Off Grid in Arkansas: Page 4 of 4

A Hybrid Solar & Wind System
Beginner

Inside this Article

Off-grid golf course
Gene Foster on his off-grid golf course.
Off-grid sand trap
Gene Foster's off-grid sand trap.
Off-grid home
Solar and wind powered home and golf course.
Workshop
Gene Foster’s large workshop has served as a useful place for fabricating his wind generator tower and PV rack.
View from sun room
This sun room provides passive heating and daylighting.
Wood-burning furnace
An  outdoor wood-burning furnace provides most of the home’s space-heating needs.
Oil burner booster
This  drip oil-assist booster increases heat and reduces the amount of wood needed.
Workshop heater
An  open-loop heat exchanger provides warm air in the shop.
Comfortable home
A hybrid heating system keeps Gene’s home at a comfortable temperature.
Power center
Author John Miggins shows off the OutBack power center.
Golf cart and array
Just another sunny day on the course for Gene Foster.
Wind turbine
The African Wind Power turbine is the main power source on days when there’s more wind than sun.
Off-grid golf course
Off-grid sand trap
Off-grid home
Workshop
View from sun room
Wood-burning furnace
Oil burner booster
Workshop heater
Comfortable home
Power center
Golf cart and array
Wind turbine

Diesel Generator

The fuel-fired generator is a new Deutz diesel 18 KW generator that runs on 1/2 gallon (2 l) of fuel per hour at half load, and puts out stable 120/240 volts AC. Gene will have to pay for diesel to run it, but he can buy off-road diesel by the tanker load. This backup generator provides a nice buffer should his system require more input. The engine generator’s AC output feeds into the AC inputs of the OutBack power panel and is immediately available for direct use, to charge batteries, or both.

Pulling the Plug

After the system was installed and tested, Gene pulled the plug on his utility service. In many cases, this wouldn’t make economic or environmental sense, but the local utility is not supportive of grid-tied systems. They would have paid a low rate for Gene’s surplus electricity, while requiring him to spend at least US$2,500 to meet their equipment standards. Gene enjoys both the independence and the responsibility of having a stand-alone renewable energy system.

The system is designed with the ability to harvest the energy abundant around us in multiple ways and allows Gene to live off the land, while still enjoying all the comforts of a modern home. Having an independent energy system is a dream of many that is now a reality and a source of pride for this Arkansas homeowner. Having plenty of golfing buddies to help enjoy it with makes it that much more fun.

Access

John Miggins, Harvest Solar & Wind Power, 1571 E. 22 Pl., Tulsa, OK 74114 • 877-743-2299 or 918-743-2299 • Fax: 877‑743-2299 or 918-743-2299 • jmiggins@cox.netwww.harvest-energy.com • System designer & integrator

Gene Foster, Foster Enterprises, 8591 W. State Hwy 22, Paris, AR 72855 • 479-635-2651 • Owner & system designer

Abundant Renewable Energy (ARE) • 503-538-8298 • www.abundantre.com • AWP 3.6 wind generator

Bogart Engineering • 831-338-0616 • www.bogartengineering.com • TriMetric battery monitor

Carmanah • 800-671-0169 or 801-501-9353 • www.carmanah.com • PVs & design support

Conergy • 888-396-6611 or 505-473-3800 • www.conergy.us • Design & engineering support

Deutz Corp. • 770-564-7100• www.deutzamericas.com • Diesel engine generator

Hardy Manufacturing Co. Inc. • 800-5-Hardy-5 or 601-656-5866 • www.hardyheater.com • Outdoor wood-burning furnace

OutBack Power Systems • 360-435-6030 • www.outbackpower.com • Power panel, inverter, etc.

Sharp Solar • 800-237-4277 • www.solar.sharpusa.com • PVs

Surrette Battery Co. Ltd. • 800-681-9914 or 902-597-3767 • www.surrette.com • Batteries

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