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Hybrid Microgrid Power Systems

Users who would like to live off the grid year round should investigate a hybrid power system.  The reason is that no single source of energy can typically satisfy all energy needs throughout the year, except in certain select locations.  This issue is often encountered during Winter in northern climates, or rainy seasons in the tropics.

The primary sources of microgrid energy that are useful for heat and electricity include: solar panels, solar thermal collectors, wind turbines, hydro turbines, and wood burning stoves.  Folks who can manufacture bio-gas or bio-diesel to run their generators could also be included in this category.  For most of us, a combination of these sources will be needed to ensure energy production throughout the seasons.

When it comes to making electricity, the battery bank is the means for storing multiple sources of energy whereas solar panels, wind turbines, hydro turbines, and thermal generators all inherently generate DC electricity.  In the worst case multiple charge controllers may be needed, but a combination of energy sources can easily feed one common battery.

Likewise is true for off grid thermal storage systems.  Examples of thermal power devices include solar thermal collectors and wood burning stoves.  The heat can be extracted from these units with a circulating fluid, and pumped into your thermal reservoirs (i.e. hot water tanks, concrete slab, pebble bed heat exchanger, etc.).  When laying the ground work for an off grid thermal storage system, route your piping and valves so that you can easily adapt for multiple systems. 

Each region is unique, and so the configuration of your hybrid power system should be based on when and what resources are most readily available.  What works well for one location, may not be right for the other.  Likewise, what works well during one season may not be right for the next. 

Desert southwest – solar, wind
California coast – solar, wind
Northwest coast – timber, hydro, bio-fuel
Northeast coast – timber, bio-fuel, hydro
Southeast – timber, bio-fuel, solar, wind, hydro
Midwest – wind, bio-fuel, solar, wind
Northern woodlands – timber, bio-fuel, solar, hydro,
Rocky Mountain regions – solar, hydro, wind, timber, bio-fuel

We consider the Rocky Mountain region to be the gold standard for hybrid power generation.

MicroGrid Living

- MicroGrid Power Systems
- Benefits of the MicroGrid
- Running on DC Electricity
- Things to Think About
- Sizing Your Microgrid Power System
- Energy Conservation Strategies
- Hybrid Power Systems

MicroGrid Solar Power

- Solar Power Applications
- Photovoltaic Solar Panels
- Increasing Solar Panel Performance
- Mounting PV Solar Panels
- Solar Power Tracking Systems
- One Axis Solar Panel Tracking (Passive)
- Solar Power Cost & Payback
- Sizing your Solar Power System

MicroGrid Power Devices

- Wind Turbines
- Wood Burner Systems
- Thermal Power Systems
- DC Thermal Generators
- Hydro Turbines

MicroGrid History

- Nikola Tesla Source of Human Energy
- Nikola Tesla Energy from the Medium
- James Watt & the Steam Engine
- Marcellus Jacob Wind Turbine

microgrid power