Author Topic: Blasphemy..... Solar power.  (Read 106617 times)

Hugh Conway

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2016, 03:44:24 AM »
We don't get an awful lot of sunshine in Ireland solar is mostly used for heating water or powering the flashing orange lights at schools. A lot of politicians and business types favour wind turbines, connected to the grid. Maybe it's because I'm a contrary person but I can see the logic of solar panels charging battery banks but I'm puzzled as to why gas power plants have to be kept running in case the wind stops. Anyone care to enlighten me?
No wind, no power storage, no power..........got to keep the gas plants operational to pick up the slack.

I once saw a small wind powered generating system that nearly always worked.......the wind generator used some power to pump water from a large tank to another large hilltop tank. When the wind did not blow, the stored uphill water powered a small water turbine driven generator and dumped the water back into the down-hill tank. Made a god swimming hole too!
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Hugh
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buickanddeere

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2016, 05:23:48 PM »
We don't get an awful lot of sunshine in Ireland solar is mostly used for heating water or powering the flashing orange lights at schools. A lot of politicians and business types favour wind turbines, connected to the grid. Maybe it's because I'm a contrary person but I can see the logic of solar panels charging battery banks but I'm puzzled as to why gas power plants have to be kept running in case the wind stops. Anyone care to enlighten me?

Because the lights , homes and industry will shut down due to low voltage, low frequency and low current or high voltage, high current and high frequency as wind electrical power varies with normal minute by minute variations in wind speed. The governors in the gas turbines, thermal or hydro electric sites are racking up and down varying power to fill in the low and prevent peaks.
    Wind turbines also need to be connected to a stable utility grid for excitation and reference frequency.
    I am always surprised how the general public has no idea where and how vital services such as water, power, food and sanitation is provided.
     Keeping extra fossil or hydro electric power on spinning reserve raises the cost of power generation.

quinnbrian

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2016, 01:10:02 AM »
We don't get an awful lot of sunshine in Ireland solar is mostly used for heating water or powering the flashing orange lights at schools. A lot of politicians and business types favour wind turbines, connected to the grid. Maybe it's because I'm a contrary person but I can see the logic of solar panels charging battery banks but I'm puzzled as to why gas power plants have to be kept running in case the wind stops. Anyone care to enlighten me?

You could have enough battery storage.... but batteries are very expensive, I paid $2700.00 for 8 of them....that was 5 years ago, now the same batteries are $3700.00. I guess if you had lots of money...say...$12000.00-14000.00 you would have enough battery storage and "black outs" would be a thing of the past.
So we uses the genset to bring the batteries back up, when the wind doesn't blow and the sun, doesn't shine. With 4 seasons, its hard to tell what going to happen.

My gen hasn't run ,in...almost 2 weeks :-)...Things are looking up!!

mike90045

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2016, 07:38:02 AM »
Quote
Another interesting thing I saw is that a couple of solar retailers here are selling PV's that come in rolls like hall runner carpet. I have seen the flexible panels that are like thin plastic or plywood kind of flexible but this stuff is much more like fabric.  It would follow Curves and bends that the regular flexible stuff would look solid on.  Don't know what the performace is like as far as watts/ sq/m goes but the price is quite competitieve for the output. Not as cheap as regular flat panels but well and truly low enough to make it viable where other panels would be difficult.

The roll panels are generally "thin film" and start to degrade in sunlight, they loose about 10% per year.  I'd be VERY cautious before buying that.

guest23837

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2016, 05:19:19 PM »
So what am I missing? The windmill sometimes turns and produces power. If it doesn't turn the gas fired power station that's running all the time starts supplying the power. The problems I have are 1. extra 5% on electricity costs for alternative energy 2. Running a power plant in case the wind drops is surely expensive and illogical. I like the double reservoir idea but the green party here are obsessed with wind and they seem to be the squeaky wheels on environmental issues. There's going to be a 630 foot wind turbine constructed below my house, below as in a valley. Logic? Very interesting thread this

quinnbrian

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2016, 12:18:47 AM »
There's somewhere on the net , that goes through the different batteries type....car ..marine..forklift..etc. Car batteries , when used for "off grid" where there charged over and over again, don't do very well. I think the number is round 40-50 recharges before there NFG. The plates in a car battery are very thin, and will not take very well to deep cycling. A marine battery, like the ones you'd uses on a trolling motor, have the plates inside that are a little thicker, making...more usable as an off grid battery.
Car batteries are designed to hit hard/high short loads ( your car starting) and charged fast, for short periods of time. Ever tried to start you car and it just wouldn't start.....if you turn it over and over again , it doesn't take long to kill your battery. And if you do it enough times ...the plates in the battery will, warp...over heat and you'll need a new battery. Car batteries are a little different on the way they rate them, amps, cold crating amps and  reserve amps. The amp rating is how much the battery can put out for a very short time ( about 5-10  a temps ) at trying to start your car, with out damaging your battery. Cold cranking amps is an amp rating @ a given temp (- something)  , in very cold temps, a car battery or any battery with only have about 40-50% of it total amps available. And reserve amps (the one you want to look at) is the amps available after you've tried to start your car over and over again, and leave it for a while( the battery cools down) is really what you have for amps/deep cycle.
If the batteries are free, then have some fun!! It better to try something, then to never have done it before, because you listen (to me) and maybe other that say done do it. It will work for a short time...week... a month...who knows, but its a good starting point, where you can learn , with out spending a lot.
Right now, my system...inverter (48 volts) will provide 4400watts of 120 or 2200watt of 220, I have 8 solar panel @ 325 watt per panel (2600 watts) 8x 6 volt Interstate L-16dual batteries rated at 380 amps@20 hours( these batteries weigh 110 pounds  per battery, very heavy!! MPPT PVA charger and wiring...disconnect boxes fuses...etc.
Altogether I think I have about $14000.00, not including the Lister SR2 with a 10Kw ST head.
But I make all my power for my home...no grid tie in here....will there is, just down the road, but I don't want anything to do with it!! :-) I like the way it works, there is maintenance,but very little. And if the light go out, down call the hydro hot line...it all you.
Cheers
Brian

BruceM

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2016, 12:42:21 AM »
This from the windsun.com solar power site on ball park battery life for off grid use:

    Starting: 3-12 months
    Marine: 1-6 years
    Golf cart: 2-7 years
    AGM deep cycle: 4-8 years
    Gelled deep cycle: 2-5 years
    Deep cycle (L-16 type etc): 4-8 years
    Rolls-Surrette premium deep cycle: 7-15 years
    Industrial deep cycle (Crown and Rolls 4KS series): 10-20+ years.
    Telephone (float): 2-20 years. These are usually special purpose "float service", but often appear on the surplus market as "deep cycle". They can vary     considerably, depending on age, usage, care, and type.
    NiFe (alkaline): 5-35 years
    NiCad: 1-20 years

If a set of 8 L16's at $3700 were to last 7 years, that would be $44/month replacement cost, ignoring interest, inflation, etc.  That's not bad compared to some larger systems, or some other types of batteries.

One of these days the long awaited big battery breakthrough will come...right? 




« Last Edit: May 14, 2016, 12:47:11 AM by BruceM »

Thob

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2016, 02:31:31 AM »

[snip]

The idea seems amazingly logical and practical.

[snip]



...which is exactly why it will probably never happen!  ;D
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I am sometimes afraid I'm not going to get it back together.

billswan

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2016, 01:17:07 PM »

Being the cheap, tight, always looking to buck the system type, I am thinking that a good chance of low cost equipment may lie with the IT industry.  I have several UPS units that provide really good power both in clean output and amperage. I had a beautiful 3Kw output unit that was given to me by a guy who dealt in used equipment for a couple of little favours I did for him. Again just run off car batteries, this was a great power supply and battery maintainer in one..... Till my damn Cat pissed in the thing and all the magic smoke escaped... from the UPS not the cat. Maybe fortunately, maybe not.  I found out about having it repaired and embarrassed, I lied to the guy about what happened. Said I spilt my Coffee in it. He said that was rare, usually the ones they got from domestic situations with liquid ingress, cats had pissed in them.  He thought it was funny when I said that's what happened but I was embarrassed to say.
Upshot was that it wouldn't be worth fixing as the cats piss really corroded the heck out of things and you could never trust  them again.

Glort
That above paragraph brings back memories. I am an avid talk radio junkie and many years ago one of my more or less local talk commentators had a guest on who was a VCR repair man. (for you younger readers VCR stands for video cassette recorder) Well during the interview the show host asked what some of the things were that killed VCR's and one of the responses was urine. Obviously there was a pause and the show host said what did you say? The guy went on to explain that most vcr's are right at a cats nose level and they seem to think that the electrical smell is the mark of another male cat.
So of course they just cannot stand that so they turn around and let fly with there own marking system to let the other guy know this is there territory.
Of course like your power supply repairman said that stuff is really corrosive and just the wreaks the hell out of copper wire.
 And on a personal experience level one day I hit the jackpot at a local golf cart builder going out of business yard sale. I Bought a big box of electrical wiring and you guessed it one of my farm tom cats started sleeping on top of the box. And much later when I opened up the box to get a chunk for some patch job the urine and its odors had penetrated up the ends of the wire and had turned new wire green. BASTARD CAT.

Billswan
16/1 Metro  in the harness choking on WMO ash!!

10/1 OMEGA failed that nasty WMO ash ate it

By the way what is your cylinder index?

buickanddeere

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2016, 06:33:13 PM »
1.4Kwhr of reserve is really only 0.4Kwhr of usable capacity. Deep cycling any battery, lead acid starting batteries in particular will cause rapid failure. 

guest23837

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2016, 04:30:11 PM »
I been reading about Tesla home battery packs that are 10kw hr, thats a lot of power on standby. Has anyone tried or read a review of them?

buickanddeere

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2016, 03:09:56 PM »
I been reading about Tesla home battery packs that are 10kw hr, thats a lot of power on standby. Has anyone tried or read a review of them?

Useful capacity of the 10Kw Tesla pack is about 6MWhr.
What is the cost of your on peak vs off peak power?  What is the loss in efficiency to charge, discharge and invert to AC ? What does the additional grid tie inverter cost.
    If planning on powering your home when the grid is down with your Tesla. Add in the cost of a transfer switch.

quinnbrian

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2016, 01:21:57 AM »
I been reading about Tesla home battery packs that are 10kw hr, thats a lot of power on standby. Has anyone tried or read a review of them?

There a guy on utube that show you how to build one...for a faction of the cost of buying one. He also goes through...the good and bad of them, and how there made. I'll see if I can find the link.
Here it is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk50IuWXg-c
Hope this helps
Cheers
Brian

LowGear

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2016, 05:31:10 PM »
I thought Tesla stopped sales of the 10 KWH units.

Of course I covet two of them or maybe four.  I'm pretty sure they're 120 volts out so you need two for 240 volt use. Yes, as the Supreme Commander I shall edict "No 240 appliances aver 3:00 or before 10:00 but the naives don't always obey!  Remember my caveat:  I've been mistaken before.  Now to check out the above link.

Casey
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BruceM

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Re: Blasphemy..... Solar power.
« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2016, 06:16:04 PM »
I've read that Tesla's batteries have quite a bit of battery charge balancing circuitry, which this DIY hobbyist is ignoring.  If you just charge large numbers of cells configured in both parallel and series, individual cells will always over or under-perform and problems will result.  Lithium cells are somewhat simpler to charge manage as they just need to be voltage limited, and voltage can be used to determine state of charge.  But still, cell charge management of some sort is needed. Lithium cells will not last long if charged as if they were lead acid cells.

Typically they would have quite a bit of electronics added to monitor cell voltage and regulate charge, to redirect charge current around full cells, to underchaged cells, in order to conserve battery life and keep the cells balanced in charge.

I also don't believe the numbers have changed since I evaluated lithium for my off grid home over a decade ago, and gave them a thumbs down.  They only make sense if weight and energy density are a big issue, or operation at elevated temperatures would make lead acid batteries die very quickly.  Both those issues make lithium a good choice for cars, but a bad one for home power, at present.  If improvements lead to greater cycle life, that could change quickly.  We can only hope that the next big battery breakthrough, promised for the last 70 years plus, will soon actually happen.