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-   -   DIY solar array 12.5 kw (https://ecorenovator.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3053)

earloflondon 04-09-16 09:24 AM

Thanks! I agree it is here to stay. If Mr.Musk can run the Gigafactory wholly on solar then every business will sit up and take notice.. I actually got my panels last year for $0.50/w CAN which is like about $0.38/w USD. Too cheap to pass up! I wanted to grid tie in some way, but it looks like I'll be "pulling the plug" altogether now. Needed to decide whether to spend $8K on batteries or micro-inverters, so my provider has basically helped me out with that decision. After 5 years of trying I think it's time to let them know that their feeder is no longer required!

gasstingy 04-11-16 09:31 AM

earloflondon, there is no reason I can think of that you can't do what some other folks I know are doing. First, build a completely off grid setup, then install a generator transfer switch as if you would if you added an emergency generator and connect your off grid system to that transfer switch.

That allows you to use your power as long as you have it available, and turn on the grid when you need more than you produced. It also lets the local utility know that there are folks who understand that they aren't as dependent on them as they believe their ratepayers to be.

FWIW, I'm cheering you along from the sidelines to win the battle. I went through a two and a half year battle with my local utulity before being allowed to go solar. Someone has to go first, I reasoned, and it turned out to be me.... And, that was not at all a fun process.

randen 04-11-16 10:57 AM

Earloflondon

We are living just down the road and are quite familiar with the power line constraints of our electrical distributer. Our project is going forward to reduce drastically the amount of energy we purchase.

We had began with the issues of burning fossil fuels (furnace oil) and the huge costs both environmentally and financially. The answer was solar hot water and geothermal heat-pumps. Systems which involved both DIY (which was gleaned from information here) and purchased systems.

My approach had been to concentrate on the most costly expenditures (space heating) and work down the list. We had cut our energy bill by more than half.

Now our transportation costs are about to take a drastic cost reduction by going to EV's I'm now driving by the gasoline stations noting the price is again climbing and glad I'm no-longer feeling that pain.

As you have seen solar PV cost-wise is at the tipping point and the support equipment (inverters and controls) have gotten so much better. So IMHO there has never been a better time to embrace disruptive technology. I don't believe for a moment any protesting we submit to our local power distributer will cause them to adjust their way. We'll have to do it on our own.!!

We are forging ahead with a stand-alone system of using PV generated power when available switching back to grid when required. Starting with 4Kw growing to 10Kw and followed by 20 Kw. then hopefully to a battery system. Ultimately reducing what electrical power we purchase immensely and living better for it.!

I admire what guys like pinballlooking and gasstingy have been able to do with their electrical cost. They are quite fortunate their distributers have embraced the micro generators. But even-more their foresight into cleaner energies. Hopefully we can inspire more.

Randen

earloflondon 04-12-16 11:40 AM

@gasstingy

Well the problem is buying BOTH systems. To net-meter, I'd probably go with a SolarEdge system. No Batteries, no charge controllers, different inverters and a different wiring scheme. Going completely off grid first would mean I'd have to buy all of the grid-tie components later. Running with the grid as my "backup generator" is also costly due to the price we pay per kw/h. We have the standard three tier TOU pricing, but then we have added "delivery charges" such that we pay in the end about $0.26/kwh.
I appreciate the cheering section - there are actually thousands of people here awaiting the same ability to connect. I've applied over 25 times, from a 10kw all the way down to 1kw system. All have been rejected - not due to actual "capacity on the feeder" as a 1kw system wouldn't even make it to the end of my driveway! It is all political.

@randen

Howdy neighbor! I've also worked on the most costly items - we heat almost 100% with wood - just cleaning up the trees that fall down in our 20 acre bush lot. In 20 years I've yet to have to cut a live tree. Also added an evacuated tube solar hot water heater which enables me to turn off the electric water heater at the panel from May to October.
As to price point, I believe we have hit "solar parody" with the rates we pay in rural Ontario. If I were building new I wouldn't even consider connecting to the grid - even with the cost of battery replacements I can still produce power for about $0.13 - $0.18/kwh.

For me the biggest issue is getting the fam on board - I don't want to end up getting divorced because my wife cant have a hot shower! :) She is a self proclaimed "techno peasant" so my system needs to be very automatic...thus the grid-tied net-metering option would be my #1 choice to retain marital harmony and cost savings! Every fiber in my body would get an immense satisfaction from telling Hydro One to come and disconnect my service though!

Tim

pinballlooking 05-01-16 02:06 PM

1 Attachment(s)
This was our best April so far. 2MWH to be exact 2,021 Kwh what a great month.
From a 12.5 kw array.

April 2016 = 2,021 KWH
April 2015 = 1,585 KWh
April 2014 = 1,827 KWh


http://ecorenovator.org/forum/attach...1&d=1462125993


Other solar producers show us your numbers.

creeky 05-01-16 02:50 PM

Congratulations.

where2 05-02-16 12:27 AM

4.4kw array: April 2016 = 619kWh
April 2015 = 560kWh
April 2014 = 674kWh

gasstingy 05-03-16 06:38 AM

6.81 kW Arrays, 976 kWh calender month 931 kWh April billing period

pinballlooking 06-01-16 01:01 AM

1 Attachment(s)
12.5 Kw array We generated 1,922 KWH
We banked 634Kwh this month for a total 1,679 KWH banked for winter so far.

http://ecorenovator.org/forum/attach...1&d=1464757241

Other solar producers show us your numbers.

pinballlooking 06-29-16 01:28 PM

1 Attachment(s)
We just hit 60 MW solar power made since the system went live on 04/12/2013. This is $6,000 worth of power at our elect cost.
If you only count the elect savings it will take 5 years for it to be paid off. Then free elect for 20 or more years.
But the savings is much greater because natural gas savings each year. We now heat with solar (mini splits). We save buying lots of car gas…

http://ecorenovator.org/forum/attach...1&d=1467221308


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