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Should You Choose Solar Or Wind Energy – or both?

There is a lot of talk on the net about either solar energy or wind energy. Many homes decide to use one or the other. Most choose solar energy for their home. But have you ever considered using both? If they could both be installed affordably, for the average family, then why not? Here are some of the advantages of having both solar and wind energy to power your home.

You can now make your own solar panels for about a dollar per watt. Even cheaper if you buy in bulk. I recently bought 600 watts worth of solar cells for $50 on the internet. They were broken in half. But some tape and soldering and they produce every bit as much power as new, whole solar cells do. 65 watts worth of B grade chipped or broken solar cells cost about $15. Then you need to make the frame and glass or plexiglas cover for the solar panel. But it is now very affordable and easy to make your own solar panels at home.

Some auto parts stores now sell high powered golf cart batteries at a very affordable price. Add in some electronics and you have a very affordable solar power system that anyone can make at home.

But you only get maximum solar energy output when the sun is shining. When it is cloudy or raining, you are not charging your batteries very much. So you need to have more solar panels and more batteries to be able to make it through three to five days of clouds or rain. That adds a lot to the overall price of your energy system.

What about a windmill? Usually when the sun is not shining much, we have higher winds. Cloudy or stormy weather usually brings wind with it. When the sun is not shining and your solar panels are not producing much power, a windmill can take up the slack.

What about at night when the sun is not shining at all? In some northern states in the US, in winter we get a maximum of about 5 hours of usable sunlight per day for solar panels. That is not much. That leaves 19 hours with no energy output. With a windmill to supplement your energy supply, you should have a lot more usable energy, year round.

DIY windmills are also becoming more affordable. And if you do not want to make one yourself, look on the internet. You can often find very low priced windmills. Factory made windmills are now running about 50 cents to a dollar per watt online. Check ebay for some of the best prices on the internet.

You can make your own windmill at home as well. See our article here: How to make a windmill from a table fan. Of course, you can apply this article to larger motors and get much more energy output. The theory is the same. Open up an AC motor, add some magnets to the rotor, put it all back together and you have a wind turbine or generator. Add some windmill blades and you have a windmill. That simple.

So, the bottom line is that you can power your home cheaper with a combination of both DIY solar panels and wind turbine energy. And you can have power output during most hours year round.

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Troy Reid


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