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#1 Darklight

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 07:30 AM

Searched, but could only find one detailed thread covering solar installations in Bitches and Gripes

 

Am connected to the grid. I'd love to swerve it, because I don't see an end to the price increases, and because the technology seems to be more efficient than it used to be. I run a shit ton of stuff, as you can imagine. Autoclaves, flow hood, power tools

 

I do not understand my electricity bill, but I understand it's increased over 100% last few years. Not much provider competition in my area, am forced to pay highest prices for it and have had to scale back my business to accommodate that

 

This company is offering a solar install package deal in my area

 

http://www.gemenergy.com.au/northnsw/

 

Does it look any good? There were some installer ppl here a while ago, I'd love to hear feedback

 

Any system I put in would need to be able to leave the grid totally when battery technology improves. I have a love/hate relationship with the grid, I need to end it


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All the theories in the world won't help if you don't run an experiment. Just do it. And take good notes

#2 Alice

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 08:41 AM

I haven't been through the process of installing PV yet so I can't offer any first-hand advice, but I suggest checking out Whirlpool forums. Lots of discussion of peoples experience of installing PV, and there are a number of installers contributing to the discussions. Chances are you will find someone on there who has installed the same combination or has used that particular installer.

 

http://forums.whirlp...forum/143?g=371


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#3 Darklight

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 09:17 AM

Ooh ta Alice, Whirlpool is full of surprising stuff, I still associate them with computers and .au mostly til now :D


All the theories in the world won't help if you don't run an experiment. Just do it. And take good notes

#4 paradox

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 11:28 AM

found a few old threads, not sure how useful they will be though..

 

 

http://www.shaman-au...showtopic=22650

 

http://www.shaman-au...showtopic=20838

 

http://www.shaman-au...showtopic=19241

 

http://www.shaman-au...showtopic=19236



#5 paradox

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 11:36 AM

Moar

 

http://www.shaman-au...showtopic=25736

 

http://www.shaman-au...showtopic=18085

 

http://www.shaman-au...showtopic=25518

 

http://www.shaman-au...showtopic=24906

 

http://www.shaman-au...showtopic=28426

 

http://www.shaman-au...showtopic=26563



#6 tarenna

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 11:38 AM

We recently installed a 1.6kW grid connect system using a small local firm..

 

We use very little power (our family of 2 adults and a young child use less power than the average for a single person household) - so we needed to look very closely at the economics of PV before committing to the install. Because I work from home I am able to load-shift - that is do all our energy intensive tasks such as washing and vacuuming during the day when the system is pumping power out into the grid.. Our retailer only offers us 7c/kW hr for our export (unlike the 60c/kW hr for those signing up a few years back) so the only way we can make the arrangements work in an economically beneficial way is to use all (or as much of) the power we generate when it is being generated........ hence avoiding costly retail grid tariffs....

 

We also installed a solar hot water system at the same time and we have reduced our power consumption by 80-85%..... So with increasing retail costs we avoid the consumption but still get slugged heftily with the (gold-plated) poles and wires access costs - these now constitute well over 70% of our bill... We have built a system that can have a battery bank built into it - just waiting for lithium batteries to become cheaper and more efficient (probably about 3 years from now) - at which stage we are getting the hell off the grid.

 

I also run a standalone 1kW system with a 1360amp hour battery bank - it runs a small cottage (240V fridge, 3-4 lights, laptop and small stereo) for about 8 years now and have not needed to use any fossil fuel backup despite some really murky spells of weather....

 

Some concluding advice - look very closely at your power usage (in Kwh/day) - see whether you can shift your energy intensive usage to the daytime when you are generating maximum output this is likely to make the investment in solar an economically sound one.... Whittle down your consumption as much as you can (e.g. energy efficient fridge, solar hotwater, LED lights)... and look toward lithium batteries in a few years, this way you escape being gouged for the goldplating charges of the massive ($37 billion) investment in poles and wires across NSW (and seemingly other eastern states)...

 

Hope this helps....


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#7 paradox

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 11:42 AM

http://www.shaman-au...showtopic=29942

 

http://www.shaman-au...showtopic=28883

 

http://www.shaman-au...showtopic=28463

 

http://www.shaman-au...showtopic=33759



#8 Darklight

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 12:39 PM

Ta Paradox, those did show up in searches but I was interested in hearing of experiences that were recent and current practices rather than research announcements. Or from installers, we had a few here a while back but they have gone quiet

 

Did make me miss ReShroomEd terribly tho. Love that bloke. If you're reading this mate, thinking of you :)

 

Am thinking I'd rather get a quote from Rainbow Power Company, looking at their price for a similar system seems a smidge less, plus they're local so if anything goes awry it will be quicker to get a techie out


All the theories in the world won't help if you don't run an experiment. Just do it. And take good notes

#9 paradox

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 07:25 PM

shite, sorry for littering your thread haha :blush:



#10 Darklight

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 08:40 AM

Na, you didn't, it was lovely of you to have a go :)


All the theories in the world won't help if you don't run an experiment. Just do it. And take good notes

#11 theuserformallyknownasd00d

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 09:11 AM

Were currently doing the same as you DL. We just bought a house with a good system on the roof but only get 6c back per kWh or whatever it is so very much need to use energy during the day.

A mate told me to get in the roof and install some led wiring and drop a few in the roof of each room of the house, then hijack the original power points with the wiring to turn them on and off. You'd have a little spot in the linen cupboard to swap over the cheap twelve volt batteries that you'd charge on good days for free from your solar panels.

If I did this if want a few 12v power points etc to charge mobiles and laptops at night too.

Not a solution but a cheap project to run over the next few years maybe til the prices drop

#12 Realm

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Posted 23 March 2015 - 10:01 AM

Ever thought about buying or importing some lithium batteries from china?
Install a switch to disconnect from grid and use your solar panels to charge your batteries.

#13 zelly

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 09:42 AM

 

 

This company is offering a solar install package deal in my area

 

http://www.gemenergy.com.au/northnsw/

 

Does it look any good? There were some installer ppl here a while ago, I'd love to hear feedback

 

Any system I put in would need to be able to leave the grid totally when battery technology improves.

 

Your last statement says it all.  If you want to be able to divorce your self from the grid, you have to purchase a system outright & forget about leasing one from GEM Energy Australia.

 

Draw backs to Leasing:

 

The solar leasing companies own the solar panels, so they, not you, get the 30% (USA) federal tax credit.
The solar leasing lease companies own the power that your panels generate, so
although you will get a reduction in your monthly bill you will still be obligated to continue to pay the 80-90% utility payment to the solar leasing company. In essence they become your utility provider.
You’re buying your energy from the solar service provider, but in cases where your
panels don’t generate enough power you also have to buy your energy from your traditional utility.
The price per kilowatt may be fixed, but solar service providers often build in an annual
price escalator of 1-5%.
Transferring property ownership with a solar lease can be problematic. Solar contracts
require the new owner to take over the leases and terms, which often aren’t attractive terms to potential new owners who would prefer to own the equipment. In these cases the current owner may be liable for the remaining lease term and any fees associated with removing the equipment.
You can’t claim ownership or get credit on your appraised value with leased solar
panels.

 

 

The bottom line is that leasing solar panels is not a good economic decision for homeowners or a good business practice for building owners (commercial properties may make more economic sense), because leasing greatly diminishes the economic returns for building owners and makes money for the equipment owner, not the building owner. Leasing also encumbers the real estate selling process because prospective buyers may find that the equipment is obsolete and the terms from the solar service provider may not be attractive.

http://www.greenener...n-solar-panels/



#14 Darklight

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 08:53 AM

Ta for replies everyone. It's going to be a process.

 

I just got a coupla quotes from ppl to remove a very large Euc that is going to continue to block out most of the solar access year round for at least another 100 years ( planted pre-internet on the advice of a mate who planted 2 and had them die in 10 years, I thought this one would too )

 

Quote is gunna be about 2k minimum, so... um... by the time that happens technology may have advanced significantly.

 

Tradeoff could be tho if I spend 2k removing tree, I will save 2k on power bills. Leave it with me a bit :)

 

 


Some concluding advice - look very closely at your power usage (in Kwh/day) - see whether you can shift your energy intensive usage to the daytime when you are generating maximum output this is likely to make the investment in solar an economically sound one.... Whittle down your consumption as much as you can (e.g. energy efficient fridge, solar hotwater, LED lights)... and look toward lithium batteries in a few years, this way you escape being gouged for the goldplating charges of the massive ($37 billion) investment in poles and wires across NSW (and seemingly other eastern states)...

 

Fucking gold plating bastards. My aircon for the lab was approved by energy provider and overloaded the transformer to the point that living here was like working in a strobe light factory. Power fluctuated between 90-240v by the millisecond and chewed out a lot of circuit boards. Then they stuck another 2 houses on the transformer. Def didn't get my money's worth on that deal, my power prices rose while my gear burned out

 

If I reinstalled a more efficient lab aircon system it would run 24hr/ day but that would mean I could offset autoclave and flow hood use to middle of the day. Unsure how that would pan out over time re. billing

 

 

 

A mate told me to get in the roof and install some led wiring and drop a few in the roof of each room of the house, then hijack the original power points with the wiring to turn them on and off. You'd have a little spot in the linen cupboard to swap over the cheap twelve volt batteries that you'd charge on good days for free from your solar panels.

If I did this if want a few 12v power points etc to charge mobiles and laptops at night too.

 

Yup. Solar charged LED lighting for regular power outages we get here is a priority

 

 

Your last statement says it all.  If you want to be able to divorce your self from the grid, you have to purchase a system outright & forget about leasing one from GEM Energy Australia.

 

The website is unclear whether it is a lease/ buy arrangement or a straight out loan. I haven't followed it up due to large tree described at post beginning.


  • tarenna likes this
All the theories in the world won't help if you don't run an experiment. Just do it. And take good notes

#15 MountainGoat

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Posted 27 March 2015 - 06:30 AM

Or wait for new technologies to solve all the problems... If you haven't checked out peswiki before, its inspiring and tantalising.... Heaps of grid-less dreams there. But might be a another few years till they're available for purchase..... 

 

http://peswiki.com/i...gy_Technologies



#16 gtarman

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Posted 27 March 2015 - 01:30 PM

Hey DL. My advice is do a lot of background research on a company before you decide on any, which I'm sure you will. I was thinking of moving into the sales field in solar energy and I actually went and interviewed at a bunch of places, and because I despise nothing more than the idea of selling a product/service to others that I wouldn't pay for myself, I did a tonne of research into the industry.

 

There's a lot of recent startups around who just sprang up to capitalize on the government's renewable incentives and public interest in solar/electricity prices, and many of them are prettty shady operations, and there's a lot of amateurs out there as well that while not shady per se are still not really that knowledgable or experienced. And these guys are everywhere. Generally they all seem to employ door-to-door sales tactics and tell people they're "just doing some work in the area and thought we'd see if you're interested", but the only "work" they do in the area is usually sending out a bunch of salespeople to knock on doors.

 

A big thing to watch out for is the quality and brand of equipment they use, whether or not the panels are properly matched to the inverter, and whether or not they have much of a clue about those sorts of things. The best way to be able to tell is probably to pick up a decent book that explains solar systems and their proper design for homeowners, like this sort of thing: http://www.amazon.co...=solar handbook

 

Might be a little bit of a learning curve involved but it's an investment that will pay off when you get a system that's exactly right the first time :)


Edited by gtarman, 27 March 2015 - 01:31 PM.






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