The Pros and Cons of Combining Wind and Solar Off Grid
When working on your own off grid solar setup you might start thinking about capturing more free energy, in the form of wind. Should you go down this path? We say probably not. It’s more trouble and cost than it’s worth, particularly compared to solar.
Those closely familiar with small scale wind turbines will say that nearly all wind generators have somewhat generous ratings, and the power output is usually specified at the max output. In reality, you will almost always get less energy than those ratings.
There is a tendency to over-estimate how much wind one actually gets, too. You will ultimately end up with less than ¼ of the turbine's rated energy with lower wind speeds!
Now consider the installation. You’ll need to get a very sturdy structured installation that gets your wind turbine at least 30’ in the air which remains steady during times of heavy wind and storms. Factor in the need for running electrical wiring from the turbine down to an inverter and you’re losing precious energy along the way. Sadly, the costs greatly outweigh the benefits in this case.
These are just the most common issues at hand. An excellent tutorial on wind energy, as well as advantages and disadvantages can be found here: http://www.alternative-energy-tutorials.com/wind-energy/wind-energy.html. You will find a detailed understanding of what you can expect from wind turbines.
If you are curious about typical weather patterns, including average wind speeds and weather patterns in your area, take a look on https://weatherspark.com/.
Pretty sure solar energy will win this one.
To estimate how much power your solar panels are likely to generate, visit our RV Solar Power RoundUp calculator and scroll to the bottom for some basic math calculations.