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  • Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
    Results 41 to 53 of 53

    Thread: Solar panels

    1. #41
      jnegr is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
      I do not understood the above. Where I live we are already connected to a electrical power grid. We live in the city and my house like everybody else is connected to the grid. When homeowners install solar, many where I live have, they remain connected to the power grid. There is no consequences to the grid. The homeowners with solar are contributing power to the grid during the peak hours of electricity usage. At night the homeowners with solar are getting power from the grid, just like they did before they installed solar panels. Very few people with solar, where I live, choose to install battery systems and disconnect from the grid. The cost of the batteries and battery maintenance/replacement cost does not offset any cost savings of leaving the grid. Staying on the grid, with batteries, would not be cost effective.
      I agree but it all depends on where you live. If you lived where I live where we can have Hurricanes every year and the grid was completly destroyed last September where there are still places that don’t have electric service yet the batteries are a must. If we take Hawaii as an example they prohibited every connection to the grid and when you pay around $0.40 per kWh then solar is cost effective even with batteries. It’s clear that if you live in a place where the grid is stable and power outages are rare the batteries are not cost effective. However when 2 category 5 Hurricanes hit 1 week appart the grid was destroyed and Diesel, gas and gasoline were scarce the only remedy are batteries. The generators are not rated for continued use so they need rest and maintenance. In my case I have a 20kVA generator and a 24kW inverter system with 15kW solar to run my house. We brought my parents and other family menbers to iur house since they had no energy.

      I design multi Megawatt systems and they need batteries or other systems in order to stay connected and have a ride-through of energy until the cloud cover goes away. In your case you are lucky to have stable grid and are allowed to have a grid connected system. We have lots of grid tied systems that have no batteries but once the grid goes out you jave no power coming from the PV.

    2. #42
      BWG is offline Senior Member
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      The utility is required to have massive generators to more than cover cover peak usage in any conditions. This equipment must be maintained and paid for by users of the utility regardless if it's generating power or idle while solar is producing. So you pay for peak capacity regardless if it's constantly in use or not. Same for the massive infrastructure of the power grid. The people in CA with solar are subsidized by tax payers and others on the utility and without this money it's not feasible.

      Remote locations and places like PR are a different story and solar makes more sense. Many people with massive solar arrays on roofs are going to be in for a rude awakening $$$$$$$$$ when roof maintenance or replacement is needed.
      Last edited by BWG; 07-03-2018 at 03:36 PM.

    3. #43
      kimini is offline Senior Member
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      What hasn't been mentioned is that the vast majority of home solar installations will turn off if grid voltage isn't sensed. It's a safety thing but something many don't know. They have the mistaken impression that if the grid goes down, they'll still have power. Not without batteries or being off-grid completely.

    4. #44
      ricshaw's Avatar
      ricshaw is offline Senior Member
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      People who buy solar panels are told up front how many years the panels and inverter warranty is. They should also be told what the cost of solar panel remove and replace is for roof repair/replacement. But most people who have solar panels in California do not buy them... they lease them and the lease company owns the panels and maintains them.

    5. #45
      ricshaw's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by kimini View Post
      What hasn't been mentioned is that the vast majority of home solar installations will turn off if grid voltage isn't sensed. It's a safety thing but something many don't know. They have the mistaken impression that if the grid goes down, they'll still have power. Not without batteries or being off-grid completely.
      Correct, and a reason some people choose to have battery backup.

    6. #46
      kimini is offline Senior Member
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      Just got our latest bill in San Diego.

      Tier pricing is:
      0 - 391 KWh $0.27
      392 - 1204 KWh $0.48
      >1205 KWh $0.55

    7. #47
      ricshaw's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by kimini View Post
      Just got our latest bill in San Diego.

      Tier pricing is:
      0 - 391 KWh $0.27
      392 - 1204 KWh $0.48
      >1205 KWh $0.55
      Total?

    8. #48
      kimini is offline Senior Member
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      I don't see how the total bill matters since it's wholly dependent upon the loads. Since you asked, we still have a mechanical non-networked meter, and perhaps because of this, our bill does this crazy high/low/high/low thing month-to-month. One month it'll be "400 KWh" and the next it's "1200 KWh", with no change in usage. It's almost comical how one month SDGE claims we use more power than anyone else in our area, yet the next month we use way below average, back and forth. We called them about it and got some double speak about how they estimate usage, but sheez, you'd think they could get their math a bit closer to reality than always being off by 50-100%.

    9. #49
      ricshaw's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by kimini View Post
      I don't see how the total bill matters since it's wholly dependent upon the loads. Since you asked, we still have a mechanical non-networked meter, and perhaps because of this, our bill does this crazy high/low/high/low thing month-to-month. One month it'll be "400 KWh" and the next it's "1200 KWh", with no change in usage. It's almost comical how one month SDGE claims we use more power than anyone else in our area, yet the next month we use way below average, back and forth. We called them about it and got some double speak about how they estimate usage, but sheez, you'd think they could get their math a bit closer to reality than always being off by 50-100%.
      I was asking "dollars"... average if you think it would be more accurate.

    10. #50
      kimini is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
      I was asking "dollars"... average if you think it would be more accurate.
      Okay, I'll do the math: 400 KWh x $0.29 = $116 and 1200 KWh x $0.48 = $576, so $350 average.

      Switching to a FlowFriend Pro will pay for itself in 4 years, but it hasn't been in use long enough to see the full difference. I have measured the power difference though and it dropped from 376W for the W. Lim 1/4hp pump to 67W for the FFP (yes, 300 watts less). What's unknown is what the flow was through the W. Lim pump, since their flow curves aren't helpful at low head. Also, I switched to a much larger return pipe, so that further muddles how much of that 376W is due to the additional head through the original pipes, and how much is due to its design. For that reason, it's not an apples-to-apples comparison.

      Separately, our MBF uses a ~100W Medo aerator, so the actual power use for the MDF is the water pump + the aerator, or approximately 475W. I'm considering building a very low-profile shower setup because I can then use some of the power saved by not using an aerator to increase the flow and head to the shower. The numbers say that with a conservative 0.65 meter dynamic head, it allows moving 30 cubic meters per hour (8000 gph) for around 160 watts.

      Additionally, the pond aerators will be put on a timer, cutting their 100W usage by a third to a half (we'd run them at night). It remains to be seen whether the 120W UV can be shut off once the shower is running, but given all the miracles claimed by shower proponents, that's an absolute guarantee... we'll see.
      Last edited by kimini; 07-07-2018 at 09:26 PM.

    11. #51
      ricshaw's Avatar
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      $350. average a month would make most people a candidate for solar panels.


      member

    12. #52
      kimini is offline Senior Member
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      That's the total average before the filtration changes. With the new pump taking 300W less, that's a monthly savings of 0.3KWh x 24 x 30 = 216 KWh, or roughly a $70 savings per month. The tiered fees make it not as straightforward as this but I'm too lazy to figure it out precisely, but it should lower the bill to around $280, and that's before removing the MBF aerator and putting the pond aerator on a timer. End result should be getting it down to maybe $250 or so. Getting it down below that gets harder... I refuse to give up AC on these crazy hot days.

    13. #53
      LoriP is offline Supporting Member
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      As for battery backup systems, which is our current system, (in the middle of an upgrade), you do learn to find all the ways to offset and conserve power that you can. While we have flexibility to draw from the grid to replenish our batteries if we have a few cloudy days or seasonal demands like at Christmas when a lot of lights and decorations are in use we can go into bypass and be completely grid powered, but living off a battery system you learn where your draws are, you pay even more attention. It's can be obsessive. Especially if your batteries die in the middle of your favorite TV show and it didn't get recorded..(a couple of those snafus and that's when we got it set to flip over and charge from grid when the batteries got too low) . Every last lightbulb we have is LED, the fridge when we bought the place was propane. I use automation and power down receptacles for items that draw standby power like stereo equipment, televisions, etc. Use the low setting on my hair dryer. Dry our clothes on a clothesline. Make use of passive solar for winter heat gain and keeping the place cooler in the summer. The new install will be grid tied and so will the old system but we are also keeping the battery backup because while one goal is offsetting usage, the other goal is security for when the grid goes down... Critical loads will be able to run off the battery backup if necessary. The rest of the time they are just on float.

      I too have tried to be energy wise with the pond and I'm actually finding I need to throw some more juice at it because I undersized some things. That said, it'll just cause me to reevaluate what I need to do to offset it if I want to have a zero bill due. Like only running the dishwasher during the day when we are generating excess power, reconfigure some of my automation routines for less lighting hours, etc. Shut the pc off at night instead of leaving it on standby. Lots of little ways to cut Kwh that can combine to a recognizable impact.
      Last edited by LoriP; 2 Weeks Ago at 01:56 AM.

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