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PeterSibley
03-13-2015, 12:54 AM
http://offgridquest.com/news/tesla-motors-announces-a-new-home-batter

Tesla Motors Announces A New Home Battery; Living Off The Grid Will Soon Be Status Quo

(Page 1 of 2)
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, announced Wednesday that the company is working on a new kind of battery that would be used to power homes. Based on Tesla’s lithium-ion battery technology, the new battery is expected to help the company become a leader in the growing home energy-storage market.

Speaking during an earnings (http://www.ibtimes.com/tesla-motors-inc-2015-here-are-key-factors-transition-year-maker-model-s-sedan-1813130) conference call on Wednesday, Musk said that the design of the battery is complete, and production would begin in about six months. Although the company did not provide any date for the product's launch, Musk said that he was pleased with the result.


“We are going to unveil the Tesla home battery, the consumer battery that would be for use in people’s houses or businesses fairly soon,” Bloomberg quoted (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-12/tesla-planning-battery-for-emerging-home-energy-storage-market) Musk as saying.
During an earnings call last year, Musk had talked about his plans to make a product that would be fitted into consumers’ homes, instead of their cars. He had expressed an interest in the home energy-storage market and predicted enormous demand for battery systems for backup power at both homes and businesses.


“We are trying to figure out what would be a cool stationary (battery) pack,” Forbes had quoted (http://www.forbes.com/sites/uciliawang/2014/05/07/teslas-elon-musk-on-creating-a-cool-battery-system-with-a-beautiful-cover-for-home-energy-storage/) Musk as saying at the time. “Some will be like the Model S pack: something flat, 5 inches off the wall, wall mounted, with a beautiful cover, an integrated bi-directional inverter, and plug and play.”
The Palo Alto, California-based automaker already produces residential energy-storage units through SolarCity Corp., a solar-power company that names Musk as its chairman and the biggest shareholder. In addition, Tesla’s Fremont, California, facility also produces large stationary storage systems for businesses and utility clients, Bloomberg reported.
“The long-term demand for stationary energy storage is extraordinary,” JB Straubel, Tesla’s chief technical officer, said (http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/11/8023443/tesla-home-consumer-battery-elon-musk). “We’ve put in a huge amount of effort there."
Source (http://organichealth.co/this-amazing-new-tesla-invention-will-completely-eliminate-your-electricity-bill/)
http://images.offgridquest.com/1174/Nissan_Leaf_battery_pack_DC_03_2011_1629.jpg
At this moment, many solar or wind-powered homes have to remain on a the grid because there has not been a way to store extra power for lean hours. If given a relatively cheap and reliable battery to hold the power needed, building off-grid in the country will become commonplace, and even in the city, self powered homes could be a less expensive option than being grid-tied.

Now who's ready to fire their monopoly power company?

More From Tesla: Tesla Factory Racing To Retool For New Models (http://offgridquest.com/mobility/tesla-factory-racing-to-re-tool-for-new-) Tesla And The Gigafactory (http://offgridquest.com/mobility/nevada-hit-the-jackpot-with-the-tesla-gi) Tesla And An Off-Grid Frenzied Future (http://offgridquest.com/mobility/tesla-motors-struggles-and-races-to-keep)

Gerarddm
03-13-2015, 02:05 AM
Nobody really likes their utility company. I used to think that residential fuel cells would kill utilities; batteries may put a dent in them.

PeterSibley
03-13-2015, 02:15 AM
A lot of people here in Australia have quite large solar arrays and treat the mains as a battery so this is going to be very interesting as some of the utility and reseller charges are going through the roof , not just for the power supplied but as a fixed but seemingly increasing percentage of the infrastructure costs.

varadero
03-13-2015, 02:54 AM
These seem to be the i-phone wannabes of the battery world. There is still no better way to store solar generated power than lead-acid cells, and the best of those are the AGM (absorbed glass mat) sealed cells. They are the best for continuous use, and many charge/discharge cycles.

The Bigfella
03-13-2015, 03:12 AM
For years (decades) in Oz, we were trying to get public money out of the moribund utilities. The states that were successful have enjoyed much lower cost increases than the states where the destructive "Greens" and rusted on unions stalled progress.

Sibley says
A lot of people here in Australia have quite large solar arrays and treat the mains as a battery so this is going to be very interesting as some of the utility and reseller charges are going through the roof , not just for the power supplied but as a fixed but seemingly increasing percentage of the infrastructure costs.

What he fails to mention is that the majority of those arrays were massively subsidised from the public purse. Payments to the more wealthy members of society who could afford the capital costs of the arrays are now at well over triple the cost of production of base load energy. There is a massive wealth transfer from the poor to the wealthy - orchestrated entirely by the Greens and Labor. Idiots.

Reynard38
03-13-2015, 06:47 AM
Tesla promises a lot of things. Delivering on them is another matter.
He has a lot of irons in the fire. Maybe too many.

Duncan Gibbs
03-13-2015, 06:58 AM
And this pattern of public investment in solar energy production infrastructure differs from the initial and continuing investment in centralised base load generation and transmission infrastructure how exactly? Now-where near as much money spent on solar for a start. And now centralised gas and coal fired base load is losing money because of the increased competition. And the net present value of these assets is dropping off a cliff.

The future is coming whether or not the base load junkies want it to or not.

Duncan Gibbs
03-13-2015, 07:05 AM
What he fails to mention is that the majority of those arrays were massively subsidised from the public purse. Payments to the more wealthy members of society who could afford the capital costs of the arrays are now at well over triple the cost of production of base load energy. There is a massive wealth transfer from the poor to the wealthy - orchestrated entirely by the Greens and Labor. Idiots.
Actually lots of middle class households who wouldn't have been able to afford solar arrays on their rooves now have them and this has helped bump up the economies of scale making production of solar cells cheaper, as well as increasing the amount of business funded R&D making PV technology still cheaper and more efficient.

I'd be interested in any numbers you might have to back up your point that it was mainly richer households taking advantage of subsidised home PV arrays and what the actual amount of money involved was. IIRC the biggest of all the schemes was instituted under our last conservative PM Howard. Labor scrapped the scheme because it was too successful in the numbers of people applying for the grant.

The Bigfella
03-13-2015, 07:24 AM
Actually lots of middle class households who wouldn't have been able to afford solar arrays on their rooves now have them and this has helped bump up the economies of scale making production of solar cells cheaper, as well as increasing the amount of business funded R&D making PV technology still cheaper and more efficient.

I'd be interested in any numbers you might have to back up your point that it was mainly richer households taking advantage of subsidised home PV arrays and what the actual amount of money involved was. IIRC the biggest of all the schemes was instituted under our last conservative PM Howard. Labor scrapped the scheme because it was too successful in the numbers of people applying for the grant.


Poppycock, Duncan... and you know it. To suggest any influence that PV purchase levels in NSW had on global economies of scale is in any way significant is just a nonsense. You should recall, but apparently don't, that I had some involvement with the industry. Labor and their Green sycophants, back in the early 90's, had an opportunity to grab something of a lead in this area... but, as is their wont, they stuffed it up. The only significant involvement Australia had was to fund the development of the technology and to train the guy from China who took our technology back to China... becoming, last time I checked, China's second wealthiest man....

Numbers? Do your own research. You run off on these Green fairytales and want me to do your research.. Send me a cheque first, eh?

You might want to start with the multi-billion dollar (uncapped) PV scheme that Labor/Greens brought into play in NSW. The Libs had the good sense to scuttle it when they came in. It was crippling the state's budget (IIRC... but I'm sure you'll check the details, the scheme's cost was in the area of two thirds of the state's annual capital expenditure budget at the time).

Dan McCosh
03-13-2015, 07:42 AM
Lithium-ion is a lightweight way to store electric energy. That doesn't seem a big advantage when the battery sits on a concrete foundation.

Canoez
03-13-2015, 08:05 AM
Well, I for one will look forward to this battery - or something like it - that is of a reasonable cost and will allow me to put in an automatic transfer switch for those times when we have power outages. (... and a grid-tied system doesn't run.)

I'm working on a tree-house for the kids in the backyard. They wanted lights for it and the only practical solution was to put in a small off-grid solar system. I have a few old solar panels (five twenty-watt panels) and a charge controller, but had no batteries - until earlier this week. A sealed lead-acid pack was removed from a system and slated to go out for recycling based on an agreed upon replacement date. There's nothing wrong with the batteries and I managed to score two trays with ten, twelve volt seven amp-hour batteries each. Recycling at it's best. :D

Duncan Gibbs
03-13-2015, 08:16 AM
Poppycock,
This is what you claim:


Payments to the more wealthy members of society who could afford the capital costs of the arrays are now at well over triple the cost of production of base load energy. There is a massive wealth transfer from the poor to the wealthy - orchestrated entirely by the Greens and Labor. Idiots.
Last time I checked both state and federal governments are conservative, so I'm not sure how the Greens and Labor can "orchestrate" anything from the opposition benches.


To suggest any influence that PV purchase levels in NSW had on global economies of scale is in any way significant is just a nonsense.
Did I single out NSW? No! I did, however, point out the Howard Government's federal Photovoltaic Rebate Program, which ended up costing over $1 billion in its last 18 months. That's a fair whack of cash that will drive prices down in any market. Don't pretend that it won't.


You should recall, but apparently don't, that I had some involvement with the industry.
Why should I keep tabs on your polymathesque career?


Labor and their Green sycophants, back in the early 90's, had an opportunity to grab something of a lead in this area... but, as is their wont, they stuffed it up. The only significant involvement Australia had was to fund the development of the technology and to train the guy from China who took our technology back to China... becoming, last time I checked, China's second wealthiest man....
You should recall that I've said on this forum on a number of occasions that I think efforts from both side of politics in this country to further the cause of renewables has been pretty dismal, but that on the dismalness scale the Liberal Party beat Labor by a big nose. The Renewal Energy Target, however, has been a terrific boon for markets investing on a far bigger scale than any previous policies. But I certainly agree we've sold ourselves short in the renewable tech stakes and Tesla, along with exporting our R&D to China pretty much proves this point.


Numbers? Do your own research. You run off on these Green fairytales and want me to do your research.. Send me a cheque first, eh?
You made the claim, you back it up. I'm not going to do your own research, unless you send me a cheque. Actually I prefer a direct EFT to my account! :)


You might want to start with the multi-billion dollar (uncapped) PV scheme that Labor/Greens brought into play in NSW. The Libs had the good sense to scuttle it when they came in. It was crippling the state's budget (IIRC... but I'm sure you'll check the details, the scheme's cost was in the area of two thirds of the state's annual capital expenditure budget at the time).
I'm sure I won't. It's late and I need to sleep. The gross feed in tariff still exists, but it's no longer 6o cents a KWH, but 20 cents for new arrays. I'd still call that opex and not capex. Regardless, if you started out on the 60 cent KWH GFIT you still get that rate for the solar energy you generate and you can still expand your array to increase you return at that higher rate. The cost of a 1.5KW array at the end of the Photovoltaic Rebate Program was pretty much the value of the Federal rebate: $8k. Now the same array is nearly a quarter of the price. Part of it is the fact that it's competitive to install the systems in Australia now along with the fact that China is making vast quantities of PV cells because Worldwide demand is only growing.

You'd think even our "global warming is crap" PM might sense a business opportunity here. But noooooooo...

LeeG
03-13-2015, 08:27 AM
Lithium-ion is a lightweight way to store electric energy. That doesn't seem a big advantage when the battery sits on a concrete foundation.

I haven't looked at battery tech but it seems to me low cost, capacity and long term life would matter more than light weight. "Coolness" doesn't fit.
I could see in another world where people didn't move around a lot or were far from a utility that a self powered home would be an investment instead of multiple cars. Maybe distributed grid storage could help compliment solar/wind sources.

Dan McCosh
03-13-2015, 08:46 AM
I haven't looked at battery tech but it seems to me low cost, capacity and long term life would matter more than light weight. "Coolness" doesn't fit.
I could see in another world where people didn't move around a lot or were far from a utility that a self powered home would be an investment instead of multiple cars. Maybe distributed grid storage could help compliment solar/wind sources. I agree. Particularly if the self-powered home floats.

john l
03-13-2015, 08:49 AM
Power companies will love it, and this product will make for a better relationship with their customers. In fact the batteries may end up allowing the power companies to keep customers and maintain market share. Customers will "download" cheap nighttime energy to offset their daytime use of power for computers, AC, etc. This is called "peak shaving". The batteries will allow their customers to power critical equipment during power outages - again heaping to maintain a good customer relationship. It wouldn't surprise me if the power companies ended up subsidizing customers purchase of these battery packs. Certainly the value of the battery pack to store wind or solar generated power products is a great option too! But that miniature fusion unit in the basement may trump all!

The Bigfella
03-13-2015, 09:10 AM
This is what you claim:


Last time I checked both state and federal governments are conservative, so I'm not sure how the Greens and Labor can "orchestrate" anything from the opposition benches.


Did I single out NSW? No! I did, however, point out the Howard Government's federal Photovoltaic Rebate Program, which ended up costing over $1 billion in its last 18 months. That's a fair whack of cash that will drive prices down in any market. Don't pretend that it won't.


Why should I keep tabs on your polymathesque career?


You should recall that I've said on this forum on a number of occasions that I think efforts from both side of politics in this country to further the cause of renewables has been pretty dismal, but that on the dismalness scale the Liberal Party beat Labor by a big nose. The Renewal Energy Target, however, has been a terrific boon for markets investing on a far bigger scale than any previous policies. But I certainly agree we've sold ourselves short in the renewable tech stakes and Tesla, along with exporting our R&D to China pretty much proves this point.


You made the claim, you back it up. I'm not going to do your own research, unless you send me a cheque. Actually I prefer a direct EFT to my account! :)


I'm sure I won't. It's late and I need to sleep. The gross feed in tariff still exists, but it's no longer 6o cents a KWH, but 20 cents for new arrays. I'd still call that opex and not capex. Regardless, if you started out on the 60 cent KWH GFIT you still get that rate for the solar energy you generate and you can still expand your array to increase you return at that higher rate. The cost of a 1.5KW array at the end of the Photovoltaic Rebate Program was pretty much the value of the Federal rebate: $8k. Now the same array is nearly a quarter of the price. Part of it is the fact that it's competitive to install the systems in Australia now along with the fact that China is making vast quantities of PV cells because Worldwide demand is only growing.

You'd think even our "global warming is crap" PM might sense a business opportunity here. But noooooooo...



You just can't follow along, eh?

LeeG
03-13-2015, 09:25 AM
I agree. Particularly if the self-powered home floats.

Oof, not enough marinas and tooo many people. Conjuring up all kinds of cartoons on that thought.

Dan McCosh
03-13-2015, 09:27 AM
Oof, not enough marinas and tooo many people. Conjuring up all kinds of cartoons on that thought. I already have a self-powered home that floats. It even has sails.

The Bigfella
03-13-2015, 11:23 AM
I know Duncan doesn't like facts. Here's a couple.... of all renewable energy electricity generation in Oz in 2010, solar was only 2.1% of the total.

If he'd spent 10 seconds researching feed-in tariffs, he'd have found this on wiki:


It has been reported that NSW households could pay an extra $600 on their electricity bill over six years ($8.33/month) to cover the $2 billion cost of the tariff scheme. The total cost to families in some regional areas could be $1000.[54] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feed-in_tariffs_in_Australia#cite_note-54)

This failed scheme... penalising the poor, was instituted when the left was in government.

Duncan Gibbs
03-13-2015, 06:27 PM
You just can't follow along, eh?
I follow along just fine. But you seem to zeroed in on gross feed in tariffs off the back of Peter's statement that grid connected solar arrays use the grid as the battery.


[COLOR=#252525][FONT=sans-serif]I know Duncan doesn't like facts. Here's a couple.... of all renewable energy electricity generation in Oz in 2010, solar was only 2.1% of the total.

If he'd spent 10 seconds researching feed-in tariffs, he'd have found this on wiki:

This failed scheme... penalising the poor, was instituted when the left was in government.
Once more with feeling, I'm not the one that raised the issue of gross feed in tariffs; you are. I pointed out the fact that they have been retained by the Liberal state government in NSW, and indeed, as your Wiki reference points out, by all state governments of both flavours at varying rates. I haven't made any assertions one way or the other about the merits of such schemes. But it seems that, since all state governments with the exception of Tasmania have GFIT schemes, there must be some kind of benefit that both sides of politics think is important in such a policy. But the fact remains that the state based gross feed in tariffs are nothing to do with any of the Federal grant programmes for the installation of solar arrays on domestic rooftops. Also it has nothing to do with the fact that this battery system by Tesla may encourage household to go off grid to avoid any additional charges as well as regulations that limit the sizes of arrays connected to the grid in certain locations. Nor has your point about GFIT rates got anything to do with the fact that economies of scale both in Australia and internationally have pushed down the price of PV cells by about 70% over the last five years.

But by all means, continue to push your irrelevant point about GFITs. I'm happy for you to keep riding your hobby-horse of the moment. If it makes you happy, it makes me happy! :)

The Bigfella
03-13-2015, 08:18 PM
I follow along just fine. But you seem to zeroed in on gross feed in tariffs off the back of Peter's statement that grid connected solar arrays use the grid as the battery.


Once more with feeling, I'm not the one that raised the issue of gross feed in tariffs; you are. I pointed out the fact that they have been retained by the Liberal state government in NSW, and indeed, as your Wiki reference points out, by all state governments of both flavours at varying rates. I haven't made any assertions one way or the other about the merits of such schemes. But it seems that, since all state governments with the exception of Tasmania have GFIT schemes, there must be some kind of benefit that both sides of politics think is important in such a policy. But the fact remains that the state based gross feed in tariffs are nothing to do with any of the Federal grant programmes for the installation of solar arrays on domestic rooftops. Also it has nothing to do with the fact that this battery system by Tesla may encourage household to go off grid to avoid any additional charges as well as regulations that limit the sizes of arrays connected to the grid in certain locations. Nor has your point about GFIT rates got anything to do with the fact that economies of scale both in Australia and internationally have pushed down the price of PV cells by about 70% over the last five years.

But by all means, continue to push your irrelevant point about GFITs. I'm happy for you to keep riding your hobby-horse of the moment. If it makes you happy, it makes me happy! :)

Missing the point, again, eh Duncan?

Breakaway
03-13-2015, 08:30 PM
Residential solar--as it appears to me here in the US--is geared towards using a consumer's roof as part of a network of power generation stations ( other consumer's roofs). The solar companies and utilities do not want "off-grid" self- or partially-sufficient, homes. Instead, they want to buy the power your PV array generates at a discount and pay you in the form of a credit against utility bills. These are the deals you're offered if you want the subsidy ( rebate ) from the government.

If a house-sized bank of batteries could be made with enough storage, at a cost that was reasonable, and with a reasonable lifetime, I could see escape from the utility. But until then, most people's lives are too power-dependent to live off-grid.

I am open to correction here, please.

Kevin

Duncan Gibbs
03-13-2015, 08:44 PM
Missing the point, again, eh Duncan?
Your "point" is like a broken pencil...

The Bigfella
03-13-2015, 08:47 PM
Your "point" is like a broken pencil...

Ah, the refuge of the left. Attack the man. How droll

leikec
03-13-2015, 09:16 PM
Residential solar--as it appears to me here in the US--is geared towards using a consumer's roof as part of a network of power generation stations ( other consumer's roofs). The solar companies and utilities do not want "off-grid" self- or partially-sufficient, homes. Instead, they want to buy the power your PV array generates at a discount and pay you in the form of a credit against utility bills. These are the deals your offered if you want the subsidy ( rebate ) from the government.

If a house-sized bank of batteries could be made with enough storage, at a cost that was reasonable, and with a reasonable lifetime, I could see escape from the utility. But until then, most people's lives are too power-dependent to live off-grid.

I am open to correction here, please.

Kevin

My good friend and her husband bought a solar panel system. They live in Ft. Worth, Texas. Their house is all electric, and their average monthly bill has gone from almost $200.00 to $17.00.

So far they are thrilled with their decision.

Jeff C

Duncan Gibbs
03-13-2015, 09:59 PM
Ah, the refuge of the left. Attack the man. How droll
I didn't attack you at all. I said your "point" is like a broken pencil.

Please provide any evidence I've "attacked" you, or "the man" anywhere within this thread.

I've suggested that you have a irrelevant particular hobby horse that you seem fixated upon in this thread that has precisely nothing to do with Mr Musk's development of a battery that will allow cheap off-grid power; but that's as close as I come anywhere casting nasturtiums.

Breakaway
03-13-2015, 10:34 PM
My good friend and her husband bought a solar panel system. They live in Ft. Worth, Texas. Their house is all electric, and their average monthly bill has gone from almost $200.00 to $17.00.

So far they are thrilled with their decision.

I know folks with similar stories. Ask your friends if they are allowed to store the energy they create under their agreement.Can they "cut the cord" if they like? And what is to stop the utility from raising rates/ decreasing the discount with time?

Kevin

Garret
03-13-2015, 10:40 PM
Residential solar--as it appears to me here in the US--is geared towards using a consumer's roof as part of a network of power generation stations ( other consumer's roofs). The solar companies and utilities do not want "off-grid" self- or partially-sufficient, homes. Instead, they want to buy the power your PV array generates at a discount and pay you in the form of a credit against utility bills. These are the deals you're offered if you want the subsidy ( rebate ) from the government.

If a house-sized bank of batteries could be made with enough storage, at a cost that was reasonable, and with a reasonable lifetime, I could see escape from the utility. But until then, most people's lives are too power-dependent to live off-grid.

I am open to correction here, please.

Kevin

Not quite correction, but... You're close. Having lived off grid for over 20 years, I've learned something about the costs. First & foremost - your utility provides you power for far lower cost than you can.

That being said, transferring some traditionally electric loads to propane (stove, oven, dryer, hot water - though many use some of these) can make it tolerable. Efficient refrigeration makes a huge difference - as most refrigerators out there are very inefficient.* If one then lives carefully, solar, wind or (if you're lucky) hydro can power a pretty normal house - as long as it's an efficient one & people are conscious about their consumption. Up-front cost is high, with the cost of the source + batteries + inverter. Batteries are only good for roughly 8 years & inverters are good for 10-15 - it all adds up. My small place (one occupant) has about $3000 worth of batteries & a $1000 inverter. This is 10% of what an average US house might need.

So - can the average US house go off-grid? No.

* refrigerators: I have an old Servel, No auto-defrost & lots of insulation. It has run for 5 months on one 5 gal. barbecue tank - and I keep my beer cold ;). A "normal" electric fridge will use far, far more power.

Breakaway
03-13-2015, 10:47 PM
First & foremost - your utility provides you power for far lower cost than you can.

This became painfully evident in the two weeks following Sandy. Running my 7kw genset 24/7 for 11 days cost me 390 bucks. But had I had a PV array, I still would have been running that genny. Because, as far as I know, they don't want me storing power and being self-sufficient.

Thanks for the reply.

Kevin

The Bigfella
03-14-2015, 12:03 AM
Actually lots of middle class households who wouldn't have been able to afford solar arrays on their rooves now have them and this has helped bump up the economies of scale making production of solar cells cheaper, as well as increasing the amount of business funded R&D making PV technology still cheaper and more efficient.

I'd be interested in any numbers you might have to back up your point that it was mainly richer households taking advantage of subsidised home PV arrays and what the actual amount of money involved was. IIRC the biggest of all the schemes was instituted under our last conservative PM Howard. Labor scrapped the scheme because it was too successful in the numbers of people applying for the grant.


Oh dear, we have to do the old I said, you said thing do we?

Here ^ you were responding to my comments about the Australian market. I note that you haven't used the words Australia or NSW or whatever.... but you sure as hell were responding to my comments about the Australian market.

Total installed capacity of PV arrays in Oz is about 4,000 MW according to this mob (http://pv-map.apvi.org.au/historical#4/-26.67/134.12)

Worldwide production of solar cells in 2011 was 37.2 GW

No, Australian demand did not bump up the economies of scale.... like you suggested

Phil Y
03-14-2015, 05:15 AM
An effective battery would allow power companies to store large amounts of power, evening out demand, and therefore reducing the need for peak capacity. I don't think any battery technology yet invented allows that. The Tesla thing seems like a gimmick at this stage.

PeterSibley
03-14-2015, 05:26 AM
An effective battery would allow power companies to store large amounts of power, evening out demand, and therefore reducing the need for peak capacity. I don't think any battery technology yet invented allows that. The Tesla thing seems like a gimmick at this stage.

The closest we come now is a dam uphill somewhere, pump it up, generate on the way down. Lots of loses but long battery life .

Canoez
03-14-2015, 07:09 AM
This became painfully evident in the two weeks following Sandy. Running my 7kw genset 24/7 for 11 days cost me 390 bucks. But had I had a PV array, I still would have been running that genny. Because, as far as I know, they don't want me storing power and being self-sufficient.

Thanks for the reply.

Kevin

I think you'll find that it's not that the power company doesn't want you to be storing power and self-sufficient. I think it has more to do with the aims of the government and the safety of linemen. Our solar system was installed under a government supported program - both State, Federal and Municipal support logistically and financially. The solar systems offered in the program were grid-tied. You could opt for things like a transfer switch and other things, but they were done by the installation contractor outside of the scope of the regular program.

Our solar panels have individual inverters that have circuitry to disconnect them if there is no line voltage sensed. This was intended to protect the linemen from voltage back-fed to the grid if we were out of the house during a power failure. As far as being grid-tied, I think this serves the Government's goal of reducing carbon emissions in that excess power is fed to the grid, offsetting the use of carbon-generated electricity. While I applaud Garret's solution and by no way mean to detract from his great system, it is, by nature, inefficient. He has efficiency losses in his battery charger, batteries going in and coming out, and through his inverter. For us, we get credits for all of the power we generate - without "losses" and can draw on the excess when it's dark or we're not generating electricity. As a homeowner, I prefer that. Once power storage and conversion become more efficient, that will change, and I think Musk's batteries are a step in that direction.

Someday, I may go off grid, but that time isn't now, and not with this particuar home.

Garret
03-14-2015, 07:17 AM
This became painfully evident in the two weeks following Sandy. Running my 7kw genset 24/7 for 11 days cost me 390 bucks. But had I had a PV array, I still would have been running that genny. Because, as far as I know, they don't want me storing power and being self-sufficient.

Thanks for the reply.

Kevin

If you ran it that much, and it's a regular Briggs or Tecumseh gas powered genset, you've also probably used at least half of its life expectancy - as they just don't last very long. If a Honda engine - then no worries. My last Honda genset had over 3,000 hours when it got stolen.

Dunno what the utilities want where you are. Around here they do buy home produced power & the folks I've talked to at my power company have been very positive as far as attitude goes. Of course mandated net metering & the gov't offering tax credits seem to makes Ian nuts, but I currently am hoping to take advantage of both.

Garret
03-14-2015, 07:21 AM
While I applaud Garret's solution and by no way mean to detract from his great system, it is, by nature, inefficient. He has efficiency losses in his battery charger, batteries going in and coming out, and through his inverter. For us, we get credits for all of the power we generate - without "losses" and can draw on the excess when it's dark or we're not generating electricity. As a homeowner, I prefer that. Once power storage and conversion become more efficient, that will change, and I think Musk's batteries are a step in that direction.


Thanks - but the main reason was $30,000 to run power in... In fact, I am moving & in the new house plan to have a grid-tied system. Exactly as you say, any extra produced becomes cleaner power someone else can use.

Breakaway
03-14-2015, 08:37 AM
I think you'll find that it's not that the power company doesn't want you to be storing power and self-sufficient. I think it has more to do with the aims of the government and the safety of linemen. Our solar system was installed under a government supported program - both State, Federal and Municipal support logistically and financially. The solar systems offered in the program were grid-tied. You could opt for things like a transfer switch and other things, but they were done by the installation contractor outside of the scope of the regular program. Our solar panels have individual inverters that have circuitry to disconnect them if there is no line voltage sensed. This was intended to protect the linemen from voltage back-fed to the grid if we were out of the house during a power failure. As far as being grid-tied, I think this serves the Government's goal of reducing carbon emissions in that excess power is fed to the grid, offsetting the use of carbon-generated electricity. While I applaud Garret's solution and by no way mean to detract from his great system, it is, by nature, inefficient. He has efficiency losses in his battery charger, batteries going in and coming out, and through his inverter. For us, we get credits for all of the power we generate - without "losses" and can draw on the excess when it's dark or we're not generating electricity. As a homeowner, I prefer that. Once power storage and conversion become more efficient, that will change, and I think Musk's batteries are a step in that direction. Someday, I may go off grid, but that time isn't now, and not with this particuar home.

Thanks for that. All great insights.

I guess I drifted from my original thrust which was to question the marketability of battery packs for residential use when there is so little market--and, apparently, no incentives to grow that market.


Ps. Garret .. Wasn't literally 24/7. I just meant " lots everyday. "

Kevin

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Canoez
03-14-2015, 12:58 PM
Thanks - but the main reason was $30,000 to run power in... In fact, I am moving & in the new house plan to have a grid-tied system. Exactly as you say, any extra produced becomes cleaner power someone else can use.

$30k to start paying someone else for electricity, versus a similar or smaller figure to generate your own power? That's a no-brainer.

Garret
03-15-2015, 12:12 AM
$30k to start paying someone else for electricity, versus a similar or smaller figure to generate your own power? That's a no-brainer.

Which explains why I was capable of making the decision!