Solar power clean for your system?

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  • Brandon B
    Super Senior Member
    • Jun 2001
    • 2193

    Solar power clean for your system?

    In the interest of gratuitous posting as requested, a point of curiosity.

    I have impetuously decided to have a solar power system installed on my roof (a $400+ monthly electric bill in the summer to run my AC stirred this impetus). It will be tied into the grid (this allows me to forgo a battery system, as I build up kW credits during daylight as my meter spins backwards, then use them at night), which will supplement power as needed.

    But, since I will often be running on nice pure sine wave power from a sleek gleaming humming inverter array in my garage, I am wondering if I will see similar benefits to a power filter system. Or will the noise inherent in my house (refrigerator compressor motors, etc.) make it be business as usual?

    Whatchoo all think?

    For those of you who's interest is piqued by this, the system is basically going to be free for me. The State of CA will give me about a $12K rebate on a $30K system, I get another $2K in property tax breaks, and pay for the balance with a home equity refi. Interest on that is further tax deductible, and the increase in my mortgage will be less than my STINKING GRAY-DAVIS-IDIOT-GOVERNOR INDUCED ABSURD ELECTRICAL BILLS. I'm NOT bitter.

    Cool, huh?

    BB
  • Andrew Pratt
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2000
    • 16507

    #2
    Interesting I'd like to know the answer to this as well...




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    • George Bellefontaine
      Moderator Emeritus
      • Jan 2001
      • 7637

      #3
      Brandon, a gratituos but certainly interesting post.

      I don't know the answer either, but I think it is great that California is encouraging solar power. I am facing a long winter, with a threat of maybe a 40% or so increase in the cost of oil heating, and could use a little solar help, but the stupid government here wouldn't lift a pinkie to help with the cost.




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      Comment

      • David Meek
        Moderator Emeritus
        • Aug 2000
        • 8938

        #4
        That IS an interesting proposition Brandon. I like the idea of sourcing your own electricity. In theory it SHOULD be cleaner than the stuff the power company pumps down the communal lines to you.

        OT, it's funny how things vary from region to region. Sorry George, but I'm REALLY looking forward to winter so that my summer $400/month electric and gas bill will drop to a much nicer $125-150/month.




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        • Burke Strickland
          Moderator
          • Sep 2001
          • 3161

          #5
          Brandon -

          Will you be using a solar powered clothes dryer? :>)


          Off the top of my head, I'd say if you want the "purity" of the solar power for your HT without interference from the the "dirty" devices elsewhere in the house, run an isolated-from-the-rest dedicated circuit from the solar power inverter array / generator thingie. That's the only way to be sure it isn't being sullied by the other equipment.

          BTW -- although I'm sure there is a lot to be disgruntled about with the way your state officials handled the power situation, locally we've been reading a lot of stuff that's coming out about how a case could be made that some of the current administration's (as in Washington DC, not Sacramento) cronies in the energy biz (a number of whom are located in cough cough hstn tx) allegedly manipulated the market and either caused or aggrevated the situation with their purported pricing schemes. Not saying that's what happened (won't know until they drag it through the courts, if even then) but just suggesting that there might be a lot more folks to be pissed at for the situation. :>)

          Burke

          PS - David, I knew there must be a downside to that palace you live in :>) - the AC bills ! :<( Even though the house is fairly new, you might want to be looking at additional insulation and in the longer term at some point, more efficient AC units -- the new system I had installed about 15 months ago with a much more efficient compressor and better-matched coil has cut my summer electricity bills by about 40% - 50% -- and the house is actually more comfortable because the system is better sized to meet the demand.

          What you DON'T say may be held against you...

          Comment

          • Brandon B
            Super Senior Member
            • Jun 2001
            • 2193

            #6
            Burke -

            Believe me, I have an overflowing cup of ire for anyone involved in the CA energy fiasco. I've read those reports.

            As to the Solar dryer, if we dried our clothes like that, they'd have to go right back into the washer. This is Los Angeles you know.

            Also, problem with the dedicated outlet from the solar array to the audio rig is it is really hard to listen to after sundown. :LOL:

            We're not doing the battery deal, we pump our excess power into the grid for "kWHr credits", which we then take back as necessary. Our meter will actually run backwards under this system at times. Cool. THe contractor comes today to check it out and give me a quote (will be in the neighborhood of $30K before rebates and tax credits (which will be ni the neighborhood of $15K total.

            David -

            You electric and gas bill is the same as my electric only bill, and I have gas range, dryer and water heater. Feel better?

            BB

            Comment

            • David Meek
              Moderator Emeritus
              • Aug 2000
              • 8938

              #7
              OUCH! Yeah I do feel a bit better now. Thanks B.

              Burke, I've looked at the AC units and we do have pretty efficient ones. We are going to get solar tinting on the west windows and the BIG east-facing window in the entry wall above the front door. Not that tacky silvery stuff, but some nice unobtrusive coatings with high R-values.

              Sometimes with that big east window, walking to the kitchen early in the morning I feel like I should explode in flames (ala vampire) - just too bright. Now back to Brandon's topic . . . .

              Burke's suggestion about the separate circuit is dead-on. That'll eliminate any spiking or contamination from appliances, lighting, etc.




              David - HTGuide flunky
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              • Brandon B
                Super Senior Member
                • Jun 2001
                • 2193

                #8
                Yes, but it will also eliminate any audio after dark.

                BB

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                • Burke Strickland
                  Moderator
                  • Sep 2001
                  • 3161

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Brandon B
                  Yes, but it will also eliminate any audio after dark.
                  Originally posted by previously Brandon B
                  build up kW credits during daylight as my meter spins backwards, then use them at night
                  If your solar system :>) is connected to the power grid for reverse meter flow when it is producing power and using power from the grid at night, then it seems that a dedicated circuit could be set up to draw current from the regular power grid as well as from the solar unit. (In either case, it would be isolated from the "noise makers" such as refrigerator compressor motors, etcetera.) Or are we missing something here?

                  Burke

                  What you DON'T say may be held against you...

                  Comment

                  • Brandon B
                    Super Senior Member
                    • Jun 2001
                    • 2193

                    #10
                    If I hardwire this (these) breaker(s) to the inverter powered by the solar system, it cannot also be hardwired to the grid supply.

                    Solarpanel (33 Volts DC) -> Inverter (120/240 VAC) -> electrical panel AND grid.

                    I already have dedicated breakers for all my audio, but they are on the same mains as the rest of the panel. If I were to tie them to the inverter's output separate from its connection to the grid system, they would be isolated but no longer hooked up to "city" power (=nighttime power).

                    If they were also hooked to city power also, they are then connected to the world and its noise even though the current is coming from the inverter (I think?). There could be some sort of switchnig arrangement, I suppose, but that's got a negative WAF if I ever saw one.

                    Or am I missing something? I am being forced to write Visual Basic code this week, so my mind is severely numbed. Maybe this grid-tie niverter has some sort of internal switching such that when its reverse feeding the grid, the panel is isolated from the world.

                    More later after I talk to the contractor.

                    BB

                    Comment

                    • Brandon B
                      Super Senior Member
                      • Jun 2001
                      • 2193

                      #11
                      Hmmm.

                      Well the inverter unit evidently feeds 240 back into the grid. So in effect, it's 2 way traffic, my photovoltaic system feeding the grid, and the grid feeding my house, with the net flow determining which way my meter spins.

                      So no clean AC benefit here.

                      One upside I didn't know about. Utility Co. balances the books once a year, so if I have a whole season of surplus (i.e. sunny warm winter), I can benefit from the excess power (if any) in the summer.

                      Better than monthly (although that is an option). For those curious, here's the guys I think I'm going with:

                      Join us in our ZERO carbon revolution: Let's lead the charge for a cleaner, greener world with the power of solar technology. Take action today and embrace


                      I'll be using the 20 panel residential system, or maybe a 30 panel if I can swing it. Evidently there's big tax credits for home offices in solar fed houses which might apply to some of you (but not me ).

                      BB

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