MAIL: Tough Turbine in Venerable System: Page 2 of 2

Cook's RE system photo.
Art Cook's wind genny, PV array, and wind pumper.
Art Cook's wind genny on the cover of old HP mag.
Art Cook's wind genny was on the cover of Home Power #29.
Cook's RE system photo.
Art Cook's wind genny on the cover of old HP mag.

We still use our 36-year-old Aeromotor 8 for water pumping, with gravity feed to the house and outbuildings. We heat primarily with wood using an HS-Tarm 2000 wood boiler, with oil-fired backup. We also have an Avalon high-efficiency wood stove that can heat our 3,000-square-foot home by itself—even in -10°F weather.

We’ve used a solar domestic hot water preheating system—50 evacuated tubes—since 2008. It heats 80% of our domestic hot water during three seasons, and does an impressive job even in the cloudy days of winter. Backup power is via a 7 kW continuous-duty, water-cooled diesel generator.

At 71 years of age, I can still climb towers, but I choose not to! We still live on our 70-acre farm as we have for the past 44 years. My wife Maxine and I pioneered co-generation and net-metering on the GPU Energy grid back in 1978—before the PURPA laws—with a Gemini synchronous inverter, before we went to a stand-alone battery system. We proved to our utility that it was safe and do-able. I still have the paperwork from Penelec permitting us to proceed with our demonstration project in the late 1970s. I remember their senior engineer telling me that it was impossible to run their meters backward. After they learned that I was right, they never bothered me about anything. I don’t have an engineering degree, but I can read a schematic.

Best regards to the crew at Home Power. I read the magazine cover to cover, and have kept every back issue from almost the beginning days.

Art Cook • Somerset County, Pennsylvania

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