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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-09-23, 09:30

Yeah, those parts are the harder ones to calculate out. I think we assume a surge load of 3x normal consumption when starting up and running but that is a fridge and such. For heavy long loads it is different. The clothes drier, the heat pump when active, the oven etc... those are surely to chew threw the power.

Heck, things I'm working through are still things like how much power am I consuming when my kids leave the lights on in a given room. If we go fully off-grid that will become a big deal. I thought water hours on a ship sucked, imagine power hours in the house!
Quote:
Navy Shower. Fresh water economy aboard ship may dictate using as little water as possible. Hence, the navy shower; wet down, turn off the water, soap up, turn the shower on to rinse off. If a ship's evaporators (evaps) have problems distilling fresh water from salt water, a ship may experience "water hours" in which no showers are allowed except at select times. Generally, the smaller the ship the more experience the crew has with water conservation.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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GSpotter
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: A small town near Wolfsburg, Germany
 
2021-09-23, 16:21

Quote:
imagine power hours in the house
That reminds me of a colleague. He's a palestinian. Some years ago, he went with his family on vacation to the Gaza strip so his children could meet their grand parants. Unfortunately, his visit had a bad timing, and they couldn't get out for many months. In Gaza, they have a power shortage, so each part of the area just has 8 hours of electricity, then 8 hours without... So he sometimes had to go to another part of the town to get a connection for working...

Regarding the power consumption:
This is just our consumption graph on a random day last winter as an example:

My photos @ flickr
The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. -- Benjamin Franklin
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-08-03, 13:32

I forgot to update this....

I signed a contract for a solar system back in November. It was the best option we found though it doesn't go full off-grid. It utilizes two Tesla Powerwalls and a fairly large scale system to cover all of our needs.

We don't have it installed yet, and may not ever at this point. It seems there is a meter base we need that is currently "on back order". Expected availability is around 51 weeks. Do the math, that is like a whole YEAR!

Anyway, I'm still hoping it works out but am doing way more research and trying to figure out the best way to proceed if this doesn't workout. The real issue we have is my home was equipped with "non-standard" service from the current meter to the service panels. The parts to "standardize" it are really hard to come by right now due to (pick and excuse) so we can't proceed.


Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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kieran
Tweeting @kierankelly
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2022-08-03, 14:33

We just had our electrical panel replaced in our new 100-year old house because the panel was a mess with a sub-panel and knob and tube wiring running through the house.

We needed to upgrade because we're getting a new HVAC system installed in the fall hopefully and there has never been one in the house, only radiators.

We plan on adding solar as a longer term project, but haven't even begun to look into what that looks like.
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Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2022-08-03, 14:53

It's getting hard to get a straight answer on how much solar power I can install on my home, and how much it will cost. Estimates are $2.5 to $3.5 per watt. I read that the average family uses 27kWh per day and 808-870 per month. I'm going to guess somewhere between $18,000 - $45,000 depending on the size of install and whether one seeks to power everything, or just offset a portion of their average use. Even with net metering (in Ontario, Canada) I'm not sure it works out in my favor yet. Considering weather factors, required back-up capacity, roof size/pitch, etc...

I can get a natural gas back-up generator with a transfer switch for $5,000 and have standby power for days...
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-08-03, 15:10

At this point I'm more leaning to a battery system and doing solar later.

Then the question comes to what battery system and any other items with it. Our current contract includes the Span panel so we can shed loads as demand dictates. That tied with a battery system would serve to ensure our cold food storage, essentials and such are able to sustain for longer than average.

We don't have outages that frequently where I live so I don't really need off grid like I originally planned. I just like the plan for energy independence.

For the batteries, I'm sure the company we chose uses Tesla because it is Tesla. I'm learning about so many different manufacturers out there with different products that produce the same end result but less polish and branding. The challenge with something like this is that most installers won't provide support for them at all meaning we would be on our own and I'm not that good of an electrician.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2022-08-03, 15:26

The whole thing just isn't ready for primetime, yet, unless you have very deep pockets. As much as I want solar and a good battery backup, right now I'm content to let the gotta-have-it's absorb the initial bugs and high costs. I'm content to run a generator and use my camp trailer's batteries, solar, and inverter to provide backup power in a mid-term power outage. The trailer has a 3000w generator, two 100ah batteries, a 200w solar panel, and a 2000 watt inverter, which combined will easily keep up with a couple fridges and a freezer. For now, I can work with that.

My dream for solar converges on enough wattage to run the entire house during the day while also providing enough power to charge a battery system with an equivalent 24-hour minimum backup. That's pricey, and I haven't got that kind of cheddar floating freely. Until I do, staying connected to the grid with a small backup system is the way it's gonna be.

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Frank777
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto
 
2022-08-04, 01:05

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
I can get a natural gas back-up generator with a transfer switch for $5,000 and have standby power for days...
Yeah, those Generac things seem cool. I don't want my whole house backed up though.

If things ever do get squirrelly and the whole city loses power for an extended period, I don't want my lights and big screen TV advertising that I'm the only one in the whole neighbourhood who's not freezing to death.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle View Post
Our current contract includes the Span panel so we can shed loads as demand dictates. That tied with a battery system would serve to ensure our cold food storage, essentials and such are able to sustain for longer than average.
The Span panel seems really cool. I do worry about what could happen if hackers breach my electrical panel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle View Post
We don't have outages that frequently where I live so I don't really need off grid like I originally planned.
Doesn't mean that will always be the case. Does the world seem to be getting better?

[This whole post is taking on a wonderfully dystopian aesthetic... ]

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle View Post
For the batteries, I'm sure the company we chose uses Tesla because it is Tesla. I'm learning about so many different manufacturers out there with different products that produce the same end result but less polish and branding. The challenge with something like this is that most installers won't provide support for them at all meaning we would be on our own and I'm not that good of an electrician.
Lately I've been reading that solid-state home batteries are around the corner, and greatly reduce the risk of a housefire.

Also, I believe Panasonic has entered the home battery game, aiming to compete at a brand level with Tesla.
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-08-04, 09:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
...

The Span panel seems really cool. I do worry about what could happen if hackers breach my electrical panel.

...

Doesn't mean that will always be the case. Does the world seem to be getting better?

[This whole post is taking on a wonderfully dystopian aesthetic... ]

...

Lately I've been reading that solid-state home batteries are around the corner, and greatly reduce the risk of a housefire.

Also, I believe Panasonic has entered the home battery game, aiming to compete at a brand level with Tesla.
Oh I VERY much agree about most everything here. This is why I wanted to go off grid and then later be able to tap into the grid while I can to get the best of all worlds with batteries and such. I do have a mild level of concern about hackers and my (future) Span Panel, but my network is secure so it would be on their end if it wasn't. If it was tampered with from the outside, I would isolate it from the WAN. It would already be on an isolated VLAN in my network. Same for batteries and other such infrastructure. All those items would be in an isolated VLAN from my main network.

For generation, I really want solar because it is "free" to generate once you have the equipment. I don't have something I can put solar on like an RV/trailer so I'm kinda stuck on that one right now. I have a generator though, a good one that was kinda a NEED in Va Beach. My house here has a 500 gallon propane tank in the ground. While I don't get as good of power generation with propane, it is more than enough to cover the basics for us. I'm going to get it wired into my panels so I can just feed all my circuits that I don't turn off. Since it is a manual connection, this would require me to manipulate the panels anyway so I don't back-feed the grid during an outage. I had a proper MBT in Va Beach, but don't have that here because we were going to go solar.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
Anonymous Coward
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2022-08-04, 13:15

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
Yeah, those Generac things seem cool. I don't want my whole house backed up though.

If things ever do get squirrelly and the whole city loses power for an extended period, I don't want my lights and big screen TV advertising that I'm the only one in the whole neighbourhood who's not freezing to death.
Unlike automatic bus transfer switches for commercial use, residential manual bus transfer switches typically only supply certain selected circuits to the emergency power supply.

Example from Amazon. I am not an Amazon affiliate and just did a quick search on that site to illustrate what I'm talking about. You wire from breakers you select on your panel to the transfer panel..
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-08-04, 14:07

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anonymous Coward View Post
Unlike automatic bus transfer switches for commercial use, residential manual bus transfer switches typically only supply certain selected circuits to the emergency power supply.

Example from Amazon. I am not an Amazon affiliate and just did a quick search on that site to illustrate what I'm talking about. You wire from breakers you select on your panel to the transfer panel..
The MBT I had in Va Beach powered the whole panel. I mean, I was really limited to 50A that the generator put out and the wire/inlet were rated for but electrically speaking every circuit in my home could be powered by the generator feed. So when I manually enabled the generator I had to turn off the main breaker, slide a bar and then turn on the 50A breaker for the input feed from the generator. So before we powered the panel with the generator we would have to turn off the circuits we didn't want drawing the load from the circuits we did want energized.

Like this:

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
Anonymous Coward
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2022-08-04, 14:19

With the bus transfer I linked, you don't have to worry about remembering to open the main breaker You do have to manually switch the circuits on, but the way it is wired cuts off the supply from the utility and supplies from a receptacle which is connected to the emergency generator.
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-08-04, 14:34

That is a big deal though in the end. If it is going to be automatic, then it needs to be automatic all the way. If I paid for a standby generator then I would have an ABT that handles everything. I wouldn't want to lose power in the middle of the night, my generator kicks in and I immediately overload it with two A/C systems running plus anything else running at the time because we didn't get heavy load circuits cut off.

I wasn't willing to go the route of a full standby generator because costs just didn't make it worth it in the long run. Even in Va Beach with lots of storms and some major hurricanes it was still not mathematically worth it to do that. The generator I have an interlock/MBT set up was sufficient.

This same logic is why I am/was going with the Span Panel. The Powerwalls can only power something like 40A continuous. This means on a summer night with the A/C going it was VERY likely we would overload it and it would shutoff for circuit protection. Span would be able to control the loads and isolate the circuits to the ones that need to be powered when on battery.

So if I was going to do an automatic generator I would want automatic circuit management too.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2022-08-04, 20:59

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
I can get a natural gas back-up generator with a transfer switch for $5,000 and have standby power for days...
Several of my clients have these generators, due to frequent outages in their area, they seem happy with them.
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-09-22, 14:20

At this point I'm really glad it doesn't look like my current contract to have solar installed is going to happen. I've been learning a ton about solar and what I'm actually after in a system. This delay has allowed me to learn things like the Tesla PowerWall only outputs 40A continuous where a battery like this can output 100A continuous. Stack six of these batteries in parallel and you get more total amps out, more kWh of energy and about the same cost of one PowerWall. Oh, and you get the ability to replace bad cells as opposed to the whole thing.

A battery set like this and I get to do the install and basic management where I would have to pay for a "pro installer" to do the PowerWall.

For the inverters, my contract is for smaller capacity than I need and for only one of my 200A breaker panels. I have two 200A panels that need power. I've learned about Sol-Ark that can actually tie together and power both panels. With something like these I can still manage the battery bank and do a lot of the stuff myself. Heck, these inverters even support a generator feed so I can charge the batter bank with my generator if I am in such a situation!

Sure I can't tie into the grid or replace my meter main, but I can handle lots of little things.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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