Your Questions About Solar Powered Generator

Ken asks…

What Wattage can I expect from DIY small solar/wind hybrid generator?

I am an engineering student and for my second year project I am planning on building a small PV solar and wind turbine hybrid generator, to charge a battery in order to power a peltier device for refrigeration. The peltier device will be similar to this one: (Pmax = 60W, Vmax = 15V Imax= 6A)

By small, I mean for example; Max fan blade diameter 0.5m, max solar panel size 0.4*0.4m

I am concerned that because I am building this myself, the efficiency and potency of my system will be rather smaller than one you would purchase, and living in England which is neither particularly windy or sunny, that I will not get the sort of power I need.

If I purchased a 10-20W solar panel, and built a wind turbine which had a peak output of around 30W, I am curious to know if on an average day, with some cloud and slow winds, I would actually achieve anywhere near what is required by my peltier cooler.

Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated! Thank you

ssadmin answers:

The wattage is peak as listed on the solar panel/wind turbine.

Local factors also contribute to the viability of your solar/wind power generation.

Go here: for solar and

to find info and resources by state. Nice.

Charles asks…

what is the best way to generate electricity from a parabolic mirror?

Hi everyone,

For a summer project, I want to build an efficient solar powered generator. I want to use a parabolic mirror to collect the sun's energy.

Should I use the collected sunlight as heat differential to power a stirling engine?
Or use the sunlight to boil water creating steam to power a steam engine.
I'll use the engines to drive an 3 kw generator

or should I just focus the light to a solar panel?

Here are some of my other worries that I'm hoping you can shed light on too:
– can the heat from the parabolic mirrors destroy the solar panels?
– is the stirling engine better than the steam engine?

thanks in advanced everyone!

ssadmin answers:

The more you change forms of energy the more energy loss you can expect. The stirling engine is more efficient than a typical steam engine but the steam engine may be easier to build from an old two stroke engine. Solar panels will tend to the the least efficient, 8 to 22%. Those companies that use concentrated sunlight to power a photovoltaic cell use the highest possible cells that cost a great deal more than what is commonly available.

Go with the stirling for efficiency or the steam engine for ease of operation.

Maria asks…

global warming- where can I by a solar or wind generator?

I was wondering if any of you knew were I could buy a small solar or wind generator that would allow me to produce more power than I use- and how quickly will it pay for it's self- I don't have a back yard per say or a large roof. but if I an power my AC that would be OK
conserviitve- I'm puttingthem to the test
if there was a xyz brand solar panal I could strap on my AC unit and power it thumbs up if they can't say there is one then they are simply water mellons.

ssadmin answers:

Price comparisons:

Sandra asks…

How does an electric inverter used at the tail end of wind generator stay in phase with the power company.?

how does an electric inverter used at the tail end of either home solar panels or wind generator stay in phase with the incoming household current. It would seem to me that if the phase was just slightly out of time with that from the power company, much of the power produced would be lost.

ssadmin answers:

The best inverters use a pulse-width-modulated output and a low-pass power filter for the line frequency (60 Hz or 50Hz). The high voltage DC input is modulated at a rate in the 20-40 kHz range or even higher. The modulation is controlled directly by the line to which the power is fed into. Some of these inverters can run in the high 90% efficiency range.

For the PWM inverter to work, whatever the output of the generator, it must be converted (any phase, any frequency, or even DC) to high voltage DC. This can be done independantly of the line frequency or phase.


Linda asks…

Who else thinks global warming is a hoax?

I remember all those warnings of rising temperatures, more hurricanes, and the melting of glaciers. Living in Florida, we haven't had a hurricane in years. Could it be a plan to make more money? GE owns NBC. Could they be scaring us in order for us to buy generators and solar power equipment?

ssadmin answers:

The idea is to scare you so they can control you. After all, who needs government ‘help', if you can take care of yourself?
Increased government regulation empowers the government at the expense of your personal liberty (freedom). This makes them stronger and you weaker.

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