Solar scheme gone wrong

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Richo
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Solar scheme gone wrong

Post by Richo »

Driving home the other day I noticed a couple of houses that had new solar system installed.
The main issue was the solar panels were facing ESE. Image

So either they forgot that the moved to the southern hemisphere or they just wanted to waste money on panels with no benefit.

How long do you think that it will take to pay off thier system from the couple of hours they might see the sun?

I think the rebate should have included a note to say that the panels need to face within so many degrees of NORTH.
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Johny
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Solar scheme gone wrong

Post by Johny »

OMG. Perhaps the Solar installation company, snowed under with work, bought in some installers from the USA.
Thats' REALLY bad. I wouldn't be able to help myself. I'd drop a note in each letterbox.

Can you give us a Lat/Long so we can have a look?
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jonescg
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Solar scheme gone wrong

Post by jonescg »

That's crazy. If they had a roof which faced ESE, they probably also have a section of roof pointing WNW, which would have been a better option, surely.

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Richo
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Solar scheme gone wrong

Post by Richo »

I don't know what goes through the solar companies minds.
I bet it has to do with the sale more than helping anyone.

I can see it now - wave power generation becomes popular.
Local farmers install it in thier lakes.
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Solar scheme gone wrong

Post by suziauto »

Theres some in Energex suggesting that some should face direct east to generate max output early in the morning and some to fave directly west to generate late afternoon.. as the peaks seem to occur early am and late afternoon this could be helpful for the base load .. I think this will be something where the " time of use " rates would make it desirable for some to consider making solar energy at these odd times.. sounds like a reasonable plan.. better still we all get suntrackers..
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Post by woody »

It's not immediately apparent, but in summer the sun's arc crosses the horizon closer to the south than the north.
http://www.suncalc.net/#/-33.8675,151.2 ... 2.21/13:00
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Solar scheme gone wrong

Post by T1 Terry »

I have 400w or solar facing east and 400w of solar facing west, the other 1900w face nth and are angle adjustable. I don't feed into the grid but rather into a lithium ferrous battery bank so the added boost morning and evening really does make difference to my system. From next mth onwards the panels will slowly be tilted till mid Dec they will have a slight southerly angle. This defies the generally accepted rules but it could be related to our house position being between a lake and the ocean, the reflect sunlight angle off the summer haze or something but there is a definite output increase by adding the slight southerly tilt.

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Solar scheme gone wrong

Post by antiscab »

I had a salesman from Diamond Cell Solar http://www.diamondcell.com.au/PRODUCTS.6.0.html come out yesterday

I was expecting a site surveyor to come out to make sure, amongst other things, my shed was strong enough to hold 150kg worth of solar panels on its NNW facing roof.

I picked these guys as their website showed panels that had a max power point voltage of 45V, which 2kw worth meant a DC bus voltage at max power point of 360V (the peak efficiency point of grid inverters on 240vac)

What I actually got was a salesman whose product knowledge was next to nothing (kept referring to kwh as k/w and the inverter was a motor apparently)

Then had the audacity to suggest his product was so good that I wouldn't need to get other quotes, just sign here for a 2kw system for $10k after rebates (except he described it as a 16k/w per day)

yep - every boom brings out the charlatens

Somewhere I have a calculator that works out average yearly output for an array. I'll dig it up and post a link

Matt
Last edited by antiscab on Sun, 28 Oct 2012, 10:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Solar scheme gone wrong

Post by bladecar »

I was at a green fair yesterday. A solar mob are advertising converting your solar system into a battery storage version. I asked if the batteries shown were lead acid (they are gel).   I asked if they had a lithiun ion version. She said they were "looking into it". I asked what sort of price their systems were going for. She said "How long is a piece of string". While I can understand that that may be a valid reply, it ensured that my mind turned away from that organisation. I was probably looking for just one concrete example.
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Post by T1 Terry »

bladecar wrote: I was at a green fair yesterday. A solar mob are advertising converting your solar system into a battery storage version. I asked if the batteries shown were lead acid (they are gel).   I asked if they had a lithiun ion version. She said they were "looking into it". I asked what sort of price their systems were going for. She said "How long is a piece of string". While I can understand that that may be a valid reply, it ensured that my mind turned away from that organisation. I was probably looking for just one concrete example.

that very much depends on whether your interest is in going off grid or just load shifting. This then depends if you are a high electrical energy user or not.
A high electrical energy user would load shift and suppliment the solar with off peak cheap electricity and use this stored energy at the peak price time and also during power outages.
A low electrical energy user could dump the grid and live off what they could harvest and store.
I've been experimenting with this quite a bit, in my case for my motorhome project, but I quickly realised it would translate to a household situation very easily and quite affordably.

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Richo
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Solar scheme gone wrong

Post by Richo »

bladecar wrote: She said "How long is a piece of string".


That doco was on TV yesterday.
Seems the best example was like a coast line.
The closer you look at it the longer it gets.
Fractals and all that crap...

To me it sounds like poor prep on the sales peoples behalf.
If they don't have a cost then they should at least have a cost of an example system.
She may well have said if your asking then you can't afford it...
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Richo
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Solar scheme gone wrong

Post by Richo »

antiscab wrote:Somewhere I have a calculator that works out average yearly output for an array. I'll dig it up and post a link


I was under the impression that Perth typically got 5.5kWh per day on average from a 1kW system.
So the calculation would be kWh/day = 5.5 x kW(nominal system)

$10k after rebates Image

But 1.5kW systems are like $1500-2000.
Is the other 500W worth $8k?

Thats a big shed! Image
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Solar scheme gone wrong

Post by antiscab »

Richo wrote:
I was under the impression that Perth typically got 5.5kWh per day on average from a 1kW system.
So the calculation would be kWh/day = 5.5 x kW(nominal system)
yes thats true for a fixed array at optimum orientation, averaged over a year.
My calculator allows you to calculate how much you lose my not having optimum orientation, and what the output is on an hour by hour basis.
very useful for optimising output around TOU rates.

Richo wrote:
$10k after rebates Image

But 1.5kW systems are like $1500-2000.
Is the other 500W worth $8k?

Thats a big shed! Image


The sales pitch was aimed at stupid people with money, nearly everything he said was a lie

My shed is rather large. North facing roof is 32m2 and it has 3-phase power

I just signed a contract to get a 2kw array installed for $2250 after rebates

10 x 200W EC panels + 2kw growatt inverter

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Solar scheme gone wrong

Post by nazar »

i just also bought (signed the contract) for a 8 panel 200w (1.6kw) with a 2 kw converter.

they tried to sell me 2 extra panels, to take it up to 2kw - and it was going to cost me an extra $1000.

one thing i found interesting, say you are at work all day (and your solar panels are feeding into the grid) - all the electric company is paying you for the electricity is 7c per Kw..
and yet when you get home (after work) and start drawing electricity, you are paying 25c per kw.
so basically, you are putting into the grid and getting 7c - and your next door neighbour is using your electricity and paying 25c..

don't you think this is really strange considering companies are now paying carbon tax ???

to be fair, shouldn't it be equal kw for kw??
the energy buy back scheme at the moment is really bad, that is why i only got a small grid (besides the cost being too high for the bigger system)
there is an awful lot to learn about EV's :)
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Post by T1 Terry »

Depending what state you are in it ets a lot worse than that. As far as I understand it, all the power you generate goes in the grid, then you buy it back. That was fine for the early birds that are getting the 60c kWh but anyone who bought a house with solar already on it don't get the 60c, I think it's around 17c now but maybe not even that high, yet in the peak periods you are buying back some of your own power at 45c kWh. Another good reason to put a battery back up system designed to load shift, cheap solar into the batteries first, power the house from the batteries and any excess sell to the grid. Recharge the batteries if needed on the cheap overnight power.

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Post by nazar »

T1 Terry wrote: Depending what state you are in it ets a lot worse than that. As far as I understand it, all the power you generate goes in the grid, then you buy it back. That was fine for the early birds that are getting the 60c kWh but anyone who bought a house with solar already on it don't get the 60c, I think it's around 17c now but maybe not even that high, yet in the peak periods you are buying back some of your own power at 45c kWh. Another good reason to put a battery back up system designed to load shift, cheap solar into the batteries first, power the house from the batteries and any excess sell to the grid. Recharge the batteries if needed on the cheap overnight power.

T1 Terry   


i totally agree with ya, prices are different for WA, but you got the same problem.

with the 60c - i thought when you signed the contract it was "subject to change" - would be interested to know if they are still getting 60c

with the cost of batteries and how long they last, i didn't think this would be a viable option ??
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Post by T1 Terry »

"with the cost of batteries and how long they last, i didn't think this would be a viable option ?? "
The was a costing study recently, I'll try to find it. The cost was a bit high on cell prices and they were short sold on their life cycle capabilities so the end figures were a bit distorted, possibly to suit the result required.

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Post by BigMouse »

nazar wrote:to be fair, shouldn't it be equal kw for kw??
I think you're being paid wholesale rates for the electricity you generate, then you buy it back at retail rates. Might as well store it for your own use as mentioned by others.
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Post by nazar »

BigMouse wrote:
nazar wrote:to be fair, shouldn't it be equal kw for kw??
I think you're being paid wholesale rates for the electricity you generate, then you buy it back at retail rates. Might as well store it for your own use as mentioned by others.


there is very little loss (raidated and distance) because it is being used close to you... and it is helping the electric company because it is being generated during peak power....

but i do understand what you mean and i hadn't thought of that
there is an awful lot to learn about EV's :)
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Post by nazar »

T1 Terry wrote: I found that article
http://www.climatespectator.com.au/comm ... eak-demand

T1 Terry


gudday terry, and thanks.
your link doesn't work, but if you copy and paste the address, it works..

here is a working one http://www.climatespectator.com.au/comm ... eak-demand

i found it interesting that they were using lead acid batteries and they think they would last 15 years Image
it was certainly interesting to look at and did prove a point - thanks again
there is an awful lot to learn about EV's :)
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Post by 4Springs »

Just on the battery life question, I have a freind on a stand-alone solar power system. He has had the same bank of lead-acid batteries for about 20 years now, and reckons they are still fine. He did buy another set about 5 years ago to increase the time he can last without a sunny day...
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Post by T1 Terry »

the brother in law lives on the side of a mountain in the Huon Valley and runs off hydro and solar. he has this huge ex PMG lea acid battery that he tells us still works fine, and it does along as there is good sun every day and his hydro runs every afternnon/evening from the storage dam. but turn the hydro off at night and the lights go dull rather quickly. As it's a 1,000Ah 12v battery and only powers a few lights at night I think he is fooling himself that the battery is still fine, but it does what he needs so that's all that is really important.

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Post by jonescg »

I would have thought that NiFe (Eddison) cells were a wise move since they are long lasting and can't be over-charged of discharged, but their power density is woeful. And given their price, you'd almost be better off with a used CALB/Thundersky pack to run the house. A 24 kWh ex-car battery would do a small household just fine.
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Post by antiscab »

antiscab wrote:
I just signed a contract to get a 2kw array installed for $2250 after rebates

10 x 200W EC panels + 2kw growatt inverter


had the system installed by sun direct solutions http://www.sundirectsolutions.com.au/

all went on hunky dory, electrician had a licence, all conduit and racking was up to spec, system now cranks out 13kwh on a sunny day (there's shading from a tree in the afternoon)

ended up adding 1.2kw of panels to my dads solar power system.
discovered the original installer used normal AC cable, the insulation of which had wasted away in areas

normal AC cable is intended to be installed inbetween double brick walls, so isn't really meant for high temperature and UV locations.

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