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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 Outcast_Searcher » Thu 07 Sep 2017, 23:06:43

baha wrote:BTW - We were just told there would be no more Powerwalls available until after the first of the year...interesting...I suppose he is using all the battery production for the Model 3. We got a total of 9 and could sell plenty more. I don't see this as a good sign...

Yes, that does seem disappointing. OTOH, I understand why they want to make as many Model 3's as possible. However, if they're going to advertise the Powerwall and say it's available, and then quickly impose a 4 month (plus possibly X more months starting in Jan.), I think that sends a TERRIBLE message to potential consumers about Tesla's commitment on the Powerwall front.

I know Tesla fanbois will forgive Tesla almost no matter what, at least for awhile. I think the markets, market commentators, and regular customers will be a lot less forgiving if Musk repeatedly does stuff like this to maximize short term profits, or deal with over-commitments he's made which amount to little more than marketing hype.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 15 Sep 2017, 06:00:47

Net Metering is the law in California. I take advantage of it with my smaller 2.8 kW array. I selected the variable electric rate schedule so that I get the maximum valuation for the excess power I return to the gid on warm Summer afternoons when A/C is in use around me. I pay a few bucks a month of fees, and my excess power offsets some of the natural gas consumption in the same bill, I really only have a gas bill during the short Winter space heating season.

FWIW, I don't think that your complaint is going to cause Net Metering implementation in your state anytime soon. California has made astonishing progress on a goal which has recently been proposed to increase from 50% to 100% renewables by 2045. Another bill has been introduced to require all new construction to include solar PV or wind turbines, likely both will pass the State Assembly. But California has also proved just how unfair it is to burden a few hapless people who need the grid for 100% of their power with all the grid costs. The other states have noticed.

As long as you are attached to the electric grid, you owe a grid connection fee, and need to pay your share of grid maintenance.
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby GHung » Fri 15 Sep 2017, 08:28:43

Baha, with Duke Energy and their Republican lackeys controlling things in NC, I wish you luck but doubt you'll get any joy. Folks in my area have an EMC who works with TVA to give some sort of payback for surplus power, but I don't know how it works. I know they have to pay the membership fees and the minimum connection charge which is about $18 I think.
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 15 Sep 2017, 14:27:08

What, pray tell, is the goal of such political activism? The power grid is part of the deteriorating infrastructure of this country. The high tension high capacity feedlines are well-maintained, the problem is mainly the "last mile" connection, all to frequently this is a 50+ year old pole transformer on a deteriorated wooden pole. But that is also the very part needed to utilize the grid as a lossless battery for a residence.

I question whether the Powerwall will have paid for itself before the cells have degraded and need replacement. The Powerwall cost is still a bit high and the payback is prolonged if one is only paying the minimum fee for the grid connect. Note that I don't doubt WHETHER this can be done, only whether it makes financial sense. I too will have such a system as long as the cost is not extravagent, as I too am a power geek/fan.
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby GHung » Fri 15 Sep 2017, 14:53:31

Jeez, KJ, people and societies make all sorts of investments that don't make perfect financial sense. Try to rise above the $$$$$.
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 16 Sep 2017, 07:12:21

Baha, I have enjoyed your recent posts and I have a question. I am wondering if eventually this power wall battery would have an application here on our site. As I have previously mentioned we generate 7.6kw 24/7 with a pelton wheel. The output is direct AC 220V 60hz. No batteries, no inverters. Simple. We dump what we don't use at any given time to keep the generator at maximum production. A load controller manages and distributes the power between usage and dump.

There are brief moments in any given day when peak usage exceeds the 7.6kw. Power tool usage on construction site at the same time as the coffee roaster is on and the kitchen restaurant is running the coffee brewer,microwave and toasting bread is an example. These moments when peak usage exceeds our power output as I just stated are not of long duration. Could a power wall battery help by adding that extra few KW at those moments?

There would be the cost of the battery plus inverter etc. I can imagine....

I know your expertise is solar but you might have some insights regarding this.

Thanks!
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby GHung » Sat 16 Sep 2017, 08:12:04

Ibon wrote:Baha, I have enjoyed your recent posts and I have a question. I am wondering if eventually this power wall battery would have an application here on our site. As I have previously mentioned we generate 7.6kw 24/7 with a pelton wheel. The output is direct AC 220V 60hz. No batteries, no inverters. Simple. We dump what we don't use at any given time to keep the generator at maximum production. A load controller manages and distributes the power between usage and dump.

There are brief moments in any given day when peak usage exceeds the 7.6kw. Power tool usage on construction site at the same time as the coffee roaster is on and the kitchen restaurant is running the coffee brewer,microwave and toasting bread is an example. These moments when peak usage exceeds our power output as I just stated are not of long duration. Could a power wall battery help by adding that extra few KW at those moments?

There would be the cost of the battery plus inverter etc. I can imagine....

I know your expertise is solar but you might have some insights regarding this.

Thanks!


Ibon: You just described the a normal operating mode of any basic off-grid system. You can do what you want with an Outback inverter and a couple of regular L16 batteries. The batteries would last a long time since they aren't being deeply cycled and are under constant charge. Add automatic watering and maintenance will be very low. My Outback inverter/chargers have two AC inputs: one for a generator and one for grid connection and can be programmed to charge the battery at various rates (4 stage charging). They also have relays for dump loads such as hot water.
http://outbackpower.com/

.... and Outback is geared toward making field repairs (if needed for these super-reliable units). Most parts are free and they have online videos that step you through the repairs. Try repairing your own Tesla (I'm sure they have a "no right to repair" clause). I don't spend money on anything that I'm prohibited from repairing myself.
Last edited by GHung on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 08:24:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Rise of the Personal Power Plant

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 16 Sep 2017, 10:21:04

Ibon, I agree with baha and Ghung, that is how a battery backup and synchronous inverter system works.

On the dollars and sense side, you are already running a mini-hydropower plant, which means that your power cost per kilowatt hour is high enough that a Powerwall might make economic sense, but to tell for sure, you will need to find a distributor in Panama and ask for their price. My guess being that they would be happy to help you and that both the Mt. Totumas resort and the Powerwall dealer will both benefit from the publicity.

On the publicity side, have you ever thought of contacting National Geographic magazine? I have been reading it for decades, and have seen many fine resorts and other places publicized. You could try dangling those colorful frog pictures you posted a while back, they were amazing. National Geographic also does articles on nature preserves and bringing tech to jungles, you would seem to be hitting several of their buttons.

For you, the Powerwall will both be a capacity extension for peak power (which them becomes the sum of your generator output and the Powerwall's 5kW) and a backup that will supply energy during a brief outage when you are performing maintenance on your water turbine. Without the need to uselessly dump excess energy, you could also run at a slightly greater average electrical load - perhaps 10-25% greater than your present average, perhaps enabling the adding of another couple of rental units.

Failing in the finding of a Powerwall dealer, perhaps you could work out a deal with baha if he becomes an installer himself.
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