While motor based generator are the usual replacement or complement to local main power, various other sources of energy could be used. Before to order, a local investigation should be performed to check if the minimum requirements (see below) are meet.
The efficiency curve of a motor based generators is usually optimum close to the maximum power. When producing low power (less than 30 %), this efficiency generally drop. It could be advisable to add to the generator an inverter / charger with batteries to store the energy when the generator is running, and to use the inverter when the generator is off. This could avoid running the generator during the night just to power some lights.
- - Avoid installing the inverter and the batteries in hot environment
- - Connecting cables between the batteries and the inverter should be as shorter as possible.
- - Inverter output power (VA):as per needed
- - Inverter maximum ambient temperature: as high as possible (sup 40 °C)
- - Inverter signal: full sinus system
- - Inverter efficiency: better than 90 %
- - Inverter battery Voltage: 24 V recommended up to 3 kVA, then 48 V up to 7 kVA
- - Batteries type: Deep gel maintenance free recommended (<Link to solar batteries>)
- - Battery capacity: as needed, but at least 3 times the electrical capacity required to avoid short life time of the battery.
Solar kits generators could provide a significant amount of energy. However, as solar panels are costly, it is highly advisable to lower the energy consumption as much as possible, for example using high efficient bulbs or appliance.
While the detailed technical specifications could only be provided after a complete technical investigation and calculation, the following could be used as an approximation:
Surface required: about 1 m2 for 100 W of solar panel
Cost: about CHF 1000 for 100W of solar panels
Battery capacity: as needed, but at least 3 times the electrical capacity required to avoid short life time of the battery.
Solar kit content:
Solar panels with support
If required energy saving lamps could be added to the kit
Wind generator could sometime be installed in complement of an existing solar kit installation if the following requirements are met:
- - Environment with significant duration of wind at speed more than 4m/s
- - Maximum wind speed during climatic event lower than 43 m/s (150 km/h)
- - Production site not close to houses as wind mill could produce noise an vibrations
Water generator could sometime be installed if the following requirements are met:
- - Availability of a running water source with constant flow
- - Possibility to perform civil engineering work
- - Power 500 W to 60 kW