Joe B's posts

Posted by Joe B on Mar 2, 2011 02:24 pm

#1 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Situational System
I am trying to digest this and looking over the area I have to place it.
I have a 120 volt sub panel at my shop which is 150 feet from the house and the main panel. Unfortunately the shop roof is the only spot on the property with 85% or better solar exposure, so I have to put the panels there.
Due to the wire loss, I am guessing that the whole system should be located there and the 120 Volt AC should be run back to the main panel at the house?
$30k for the system is not unreasonable. I am going to look online for some how to educational videos for putting this thing together.
I will also be contacting the folks who own the water rights and seeing if I can use them when they are not irrigating their ranch, which would be winter, the least solar producing time! Hopefully it works out!
I am going back to re read all the info, and will post again when I get done.

Posted by Joe B on Feb 15, 2011 09:40 am

#2 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Situational System
Thanks for the replies Ken and Thomas,
I have spent three years getting to this stage. I got my first solar estimate when I got back from Iraq with the suspicion that the global reserve currency might have a problem...
So I got an estimate for $55K (after rebate), no battery back up and not enough rack room/ panels cover more than 60% of my usage. I have spent a lot of time getting efficient since then. I can list every load in my home and shop, the time it is used, and a 10% overage for inefficiency and sloppiness.
My most recent estimate was for 4KW, $25K, before rebate, including batteries and installation.
I refuse to carry debt, so now we are 60 days down the road and I am prepared to pay them, they do not want to do it.
The currency crisis is gathering steam (price inflation due to excess reserve printing)so I want to get something on line now, even if it is insufficient. I can build a gasifier and run a generator.
I need 2KW minimum to operate my home. Call it the survival load.
4KW covers my total needs as my family lives right now.
6KW covers my intended aquaponics based greenhouse garden.
The bicycle charger is more for remedial attitude adjustments of my kids than for charging. I have two 5 hp lawnmower engines that run off stratified downdraft gasification to 12V alternators. I have a year round stream running 80+ GPM average with 17' of head and no intention currently of harnessing that for more than mechanical, large waterwheel torque to operate other equipment, and maintain the water in the stream bed.
I intend to use 6V golf cart batteries, (wide spread, large capacity, locally available, easily replaced) but I am willing to listen to other alternatives and give them consideration. I have first hand seen lead acid batteries last over 20 years on a system that was not drawn down more than 10% of battery charge.
 I think that about covers the situation.
So should I just call the sales people here at the altE store and go with whatever they recommend?
By the time we get done writing this, every $100 in the bank will only have $80 in purchasing power left.....Thanks to Bernanke.

Posted by Joe B on Feb 12, 2011 08:21 am

#3 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Situational System
I have a desire to get an expandable solar system started. I have quite a few issues that I think might be expensive problems. My biggest problem is myself, since I am pretty insistent that the system be off grid capable.
Basically I would want to start with a 1 KW system, grid tied, battery back up that could be expanded with additional panels to up to a 6 KW system, with the capability of accepting energy from a generator, and watermill or windmill or the kids new stationary pedal bike charger I built.
The problems I think lie in the distances. The main electrical box coming into my house is at the house, the sub box on the shop building that has the 85% solar exposure roof, and happens to be about 150 feet from the house and across a creek.
I had a fairly large local solar company come out and give me an estimate, which they rescinded a month later. They said they no longer wanted anything to do with battery based grid tie systems, and were pulling all their contracts.
I am now in the mind to purchase a system and just do it myself. If you have any ideas or suggestions for the system please post them.

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