Vancouver's Leader in Transition toward Strong, Resilient, Complete Communities
In the next few weeks we are going to begin an off grid solar installation at our home in Tsawwassen. I had considered a grid tied system but that just equates to feeding the beast that's killing us all, and now with their Smart Meter program grid tied just isn't an option.
Off grid is more complicated and more expensive. Way more expensive... lol
That's a lovely chart. :)
I have to correct myself on the last entry I made as we had produced over 4kWh/day, once in Feb and several times in March. I was looking at the wrong column. And we didn't run the generator every day for 3 hours, that was every other day during the previous Dec and Jan.
Ah but this Feb is stellar. We ran the generator only 11 hours compared to 16 from the previous year. We met 90% of our demand with a total production of 71 kW and a usage of 79. That's up 5.5% from last Feb.
I'm leaning towards a small sail boat sized wind turbine on the roof for next winter. I suppose it'll cost around $4k installed. It's the next logical step.
I wonder what the municipal bylaws are around wind turbines. "Greenest city" Vancouver has no rules on solar PV, and the inspectors also have no training on their proper set-up and connections. The situation is extremely frustrating as it significantly drives up costs and uncertainty. It is decidedly not a DIY project, and due only to opaque or non-existant city rules.
I agree that wind can provide some nice diversity of power input, but you'd have to carefully assess your annual wind load. I have a small hand-held anemometer, and I know they make relatively cheap roof-mounted ones, and you'd want one that produces a full time-series (often called an anemograph or wind-logger). I found one here: http://www.scientificsales.com/WindLog-Wind-Data-Logger-p/windlog.htm. You could then avoid the problem that the Grouse Mountain wind turbine has, producing less expected power over its lifetime than it took to build it. (More info on this fact here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/147478414/Our-Post-Truth-Culture-and-Gree... )
Through all of this, I am oddly jealous of the Germans, who pay 40 cents per kWh, over four times what we do. We'd be making out like kings there, in comparison with our less abled or inspired neighbours. We might even have taken the next step and be earning money from feeding the net and undercutting all other more polluting power sources (who are so heavily subsidized here). Canada needs a serious energy policy, especially now that the tar sands are going belly up.
Anyway, once again, I have to say that you have a LOT to teach the world, and most likely have the most resilient household energy system in Canada.