Author Topic: Blasphemy..... Solar power.  (Read 49974 times)

glort

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Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« on: May 10, 2016, 01:01:05 AM »

While I know this isn't the place to discuss it, I have been looking into solar power lately with a view to DIY setups.

Here in Oz the price of used panels seems to be falling below .50c / watt.  There are a good supply of panels coming onto the market used where people are upgrading to bigger systems and therefore need more powerful panels to get the output to what they want with limited roof space.  In our northern and western states, Solar is particularly popular due to their never ending and intense sun shine. On a Trip north in January I was amazed to see probably 2 out of 3 homes have panels fitted.

The standard installation here now seems to be 5 Kw.  To me, that's a lot of power, especially if you compare it to our favored 6hp listers that typically do 3 Kw.  Where I am, The daily Yeild is said to average 15Kw/h which is a good 5 hours running an engine. Obviously the " On demand" factor isn't there with solar as it is with a generator unless you blow costs out with batteries but they are becoming cheaper too.
I read something yesterday which gave good reasons why battery backup would be a cost viable option by 2020.

I also have a good laugh at all the greenwashed talking about their tesla powerwalls and the myriad of similar but less well known units.  These things are miles away from being able to repay themselves with their cost/ output/ life expectancy but still championed by the green do gooders whom want to crap on about Co2 savings and the like they save while totally disregarding the amount of emissions they create in manufacture.

Here there is a mandated feed in tarrif of .6C per Kw/h. That ends at the end of the year on the gubbermints idea that competition will mean a tarrif is still paid. Given few if any power companies have offered above that rate, I have little doubt that most new solar purchases will be giving their excess generated power back to the utility companies with them crying all manner of BS excuses and crap as to why they can't afford to pay for it when they charge a significant amount extra and push " Green Power" like there are 2 different sets of power line for coal fired and solar generated energy.   ::)
The average cost of power here ranges from 22c kwh to 36C kwh which to me makes the 6C return another 

I have just got a small set of panels I intend to install at my fathers house. It's only 1 KW and he has a lot of trees around but with the rate he pays for power, I conservatively ( like 50% suggested) estimate that could save him $50-80 per bill which is worthwhile. I have a couple of inverters I picked up from the tip that were brand new and dumped due to being old model. Obviously they work fine and one being a 2Kw capacity will be perfect. I also have a 5Kw unit I will keep for my own install.

Rather than set up any  separate metering, all I am going to do is plug the inverter back into the mains.  They condition the power and disconnect in a micro second if the grid fails, or if the plug is pulled out.  Given my fathers meter box runs the old style meters, any excess power will simply sping them backwards using the grid as a battery for when he needs the power such as at night. Given he has a light industrial home based business, most of the power is likely to be used the " Normal" way offsetting his consumption.
If the setup proves worthwhile, I'll look at buying some more used panels and adding to the system capacity.  I know all his roofs are perfectly aligned north which is a bonus and he probably has enough for a 50Kw system but the question will be the extent of the shading from the trees.  The shed i have planned to use is pretty well back but the trees are monsters and i'm not sure at what point they will start to shade the panels. I'm hoping it may be at a point when the things were generating mimimal power anyway which will be late  afternoon.

  Even new, 5Kw systems are being sold and fitted for under $4k here.  i am wondering what they could be had for on a Supply only basis although I'm sure one would get a lot of flack about professional and licenced installation etc.  None the less, the price of the components has fallen to a viable level.  If one looks at a 5Kw system that could provide their power even through the day for 6 hours as to the cost of a generator and fuel to do the same, especialy on say a 5 yr basis, the solar is going to be a more than viable alternative.

I am not sure what the possibilities with new " approved Systems are.
If one could put on a seperate circuit that was solar only, it could be used to max effect. You could have the pool pump and the water heater for instance only come on ( unless over ridden) when there was solar, ie, free power available.  The clothes washer? dryer would ideally programed the same way.
I don't know if there are any such controllers that do this but it would certainly be an advantage if they could. Maybe something could be worked out with an arduino?

If I go to a home that has smart meters, the feedback things is stuffed. I would not be happy getting 6C kw h for the power I did make so a controller that engaged appliances only when there was solar power available would be an assett.  a $00L hot water system would only need one good days firing to last for about 3 or more in my house and if it took all day to come up, wouldn't really matter.  Even though the normal setup is to supply the home first then send power to the grid, like off peak one would want a controller that did not allow the heater to say " Top up" at any other time unless manually over ridden.

The thing is now with the availability of used solar panels, the cost really is becoming an expense that can be quickly recouped. May be different other places but here it's more than viable. When taken against the cost of a generator, not to mention ongoing fuel and maintenance costs ( and time) Solar is a very worthwhile alternative for many that can pump out a very good and usable amount of power for real and practical needs. 
Of course we'll always need our beloved lister roids on the wet dark days but to give them a break and not over tax them, solar is a good way now.

quinnbrian

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2016, 02:01:35 AM »
I've been off grid for a little over 5 years, and I'd never go back. My setup has 2800 watts of solar panel, with a 4844 inverter (48 volt,4400watts) and my Lister SR2,with a 10KW gen head.
The inverter is 120 volt and 220 volt out put @ 60Hz.Other than checking and putting water in the batteries, every once in a while, and keeping the battery terminals clean,there's not a whole to it. You have to mechanically inclined, or have someone that is. If something does go wrong....your the boss, no hydro company to yell at.
I live in Canada, in the winter, we uses the gen, almost every day, about 2-3 hour a day, to recharge the batteries . In the summer, ....maybe once a week, or two. We could uses more batteries, we have 8x6volt( they weigh about 110 pounds a piece) , think there 375 amp hours...can't remember, it's been a while. Anyways we run, in the winter a propane forced air furnace, refrigerator ,lights, TV, internet...etc. Nothing has really change (life style)  then , when we were on the grid. Well maybe something has change...we don't get a hydro bill !!! and that's a big plus...the cost of hydro here in Ontario, when we were on the grid was about $300.00 a month, I live in Ontario Canada, the most heavily, most expensive hydro cost of all the provinces of Canada ....why does hydro cost so much??? because they can charge and do charge what ever they like!!!
Used solar panel , sound like a good idea, depending what kind they are mono, poly...or something in between....big solar setups usually uses cheaper panels, with a known life expectancy, so by the time they get rid of them, there pretty much toast.  .50 cent a watts sounds good, here in Canada new panel are going for $1.00 a watt and you might be able to find a deal a $.90-.80 cent a watt. But look at what your buying...what type they are what is there pro rating( every year a panel is in uses there power output drops), so your 200watt panel that you just bought uses that is...say 10-12 years old will only output maybe 50% of it's rated power...and so on... So your 200watt panel, just became a 100watt panel....that could give up the ghost at anytime...you just don't know.
I have about $13000.00 into my setup, I install everything, The good part about doing it all, is if something does go wrong, you have some sort of idea , what it is.
Research your panel your looking at, and maybe look at the price of new ones...
Hope this helps, I'm not much of a writer/story teller LOL
Cheers
Brian

mike90045

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2016, 05:15:10 AM »
Quote
Given my fathers meter box runs the old style meters, any excess power will simply spin
 backwards using the grid as a battery for when he needs the power such as at night.

Maybe, maybe not.  Some of the old mech meters have a ratchet on them that only allows 1 direction.

And then there is the Power Company Auditor.    Hello Mr Smith, we see you are using a lot less power
these days, we think there is something wrong with your meter and it needs repair.  And if they see a
bootleg solar install, they may get quite upset.   Just a heads up.

glort

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2016, 08:29:06 AM »
Quote
Given my fathers meter box runs the old style meters, any excess power will simply spin
 backwards using the grid as a battery for when he needs the power such as at night.

Maybe, maybe not.  Some of the old mech meters have a ratchet on them that only allows 1 direction.

I have tested my own meter which is the self same meters my father has. They were all the same up to about 10 years ago or less when the new electronic ones started coming out. There was one supplier of meters for the state and most of the other states as well. I pulled one of those new electronic ones off the neighbors house the night before the put an excavator through it and it won't measure a back feed which agrees with what I have been told.

Quote
And then there is the Power Company Auditor.    Hello Mr Smith, we see you are using a lot less power
these days, we think there is something wrong with your meter and it needs repair.  And if they see a
bootleg solar install, they may get quite upset.   Just a heads up.

Hey, How did you know my fathers name?  And Mine???

I wondered about the same thing but when I started pumping power back into my meter and cutting our bill from about $600 a quarter to about $150 now. I thought I might get a visit.  Been a few years now and nothing so far. I am told that they only look at very high and very sudden increases for drug growing.  We are below the average for a one person household let alone 4 most of the time with a pool and 2 ac systems.
And we haven't had a clothes line in..... yeah, a while.  We do have a pissant how water system now though but I took it off off peak and put it on normal power so the thing will reheat for the next person. 

My father is in the country and I doubt they will be bothered coming out to inspect the place. Here they have to give you notice anyway so wouldn't be hard to hide the evidence but realistically, I think our chance of winning lotto is higher than any trouble from the slack arse power companys.  they are slow enough dealing with outages and connections, I really think the amount of inspections they do would be minimal. If the do query it, all he has to say is he has been winding down the business and not doing as much work... which is kinda true anyway.  The solar system would be up the back on one of the machinery sheds so they would have to be much further in than the house where the meters are.  they have to get permission every few years to come onto the place and trim the trees from the power lines.  Last year the brainiacs drove this 10 ton truck with a cherry picker across the front lawn after a fortnight of rain and bogged the thing.  My father was more than a little pissed and told them to get stuffed when they wanted to bring a bigger truck across to get the first one out.

He pulled them out with his tractor and got a promise from the supervisor that came out that his lawn would be repaired. They didn't waste any time with that and did a good job much to his surprise.  I doubt they would give him much grief anymore.  :0)

Something I was thinking for myself is hot water. If I can't grid backfeed, I was thinking of getting another hot water system connected only to the solar power. I would have this system in series to the regular system.
If the solar heated the 2nd tank, then it would go to the regular tank and that would not need to kick in the element from grid power. If there was a rainy spell, the 1st hot water would function as normal even if the water from the 2nd tank was dead cold.  I'd still like to get a controller of some sort so the heater did only use solar unless over ridden but I don't even know what it's called to look for one.

I have been trying to look up what the actual laws are controlling solar back feeding. I'm kinda thinking there could be a gray area loophole in there. If you had the thing fitted by a licenced sparky and was using approved equipment for connection which is what I have, I'm wondering what would stop you feeding your own power into your own home? At worst I can see you would need a transfer switch to isolate the home from the grid when using your own solar. It may need to disconnect the solar all together on grid power but that probably wouldn't be an issue for the right switch.

buickanddeere

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2016, 02:47:37 PM »
I've been off grid for a little over 5 years, and I'd never go back. My setup has 2800 watts of solar panel, with a 4844 inverter (48 volt,4400watts) and my Lister SR2,with a 10KW gen head.
The inverter is 120 volt and 220 volt out put @ 60Hz.Other than checking and putting water in the batteries, every once in a while, and keeping the battery terminals clean,there's not a whole to it. You have to mechanically inclined, or have someone that is. If something does go wrong....your the boss, no hydro company to yell at.
I live in Canada, in the winter, we uses the gen, almost every day, about 2-3 hour a day, to recharge the batteries . In the summer, ....maybe once a week, or two. We could uses more batteries, we have 8x6volt( they weigh about 110 pounds a piece) , think there 375 amp hours...can't remember, it's been a while. Anyways we run, in the winter a propane forced air furnace, refrigerator ,lights, TV, internet...etc. Nothing has really change (life style)  then , when we were on the grid. Well maybe something has change...we don't get a hydro bill !!! and that's a big plus...the cost of hydro here in Ontario, when we were on the grid was about $300.00 a month, I live in Ontario Canada, the most heavily, most expensive hydro cost of all the provinces of Canada ....why does hydro cost so much??? because they can charge and do charge what ever they like!!!
Used solar panel , sound like a good idea, depending what kind they are mono, poly...or something in between....big solar setups usually uses cheaper panels, with a known life expectancy, so by the time they get rid of them, there pretty much toast.  .50 cent a watts sounds good, here in Canada new panel are going for $1.00 a watt and you might be able to find a deal a $.90-.80 cent a watt. But look at what your buying...what type they are what is there pro rating( every year a panel is in uses there power output drops), so your 200watt panel that you just bought uses that is...say 10-12 years old will only output maybe 50% of it's rated power...and so on... So your 200watt panel, just became a 100watt panel....that could give up the ghost at anytime...you just don't know.
I have about $13000.00 into my setup, I install everything, The good part about doing it all, is if something does go wrong, you have some sort of idea , what it is.
Research your panel your looking at, and maybe look at the price of new ones...
Hope this helps, I'm not much of a writer/story teller LOL
Cheers
Brian

Where in Ontario ?
We have been considering a  2-3 KW grid tie system here without telling the power utility . Just to reduce the daytime peak rate consumption to near zero. The pool pump and AC will still cost however the AC season is only 6-12 weeks per season. The pool pump is on a timer so it operates 1/2 hour on and 1-1/2 hrs off around the clock. When the propane heater wears out a heat pump and some more PV panels will be installed . The hot tub may also have a 1KW , 48VDC heater installed . To have the PV panels heat the tub year around without worrying about freezing pipe work etc
   If the rumours are true. Ontario will consider surplus power that is flowing out to the grid for storage as income to be taxed. This will eliminate any advantages of " net metering".
     At the start of the Gerald Butts and Dalton McGuinty green energy love fest in Ontario . Net metering and feed in tariff wind-
Solar was a given to anybody. Then some pubic outcry rose from rate payers and people who understand technical matters instead of being liberal arts majors .
    I asked my utility if the 4.8/8.3KV lines could handle a new 600V 200 amp 166KW  service for my shop. "No problem , when do you want it "was the answer . Then I asked about connecting a 10KW net metering solar system. The answer was "sorry, can't do that. The system lacks enough capacity ".
« Last Edit: May 11, 2016, 04:07:32 PM by buickanddeere »

BruceM

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2016, 03:54:30 PM »
I'm powering my off grid home with 120VDC ($1000 for batteries lasting 4.5 years) on 875 watts of PV panels, plus Listeroid 6/1 and ST-3 genny for laundry and water pumping (about $15/month for pump diesel).  Seasonal tilt only on panels, via $200 homebuilt steel ground mounted rack.  A big propane refrigerator/freezer is utterly quiet and takes about $25/mo. plus another $5. in propane cooking.  Eastern AZ at 5600 ft. allows for good solar charging even on most cloudy days.  I typically only run the generator for charging batteries on average 4 hours per winter season. (Two days.)  Batteries are fully charged every day and DOD is under 20% so cheap "marine" batteries can be used.  I do sunny day cooking with crock pots and rice cooker with steamer tray on 120VDC, plus a small toaster oven, propane for cloudy days.

My shop is Listeroid powered, for compressed air woodshop and occasional AC use.

Hot water (domestic) and space heating comes from direct solar HW, homebuilt flat panel collector 4'x32' configured as horizonal riser along my shop south wall. It's tilted at about 35 degrees from vertical to match gain with seasonal in-floor heat need for the house.  It's a drain-back system circulated directly from a below grade homebuilt 800 gallon insulated storage tank, sunk into floor (and earth) of my shop.  Tank is EPDM rubber pond liner inside 3 inches of foam board lining a hand dug hole in my shop floor.  Collector and tank design concept come from doitsolar.com.  The collector is formed aluminum fins over painted copper pipe with polycarbonate twinwall greenhouse panels for glazing.  The house in floor heating is run directly from the storage tank with no heat exchanger.  Domestic HW goes through 4 parallel coils of 1/2" copper heat exchanger (180 feet total) in the tank.  

Unlike PV, there is no useful heating from flat panel hot water collectors on cloudy or overcast days; the temperatures are just not high enough.  So I have to use propane for boosting water temps (as needed) for 2 months in the winter.  The storage tank is used as pre-heater and the propane HW heaters make up the difference when tank temperatures fall too low.

The 800 gallon insulated storage tank (145F max) can only heat the house 2 days without full sun in the winter, and "catch up" afterwards takes a couple days. For those two months my propane bill is $20/month higher.  The house is super insulated which makes this possible.  The 5" very well insulated concrete slab floor also allows me to not need air conditioning in the summer; open windows at night suffice, as the house only gains 3 degrees during the daytime despite a mid 90F high. Before solar, my winter propane bills were roughly $120/month total ($90 for heating).  I would have to double collector area and triple the storage tank size to go 100% solar (no propane) heating, while only saving $40/year in propane plus $50/yr for propane water heater replacement cost.

My new neighbor's home is using the same approach but we are upgrading his windows to triple pane, high performance vinyl type.  PV prices were so low he was able to get 1200 watts of panels for under $1000 including freight.  
« Last Edit: May 10, 2016, 04:08:30 PM by BruceM »

LowGear

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2016, 04:33:27 PM »
Wow, really long writings.  I'm occasionally wrong but I'm under the impression that code calls for dedicated circuits for generators which includes solar panel / inverter systems.  Don't let your home catch on fire.  I'm also under the belief that if you're found to be tying generators to the grid without the utilities approval you can and may be disconnected from the grid. 

I will inquire the next email pitches for the "Greatest Invention Since Peanut Butter" (stand alone panels with built-in inverters) about their code and utility company compatibility and implications.
 
I also have to google the cost effectivity of wall batteries vs. lead acid arrays.

Casey
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carlb23

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2016, 07:29:45 PM »
We installed our first solar array in 2004 it was a 7kw system.  We installed another 3kw in 2007 and another 11.5kw system in 2010 for a total of 21.5kw.  The system is grid tied and we generate around 32mwh a year.  In new jersey you can sell your energy credits back to the utilities to help them offset there required  amount of energy produced by renewables.  right now each mwh is selling for just under 300 dollars so we will recover around 9,000 dollars this year on our install and we pay nothing for heating or cooling for the year because we produce more than we could possibly use.   When we installed these system there were both state and federal incentives to install them making the payback for the systems less than 3 years.  In years past each mwh was selling for as high as 675 dollars earning a return of over $21,000 dollars some years.

I would never spend money on batteries i rely instead on my Lister or Subaru generator if the grid goes down.  Batteries are messy require too much maintenance for me since our grid does not go down often.   Also disposing of old batteries can be another problem especially if they are really big.

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2016, 07:37:11 PM »
Glort, why bother with grid connection or spinning meters backwards?
Consider running your panels to a battery bank, then to an inverter which powers some dedicated loads that are always on and powered only by the solar.
Maybe a freezer and/or a refrigerator, lower element in the hot water heater, night lights, etc....
It's the same as slowing down your meter because you are removing those circuits from your grid system.

just a thought mate,
cheers,
Veggie
« Last Edit: May 10, 2016, 08:14:47 PM by veggie »
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BruceM

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2016, 08:27:33 PM »
Sweet deal on your excess power payback, Carl.  I wondered why you had such huge capacity, now I understand.  Smart move on your part. 

Batteries and their ongoing replacement can be serious $.




Hugh Conway

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2016, 08:45:13 PM »
Off-grid too, on the Canadian West coast. When they started forcing "smart meters" on us, I could see the writing on the wall regarding price increases.
Then too, the associated privacy and control issues. We just phoned up Hydro and told them to come take down their lines. That was 4 years ago.
I am under no illusion that this is "green power generation" Bunch of B.S. IMHO.
We set up this system ourselves with the help of a consultant who pointed us in the right direction. We're using a solar panel  array that is rated at just over 2KW. I made the ground mount racking to be adjustable to produce max output according to season, but in practice, have found adjustment to be un-necessary. Setting it at the proper angle for spring and Autumn seems to work best. In winter, it is usually too overcast to get much power output. In summer, we have a full charge on our batteries by noon. When building our house, we did not think we would be off-grid, so this place was not designed with that in mind.....works well anyhow.
This is a 24V system with 850AH battery bank. Out 6/1 listeroid will fully charge the battery bank in less than 2 hours run time on a winter day when we run nearly daily. Annual run time is about 300 hr annually. this system provides power for the house and shop. We do not necessarily use the generator when using shop tools or washing machine, the battery bank and 4KW inverter handles it easily, so long as only one large machine is running at a time. Our biggest single power draw is for a 3/4 HP deep well pump. Our average power usage is just over 2KWH per day.
There is a gravity water system for garden watering. This is an independent system that uses roof collected rainwater to a 2000gal tank, that water is pumped up to a gravity tank on the hilltop via a small 12V solar panel and $30 MPPT charger/power supply.
Hot water is via solar collector. In winter the coil in the wood stove provides ample hot water.
The whole system is pretty simple and relatively trouble free. Good thing too, because I am not a whiz with electronic stuff.Total cost for us was about 20K, it hurt initially, but now we do not notice the frequent winter (sometimes summer too) power outages. Have no monthly Hydro bills, and really like the additional independence this provides. My only regret is that I did not do this years ago. Should be even easier now that component costs are much less than they used to be.
If one has even a small amount hands-on abilities, it's the way to go. If you are clueless, maybe just stay plugged in and hope for the best.
BTW, one of my friends has 21 years on a similar battery bank.......if you don't abuse them, they can last quite a while.

Cheers,
Hugh
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Hugh Conway

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2016, 08:50:10 PM »

@ Glort........You initially said that maybe this forum was not the place to discuss this topic: Looks popular to me!
Listers and Listeroids make good generators!
Cheers,
Hugh
JKson 6/1  (Utterpower PMG ) Off-grid
Lister 6/1 Start-O-Matic engine......running with PMG
1978 Royal Enfield (glutton for punishment by Indian iron)
1963 BMW R-27 project

quinnbrian

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2016, 10:58:36 PM »
I've been off grid for a little over 5 years, and I'd never go back. My setup has 2800 watts of solar panel, with a 4844 inverter (48 volt,4400watts) and my Lister SR2,with a 10KW gen head.
The inverter is 120 volt and 220 volt out put @ 60Hz.Other than checking and putting water in the batteries, every once in a while, and keeping the battery terminals clean,there's not a whole to it. You have to mechanically inclined, or have someone that is. If something does go wrong....your the boss, no hydro company to yell at.
I live in Canada, in the winter, we uses the gen, almost every day, about 2-3 hour a day, to recharge the batteries . In the summer, ....maybe once a week, or two. We could uses more batteries, we have 8x6volt( they weigh about 110 pounds a piece) , think there 375 amp hours...can't remember, it's been a while. Anyways we run, in the winter a propane forced air furnace, refrigerator ,lights, TV, internet...etc. Nothing has really change (life style)  then , when we were on the grid. Well maybe something has change...we don't get a hydro bill !!! and that's a big plus...the cost of hydro here in Ontario, when we were on the grid was about $300.00 a month, I live in Ontario Canada, the most heavily, most expensive hydro cost of all the provinces of Canada ....why does hydro cost so much??? because they can charge and do charge what ever they like!!!
Used solar panel , sound like a good idea, depending what kind they are mono, poly...or something in between....big solar setups usually uses cheaper panels, with a known life expectancy, so by the time they get rid of them, there pretty much toast.  .50 cent a watts sounds good, here in Canada new panel are going for $1.00 a watt and you might be able to find a deal a $.90-.80 cent a watt. But look at what your buying...what type they are what is there pro rating( every year a panel is in uses there power output drops), so your 200watt panel that you just bought uses that is...say 10-12 years old will only output maybe 50% of it's rated power...and so on... So your 200watt panel, just became a 100watt panel....that could give up the ghost at anytime...you just don't know.
I have about $13000.00 into my setup, I install everything, The good part about doing it all, is if something does go wrong, you have some sort of idea , what it is.
Research your panel your looking at, and maybe look at the price of new ones...
Hope this helps, I'm not much of a writer/story teller LOL
Cheers
Brian

Where in Ontario ?
We have been considering a  2-3 KW grid tie system here without telling the power utility . Just to reduce the daytime peak rate consumption to near zero. The pool pump and AC will still cost however the AC season is only 6-12 weeks per season. The pool pump is on a timer so it operates 1/2 hour on and 1-1/2 hrs off around the clock. When the propane heater wears out a heat pump and some more PV panels will be installed . The hot tub may also have a 1KW , 48VDC heater installed . To have the PV panels heat the tub year around without worrying about freezing pipe work etc


Just outside of Kingston Ontario. About 20 minutes North.

glort

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2016, 12:31:44 PM »

@ Glort........You initially said that maybe this forum was not the place to discuss this topic: Looks popular to me!
Listers and Listeroids make good generators!
Cheers,
Hugh

Yes, I should have known this forum is miles ahead of most others when it comes to intelligent, if not strictly on topic conversation.
I think anyone that makes any of their own power is interested in all the available ways it can be accomplished.

I have just been reading all the posts enthralled at what people are doing and trying to learn from it. I have been on other " alternative Energy" sites but it seems they are all obsessed with total green washed and often laughably impractical and costly ideals.
I'm all for doing the right thing and all that but I'm not going to plan my entire life around saving the last watt of power, figuring out how to emit 5g less of Co2 per day or how I can get by on 2L of water per day and going to stupid lengths to " Save water".  I wonder what they are going to do with all this water they "save" . It would seem nothing.  They also appear to have great difficulty differentiating between using water for worthwhile purposes and straight out wasting it.  In their eyes turning a tap on seem to constitute an instant and inexcusable waste. Even if it is to fill a drinking glass!  ::)

Living a decent modern lifestyle while cutting down on energy costs and investing a bit of time in a hobby/ labour of love, I'm all for it.  :0)

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Glort, why bother with grid connection or spinning meters backwards?
Consider running your panels to a battery bank, then to an inverter which powers some dedicated loads that are always on and powered only by the solar.

Because where I am and wherever I'll end up will be grid connected anyway. Where I am, for the forseeable future, it's going to be a LOT cheaper to use the grid as a battery than actually buy batteries and set them up.
ATM I pretty much only pay enough to the grid to stay connected and avoid too much suspicion by using what I want and generating my own power to compensate.  Most of that is gen power but the quiet and lack of effort of solar is certainly becoming more attractive. If connected to the grid, I can make make power during the day, even if only sunny days, and use it when I want such as at night. 

The other advantage of the grid connection is when I want to weld and use the plasma Cutter and other big Amp draw things, sometimes in multiple like with the compressor, I have the power there.
Due to my proclivity with electricity, I have spilt all the circuits up here very well. A sparky mate who did the board connections said the place has the ability to pull more power than the lines from the pole can supply.  Everything has it's own circuit so if I turned everything on at once.... :0) Not that I ever have in 20 years.

I like the idea of a controller that only powers things by solar unless switched over to mains power. Do you know of any such units?


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When we installed these system there were both state and federal incentives to install them making the payback for the systems less than 3 years.  In years past each mwh was selling for as high as 675 dollars earning a return of over $21,000 dollars some years.

When the gubbrmint here only got in with a deal from the greenies, they had a solar scheme incentive which was 54C kw/h for 7 years.  The scheme barely lasted 9 months.  It was too successful and the power companies shit a kidney at the gubbermint and they pulled it saying their targets had been met. I forget the numbers but it was like they expected 100K people to take it up and about a million did.
My friend took advantage of the scheme and put a 3kw system in with an interest free loan.  he still has 2 or 3 years to run on the higher tarrif and paid the system back about 18 months ago.  He is having a lot of trouble getting his credt payment back though. The utility company is saying it's a credit and will come off future bills.  He's generating more power than he uses with his solar hot water and other green initiatives so even when he goes back to the .6C kwh or nothing at all, he'll never be out of credit.

This is what shits me to tears with all this green washed save the planet BS.  Gubermints and big business are only interested in it while there is a buck in it for them. After that, it's all hypocracy and lip service.

When the solar scheme came in, the grid was in danger of future collapse. The lower cost of AC and the uptake of larger screen TVs was largely blamed. The utilities were happy for a soloution to at least defer and allow them to catch up on the major multi billion dollar grid upgrades they could see coming and the gubbermint wanted to put off building new power stations long talked about.
They got what they wished for and more and then complained about that and used the lower demand for power as an excuse to put the price up  in a complete turn around to recent price hikes where they said they had to curb usage.

Makes me sick the BS they go on with to screw people. that's why I have no qualms in taking advantage of them.  Seems a case of screw or be screwed but fortunately for some of the more savvy amoungst us, we can make it go our way.... for once.





mike90045

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2016, 02:44:49 PM »
Off grid in northern California for 6 years here.   Listeroid backup in the winter when the sun don't shine for weeks of rain.  I run it about 90 min in the AM, and another 60 min evenings when the cloud cover is thick.   The 5Kw PV arrays (a 3Kw & 2Kw) cover all the summertime loads, often in float before noon.  We use about 7Kwh daily in winter (large ranch, 3 fridges/freezers, 2 laptops and gobs of electronics gear)  Summer when we are pumping water, we jump to 11 or 12Kwh daily.

Any simple Grid Tie system can be run without batteries, the PV inverter treats the Grid as a huge battery.

If you want to generate all your own, and not sell any to the grid, you need a "hybrid" inverter and that requires batteries for stability. When the panels don't produce you buy power from the grid.  if the grid goes down, your minimal battery bank might last an hour, since you don't generally install a full size bank.