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

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  • #46
    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)))

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    • #47
      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.
      OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

      THINK HARDER

      BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

      MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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      • #48
        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.



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        • #49
          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?

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          • #50
            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.

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            • #51
              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....

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              • #52
                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.

                Comment


                • #53
                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      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....

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        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.
                        -Roland
                        Golf Course Mechanic

                        Bedminster NJ

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            But J Tiers was not talking about normal, day-to-day operation of a solar panel. He WAS talking about a power outage situation when the grid power is absent due to some kind of emergency. In that case, your solar panels would be trying to fill an empty Atlantic Ocean one drop at a time.

                            That situation would have the same safety concerns that I brought up in my earlier post. The power company linemen would need to work on the bad lines and they would want them to be dead, not live. I can not believe that the power companies would want their faulty grid being back-fed under those conditions. And I must suspect that those "smart" meters would have some kind of protection to prevent this; in other words, a DISCONNECT.

                            Under normal circumstances the "smart" meter would measure the power transmitted both ways and you would get 100% use of the electricity generated by your roof top solar panels. But under emergency conditions there must be some kind of disconnect for safety reasons. So, in short, he is not providing free electricity to the power company under any conditions. And his home should have full use of the power generated in an emergency.

                            There is another problem here: synchronization. Those "smart" meters also must be providing a way to synchronize the solar power generated with the 60 or 50 Hertz frequency of the grid. The grid provides the reference frequency for that and the solar system at the individual home must synchronize with it in order to feed power back into the grid. But if the grid power is absent, then what does the local, solar system in one home do? And what if there are two or more such homes that are connected together by a small, local part of the grid. Surely one or several such solar systems would not keep in sync with the grid power when that is no longer present. And then, when the power company is ready to restore that part of the grid to their power, just how is the synchronization accomplished. If that local pocket of solar power is out of phase with the grid power, there is going to be one heck of a spark when the two are connected. And if you are lucky, only a breaker trips. If you are less lucky, one of the grid's lines goes up in smoke and the repair just got a lot longer.

                            Yet another problem would the broken lines that are laying on the ground/streets. If they are being back-fed then they are a danger not just to the power company's linemen, but also to anyone who may come into contact with them. The power company has breakers that will normally open when a line is grounded and even when that does not happen, a lineman can open the feed to that line. But what about the other side of that broken line. To make it safe they would have to knock on every door to get the solar power turned off.

                            There are just so many reasons why power can not be back-fed into the grid under emergency conditions. I simply can not believe that the power companies would allow this in any area.

                            If this is not how it works, I would appreciate an explanation from someone who really knows.

                            PS: I have lived much of my life in hurricane prone areas and have seen and lived in massive power failures. I have seen homes without power for a week or more due to massive numbers of problems with the grid. And I have seen more than a few live lines laying on the street. To put it in the vernacular, "**** does happen!"



                            Originally posted by Doc Nickel View Post

                            -As I understand it, and I welcome clarification or correction, that it has to do with the "smart" meters. They work in both directions, and the power generated by the solar panels goes into the grid, while the house is fed back from said grid, like normal. The power you supply is simply subtracted from what you use, AND, the power co. can monitor and tally how much is being generated by all the panels. (Most of which, as I understand it, are state-subsidized.)

                            A generator is a different animal, it's only used in emergencies. The rooftop panels are part of the overall grid supply.

                            Doc.
                            Paul A.
                            SE Texas

                            And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                            You will find that it has discrete steps.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by danlb View Post

                              .......... and require that systems by default go into a suspend state at night or after a certain period of non use. With SSD the recovery from a hibernate state is wicked fast.
                              Been a requirement in the EU for a decade. Called "Lot 23". All complex electronic gear has to be shipped in a form that will close down to less than 1W after 3 hours (might be <0.5W now). User can be allowed to alter this setting - for the time being. All appliances MUST have an on/off switch so when the regulation came in we had to retrofit teh wharehouse stock with inline leads containing a switch. IT started with coffee machines because of those little hot plates they have under the jug.
                              Causes tens of thousands of calls to the helpline every year from people who haven't read the instructions and wonder why their STB has turned off.
                              It has pushed power saving though. Since 2001 the computing power in an STB has increased tenfold, it has gained an HDD yet uses half the power. The TV it is connected to is now all thin and also uses one fifth the power.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Sparky_NY View Post

                                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).
                                AC is HUGE consumption, second only to electric heat which is insane --- not everyone can use a swamp cooler, I like living in semi arid for all kinds of reasons including the highs and lows are not as bad to begin with the way it effects you, my house swamper used to cost just over 5 bucks a month to run, now it seems like it just under ten,,, what a bargain though for bringing in fresh air and all the exchange instead of having to worry about opening a door for too long and "letting out the cold" same rules as winter time and not letting out the heat and living with all your carpet and furniture "off gassing" I catch a major break in the spring summer and fall months from all that...

                                my garage is direct drive single panel swamp cooled with grid backup for when I have to work late at night --- it's incredible --- sun comes out - garage gets bombarded by heat, swamper has already kicked in keeping it cool due to the panel - have another direct drive panel mounted on the front porch to provide an awning so you don't have snow or rain on you when your fumbling with your keys,,, in the winter that panel pumps the heated air from the sun porch through insulated duct work in the attic and into the back of the house where it's always been cold

                                my electric bill both summer and winter is close to 40 bucks a month --- the swamper takes some in the summer and the wood stove fan takes about half as much in the winter, but generally a 35 degree sunny day I just use a blast of NG in the morning and coast the rest of the day with the passive solar...

                                I can't complain and im about as green as it gets - lot's of people don't realize panels create heat just being there - like black pavement VS green tree's, also - any of the electricity you produce from the panel goes directly to heat,,, it may not be "greenhouse gasses" but it's still a hefty offset, AC is a power hog panels or not, and it's all heat related,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, swamp cooler? heh --- im helping to cool the planet with saturated aspen pads and good old fashioned water, the fan motor don't take squat to power compares to compressor and fan motor...
                                Last edited by A.K. Boomer; 07-30-2021, 08:08 PM.

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