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All this talk about green energy and conservation has many people wondering...how? I hope this blog will help to clarify that. Today I'd like to talk about planning.

A poorly planned system will have lower efficiency, and therefore the amount of power that can be extracted from the system will be low. Proper planning and design of the entire system will ensure that it will work optimally.

I like to talk about planning these systems in three parts: generation, storage, and distribution. In the full-scale power grid, there is little storage. Much of the grid is focused on generation and distribution. On a small scale, the importance of storage is magnified.

Solar power is only available during the day, and sometimes the wind doesn't blow at all. Clearly, using these forms of energy at home means also designing a storage system. Typically batteries are used to store this energy, however they have some disadvantages. Batteries are heavy, and in order to store large amounts of power for a long period of time, large banks of batteries are required.

There are some technologies that are being developed on a large scale that could be useful for longer term and larger scale energy storage at home. For example, compressed air energy storage is being studied to deal with the intermittancy problem with wind power and to increase wind penetration. Pumped hydro storage could be useful in places where there is a large reservoir of water such as a river or lake.

All of these technologies have the potential to be used in your home green power system at relatively low cost.

For more information on building your own wind turbine and solar panels, check out Home Energy Focus.

More from Home Energy Focus

More on Storage 09 Jul 13

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