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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 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.
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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.

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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.
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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
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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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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby baha » Mon 12 Jun 2017, 07:04:01

Thanks Rockman,
Simple is better.
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, 07:24:30

baha - Just remembered: works in Texas also. Several years ago drilled a shallow dry hole in S Texas. Also drilled a shallow water well to supply the drilling ops. SOP gave it to the land owner. Who then installed a solar powered low volume water pump in it: cattle get real thirsty during summers in S Texas.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Mon 12 Jun 2017, 08:25:41

This weekend I drove by Smith &Wesson's main plant in Springfield Mass. They are covering large amounts of their parking lots with solar panels mounted high enough for the cars to park under them. Some have EV chargers. No more cleaning snow off your car after work and all the power can be used right there in the plant judging by the size of the substation that feeds it from the grid.
Of course if the State wasn't subsidizing it there would be no profit in it at this time.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby GHung » Mon 12 Jun 2017, 08:51:09

ROCKMAN wrote: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.


That's how we've been getting our water for 20 years. A spring fills a cistern down in the 'bottom', a solar-powered pump sends it to a cistern buried up on the ridge, water flows down to the house and, voila! Hot and cold running spring water at every tap.
Total cost was less than drilling a well and reliability has been near perfect, unlike my siblings who have drilled expensive to maintain AC well systems.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby kublikhan » Mon 12 Jun 2017, 18:49:05

baha wrote: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 is exactly what I was talking about when I said the grid requires very little in the way of education, for us consumers. Yes professionals that build and maintain the grid require education. But they then do their job so well that the grid is idiot proof as you say. But your proposal of living off grid changes that. Now all of the education and all of the work needed to be a power provider falls onto the shoulders of the consumer. Instead of having a small group of dedicated professionals who do their job so well the system is idiot proof, we have a hodgepodge of amateurs who if we are lucky took a class or two on load sizing. While the rest got a 15 minute lecture from the guys who installed the system. Sure you will get some highly competent ones who do everything correctly. But on the other end of the spectrum you have people who do things very poorly and see their batteries die in a year or two. Or worse, create a dangerous situation where they potentially expose themselves to corrosive acid, explosive hydrogen, electrocution, etc.

In My 27 years as a system supplier, I have seen serious battery-related mistakes made repeatedly, by amateurs and professionals alike (and I've made a few myself). The results can be expensive, hazardous, and damaging to the reputation of RE.

BLUNDER #1 WRONG BATTERY TYPE
BLUNDER #2 IMPROPER SIZE
BLUNDER #3 IMPROPER WATERING
BLUNDER #4 MANY SMALL BATTERIES IN PARALLEL STRINGS
BLUNDER #5 FAILURE TO PREVENT CORROSION
BLUNDER #6 LACK OF A PROTECTIVE ENVIRONMENT
BLUNDER #7 LACK OF PROPER CHARGE CONTROL
BLUNDER #8 LACK OF MONITORING DEVICES
BLUNDER #9 IMPROPER CHARGING **
BLUNDER #10 EXCEEDING YOUR ENERGY BUDGET

Warning!
Electrolyte in flooded lead-acid batteries is an acid solution. It will burn eyes and skin, and eat holes in clothing. Gassing (bubbling) of hydrogen and oxygen is a normal occurrence, especially during final, or heavy, charging. This gas is potentially explosive, so keep sparks or flames away from batteries. Batteries can produce thousands of amps if a direct short occurs. Be very careful when working with metal tools around battery terminals.
SOLAR BATTERY BLUNDER PREVENTION
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby kublikhan » Mon 12 Jun 2017, 18:51:16

baha wrote: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.
You are oversimplifying things here. Going off grid is much more than "hooking up a few solar panels in the backyard":

Installing solar panels on your roof doesn’t mean that you’re off the grid. Most solar systems can’t consistently generate enough electricity to be a home’s only power source, which is why the vast majority of solar homeowners maintain a connection with their utility company. By truly going “off the grid”, you would need to sever your connection to your utility company. By doing this, you would lose the ability to purchase electricity from your utility in low-sunlight periods. This is why your home would need solar batteries installed to stay powered at night. Going off the grid is more complicated than you might think, particularly if you live in an area with significant climate variation.

According to EnergySage marketplace data, the average solar shopper offsets 86% of their electricity use with their solar system – a significant amount, but not enough to go off the grid. Preventing total power loss in the event of a winter snowstorm or extended overcast days would require a lot of storage capacity, a very large solar panel system, and a significant financial investment to install. While it is technically feasible to go off the grid with solar batteries, it’s rarely cost effective. More often, solar shoppers maintain their connection with their utility company, even when they choose solar-plus-storage solutions. While you might not be able to completely go off the grid, solar panels are still a strong investment, and solar battery technology is becoming cheaper every year.
Can I go off the grid with solar batteries?

And while it does cost a considerable amount of money and effort to build and maintain a national transmission and distribution system, it is still cheaper to do it this way because of economy of scale and other advantages:

The cost gap between utility and residential-scale PV
The large gap in per-MWh costs between utility- and residential-scale systems results principally from two factors.

The first factor is the lower total plant costs per installed kilowatt for larger facilities. Analyzing price trends for the last decade through mid-2014, the study estimated the installation cost for PV systems in 2019 to be $1.43/W-DC for utility-scale systems and $2.25/W-DC for residential-scale projects, indicating that utility-scale system costs are lower by nearly 40% compared to residential-scale systems. Recent price data indicate that prices could be even lower

The second factor is the difference in power produced from the same PV capacity (300MW-DC) due to optimized panel placement, tracking and other economies of scale and efficiencies associated with utility-scale installations. For a representative year, assuming identical solar irradiance conditions in the greater Denver area, the utility-scale system is estimated to produce nearly 600GWh of power while residential-scale systems production would be slightly above 400GWh, resulting in a nearly 50% difference in power production.

On the longer term planning horizon, a larger production will likely lead to lower needs of capacity of other generation resources for resource adequacy (i.e. ensuring there is enough generators to serve the peak load). Literature research indicates that avoided transmission and distribution costs advantage by residential-scale systems (if any, which may depend on where and how densely they are located) are not large enough to significantly impact this gap in benefits of utility-scale PV system from generation quantity and overall costs discussed earlier.

the findings of the study illustrating the difference in utility- and residential-scale PV systems can have various policy implications.

First, utility-scale PV systems can be installed at a significantly lower cost – about half the cost - for achieving a given level of solar penetration, regardless of the ultimate goal.

Second, utility-scale PV systems can produce nearly 50% more power replacing generation from traditional generation resources and lead to larger environmental benefits.
Utility-Scale Vs Residential-Scale PV – Which Is Most Cost-Effective?
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 12 Jun 2017, 19:35:17

Egenerati (the article linked above) is a power industry web site. Need I repeat that power companies have a business plan that says that they generate or purchase bulk power and then sell it to retail consumers over the grid?

The distributed PV and wind generation eliminate most or all of the grid power bill to the consumer, and often result in a modest monthly credit instead of a bill. That does not fit into the classic business plan for a power company, which still must maintain the power grid, which the net zero energy residence is using in place of a battery.

I suggest that you avoid confusing one another by stating whether your analysis and opinions are arising from the perspective of a power consumer or a power supplier.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby kublikhan » Mon 12 Jun 2017, 19:50:26

We were not talking about going net zero with net metering. We were talking about severing the connection to the grid completely: off grid. So we are not talking about how power consumers benefit from net metering & solar subsidies while power companies get hurt by them. We are talking about if it is economical for a power consumer to go off grid with solar panels and batteries vs paying a monthly electric bill for grid electricity:

baha wrote:Small off-grid PV systems are already cheaper than other options.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby GHung » Mon 12 Jun 2017, 22:40:54

kublikhan wrote:We were not talking about going net zero with net metering. We were talking about severing the connection to the grid completely: off grid. So we are not talking about how power consumers benefit from net metering & solar subsidies while power companies get hurt by them. We are talking about if it is economical for a power consumer to go off grid with solar panels and batteries vs paying a monthly electric bill for grid electricity:

baha wrote:Small off-grid PV systems are already cheaper than other options.


Meh. We've been off grid for going on twenty years and I can assure you that living off of the electric grid goes well beyond the economics. I know people who don't even cook at home. Their kitchens are spotless.
The question is whether or not enough people, by choice or by necessity, disconnect from the grid to be disruptive, technically or economically. I don't really care. Been there, done that, while most of you still rely on 19th century energy sources.

Anyway, our second big battery set; still going strong.. I doubt I spend 15 hours per year maintaining them.

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