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Number crunching

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

  1. Mr.Vanvandenburg

    Mr.Vanvandenburg Senior Member

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    One question is how does one know there won’t be water leaks from an installer’s work? Years ago I got Dish, and the large bolts were driven in by impact. I got hard to stop leaks, and wonder how the wood held up. I always pre-drill holes carefully, even with supposedly self cutting screws.
     
  2. John321

    John321 Senior Member

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    While this report is a little dated (generated toward the end of 2022 year and some information updated for 2024) it is interesting.
    Our state is decidedly unfriendly toward solar installation and an individual should expect no rebates or any compensation for energy production here at a state level.

    People may find it interesting to see how their state ranks - ours is 42nd out of 50 states for solar installation friendliness. Payback is very difficult here right now with some of the cheapest rates for electricity in the USA.

    Am especially interested in the systems like the Tesla one that use integral solar shingles. As the price of these type systems come down they would make a very attractive package for someone needing to reroof their home. Solar Roof | Tesla

    Most and Least Friendly States for Solar Energy (2022 Report) (2024) | Today's Homeowner (todayshomeowner.com)

    Ranked: Best And Worst States For Solar 2024 – Forbes Home
     
    #302 John321, Mar 27, 2024
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2024
  3. ETC(SS)

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

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    THOSE numbers will be interesting as well.

    The cheap CHI-Comm inverters of today will hopefully be replaced with not-quite-so Baofengy units in the years ahead.
    FOR NOW, I'm in a pretty quiet neighborhood.

    I was a DISH early adopter, only I did a DIY install.
    The company that I bought the unit from tried to dissuade me from going the self-install route and I listened patiently while they tried to tell me how difficult it would be "peaking the sat signals."
    I rolled my eyes, took the boxes and never had to deal with them again.
    I installed the dish on a 20' mast and it remains there to this day - albeit no longer in service and accompanied by some other antennae and a WX station.
    If I were single, and didn't get nearly free fiber internet from my employer I would be on Starlink TODAY.

    Same reason.
    I can take charge of all of the 'last mile' issues and there is a zero-percent chance that I will have to call for some minimally paid employee with NO SKIN in the game to work on my house.

    I will NOT let somebody else knock holes in MY roof happily, and I already know the contractor that I will use to replace my present roof. He's even more of an anal, know-it-all than I am and he does peerless work and stands by it.
    I will DIY my solar AND use all of the appropriate grounding and bonding with the charge controllers.
    It might involve a ground-install, but I will probably put the panels on the roof.
    It solves other problems.

    If my roof leaks from the solar?
    I will know whose fault it is.
    Same for the RFI, or other issues. :)
    As a bonus it will probably be cheaper than outsourcing the install and I can use the cost savings to buy better bracketing, charge controllers, panels, etc...etc.
     
    #303 ETC(SS), Mar 27, 2024
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2024
  4. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The company I used has a ten year warranty on that. The reputable ones will use some type of sealing system on the bolts.

    Or if you need a whole new roof anyway, and it fits the budget, get a standing seam metal roof. The panel mounts clamp onto the seams, so no piercing the roof covering.
     
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  5. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    In this case, instead of sharing neighborhood-level upgrade costs among the entire neighborhood, or similar system-wide upgrades among all ratepayers, it is being pushed onto individual early-adopter customers.

    I'm hearing word that some utilities in my state are already getting very close to the caps set by the legislature where the original net metering ends, and new solar exchange rules can be applied. It appears TBD whether legacy solar producers are to be grandfathered in to their original net metering, or put on to the wholesale/retail exchange rates that new solar producers will face. The answer may even vary by utility.

    My state's original production incentive program, which I was on for its final seven years (built too late for the allowed ten years), expired four years ago. When it breached its legislated subscription cap some years earlier, incentive payments were reduced on a pro-rata basis. The state legislature then adopted a second production incentive program, less lucrative, but that hit its subscription cap almost immediately, closing to new enrollments much earlier than expected. Customers who got into this program still have a few more years of incentive payments coming.
     
  6. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    My solution was to go with a no-hole installation, as Trollbait describes:
    and also DIY (for the solar system, not the roofing itself), as ETC(SS) describes:

    While I didn't do the re-roofing myself, I did spend considerable time up there with the actual workers, not just watching but also doing some of it. And cleaning up some things where the no-skin-in-the-game folks were not as diligent as they could have been, making sure seam clips were installed close enough, etc.
     
  7. ETC(SS)

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

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    The last time my roofer did work for me, replacing a roof on our shack in the county I monitored but did not assist.
    I could not have asked for more attention to detail with their work.
    After they left a painstaking search did not reveal ONE SINGLE bit of roofing material, fastener, or other debris in my yard.
    They charge 1.5-2x the going rate for their slapdash competition had they're booked for months in advance.
    This means that I will probably have to come out of pocket for $20K+ plus for the roof before dealing with the solar.

    The WAF factor for metal is very low, and they're only insurable for keeping water out - NOT for cosmetic hail damage, AND we're bothered by hail enough for it to be a factor in my eventual roof AND PV deployment.
    Actual mileage will vary on this, but if you're within 100 miles of a coast where autumnal storms are a thing - then you know the drill - or you'd better review your homeowners insurance sooner rather than later.

    upload_2024-3-28_5-2-15.jpeg upload_2024-3-28_5-4-55.jpeg

    I'm going to think about all of this while we cash flow the roof, and maybe install some batteries and inverters first along with getting more propane generation capacity.
     
    #307 ETC(SS), Mar 28, 2024
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2024
  8. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    We had bets going on what the upgrade would cost us.

    The invoice arrived 20% higher than the highest guess, so my system payback period just got 60 days longer. Hmm. That's a bummer, but I'll cope.
     
  9. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Almost done.

    Today I had a crew in my house to install the third mini-split system. So now every part of the house can be electrically heated or cooled.

    Just in time for some warm weather!

    Now we have our fingers crossed for getting the utility out here to upgrade our link so we can switch on the solar array. They've made a promise for this Friday.
     
  10. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    The power company came out last week and replaced my transformer. Now I have the shiniest one on the whole street.

    And today I received a completed authorization from the utility- I am now allowed to throw the switch and begin generating power.

    Oh, but they also said I'm free to wait until they install a bi-directional meter to accurately account for electricity I generate....

    Hmm.
     
  11. rjparker

    rjparker Tu Humilde Sirviente

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    I would turn it on and help offset your loads now. When the bi-directional meter is installed you can sell or bank surplus.
     
  12. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I might do that. They did mention one possible problem: they said there are certain meters that will read self-generated power as grid-delivered. In which case I'd be paying them for power I generate myself. So I think I need to do a test and see how the readings change over a day.

    Thinking tomorrow will be a good day for that.
     
  13. John321

    John321 Senior Member

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    Very interesting project.

    I am interested in how your system will work and cut your dependence on fuel oil.

    Hope you find the mini splits work well and provide all the comfort you need in the winter.
     
  14. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    They've already proven themselves. The oil heat had the house divided up into two zones. The mini-splits divided it into 7. 3 of those have been here for years now. The last 4 are more recent.

    This past winter, we were able to completely shut down one of the two oil zones. We didn't run it at all. That's what resulted in the 40% reduction in oil usage reported earlier in the thread.

    The installation done last week lets me lock out the second oil-heat zone.

    We still need to burn oil to get hot water, which is a massively inefficient process. But this is temporary; we will have an electric water heater (probably heat pump) installed next year.
     
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  15. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Just turn the system on, and watch the meter in real time. Whether mechanical spinning wheel on the original meters, or LCD bar segments on the newer digital meter (under the numeric readout), that reveal direction.

    Best done when the house isn't running much load, especially any variable loads. On my house on a decently bright day, without HVAC or water heat running, the answer would be immediately revealed.
     
  16. John321

    John321 Senior Member

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    I think a person like yourself focused on energy savings would be impressed by a heat pump water heater performance and savings.

    It is impressive what you have done so far!
     
  17. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Thanks. It's a numeric LCD that cycles through several... things. And it is not very sunny today, so I'll wait for tomorrow.
     
  18. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Still don't have the bi-directional meter, but the current LCD one does have arrows showing direction of electric flow.
     
  19. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I went out and had a play with the thing. There is a blinky arrow.

    And wouldn't you know? about 5 minutes after I threw the switch, it started blinking the other direction.
     
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  20. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Rechecking my digital meter, there are six little bar segments below the numeric digits. Two adjacent bars are always 'lit' (or darkened, because this is an LCD display), except when it wraps around the ends.

    When the house is consuming, the two spots march to the right. When the solar is producing more than the house is consuming, the two spots march to the left. I.e. both move in the same direction that the old mechanical disk used to turn. The speed is a function of flow rate.

    Mine also has several, one being "ERROR". Apparently the utility could program it to show gross outflow from production, but just hasn't gotten around to it. (This figure is kept internally and reported automatically to the utility via the 'smart meter' communications, just not displayed.) So the number displayed is just the gross inflow to the house.

    The old bi-directional mechanical meter showed only net energy flow, not gross. The new digital meter keeps separate registers for gross inflow and gross outflow, so net energy consumption from the grid is computed as their difference.

    There is an entirely separate meter for total solar production. The difference between that, and the billing meter's gross outflow, represents the solar energy immediately consumed (or stored) on-site, with flowing out to the grid.