Lowes selling solar collectors

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Akeena Solar is selling a plug in grid tie solar collector aimed at do it yourselfers. Just plug them in any 120f receptacle and aim them at the sun.
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On 9/6/2011 5:55 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Cite?
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http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2009/12/akeenas-andalay-ac-solar-panels-available-at-lowes
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

December 14, 2009 <-----------

place, products that range from power monitors and small solar chargers to a solar panel system. The Energy Center will be in additional U.S. and Canadian stores in 2010. Never made it to my Lowe's store
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On 9/6/2011 11:54 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2009/12/akeenas-andalay-ac-solar-panels-available-at-lowes That's what I thought. It's not a "plug in" "grid tie-in" solar collector. Read the comments. Still interesting and is the future of solar collectors if they can work out the tax credits and grid tie-in problems.
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harry wrote:

The largest battery in use today has a capacity of 27 megawatts.
It is, as you would expect, in the United States (Fairbanks, Alaska).
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harry wrote:

You're sorta correct. I should have said 27MWatts of LOAD. Actually, the battery at issue can provide 40MW of load, albeit for only eight minutes. Each cell within the battery measures 16in by 21in and weighs more than 12 stone.
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On 9/6/2011 6:30 PM, JimT wrote:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/solar-wind/4317039
"...the firm Andalay Solar debuted its new AC panel, which eliminates the need for elaborate DC wiring and large, system-wide power inverters by building micro-inverters into each individual panel. For buyers willing to dip a toe in solar, the panels can be installed one at a time. For installers, the built-in racking, wiring and grounding allows a full 3-kilowatt system of about 20 panels to be installed by a two-man crew in less than a day..."
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for a 3KW array,you better have some sort of transfer panel. just as you would for any whole-house generator. it could save someone's life.someone could throw the breaker and think the wiring was safe to work on,while the solar array was still supplying power and keeping the system "live".
also,will all those separate inverters stay synchronized?
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wrote:

microprocessor that only adds a few dollars of cost takes care of all that complex computations required to do so. I also believe they will automatically shut down if regular AC power is lost.
I would like to know how they do that, though. If you have ten of them plugged in, how do they tell the difference between commercial AC power and each other?
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On Wed, 07 Sep 2011 14:05:06 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@neo.rr.com wrote:

It is pretty simple, A little PV inverter is not going to change the grid.
These things need to see something on the line side before they put out. That is where they get their clock.
I bet, if you did want to use them off grid, you could bootstrap them with a regular battery inverter.
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On Wed, 07 Sep 2011 16:07:13 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

to exceed the output of the connected panels, they will shut down during a commercial power failure. (And, the load will likely be high enough since they will be trying to power the grid). I guess that makes sense, but what if you have a bunch of them and their output exceeds the current load? Perhaps your home is the only one on a particular transformer and the fault was an opening of the primary feeding your transformer? For example, a tree falls and knocks down the primary near your house. Wouldn't the panels keep running and thereby energize the high voltage side of that transformer? (I have no experience with these panels. I am just speculating about how they might work. Please correct me if you know how they really work) Maybe they form a mini-grid and quickly drift off frequency. That could be detected and used to force a shut down.
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On Sep 7, 4:27pm, snipped-for-privacy@neo.rr.com wrote:

I seriously doubt code is going to allow these panels to be connected without an automatic disconnecting mechanism. Where are you guys getting information that says otherwise? All I've seen on these new panels is that they contain the inverter in them and they are easy to hook up. To me that sounds like a modular, easier to install system, but I don't see anything more on exactly how they are installed, connected, etc.
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On 9/7/2011 2:32 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

if they don't detect the grid, they don't send power out.
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As someone else pointed out, since each panel has it's own inverter, if the inverter is all that's doing the sensing, then how could one panel know that the power it's seeing is coming from the outside grid and not another panel. All I see here is a lot of speculating and no real data on how these panels are actually installed.
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snipped-for-privacy@neo.rr.com wrote in wrote:

what's the point of having solar panels if they shut down when you lose mains power and REALLY need them? 3 KW would easily keep your fridge going and your food unspoiled. (and your beer cold!) 3 KW would probably power the entire home,excluding heating or airco.

Perhaps they note the loss of the 60 HZ mains freq;with no sync signal,they shut down. If the panels tried to sync to each other,they would quickly drift to some out-of-spec limit. (lacking any reference) Hopefully,a narrow limit,as too far off 60 HZ can damage some appliances.
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wrote:

Plug in collectors have been around for a year or two. They simply shut down when the grid stops. I agree it is not useful in a power failure but that is true of any grid tie system.
These things are U/L listed so I am not sure exactly how the AHJ can stop anyone from using them. U/L says they have been tested and they are safe. What would you cite?
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Why would that be? If you have any type of solar generation system on your house, to the extent it's meeting the needs of your house, the house is pulling that much less power from the grid and the meter reflects lower usage.

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On Sep 8, 2:36am, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I can see the obvious need for any solar array to disconnect from the grid when the grid power goes down. The more interesting question is why no one has a system that will allow the home to still be powered by solar while disconnected from the grid. There are obvious issues with that too, like the house experiencing brownout when the sun goes behind a cloud. But you would think with some smart's in the controller it could allow the house to be powered, no? Say for example, the controller detects 50% of max power from the array for 30 mins continuous, ie it's a reasonably sunny day, so it turns on power to the home, but not the grid. If it can't meet the load because it then gets cloudy, it could turn off, then repeat process. I guess the issue is how well that would work, for how many parts of the country, etc vs the added complexity and the annoyance of having power come and go.

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The question is if it's possible to have a solar array system that would power the house provided there was enough sun WITHOUT the batteries. I know you can do it with batteries. And if not, why not.
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