Welcome to WD8MKG Alternative Energy 

Solar Energy and Wind Energy

While developing our alternative energy systems, we have learned the importance of emphasizing
energy conservation and management. These aspects are as important as alternative energy itself.   

Power Up!!

In the beginning...
there were two little red panels, a lawn chair, and a lamp...

For a better view, click on the thumbnails

Panels...        ... plus sun...        ...equals... power!

Then we got a little more ambitious...

The addition of vent fans powered by two solar panels was the next step, along with some larger panels.

Original Array        solar powered vent fans

...and more... with home-grown interconnect (junction) boxes for the solar panels...

back view of the satellite array        interconnect (junction) box for solar panels... home-grown       Showing the #4 (suitable for burial) cable       The base, where we bury it all...

... and the current result is a veritable cornucopia of solar goodness...
(The alternative energy “look” may not suit all environments – we suggest that you install your
solar and wind equipment in the back yard, on a hill, facing south, as we did)

The newest additions to the generating family        The new panels from a different perspective... this is their photogenic side...

On an average day, with normal daylight, we’re producing 10 kW per hour of solar power;
more on bright, sunny days, and less on overcast days.

Inverter Wall      charge controllers and disconnects      digital battery bank monitors

Part of the power is allocated to charging the battery bank
(2,000 amp-hours at 12v) for nighttime use.

Over the course of our development, we have chosen to stay with low-voltage solar and wind
charging devices (12v @ 30 amps maximum) for our own safety.We have two battery banks - the first bank consists of twelve 110 amp/hour deep cycle batteries and the second contains four 12v 180 amp/hour glass matt batteries. The second bank is courtesy of the hard work and dilligence of Mike, Tim, and Bill, who retrieved these four 200-pound batteries (that's 200 pounds EACH!) from the top floor of a ten-story building that had no elevator.

Latest battery bank        Battery bank

This is the newest version of the solar site - some panels feeding
into 12-volt batteries for off-grid use and some panels backfeeding into the power grid.

There is a disconnect next to the meter - this is a code-required safety feature. 

Back side of new panels            Back of the garage     ... and more panels...      New grid disconnect technology


Thanks to Jerry (N8TIK), celebrated drone copter pilot and videographer, we now have another riveting film showing the wonderful world of alternative energy from a bird's-eye view.

(please note, these images are best viewed in any browser but Internet Exploder)

Jerry - N8TIK      Jerry - N8TIK

 (Also home of the WD8MKG Repeater.)


A special thanks goes out to Inspector Mike (N8UKF) for all the behind-the-scenes work he has done to support us, including computer, video, and server support. Here he is way back in 1998 working on one of the tower projects (everyone was so much hairier then...)

Let us reiterate:  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Not everybody agrees that this is the prettiest setup, though we like it a lot, so you might want to put it in the back yard. But there are always other opinions....

Another Opinion          Panels on completed scaffold          Completed array - garage and scaffold          3kW system

This is another solar array we did at Brother Jim's, using the latest in cutting edge grid-compliant technology.

You might be wondering how all this works... through the magic of the Internet, we can show you...

Diagram courtesy of GreenergyStar.com. http://www.greenergystar.com/



Consumers Power Company commissioning date for net metering - April 1, 2012.

 2nd generator from TLG       Wind power - watch'em turn! (not really)     Original home-brewed wind turbine - still operational     original wind generator from TLG

During good wind, we can generate up to 1,500 watts of power 

First Generator from TLG        3 generators up and running        Another view of a TLG wind generator...

Solar Meter        Diode blocks

Building a Generator - The Bearing & Wheel                 Building a Generator - Winding the Coils                   Building a Generator - Magnets               Building a Generator - Prepping for Fiberglass               Building a Generator - Post-Fiberglass Glory

WD8MKG gets a little help from a neighbor                    Ingenuity and the ability to weld go a long way                     Putting it together


Recently, we added a little alternative heat...

... and look, there's a woodstove, too!

... and a little old-fashioned communications (we love old phones)

Phones          More Phones          And yet more... PHONES

Even more phones    antique phones

But none of this happened out of pure imagination. A lot of trial-and-error and research went
into the evolution of this set-up.
(this isn't just plugging things together - you have to be able to fabricate and weld framework, dig holes,
pour concrete, place underground cable, and wire things without electrocuting yourself...)

Following are some links that WD8MKG found useful in his pursuit of alternative energy solutions:

TLG Windpower Products - Our choice in Wind Generators

Hugh Piggott's Scoraig Wind Electric Site

The Wind is Free (great explanations of things wind-power)

The WD8MKG alternative energy system is powered by the sun, the wind, genius, perseverance, and B.S.


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