Phillip Geil

Mahomet, IL



Helios (2 rows, 32), Evergreen (3 rows, 44) and Suniva (1 row, 20) panels, at optimum summer, spring and fall, and winter tilts (12, 38 and 65°)


System Details:


Total production to date (4/31/16): Wind (10 kW) from 2/9/07 – 56,962 kWh; Evergreen solar (6.8 kW +1.2 kW on 7/16/08) from 8/16/07 – 86,110 kWh. Helios solar (8 kW) from 11/23/12 – 39,535 kWh. Renvu solar (5.7 kW) from 4/13/16.- 376 kW. (Wind inverter repair 3/29/09-5/8/09)


Annual production in kWh: 2008 Wind 8,262, Solar 9,739; 2009 Wind 5,434, Solar 10,732; 2010 Wind 5686, Solar 11,380; 2011 Wind 6210, Solar 9991; 2012 Wind 5,998, Solar 10,367; 2013 Wind 6105, Evergreen Solar 9,229; Helios Solar 11,473; 2014 Wind 5830, Evergreen Solar 9202, Helios Solar 11,412. 2015 Wind 5197; Evergreen Solar 9948; Helios Solar 12095. 2016 (to 4/31/16) Wind 3370; Evergreen Solar 2942; Helios Solar 3623; Renvu Solar (from 4/13/16) 376


Total installed costs: Wind ~ $45,000; Evergreen solar  ~$35,000 – $10,000 State grant and $2,000 Federal rebate + ~$4,500 - $1,600 State grant and $1600 Federal rebate = Total Evergreen solar~ $39,500 – $15,200 = $25,300. Helios solar~$22,000 - $5,400 State grant and $6,600 Federal rebate = ~ $10,000. Renvu solar $9940 – $2980 Federal (state unknown) = ca. $6960.


Wind system – Bergey 10 kW turbine on 100’ tower + Xantrex inverter. Solar system – 40 180 W + 4 190 W blemished Evergreen thin film panels, 3 refurbished 3.3 kW Xantrex inverters; 32 250 W Helios monocrystalline panels with M215 Enphase inverters; 20 285W Renvu panels with M@%) Siemens (Enphase) invertersUniRac and home built struts. One central inverter replaced with Enphase in Feb, 2014 due to panel short.


For information on house construction (earth sheltered, solar heated, geothermal with ERV and 260’ ground loop, low voltage switching, on-demand gas hot water, fluorescent lighting, timber frame with R50 wall, R70 roof self built SIP panels) see http://www.flickr.com/photos/geil-homestead


For more information on the above: phgeil@gmail.com

Personal Story: 

It was the thing to do to go along with our energy-conserving house. Note that we use much more electricity than a normal house, in the winter particularly, heating water for a number of animals and in the summer operating fans for a 30 x 60 greenhouse. We have on the order of 5000 W of animal water heaters. The wind was installed first, in Feb, 2007, with the first 8 kW of the solar self-installed with central inverters 6 months later. Another 8 kW was self-installed with micro-inverters in late 2012 and the last 5.7 kW in April of 2016. Note the substantial decrease in cost, even before rebates. Net-metering, with time-of-use (Power Smart) pricing, is used. 


What tips do you have for someone considering or moving forward with a solar installation?


If possible install on the ground to permit tilting 4 times/year and removal of snow. Also note that Solar is much more cost effective than wind. At the time we installed the wind there was no rebate or tax credit for wind.


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