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Got Solar!

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:45 am
by ed5000
I have a new 5.5KW solar system on my roof and I just got PTO (permission to operate) last Friday. I figured this was a must have accessory to go with my I-meiv.

Installation went pretty smoothly, even with a two week delay from PG&E due to the wildfires in Paradise which was understandable. In fact, PG&E was very easy to work with. The only thing I had to do was relocate a rain downspout that was right over the new inverter mounted on the wall.

Now I have to look into which service plans are available to me.

Re: Got Solar!

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:17 pm
by JoeS
ed5000, congratulations! Most people I know had to wait far longer for PG&E to come out and install their new meter, all the while the old meter was not recording any benefit from the active solar for the owner.

Good luck on figuring out an advantageous rate structure -

https://www.pge.com/tariffs/electric.shtml

Need to study your existing consumption, factor in projections with your new solar system, and do the math to choose the least of the evils offered. Since you'll be Time Of Use (TOU) a lot depends on your particular daily schedule.

Here's their blurb on EV rates:
https://www.pge.com/en_US/residential/rate-plans/rate-plan-options/electric-vehicle-base-plan/electric-vehicle-base-plan.page

I have E-6, but it's not offered any more. My daytime peak rate is 45.7¢/kWh and my lowest rate is 17.9¢/kWh ... thank goodness, with my amortized 11kW solar I don't pay anything! They're wising up, reacting to the duck curve, and we'll all be screwed as they revise the rates...

Did you figure in electric cars as part of your amortization calculation? How many years? My own predicted was 17 years but in actuality it broke even in seven.

It'll be interesting what happens if PG&E is found liable if their downed power lines started all those fires...

Re: Got Solar!

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:21 am
by jray3
Gosh, all this whinging by Californians has me wondering if it's time to return to Guerilla Solar! :P
https://www.motherearthnews.com/renewab ... zmaz01zsel
https://www.guerrillasolar.tk/

Modern solar modules with microinverters are perfectly safe and easy to install, but the hurdles of permitting, interconnection agreements, and installing a production meter prevent most small scale solar from happening.....
I'd seriously posit that a 120 VAC microinverter outputting through an extension cord into a normal 120V outlet poses far less hazard than any number of UL-listed appliances, and by design, cannot backfeed the grid during a power failure.

Here's an example that anyone could deploy, apparently even includes the connector formerly known as a "suicide plug".
https://www.amazon.com/NEP-Grid-tie-Inverter-compliant-MicroInverter/dp/B07B4L3F42?ref_=fsclp_pl_dp_1

Re: Got Solar!

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:28 pm
by JoeS
jray3 wrote:Gosh, all this whinging by Californians has me wondering if it's time to return to Guerilla Solar!
Hmm, didn't know they had a name for it. :roll:

Whinging - I thought they only called it that in Australia.

BTW, my community has waived all permitting fees for solar installs.

Re: Got Solar!

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:21 pm
by ed5000
jray3 wrote:
Modern solar modules with microinverters are perfectly safe and easy to install, but the hurdles of permitting, interconnection agreements, and installing a production meter prevent most small scale solar from happening.....
I'd seriously posit that a 120 VAC microinverter outputting through an extension cord into a normal 120V outlet poses far less hazard than any number of UL-listed appliances, and by design, cannot backfeed the grid during a power failure.


I agree. I always thought these microinverters and panels should be sitting on a shelf at Lowes or HD with dryer plugs ready to plug in 8-) .

Re: Got Solar!

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:31 pm
by ed5000
JoeS wrote:ed5000, congratulations! Most people I know had to wait far longer for PG&E to come out and install their new meter, all the while the old meter was not recording any benefit from the active solar for the owner.

Good luck on figuring out an advantageous rate structure -

All together it took about 2-1/2 months. The system was operable after a month and sat for 1-1/2 months. Not bad considering the wildfires and all.

Thanks for the links. I have a little homework to do...

Re: Got Solar!

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:54 am
by PV1
Congrats on the install.

47 cents/kWh is insane. No wonder Apple went all out on solar on their spaceship. Payback must be months instead of years.

One way around all the hassles of dealing with the utility would be to put battery-based solar in with the grid set up as a "backup generator". This would work great in less seasonal areas, as the house primarily runs on battery power (charged via solar) and only uses the grid when the batteries are low.

Re: Got Solar!

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:13 pm
by Don
PV1 wrote:47 cents/kWh is insane. Payback must be months instead of years.

. . . . and 17.9 cents at night!! - We get ours from a Co-Op for 11 cents, 24/7

Don

Re: Got Solar!

Posted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:40 am
by ed5000
PV1 wrote:Congrats on the install.

47 cents/kWh is insane. No wonder Apple went all out on solar on their spaceship. Payback must be months instead of years.

One way around all the hassles of dealing with the utility would be to put battery-based solar in with the grid set up as a "backup generator". This would work great in less seasonal areas, as the house primarily runs on battery power (charged via solar) and only uses the grid when the batteries are low.

Thanks! With the ever increasing rates it kind of makes it a no brainer. With my I-miev my best guess is a payback of 5 years if nothing else changes.

Right now we're switching over to dual energy providers. The new one is East Bay Community Energy which will actually provide the power and the current, PG&E, which will provide transmission (which they're having trouble with due to wildfires) :? and billing (which they're good at). :lol:

Either way I figure I can't lose. :mrgreen:

Re: Got Solar!

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:23 pm
by greenteam84
I want to try solar power but I find it expensive