Exploring Hydrocarbon Depletion
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You can a buy a small portable PV "Generator" with a solar panel, charge controller, batter, and inverter and run a radio (and in bright sunlight maybe a toaster) with it. The one Alex Jones sells is probably junk.lulubel wrote:How mobile can a PV array be? We don't plan to move home in a hurry, but we would like the option to take it with us if we did move.
I have never heard of a PV generating heat and air conditioning. I doubt a roof would be big enough. It makes more sense to design a house properly for passive heating/cooling using sunrooms, insulation, and thermal mass in the structure.lulubel wrote:I don't envision we would ever generate more than we use (condsidering we have aircon/heating), but if we did, what are our options? Would the excess have to be put back into the grid? Do we have to make arrangements with our supplier to do this? Could the excess be stored by us for use at times when there's no sunlight?
Only within reason. I have 12 panels and will grow to 16. You could not start with 1 and move up to 16 without replacing equipment at great cost in labor. The roof rack, wiring, charge controllers, inverters, battery bank, etc. must be sized and matched specifically to the power (the panels) and load (use).lulubel wrote:Is it viable to start with a small array and add to it as funds allow?
It is not "fun." PV is expensive, heavy, roofs are steep and slippery and the entire experience, especially 24 or 48 volts, is very dangerous,lulubel wrote:Are there any good DIY guides (either print or online)? It would be fun to set it up ourselves if we could.
Am I taking an overly simplistic approach to this?
Direct solar contact is critical and you want to have the sun hit the entire array of panels for 5 hours during the day. Remember, depending where you live, the summer sun actually passes north of overhead during a large part of the day.lulubel wrote:The idea would be to not put them on the roof, but on a 2nd floor south facing terrace that doesn't get used much because it's usually too hot if the sun's out, and there are plenty of other places to go if it's cloudy. It might not make much of a contribution to our overall usage at first, but if we could add to it over time, it would build up. Plus, we'd be able to run fridges, laptops and a few other essentials if the power went off.
Madpaddy wrote:Going grid connected means you will not have an independent electricity supply that will run your home in the event of a power cut etc.
yes. You get 500 "watt hours" or 1/2 "kilowatt hours"lulubel wrote:I assume when you say each panel generates around 100 watts, you mean during the time the sun is actually on them (ie 5 hours = 500 watts in total throughout the day) and not an average of 100 watts per hour across the whole day.
You store it in batteries, or sell it back to the grid (or both as my system allows). Otherwise it is lost as heat off the panels, the charger, and the inverter.lulubel wrote:What happens if your array generates more (in the summer) than you have capacity to store? Is it just lost, or are you in danger of overloading your system?
lulubel wrote:It isn't so much about protecting us from price increases as providing an emergency supply in case of long power cuts.
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