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O/T: My state of California has gone looney tunes with power usage restrictions.

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  • Sparky_NY
    replied
    Originally posted by A.K. Boomer View Post


    Did not say old history -- just old --- they were the first and only on the scene for many a decade and yeah now grid tied is what is the most common, it has its advantages in the KISS factor, lot's of people just supplement with a genset for when the power does go down but it's usually not an extra expense as lot's of people who have the older battery bank systems also have a genset for when the sun don't shine or wind don't blow....

    Iv installed PV systems for decades and have seen the migration of change over the years....
    I have a bunch of grid tie micro inverters but decided not to go that route after all. I also have a propane powered backup generator, permanently installed but now with the solar it will probably never get used except to run it for a bit monthly to keep it ready to go, just in case. A week ago or so, the power went out but I didn't realize it for nearly 3 hours, wouldn't have noticed it at all if I hadn't gone out to my pole barn workshop and the electric overhead door wouldn't open. I don't have the pole barn / toybox on solar, the heavy demand items like welders and machine tools would need a much larger solar system and there just wouldn't be any payback for that big increase in size.

    Running the house central air system is the big money saver, AC feels even better when its free and in South Carolina it runs a LOT. Fortunately, on those days/periods where the sun does not shine the AC also runs far less so the system somewhat self-balances.

    I am not totally off-grid, still have grid power but the solar is providing about 95% of my usage. I expect a visit from the power company before long to see if I am stealing power, the sudden huge drop in my usage is sure to trigger suspicion. Not being grid-tied the power company is not aware I have solar power (yet).
    Last edited by Sparky_NY; 07-30-2021, 06:22 PM.

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  • rmcphearson
    replied
    Originally posted by Sparky_NY View Post
    A little fun fact relating to California and solar power. I am in South Carolina and my solar system has been generating less power for the last week or so. Its due to the smoke haze in the atmosphere drifting all the way here from the CA fires.
    LOL. Those of us living here in fire country have learned to drive a few miles east to have the pyrotechnic gender reveal parties.

    Leave a comment:


  • A.K. Boomer
    replied
    Originally posted by Sparky_NY View Post

    Actually, battery (off grid) systems are not old history, they are more popular now then ever. One reason is they continue to provide full output in a grid power failure. Another reason is a LOT of red tape is eliminated, no approvals from the power company required for example. Still, grid tied solar setups are the most common by a large margin.

    Li-ion batteries are considered the ultimate for solar installs BUT they carry a very hefty price tag still, it has been slowly coming down. There are other battery alternatives that are still more common, mostly due to cost. I didn't go with lithium, cost being the big reason. By the time my batteries need replacing the cost of lithium batteries will probably come down and I will have another look at them.

    Did not say old history -- just old --- they were the first and only on the scene for many a decade and yeah now grid tied is what is the most common, it has its advantages in the KISS factor, lot's of people just supplement with a genset for when the power does go down but it's usually not an extra expense as lot's of people who have the older battery bank systems also have a genset for when the sun don't shine or wind don't blow....

    Iv installed PV systems for decades and have seen the migration of change over the years....

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparky_NY
    replied
    Originally posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
    RB I think your actually describing the old battery bank systems --- used to be the most popular and still is in very rural area's where it's expensive to run electric out too,,,

    unless your talking about an in house Li-Ion system then id have to shout the words FIRE FIRE over and over again....
    Actually, battery (off grid) systems are not old history, they are more popular now then ever. One reason is they continue to provide full output in a grid power failure. Another reason is a LOT of red tape is eliminated, no approvals from the power company required for example. Still, grid tied solar setups are the most common by a large margin.

    Li-ion batteries are considered the ultimate for solar installs BUT they carry a very hefty price tag still, it has been slowly coming down. There are other battery alternatives that are still more common, mostly due to cost. I didn't go with lithium, cost being the big reason. By the time my batteries need replacing the cost of lithium batteries will probably come down and I will have another look at them.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparky_NY
    replied
    Originally posted by RB211 View Post
    Why not have a power wall that powers the house and the panels keep it charged? Only connect to the grid to charge the power wall when the solar isn’t up to the task?
    That is exactly how my setup operates. You set a low-dc cutout voltage and it will switch to grid when the battery voltage dips to that point. In the last couple months that mine has been in service it has never reached that point yet.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparky_NY
    replied
    Originally posted by bborr01 View Post

    What you said in post #24 is

    "You can't use some electricity!
    Actually, you can't, because you surely have a grid-tied system, which means that by law, you cannot use your own generated electricity, you HAVE TO send it to the power company. In a power failure, you have "no juice" same as everyone else."

    I read this to say that you send every bit of your power to the electric company and then buy it back from them. Sparky is correct that the only power that goes back to the power company is the part that you over produce.
    Its Jerry, you should be used to this sort of thing with him by now.

    Leave a comment:


  • A.K. Boomer
    replied
    RB I think your actually describing the old battery bank systems --- used to be the most popular and still is in very rural area's where it's expensive to run electric out too,,,

    unless your talking about an in house Li-Ion system then id have to shout the words FIRE FIRE over and over again....

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparky_NY
    replied
    Originally posted by polaraligned View Post

    We have seen widespread smoke particles in the air here in NJ also. They say it is mostly from the Canadian wildfires up here.

    How much did the solar setup cost you Sparky?. My friend in Apex NC has a huge setup and when I asked him if it was worth the cost, he said "not even close". I believe he said that he sells back to the grid every month as he does not use all that he produces. The Southern states use a lot of nuclear power from plants operated by Duke Energy and the cost per kWh is reasonable.
    I got off real cheap with my setup. Its 5KW , off grid , with a hybrid inverter. I bought 20 pcs of 270watt panels used but that make full power. I build the ground mount racking myself and got the steel free. Of course there was no labor. I got 340ah of industrial batteries, a 48 volt setup, again used but that test as well over 90% of their new ratings. Total cost was around $3500, I figure the payback in my case to be in the area of 2-1/2 years. So far, its performing better than expected. Its not a huge setup but does supply about 95% of my usage.

    Leave a comment:


  • RB211
    replied
    Why not have a power wall that powers the house and the panels keep it charged? Only connect to the grid to charge the power wall when the solar isn’t up to the task?

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparky_NY
    replied
    Originally posted by J Tiers View Post



    Sparky, I understand that. I've worked with a number of grid tie inverters. I have worked on design of systems much larger than your small system, systems in the hundreds of kW.. Yes, UL1741, which is based off of power company tariffs requires that for the limited power home systems. VERY restrictive for home systems, less so (and more so) for larger systems, with "ride through" requirements, and shutdown requirements.

    No it is NOT "misleading". Everyone knows grid tie offsets your bill and that you can use your own power some of the time (daytime).

    BUT, every kWH that is generated but not used, in the most common grid tie systems, goes to the power co. You cannot store that power for later, you "must sell it" to the powerco, exactly as I said.

    It is only very recently that there have been affordable inverters with the off-grid capability. What you describe with the outlet on it is a "nominal", a "stupid" system.

    That "outlet on the inverter" is still not very useful. You need a hybrid-off-grid, which have been quite expensive.

    The true system would be one in which you can hardly tell the power is off, other than by the alarm to tell you that you may want to reduce unnecessary loads.

    Yes, you "can" do that, now. It will be very expensive. I know of many people with grid tie, and so far nobody among them has one of those systems yet. Most were never offered the choice.
    You may understand it but its NOT what you said !

    "Actually, you can't, because you surely have a grid-tied system, which means that by law, you cannot use your own generated electricity, you HAVE TO send it to the power company."

    Now..... after I called you on your statement, you say "you can use your own power some of the time (daytime)"

    Its ok Jerry, we all know your style well and expect no less.



    Leave a comment:


  • bborr01
    replied
    Originally posted by J Tiers

    No it is NOT "misleading". Everyone knows grid tie offsets your bill and that you can use your own power some of the time (daytime).

    BUT, every kWH that is generated but not used, in the most common grid tie systems, goes to the power co. You cannot store that power for later, you "must sell it" to the powerco, exactly as I said.
    What you said in post #24 is

    "You can't use some electricity!
    Actually, you can't, because you surely have a grid-tied system, which means that by law, you cannot use your own generated electricity, you HAVE TO send it to the power company. In a power failure, you have "no juice" same as everyone else."

    I read this to say that you send every bit of your power to the electric company and then buy it back from them. Sparky is correct that the only power that goes back to the power company is the part that you over produce.

    Leave a comment:


  • A.K. Boomer
    replied
    See - If we were using Edisons DC system we would not even need transfer switches to protect the linemen, we'd just have huge diodes installed and a "set it and forget it" foolproof system... (this is a poor attempt at a joke so don't get all freaked out)))

    Leave a comment:


  • chipmaker4130
    replied
    Since I'm not there, Kali can do whatever they want. What really chaps my butt is when those creeps wander into my area and start to interfere as non-residents. We get them from both coasts and they have campaigns to spread their disease nationwide. Now, if they move here to get away from the insanity I welcome them, but too many go back to the old ways within a year or two and start trying to make southern Utah more like SoCal. We literally get thousands of move-ins from Kali and Oregon every year, and we are (were) a relatively small metro area.

    Leave a comment:


  • J Tiers
    replied
    Originally posted by Sparky_NY View Post

    Although I want to believe you understand the theory of how grid tied solar works, your statement is VERY misleading.

    You indeed can and do use your "own generated electricity" in a grid tie system, its any EXCESS generated power beyond your immediate needs that gets sent to the power company/grid. If you are producing say 5kw and consuming 5kw, NOTHING gets sent to the grid/power company. If you generate say 7kw and are only using 5kw then in that case 2kw is indeed sent back to the grid for which you are given credit via a bi-directional smart meter also known as net metering.

    Its true that in a power/grid failure a grid tie solar system has no power and must shut down in milliseconds. ...........................


    Sparky, I understand that. I've worked with a number of grid tie inverters. I have worked on design of systems much larger than your small system, systems in the hundreds of kW.. Yes, UL1741, which is based off of power company tariffs requires that for the limited power home systems. VERY restrictive for home systems, less so (and more so) for larger systems, with "ride through" requirements, and shutdown requirements.

    No it is NOT "misleading". Everyone knows grid tie offsets your bill and that you can use your own power some of the time (daytime).

    BUT, every kWH that is generated but not used, in the most common grid tie systems, goes to the power co. You cannot store that power for later, you "must sell it" to the powerco, exactly as I said.

    It is only very recently that there have been affordable inverters with the off-grid capability. What you describe with the outlet on it is a "nominal", a "stupid" system.

    That "outlet on the inverter" is still not very useful. You need a hybrid-off-grid, which have been quite expensive.

    The true system would be one in which you can hardly tell the power is off, other than by the alarm to tell you that you may want to reduce unnecessary loads.

    Yes, you "can" do that, now. It will be very expensive. I know of many people with grid tie, and so far nobody among them has one of those systems yet. Most were never offered the choice.

    Leave a comment:


  • polaraligned
    replied
    Originally posted by Sparky_NY View Post
    A little fun fact relating to California and solar power. I am in South Carolina and my solar system has been generating less power for the last week or so. Its due to the smoke haze in the atmosphere drifting all the way here from the CA fires. You can actually see the haze in the air, its been widely reported. Fortunately, my system has enough capacity to still power all my needs even with the reduced efficiency. I would guess that solar power installations in California are experiencing a MUCH larger reduction in output because of the smoke.
    We have seen widespread smoke particles in the air here in NJ also. They say it is mostly from the Canadian wildfires up here.

    How much did the solar setup cost you Sparky?. My friend in Apex NC has a huge setup and when I asked him if it was worth the cost, he said "not even close". I believe he said that he sells back to the grid every month as he does not use all that he produces. The Southern states use a lot of nuclear power from plants operated by Duke Energy and the cost per kWh is reasonable.

    Leave a comment:

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