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Old 02-03-2009, 07:39 PM   #21 (permalink)
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It's my understanding that these gridtie systems sample the grid's AC line and generates AC voltage that exactly matches the frequency, phase and voltage amplitude. (Maybe a tad higher on the voltage).?.

This newly generated PV power is converted into an almost exact clone of
what's in the grid on your street. So, the new juice can be mixed right
into the grid (and used by your next door neighbor) without making a ripple.



BUT, If you have a regular old LCD type electric meter, and you connected a "gridtie system" to your power mains, what would happen?

Your meter explodes? Or, it runs backwards?
Or perhaps the meter slows down? as you use your own local PV power??

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Old 02-04-2009, 12:58 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Has anyone seen the new microinverters from Enphase energy? Seems like building and adding to an array would be much easier with these. I think I may start with a few panels and add on as I have extra cash. This way I don't have to take out a loan.
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Old 02-04-2009, 02:24 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EcoDriver1951 View Post
So anyway, my net cost will be about $14,000. The cost per kwH used to be 5 cents or so, but is up around 10-11 cent now. The panels have a 40+ year lifespan, so I'll not be needing new ones for awhile. Expect it to "pay for itself" in about 14 years, but it's already paid for itself as far as I'm concerned.
The warenty is 30-35 years and warenty is based off half life, our pv that had a 15 year warenty are already 25 years old and working perfectly, there is feild testing that has been going on with pv for over 50 years now, so 40 years is cutting the life really short, you are going to have to write those things in to your Will, and your kids might have to do the same.
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Old 02-04-2009, 01:16 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRK5150 View Post
Has anyone seen the new microinverters from Enphase energy? Seems like building and adding to an array would be much easier with these. I think I may start with a few panels and add on as I have extra cash. This way I don't have to take out a loan.
These Enphase units look fantastic.. Did I missed something, or can you
just plug in one microinverter to one panel and stick the juice output
right into your home's wiring??

The big problem that I saw in their video is, you have to use their website, to look at your panels.

And how much does that cost you? What happens if their website goes off-line due to lay-offs in the software dept.?.

However, if you could hook the chain of microinverters into your home PC
and monitor panel performance yourself (stand-alone), that would be sweet..

=Edit=
I read one last manual.. Yes, you can get access to the inverter-panel data using a network cable that comes with the EMU manager box. Just plug and the data is right there. (The box has it's own little website built in).
No fancy charts like the website, but most of what I would want to see.

This system adds $200 per panel (plus the EMU for ~$430), but it seems like you save on a lot of other parts. It looks really simple to install.

If I was to buy more than 4 or more MicroInverters, I would want the EMU too. It looks like a really valuable tool..
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Old 02-04-2009, 04:11 PM   #25 (permalink)
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A lot to say about solar power. As with a lot of renewable energies, personal project will not pay for themselves except with intensives or DIY with second hand material.

People are generally wasting energy and doesn't realize how much energy is a kWh because it's cheap, as it's the case about gasoline when it's cheap. What I have for 7kWh :
  • 3.5 days of TV+DVB-T+Wifi AP+Ethernet hub
  • 5 days of computer (personal + professional, screens included)
  • 10 days of freezer
  • 18 days of refrigerator
  • 36 days for 4 alarm-clocks
  • 97 days of water filter

Some here can drive several miles with 7kWh.

In this site you can read some interesting information : Photovoltaic solar PV panels in The Netherlands
and some examples of 1kWh use in this page : Photovoltaic panels in the Netherlands - what can one kilowatt hour do for you

Here is my solar system : groar's solar panels thread - EcoRenovator
It will pay back for itself because I will have a tax credit and sell the produced kWh 5 times the kWh I buy.

Since I'm producing, I'm also noting my consumption. In winter I'm producing in 1 week (7 days) what I'm consuming in 1 night... In summer I should produce 80% of my consumption. If I improved my consumption before being a producer, I improved even more noticeably by improving my heating. See : http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...html#post82050

Before my roof integrated 3kWh installation I wanted to build a geek project : having my firewall running with no CO2 and no nuclear waste. Here is the calculation and why I never did it : DIY 60 watt solar panel - EcoRenovator. Now a little system, when you can get second hand panels and a little grid tied inverter, can be interesting to nullify a part of your constant consumption : see my diy pv set-up - EcoRenovator (not mine).

Finally there is several things to understand on panels and inverters to understand low cost panels aren't interesting when you invest in a 25 years project : my panels' production is guaranteed at 80% during 25 years.

2 panels with the same Wp (Watt peak) rate will not produce the same quantity : Watt peak rate is the production with 1kWh/m˛ at 25°C and different brand will produce differently at different intensities (mono/poly-cristalin). The temperature will modify the production : the hotter the lower the efficiency, from -0.3 to -0.6% per °C and the panels can easily be at 75°C, ie -14 to -26%.

Inverters have different efficiencies and properties. The quality of the mppt (max power point tracker) will permit to maximize the power recovered from the panels. Older had max efficiency range near their maximal input, now this range is broader. When grid tied, they have to synchronize with the grid and some stop very fast at each perturbation and take time to resynchronize (up to a couple minutes).

Finally when several panels are attached in a string, the weakest will lower the total production a lot, so the panels have to be homogeneous which is very unlikely with low cost panels. If a panel dies then you will not be able to find an identical one and you will have to remove 2 panels if they are organized in two identical strings (my inverter has two independent strings with two independent mppt).

Nowaday if you want to save money without having to invest a lot (in time and/or money) then "hypowatt" your electric consumption.

Denis.
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Old 02-11-2009, 09:33 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Just a comment on the cheaper PVs available today, like Kaneka (did I spell that right?). They aren't UL approved as far as I know, so they aren't eligible for installations in grid tie systems or for tax rebates etc in most places. Also, compared to when I bought my first PV panels back in 1982, today's PVs are dirt cheap. I think that they were about $10 a watt, and a dollar was worth a lot more than it is today. And they still work fine, and show no signs of deterioration.
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Old 02-11-2009, 09:41 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Bill Gross on new energy | Video on TED.com

these seem pretty slick, but I wonder how long it will be before they get fried by lightening, how they hold up in the wind and snow and what other problems they will encounter.
I really like solid state electrical production.
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:49 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Ryland -

Thanks, I just sent that URL to my professor (and there's Amory Lovin's on the sidebar too). I love how he mentioned Moore's law. I'll bet Bill Gross watched a lot of Connections episodes.

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Old 02-15-2009, 11:06 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Question - with the grid tie systems, I'm assuming when the electricity from the grid goes down, so does your house, otherwise there'd be live lines out there with the risk of backfeeding and killing linemen.
A big advantage to solar as I see it would be the ability to have electricity even when the utility is down - all your neighbors would be envious!!
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:40 PM   #30 (permalink)
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If you want to spend the money for grid tie with battery back up then why not go for it, it will cost you more but if you live in a country like the US where they measure power outages in days, then it might be the way to go, apparently in Japan they measure outages in seconds per year, so battery back up would just be silly in that case.
either way I see solar as a good investment that can be turned in to an off grid or a battery back up system at a later point and if you have it set up as a strickly grid tied system then you are just saving that much electricity from being produced by other means for you.

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