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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 » Mon 30 Oct 2017, 11:23:37

The weather has turned cold..for a southern boy :) This morning it was 34 outside and the house was down to 65. I have been letting the solar air heater run all day to keep the house warm. And then my wife opens the outside bedroom door at night. This morning I turned on the heat pump and from now on the door stays closed :evil:

I am still set at 45% battery reserved. I hit my limit once in the last month or so after 5 days of bad weather. Then it was another two days before it was fully charged again.

Screen Shot.jpg
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Even though I didn't plan for this thing to provide much heating I'm going to use it this winter heavily. The sun angles are lower and the hours of daylight are going down so more load has to be carried by the battery. The depth of discharge each night will have to be greater so I'm lowering my reserve to 25%. If the power goes out I'll have to conserve until the Sun comes out :) I said 2-3 days of grid free operation in winter...here comes the test.

I am on the hook to replace the roof and siding. I may let someone else do that :) which means more money :( Then I can build my solar thermal heating system.

Then my personal mission is complete...I need to figure out what to do next (besides the VW). I have an idea but I'm not sure I can handle the attention. I know some folks (in my cult) who may can help me. http://www.ncwarn.org/ ...check out the TV add.

I'm think I'm ready to start tilting at windmills ...coal plants :twisted: while driving an Electric VW.
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby baha » Thu 02 Nov 2017, 11:44:28

:) Haha, Anyone ever heard of the cloud edge effect?

My 6.7 kW PV system just produced 6.9 kW :) For a few seconds...Read em' and weep.
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 » Thu 02 Nov 2017, 13:34:52

baha wrote::) Haha, Anyone ever heard of the cloud edge effect?

My 6.7 kW PV system just produced 6.9 kW :) For a few seconds...Read em' and weep.


1 kw to go and you will tie with my hydro set up....... hope you make it there! .....

just remember though, our7.6kw is 24/7

I am now thinking of drying our coffee harvest at night to use the excess power. Modify a 15kg clothes dryer for drying the coffee, having it run at night..... replacing the existing heating element with a low wattage one that will keep the temp around 90 degree F

Got to find usages for all that un used power. such a dilemma :)
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby baha » Fri 17 Nov 2017, 07:19:13

I am right on the hairy edge :)

The night temps are in the 30s and days in the 50s and 60s. It's not really cold yet. With 25% reserved I am just barely making it thru the night. And if it is a cloudy day I don't get a full charge and don't make it thru the night. Here is three days worth. Including various loads.

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 6.29.52 AM.jpg
Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 6.29.52 AM.jpg (175.61 KiB) Viewed 2993 times


There are two things going on here. My baseload was 300 watts, it has increased to about 700 watts with the heat pump on. And the hours of sun have gone from 10 to 7. ( I have a tree shading the array until about 9am. He has a death wish)

That means dinner activities are now carried by the battery. I cook with gas but lights and fans are running. 5-8 is typically prime time power usage and the sun is gone by then.

It doesn't get really cold here until January. But that is after the winter solstice. I am thinking I will use 100% of the battery in Dec and Jan. No one else is going to do it...if it will melt, I will make it.

I have been corresponding by email with my Powerwall customers. I give them my data and they give me theirs. I am by far the most efficient person on the planet. No one else can make it thru the night. Although everyone has settled on 50% reserved for backup. And everyone lives in their big climate controlled box and doesn't understand that windows open :)

The funny thing is, everyone is happy as a pig in Sh*t. :) They are using 100% of their solar output in their own house. The power they use and the solar production they make is no longer part of the official statistics. There is no way for TPTB to know how much power they make or use. Keep that in mind next time you read statistics about solar production and % carried. TPTB don't have a clue...
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 » Fri 17 Nov 2017, 09:48:06

baha wrote:I am right on the hairy edge :)

The night temps are in the 30s and days in the 50s and 60s. It's not really cold yet. With 25% reserved I am just barely making it thru the night. And if it is a cloudy day I don't get a full charge and don't make it thru the night. Here is three days worth. Including various loads.

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 6.29.52 AM.jpg


There are two things going on here. My baseload was 300 watts, it has increased to about 700 watts with the heat pump on. And the hours of sun have gone from 10 to 7. ( I have a tree shading the array until about 9am. He has a death wish)

That means dinner activities are now carried by the battery. I cook with gas but lights and fans are running. 5-8 is typically prime time power usage and the sun is gone by then.

It doesn't get really cold here until January. But that is after the winter solstice. I am thinking I will use 100% of the battery in Dec and Jan. No one else is going to do it...if it will melt, I will make it.

I have been corresponding by email with my Powerwall customers. I give them my data and they give me theirs. I am by far the most efficient person on the planet. No one else can make it thru the night. Although everyone has settled on 50% reserved for backup. And everyone lives in their big climate controlled box and doesn't understand that windows open :)

The funny thing is, everyone is happy as a pig in Sh*t. :) They are using 100% of their solar output in their own house. The power they use and the solar production they make is no longer part of the official statistics. There is no way for TPTB to know how much power they make or use. Keep that in mind next time you read statistics about solar production and % carried. TPTB don't have a clue...


Baha; I'm west of you in NC and, FYI, my record production days have all been in February and early March on cold clear days, well prior to the Spring equinox. Mid fall days have also been very good. Any way you can time-shift some loads on days like this when you have surplus production? I store surplus as heat in the floor and hot water tank, along with running the dishwasher and laundry.
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby baha » Fri 17 Nov 2017, 18:01:13

Hi Ghung,
I have the grid to make up the difference and lots of power stored there...to get good comparative data I have to start by not changing my habits in any way. I can set the delay on the dishwasher but when the wife says it's time to wash clothes she doesn't care if the sun is shining :)

I have been turning the heat pump up during the day to store more heat in the mass of the house and the solar air heater runs all day (after the leaves fall). After this winter I will make an assessment and design my thermal heating system.

I definitely wish I had a dump load output available. The grid is my dump...seems fitting.
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 » Sun 19 Nov 2017, 11:19:41

baha wrote:Hi Ghung,
I have the grid to make up the difference and lots of power stored there...to get good comparative data I have to start by not changing my habits in any way. I can set the delay on the dishwasher but when the wife says it's time to wash clothes she doesn't care if the sun is shining :)

I have been turning the heat pump up during the day to store more heat in the mass of the house and the solar air heater runs all day (after the leaves fall). After this winter I will make an assessment and design my thermal heating system.

I definitely wish I had a dump load output available. The grid is my dump...seems fitting.


I'm planning to add these under some tile projects I've got going...

https://www.homedepot.com/p/3-ft-3-in-x ... /203578364

.... and run a dedicated control circuit that energizes when the batteries are full in winter. I'll dump heat directly into the slab/tile floor, mainly in the bathrooms. They are low-and-slow and there's frequently surplus PV output to put somewhere. Should be nice in winter to keep the feet and bum warmer in the 'reading room'. These small heating mats are less than 50 watts and can go under most flooring. Just another idea for dump loads and storage.
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby baha » Tue 21 Nov 2017, 06:02:05

Duke power just got a rate increase approved by their bought and paid for committee. They wanted 16.7% increase. They got 12%. They are justifying it by claiming they need the money to clean up the coal ash ponds they created and mis-managed. You can bet the original contract for those power plants included caring for the ash ponds. But they screwed it up so bad they want more public money to clean it up.

I hope the public enjoys paying for that...My electric bill will still be $13.29. :)
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 » Thu 23 Nov 2017, 06:54:21

On 11/21 I lowered my battery reserve to 5%...That is my idea of showing it a little mercy :) That was 30 days before the winter solstice. From now until Jan 21st (30 days after) is the most stressful part of the year.

Last winter I ran on mini-split heat pumps only. They were new and I was trying to melt them. They do not have resistance heat backup. My electric bill hit $95 in January. When it got below about 20f at night, I had to run both of them to keep the house around 72f. I had planned to use the LP gas heat some this winter when it gets really cold but I'm realizing in 4 months I have already banked enough power on the grid to easily cover the demand. So I will continue all electric...except cooking :)

That is a different issue than the Powerwall. In three months I have learned how to properly operate it. I am special...On any sunny day of the year I can make more power than I use. Most people can't do that, especially in winter. I can set my reserve to 5% and get fully charged in one sunny day.

If your house uses more power than the PV makes on any given day, the Powerwall will not fully charge. Most people will not be able to keep it charged in winter. That's OK if you reserve 50%...The battery stays at a safe level, absorbs your over-production during the day, and gives it back at night. The grid takes up the slack.

Since I have data analytics, and lots of over-production, I can customize my reserve setting to offset my daily usage. I am using as much of my solar production as possible in my own house.

OK what does this mean for the future...If I have a run of cloudy days in winter my battery will fall to 5% and stay close to that until there is a sunny day. That's not good for it. And it makes me feel naked :) During the rest of the year it will only discharge as much as my house uses at night, which ain't much.

Since I am in the middle of the grid with a nuke plant nearby I don't get many outages. I can leave it set at 5% and it will do it's thing all year long. If there is a storm coming I will bump it up to 25% just in case, but the reality is I will run independent of the grid...storm or no storm :)

Ghung - Does it make you feel naked when your battery is dead? And can you fully charge it in one day? Without a FF generator...Dude :)
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 » Thu 23 Nov 2017, 10:25:21

Ghung - Does it make you feel naked when your battery is dead? And can you fully charge it in one day? Without a FF generator...Dude :)


Ha! My battery is bigger than yours :-D

Image

I rarely see my battery discharged more than 20%, and with 7.2 kW of PV, half of that tracking, I can always fully recharge on a good sunny day. And, yes, I have run my generator about 30 hours this year, not to keep the lights on, but to keep my old-fashioned lead-acid cells happy. That's why they are going strong after over 10 years in service.

I think you'll find that colder days and clearer skies in winter will surprise you, even with the shorter days. I frequently get at, or higher than, rated output from my panels on cold clear days. The last few days have seen the battery at full charge around 1:00 -2:00 PM, at which time the system makes hot water, I run appliances, etc.. Even after a cloudy period, a good day can put as much as 25 kWh into the battery while powering the house, which means that battery was discharged around 50% (52 kWh battery rating). At that point, battery voltage will be in the lower 23 volt range which the inverters are fine with, but I'm not, at which point I'll run the genny. Still, it beats the crap out of having to deal with the man. He can't even come on my property without permission or he's trespassing.
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby EdwinSm » Thu 23 Nov 2017, 11:00:30

Envy here :-x ...I read but don't have much to post about what I am doing.

We are too far north to be able to depend on solar for the winter (even the companies selling pv systems advertise one month with ZERO output as the expectation). I took the route of ground heat pump to reduce personal energy importation.

To go for a nearly self-sufficent system I would need a combination of:
a) solar (problem in winter when needing most energy)
b) wind (there is a wooded ridge behind our house that would play havoc with air flows, but it does protect us from the cold northerly winds)
c) wood burning stoves (I don't have enough land for tree production)
d) a smaller house to heat.
e) battery storage
f) generator when the above are not enough

I read of an off-grid house here on the island - a totally rebuilt cow barn that was rebuilt with the aim of off-grid independence (solar, windmill and wood heating). They claim to be self-sufficient for 10 months, and are aiming for 11 months with more batteries and raising the height of their windmill, but they are still not at the 100% mark.

I have come to the conclusion that I could (and have) transitioned to a lower level of energy input. But if I was to aim for energy self-sufficiency in the area I am now living in, I would need much more land and would need to design and build a small house rather than adapt an existing one.
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby baha » Mon 04 Dec 2017, 17:13:16

The holidays are a time to give thanks, be with friends, and acknowledge your maker. I'm not religious but I enjoy Christmas. Especially the lights...

Check out my solar array :)

image001.jpg
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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 Shaved Monkey » Mon 04 Dec 2017, 20:08:24

Nice lights..... :-D


Back to the premise of this thread it makes more sense for communities to pool resources and own energy infrastructure ,whether its a wind turbine everyone has shares in or a solar farm the community owns or renting the power of a shared roof top of either a state or community owned building.
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby GHung » Mon 04 Dec 2017, 21:18:49

Shaved Monkey wrote:.......Back to the premise of this thread it makes more sense for communities to pool resources and own energy infrastructure ,whether its a wind turbine everyone has shares in or a solar farm the community owns or renting the power of a shared roof top of either a state or community owned building.
Socialise the costs socialise the benefits


Nice dream, but the powerful for-profit majors like Duke Energy and the Southern Company here in the southeast will make sure that doesn't happen. On the other hand, the member-owned EMCs (electric membership co-ops) in the more rural areas are already semi-socialized, though they are beholden to the big guys and TVA for most of their electricity. Getting EMC members on board with taking more responsibility for their own energy usage and production would be problematic. Economies of scale still rule, for now.
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