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The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby baha » Wed 20 Sep 2017, 05:49:18

This is what it looked like on the third day.

IMG_0850.PNG
3rd day
IMG_0850.PNG (137.99 KiB) Viewed 3801 times


That little hit to the grid was about .6 kW-hrs. And then I exported 23.5 kW-hrs later that day.

I guess I should pay less attention to my house battery and more to my phone battery :)
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby baha » Mon 25 Sep 2017, 05:50:14

I found my limit :)

This weekend I turned off the grid Saturday morn before the Sun came up and spent most of the weekend running experiments. Neither of these systems (Solaredge and Tesla) are really designed for off-grid use. Everything is smooth and sweet as long as the grid is there. When it goes away everything gets choppy. I have been trying different configurations to see if I can smooth it out.

In the end I will determine the optimum size for a PV array to support one Powerwall. If it's too big, it overpowers it and must shutdown. Or conversely, how many Powerwalls it takes to support an existing PV system. I'm not done yet. I have been off grid all weekend (almost). It's going to take a few more days to zero in. Maria may interrupt me. I need consistent sunny days.

Unlike a normal grid-tied inverter, the Storeredge inverter has the capability to throttle it's output. With a DC coupled Powerwall the Solaredge inverter would be in charge. Everything would be smooth...With an AC coupled, the Powerwall is in charge. It treats the PV inverter as a normal grid tied inverter and just turns it off when it's fully charged. And then cycles, I hate that!

I can manually limit the PV output (among other things), so I am experimenting :)

The limit I reached is going to affect my lifestyle :( My one decadent luxury is my Jacuzzi tub. After a hard day of chasing electrons I needed a nice hot jacuzzi bath. It was after dark. I filled the tub and got in, hit the button, and the house died :oops:

Ha,ha, never let it be said I am not spoiled. I got up, put on a towel, went outside and turned the grid back on :) I took my bath and then turned it back off.

I guess after the apocalypse I will have to jacuzzi during the day :)
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby GHung » Mon 25 Sep 2017, 09:38:49

"Unlike a normal grid-tied inverter, the Storeredge inverter has the capability to throttle it's output."

Not sure where you got that idea. All grid-tied inverters 'throttle their output' to match the frequency and voltage of the grid, the same way off-grid inverters adjust their output to whatever load is applied.

Not sure what is going on with your system unless you are exceeding the capacity of the inverter in your Powerwall. Or it could be having trouble with the combined inductive/resistive load from your hot tub. Jeez, I ran a hot tub off of my two old Trace 4024 inverters for a couple of years. What's the amp rating for your hot tub?

The beauty of an off-grid hybrid system is that the PV and the controllers run essentially independently from the inverter. The controllers will continue to charge the batteries (up to their set charge parameters) whether or not the inverter is feeding the grid or drawing from the battery. The problem I have with grid-tied inverters where one unit combines charge controlling and inverter => dreaded single point of failure. I could lose one or more of my charge controllers and one or two inverters and still keep things running until repairs can be made. Goes to redundancy and resilience.

If I was a gridweenie, the inverters could charge the battery from the grid if battery voltage drops too low, or (not being a gridweenie) either the controllers or the inverters can start the generator (provide power AND charge the batteries). If I added a hybrid inverter/charger like an Outback Radian, (and was a gridweenie) I could sell power to the grid. Indeed, I could set it to ONLY sell and never draw from the grid. I can set the system to dump surplus power to hot water, or turn off non-critical loads when battery voltage drops below a set-point.

Love the versatility of my system.

Not trying to instill buyer's remorse or criticize your system. Enjoying your posts and am sure you'll figure things out with time. It took me a few years to grok these things.

What is the rated output voltage of your PV string(s).?
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby baha » Mon 25 Sep 2017, 16:12:07

Hi Ghung,
I didn't want to get too deep this morning. By throttle, I mean PV watts of output. Of course it can sync to the grid (or Powerwall) else it wouldn't come on at all.

By 'in charge' I mean the source that establishes the 60 Hz waveform. I have two sources available, the grid and the Powerwall. The PV inverter cannot do it because there is no battery attached. It has to behave like a grid tied inverter but gives control options that allow me to limit production or follow the inputs of a usage meter. The Storeedge inverter is just like an Outback Radian designed for high voltage strings and Lithium batteries. Both DC inputs operate at over 400 volts. I'm not using the battery interface because the Powerwall is AC coupled. But I have two inverters instead of one. When the Sun is shining I have 15.4 kW of surge power available. The PV inverter gives 8.4 and the Powerwall is 7 for 10 seconds. At night the PV inverter is asleep and all I have is 7.

I was not even thinking about the Powerwall when I got in the tub. The AC was running, the TV, the computer, my wife's laptop, Exhaust fan, and the well pump uses 1.5 kW. I'm sure the Powerwall would carry the hottub even then after it starts (1.2 kW continuous). But the startup surge was too much for it.

BTW - I turned the hottub switch back off and the Powerwall recovered the whole houses load in about one second.

I understand the reason Elon chose the AC coupled design over the DC. It is a stand-alone device that can be used for many purposes. The DC needs another companies inverter to work. He is taking one design and making it do different things. It is perfectly suited to Ibon's system since the water-wheel would establish the waveform (be in charge), and it would just react to sudden loads. Apparently Tesla is going to use them collectively to support the grid...Even I didn't see that coming :)

I don't need to go off grid, I'm just playing, and learning. I will still twist Duke power's tail anytime I want :)
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby baha » Mon 25 Sep 2017, 17:10:31

I see this like growing my own food. I don't want to be trying to learn how it works after the grid is down from a hurricane. By experimenting now, while I have a backup, I will know exactly what to do in an extended outage.

It took me years to learn to really grow food, not just treats. But those frozen green peas are going to be good tonight :)
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby Ibon » Tue 26 Sep 2017, 07:49:11

baha wrote:
It took me years to learn to really grow food, not just treats. But those frozen green peas are going to be good tonight :)


This is very true and very relevant to the energy independence when living off grid. You go from symbolic gestures of being proud of your basil plant on your deck or single solar panel on your roof early on to then actually producing real volume calories or KW's .

Whether it is KW or calories the organic process of self proficiency takes years. Most folks never leave the symbolic token basil plant in a pot.

Symbolism does not feed your belly or run your refrigerator :)
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby baha » Tue 26 Sep 2017, 09:05:46

Very true Ibon,

And the reward and pride just keeps getting better :)

I know I spout off and act like a know-it-all sometimes. I speak more freely on the Internet...in person I never disparage anyone and I try to encourage and help.

Please forgive me when I get on a roll...I am very proud of what I am doing and don't have many people left to brag to.
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Tue 26 Sep 2017, 11:09:55

baha wrote:Very true Ibon,

And the reward and pride just keeps getting better :)

I know I spout off and act like a know-it-all sometimes. I speak more freely on the Internet...in person I never disparage anyone and I try to encourage and help.

Please forgive me when I get on a roll...I am very proud of what I am doing and don't have many people left to brag to.

You're actually doing something. You're sharing information on that. Real information.

You're intellectually honest about your perspective and freely admit to the possible caveat of, shall we say, "over-enthusiasm".

To me, given the overall content and history of this site for the last decade or so I've posted here, I think anyone who has any "serious" complaints about what you're doing isn't being exactly reasonable.

I, for one, as a timid, book vs. hands-on person, appreciate the real world knowledge you're sharing about Solar and batteries (since I won't "jump" until I'm more confident about the technology, pay-off time frame, reliability, battery durability, etc). Please don't stop. Enthusiasm level and update frequency, yours to choose. (Just one man's opinion, of course).
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby baha » Wed 27 Sep 2017, 07:02:17

Thank you OS,
Sometimes I need a little encouragement too :) Every once in a while the reality of it beats me down. So I go camping :) Mother Earth will win! And she is my friend.

I guess I am concerned that no one has any serious complaints...This is Peakoil.com, why aren't you dudes picking me apart like I have watched for 10 years?

Could it be because I am right? :P
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 06 Oct 2017, 11:17:02

baha wrote:Thank you OS,
Sometimes I need a little encouragement too :) Every once in a while the reality of it beats me down. So I go camping :) Mother Earth will win! And she is my friend.

I guess I am concerned that no one has any serious complaints...This is Peakoil.com, why aren't you dudes picking me apart like I have watched for 10 years?

Could it be because I am right? :P

The clown-fest deniers will likely swing by at some point. Those like pstarr and starving lion who claim that any facts they don't like (like the progress of green energy and EV's) are frauds.

This is why I keep them on ignore, rarely look at their posts, and rarely respond to them unless I happen to see their posts quoted in another post. When the signal to bandwidth ratio is roughly zero AND such folks show almost zero propensity to learn, adapt, or react to obvious facts -- at some point life is too short to waste more time on them.

You're doing good stuff, so don't let them get you down when it happens. You know your work and solar installation are real, no matter how many times they claim they're scams, etc.
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby pstarr » Fri 06 Oct 2017, 12:04:47

baha wrote:"I guess I am concerned that no one has any serious complaints...This is Peakoil.com, why aren't you dudes picking me apart like I have watched for 10 years?

Could it be because I am right? :P "


I do have serious complaints re personal power plants. And you probably know it, but I hate to belabor the point. Because ultimately it's the best chance one person has to outlast the chaos.

We can either treat our personal power plant as a multi-purpose component in a regional/national distributed power grid. Or as a standalone electric generator for our home, the off-grid scenerio. Both scenarios depend ultimately on some storage capacity, of some sort. Both have serious downsides. And a limited value over time.

The former (distributed component in regional grid) depends on an intact industrial infrastructure to supply and compliment our own generation. Here the storage is sort of virtual, electricity shipped into our locale from where there is wind or solar

The latter (standalone off-grid home system) depends on battery storage . . . which ultimately also depends on an intact industrial infrastructure for battery replacement. So the off-grid is not really off-grid. It also depends on the full grid for manufacturing. Unless you have a home battery factory lol
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby baha » Fri 06 Oct 2017, 16:46:15

Thanks Pstarr,
I'm going to consider that an endorsement and agree with you.

My grid-tied battery-backed-up system can go either way. I can contribute to the grid or live without it. I don't claim to be fully independant but I am pushing the envelope. I am really curious to see how long Lithium batteries last when you use them every day. 34 days so far :)

Chaos is a good word for it...and it's already happening.
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby pstarr » Fri 06 Oct 2017, 16:53:01

baha wrote:Thanks Pstarr,
I'm going to consider that an endorsement and agree with you.

My grid-tied battery-backed-up system can go either way. I can contribute to the grid or live without it. I don't claim to be fully independant but I am pushing the envelope. I am really curious to see how long Lithium batteries last when you use them every day. 34 days so far :)

Chaos is a good word for it...and it's already happening.

Thanks baha!

So this is not a clown fest after all? Shew. Imagine my relief ha ha ha :)
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby baha » Wed 11 Oct 2017, 12:01:16

Life is still good, I won't let them get me down...

I just passed my Powerwall inspection :) again on the first try. I wasn't very worried since I was expecting the usual guy who I know pretty well. But then two senior inspectors showed up. I'm thinking 'oh shit'.

I could tell the younger guy was excited and interested in solar and batteries. He wasn't going to miss the first Powerwall in NC. And he was the boss of the two. The older guy, probably my age, stayed quiet and looked sceptical.

We started at the grid and worked our way thru the whole system, he asked questions and I answered. We opened the energy gateway and admired the technology. We looked at CTs and Internet. The permit was just for the Powerwall but he wanted to know how it all worked.

After the electrical he started asking questions about lighting, insulation, appliances, and 33 SEER heat pumps. He was into it :) And I was wondering if he had been reading Pealoil.com :shock:

I gave him a tour and we talked for 20 minutes. Since I have been posting this stuff, I had just the right words on the tip of my tongue to describe it. And he was my follower. I could see his head start spinning and the older guy percked up a little :)

As he was leaving I gave him my card and he asked me if I owned the company. I told him I was just the service manager and Powerwall expert. My boss is the owner and he treats me good. The inspector said he thought he had met the owner before and yes, he does treat me good :)

That guy will be my future customer :)
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 11 Oct 2017, 12:42:29

I don't want to rain on your parade, but solar PV production cost is 400% of coal, roughly, at a large central power plant. Your retail-scale production cost including the periodic Powerwall replacement will be considerably higher than that.

I too remain a fan of renewable energy. But aside from us renewable enthusiasts, there is not much happening now.
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby GHung » Wed 11 Oct 2017, 12:45:54

KaiserJeep wrote:I don't want to rain on your parade, but solar PV production cost is 400% of coal, roughly, at a large central power plant. Your retail-scale production cost including the periodic Powerwall replacement will be considerably higher than that.

I too remain a fan of renewable energy. But aside from us renewable enthusiasts, there is not much happening now.


Citations?
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 11 Oct 2017, 13:02:46

KaiserJeep wrote:I don't want to rain on your parade, but solar PV production cost is 400% of coal, roughly, at a large central power plant. Your retail-scale production cost including the periodic Powerwall replacement will be considerably higher than that.

I too remain a fan of renewable energy. But aside from us renewable enthusiasts, there is not much happening now.

You're living in the past citing such numbers, and the trends are clearly strongly favoring solar over time. (See Tony Seba et al, for documented evidence, with things like citations).
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby baha » Wed 11 Oct 2017, 13:04:28

Hey Folks,
I understand you are disappointed by recent events, but I am encouraged. I've been hearing that same shit since Trump got elected...and business is booming. Remember, even bad attention is attention. I said all it takes for Alts to take over is to make it a pivotal issue. Trump and his cronies are doing that for me.

He has pissed off so many people there will be a backlash. This could force congress to tax CO2. And then it's back in his face.

I've been living this world. I see the transition happening every day. I never got a day off when I was installing and there are no free days now. The talking heads preach disaster and I make more money. From work and investments.

I watched a Coal company owner give an interview last night on PBS Newshour. He was clearly repeating Fox news talking points. Right down to the Earth has been cooling for 13 years. You know, that worked for a while, but the public really isn't that stupid. And he came off like a spoiled, trump supporting, 1%er.

Don't get your knickers in a knot...this is the kind of attention that makes things change. We just have to push...
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 11 Oct 2017, 13:48:57

GHung wrote:
KaiserJeep wrote:I don't want to rain on your parade, but solar PV production cost is 400% of coal, roughly, at a large central power plant. Your retail-scale production cost including the periodic Powerwall replacement will be considerably higher than that.

I too remain a fan of renewable energy. But aside from us renewable enthusiasts, there is not much happening now.


Citations?


Those are the same IER figures I used in the CPP thread.

baha, I also watched the PBS News Hour. The quoted figures for rooftop solar ($0.26/kWh) and coal ($0.04/kWh) jive with the IER estimates, as long as we are talking rooftop (i.e. small-scale) solar PV with batteries, and coal without pollution controls. Niether figure is realistic, you must scrub coal stacks and most solar PV is grid-attached without batteries.

To be more precise, the satellite measurements of infrared black body radiation (a form of direct temperature measurement) show no overall warming in the Northern Hemisphere for the last 18 years. The idiot coal power guy got most figures wrong, and didn't give a source for anything.
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby baha » Wed 11 Oct 2017, 14:04:13

And public opinion is what matters.

PBS tried to get more smooth talking representatives of the Coal fiasco but no one would show up. If you're too embarrassed to go out in public and support your cause, or when you do you look like an idiot. The public will turn on you fast. Trump is learning this now.

And I am enjoying the show :)
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
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