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Powering Just One Appliance with Wind and Solar Energy
 

What is the #1 Reason why homeowners don't add Wind or Solar power to their home?

$$ COST $$

Wind and Solar generating systems can be very expensive! 

For this reason, thousands of homeowners are learning how make their own solar panels and windmills (wind turbines). It is amazingly easy and doesn't require much technical knowledge. We've reviewed the best guides available on the internet and rated them. 

2009 Top Do it yourself Guide
Earth4Energy

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If you want to start small, yet save as much money as you can, you can power just one appliance at a time with solar energy.

So which appliances are best suited for being powered by solar or wind energy?

It depends on the size of your system and the ampere or wattage rating of your appliances.

You can look on the nameplate of many appliances and they will either tell you the amp rating or the wattage of the appliance. The goal is to find the wattage, but you can determine the wattage by finding the amp rating. Wattage is Volts multiplied by Amps. 

If your appliance doesn't have an amp or wattage rating on the nameplate, you can purchase an ammeter to measure the amp draw of the appliance. 

To test it, you will have to find a way to place the clamp of the ammeter around one wire that feeds the appliance alone, or remove the cover of the circuit box and place the clamp of the ammeter around the one wire that feeds the electricity to the appliance. 

To determine the wattage, multiply the voltage times the amp draw of the appliance. For instance, 120 volts X 3 amps would be 360 watts. Sometimes the appliance will give you the wattage on the nameplate. This can save time and effort.

So what appliances are well suited for Solar and Wind Energy systems? You want an appliance that gets used a lot, and yet doesn't use too large of a quantity of electricity so that you can start with a small system. One of the best appliances you can start with is the Refrigerator or Freezer. Here are some reasons why:

1) They use between 300 and 800 watts so an inexpensive inverter can be used.

2) Refrigerators run quite often and use about the same amount of electricity every month

3) They are something that is typically always in use, even when you are on vacation.

4) Because of the constant usage, you will notice a drop in your electric bill even though you have a small, inexpensive system. 

5) If you build your own solar/wind energy system, it will pay for itself within months and save you money for many years to come.

Here are some other appliances and the typical wattage ratings of each:

Appliance
Watts
Air Conditioner  
Room*
1000
Central*
2000 - 5000
Air Conditioners rated in tons  
For Each Ton Assume
3517
E.g. 5 Ton AC Unit
17585
Blender
300
Blow Dryer
1000 - 1500
CB Radio
5
CD Player
15 - 30
Ceiling Fan
10 - 50
Computer  
Laptop
20 - 75
Desktop PC
80 - 400
Inkjet Printer
100

Laser Printer

1000

Coffee Maker
800
Clock Radio
1
Dishwasher
1200 - 1500
Dryer (Clothes)  
Electric*
4000
Gas Heated
300-400
Electric Blanket
200
Electric Clock
1
Frying Pan
1200
Freezer  
Conventional 14cf
(15 hrs/day runtime)
445
Sunfrost 19cf Freezer
112
Furnace Blower
300 - 1000
Garage Door Opener
350
Heater  
Engine Block*
150 - 1000
Portable*
1500
Waterbed*
400
Stock Tank*
100
Hot Plate
1200
Iron
1000
Lights
Fluorescent/Incandescent Equivalents
Incandescent
Fluorescent
100W
30W
75W
20W
60W
16W
40W
11W
Microwave
600 - 1500
Popcorn Popper
250
Radiotelephone  
Receive
5
Transmit
40 - 150
Refrigerator/Freezer  
Conventional 20 cubic feet
(15hrs/day runtime typical)
540
Conventional 16cf
(15hrs/day)
475
Sunfrost 16cf DC (7)
112
Sunfrost 12cf DC (7)
70
Conserv 10.5cf (8)
60
Conserv 7.5 cf (8)
50
Satellite Dish
30
Sewing Machine
100
Shaver
15
Sink Waste Disposal
450
Stereo
10 - 30
Table Fan
10 - 25
Toaster
800 - 1500
Tools  
Weed Eater
500
1/4" drill
250
1/2" drill
750
1" drill
1000
9" disc sander
1200
3" belt sander
1000
12" chain saw
1100
14" band saw
1100
7 1/4" circular saw
900
8 1/4" circular saw
1400
Vacuum Cleaner  
Upright
200 - 700
Hand
150
VCR
40
Waffle Iron
1200
Washing Machine
500

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On the site you will find valuable articles covering how wind energy is harnessed through wind turbines, how solar energy is harnessed through photovoltaic solar panels, best locations for Wind Power and much more. You will also find helpful reviews of Do it Yourself guides that we have purchased and researched. 

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