Help me understand how Solar is cheaper at home.

Option

New Member
Thanks Boobook.

20kW! Go big or don't go at all!!

I'm sure we would all be interested to know your rough quotes for this system - it is almost commercial in size.

Also are you going with the battery as well? One inverter or micro inverters?

You'll be able to run all heating and cooling with this system.

Also a big system like that should generate a fair bit of power even on cloudy days.

Right now it is full dark overcast, almost raining in Sydney, still generating about 800W on my 5 KW system.

Another solar myth- that you get no power on cloudy days, You get, of course, much less, but still some power.

(My system only generates no power when it is actually raining- or at night!!!)

Also, like I said- check the deals that electricity distribution companies are offering- some don't want your custom if you have solar, so ignore those companies.

Best regards.

PS- next step electric car for you! Free driving (not the 4WD kind, unfortunately).
 
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Albynsw

Well-Known Member
Hey Boobook I would be interested to know if you use a lot of power and if it is during the daytime hours or not
Also if a smaller system would of still been viable for you
 

boobook

Well-Known Member
Thanks Boobook.

20kW! Go big or don't go at all!!

I'm sure we would all be interested to know your rough quotes for this system - it is almost commercial in size.

Also are you going with the battery as well? One inverter or micro inverters?

You'll be able to run all heating and cooling with this system.

Also a big system like that should generate a fair bit of power even on cloudy days.

Right now it is full dark overcast, almost raining in Sydney, still generating about 800W on my 5 KW system.

Another solar myth- that you get no power on cloudy days, You get, of course, much less, but still some power.

(My system only generates no power when it is actually raining- or at night!!!)

Also, like I said- check the deals that electricity distribution companies are offering- some don't want your custom if you have solar, so ignore those companies.

Best regards.

PS- next step electric car for you! Free driving (not the 4WD kind, unfortunately).

Long story.

If this makes sense, I went with a 6 string system because I have panels facing North, East and West. LOL I decided to go as big as I could. It is interesting, I started this thread very sceptical about Solar, but thanks to people like yourself I thought I must be missing something, which I am now sure I was. :)

I started this whole exercise because I had to upgrade an old ducted heating system. I had that, and Evaporative cooling. I'm in Melbourne, but over the years ( Climate Change ???) I have noticed that there are more and more days where the evap cooling just doesn't cut it and the whole house was hot and damp on hot days.

I decided to start a clean sweep. The Ducted heating is really inefficient and gas costs keep rising. So I decided to replace the whole lot with ducted Aircon. I was concerned about the bills and believe it or not the CO2 footprint given I am in Victoria which uses dirty brown coal.

Hence this thread in Oct.

The new insulation and double glazing I put in a few years ago works a treat and allows me to heat or cool for a few hours per day. I sized the solar so it would more than power my heating in winter. So combined I figure I can heat or cool when the sun shines which should be enough for 24 hours.

I'd prefer not to go into the price, but I got quality components, suffice it to say with that amount and on the last day of the year I negotiated a good deal, but it is north of $15k after rebates ( ie out of my pocket). Add that to the Aircon and insulation and it doesn't bear thinking about. :eek:

BUT I feel I have a system that will last ages and cost almost zero to run. Fingers crossed.

Hey Boobook I would be interested to know if you use a lot of power and if it is during the daytime hours or not
Also if a smaller system would of still been viable for you

To be honest Alby, I am not sure yet. As per above I just installed a new aircon.

But even given that I expect to use a lot more electricity - hoping the bill is the same as the old gas bill, but again hoping the Solar more than generates enough, even in winter. FIngers crossed.

Time will tell, But I seem to have gone green on the whole brown coal electricity thing in Victoria. Next I'll be bloody voting for Adam Bandt. LOL
 
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Option

New Member
Beebook,

Many thanks for your detailed reply.

I think I understand your system. As I said, you certainly have gone big!!

I like the way you are facing all directions, you will generating power 12 hours or more a day in summer.

I went with one of the cheaper "internet" deals (tier one panels) and was very happy, now three years old- no issues.

Just wish I was bigger too (maybe not 20kW!), as I'm for example seeing deals now for 11.1Kw for $4580 online.


Best regards
 

boobook

Well-Known Member
Well after having got through winter and just receiving my winter bill, I thought I would review my Solar yesterday.

To recap I had a fairly old ducted gas heater, for heating, and a Evaporative cooler for Summer. I changed to a ducted reverse cycle system and got the Actron 19Kw system Which uses up to 7Kw of power. That scared the hell out of me with the power use.

My electricity bill was about $200 per month and the gas bill was up to $300 per month in winter before getting the aircon. We have Induction cooktops which chews power like there is no tomorrow too.

After the new solar, and for new insulation and new aircon, My winter bills are about $50 for Gas and, $120 per month for electricity. That is with the Aircon - left on set to 20 degrees all day ( and off at night - the house acts as a 'thermal battery')

In August so far, which has been half dark clouds and half sun ( Melbourne) my average power use was about 1Kwh per day. About the same as 2 LED lights left on, and that's with the heating on all day.

The net net is that I'm saving around $300 per month in winter and an estimated $400 in summer, I now calculate that it will pay for its self in about 4 years. Many many thanks to those on Earth that guided me. @Toyasaurus , @Option , @Colly18 and @Bigfish1

It is completely worth it, but I am still completely reliant on Coal base load when the sun goes down.

I am looking at getting batteries to shift from exporting electricity to storing it but can not make that add up. In fact the payback is about 20 to 25 years on a product that has a usable life of 10 - 12 years. The upsides are freedom from blackouts and reducing CO2 even more but They come at a hefty price.

Has anyone figured out if batteries can make economic sense?
 
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Toyasaurus

Well-Known Member
Glad your happy with the new system.
Don`t look at batteries on the basest of the roi, look at it instead as an in vestment in your families future.
I know that Tesla say the batteries will only last 10-12yrs but that`s if you do a compete cycle everyday.
I don`t use much more than 50% on a bad day, mine are programmed to keep 40% for blackout`s.
If I get down 60% I start drawing from the grid.
I`m hoping they will last for at least 15+ yrs.

Good luck with yours.
 

boobook

Well-Known Member
I don`t use much more than 50% on a bad day, mine are programmed to keep 40% for blackout`s.
If I get down 60% I start drawing from the grid.
Thanks Toyosaurus.

I am interested in how the batteries can be programmed. Do you have a lot of control over priorities for charging, time of day use etc. I would like to go to time of day electricity pricing and marry the Configuration with that.
 

Les PK Ranger

4x4 Earth Contributer
Lithium is best run as you have it set to do @Toyasaurus
Sons X batteries are 5 years old, and about 80% efficient now compared to when new, because he used to keep them charged a lot at 90 - 100% all the time.

Like lipo batteries for drones, best held around 50% in storage, used down to 20% or so, and topped off when they are going to be used.
Harder for a home of course, but you can use them wisely in programming so they can be managed best.

Heat is a killer of lithium batteries, how do you go with keeping them cool ?
Do you have the powerwall, and does it have inbuilt fan cooling ?
 

Toyasaurus

Well-Known Member
Hey Les.
Yes I have 2 powerwall`s they are under the house bolted to the back of the garage wall.
I believe they are liquid cooled.

I just use mine at night or when the weathers to shitty to charge them, like today.
The solar first supplies the house then charges the batteries, then any excess goes to the grid.
When the solar is no longer enough to power the house, the Tesla`s take over.
The power company always has to pay me.
 

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G_ute

Well-Known Member
This is interesting, for fixed storage, not transport.

 

peterjj

New Member
Something I didn't notice peoples talk about here is consideration of using Time Based electricity plan as compared to Fixed rate.
Generally the time based plans are more expensive during the day and peak hours but much cheaper during offpeak (which include all day on weekends). Worthwhile considering if you rarely use grid power during the day because your solar is powering the house. However peak hours can extend to 10pm so some calculations need to be made.
Works well for us as we have a battery that covers the peak hours when sun is down. Our Tesla battery has enough smarts to realise if it doesn't have enough charge left to cover early morning peak hours before we have enough sun, then it will charge a bit using off-peak rates overnight.
 

Corndoggy

Well-Known Member
Think there is a change in peak/off peak times. Had a PowerPal installed the other day. Dude that did it set it up. When I looked noticed the plan he set was not mine. Rang my retailer and they told me that the times had changed but my times were on the old plan.
 

boobook

Well-Known Member
Think there is a change in peak/off peak times. Had a PowerPal installed the other day. Dude that did it set it up. When I looked noticed the plan he set was not mine. Rang my retailer and they told me that the times had changed but my times were on the old plan.

Im sure the guy who installed it got it wrong. You can change it.
 
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Corndoggy

Well-Known Member
I did change it. Was pointing out that the peak/off peak time rates for new plans had changed. I didn't know they had and I only changed providers a few months ago. I only know because he set it wrong and I querried the times he set.
 

Laingy

Member
The reason I don`t pay bills is, I generate far more than I use.
My system works like this, the solar charges the batteries first, then the power goes to the house.
I do all my washing using the dishwasher anything that soaks up power during the day.
Every thing that is generated over that goes to the grid.

I don`t know where you got the info that you have to replace parts every so many years, if you buy good quality it lasts.
The first system I had is still going strong 16yrs later.
My current system has 25 yr warranty on the panels, 10 on the batteries, 5 on the micro inverters.
I'd just like to add my piece of infinite wisdom at this stage :cool: I'm lucky to live on a houseboat on the mighty Murray River, and about 12 years ago, prior to launching, we installed 12 x 2 volt deep cell truck batteries, and these were to be used to power our needs via an inverter and back up 6.5 kva generator. That worked fine, and then along came solar power! Not being one to look a gift horse in the wallet, we purchased 6 x solar panels 2nd hand from a friend, connected them to the batteries via an Outback Inverter and ditched the generator. Now we have free power 24/7, which is enough to power a evap a/c unit, standard size fridge, large flat screen tv, and about 6 240 volt lights. We also run the usual microwave, toaster, slow cooker etc, with no problems. My batteries are now 12 years on the boat (I don't know how old they were when we purchased them) and are still working fine. They are big and heavy, but when they eventually give up the ghost I'll buy the current equivalent, which will be half the size and a third the weight. I check and top up the batteries monthly and always keep them in good condition. They cost $300 each in 2009, so I reckon the new ones will be about the same. PS I can't sell "back to the grid" as I'm not connected to the grid. Lucky me :)
Cheers and Stay Safe
Laingy
 

Toyasaurus

Well-Known Member
Sound`s like a great system Laingy.

Most of the mainstream advertising seems to be pushing the point of ROI, I think this is BS you either want to do your part in some small way,
or not, maybe a large way, if you happen to either save money or get a refund instead of a bill it`s a bonus.

I`m also believe that there are far to many companies out there that a, don`t know what they are talking about or b, just push the BS to make a quick buck.

As for how long things will last, good quality panels should last for a long time, the warranty is a good indicator of the quality Most of the time.

Anything man made can screw up, fact deal with it.

I hope my Tesla`s will still be going 10 yrs after the warranty has run out, if they don`t I expect to replace them with some thing up to the current standards, if I`m still here and kicking around.

I think that batteries are the best current solution to the power problems we face.
The biggest problem with solar is the time it can generate, so storage is one solution and atm the main one available to us.

I admit atm battery systems are far from cheap and out of reach of a lot of people, hopefully that will change.

I`m also very happy with my system, I think it was worth the price.
 
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