In Iowa, we are fortunate to have an abundance of two important resources: wind and sun. Abundance EcoVillage harnesses energy from both of these resources to power each home with clean, reliable energy. We use a wind turbine and photovoltaic panels for collecting energy. Both technologies generate DC, (direct current). This is transferred to a storage battery and inverter, which transfers the current to AC (alternating current). Abundance EcoVillage is also connected to the power grid through Access Energy. If there is a power failure, we seamlessly transition to grid electricity. Our clean, renewable energy system not only powers the daily usage of residents, but powers any construction within the village as well.
The Abundance EcoVillage solar array generates about 2,000 watts of energy per month. The basic building block of a photovoltaic plate is the cell. Photons of light excite electrons within the cell, converting sunlight to direct current. Many cells wired together create a module. The wiring of cells creates the specific voltage that the plate is capable of generating. We have several types of photovoltaic collector plates taking advantage of the lavish Iowa sun. In addition to generating power for the homes, our photovoltaic plates are used to power the water purification systems on our cistern.
Iowa is located in wind zone 5 where a high wind power density makes ideal conditions for harvesting wind. Wind is a natural resource, and with all natural systems, daily and seasonal variations must be taken into account. During winter months, our wind machine is responsible for approximately 90 percent of the energy generated at Abundance EcoVillage. During summer months, the wind provides about 40 percent of our energy. Both wind and solar power are complimentary, and provide a more continual power supply.