According to the very helpful experts in the Power Transmission group on LinkedIn, a 4160/2400 three phase grounded wye grid would be the most flexible and cost effective grid to build on our 250 acre property that will be powered by a combination of generator power, small hydro power, solar and wind energy.
At about 4 km from our property, a public grid is installed. Users in a nearby village complain that when they are supposed to get 110V, they sometimes get less than 90V. At $ 20K per km to get power to our property, we figured it’s worth looking into our own grid using conventional and ‘green’ power sources.
To generate our energy we in a green way, we have basically 3 options.
Small hydro power
We’re looking into this as we have a reasonable amount of water year-round to a lot of water in the rainy season. And about 80 m. of head. Depending on the season it could generate up to 60 KW, enough to power 15-20 homes if designed correctly with low electrical power needs.
Wind turbine power
When we don’t have a lot of water, we do have a lot of wind so these two sources can complement each other. But I still have to find a well-engineered windpower solution in the 100-400KW range. Most serious wind turbines start at 1 MW and the traditional models with a gearbox are high-maintenance. Our research into small wind turbines has lead us to conclude it’s just not there: grossly overstated specs: yes; proven models and reliable operation: no.
We’ll wait until new technologie makes the panels and energy storage affordable.
We may just get started with a small generator power plant, in combination with a small hydro power plant. Using LED lighting and lots of natural ventilation, cooking and cooling on gas, our homes will need very little power.
So depending on how many people buy into our project and at what pace, we will probably use a combination of power sources. The key is to minimize the energy needs and use what you have smartly.
Hopefully, a good wind turbine model comes along in the near future and/or solar energy becomes competitive.