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Solar Panels ?


muel
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Right now I own 20 solar panels, 4200Kwh. 

As it happens, today I read an article about going 'off the grid' completely, in Belgium. I would need a Fronius 10.000 Kwh battery for that, which costs give or take 12,000 euros. Even with that battery, due to the Belgian winters, it would be impossible to be off the grid in December and January. 

My earnings for January:

 

 

So I guess I will stick to what I have now, without the battery. I think it is impossible to win back the investment of the battery, ever. I have no idea what the effect of the battery would be on  a sound system.

Fronius Solar-batterij/ accu 12 Kw

 

 

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One negative is when you need a new roof. We redid our flat roof and had to lift the panels up, put on dollies, roll to a new spot. It was a PITA but not as bad as we had feared. Just grabbed a bunch of guys from the shop and couple stacks of dollies and we had it done in short order. If you had to call in a bunch of guys it would have been costly.

IMG_2767.thumb.JPG.a1d387201ebd053c93b4153d94c47856.JPG

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I don't care about over producing at all... I'm just offsetting my electric bill by around 18,000 KWh per year I hope.  We currently use anywhere from 30,000 to 40,000 +

Yeah, it's a lot!  All electric with multiple heat pumps and kids with lots of clothes to wash.  Maybe it is more economical to heat with tube amps?

I already got an estimate of removal of equipment for roofing replacement when that time comes... that will run about $2,500 which is a little less than a year of solar production.  

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I had to laugh and shake my head. About 5-10 years ago, solar panel installation was the rage in southern Louisiana, both substantial fed and state tax benefits. Quite a few in my former neighborhood had them installed. But were upset when they didn't have power when the Entergy grid failed at night. Most of them had no concept of the need for a major battery reserve (as in multiple batteries) to store power for such an issue. Or perhaps the solar sales folks didn't mention that aspect to them.

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I have had solar operating for three weeks. 

 

I oversized assuming that I will eventually change out my water heater to electric, get rid of my gas heat and go to heat pumps in the winter and get an electric car.  I wanted to get in on the higher Govt rebate at the end of last year and the higher tier payback rate from the local utility. 

 

No noise so far. 

 

Make sure you get high quality panels.  Sunpower and one other company (maybe Panasonic) are supposed to be top of the line and degrade the least over time as well as produce power at extreme sun angles.  My entire system is facing west (I did not want an eyesore on the front of my house) and it starts producing power at 6 or 7 am when the sun is in the east.  Each panel also has its own inverter (instead of a centralized inverter for the entire system) so if one goes out the rest keep producing.  This might not be an issue with the cheaper panels anymore. 

 

The high end panels do not add that much to the cost.  I know a guy that 'saved' $1K by going cheaper on the panels with a different company. His install was also very sloppy. 

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1 hour ago, Emile said:

Yeah ... looked at solar panels :)  Any thought on the existing roofing? Neighbor got panels and his roof is 10 years old ... probably will need to be replaced in 5 years ... haha; remove panels and reinstall :( 

My roof is 20 years old but tile as are all homes out here.  It should last a long time. 

 

I want to move the panels to a southern facing RV cover that is to be built in a few years.  The installer said that it will only cost about $2,000 to $2500 to move them.  If you put on a new roof, this is a small amount compared to the new roof.  Check out the Tesla roof on Youtube.  Not a bad deal if you need a roof. 

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12 hours ago, ILI said:

 

Half of the panels must face east and west for morning and evening use. 

My west facing panels start producing power at 6 am and ramp up all morning.  The panels will produce power at extreme angles.  I will not put panels on the front of my house (east).  I have done way too much work on getting it to look a certain way. 

 

My Solar company told me that moving all of the panels to full southern exposure will add another 10% to 14% more generation.  So the RV cover is my plan. 

 

This might be too simplistic, but the sun is in the south, right? 

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On 1/30/2020 at 11:37 AM, FMnoise said:

If you are grid-tied, like many users, than the power you receive (and that your audio equipment will use) is the same power it has always been direct from the power company, so no change at all. The power that you generate via solar or wind is fed back to the utility company and not to your house.

 

That's only going to be true if you run an isolated line from your generation equipment to the power company.  If you're producing more than consuming at any given moment you should be seeing zero utility-supplied juice, and your nearby neighbors will be seeing a mixture.  So your noisy power, to the extent it is so, will be affecting their audio gear (if it does so at all).

 

And has been said, the utility will only pay you wholesale rate (effectively), so whenever you're overproducing the power company will be making profit all the same off your neighbors for your juice.

 

When I was working at some large coal-fired generating stations out west years ago we'd get calls all the time from "the grid" telling us to put the pedal to the metal, or to back off... whatever.  Change of running state like that is what causes the floor operators to earn their money harder than usual.

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The $5000 battery bank and periodic replacements of it is what kills the economics for my cabin off-grid system. 

 

The people I know that have systems that pay for themselves don't use batteries and have a 20 cent buyback contract rate.  One in particular is an engineer and spent about $20k building his system himself.  He makes about $450/yr.  He told me I had to build my system myself or it wouldn't pay.  He says the new meter rate plan makes solar PV hard around here. 

 

It isn't like I WANT PVs to fail.  They're NASA cool and I WANT to be off-grid! 

 

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John, back around '95 I spent several months with my sister and her husband out in Jackson WY (helping him fulfill his many painting contracts he got all at once when starting a business).  One of the customers had a hunting lodge up in the mountains where I spent a weekend.  After the evening meal was cleaned-up-after the generator was shut down.  When I stepped outside to go to my cabin, at that high altitude with no nearby light pollution, there were so many stars that I couldn't even pick out any familiar constellations, much less find Polaris.  You just made me recall that...

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My friends in Northeast Ohio put 24 panels on their house and the electric bill went down in the summertime from $140.00 to $17.00. So they put 34 panels on their new home which tie in automatically with a new digital meter and no batteries.

JJK

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On 2/1/2020 at 3:59 AM, JJkizak said:

My friends in Northeast Ohio put 24 panels on their house and the electric bill went down in the summertime from $140.00 to $17.00. So they put 34 panels on their new home which tie in automatically with a new digital meter and no batteries.

JJK

Our power bills are a 'little higher' in the summer in the desert.  It really makes sense to go solar out here.  The technology and pricign has caught up. 

 

On 1/31/2020 at 5:56 PM, JohnA said:

The $5000 battery bank and periodic replacements of it is what kills the economics for my cabin off-grid system. 

 

The people I know that have systems that pay for themselves don't use batteries and have a 20 cent buyback contract rate.  One in particular is an engineer and spent about $20k building his system himself.  He makes about $450/yr.  He told me I had to build my system myself or it wouldn't pay.  He says the new meter rate plan makes solar PV hard around here. 

 

It isn't like I WANT PVs to fail.  They're NASA cool and I WANT to be off-grid! 

 

We are all getting old, but if you can wait it will make sense at some point.  Ten years ago solar was expensive and many said it was a pipe dream.  Now it is a really cheap way to generate power, the storage is the problem.  Hopefully in 5 to ten years we will have a good economical solution for storage.  Tougher problem as we never had to store power in this quantity.

 

Long term, power might turn out like PC storage ten years ago.  Everyone ripped music at 128kb to save 'valuable storage space.'  Not hard drive space is really cheap.  Hopefully power storage will go the same route and follow a rule similar to Moore's law.    

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Marvel said:

 

You need a personal Raccoon Mountain. TVA pumps water up during low demand... 😉

 

https://www.tva.gov/Energy/Our-Power-System/Hydroelectric/Raccoon-Mountain

 

I actually thought about this.  A long time ago when I was in engineering school one of our professors drew one of these plants to see our reaction about this 'power plant.  'We all kind of stared and about a minute later, "hey wait, this thing will just lose power due to losses."  Then she explained what it is used for. 

 

I have seen a few possible solutions,  One is a pressure tank, the problem is that the temperature gets way out of hand.

 

Hydrogen cells are an interesting idea.  I watched a video about them recently and I didn't realize just how severe the energy loss is in this type of system compared to batteries. 

 

There has to be a way to make it work, through weights, spring resistance, pressure chambers, chemical or some other way to convert kinetic energy into potential energy.  The problem is the huge amount of energy that needs to be stored rather than produced on demand.  

 

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