Solar update for 1st quarter

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After billing for first 3 months of 2012, here are the results:
kWh(solar) Elec$ (total/elect) Bank (on/off) January: 819 $32.04/$5.63 105/0 February: 945 $24.07/$3.11 278/0 March: 987 thru 3/27 $18.79/$0.08 525/0
The electricity charges are total including taxes and fees over just electricity charges. All electric charges so far was for off peak hours. The bank is total annual on peak kWh/off peak kWh. The taxes and fees include:
Basic service charge delivery service charge environmental service charge federal environmental service charge system benefits charge power supply adjustment metering meter reading billing federal transmission and ancillary services federal transmission cost adjustment system benefits adjustment regulatory assessment state sales tax county sales tax city sales tax franchise fee
For March, the cost of actual electricity was 8 cents and the taxes and fees was $18.71.
All in all, we are saving $25 - $30/month over the same months compared to the past two years. This includes the $93/month solar lease fee.
We have 525 kWh banked for the coming AC season.
All in all, happy campers!
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"Socialism is a philosophy of failure,the creed of ignorance, and the
gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery"
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On Tue, 27 Mar 2012 18:45:06 -0700, Doug Winterburn

Cool, Doug. What's your setup? Got battery backup so you stay online when the rest of the block is out?
-- "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." - Thomas Jefferson
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On 03/27/2012 09:17 PM, Larry Jaques wrote:

No, it's a grid tied system - SolarCity. The grid is our storage device, in fact when the grid goes down, so does our system. Wouldn't want to be pumping juice into the grid while the repair guys were trying to get things fixed! Might make their hair look like Guy Fieri. The inverter shuts off when the sun or the grid goes down.
However, any excess power we generate is banked in the grid for our use before we slurp power from the utility. Takes a special meter in addition to the solar meter to keep track of things.
However, I'm thinking of putting two 120W panels on the 5th wheel to keep the batteries charged.

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On Tue, 27 Mar 2012 21:39:29 -0700, Doug Winterburn

A grid-tied relay could easily prevent that. Googling "guy fieri". Hmm, -nobody's- hair should look like Guy Fieri's.
I'm only paying $32-47/mo for electricity, so the $96/mo lease fee wouldn't be feasible for me.

Yeah, so I've heard.

Why so much? I'm guessing that you already did the math. Do you do a lot of wilderness camp^H^H^H^Hmobile living? Or do you just use a lot of electricity at night?
-- "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." - Thomas Jefferson
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On 03/28/2012 06:02 AM, Larry Jaques wrote:

I only use enough for lights to find my way to the crapper 4-5 times a night (oh the joys of BPH). SWMBO's (aka the OverLord) electrical footprint is somewhat larger.
240W is enough to fully recharge the 2 6V golf cart batteries after an evening/morning of 12V lighting and 120V inverter usage - that is if the sun shines. There's always the Honda 2000W generator in emergencies and to annoy any neighbors.
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On Wed, 28 Mar 2012 06:50:38 -0700, Doug Winterburn

Condolences.
Bigscreen + blow dryer?

Aha, you get up real early, too?

An EU model, or some really -loud- beeyatch?
-- "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." - Thomas Jefferson
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On 03/28/2012 10:20 AM, Larry Jaques wrote:

EU 59db

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On Wed, 28 Mar 2012 10:29:59 -0700, Doug Winterburn

Those are -considerably- less annoying than most on the market. Ever heard a 3,600rpm model? Ye gods!
-- "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." - Thomas Jefferson
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On 03/28/2012 05:33 PM, Larry Jaques wrote:

I've been temped on this one except for the noise, but it would run the AC...
<http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/champion-4000-watt-portable-generator-49-state-model/54135
It would probably drive away any neighbors :-)
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Caution - that is an RV generator - the 220 volt looking plug isn't.
Mine is somewhat like that - my Honda ran to long - over a week and it was to hard on it.
So I got one like that but with a real 240 that is two 120's 180 degrees apart.
The 220 is 40 amp per line. The 120v is only 30. So I run 220 and split it down into two legs. Wish I had two sets of 240 in real time.
Martin
On 3/28/2012 7:58 PM, Doug Winterburn wrote:

<http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/champion-4000-watt-portable-generator-49-state-model/54135
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"Martin Eastburn" wrote:

A tip for running 10HP Max Eng-Gen sets
Run straight SAE 30 oil and change every 40 running hours or quarterly.
Learned this the hard way from a small engine specialist.
Lew
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Sometime during the night the engine block cracked - I think it was fatigue and the oil drained out. Once the black stuff got out (liquid smake ?!) it was all over.
Now, and someday, I might take the alternator and consider a homemade job or buy a new engine. Still awiting a bright idea.
I'm thinking a 'Dutch' windmill generator - lawn decoration. But most of our wind is 20 feet and higher.
Martin
On 3/30/2012 10:31 PM, Lew Hodgett wrote:

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"Martin Eastburn" wrote:

May have also been corrosive by products of combustion that weakened housing.
That was the basic reason for frequent flushing.
BTW, I threw a con rod that had worn egg shaped.
Lew
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

So have a transfer switch that disconnects from the grid when the grid goes down. I wouldn't pay a dime for a solar system that still had me completely dependent on the electric company.

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On 03/28/2012 07:13 AM, J. Clarke wrote:

Then you would require a battery system to buffer variable instaneous generation from a constant load. There is night and clouds etc that keep a non battery system from producing constant power. I don't think my gar^H^H^Hshop is big enough to hold the batteries, let alone my wallet big enough to buy them.
You would also have to get approval from the power utility, city and Solar equipment provider.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

Why do you need to produce this constant high power? Power here was out for more than a week last year. Not just in my house, in most of the state and the neighboring state. Would have been nice to be able to run the heat and the refrigerator for a few hours a day so the pipes didn't freeze and the food didn't spoil. Why would you need all these batteries you talk about to do that?
And your wallet was big enough to buy this solar system you're bragging about so why would batteries be an issue?

You needed all those "approvals" to install the thing in the first place so why is this an issue all of a sudden?
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On 03/28/2012 07:42 PM, J. Clarke wrote:

Well, J
I didn't spend any big bucks for the system, it was installed for zero. All I pay is a monthly lease.
Also, unless a solar system can produce somewhat of a constant power (which it can't without some storage system), your power level will be totally variable depending on light level, cloud cover, etc. Do you currently live with constant brownouts and power losses?
And I also inquired about a transfer switch and was educated as to why it would be a fools errand without a storage system. After some thought, I determined the experts were correct. You might want to think about it before you espouse yourself as an expert. The best storage system is the grid or batteries. The grid costs only taxes and fees - about $19/month. A battery storage system for 40 kWh/day costs are prohibitive for costs, space and maintenance.
The powers that be did allow the installation of a system that works, not one that you would like to believe that works.
Take up your suggestions with someone who knows WTF their talking about.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

Oh, I see, you got something for nothing. Sounds to me like you got what you paid for.

Grok the concept. The scenario is that the grid is DOWN. When the grid is DOWN, "constant brownouts" is better than nothing, and there's been a power loss already.

That's fine when the grid is up. But the scenario is that it is not up. Did you ask your experts why it was "a fool's errand" to want to run the refrigerator and the heat when the grid was down? Sounds to me like they didn't know how to set that up and talked gullible you into believing that it was a good idea to just freeze to death in the dark with all this fancy solar power equipment doing absolutely nothing useful in the event that the grid goes down.

It doesn't matter if it costs 19 dollars a month or pays you a trillion dollars a second, if it's not up it does you no good at all. And you have all this fancy expensive solar crap and your food still spoils and your pipes still freeze.
The objective here is not to live off-grid, the objective here is to provide a minimal level of power when the grid fails.

Why do you need 40 kWh/day to run the refrigerator and the heat?

By your own admission it doesn't work when the grid goes down, so they did not "allow the installation of a system that works" when the grid is down.

Ask your so-called experts what good your fancy system does when the grid is down for a week.
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On 03/28/2012 10:01 PM, J. Clarke wrote:

down for more than 20 minutes. I can live with that.
The purpose of the system is to save money, which it has every month since it's been installed. It will only save more as time goes on and the utility rates increase since it has provided more power than I take from the grid. So yes, I am getting something for nothing - well not nothing, I'm getting it from the sun.
I'm sure it wouldn't do you any good though as your knowledge in these matters far exceeds that of the so called experts.
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On Thu, 29 Mar 2012 06:11:10 -0700, Doug Winterburn

Doug, look who you're replying to. Several grains of salt are mandatory before even considering what he has to say.
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