Alternative Energy through hybrid generators, how to get power when the wind does not blow, water does not flow, or the sun does not shine? Solar power is the most abundant alternative energy source available. Wind power and hydro power are the next most abundant alternative energy sources. One disadvantage of solar power systems is they require the sun to generate alternative energy. No sun means no energy. Solar power systems are most efficient when sunlight is focused for maximum exposure. Efficiency also increases in regions where sunlight is readily available. The second most readily available source of alternative energy, wind power, suffers similar disadvantages. No wind means now energy. Wind power generators require wind speeds as low as 3 miles per hour to operate. Wind power efficiency increases with the speed and duration of the wind.Hydro power is equally limited to available resources. Hydro power requires abundant water sources to operate all year long. During drought or through dry seasons water sources may dry up. Hydro power efficiency is determined by the speed and the force of the current passing over the blades of the generator. Alternative energy limitations can easily be overcome through hybrid generator systems. A hybrid generator system uses two or more sources to provide a near constant supply of power. Typical hybrid generator system is designed to maximize power output through a variety of weather conditions. Alternative energy can be provided through the use of solar power and wind power. Systems built for personal, or small commercial use can often generate electrical outputs of 200 watts to 30 kilowatts.
Hybrid generator systems can be constructed either as grid-assisted or grid-inter-tied and off-grid. Grid assisted systems will use both electrical grid and alternative energy sources. The electrical energy provided from these multiple sources will then be stored in battery systems. There is an advantage to grid-assisted alternative energy sources. When the wind does not blow, or the sun does not shine, the electrical system will still be storing power in the battery system. In these systems, hybrid generators operate as a method to reduce utility costs. Off-grid systems on the other hand are designed to provide alternative energy sources that are completely separate from grid power. Hybrid generators in this case are the sole method of electrical input to the battery storage system. Off-grid hybrid generator systems have three advantages over grid assisted systems.First, they minimize the environmental footprint of a person’s electrical consumption. Second, they eliminate a person’s reliance upon utility companies and utility costs. Lastly, hybrid generator systems can be constructed nearly anywhere replacing the need for expensive utility connections to remote areas. Off-grid hybrid generator systems have minimal disadvantages over grid-assisted systems that proper planning and design can easily overcome. The only significant disadvantage of a hybrid generator is the lack of available sources. Careful review of available alternative energy sources at the US DOE Energy Information Administration’s website will help to decide the availability of alternative energy resources. Alternative energy sources are abundant and readily available.
Through proper planning and design the advantages of alternative energy can be utilized while the disadvantages can easily be overcome with hybrid generator systems.