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Thread: Another example of how utilities are total dirtballs

  1. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Brian, I agree with you relative to normal power supply, but batteries also can serve as backup power during power outages instead of a generator. That was going to be my purpose for installing solar, actually, but I can't justify the cost for the amount of time we will likely live at this address.
    The disadvantage of batteries for use during a power failure is that they have a limited supply time, usually measured in hours. With a generator you can run as long as you have fuel. If you use natural gas and the gas is not interrupted, you can run almost indefinitely.

    Of course you can put in a lot of batteries, to the point where you could go several days on them, but that could get expensive. Especially if you live in a hot climate and want to run your air conditioning.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  2. #77
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    I forgot about the backup aspect of batteries. Batteries are good if you get minor power interruptions measured in minutes or hours, not for outages of days or weeks. If you're worried about long term outages from a major storm, ice event, or hurricane then you will want a generator. In rare cases some have both batteries and a standby generator.

    I have a whole house standby generator, but I have only had about 15 minutes of power outages since it was installed in 2015 or 2016. Luckily, I only spent about $3,000 between a used generator and a DIY install (with permits). The generator has been disabled for the past few years as the gas valve needs to be replaced. I have the valve, but I haven't figured out how to re-pipe the gas as there is no vibration isolation for the gas supply.

  3. #78
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    I do sympathize with you some. My residence is rural and I am fortunate to be served by a co-op. Being at the mercy of the commercial utilities is very frustrating as politicians are more interested in protecting their campaign contributions than their constituency. I would be furious if I lived in California like my sister and her family where Edison prioritizes profits over customers and institutes rolling blackouts to protect themselves from their own neglected infrastructure. Why maintain and strengthen the grid when there can be money to be made by not doing so! Just the salaries of the CEO and other high ups would make me sick! But with a captive audience what is the public going to do? They got you and they know it and this mentality saturates their entire organization. Maybe there are businesses that are actually run considerably worse than the government?
    Last edited by Michael Schuch; 01-25-2022 at 3:56 PM.

  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    In Oregon and Washington many of the patrol cars are stealth. The banner stripe with 'POLICE' on it is often in a satin clear coat. It can not be seen unless the light is hitting it at an opportune angle. The cars are technically marked, it is just dang near invisible marking.

    Of course there are clearly marked black and white vehicles. It is the ones you don't notice that all of a sudden light up like it's Christmas.

    If you are familiar with Jane's Fighting Ships and other such books, you might agree there would be a market for a book on spotting law enforcement vehicles in various cities, counties and states.

    jtk
    I believe radar detectors are banned in Washington state? Fortunately they are not banned in Oregon. Central Oregon sheriffs seem pretty mellow for the most part but Salem and Portland are the exact opposite. When I lived in Texas the cops were down right criminal!

  5. #80
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    I am served by a CO-OP and most Co-OPs in Minnesota hate distributed solar installations because of retail net metering. The state legislature passed a law that CO-OPs can charge essentially any amount they want as a solar grid access fee. I pay about $10 per month as a grid access fee for my 10 KW solar array. Currently the fee doesn't go up once you go over 10 KW. Some CO-OPs charges as much as $80 a month for their grid access fee. (For profit utilities are not allowed to assess such a fee.)

    To be clear, I am not upset by the fee. It is not fair for me to pay nothing toward maintaining the grid. I knew about the fee when I decided to do solar in 2017. Even if retail net metering went away tomorrow I would still be fine. My solar was mostly DIY and I paid cash for the system. The money is already spent and if the system never pays for itself it is what is.

  6. #81
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    I have the valve, but I haven't figured out how to re-pipe the gas as there is no vibration isolation for the gas supply.[/QUOTE]

    I would use a corrugated metal flex connector. I suppose a hose made for NG would be okay as well but I do not know how they last outside in the sun. Put a blow out preventer upstream of the flex connector for safety.
    NG is about 1/2 PSI, Propane double that pressure.
    I have held my thumb over a open pipe connection while fishing around to get the valve screwed in.
    Bill. D

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Elfert View Post
    I forgot about the backup aspect of batteries. Batteries are good if you get minor power interruptions measured in minutes or hours, not for outages of days or weeks. If you're worried about long term outages from a major storm, ice event, or hurricane then you will want a generator. In rare cases some have both batteries and a standby generator.
    The battery backup design that I had in our solar proposals would cover our normal "reasonable" usage for about three days if necessary as that was my requirement. That was by using two full Generac battery banks. If the days are sunny, that can be longer. But yes, a whole house backup generator, at least on NG like we had at the old property can run "sorta forever" and one on LP like we will have here can run until the tanks are dry. (which is coincidentally not much more than three days or so. Fortunately, the vast majority of power outages here are not long term; hours usually and sometimes a rare day or two.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    The battery backup design that I had in our solar proposals would cover our normal "reasonable" usage for about three days if necessary as that was my requirement. That was by using two full Generac battery banks. If the days are sunny, that can be longer. But yes, a whole house backup generator, at least on NG like we had at the old property can run "sorta forever" and one on LP like we will have here can run until the tanks are dry. (which is coincidentally not much more than three days or so. Fortunately, the vast majority of power outages here are not long term; hours usually and sometimes a rare day or two.
    I couldn't even imagine the cost of three days of backup power for my house with batteries. I use around 10 KWh per day of usage that is not from the sun. The 36Kwh setup from Generac appears to cost around $30,000.

  9. #84
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    Yes, it's not inexpensive but the Federal tax benefit combined with "not buying" a generator helps balance a nice chunk of that. The proposals I was considering were all in the $35K range (after tax benefits) for both the 27-28 panels plus two full battery units and all the other associated mishegas. If I knew we were going to be here 20 years, I might have chosen to do that, but that is unlikely due to our ages. So just a generator got the nod.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Elfert View Post
    I couldn't even imagine the cost of three days of backup power for my house with batteries. I use around 10 KWh per day of usage that is not from the sun. The 36Kwh setup from Generac appears to cost around $30,000.
    If my spreadsheet is right, we use on average 108 kWh per day. Ah, welcome to sunny Florida. I can't imagine the cost of 3 days of battery backup. Although, we did have the breakers switched on the panels so that only one panel was needed during a power outage. Living in hurricane country for the last 25 years, you realize that what you need to survive without power after a hurricane is one room of HVAC, a working refrigerator and freezer combo, a working rangetop, and lights for that area.
    In my house that would involve one floor of power. So lets say 54kWh per day. If it was sunny after the hurricane (which usually happens), and the solar panels produce about approximately 114 kWh during sunlight, that should easily be able to recharge the batteries and power the house all day (unless we start using stupid amounts of energy). But it's really about nighttime energy usage. And if its rainy/cloudy even more battery capacity would be needed.

    So a minimum of 50kWh of storage, likely 100kWh. I can't even imagine, if possible, what that would cost.
    Last edited by Alan Lightstone; 01-26-2022 at 10:18 AM.
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
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