Electric Rates (where you live)

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by markabele, May 18, 2013.

  1. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    I can count on my crooked toes the number of people who think they are paying too little in taxes.

    It is really besides the point though. The cost of PV is what it is.

    I peripherally follow PG&E antics. I get the feeling the company is now agitating to remove your generous subsidy. Do you have a long-term PPA, or can PG&E change your rebate in the same way it changes rates ?
     
  2. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    it's actually worse than that ... if you go to the California utility/power website it shows that 30 percent of CA electricity is imported from other states. N. CA mostly imports hydro - but the southern half of the 30% comes from a mix of nuke/gas/coal factories in Arizona. Outsourcing your power sources can make you look cleaner than you really are. :confused:
    .
     
  3. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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    Check your city ordinances before you dry your clothes outside.
     
  4. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    What they cannot see will not hurt them.
     
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  5. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    While I'm not a proponent of violating city codes, this is not a health and safety issue. If the city wants to require un-green clothes drying for aesthetic reasons, I'm ready to put up a real fuss.
     
  6. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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  7. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    It is not that hard to hide a clothesline. My neighborhood Assn is very aggressive about aesthetics. So in the same way that my neighbors block their ugly AC machines from view by picket fences/trees etc, I do the same for my clothesline. Meaning, I completely accept and follow the intent of the law, just not the letter. I also line dry underwear, but that is inside.
     
  8. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Outdoor drying is not a year-round application here, so my clothesline is not permanently installed. It goes up only when I need it (the spouse doesn't often use it for her clothes yet, just unusual large items), and comes down when my clothes are done. The rest of the time, the only evidence is an inconspicuous pair of hooks on the back wall and fence. It is not visible from any street.

    Small items usually go on a wooden drying rack, set up at ground level, visible to even fewer neighbors.

    The electric resistance heat was displaced by a ductless heat pump a few years ago (the old heat remains for backup and supplemental use). The electric resistance water heater, recently metered at 280kWh in 30 days, is scheduled to be replaced by a heat pump water heater tomorrow. I think the electric dryer is the next largest energy consumer, but haven't yet decided how to measure it.
     
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  9. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    I have a "portable" pop-up umbrella type clothes line. I take it outside in summer, and it sits inside in winter (a great way to add moisture to the air). Unfortunately, I've been extremely complacent this year and used the dryer more than the line. I also utilize my deck railing for really large items like blankets and sheets.

    Fuzzy1 - Most electric dryers are around 1500W worth of heating element. Depending upon how often you run the dryer, it isn't really much extra use because it's typically on less than an hour per load - at least in my case with the HE washing machine finishing with just damp clothes.
     
  10. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Only 1500W? That would fit a standard 120V, 20A circuit. My dryer requires a dedicated 240V, 30A circuit, which means it exceeds 3840W.

    A quick search for replacement dryer heater elements finds power ratings of 5400W, 5200W, 5500W, 4750W, etc.

    On heavy laundry days, the whole-house energy use jumps sharply. The recently installed submeter on the water heater circuit shows that it cannot account for the bulk of that difference. And a continuous 1500W dryer load isn't enough to account for the rest.
     
  11. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    You're right, mine's 5400W. Now I'm wondering where I saw the 1500W number. I know it was somewhere, and on something lol.

    My dryer on medium heat, normal cycle starts at 47 minutes for the cycle. I don't think it usually takes that long, though. The items that take longest drying for me are the blankets - one becomes a big ball, and the down comforter is too fluffy so doesn't get good air flow. I'm curious as to the % of power used at the various heat settings, now.

    On a side note, somehow I dropped my April 20ish-May 20ish electric usage from the grid down to 57 kwh this year. I'm not sure how, but either I really cut back on usage or had a better month of production from the PV array. Admittedly, my PIP was at the collision shop for 3 of those 4 weeks, but even I was impressed with that final number.
     
  12. CharlesJ

    CharlesJ Member

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  13. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    It passed inspection Friday, and is now awaiting the official production meter. The heat pump water heater (HPWH) was also installed Friday.

    This is just a starter system, I'm guessing 15-20% of the capacity needed for an annualized 'net zero'. But as we enter both peak solar production season and minimum energy consumption season, there will be some 'net zero' days.

    Sunday was getting close, with good production, and a bunch of laundry mostly line dried, just enough machine time to fluff towels. Monday virtually made it, with a fractional kwh of consumption after a single laundry load was badly timed and had to be machine dried (2kWh) after dark. Otherwise, the 8.5 kWh of PV supplied all the hot water for three showers, a dishwasher and laundry load, and all the other electricity for the house. But in a slight one-time cheat, the new water heater's setting was also turned down a few degrees after learning that its initial setpoint was more than necessary.

    Today appears cloud-free, with no planned laundry or dishwasher loads. This should produce a true 'net zero' day.

    PS. Before conservation efforts began in earnest, seven years ago, this house averaged 26.9 kWh/day for the billing cycle (2 months) just finished, and 18.7 per day for the cycle just starting. Since those efforts started, average use dropped to 20.6 and 15.2 respectively.

    Since the HPWH was first turned on at this time 4 days ago, with a tank full of cold water, net energy has been just 15 kWh (48 kWh used, offset by 33kWh produced).
     
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  14. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Fuzzy,

    33 kWh of PV in 4 days from a 1.3 kW array sounds almost too good to be true. Perhaps possible, but a maximum I suspect.
     
  15. SLOW_RR

    SLOW_RR Member

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    Four good sunny days, that's what he should expect this time of year over on the west coast. My 4.2 kW system produced 30 kWh yesterday alone. And, I'm in good old hazy, cloudy New York State.
     
  16. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    The rated microinverter capacity is 1.29kW, though the monitor shows it often reaching 1.35kW. The panel STC rating is 1.62kW. The difference may be throwing off your metrics.

    The mismatch was driven by a price anomaly. I stumbled into some 270W panels much cheaper than the sibling 245-265W panels, but still on the approval list for the microinverters.
     
  17. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Is the 1.35 kW before or after the inverter ? If the panels last, that is a great find. In 10 years you might still be able to saturate your inverter.

    I'm feeling a little gun-shy about PV these days, since the rapid price decreases have led to quality problems that are still poorly documented, along with warranties that are debatable value. I'm sure these growing pains will sort themselves out, but for now generic panels from China are a gamble. E.g.,

    PV_degradation.png
     
  18. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Enphase M215 microinverters, 215 W output each, but the gateway monitor has shown all of them reaching 225W.

    The panels are SolarWorld, with the 'Made in USA' logo, I believe from Oregon. But that just means final assembly, not the wafers and PV die.

    The single old Siemens panel that was on my roof for 19 years still hits 98% of Voc and 100% of Isc in cold uncontrolled ground conditions. But that wasn't made in China either.
     
  19. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    I trust SolarWorld as much as the name brand Japanese brands. Lucky you!!

    Yeah, now the generation makes more sense since you are just about reaching STC in order to get 1.35 kW inverter output.

    If I had your current setup I could net-zero my home AND power an EV for our local driving. I'm feeling a bit green right now. As in, with envy.
     
  20. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    Fuzzy or Sage - Do either of you know if the dimensions of those 270W panels are the same footprint as the lower wattage ones? I have 26 - 200W GE panels (AstroPower? panels), and that 70W difference, if the same square footage, is a 30% increase. That'd make for a good way for me to upgrade down the line, if I chose to. I have a central inverter, but I can't imagine switching to micro's would be much issue.

    I'm looking at an iGust wind turbine to add on. Only 800W, but I can mount on a 1.5" steel pole about 5 foot above the roof line and be OK. It'd mostly be to offset the power for the PIP, since it's estimated around 1100 kw during the year. If I had better wind, I'd go with a VAWT (vertical axis) option that's rated much higher.
     
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