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Thread: Another example of how utilities are total dirtballs

  1. #46
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    Alan, watch the Generac installation video(s) on the 'Tube...the weight isn't a factor because each of the up to six batteries is installed one at a time and that doesn't happen until the cabinet is placed and secured. If I went that route, it would have been two battery setups (either two Tesla PowerWalls or two Generac battery setups fully loaded) to cover our backup needs. BTW, relative to the transfer switch, the Generac auto transfer switch used with their solar setup is "very similar" to the excellent whole house auto transfer switch that has been part of generator installations for some time now. It can even support both solar/battery and generator for those folks out there that want a power company connection but otherwise want/need to be "off grid" for longer periods of time during an outage.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 01-21-2022 at 12:43 PM.
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  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    I think you'd have to install a backup generator to the batteries and use that when the batteries are depleted. If you go with a natural gas generator, the fuel cost is not too high.

    But the installed cost of a battery system plus a generator backup would be high. You'd probably only do that if you had no access to the grid. Almost any monthly grid charge would probably be cheaper.

    Mike
    I agree. It's crazy economically to do this.
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
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  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    Solar systems are designed to disconnect automatically when there is no voltage from the feed to the house.

    If the grid is energized, the line workers do their work hot. I've watched a lot of installations of new power poles. They do that on 44kV lines with the lines energized. Scares the heck out of me.

    Mike
    I realize that. They call it "islanding". But, of course, a cheap contactor would eliminate the danger. In fact, two were installed on my system by the solar installers. So it really shouldn't be an issue, but they make it one.

    That thought scares the heck out of me too. Having see a couple of severe electrocution patients in my career, the burns are devastating. Assuming you survive the initial shock.
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Alan, watch the Generac installation video(s) on the 'Tube...the weight isn't a factor because each of the up to six batteries is installed one at a time and that doesn't happen until the cabinet is placed and secured. If I went that route, it would have been two battery setups (either two Tesla PowerWalls or two Generac battery setups fully loaded) to cover our backup needs. BTW, relative to the transfer switch, the Generac auto transfer switch used with their solar setup is "very similar" to the excellent whole house auto transfer switch that has been part of generator installations for some time now. It can even support both solar/battery and generator for those folks out there that want a power company connection but otherwise want/need to be "off grid" for longer periods of time during an outage.
    I assumed they installed the batteries separately, Jim, but it is stunning how heavy the completed panel would be. Clearly have to be fastened properly.

    I have a friend with that Generac natural gas generator in his house. Every week when it tests and runs, that switch operates flawlessly.
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

  5. #50
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    I know we need to do that, but the to-do list if just too long. Last month, our electricity bill was $565, and that's with a super insulated house that doesn't take much to heat. Four meters here spinning though, and that doesn't include the rental house.

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Lightstone View Post
    So I have a 30kWh array on the house. It provides some surplus some months, and on a few occasions we run a deficit. I don't see that as a bad thing, like I made a mistake as to sizing my array.
    It's a good thing you don't live in CA. It appears they are proposing to charge a monthly fee of $8/kw which would be 240/month for your system. Seems like they are trying to discourage installation of larger solar systems.

  7. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Funk View Post
    It's a good thing you don't live in CA. It appears they are proposing to charge a monthly fee of $8/kw which would be 240/month for your system. Seems like they are trying to discourage installation of larger solar systems.
    There's a difference between the kWh of a solar array and the kW of an array. A single solar panel might be rated for 300 watts but if it has sun directly on it for 8 hours, it will produce 2400Wh or 2.4kWh.

    As you stated it, the charge would be $8/kW, so each panel would be charged $2.40. Multiply that by the number of panels you have.

    I haven't heard of that $8/kW charge - that seems pretty high to me.

    Mike

    [If Allen had a 30kW system (not 30kWh system) that would be about 100 panels. If his solar panels were rated at 250W, that would be 120 panels.]
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 01-21-2022 at 6:23 PM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    There's a difference between the kWh of a solar array and the kW of an array. A single solar panel might be rated for 300 watts but if it has sun directly on it for 8 hours, it will produce 2400Wh or 2.4kWh.

    As you stated it, the charge would be $8/kW, so each panel would be charged $2.40. Multiply that by the number of panels you have.

    I haven't heard of that $8/kW charge - that seems pretty high to me.

    Mike

    [If Allen had a 30kW system (not 30kWh system) that would be about 100 panels. If his solar panels were rated at 250W, that would be 120 panels.]
    81 panels at my house, FWiW.

    I had heard that there’s a proposal in California to massively charge present solar panel owners to pay for installation of panels in low income houses. Elon Musk said it was an incredibly stupid proposal and would cause a tremendous decrease in solar installations, to paraphrase.

    In theory 30kW peak output here, but at most 24kW peak in practice. Record daily output was 198kWh. So not a small array, but not record setting.
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    There's a difference between the kWh of a solar array and the kW of an array. A single solar panel might be rated for 300 watts but if it has sun directly on it for 8 hours, it will produce 2400Wh or 2.4kWh.

    As you stated it, the charge would be $8/kW, so each panel would be charged $2.40. Multiply that by the number of panels you have.

    I haven't heard of that $8/kW charge - that seems pretty high to me.

    Mike

    [If Allen had a 30kW system (not 30kWh system) that would be about 100 panels. If his solar panels were rated at 250W, that would be 120 panels.]
    I don't think they care about how many panels you have just the peak output which in this case is about 30kW. It's expensive but the electricity is also probably more expensive in CA than FL. The previous system was too generous to those who could afford solar panels and the new proposal is intended to make it more equitable. No doubt the rate of solar installations will go down but it could still be economically viable but the payback might be 10 yrs instead of 5.

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Lightstone View Post
    I assumed they installed the batteries separately, Jim, but it is stunning how heavy the completed panel would be. Clearly have to be fastened properly.

    I have a friend with that Generac natural gas generator in his house. Every week when it tests and runs, that switch operates flawlessly.
    Yes, the weekly test always worked flawlessly to insure the generator starts and runs, but it doesn't actually trigger transfer the switch because mains power is still up. I think there's a manual transfer button inside the locked transfer switch cabinet, but I don't have access to that property anymore to even look...closed on it last Friday. (Finally) I'm about to order the same system for here, although it will be propane rather than NG. NG is in the street but not to our house. The power company (handles both electric and gas) wants a super major commitment on our part to replace nearly everything within 12 mos to install the NG for free and there's still a 12-18 month backlog. Nope. Not going to do that.
    --

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

  11. #56
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    In Utah, I went to a few city council meetings while other locals put untold hours into getting our city to simply study the effects of letting our utility companies invest in solar and wind. The ultimate proposal was the utilities wanted to invest in this tech and then give customers the option to buy energy from 1) coal or 2) solar and wind. if my memory is correct, consumers would be opted into 'green', but could opt to use coal whenever they wanted. (This happened in pre-covid times, it might have been visa versa) According to science, the price of solar and wind energy would actually be less than coal by the time utilities were installed (or maybe they are already cheaper?).

    Anyway, just getting our city to STUDY this took a ton of hours and resources (relatively little from me). It may not go any further than this. The idea has received a lot of pushback. The utilities were pushing for this, btw. They see the writing on the wall.

    so, kind of on and off topic at the same time... It seems like the Utah mindset is just squarely against helping the environment even if it is cheaper. Seems like a slam dunk to use something cheaper and with the potential to be better for the environment vs coal.

    I'm curious who draws the arbitrary line between 'unquestionably amazing' innovation and 'I'm going to try to dismantle every little aspect of this tech to prove I'm right' innovation.

  12. #57
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    I'm curious who draws the arbitrary line between 'unquestionably amazing' innovation and 'I'm going to try to dismantle every little aspect of this tech to prove I'm right' innovation.
    "Those who can make people believe absurdities can cause them to commit atrocities," is often attributed to Voltaire. There is no record of him ever expressing this. It does seem to be true in many ways and may be applicable to your curiosity about the arbitrary line.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  13. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    "Those who can make people believe absurdities can cause them to commit atrocities," is often attributed to Voltaire.
    ...Don't really care who said it, but the dj vu is dripping off my monitor...

    --might not fit the topic of 'utilities', but 'dirtballs'-- slam dunk...
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  14. #59
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    San Francisco California has a program to help pay for poor folks to install solar panels. the city is well known for fog. They will not pay to let you install them in the Mojave desert which is only a few hundred miles away. Well within the distance that electricity is shipped from.
    Bill D

  15. #60
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    I'm trying to think of when California did something that actually made sense.

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