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This estimator has been optimized for Solar Calculations for PV installations. If you wish to use the calculator to find out Wind, Pool or Water Heating, Solar Thermal or Solar Space Heating or Cooling, please click this link: Click here

This Solar Calculator will compute the size and estimated cost to install a solar energy system for your home or building. The solar calculator's financial analysis is based on energy bill savings you can expect and the net solar system cost, after tax credits and other incentives are applied. The solar calculator results are based on many assumptions and the limited data you will enter. An actual site assessment by a trained professional contractor will be needed to determine the actual costs and benefits of installing a solar energy system.

Enter basic information about your home or building and your current energy usage. And our solar & wind estimator will provide you with information to help you determine if solar electric, solar pool/spa, water or space heating/cooling systems or wind energy systems are right for you, what the costs might be to install a system, and what benefits you may realize.

 

Solar & Wind Estimator Notes & Assumptions:

 

Notes & Assumptions: Solar Electric (PV) Systems

* HOW TO REDUCE THE SYSTEM SIZE NEEDED & INCREASE SAVINGS

The estimate provided above assumes "base" electric rates apply. Other taxes and surcharges may be applied to your utility bill. We suggest you review a recent utility bill and change the "Assumed Electric Rate", above, as needed to better match your situation.

You may have other metered-rate options with your utility. Options such as Tiered billing rates, Time-Of-Use (TOU) metering, and Net-Metering, if available, can help reduce the system size you need to provide a "net-zero" energy bill. Sometimes people also reduce the size of their solar system to accommodate planned improvements in their building's energy efficiency, or to match a budget and/or the available space for installing a solar system.

Energy production from a solar electric (PV) system is a function of several factors, including the following. Our assumptions are:

FactorAssumption
Solar resourcesAssumed solar availability: As per Solar Radiance chart
Soiling or contamination of the PV panelsClean, washed frequently: 100% design sunlight transmission
Temperature25C, calm wind
System configuration
(battery or non-battery)
Non-battery
Orientation to the sunSouth facing, tilted at latitude, full sun
ShadingNone
PV Energy delivered
as % of manufacturer's rating
95%
Soiling, wiring & power point tracking losses9% (91% delivered)
Inverter Efficiency90%
Total Energy Delivered95% x 91% x 90% = 78%

Energy Efficiency: Improving your building's energy efficiency will reduce the system size you need to attain a "net-zero" energy bill.

Tiered Rates: Often people are paying a "Tiered" rate for their electricity. This is a higher rate (higher than the "Base" rate) for electricity charged when a home or building uses more that a "Base" amount allocated for the building. Installing a solar system will reduce your electrical demand from the utility. This can result in a lower utility rate because you stay within the "Base" rate level. In this case, the more expensive "Tiered" rate electricity is eliminated, reducing your average electricity rate.

TOU Metering: Many utilities offer Time-of-Use (TOU) meters. This allows the price of electricity to vary by time of day (called "Peak" or "Off-Peak" periods) and by season (usually "Winter" versus "Summer" rates). If TOU metering is offered by your utility, a solar system may result in additional savings. This is because peak (more expensive electricity) rates often occur during the daytime. This is usually when a solar system is producing the most output, thus reducing your demand for peak-rate electricity from the utility.

Most utilities do charge for the purchase and installation of a time-of-use meter (normally a few hundred dollars). We have assumed the cost for this is part of the "Estimated Installation cost" shown above.

Net-Metering: With Net-Metering, surplus electricity generated by your renewable energy system will be credited back to your utility account. So if your solar system makes more electricity than you are using, the "meter spins backwards". You are not actually "selling" electricity, since in most states the utility will not reimburse you for excess electricity. But, if your utility offers "Net-Metering" you may be able to get credit for electricity provided back to the grid during peak periods. Combined with TOU metering, Net-Metering can result in multiplied savings since your electricity account may be gaining electricity credits during the time of peak utility rates -- Think of a hot, sunny summer day ... your solar system is producing power, spinning your electric meter backwards, and supplying the grid with electricity to run other people's air conditioners -- you're "spinning back" cost at peak rates! That's the savings power of Net-metering, combined with TOU rates.

Solar Power "Fixes" Energy Costs: The cost of sunshine is free. While the sun rises every morning, the cost of sunshine does not. Utility rates, on the other hand, tend to rise steadily in cost. So, the value of your savings from a solar system are likely to increase as time goes on. If you are on a fixed income (e.g. nearing or in retirement) this may be of particular interest to you.

THE COST TO GO SOLAR

This is only an estimate based upon many assumptions and limited data entered by you: Installation costs can vary considerably. The cost to purchase and install a complete grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) system on a residential home is typically as further defined in the table, below. This includes the PV array, inverter and associated balance of system costs. It does not include the cost of options you may select, such as battery backup power storage, or the costs of building preparation work, like new shingles. Costs can also be higher if you add other features or have special installation needs (such as application over tile roofing) or you choose to use special mounting systems (such as sun tracking systems). Other factors may also affect price, including, but not limited to, your location, the building condition, type and location, its wiring, and warrantees offered.

  Assumed Cost, per Watt DC
Item System Size 1 kW System Size 10 kW
Assumed Total $5 per watt DC
(+/- 20%)
$3 per watt DC
(+/- 20%)

OTHER ASSUMPTIONS

This summary is based upon many assumptions and the limited data you entered. An actual site assessment by a qualified solar system retailer or contractor will be needed to determine the actual costs and benefits of installing a solar electric system.

HELPFUL PDF's & Links
Payback & Other Financial Test for Solar on Your Home
The Dept. of Energy's: PVWatts Online PV Calculator
Natural Resources Canada's: RETScreen Renewable Energy Calculators

 

Do your solar calculations now:

 

Notes & Assumptions: Solar Water Heating Systems

The estimate provided above assumes "base" utility rates apply. Other taxes and surcharges may be applied to your utility bill. We suggest you review a recent utility bill and change the "Base Electric Rate" (or "Base Gas Rate"), above, as needed to better match your situation.

You may change the "Base Electric Rate" (or the "Base Gas Rate"), above. To re-calculate, after you enter a new number, press the "Enter" key on your keyboard.

The estimate provided above assumes water is heated with the fuel type you selected above. The estimate provided above is meant only to give you an idea of savings, not actual savings you may realize across your energy bills. Please consult with a qualified Solar Professional who may better assess your requirements and provide a more detailed estimate for your consideration.

HOW TO REDUCE THE SYSTEM SIZE NEEDED & INCREASE SAVINGS

Energy & Water Efficiency: Improving your building's energy and water efficiency will reduce the system size you need to attain a "net-zero" energy bill.

Hot Water Usage

(gallons/day in new homes)
Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

ELECTRIC RATE & METER OPTIONS

In actuality, you may have other electric metered-rate options with your utility. Options such as Tiered billing rates and Time-Of-Use (TOU) metering, if available, can help reduce the system size you need to provide a "net-zero" energy bill. Sometimes people also reduce the size of their solar system to accommodate planned improvements in their building's energy efficiency, or to match a budget and/or the available space for installing a solar system.

Tiered Rates: Often people are paying a "Tiered" rate for their electricity. This is a higher rate (higher than the "Base" rate) for electricity charged when a home or building uses more that a "Base" amount allocated for the building. Installing a solar system will reduce your electrical demand from the utility. This can result in a lower utility rate because you stay within the "Base" rate level. In this case, the more expensive "Tiered" rate electricity is eliminated, reducing your average electricity rate.

TOU Metering: Many utilities offer Time-of-Use (TOU) meters. This allows the price of electricity to vary by time of day (called "Peak" or "Off-Peak" periods) and by season (usually "Winter" versus "Summer" rates). If TOU metering is offered by your utility, a solar system may result in additional savings. This is because peak (more expensive electricity) rates often occur during the daytime. This is usually when a solar system is producing the most output, thus reducing your demand for peak-rate electricity from the utility.

Most utilities do charge for the purchase and installation of a time-of-use meter (normally a few hundred dollars). We have assumed the cost for this is part of the "Estimated Installation cost" shown above.

Solar Power "Fixes" Energy Costs: The cost of sunshine is free. While the sun rises every morning, the cost of sunshine does not. Utility rates, on the other hand, tend to rise steadily in cost. So, the value of your savings from a solar system are likely to increase as time goes on. If you are on a fixed income (e.g. nearing or in retirement) this may be of particular interest to you.

THE COST TO GO SOLAR

This is only an estimate based upon many assumptions and limited data entered by you. Installation costs can vary considerably. We have assumed the cost to purchase and install a solar water heating system on a residential home as follows:

ItemCost
1 Collector
Cost
2 Collectors
Cost
3 Collectors
Expected Range: $3,600-$5,400 $5,200-$7,800 $6,800-$10,200
NOTE: This estimate is for a "glycol" system with heat exchanger and holding tank. Glycol systems and "drain back" systems are most suitable for climates with freezing temperatures. If you live in a warmer climate and your water source is not aggressive (i.e. corrosive or otherwise compromises fittings and seals), you may be able to save money by using a "Direct" system. In this case, the heat exchanger and holding tank may not be installed. Please consult with a qualified Solar Pro to learn what will work best for you.

This summary is based upon many assumptions and the limited data you entered. An actual site assessment by a qualified Solar Pro will be needed to determine the actual costs and benefits of installing a solar water heating system.

This estimate does not include the cost of options you may select or the costs of building preparation work. Costs can also be higher if you add features or have special installation needs (such as application over tile roofing) or you choose to use special mounting systems (such as sun tracking systems). Other factors may also affect price, including, but not limited to, your location, the building condition, type and location, its wiring, and warrantees offered. We recommend you work with a qualified Solar Pro to develop an accurate estimate of your needs and options.

SOLAR ENERGY FRACTION

Solar Energy Fraction: 0% (annual average) of water heating load accommodated by solar water heating system.

OTHER ASSUMPTIONS

The annual performance of a solar water heating system with a storage tank is dependent on system characteristics, solar radiation available, ambient air temperature and on heating load characteristics. We have used the following assumptions to build the estimate:

  • Water heater fuel type: User selected, above
  • Equivalent electricity (kWh) produced by solar is calculated using SRCC OG-100 ratings with the following assumptions:
  • Water heater thermostat is set at 120F (48.9C)
  • Auxillary Water Heater Efficiency: 0%
  • Solar Collector type: 2.99 sq-meter. Glazed flat-plate type.
  • Water Storage Tank: gallons.
  • Inlet (cold) water temperature: February: Min Temp, August: Max Temp, using average ambient temperature 0 F for profile
  • Solar collector slope and azimuth: Set at Latitude of installation, South facing
  • Solar radiation available: As per PV Watts.
  • Collector Shading: None
  • Heating load characteristics: Solar used 100% of every month to supplement domestic hot water heater
  • Losses due to soiling, piping, solar tank or heat exchanger: 20% (80% of SRCC OG-100 production rating).
  • Average wind speed and relative humidity: per SRCC OG-100 test conditions

Other Assumptions:

  • Daily volumetric load is constant over the season of use.
  • Preheating of water; it does not consider standalone systems that provide 100% of the load. For service hot water systems without storage, only low solar fractions (and penetration levels) should be considered as it is assumed that all the energy collected is used.
  • Sun tracking and solar concentrator systems are not evaluated with this model; neither is an Integral Collector Storage (ICS) systems. However, for the majority of applications, these limitations are without consequence.

HELPFUL PDF's & Links
Solar Water Heating eBook
Solar Water a Primer (Home Power magazine article)
Natural Resources Canada's: RETScreen Renewable Energy Calculators
SRCC: Solar Rating & Certification Corp.solar-rating.org
U.S. Dept. of Energy:www.eere.energy.gov
Florida Solar Energy Center:www.fsec.ucf.edu
Whole Building Design Guide:www.wbdg.org/resources/swheating.php

 

Do your solar calculations now:

 

Notes & Assumptions: Solar Pool or Spa Heating Systems

The estimate provided above assumes "base" utility rates apply. Other taxes and surcharges may be applied to your utility bill. We suggest you review a recent utility bill and change the "Base Electric Rate" (or "Base Gas Rate"), above, as needed to better match your situation.

You may change the "Base Electric Rate" (or the "Base Gas Rate"), above. To re-calculate, after you enter a new number, press the "Enter" key on your keyboard.

The estimate provided above assumes pool water is heated with the fuel type you selected above. The estimate provided above is meant only to give you an idea of savings, not actual savings you may realize across your energy bills. Please consult with a qualified Solar Professional who may better assess your requirements and provide a more detailed estimate for your consideration.

HOW TO REDUCE THE SYSTEM SIZE NEEDED & INCREASE SAVINGS

Pool/Spa Covers: The greatest loss of heat from a pool occurs from its surface because of evaporation. By reducing this evaporation loss, pool covers are very effective in lengthening the swimming season. They also keep the pool clean, thereby lowering the cost of chemicals and filter maintenance. Depending on materials and the number of hours of use, temperature increases of 5F to 10F may be expected from a pool cover. A 5F increase is reasonable when the cover is used 12 hours a day; 10F when it is used 20 hours a day. Transparent or lightly translucent covers work best because they allow solar energy to pass through and be absorbed by the pool water, and they also prevent heat loss at night. Opaque covers are best used at night to prevent heat loss. A roller is a good investment to help you move the cover on and off the pool. Motorized rollers are also available. Pool covers will last from three to five years, depending on care in handling and storage. Nevertheless, they are your best buy for an extended swimming season. From the standpoint of energy conservation, a pool cover should be used.

Water Pumps: A pool filter pump can be one of the largest users of electrical energy in a home. If you reduce the amount of time you run the pump, you'll save energy and money. Of course, the amount of time you'll have to run your pool filter will vary according to the size of the pool, how much it's used, and factors such as leaves or dirt that can blow into the water. A rule of thumb, however, says that all the water in the pool should be filtered once every 24 hours.

Consider the pool filter operating recommendations established by the California Swimming Pool Industry Energy Conservation Task Force:

  • "Reduce filter operating times to no less than 4 to 5 hours per day during the summer and 2 to 3 hours per day during the winter period. This will reduce annual electrical consumption by 40 to 50 percent. Normal and heavier swimming use may require as much as eight or more hours filtration per day. Should water clarity or chemical imbalance indicate inadequate filtration, immediately operate the filter until acceptable water clarity has again been established.
  • If additional filtration is still indicated, increase filter operating time in one-half hour increments until the water remains clear and properly balanced chemically. When the pool is being heavily used, it is recommended that the pool be operated manually and that the filtration system be run under such conditions. Under no circumstances should the water quality of any swimming pool be so poor that the main drain cover is not clearly visible from the deck."

Consider a time clock: An automatic time clock for your filter and cleaning system is one of the smartest investments you can make. With it, you can avoid the electric power "rush" hour by not running your pool or spa filter on hot summer afternoons when demand for electricity is at its highest. Generally, peak demand hours are from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., in the months from June through September, when most people are running air conditioning and other appliances. Once you determine the number of hours required for one complete filtering cycle of your pool water, set your filter prompt time clock for that much time, during off-peak hours.

ELECTRIC RATE & METER OPTIONS

In actuality, you may have other electric metered-rate options with your utility. Options such as Tiered billing rates and Time-Of-Use (TOU) metering, if available, can help reduce the system size you need to provide a "net-zero" energy bill. Sometimes people also reduce the size of their solar system to accommodate planned improvements in their building's energy efficiency, or to match a budget and/or the available space for installing a solar system.

Tiered Rates: Often people are paying a "Tiered" rate for their electricity. This is a higher rate (higher than the "Base" rate) for electricity charged when a home or building uses more that a "Base" amount allocated for the building. Installing a solar system will reduce your electrical demand from the utility. This can result in a lower utility rate because you stay within the "Base" rate level. In this case, the more expensive "Tiered" rate electricity is eliminated, reducing your average electricity rate.

TOU Metering: Many utilities offer Time-of-Use (TOU) meters. This allows the price of electricity to vary by time of day (called "Peak" or "Off-Peak" periods) and by season (usually "Winter" versus "Summer" rates). If TOU metering is offered by your utility, a solar system may result in additional savings. This is because peak (more expensive electricity) rates often occur during the daytime. This is usually when a solar system is producing the most output, thus reducing your demand for peak-rate electricity from the utility.

Most utilities do charge for the purchase and installation of a time-of-use meter (normally a few hundred dollars). We have assumed the cost for this is part of the "Estimated Installation cost" shown above.

Solar Power "Fixes" Energy Costs: The cost of sunshine is free. While the sun rises every morning, the cost of sunshine does not. Utility rates, on the other hand, tend to rise steadily in cost. So, the value of your savings from a solar system are likely to increase as time goes on. If you are on a fixed income (e.g. nearing or in retirement) this may be of particular interest to you.

THE COST TO GO SOLAR

This is only an estimate based upon many assumptions and limited data entered by you: Installation costs can vary considerably. We have assumed the cost to purchase and install a solar spa/pool heating system as follows:

ItemCost
per Collector
For each additional Collector
Expected Range: $640-$960 $400-$600

This estimate does not include the cost of options you may select or the costs of building preparation work. Costs can also be higher if you add features or have special installation needs (such as application over tile roofing) or you choose to use special mounting systems (such as sun tracking systems). Other factors may also affect price, including, but not limited to, your location, the building condition, type and location, its wiring, and warrantees offered. We recommend you work with a qualified Solar Pro to develop an accurate estimate of your needs and options.

Other Cost References:

According to the Florida Solar Energy Center, "A typical price for a solar pool system is about $6 per square foot of collector area." This would be an average cost for a medium to large size pool."

The US Department of Energy states: "A typical solar pool heating system costs $2,000 to $4,000, although the actual cost depends on factors such as ease of installation, available financing and incentives, your solar resource and pool/collector orientation, and state/community codes. However, a solar pool heating system will often pay for itself in two to four years when you account for reduced or avoided fossil fuel costs."

OTHER ASSUMPTIONS

This summary is based upon many assumptions and the limited data you entered. An actual site assessment by a qualified Solar Pro will be needed to determine the actual costs and benefits of installing a solar pool heating system.

The annual performance of a solar pool heating system is dependent on system characteristics, solar radiation available, ambient air temperature and on heating load characteristics. We have used RETScreen to model the solar system, with the following assumptions to build the estimate:

  • Water heater fuel type: User selected, above
  • Equivalent electricity (kWh) produced by solar is calculated with the following assumptions:
  • Type of pool/spa: Outdoor
  • Desired pool temperature: 27C (80.6F)
  • Desired spa temperature: 40C (104F)
  • Pool/Spa Area: as selected above
  • Pool covered: 16 hours/day
  • Spa covered: 22 hours/day
  • Pool/spa shading factor: 0%
  • Make-up water ratio: 0% (none as a percent/week)
  • Cold-water temperature: Average ambient air temp.

solar pool collector

  • Solar collector type:
    • Unglazed flat-plate type (similar to picture, above)
    • Area: 2.99 square-meters
    • FR (tau Alpha) coefficient: 0.82
    • UL coefficient: 16
  • Solar Collector slope & azimuth: Set at Latitude, South facing
  • Solar Radiation available: kWh/sq-m/day average across year.
  • Heating load characteristics: Spa/Pool heating used in the months indicated by you, above.
  • Losses due to snow, dirt, pump, piping and solar tank losses: 10%
  • Average wind speed: 5 m/s
  • Average relative humidity: 60%

HELPFUL PDF's & Links
Solar Water Heating eBook
California Consumer Energy Center Pool & Spa Energy Tips
Natural Resources Canada's: RETScreen Renewable Energy Calculators
Natural Resources Canada's: Enerpool software
Florida Solar Energy Center:Solar Water Heating Info.
US Dept of Energy: Solar Pools Info.

 

Do your solar calculations now:

Tip: Measure the wind characteristics at your location.
 
If you are thinking of installing a wind turbine, you might want to monitor the wind speed at your location, first. There are several weather stations and wind speed meters (anemometer) available that can provide this information to you at a reasonable price. And, you'll probably have some fun doing it.
 
The one pictured to the right is about $100 at Amazon.com: La Crosse Technology WS-1612AL-IT Professional Weather Station, White

 

Notes & Assumptions: Wind Turbine Systems

* HOW TO REDUCE THE SYSTEM SIZE NEEDED & INCREASE SAVINGS

The estimate provided above assumes "base" electric rates apply. Other taxes and surcharges may be applied to your utility bill. We suggest you review a recent utility bill and change the "Assumed Electric Rate", above, as needed to better match your situation.

You may have other metered-rate options with your utility. Options such as Tiered billing rates, Time-Of-Use (TOU) metering, and Net-Metering, if available, can help reduce the system size you need to provide a "net-zero" energy bill. Sometimes people also reduce the size of their wind energy system to accommodate planned improvements in their building's energy efficiency, or to match a budget and/or the available space for installing a wind energy system.

Energy Efficiency: Improving your building's energy efficiency will reduce the system size you need to attain a "net-zero" energy bill.

Tiered Rates: Often people are paying a "Tiered" rate for their electricity. This is a higher rate (higher than the "Base" rate) for electricity charged when a home or building uses more that a "Base" amount allocated for the building. Installing a wind energy system will reduce your electrical demand from the utility. This can result in a lower utility rate because you stay within the "Base" rate level. In this case, the more expensive "Tiered" rate electricity is eliminated, reducing your average electricity rate.

TOU Metering: Many utilities offer Time-of-Use (TOU) meters. This allows the price of electricity to vary by time of day (called "Peak" or "Off-Peak" periods) and by season (usually "Winter" versus "Summer" rates). If TOU metering is offered by your utility, a wind energy system may result in additional savings. This is because peak (more expensive electricity) rates often occur during the daytime. This is usually when a wind energy system is producing the most output, thus reducing your demand for peak-rate electricity from the utility.

Most utilities do charge for the purchase and installation of a time-of-use meter (normally a few hundred dollars). We have assumed the cost for this is part of the "Estimated Installation cost" shown above.

Net-Metering: With Net-Metering, surplus electricity generated by your renewable energy system will be credited back to your utility account. So if your wind energy system makes more electricity than you are using, the "meter spins backwards". You are not actually "selling" electricity, since in most states the utility will not reimburse you for excess electricity. But, if your utility offers "Net-Metering" you may be able to get credit for electricity provided back to the grid during peak periods. Combined with TOU metering, Net-Metering can result in multiplied savings since your electricity account may be gaining electricity credits during the time of peak utility rates -- Think of a hot, sunny summer day with thermal winds blowing -- your wind energy system is producing power, spinning your electric meter backwards, and supplying the grid with electricity to run other people's air conditioners -- in this case, you're "spinning back" cost at peak rates! That's the potential savings power of Net-metering, combined with TOU rates.

Wind Power "Fixes" Energy Costs: The cost of wind is free. Utility rates, on the other hand, tend to rise steadily in cost. So, the value of your savings from a wind energy system are likely to increase as time goes on. If you are on a fixed income (e.g. nearing or in retirement) this may be of particular interest to you.

THE COST TO GO WITH THE WIND

This is only an estimate based upon many assumptions and limited data entered by you: Installation costs can vary considerably. The cost to purchase and install a complete grid-tied wind energy system on a residential home is typically as defined in the table, below. This does not include the cost of options you may select, such as battery backup power storage, or the costs of building preparation work, power line trenching, etc. Costs can also be higher if you add other features or have special installation needs (such as a steep or rough terrain or difficult access) or you choose to use special tower systems. Other factors may also affect price, including, but not limited to, your location, the building condition, type and location, its wiring, and warrantees offered.

Turbine Specifications 400 watt 1 kW 5 kW 10 kW 20 kW 50 kW
Typical Power Rating 400 watts 1 kW 5 kW 10 kW 20 kW 50 kW
Swept Area
Rotor Diameter
1.2 m2
1.2 m
4.9 m2
2.5 m
32 m2
6.4 m
50 m2
8.0 m
121 m2
12.4 m
177 m2
15 m
Tower Height 14 m 19 m 24 m 24 m 24 m 30 m
COST ASSUMPTIONS "turn-key" cost per Turbine (installed & operational)
Assumed Total $2,400 $5,000 $24,500 $48,000 $92,000 $225,000
Cost range: expect +/- 20% for "normal" installations
wind turbine swept area diameter

Energy production from a wind energy system is a function of several factors, including the following. Our assumptions are:

FactorAssumption
Wind resources Average monthly wind velocity as per NASA Surface meteorology data measured at 50 meters and adjusted for tower height using the "seventh power" rule. This means for the Rayleigh distribution (see below) the wind power density at 50 meters is twice that at 10 meters. In other words, the higher the turbine is mounted, the more wind power that is available.
Turbine Energy CurveAs per manufacturer`s published specifications. Common turbines in each power class were chosen for pulling this data.
System configurationGrid-tied, Non-battery
Availablility98%
Air foil soiling/icing, wiring & other power losses12% (88% delivered)
Total Energy Delivered98% x 88% = 86%
Installation CostsCommon installation costs for all locations. Obviously, real installations vary in complexity and accessibility, resulting in higher installation costs in, say, rugged or remote locations.

Wind Resource Data

For wind turbine calculations we utilize a wind rating based upon the average monthly wind speed (m/s) near your location (nearest latitude and longitude derived from your postal code or zip code). Our data reference source is the NASA Surface meteorology data from the Atmospheric Data Center. This data is based upon satellite-derived data over a 22-year period. The data is compiled for each degree of latitude and longitude (each degree represents about 69 ground miles).

Weibull Shape Factor

We use the Weibull distribution to estimate the energy recovered by a wind turbine using a shape factor (λ). We default to a shape factor of 2. The higher the value of shape factor (from 1 to 3) the higher the median wind speed - i.e. locations with lots of low wind speeds as well as some very strong winds would have a value of shape of below 2, locations with fairly consistent wind speeds around the median would have a shape value of 3. Typical Weibull distributions are shown below. On this graph, one (1) represents the average and the graph shows how wind speed is expected to vary in probability around that average.

OTHER ASSUMPTIONS

This summary is based upon many assumptions and the limited data you entered. An actual site assessment by a qualified wind energy system retailer or contractor will be needed to determine the actual costs and benefits of installing a wind energy system.

HELPFUL PDF's & Links
Natural Resources Canada's: RETScreen Renewable Energy Calculators
Wind Industry: Windustry.org wind project calculator

 

Do your wind calculations now:

 

 

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