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  • dalewick
    replied
    Love seeing everyone's systems. Still an area where I'm falling short but still in the long term plans.

    Dale

    Leave a comment:


  • Murphy
    replied
    Originally posted by CountryGuy View Post

    Very cool. Out of curiosity, how many panels total did it take you to fully cover your needs? Does your system have a battery bank and grid tie?
    I have 28 SolarWorld SW270 panels for a total of 7.56kW solar generation that are over-driving an SMA SunnyBoy 6.0kW grid tie inverter. We are hooked up net metering with the utility but no money changes hands.. I give them a kW, they have to give me back a kW..
    My system is a ground mount and occupies a space 40 feet long by 14 feet wide. Its elevated off the ground to keep it away from the mower kicking up rocks.. I can store things under it or even put a picnic table in there if I wanted.

    I do have another 20 identical panels (5400 watts) in the basement as well as a Radian 8048 inverter/charger in case I ever need to go fully off-grid.. all stored in a Faraday cage, snug as a bug.

    If we ever had a long term grid down SHTF event, I could go get some batteries and have the entire system switched over within a few days.

    Batteries suck.. they're expensive and they're on a self-destruct countdown timer from the day they are manufactured..

    For short term power outages, we just hook up our portable generator to the natural gas line.. runs better on natural gas than it does on regular gasoline. I'm in a rural area with big properties averaging 10 to 40 acres so we lose power 3 times a year for three to five days each time.

    The SMA inverter on the solar system also has a unique feature called "Secure Power Supply".. its an isolated stand-alone circuit that will give me up to 2000 watts even if the grid is down.

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  • CountryGuy
    replied
    Originally posted by Murphy View Post

    I have a solar system myself that powers my entire home and provides enough energy for everything I have running and then some. Three computers always on, two refrigerators, two freezers, a sump pump, dehumidifier, my welder, plasma cutter, air compressor, and everything else. The solar provides 100% of all my energy and I still have some left over for the power company.

    The system is maintenance free beyond having to clean snow off it occasionally. I installed it myself for $13k and it will pay for itself within 4.9 years.

    If you have questions, I know pretty much all there is to know about them. I'm also an Electrical Engineer by education.
    Very cool. Out of curiosity, how many panels total did it take you to fully cover your needs? Does your system have a battery bank and grid tie?

    Leave a comment:


  • Murphy
    replied
    Originally posted by Buggyout View Post
    OKAY! Got some great news! I close on the house friday and did a walkthrough today. The current owner spent $190 on his electrical bill....FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR!

    Yeah for SOLAR!

    Also, you just turn it on, the system does all the work for you. I can handle that!

    -Buggy
    I have a solar system myself that powers my entire home and provides enough energy for everything I have running and then some. Three computers always on, two refrigerators, two freezers, a sump pump, dehumidifier, my welder, plasma cutter, air compressor, and everything else. The solar provides 100% of all my energy and I still have some left over for the power company.

    The system is maintenance free beyond having to clean snow off it occasionally. I installed it myself for $13k and it will pay for itself within 4.9 years.

    If you have questions, I know pretty much all there is to know about them. I'm also an Electrical Engineer by education.

    Leave a comment:


  • Morgan101
    replied
    Buggy: I'm glad it is all coming together for you. An annual electric bill of $67.00 is something we would die for.

    Leave a comment:


  • Buggyout
    replied
    So I had a family member visit us who is in the solar business. I showed him my setup. He told me that my converters DO provide off-grid power with a simple cutoff switch.

    I AM ECSTATIC!

    DOn't get me wrong, on grid solar is great. My entire electric bill for last year was $67, That was just for the monthly fee to the power company. What I wanted to do is be able to make power if the electrical grid goes down. With limited research I did, it would cost a fortune to install converter, amp and batteries. Now, with a simple electrical conduit I'm golden!

    I still need a battery bank, however, it being sunny in California 98% of the time, that can wait.

    -Buggy

    Leave a comment:


  • Applejack
    replied
    Not sure if that would work on this generator. I know it has everything to convert back to propane but hubby would have to modify it for a wood burning gasifier. But really don't think this can be done on this one. That is something to look into but really think would have to replace the generator we have to do it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cedar
    replied
    Would a wood burning gasifier work instead of natural gas or propane?

    Cedar

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  • Applejack
    replied
    We have a natural gas generator that is great but is not off grid as it relies on natural gas. We can convert it to propane but in a situation where propane or gas cannot be gotten anywhere they will soon become useless. I am looking into solar and also setting up an off grid area. I have looked into the solar generators but are very expensive. Although I have been toying around with the idea of one for fridge and freezer and then then panels for lights, etc.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cedar
    replied
    I have spoke with some offgridders who run solar and they do indeed sell their unused power to the local power utility company.
    These people are not off-grid. Buggy us not off-grid either... What Buggy and the other ones are is called "Grid Tied", but have solar panels. If you have a power outage, the power company generally will not allow you to have batteries and be "off grid".

    I will probably be grid tied with my main cottage, unless I get lucky, but my smaller building is a stand alone completely off-grid with six 12-vt batteries, and currently a 1,000w system, which I may bump up to a 2,000w system or a bit more battery. I also will be generator tied with that system for cloudy days. Hopefully this project will be completed next week or so.

    The main cottage will also have a lockout switch for a generator when power does go out, like it did the other day for 16 hours.

    ​​​​​​​Cedar

    Leave a comment:


  • RICHFL
    replied
    You need to look at all the items in the house that uses power i.e. appliances, lights, fans, a/c, etc. most have been converted from what we use in RV's they are very energy effective. You will need to know what the load limit is of the current system and see if you can live with it. It not you will need to spend money and increase the size of your system.

    My question to you is what is the wind like where you live? Is it windy (12 mph minimum) for a minimum of 20 days per month? if so you can add wind power to your system.

    Leave a comment:


  • Buggyout
    replied
    OKAY! Got some great news! I close on the house friday and did a walkthrough today. The current owner spent $190 on his electrical bill....FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR!

    Yeah for SOLAR!

    Also, you just turn it on, the system does all the work for you. I can handle that!

    -Buggy

    Leave a comment:


  • Mangler
    replied
    Solar panel = DC voltage
    Inverter converts DC to AC to power normal 110V appliances.
    Charge controller regulates charging the storage batteries.
    Storage batteries store and supply 6, 12, 24, or 48 DC volts to the system.

    Don't kid yourself. DC voltage will kill you.

    Leave a comment:


  • Applejack
    replied
    Buggy I have heard of what you are doing where the power company buys your unused electic but don't know of anyone that has done it. Though it looks like you are set to go from the pictures. I think it's great you can go solar. With some ceiling fans in main living area and bed room it will help to circulate the air and you can keep the air conditioner turned up on a higher notch to use less electric as well. I can't do without the fans. open windows on cool nights and use the fans for air floor and it gets really nice and cool in house. We have a period of about 2 months in spring and 3 to 4 months in fall that we open windows and use the ceiling fans and that's it. electric bill during that time is less than $50.00.

    Leave a comment:


  • Morgan101
    replied
    Buggy: Have you called the power company to get any information? They usually have a customer service department that can explain how the process works. You could probably even have somebody come to the house to look it over, and show you what to do. With your skills I'm sure it won't be any problem

    Leave a comment:

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