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Number crunching

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by Leadfoot J. McCoalroller, Apr 22, 2022.

  1. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Hmm, I thought the grill size ones only held 5lbs of fuel.

    The ones I got look similar, but they're considerably taller. They just barely fit standing up in the back of the Prius. I often see ones like it mounted on the tongues of camping trailers.

    My generator is the same size as yours and also dual fuel, and couldn't come close to running the whole house. But I don't need it to. Sump pump, well pump, oil burner, fridge, freezer, wifi & lights gets an awful lot done for us, and then maybe I might select other loads briefly beyond that.

    One thing that helps a lot is that I installed some meters and current transformers on the genny feed into my main panel, so from the panel I can see exactly what the total load is on the generator and add/dump load as needs arise.
     
  2. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I looked it up. It is not 25lb but regular BBQ grill tank is 20lb. That is what I have. Five of them. They are easy to find locally. I can get them from many places. Yes it has only 5Gal (not 5lbs) of LPG. I've never seen 30lb tank myself, but it should hold about 7.5Gal of LPG. I can get up to 100lb portable tank which would hold about 25Gal of LPG.

    However, I am not interested in a portable propane tank. The point is to store large quantities of LPG on site so that I can ran a generator for multiple days without refuelling. It is for the worst case disaster days when I can't run to store to get more fuel (or stores are not able to sell).

    We use to have a 120Gal stationary propane tank on our property for our heaters which we no longer use. It was about 5' tall 2.5' diameter upright tank.

    A 350Gal tank is substantially larger. About 9'11" long and 30" diameter, and is a "torpedo" tank placed horizontally. It can hold about 300Gal of LPG when full. Considering LPG has 80% efficiency of gasoline, and since I use about 20 gal of gasoline per day for the current generator, I estimate 25Gal of propane usage per day. Meaning a full 300Gal of LPG would last about 12 days which I hope is long enough days for the repair and restoration of infrastructure.
     
    #282 Salamander_King, Dec 19, 2023
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2023
  3. Louis19

    Louis19 Active Member

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    Yes , typical heavy overcast occurs frequently and reduces sun hours quite drastically . BTW my lattitude is 45.5699500°
    I tip my hat to you for freeing up some energy from your solar to benefit for the region
     
  4. Louis19

    Louis19 Active Member

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    Yes , typical heavy overcast occurs frequently and reduces sun hours quite drastically . BTW my lattitude is 45.5699500°
    I tip my hat to you for freeing up some energy from your solar to benefit for the region
     
  5. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Looks like I live more Northern than you do. About 47° latitude. Still that did not prevent many venture capitalistic green wash entrepreneur companies to join the band wagon to enter the state funded community solar project. In essence, the state approved community solar farms can sell electricity it generate for a full retail kWh price including the distribution cost not just the supply cost. Our current retail supply rate is $0.16/kWh. But total cost of electricity is $0.32/kWh. The solar generated electricity is sold at this retail cost of $0.32/kWh. And as you know, there is no fuel cost to generate solar electricity.

    The catch is that to cover the cost of "buying" solar electricity at 3 to 4 times over conventional wholesale electricity supply, entire rate payers in our state are charged ever increasing grid electricity rate regardless of participation in the community solar project.

    I just refuelled the generator for the night. It should last till morning. We are expecting the temperature drop tonight, so the heater is back on now. The last few days were unseasonally warm. I had the heat turned off. With our 7500W peak/6500W sustained generator, we can use heat and hot water (oil boiler), water (deep well pump), lights, refrigerators (two full size fridge/freezer), freezers (one full size upright and med size chest freezers), and almost any other electronic appliances as long as being careful not to turn on too many high watt appliances such as microwave oven, toaster, electric kettle, rice cooker, etc at the same time. Only off limit exceptions are the oven, cloths dryer, and PHEV charger.
     
  6. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I'm not going to be that precise, but just say that I'm between 47.5° and 48.0°.
     
    Louis19 likes this.
  7. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    The grid power is now restored at our home. Yey!

    It was 50 hours of outage for our home. I was lucky it did not take longer. I read some locations are totally isolated due to flooding destroying roads and bridges and no power. Then there are many homes destroyed by fallen trees. We had no property damages other than more than a few fallen trees in our back woods. If close enough, I will cut it for fire wood, but that is next spring chores.

    The rest of the week looks clear. I can finally get ready for Christmas.
     
  8. Louis19

    Louis19 Active Member

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    Thanks for your analysis , it seems that the participation in a community solar project differs alot depending where you live in the USA. Where I live , participation in solar individual project is anecdotal .Hydro-Québec is owned by the provincial goverment . It provides generation and distribution of electricity .95% from hydropower and the remaining comes from wind power generator Total power is 40 186 MW .As for standard domestic rate , it is based on a billing period of 60 days . The first 2400 KW/h are billed at $0.049 USD .the remaining energy is billed at $0.075 USD per KW/h .System access charge is billed daily at $0.33 USD.
    Just read your power is back ! good news
     
    #288 Louis19, Dec 20, 2023
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2023
    ETC(SS), Salamander_King and John321 like this.
  9. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Thanks. As much as I want to live off-grid some day, it is nice to be connected.

    As for your electric rate, I envy your low $0.049USD/kWh rate or even next tier $0.075USD/kWh, even with the daily access charge of $0.33 USD. We use about 1000kWh/mo. Since we don't have electric heat or cooling, the usage does not fluctuate much throughout year. At your rate, 60 days will be 2000kWh at $0.049USD/kWh or $98 for 2mo. Plus $19.80USD for access fee for 2mo. That is only $118USD for 2mo or $59USD per month.

    Compare that to what we pay at $0.32USD/kWh. That's $320USD/mo. With 15% discount from the community solar, it is still at $272USD/mo. For residential solar for this much electricity, the upfront cost is $35k to $40k, so even with 30% tax credit, it still cost $24.5k to $28k. So even at our very high electric rate the pay back period is about 100mo or 8 years plus a few months.

    If the electricity is as cheep as yours, it would take 38 years to just recoup the initial cost. No wonder it makes no sense to install residential solar in your area. I sure would not.
     
    Louis19 likes this.
  10. John321

    John321 Senior Member

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    Here is an attachment for an energy project I did on my home recently.

    Maybe it would help someone or spark an idea for another energy project from someone else.

    Hope it is okay with op to post it here, if not let me know and I will delete this post and attachment.

    Thank you ChapmanF for telling me how to post attachment I appreciate it- it was very nice of you to take the time to tell another how to post a file!
     

    Attached Files:

    #290 John321, Jan 4, 2024
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2024
  11. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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  12. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    We commissioned the PV system today.

    I can't really run it since the utility still hasn't done their upgrade, but we did connect briefly to validate the system.

    All 20 inverters came online and the system made about 1,800W in a drizzling rain. *backflips done*

    The hardest part was dealing with their app and enrollment system, but once we got through that we were able to see that the equipment was performing properly.

    Can't wait to put it on-line!!
     
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  13. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Congrats!
    Looking forward to seeing the crunchy numbers.

    1.8kw in the rain 'ain't nothing.'
     
  14. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    We had a distinguished visitor to our little patch today.

    It was the man with the clipboard in the little white pickup with the blinky light on top and the utility company logo on the side.

    He'd come around to work his pencil on the forms attached to the clipboard. He walked up and down the street looking at the poles in front of my house, and my neighbors houses, made notes, got in the pickup and left. And by random luck, I was at home packing my toolbox for my next road gig.

    In theory, this was the engineer verifying that their historical drawings and records lined up with reality, and I'll shortly get some mail telling me how to buy the transformer that will make it legal for me to turn on my fancy new solar panel.

    Fingers remain crossed...
     
  15. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Just noticed today that the bidirectional meter was installed.
     
  16. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    An underhanded way for the utility to upgrade their equipment without paying for it themselves?

    For now at least, solar customers should be reducing the load on the local neighborhood transformers, not increasing it. When nearly every house on a given small transformer is heavily solarized, then I can see a possible potential problem maybe developing. But not when just one, or a minority, are.

    Maybe I am just spoiled to be on a extremely solar-friendly public utility, instead of a profit-seeking private utility.
     
  17. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Ratepayers ALWAYS pay in the end. ;)

    I have to use a Co-Op, which may in the end be advantageous for me in several different ways.

    Solar is on my 5-year plan - and by then they will be cheaper, more efficient, and cleaner (RFI) and thus will add more value to my humble abode.
     
  18. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    The panel prices have fallen more than 99% from first commercial availability to today. Batteries still have a long way to drop, which is why I went for direct grid-tie.

    Efficiency will continue to improve, but there are other factors worth paying attention to. As @fuzzy1 touched on above, there may come a day when the neighborhoods are so full of solar setups that the utility starts saying no, or vastly reduces the payback rate. This happened a year ago in California.

    I wanted to get the foundation in the ground, watts on the wires and the tax rebate in my pocket before the wind started blowing the other way.

    It is my long-term hope that we strip the frame and replace the panels and inverters with more powerful ones later. We put in fatter interconnect wiring on speculation to possibly enable that.

    Where RFI is concerned, most of the problems are from lousy installations and less developed/cheaper inverters.

    After mine is generating I'll go have a listen with the spectrum analyzer and some ordinary receivers to see if I catch anything.
     
  19. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    I'm thinking about starting small:
    • 1.5-2.5 kW small solar panels over kitchen roof, near EV parking.
    • Separate, non-grid, 240 VAC circuit to NEMA 14-50
    • Charge my 'parked' EV (I have two) during daylight
    Thoughts?

    Bob Wilson
     
  20. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    It is happening here in Maine already before even we start adopting solar in wider areas. The residential solar is still very rare in my neighborhood, but commercial community solar is popping up everywhere because of lucrative state incentives for the developer. But the costs are being picked up by ratepayers. The average electric rate from the utility increased 188% in the last 6 years. Most hikes are due to supply cost increases, but increasing transmission/distribution rate for the grid maintenance and stranded cost increase to cover the overpaid incentives for solar are making electricity rates go up quicker than gas and oil.

    I have another contractor appointment on Friday to give me an estimate for solar panels. If anything has changed from last year's estimate.