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Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 10 Jun 2017, 13:25:03

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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby kublikhan » Sat 10 Jun 2017, 13:47:47

baha wrote:BTW - All the economic analysis we read about solar is based on grid-tied systems. At this point grid tied is competitive...off-grid is superior. How many batteries could you buy with the money you save from abandoning maintenance of the grid?
Here is an analysis of utility vs residential scale. They conclude that utility scale solar is much cheaper than residential scale solar.

The study finds that customer generation costs per solar MWh are estimated to be more than twice as high for residential-scale systems than the equivalent amount of utility-scale PV systems. The large gap in per-MWh costs between utility- and residential-scale systems results principally from: (a) lower total plant costs per installed kilowatt for larger facilities; and (b) greater solar electric output from the same PV capacity (300 MW-DC) due to optimized panel placement, tracking and other economies of scale and efficiencies associated with utility-scale installations.

Overall, the findings in this report demonstrate that utility-scale PV system is significantly more cost-effective than residential-scale PV systems when considered as a vehicle for achieving the economic and policy benefits commonly associated with PV solar. If, as the study shows, there are meaningful cost differentials between residential- and utility-scale systems, it is important to recognize these differences, particularly if utilities and their regulators are looking to maximize the benefits of procuring solar capacity at the lowest overall system costs. Simply stated, most of the environmental and social benefits provided by PV systems can be achieved at a much lower total cost at utility-scale than at residential-scale.
Comparative Generation Costs of UtilityScale and Residential-Scale PV
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby baha » Sat 10 Jun 2017, 14:37:07

That article is about residential scale (grid connected) solar PV...As I said there is no analysis done of off-grid solar. TPTB don't consider it since it goes against the existing meme. There is no benefit to society, just the owner :)

Ibon - I have officially abandoned my plans to visit Plantagenet in my electric VW. I think I'll go to Panama. How far is it from NC?
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: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby kublikhan » Sat 10 Jun 2017, 18:13:09

baha wrote:That article is about residential scale (grid connected) solar PV...As I said there is no analysis done of off-grid solar. TPTB don't consider it since it goes against the existing meme. There is no benefit to society, just the owner
There's no need to start down the rabit hole of "TPTB are suppressing the research!" There are analysis out there if you look for them. Some more in-depth than others. Here's a few:

Off-Grid Solar Systems
An off-grid solar system (off-the-grid, standalone) is the obvious alternative to one that is grid-tied. For homeowners that have access to the grid, off-grid solar systems are usually out of question. Here`s why:
To ensure access to electricity at all times, off-grid solar systems require battery storage and a backup generator (if you live off-the-grid). On top of this, a battery bank typically needs to be replaced after 10 years. Batteries are complicated, expensive and decrease overall system efficiency.
...
Living off the grid and being self-sufficient feels good. For some people, this feeling feeling is worth more than saving money.
Grid-Tied, Off-Grid and Hybrid Solar Systems

The average solar shopper offsets 86 percent of their annual electricity use with solar – a significant amount, but not enough to go fully “off the grid.” While it is technically feasible to go off the grid with solar batteries, it’s rarely cost effective when compared to the benefits of staying grid-tied.
grid tied solar vs solar battery backup

Off-Grid
Downside: Cannot be expected to provide power for all your loads since the cost and volume of batteries would be prohibitive. Off-Grid systems require a lot more specialized equipment to function that is more costly and more complex to install. Specifically they require a central/string inverter, a charge controller as well as a batteries.

Sizing the solar array and the batteries required is complex. Detailed analysis of your requirements will be needed to provide for your minimal critical needs. You'll also need to rewire you main electrical panel to isolate the "critical loads" so that only they are provided power in an outage. This means that your well pump, refrigerator and a few lights are provided power while your air conditioners and TV and other non-essential loads are not.

This is definately more complex to install as well. There are dangerious components, mostly dealing with high amp batteries so caution needs to be exercised. Also, batteries are expensive, require ongoing maintenance and periodic replacement.

Given the additional specialized equipment required and the fact that it requires come complex installation, expect a off-grid system to cost four(4) times as much to install per watt and to require ongoing maintenance outlays.
On-Grid vs Off-Grid Solar

On-Grid RE
I urge most folks to use the utility grid with their RE system. More than 40 U.S. states have some form of net metering available. This means that a large majority of U.S. utility customers can “bank” any surplus energy their PV system produces with their local utility, and use the credit to pay for future utility electricity usage.

When Does Off-Grid Make Sense?
If you have property miles from the grid, or in a location that has no grid, your only affordable option may be to set up an independent system. Be realistic about the burden (financial and otherwise) of living off-grid! On the other end of the scale, if it’s going to cost you a quarter of a million dollars to extend the grid, an off-grid system may be very economical and sensible. (See “Methods” in this issue for more on the economics.)

Reality Check
On-grid RE system owners have a great deal. When their resource—sun, wind, or water—is available, they use it. When they make too much energy, the grid takes the surplus and gives credit. And when it’s dark, calm, or the creek is dry, the utility is there to provide the needed energy. Off-grid system owners have to take all the responsibility of generating all of their energy, all of the time.

The most challenging part of off-grid living is dealing with the variable resource. Raising a bunch of kids off-grid taught me a lot of lessons. One is that folks usually assume that electricity will be constant and abundant. This is part of our culture, and off-grid folks are not immune, since they interact with the on-grid culture on a regular basis. While there are many times when RE is very abundant—most every sunny day and whenever there’s a windstorm, for example—there are other times when it’s scarce. Surfing this wave of abundance and scarcity can be satisfying to some of us, but it’s challenging to others.
So You Want to Go Off-Grid

This study is about EROEI not costs, but it is one of the few EROEI studies I have seen that incorporate battery storage into the analysis. The results were not encouraging for your argument as battery backed up solar was the absolute worse performer of all technologies looked at. Like, an order of magnitude worse:

nuclear, hydro, coal, and natural gas power systems (in this order) are one order of magnitude more effective than photovoltaics and wind power. Some energy generation techniques need more buffering (wind energy, photovoltaics). Storage for long periods can become a very cost-intense and even impossible business.

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Energy intensities, EROIs, and energy payback times of electricity generating power plants
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby baha » Sun 11 Jun 2017, 04:52:27

Thank you Kub,
I stand corrected. There are a few people who consider off-grid. But they still assume you want to burn thru power at all times without concern.

No one considers keeping it simple. Off grid systems will function without batteries, or with a very small battery just to smooth things out a little. Accepting the fact that power goes away when the sun goes down will save about a third of the cost.

Those articles are 2-5 years old, none of them consider Lithium batteries. Things are changing too fast.

I never said there was a conspiracy...just ignorance. I should have said 'the existing meme' does not allow consideration of systems that require compromise. Again, if you can't have power 24/7 then it's not even an option. This will change in the future.

I guess I see things differently. Sizing arrays, inverters, battery banks, and critical load panels is what I do. I have performed detailed load analysis of my own usage and the base load of my house is about 300 watts. It has never spiked above 3 kW. Even though my average daily usage is 15 kW-hrs, only about 2 of that is at night (except in the cold of winter and my next project is solar radiant floor heating).

If I were to abandon the grid and design a minimal system that just barely meets my needs (and requires compromise), I could do it for about $2-3000. And there would be times I would have no power.

As it is, I am installing a $15k system with 15 kW-hrs of storage that will be grid tied and capable of powering my house seamlessly. This is the scenario that is given a full financial analysis. Almost an order of magnitude difference.

I just took a class about battery based PV systems. Most of it was about how to size parts of the system. I used current techniques to design my home system and it lead me to the $15k system I am installing. My point is, if I was not a spoiled american and was willing to compromise just a little I could have a reasonable amount of power for 1/3 the price. That is a rabbit hole I will gladly go down. And I'll take Duke Power down with me :)
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: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby baha » Sun 11 Jun 2017, 05:05:04

I'd like to point out in the class I took a system shutdown or dead batteries is considered a failure. The design criteria is for 24/7 availability. Even the solar industry is not willing to compromise...

Inverter sizing is based on everything turned on at once...after all this is america :)
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: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby baha » Sun 11 Jun 2017, 06:09:28

OK - That's a little misleading. Let me clarify.

The $15k system I am installing will produce 1000 kW-hrs a month, twice what I need. I am oversizing to prepare for adding on to the house, an electric car, and the ability to fully charge my battery from dead with about 4 hours of Sun.

The minimal system design would only produce 500 kW-hrs a month. It would not allow for expansion or even 24/7 operation. On rainy days I would be cold and wet.

This is not truly representative of the public since I live on 500 kW-hrs a month. Most people can't do that :)
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: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 11 Jun 2017, 08:51:33

Why should I choose forced off grid electric austerity when grid power is abundant and cheap? You are not forced to live my lifestyle why should I be forced to live yours? Grid power has always had the advantage of scale, even that money wasting solar farm built by Bowling Green Ohio comes out way ahead of cabin in the woods small scale independent power.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 11 Jun 2017, 09:16:15

Subjectivist wrote:Why should I choose forced off grid electric austerity when grid power is abundant and cheap? You are not forced to live my lifestyle why should I be forced to live yours? Grid power has always had the advantage of scale, even that money wasting solar farm built by Bowling Green Ohio comes out way ahead of cabin in the woods small scale independent power.

You're right. If we had a high enough CO2 tax, there would be a strong incentive to move people away (to a LARGE extent) from burning excessive FF's, and the details could sort themselves out.

Solar, wind, wave, conservation, etc. Whatever works for people and doesn't quickly destroy the biosphere should be just dandy in a rational world, at least compared to the status quo.

The problem (IMO) is we're pretty much the opposite of that, and aside from philosophy and shrill accusations, overall, humanity isn't doing much about it, compared to the magnitude of the problem.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 11 Jun 2017, 09:43:30

baha wrote:The $15k system I am installing will produce 1000 kW-hrs a month, twice what I need. I am oversizing to prepare for adding on to the house, an electric car, and the ability to fully charge my battery from dead with about 4 hours of Sun.

The minimal system design would only produce 500 kW-hrs a month. It would not allow for expansion or even 24/7 operation. On rainy days I would be cold and wet.

This is not truly representative of the public since I live on 500 kW-hrs a month. Most people can't do that :)

Sounds great. Dumb question, as I ponder a possible future Tesla roof, batteries to allow living mostly off the grid, etc.

Do you get periods where you, say, have it cold and cloudy for a week or close to a week?

If so, what happens then? Do you end up cold and just rough it?

We get long gray stretches and it can get REALLY COLD here on occasion, like below zero degrees F for a week or more. Call me a wimp, but I just can't handle not having power if it's below, say 20 degrees F for any stretch of time.

And by my math, it would cost a FORTUNE, like six figures (at least in the near term) to have the roof and enough batteries to be 99% sure I don't end up cold and dark during such a gray stretch.

Eyeballing my KU bill, it looks to me like I average under 500 KWH's a month. I'm at or under that figure 8 months a year, for the past year. I could live within that limit even during the hottest summer months if needed (running the AC less -- though it's not like I run it a lot now. Mainly in the evening to cool the house down, one whack, or maybe two on the hottest days.) Fans are my friend during summer.

However, during a really cold month, it looks like my power use spikes toward (or even above possibly -- this was a warm winter) 1000 KWH a month. This is for how I normally live today -- no EV in the mix yet, but want to get one next time.

Of course, if I'm willing to stay tied into the grid as a backup, I guess it doesn't matter, but I'm curious about the principle, and how likely it is that someone with a plan and usage like yours could truly be OFF the grid AND not be dark and cold 100% of the time (or at least 99.9%, of the time -- call it one dark day every three years).

By the way, it looks like the KU average around here is nearly 2 KWH's a month. My house is likely average sized or a little above, and built in 1957 - its insulation is pathetic. How in the WORLD the KU customers manage to consume about four times the KWH's I use on average is beyond me.

(I have a vision of a 70's sitcom where the father does NOTHING but run around turning off lights and appliances).
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 11 Jun 2017, 10:29:41

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
Subjectivist wrote:Why should I choose forced off grid electric austerity when grid power is abundant and cheap? You are not forced to live my lifestyle why should I be forced to live yours? Grid power has always had the advantage of scale, even that money wasting solar farm built by Bowling Green Ohio comes out way ahead of cabin in the woods small scale independent power.

You're right. If we had a high enough CO2 tax, there would be a strong incentive to move people away (to a LARGE extent) from burning excessive FF's, and the details could sort themselves out.

Solar, wind, wave, conservation, etc. Whatever works for people and doesn't quickly destroy the biosphere should be just dandy in a rational world, at least compared to the status quo.

The problem (IMO) is we're pretty much the opposite of that, and aside from philosophy and shrill accusations, overall, humanity isn't doing much about it, compared to the magnitude of the problem.


I have lived my entire adult life save one summer I spent in Missiouri in a place where Nuclear carbon free power provides the majority of my electricity. As such I feel no remorse in using power as I see fit, within the constraints of my budget.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby pstarr » Sun 11 Jun 2017, 11:01:15

California was early on solar power due to mild winters with low heat need, plenty of sunshine/solar gain with few clouds/rain (especially in summer, but also year-round in CoCal), and cool summer nights without AC. It's a 'Mediterranean' climate. Very rare in the US and world.
Image
baha, few have the luxury of going off-grid during a long winter night after several weeks of cold cloudy rain and snow. I know one person, a friend of 20 years who lives (lived?) off-grid in the coastal mountains. Solar in the summer, micro-hydro in the winter. The conditions for this life-style are available for pitifully few of us. Who has access to a reservoir, 100 feet of head and 10 gpm? Battery storage is ridiculously expensive.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby baha » Sun 11 Jun 2017, 17:11:43

I was not offering a panacea...or even a solution. Only observing that stand-alone solar equipment is cheaper.

I moved to NC to do solar. It is big here since we have more sun than most of the east coast. The mountains to the west filter the moisture and we get lots of sunny days. The longest stretch of clouds I can remember was during Hurricane Matthew and that was three days. Knowing it is coming is half the battle. I can turn off non-critical loads. A 6.7 kW PV system will still make 600 watts on a cloudy/rainy day. Twice my baseload.

My expectations are to be grid independent, we'll see what happens. As you said, the only time I will be pushing my limits is in the depths of winter. The PV system will be at lowest production and I will be at highest demand, for now. In theory, my mini-split heat pump can run for three days on the battery alone if I conserve elsewhere. In practice I have the grid as backup for now and LP gas for emergencies. You can design to maximize winter production by increasing the tilt of the array (my array is at 35 degrees), or adding a tracker. I will be adding a solar thermal system that is tilted at 55 degrees and can store 120 gallons of heated water (about 120,000 BTU), my LP gas heater is 20,000 BTU so that represents 6 hours of continuous LP gas heat. Which is way overboard...I expect that to store three days worth of heat on average as well.

The situation in other areas is different. But there are always combinations and backups that will keep you from freezing. But 4000 sq-ft of perfect comfort is ridiculous. I also get comparisons with my neighbors from Duke Power. They compare me with 1000 houses like mine. I am less than 1/4 the power of the average 1000 sq-ft home. I have no clue how anyone can waste that much power. It makes me think of the house I went to that had three heating pads plugged in 24 hours/day in winter on the porch...for the cats :)
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: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby kublikhan » Sun 11 Jun 2017, 19:04:42

baha wrote:Thank you Kub,
I stand corrected. There are a few people who consider off-grid. But they still assume you want to burn thru power at all times without concern.

No one considers keeping it simple. Off grid systems will function without batteries, or with a very small battery just to smooth things out a little. Accepting the fact that power goes away when the sun goes down will save about a third of the cost.

I never said there was a conspiracy...just ignorance. I should have said 'the existing meme' does not allow consideration of systems that require compromise. Again, if you can't have power 24/7 then it's not even an option.
Existing costs for grid electricity are fairly modest. And that modest cost energy is available to us 24/7. Also, there is very little education that you need for using grid electricity. So grid electricity is cheap, convenient, and requires very little education. You are proposing we consider a system that is expensive, inconvenient, and requires a considerable amount of education to bring us up to speed. All for a modest payoff at best. This is not a very compelling argument you are making. So I don't think it is that surprising that hardly anyone considers doing this.

baha wrote:But 4000 sq-ft of perfect comfort is ridiculous. I also get comparisons with my neighbors from Duke Power. They compare me with 1000 houses like mine. I am less than 1/4 the power of the average 1000 sq-ft home. I have no clue how anyone can waste that much power. It makes me think of the house I went to that had three heating pads plugged in 24 hours/day in winter on the porch...for the cats
Here I think our thinking is closer. It is perfectly reasonable to pursue some load shedding/efficiency improvement options while still staying on the grid:

It’s fairly easy to reduce the energy load in a typical North American home by 15% to 20% using common energy-efficiency measures. More radical efficiency work can reduce the load up to 50% or more. On-grid, reducing your energy demand not only saves you money, but also reduces demand for energy created by nonrenewable sources.
So You Want to Go Off-Grid

Energy efficiency stands to play a primary, low-cost role in reducing carbon emissions worldwide. In the IEA's most aggressive vision of a sustainable energy future, efficiency accounts for 38 percent of cumulative emissions reductions, compared with 30 percent from renewables. This would come in the form of more fuel-efficient cars, and building codes that promote more sustainable architecture and design. The building sector already uses 50 percent of global electricity generated. If you could do something there to halve that, that would be a huge, huge achievement.”
IEA: Clean energy shift will save world $71 trillion through 2050
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby kublikhan » Sun 11 Jun 2017, 19:07:22

baha wrote:Those articles are 2-5 years old, none of them consider Lithium batteries. Things are changing too fast.
You can find those analysis as well. Infact someone just wrote a book on this subject that you might be interested in:

Off Grid Solar is a pocket guide and quick reference for anyone looking to build an electrical energy system using free sunshine available to us all.

Are you a self-reliant builder who is ready to become energy independent? Are you an inquisitive builder who wants to know how solar energy can power your life indefinitely? Written with a DIY mindset, this book establishes a familiarity with off grid equipment. With all the steps to build an Off Grid energy system, this book will help the reader make better decisions, so they can understand their technology needs rather than trust other’s recommendations.
Off Grid Solar: A handbook for Photovoltaics with Lead-Acid or Lithium-Ion batteries

The author seems to feel that if your lead acid batteries are well maintained, they are still slightly cheaper than lithium batteries in the long term. However with lithium prices continuing to fall year after year this may not be true for much longer. Plus the maintenance required for lithium batteries is much less. So at this point lithium batteries are a perfectly viable option, especially for those who don't stay on top of their battery maintenance.

I have seen so many off grid energy systems with defunct lead-acid batteries. They work as designed for a few years if you are careful, and then they lose their depth of charge. I’ve been working with Lithium-Ion batteries over the past year, and while significantly more complex, they have some amazing advantages. Based on my experience, I predict that in a few years, we’ll move away from lead-acid batteries.
I believe right now we are at a clear crossroads when it comes to choosing a battery type for energy storage for off grid energy systems. We are at the transition between lead-acid batteries, the tried-and-true technology used for decades, and lithium-ion’s promise of higher density, improved resiliency, and longer cycle life.
Image
Lead-acid batteries lose potential cycles if they are discharged below 50% of their State of Charge (SOC) or if discharged faster than C/8. On the other hand, lithium-ion batteries can be discharged to about 80% SOC and at a rate of C/2 without any long term damage. The table above shows common characteristics of the three types of batteries; flooded lead-acid, valve-regulated lead-acid, and lithium-ion. Besides the Depth of Discharge benefits, lithium-ion batteries also have a longer useful life; they can cycle more times without significant loss of capacity.

Image
Yes, it’s true that the initial cost of lithium-ion batteries is MUCH more expensive than an alternative option. (See Initial Cost per Battery Capacity graph.) Since lithium-ion is a newer technology, it’s likely that it has the potential to catch up and reduce that cost gap compared to these matured battery technologies that have been around much longer. Lithium-ion batteries will reduce in price and will drop below $400 per kWh in the near future. But is it fair to compare batteries by the initial price tag and the rated capacity? Absolutely not.
The above graph can steer someone in the wrong direction about very different battery technologies. The initial cost of a battery is important when budgeting for the system, but it can be shortsighted to only focus on keeping the initial cost down when a more expensive battery can save money in the long run.

Image
This Total Lifecycle Cost graph is a better comparison because it takes into account the depth of discharge and the typical lifecycle. In this case, flooded lead-acid batteries have the lowest lifecycle cost, but that is assuming they are properly maintained and are not abused. This is a best-case scenario. If they get discharged past 50% frequently or if the maintenance gets neglected, then they won’t last as long, thereby increasing their lifecycle cost. Lithium-ion batteries require little maintenance and are more resilient to irregular discharging. When taken together, these factors make the lithium-ion battery more appealing for an Off Grid solar energy system. Bottom line, lithium-ion have about six times the number of cycles compared to a lead-acid.

The Incumbent: Lead-Acid
For now, your safest bet is to use the tried-and-true lead acid battery for your off grid energy storage. The solar charge controllers and inverters available on the market today are designed to work with lead-acid and have years of field testing, which has worked out all the kinks. The initial price tag is still a significant savings over lithium-ion. If lead-acid batteries are maintained properly, they will function at 80–90% efficiency, but good luck with that maintenance.

The Newcomer: Lithium-Ion
For decades lead-acid batteries have been the dominant choice for Off Grid solar systems, but with the growth of electric vehicles, lithium-ion battery technology has improved and become a viable option for Off Grid solar.
Battery Showdown: Lead-Acid vs. Lithium-Ion
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 11 Jun 2017, 19:29:11

Being tied to one place has disadvantages.

We have been on the boat down to 0°F. Have a little diesel furnace, Espar D-4, kept it adequate. Runs off the batteries. At the time I did have a charger running. Can't recall if it was 2 or 6 amps.

Really, lots of cruising folks have off grid systems. Not that big a deal. Nobody ever made money at consulting on "simple" problems.

Go to cruisersforum.com and search for solar discussions. Just as applicable to a small home.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby baha » Sun 11 Jun 2017, 20:49:05

Thanks Newfie, I know you understand. With a little planning and flexibility it's not hard or expensive.

If you build a system over 3 kW you are forced to use grid-interactive equipment, that's all there is. So a large off-grid system, like mine, doesn't see the savings of a small RV/boat system. This is why people in Africa will skip the whole grid thing and go with solar from the start.

Dynamics are changing fast and this is one area I enjoy being on the cutting edge. Can't wait to see what happens in the next five years...
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: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby kublikhan » Sun 11 Jun 2017, 21:53:42

baha wrote:If you build a system over 3 kW you are forced to use grid-interactive equipment, that's all there is. So a large off-grid system, like mine, doesn't see the savings of a small RV/boat system. This is why people in Africa will skip the whole grid thing and go with solar from the start.
That is an exaggeration. Off-grid solar will continue to grow in Africa but so will grid projects and other options(micro-grid, diesel generators, etc)

Large, centralized grids still constitute the most efficient and cost-effective way of delivering electricity in modern economies. Although deficient grid networks have constrained economic growth in many developing countries, that doesn’t mean “the decentralized alternative offers an intrinsically superior solution. A grid system remains the first best option. Decentralized solutions are really a second-best option in the absence of the former.”

For Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, coal accounts for 38 percent of electricity supply; gas, 31 percent; hydroelectric, 18 percent; and oil, 10 percent. Fossil fuels will likely continue to play a major part in Africa’s energy future. Though coal is expected to decrease in overall importance in terms of its percentage contribution to power generation, there is potential for around 300 GW more capacity. Sub-Saharan Africa also has potential for around 400 GW of gas-generated power. New oil and gas discoveries are still occurring regularly on both coasts. For all the talk of renewables, fossil fuels will remain vital. Grid-based generation capacity in Africa is likely to quadruple by 2040.

The IEA projects solar energy will power mini-grid and off-grid systems in rural areas in the region by 2040, and account for more than 30 percent of capacity additions between 2030 and 2040. For Sachi DeCou, who runs East African solar firm Juabar, it is key to Africa’s energy future. “It will not be the only solution, of course, but rather an important part of the energy ecosystem that will provide access to millions of people and businesses who currently lack consistent, reliable electricity.”
How Africa gets power to 620 million more people could have a huge influence on our world
The oil barrel is half-full.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby baha » Mon 12 Jun 2017, 04:43:54

Sorry, I say that because I have a co-worker that annually volunteers to build small PV systems in Africa.

We are on the cusp of major changes. Small off-grid PV systems are already cheaper than other options. I think as the trend continues more FF projects will be abandoned in favor of alts. If the battery trend is as dramatic as the PV trend has been, the next five years will reverse everything you thought you knew about personnel power plants.

Technology has a way of leading us off in directions we never expected. And once the ball is rolling it goes faster and faster.

The grid and supporting infrastructure has been around long enough for it to become almost idiot proof. There is an entire industry out there that has the knowledge and capability to allow you to ignorantly plug in your toaster. Just because you don't understand doesn't mean there isn't a whole shitload of people who've spent their lives supporting the grid. This and the huge amount of infrastructure in place biases us toward a grid-based solution.

But technology has no bias. The cheapest, easiest, and most convenient solution wins. The fact that someone thinks hooking up a few solar panels in the backyard is harder than building and supporting a nationwide FF'ed grid just shows how little people understand energy in general.

I see the rise of the personal power plant in our future. Plug and Play is entirely possible with good design. One day you could call up Duke Power and have your service disconnected so you can replace it with a few panels and a cabinet. I am already approaching that and it costs much less than my last FF powered car and will last twice as long.

The design and installation is the hard part. Once I'm done my system will operate without any inputs from me. Except for the high-voltage science experiments I plan to do :twisted: After a few years of data I will consider forcing Duke Power to allow me to go off-grid, or not...But I will make the choice, no one else.
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: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Mon 12 Jun 2017, 06:20:44

baha - I have a friend that travels to Africa every year with her group of volunteers. Since I'm no good on the ground any more I help a little with her traveling expenses. The big projects are developing good potable water from new wells. Lack of water: a very common and widespread problem in Africa. This does not require nighttime solar: fill water tanks during the day and draw at night. No batteries required.
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