Solar thread

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drew
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Solar thread

Postby drew » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:27 am

Long story short; I'm about to get solar for my house. Any recommendations from you knowledgeable lot? I'm sure there's an expert in here somewhere. Effectively my only comments are that I want my install to be "battery ready" so I can plug a PowerWall 2 into it once they finally arrive down here in reasonable numbers.

I'm completely uninterested in building my own battery pack despite knowing there's a huge community down here built around that. I'm more interested in reasonably costed commercially available residential solutions that have a good lifespan and reliability.

So, any comments?
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Re: Solar thread

Postby CATO » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:16 pm

Hi Drew,

Tesla PowerWall 2's are very expensive (14kWh, $10k~$12k), also the link below indicates that a Powerwall 3 is on the cards. Good luck mate, keep us updated...

https://www.savingwithsolar.com.au/tesla-powerwall-3-release-date-cost/
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Re: Solar thread

Postby drew » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:26 am

CATO wrote:Tesla PowerWall 2's are very expensive (14kWh, $10k~$12k)


My power bills average $600 to $700 per 60 days. That's f'n ridiculous and stupidly expensive. So back of the envelope, say if I drop my power bill to somewhere around $200 per bill I'd save ~$3,700 per annually. So I'd pay off the PowerWall 2 in ~4 years. PowerWall 2s have a lifespan of 15 years. Also, from what I've read the PowerWall 2 should be ~$8k, not $10-$12k.

Early days, but it certainly makes financial sense to me.
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Re: Solar thread

Postby CATO » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:26 am

drew wrote:
CATO wrote:Tesla PowerWall 2's are very expensive (14kWh, $10k~$12k)

Also, from what I've read the PowerWall 2 should be ~$8k, not $10-$12k.


Good to see that they are cheaper in WA, I might get one shipped from there, I have seen these advertised for over $12K in NSW, still early days and there might be a few opportunist installers about... My bill is about $800 per quarter, but I'm installing a 12.5kw Diakin ducted A/C system in the next 2 weeks so I'm guessing that the fee will most likely double :shock: .
"In thrust we trust"

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Impulse:
2018: 0 Ns (0% 3Z)
Ns 17: 5,973; 16: 34,558; 15: 35,955; 14: 6,016; 13: 10,208
PB - Gorilla N2717WC, H: 10,260', S: 1.14M

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Re: Solar thread

Postby OverTheTop » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:49 am

I run an 18kW ducted aircon system. You should see the summer bills for that :shock:
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Re: Solar thread

Postby Oldboy » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:32 pm

In a perfect world solar would be great, if savings would recoup your outlay as predicted .
Weather patterns ,global warming (scare mongers) and mother nature will always be a big factor .
Have you looked at your house and thought about ways to make it more efficient thermally both in winter and summer.
If you live in the bush source more firewood in the summer (won't need air con if your out on the chainsaw )
Or if you do it in winter use an axe, good exercise and you'll be "HUGE" :D
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Re: Solar thread

Postby Oldboy » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:39 pm

OverTheTop wrote:I run an 18kW ducted aircon system. You should see the summer bills for that :shock:

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Re: Solar thread

Postby OverTheTop » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:03 am

[youtube]"Its only money "[/youtube]

I see where you get this from :) , but it is out of context in this discussion. Since it isn't rocketry I am quite a bit more careful with spending it since it is a recurrent expense.

Rocketry also has a combination of capital (hardware) and recurrent expenses (fuel and other consumables). The capital expenses are really minimal, regardless of the seemingly large number at purchase, due to re-use and the amount of time the builds take and entertainment provided, hence the quote above. Much more fun than feeding an aircon.
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Re: Solar thread

Postby Rex Fynns » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:36 pm

My power bills average $600 to $700 per 60 days. That's f'n ridiculous and stupidly expensive


Luxury.....we would dream of a power bill, all we had was old broken bicycle with dynamo to run a house with 12 children and we lived in North Adelaide.

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Re: Solar thread

Postby Oldboy » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:19 pm

OTT, glad I wasn't taken out of context.
We are all over a barrel going forward with the fees for our power usage /consumption no matter what state we live in.
If you can go off grid all well and good ,but will it mean the users remaining have to pick up the shortfall (pensioners ,etc).
We have enough resources we export (give away) that going forward we could be self sufficient.
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Re: Solar thread

Postby OverTheTop » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:22 am

The energy supply in this country is going to the dogs. Gas prices are up 400% over the past decade, for what used to be a cheap alternative for heating. Now electric heat pumps are in front I think for $/kw.

Not helping things is that the gas suppliers have contracted to export enormous amounts of gas overseas for very long contract durations. Gas would be the ideal transition fuel as we go from coal to more renewables, but there is a shortfall in the amount available if the current contracts are held.

Seems to be two options: screw the consumer or regulate the industries. Whatever happens we get screwed while the powers-that-be vacillate.
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Re: Solar thread

Postby Happy Heyoka » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:10 pm

drew wrote:I'm more interested in reasonably costed commercially available residential solutions that have a good lifespan and reliability.


I'm late to the party, as usual 8)

Get a decent inverter - I've have been very happy with my SMA unit and have several friends with the same brand but different sizes/configs - no reliability hassles and they have great telemetry. I'll be sticking with them when I jump to put in another dozen panels at some point in the next six months. Also consider future usage (eg: do you need an inverter that will function "off grid" in case you want to do the whole battery backup for your house thing which "normal" inverters won't do for various reasons) - 5 or 10kW rated inverters are now quite cheap and nothing to stop you using fewer panels and adding strings later.
Think about where and how far apart your panel mounting locations are (eg: I'm sticking a few on the shed which is ~20m from the house).
There's always the possibility of more than one inverter (eg: "micro inverters") - the DC from the panels doesn't travel well, better to do that with AC out from the inverter.
Oh, and continuous output - do you weld? do you need three phase? etc

PowerWall 2 looks great, seen one in the flesh at the Tesla shop and apparently they're now shipping. I'm tossing up between them or a Z-Cell bromine flow battery which I'm very interested in (and thinking about "buy local" - Aussie company - manufactured in Mexico AFAIK)
https://www.zcell.com/

Oh, and reading the tea leaves, panel prices are about to spike unfortunately... raw material issues... how long that'll take to work it's way through the supply chain is a bit up in the air.
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Re: Solar thread

Postby drew » Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:16 pm

Cheers for the response. Quick update, I'm locked in for an install in January. Initially I had SolaHart come out and quote but they tried to take us for a ride. I then rang up Infinite Energy and had them quote. My experience with them was great. They quoted us three options. The top shelf solution has Sunpower panels. Sunpower is apparently the world's best panel and they're used by NASA for Mars rovers. Sadly this solution was over $3k more than what we've chosen (and identical to SolaHart's solution in terms of price despite it being completely superior in every way comparatively).

We've decided to go with a 6.6kW system comprised of 24 CanadianSolar Quintech Smart 275W panels and 2x SolarEdge HD WAVE inverters. Each panel has an optimiser so a panel/panels can be in shade and yet it won't draw down the array as effectively it's 24 individual panels instead of one big wired in parallel panel (which is what SolaHart quoted us).

Now, onto batteries. The PowerWall 2's aren't quite as highly respected in the industry as I expected. Sonnen seems to be the Caddy on the market but is priced accordingly $30k+. That Z-Cell won't work with my inverter though. Have you looked at the Ampetus Super Lithium units? $2,300 for 2.7kWh in a 3RU enclosure is pretty magic from a price point perspective.

https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/tesla-powerwall-2-vs-ampetus-super-lithium/
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Max Alt AGL - 23,908ft - K300 - Balls 22
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Re: Solar thread

Postby Happy Heyoka » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:52 am

drew wrote:The top shelf solution has Sunpower panels.

which is what I have personally - they're expensive but their warranty is pretty good (25 years IIRC, hail damage etc all covered)

Each panel has an optimiser so a panel/panels can be in shade and yet it won't draw down the array as effectively it's 24 individual panels instead of one big wired in parallel panel (which is what SolaHart quoted us).

uh no, you don't want to do it that way :roll:
probably saves (them) on cabling and isolation switches or something...

Now, onto batteries. The PowerWall 2's aren't quite as highly respected in the industry as I expected.

Well, Tesla seem to have inherited Apple's "Reality Distortion Field" but still, their AC coupled PW2 is pretty interesting to me.

Sonnen seems to be the Caddy on the market but is priced accordingly $30k+. That Z-Cell won't work with my inverter though.

Sonnen have a good rep and have a nice range of gear but yes, expensive. Good quality though.

Not sure about what you mean about the Z-Cell, the coupling can be configured in various ways (see their FAQ) - I think it's 48vdc by default but there are many gadgets available that will slot it into an AC coupled system (ie: same as PW2 - PW1 was DC only, PW2 will do either).

A lot of that depends ultimately on your config - your SolarEdge inverter is pretty much designed to be grid-attached (as is my current SMA unit) but that doesn't mean you can't have an AC coupled storage system.

Have you looked at the Ampetus Super Lithium units? $2,300 for 2.7kWh in a 3RU enclosure is pretty magic from a price point perspective.

So I would need about three of those to get me through the night; I read the link you added and while I don't disagree with their numbers, their strategy of "charge/discharge" through the day is kind of missing the point : I pay about 23c/kWh from the grid, they buy from me at about 11c/kWh... I would (on average) rather not sell or buy anything on those numbers; 2.7kWh will get you lights and television and a few small appliances for a few hours. So the more you can stash away during the sunny bits the better (it's not like it will go sour or anything - but the one wrinkle with those Z-Cells is they have a weekly regeneration cycle that _does_ require a full discharge)

I saw a good (rather industrial looking) extensible lithium iron phosphate unit at a trade show recently - I'll see what I can dig up.
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drew
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Re: Solar thread

Postby drew » Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:15 pm

uh no, you don't want to do it that way :roll:
probably saves (them) on cabling and isolation switches or something...


I'm obviously no expert but from what I've been told having your array wired in parallel will only allow you to produce as much as the weakest panel produces. So if you have a single panel that's 25% shaded then the entire array will only produce 75% of what it's capable of producing. This video will explain it much better than I can.

Andrew Hamilton
AMRS 28 L3
AMRS Records Committee Chairman
Max Alt AGL - 23,908ft - K300 - Balls 22
Max V - 2,488 ft/s, ~Mach 2.2 - M2250 - THUNDA 2015


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