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Old 12-11-2017, 08:42 PM
  #16
unclewill
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You may be running that generator the whole month of Dec and half of Jan - why not switch over to the grid during that time instead?
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Old 12-11-2017, 11:37 PM
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oh I'm not going off grid - personally I think grid-tied solar is _DA BOMB_ - love it - PG&E will store infinite amounts of power for me and let me withdraw it anytime I want ;-)

but _IF_ I were/had to be off grid - that's my plan - and yeah I know the generator would run in the winter - but that is way less than year round ;-)
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Old 01-14-2018, 02:50 AM
  #18
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Originally Posted by unclewill View Post
What Elon Musk is doing is amazing:
https://www.tesla.com/gigafactory
That said, I fully expect the Mission E to hand the Model S it's a$$!!
It's VW Group's electric game, that you "expect" things. Delivery is another matter. They can't win with the latest statements kicking around Reuters, about the 14KWh Panemera. If it's true they can't scrounge enough batteries to make 8,000X14 = 112Mwh of those, how do they expect to catch up to little Tesla's 2017 delivery of ~100,000X90 = 9,000Mwh? (rough estimates)
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-porsche-electric/battery-suppliers-struggle-to-keep-up-with-demand-for-porsches-panamera-idUSKBN1E923I

There was news last year, of VW looking for 20bn Euro of battery supply. Late in the year, evidently unable to get commitments from LG Chem, Panasonic or Samsung, they were looking for ingredients, like direct supplies of Cobalt. Those are spoken for, too, according to WSJ in September. The latest is they are picking a bone with labor practices in the Congo (cobalt), which low and behold brings them back to internal combustion. I'd say "you can't make this stuff up", but VW/Porsche/Audi are actually really good at it. Be prepared to wait.
Originally Posted by RealityGT View Post
Exactly why I created this post. I've purchased several large pockets of land in Northern Ontario and would like to plan out how I would go about accommodating my EV's once I swap DD's.
Initial plan is for Solar stands + batteries. But I know there are some very intelligent people on this forum and hoping to gleam some tips/tricks/plans,
I am sure this forum will start getting far busier as we get into Summer of 2018.
Land matters most. You're going to find yourself over-sizing the system to survive the winter, because "seasonally" storing watts in batteries is prohibitive.
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Old 01-14-2018, 03:01 AM
  #19
ipse dixit
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I know several folks in Southern CA who are charging their Tesla's off-the-grid, but not with Tesla's panel/powerall system.

In fact, some of these same folks are bitcoin mining off-the-grid as well, and are making quite a nice profit, even with recent price fluctuations in the bitcoin market.
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Old 01-15-2018, 02:15 PM
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True off grid opens up interesting real estate investment potential. Land that’s on the edges of urban areas and doesn’t have power, water or sewage is orders of magnitude cheaper than slightly closer land that’s been connected. The cost to grid connect it can be prohibitive depending on location, but the likelihood is that if you sit back and wait urban sprawl will eventually come to you and increase your property value. With the sharp reduction in solar prices it’s becoming much more practical to drop a (prefab?) house and some panels and enjoy a wonderful retreat while you’re waiting, while the rise of self driving cars and delivery drones might increase the rate at which urban areas expand.

The difficulty with this and solar in most areas of the US is as identified: seasonality. A true off-grid system will be optimized for the worst time of year, typically around the winter solstice, and will angle the solar panels sharply in order to maximize generation at that time. Every other time of year it will be dumping energy, producing more than is used, often by multiple times depending on location. To minimize dumping a second or third power source a combination of wind, micro hydro (if you have a streem) and a backup generator makes sense.

None of this is very “green” in my eyes. Large utility scale PV is now the cheapest type of electricity by a wide margin, pushing $.02 per kWh in the cheapest, sunniest regions, and is undoubtedly the way to go until the grid is saturated. Home scale PV, on the other hand, is far more expensive and hence wasteful of resources, and that’s before you get to solar shingles (worse than panels), batteries (still very costly) and dumping most of the energy you’ll make most of the year. Thus I would not consider it “green”, and if a grid connection is available I would use it. However both PV and especially battery technology is coming down in price quickly, and ten years from now that might change- if the cost of PV and storage gets cheap enough they get more attractive from an environmental point of view.
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Old 01-17-2018, 01:22 PM
  #21
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Originally Posted by Petevb View Post
None of this is very “green” in my eyes. Large utility scale PV is now the cheapest type of electricity by a wide margin, pushing $.02 per kWh in the cheapest, sunniest regions, and is undoubtedly the way to go until the grid is saturated. Home scale PV, on the other hand, is far more expensive and hence wasteful of resources, and that’s before you get to solar shingles (worse than panels), batteries (still very costly) and dumping most of the energy you’ll make most of the year.

Sounds like you're making more of an economics argument. Residential and utility-scale solar both tend to offset something less "green". It is also more often the case that utilities don't charge $.02/KWh (or even pay that for their utility-scale solar).

The OP is considering "off-grid", where he won't be paying transmission charges. US residential electricity prices are all over the map. I look regularly. Just saw Douglas County, WA, PUD, with final rates of $.03 cents/KWh (thank you, hydro). Then, there's MA's DPU cooking up demand charges for residential users last week. Our rates are about to break above $.20/KWh (we beat CA's average rate, per EIA). So, we aren't driving Panameras down the street, seeing gas stations separated by a dime. We'll be charging Mission E's, whose daily consumption can top a house, and whose KWh prices can run $.03-$.40 depending on where/when you plug-in and/or how much you've used. The final price is what OP should work from. At rates as high as the coasts ($.15-.20/KWh averages), you can start "dumping" watts and still find economies in over-building for winter.

Another consideration is vehicle-to-home. Tesla, and most others don't offer it beyond ~1KW (probably battery warranty issues). Honda offered it, with their fuel cell cars, but the one that might arrive is Workhorse's 60KWh truck. It should come with a 7KW outlet, that could be a daily delivery point for up to ~40KWh back into a home. The company has agreements with Duke Energy and Southern Cal Pub Pwr Auth (SCPPA), but has yet to produce a single truck. Solutions like this, plus maybe generators and making wiser HVAC decisions, will put grid-defection within reach for those with land.

Knowing how utility policy has gotten out of control, I'd be happy to subsidize my own defection, even if I though that was needed. I don't have enough land, yet. My local ISO market averaged $.031 in quoted day-ahead hourly costs, yet the utility charged ~$.10 before adding another ~$.08 for its wires. And getting away from all this, with a residential solar solution, would be green. What isn't green is considering tariffs on Chinese panels, or defining "fuel resiliency" with a bunch of hand-outs to coal.
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Old 01-17-2018, 08:41 PM
  #22
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Originally Posted by petevb
None of this is very “green” in my eyes. Large utility scale PV is now the cheapest type of electricity by a wide margin, pushing $.02 per kWh in the cheapest, sunniest regions, and is undoubtedly the way to go until the grid is saturated. Home scale PV, on the other hand, is far more expensive and hence wasteful of resources, and that’s before you get to solar shingles (worse than panels), batteries (still very costly) and dumping most of the energy you’ll make most of the year.
Originally Posted by wogamax View Post
Sounds like you're making more of an economics argument.
It seems to me you're making the economic argument. I'm using the economics as a proxy for environmental impact.

If we simply look at the PV portion of this hypothetical off-grid project it will be ~4x+ over-sized to avoid falling short in the winter. That's 4x the embodied energy of a grid-connected PV project that doesn't dump. Transportation and installation man hours per watt will also be radically higher for a smaller off-grid system, interconnection, etc. In all you'll likely end up roughly 10x more resource intensive to deliver an equal amount of energy as utility scale grid connected PV in a similar solar resource. That's before you take batteries, etc into account.

Being "green" is largely about being efficient and minimizing resources used. You're kidding yourself if you believe the above is an efficient use of resources. There are many other ways to deploy the same money that would have a far greater impact. I'm not saying don't do it- depending on where you live you might make the economics pencil (I offered an alternative approach for that). I'm saying don't do it because you think you're saving the planet with your "green goodness". What was outlined was actually an inefficient way to produce energy vs many of the alternatives.
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Old 01-17-2018, 09:30 PM
  #23
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Originally Posted by Petevb View Post
Being "green" is largely about being efficient and minimizing resources used.....That's 4x the embodied energy of a grid-connected PV project that doesn't dump.
Being green is less about efficiency, than the environment. Let's agree that's the end goal? You are going back to the perspective of a utility, not someone (like OP) who has to pay them. I'd love to pay wholesale prices for utility-scale energy, but can't. I also can't tell the utility how to generate the rest of their watts. That's a bigger reason utility-scale solar isn't green. Most investor owned utilities get up to RPS compliance (<30% renewable), and then go back to using a fuel they can charge for. If you're a corporate, that's what you do.

On economics, take my case. The inefficiency of over-sizing and dumping watts, would be out-run by the inefficiency of how the $.02/KWh you mentioned became $.18 on my bill. That's more inefficiency than the 4X you mention.
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Old 01-17-2018, 11:27 PM
  #24
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Originally Posted by wogamax View Post
On economics, take my case. The inefficiency of over-sizing and dumping watts, would be out-run by the inefficiency of how the $.02/KWh you mentioned became $.18 on my bill. That's more inefficiency than the 4X you mention.
Let’s run your numbers correctly. $.02 is for the Middle East, etc. $.03 is more correct per kWh for utility scale PV in California, or less than $1 per watt. Rough numbers you’d pay $4 per watt for the same number of panels installed on your house- economies of scale, installation costs, permits, etc, call it $.12 per kWh when financing costs, etc are included. But that’s for the same number of panels and you need to oversize. Multiply that number by 4 to get enough juice to run through the worst month- now you’re at $.48 per kWh, and suddenly your $.18 doesn’t sound bad at all.

That $.18 you pay, however, is for power 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you want that from your own solar you need to add ~25%+ for batteries that are going to have a finite lifespan. Even that won’t cover you for your worst cloudy week, so add another 5% for a backup generator. Rough numbers you’re at $.65 per kWh, 3.5x what you’re paying for an equivalent product from the utility, and we’re still not paying for the land costs, O&M, etc that the utility includes. That would be apples to apples, and suddenly the $.18 you’re paying sounds decently efficient.

Originally Posted by wogamax View Post
Being green is less about efficiency, than the environment. Let's agree that's the end goal?
Sure, but they are directly connected. Making every one of those panels has a big environmental impact, for example: mining, smelting, processing, factories, etc. Using 4x as many is going to have a bigger environmental impact even before you install them inefficiently.

Think in terms of cradle to grave embodied energy and life cycle costs when you’re evaluating if something is “green”. And don’t kid yourself...

Last edited by Petevb; 01-18-2018 at 03:38 AM.
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