand from him.

Back view of the Home

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If you are interested in a lifestyle that does not consist of paying large energy bills then this example may inspire you! I've outlined their wind and solar systems and the companies they purchased from. You can research other companies and products but these are the ones used and they were more than adequate and stood the test of time. It took about seven years to recoup the initial cost of installing the systems and then they were living free. The Wind and Solar Button will give you more information about Wind and Solar Classes, Grants, Tax Credits, Innovations, Legislation, Events, Articles and Magazines for Green Renewable Energy.


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Batteries Used: The Absolyte II Headquarters: Solar Electric Supply, Inc. 2880 Research Park Dr. # 100 Soquel, CA 95073 Toll Free 1-877-297-0014 Phone: 831-462-8243 Fax: 831-462-8246 Web address: Solarelectricsupply.com and email:contact@solarelectricsupply.com "The Absolyte II P sealed batteries are top of the line and they are maintenance free and do not give off any odors. We installed four (stacked) in 1991 and they still have life today in 2001. In September, we only needed the diesel to run twice. The longer you have the batteries, the more frequently the diesel will run. At the time of building our home, there are less expensive alternatives -like Surrette deep cycle batteries - but I would recommend you stay with Absolyte." Other Resources are www.solarhome.org

Wind Power

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After some research, the Bergey Wind Power Co. Website Bergey.com Phone (405) 364-4212 was contacted and a BWC 1500 wind power generator was purchased. "The unit is positioned on an 80' Rhone tower and is guyed into three cement pads. This unit is built to withstand very high winds with the best power output being 20-30 mph. With high winds, the generators nose takes itself out of the wind and regulates itself. The only time you need to stop the wind generator is during repairs. The brake is at the bottom of the tower and when there is a slack wind, the switch is placed in the "on" position, which stops the blades, and the repairs can proceed. After repairs, the switch is placed into the "off" position and the generator will start to spin. Also, twice a year the tower needs to be checked. The wind power generator is an excellent source of power and represents about 60% of the total power plant. It is self- regulating and should provide many years of maintenance- free power."

Solar Power

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"The 16 solar panels supplement the DC power generated by the wind. Each solar panel generates 40 watts of power for a total of 640 watts. The solar panels are facing south and on a sunny day can generate up to 11 amps of power. They are supported by railroad ties and anchored in cement and should be adjusted in the spring and the fall. In the fall, the panels should be lowered to get them as flat as possible. The raising and lowering of the solar panels take two people about 40 minutes. Be sure nothing is in front of the solar panels so that you get the maximum sun."


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Inverter used: Xantrex 541 Roske Drive, Suite A, Elkhart, Indiana 46516. Toll Free: 1-800-446-6180 Fax: 574-294-5989. Web site: www.Xantrex.com "The trace Sine-Wave 2524 inverter is state of the art, at the time of construction. It converts up to 4500 watts of DC power stored in the four batteries into 110-amp service. This is a 24-volt system and the inverter monitors the incoming voltage. During high winds, the voltage will rise to 28.2 and is regulated during times of a lack of sun and wind and as you use power, the voltage will start to drop. When the voltage drops to approximately 23.3 volts the inverter will start the diesel generator. The diesel will run for 3 hours to build up the batteries and then automatically shut off. As the diesel starts, two louvers will automatically open-one to allow air into the diesel room and one to vent the heat from the diesel. The inverter is programmed not to run between 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM for obvious reasons."

Control Panel

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"The control panel in located in the basement and allows you to monitor how much DC power you have coming in and the status of your voltage. The gauge in the upper left-hand corner monitors the solar power in amps. This gauge becomes active when there is sun and a lack of wind. The highest reading will be about 11 amps. It also reads approximate voltage. The second gauge to the right of the solar is the wind monitor. This gauge will give an approximate wind speed and voltage. While you have readings on solar and wind voltage, the only one that counts is the voltage reading on the inverter. Keep spare fuses inside the wind monitor box. DC power from the sun and wind are fed through a control box to the 4 Absolyte II P batteries. The DC power is inverted to AC 110 amp service as it goes through the Trace inverter. The circuit breaker is part of the electrical wiring service. There are two meters one meter measures KWH and the other meter measures hours the diesel has run. Since we built the house, we have used approximately 12,000 KWH and the diesel generator has run approximately 4,000 hours. The wind and the suns have generated 8,000 KWH. One of the advantages of this system is you are never without power.

Back Up Diesel Generator

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Diesel Generator Used: Onan 6.5 HP ;Kubotaengine 505 Schelter Road Lincolnshire, IL 60069 Phone: 847-955-2500 www.kubotaengine.com "The generator is an Onan 6.5 hp, 3-cylinder diesel powered by a Kubota engine. You should change the oil and oil filter every 100 hours or per the manufacturer’s instructions. The two fuel filters and the air filter should be changed once a year depending on use and I used Fleetguard oil filters (LF3462), fuel filters ( FS1233) and air filters (AF1658-K). 'The battery that starts the generator is over 1,000 cranking amps. The fuel supply for the diesel is regular home heating oil and is stored in a 200-gallon tank in the generator room. There is a clean out above the diesel that should be cleaned out once a year. During the winter, place a 100-watt bulb under the diesel to provide warmth and have an outside covers for the louvers. The only way to start the diesel is through the inverter."

Temp-Cast Fireplace

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Fireplace: Temp-Cast 2000 Company Name and Address: Temp-Cast Enviroheat Bedford Park Postal Outlet P.O. Box 94059 Toronto, ON, Canada Toll Free: 1-800-561-8594 Fax 416-486-3624, Web site: www. Tempcast.com Email staywarm@tempcast.com "The Temp-Cast 2000 is a wonderful way to heat your home. It responds to soft wood/hard wood combination. Simply, pull out the damper, fill the stove with a box of soft wood, put your paper on the top, light and close the doors. It usually takes 40 minutes for the wood to burn, and then you replace the damper. That's all you do for a day's heat. You can fire up the stove every 12 hours. In the spring and the fall one burn a day works fine. During the winter you will need two burns a day. The heat goes through the heat chambers, heats the bricks and radiates into the living area.

Propane Tank

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Propane Tank: My father said, "Propane is used for the hot water heater, space heater in the basement, dryer, wall oven and stove. The water heater and the outside storage tank were rented It holds approximately (1800 liters) 475 gallons of propane" Other Resources:(1-800-873-7467) number to Company rented from: www.propane101.com

Views from the Back of House

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Can you fathom seeing this beautiful view from your back porch? The majestic beauty of this naturally rugged land combined with the relaxed country lifestyle was enough for my parents to call Nova Scotia, Canada home. They found a life that proved to be far ahead of their time, living "off the grid" back in the late 1980's. A simple "back to basics" lifestyle was enough to sustain them and give them joy. The wind and sun provided the power they needed to enjoy an independent lifestyle. The sun blessed the large vegetable garden that provided canned goods for their friends and neighbors. The views that compelled my parents to live this way were as simple as the life they shared together. Live a simple life with God first, followed by love of friends and your community.


This page is dedicated to my father who passed of cancer 3-10-06. I honor his journey with this page and hope it will inspire others to live more simply and let the earth provide for them as it did for him.