Going Solar

 
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BigBarney
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Post by BigBarney » Mon. Feb. 26, 2024 2:47 pm

What if you lived here in NWPA with ~80% heavy clouds in winter?

https://www.currentresults.com/Weather-Extremes/U ... winter.php

Buffalo,Cleveland and Erie all make the list...

BigBarney


 
Hootyburra
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Post by Hootyburra » Mon. Feb. 26, 2024 3:01 pm

If you have indirect light (clouds) you want the panels flatter. If you have direct light you want the panels aimed correctly.
Mid Nov - early Feb suck for solar in Central PA...
I don't sell anything to the grid... I don't want them having control of my inverter and I want to have power when the grid goes down...

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ColdHouse
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Post by ColdHouse » Mon. Feb. 26, 2024 3:44 pm

BigBarney wrote:
Mon. Feb. 26, 2024 2:47 pm
What if you lived here in NWPA with ~80% heavy clouds in winter?

https://www.currentresults.com/Weather-Extremes/U ... winter.php

Buffalo,Cleveland and Erie all make the list...

BigBarney
Solar is not something you want to put where the sun does not shine.

 
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BigBarney
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Post by BigBarney » Mon. Feb. 26, 2024 3:57 pm

Hootyburra:

You need storage to level out the peaks ... Batteries and inverter...

BigBarney

 
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warminmn
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Post by warminmn » Mon. Feb. 26, 2024 4:27 pm

ColdHouse wrote:
Mon. Feb. 26, 2024 9:53 am
I am not too knowledgable about the science behind solar panels. I think it is about light and little or nothing to do with passive heat.
Right, but they kinda go together. When the sun is feeling warmer its also brighter outside.

 
ColdHouse
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Post by ColdHouse » Mon. Feb. 26, 2024 4:54 pm

warminmn wrote:
Mon. Feb. 26, 2024 4:27 pm
Right, but they kinda go together. When the sun is feeling warmer its also brighter outside.
Maybe, I don't think so though. I have been in sub zero temperatures on a perfectly sunny day. My guess is the solar panels need the sun not the heat it produces.

In my scenario I think it is more about the angle of the sun. From mid November-Mid February, I think the sun is low and behind the hill until later in the day. By that time it misses my solar panels. Now that it is higher in the sky my panels get the sun.

 
ColdHouse
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Post by ColdHouse » Mon. Feb. 26, 2024 5:02 pm

I am happy to see the solar panels waking up again. I would imagine that as the days get longer and the sun moves higher in the sky my production will get much better. I certainly need some good high production months to offset those bad months and overcast periods.
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ColdHouse
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Post by ColdHouse » Mon. Feb. 26, 2024 5:12 pm

The entire month of January 2024, 31 days, I produced only 221.7kwh. in the First 26 days of February, 812.7. That is a pretty incredible increase. December 2023, was only 261.3.
I expect great production for the foreseeable future.

 
Hootyburra
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Post by Hootyburra » Mon. Feb. 26, 2024 5:24 pm

BigBarney wrote:
Mon. Feb. 26, 2024 3:57 pm
Hootyburra:

You need storage to level out the peaks ... Batteries and inverter...

BigBarney
I'm working on more storage,
Have around 35kWh currently with an expansion to 50kWh in March and plans to have ~100kWh by fall...

I made 55.2kWh yesterday but didn't fill the batteries completely because I was running stuff all day, even went as far as using electric heaters in the basement to save on coal.
Today I made around half that but the batteries were full before noon...

If anyone is interested in more info feel free to ask. If you're comfortable replacing a breaker, changing your oil, burning a coal stove, etc, you can handle a solar install...

The grid could go down and I wouldn't notice, I can recharge batteries with a generator if needed... No grid dependance is my goal...

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Hootyburra
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Post by Hootyburra » Mon. Feb. 26, 2024 5:29 pm

ColdHouse wrote:
Mon. Feb. 26, 2024 4:54 pm
Maybe, I don't think so though. I have been in sub zero temperatures on a perfectly sunny day. My guess is the solar panels need the sun not the heat it produces.

In my scenario I think it is more about the angle of the sun. From mid November-Mid February, I think the sun is low and behind the hill until later in the day. By that time it misses my solar panels. Now that it is higher in the sky my panels get the sun.
Exactly, they will actually be less efficient in the heat of summer but you may think they are performing better because your angle is set year round.

It's all about the angle... I built a tilting ground array that out produces my roof arrays, even though it's smaller, because of the angle...

Head over to suncalc.org and enter your location then play with the dates and look at the visual of the sun... Check out mid December compared to mid June.
You can also enter info into pvwatts.gov to see how much angle has an imapct...

 
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Post by warminmn » Mon. Feb. 26, 2024 5:45 pm

Hooty, feel free to make a post about your system. Private installs interest me at least some, and several members here have their own systems so would be interested. I mostly dont care at all about huge 100s of acres solar projects but private installs make more sense.

Your battery storage, that I would like to hear more about. One thing that would scare me about them is after the large investment them getting shorted out somehow and then I'd have nothing.

 
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BigBarney
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Post by BigBarney » Mon. Feb. 26, 2024 11:03 pm

As many as 95% of the small solar installations in the US have no storage

so they are dead in the water when the grid goes down. Some others have

grid coupled inverters that need the grid to sycronize to the 60cycle grid...

In California when the grid goes out the home solar is useless...

BigBarney

 
ColdHouse
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Post by ColdHouse » Tue. Feb. 27, 2024 5:28 am

BigBarney wrote:
Mon. Feb. 26, 2024 11:03 pm
As many as 95% of the small solar installations in the US have no storage

so they are dead in the water when the grid goes down. Some others have

grid coupled inverters that need the grid to sycronize to the 60cycle grid...

In California when the grid goes out the home solar is useless...

BigBarney
For a guy that is so pro-EV, I am surprised you seem so anti Solar.
Laws and connection to the grid vary by state.
At this point in time, The Grid where I live has a history of hardly ever being down.
I have a generator if power were down.
I don't generate enough to be meaningful in winter.
Batteries are expensive and deteriorate. I do not feel the need at this time to install a battery when the grid acts as my battery and costs me nothing. I get paid full retail including all charges and fees for energy delivered to the grid.
There is a device that can be installed without a battery that allows the use of the solar energy while it is being produced. It disconnects you from the grid and supplies your home in an outage.
Batteries would be useless for me in winter.
A battery/ies capable of running my home would cost a lot of money and take up a lot of space.
If the grid were to become less dependable I might consider battery backup.
For a person that is negative on Solar, they should be even more negative on battery. Solar actually produces the electricity. If there is any benefit or savings or control over electricity, it is first and foremost from the panels.
Our meter spins. We will probably use close to 20,000kwh over the next year.
One day when 2 way charging is more mainstream, maybe a second EV would be beneficial. But think about it, with the energy consumption happening at this home, it would take a lot of battery to make a dent.

 
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Post by BigBarney » Tue. Feb. 27, 2024 2:37 pm

I am not against solar in any way... But you have to be pracrical...

Solar with storage is a way to be 24/7 online with your system...

You can back feed the grid, but why not use it all yourself??

The batteries also enable you to purchase off peak electric for

use in periods of low solar output,maybe even sell some back

at a nice profit...

https://www.google.com/search?q=present+percent+o ... s&gs_ivs=1

"Roughly 6% of residential solar systems installed in 2020 included battery storage. Non-residential system attachment rates were even lower, with 2% of those solar systems paired with storage. As might be expected, the numbers vary greatly depending on location."

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ColdHouse
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Post by ColdHouse » Tue. Feb. 27, 2024 4:23 pm

BigBarney wrote:
Tue. Feb. 27, 2024 2:37 pm
I am not against solar in any way... But you have to be pracrical...

Solar with storage is a way to be 24/7 online with your system...

You can back feed the grid, but why not use it all yourself??

The batteries also enable you to purchase off peak electric for

use in periods of low solar output,maybe even sell some back

at a nice profit...

https://www.google.com/search?q=present+percent+o ... s&gs_ivs=1

"Roughly 6% of residential solar systems installed in 2020 included battery storage. Non-residential system attachment rates were even lower, with 2% of those solar systems paired with storage. As might be expected, the numbers vary greatly depending on location."

BigBarney
Connecticut does not have peak and off peak rates.
My solar first supplies current needs and excess goes to the grid.
I get power back when solar not generating.
The Grid is my battery. Grid here very stable.
If the Grid were not dependable I might consider battery.
I see little to no benefit from having a battery. Only the expense of owning it and the space it takes up.
When is the grid most likely to go down? Probably a snow storm. I generate very little solar in the winter. The batteries would not get charged. A couple of large batteries would only meet my needs for a few hours.


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