Saturday, February 2, 2008

February on Pine Mountain

Pine Mountain

Hello all. We are starting to get readers in many countries around the world. I want to welcome all of you. Pine mountain is a place to relax and enjoy yourself.

February has arrived on Pine Mountain and it is acting more like March. Another big storm is arriving with high winds and more snow. I have finished my barn chores and just sat down for breakfast. I have raisan bran and milk and scrambled eggs with bacon. I am trying another coffee from Today I am trying Pacific Expresso. This is a dark roasted coffee with a smooth but strong after taste. Just the coffee to start the day.

Wind Turbines

Today we are starting on this years energy upgrade. We already have a Bergey 10 k wind turbine on an 80 foot tower, a pelton water turbine, twenty130 watt solar panels, and a 10 k diesel generator. Most of the time we sell power back to the local power company at least when the power lines are up and working. This winter we have had 3 power outages because of winter storms. Each outage has lasted 3 or 4 days. This has made our diesel generator run more than I would like. Right now our state is offering a large rebate on additional renewable power generation. You receive $2.50 per watt on the first 7500 watts and $1.50 a watt from 7500 to 30 k watts. We are going to put in a vertical 10 k turbine this time. Our first turbine was made by Bergey Wind Power in Norman, Oklahoma. It is a 10 k yellow and white excel model that looks like a small airplane on it's 80 foot tower. The three blade rotor begins turning at about 10 mph but produces less than 1 k watts at that speed. It takes a 35 mph wind to get 10 k watts out of this turbine. Here on Pine mountain we have a lot of wind but our average wind is 18 to 20 mph not 35 mph. At 18 mph we only get 5 k watts not 10 k watts. Even with the power from the water turbine and the solar panels we are only about 8 k watts. When I run any machinery in the barn or the shop the generator has to run and with the ever increasing fuel costs it can get expensive. The vertical turbine is a Delta II from a new solar company called Pacwind in Torrance California. They just finished installing one on Jay Leno's garage. They have 4 models to choose from, the Seahawk, the Aeolian, the Delta I, and the Delta II. The Seahawk is a 500 watt unit that is only 30 inches in diameter by 48 inches high. The Aeolian is 120 inches in diameter and 60 inches high and produces 5 k watts. The Delta I is a 2 K watt unit that is 78 inches in diameter and 48 inches high. The Delta II is a 10 k watt unit that is 156 inches in diameter by 156 inches high. The Delta II is the one that we are putting in. It will be producing power much sooner 6 mph compared to 10 mph for our Bergey. To find out more information on Pacwind go to If you are one of those individuals that is handy with their hands and want to try and built a homemade unit go to If you would like to become an expert on wind power go to Here you will find the book refered to as the alternative energy bible.

Pine Mountain Evening

It is evening now. We have spent the day in the basement running new conduit and junction boxes for our new wind generator while the latest winter storm howled outside. I make a light supper of chicken soup and crackers followed by apple sauce and hot chocolate. I then go into the family room and soon have a nice fire going in the fireplace. I let Squeakers the african grey parrot out of his cage and put him on his perch. I feed him some treats and he starts talking away mostly to himself. He even has this strange bird laugh that he does that makes him sound like he is in an old pirate movie. I read some e mails on my computer then I read my Discover magazine. I am falling asleep in my easy chair so I put Squeekers back in his cage and head off to bed. Good night from Pine Mountain. See you next week.