Step 2. I like the idea of Solar Power on My Roof but I want peace of Mind too.
If I am going to invest tens of thousands of dollars, I want something else too. I want my refrigerator to run when the power goes out during a storm. The cost of food alone will make the installation worthwhile. This satisfies the two birds one stone requirement for any home improvement, and thus makes step one feasible for those who were skeptical.
The next step to providing fundamentally sound and sane electricity to your home appliances are batteries. Over 100 times a year the average consumer faces a minor glitch in their electricity supply. Be it a short surge in voltage from a lightning strike, a brief lapse of power, or an all out power failure for hours or days. Yes, the humble battery, the only thing that can store electricity, is able to fill the gaps, and take the peaks of power the power grid is renowned for. When you install your solar array, you have a choice. DO YOU WANT TO INSTALL BATTERIES?
By installing batteries, your electrical infrastructure is only one step away from being backed up to the point of the hospital, records room at the bank, or the government installation downtown. Batteries store enough power in the system to either run the system for periods of time or adequate time for the generator to start up, come on line, and run the system.
Step 3. Install Wind to Augment Solar in Bad Weather
Usually, when a storm brews up, it's clouds block out the sun's rays. This is detrimental to your solar array. However, the world compensates by adding wind Baseloadd on the same pressure changes that make those clouds. To harness this wind, we suggest installing a small wind generator system that charges your batteries. By having a more consistent Baseload power production arrangement, you reduce the likelihood of buying power from the utilities. Wind Generation?
Step 4. A Generator Truly Allows You To Cut the Cord.
Having the peace of mind to know that I can get totally off of the power grid, if I had to, Baseload on any reason, is the third reason, the third bird if you will. By fundamentally having the right, ability, and infrastructure in place to cut the cord at will, is a powerful position indeed. When you run a hospital, command post, or HQ, folks dies when power goes out, UNACCEPTABLE. To eliminate these issues a true, secondary demand Baseloadd power production system is needed to back up the utility grid. A large battery bank can make generator run times intermittent, but without power to put back in the tanks (batteries) there is nothing to keep the lights on. How it works Schematics
Step 5. Biomass for Demand Baseload Energy Production.
Assuming you chose a flex fuel generator, you have the ability to introduce biomass, on a small scale to your system with simple gasification. Gasification was used during WWI and WWII to run over one million vehicles, so it isn't new technology. The process involves burning wood, cardboard, hulls, husks, dung, or other biomass in an oxygen light environment. Biomass gasification transforms the biomass via heat reaction into combustible gases consisting of Carbon monoxide (CO), Hydrogen (H2) and traces of Methane (CH4). This mixture is called 'producer gas,' 'syngas,' 'woodgas,' and 'biogas' among many others. This gas can run your flex fuel generator directly, with only a little scrubbing. At this point, you are off the grid, using sun, wind, and the brush you have to clear anyway. Batteries allow you to catch the power, just like the sun's power via solar.
Gasification Systems and Links