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Forum Index : Solar : Renewable grid???

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Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 727
Posted: 07:35am 30 Sep 2020
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I know I am preaching to the enlightened here ( a Rare audience these days) but just reflecting on the much championed idea of a renewable powered grid with real world experience.

This week my solar has produced ( as it presently is) a high of 91 Kwh and a low of 21.  The 21 wasn't even a wet day. On those I have got down to 12 Kwh when I had more panels up than I presently have re arranging things.

Last weekend we had gale force winds literally that snapped many of the trees in the area in half. Didn't pull them out the ground, it snapped 22" tree trunks in the middle.  Don't remember seeing that before.

Since Sunday night, not a breath of wind have we had. Having wind backup this last few days would be completely useless in making a KW of power at all.

I think it really highlight the problems and frankly ignorance of the idea of powering a grid from such undependable power sources.  Of course the proponents all scream batteries but clearly they have zero idea of what that would involve.

My own setup is only tiddly winks but none the less, it would reflect the scaling of any size setup. I averages around 85Kwh a day being I got that 4 days but how could one possibly put in enough extra generation to cover potentially an 80% fall off that may last for over a week?

And of course this is over a week at a good time of year.  To be totally reliant you'd have to first cover your winter falloff in generation and then the bad weather days on top of that.  If you needed 1 Kwh of power you'd probably need to install 5-10 X than one needed to be sure.  Not in any way practical.

Off gridders know this and have backup generators but for the grid, a backup generator is a power station and several of them.


I think it's a travesty that we are being sold such a lie by profiteering companies cashing in on a movement that is pretty falsely based anyway. With plans to shut down our few remaining FF power stations, Investing in companies doing home size generators might be the best investment one could make.

I have also been reading where the Power Grubs in SA are making all new connections connected to the net so they can shut down the inverters remotely. This isn't just stop backfeed to the grid, it's shut the things down so the home owner would be buying power from the grid at a peak time both in prices and generation which is the guise for the wanting to control private solar setups.

Again, the spin doctoring of wanting to protect the grid form power over loads is corporate speak for making the customer pay for their stuffups and Mismanagement.

To me it does beg the question though, if they are worried about grid overload, why are they still allowing more solar farms to be Built and why aren't they taking the farms off line when there is too much power instead of making people pay for equipment and in extra power costs?

I think will all know the "P" word that answers that question.
 
mab1
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Joined: 10/02/2015
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 46
Posted: 06:30pm 30 Sep 2020
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Batteries are just ONE solution; on-grid they are most useful as stabilisers for fluctuating demand and RE input - rather than keeping a big FF powered steam turbine spinning 'just in case'.

Another solution might be long range (high voltage d.c.) interconnectors - the larger the interconnected area, the more the weather averages out - i.e., the bigger the area, the less likely it is that there's no wind anywhere within that area.

And taking it to the extreme, if power could be transferred long distance east-west to different timezones then peak demand would be spread out, and north south would allow solar in southern europe/africa to supply norther parts in winter and southern africa in the summer.

Of course this may be more feasible in densely populated europe than Australia - if you have relatively remote, small communities then a FF power station might be the only practical power reserve for some time.

I can't really speak for the politics of Aus grid and power companies tho' - I don't know anything about them.
 
noneyabussiness
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Joined: 31/07/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 330
Posted: 06:38pm 30 Sep 2020
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The biggest problem with all these renewable " ideas " is greed.  You will never successfully implement any long term solution while the short term mighty dollar rules... which all the big wigs in these companies care about, unless it turns a profit asap it just simply won't happen, or extremely slowly.
I think it works !!
 
Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 727
Posted: 12:07am 01 Oct 2020
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  noneyabussiness said  The biggest problem with all these renewable " ideas " is greed.


I agree completely.
It's never about the best, most practical or workable Idea with anything.
It's about the most profitable.

I Don't really believe that are any practical Solutions to grid scale alternative energy of any type atm.  They all have flaws that are well know. The best alternative in my book right now is to just keep doing what we are doing and improve current technology as we can until a practical and sensible alternative is developed.
We don't need to build anything these days, computer modelling will get you there 95% of the way without wasting a single resource.

Already around the world Solar and wind farms are being abandoned or torn down because they did not live up to anywhere near expectation.  In most cases these facilities have been an over all detriment in the amount of energy generated as to that used to create them along with emissions and other goals their very existence was supposed to benefit.

The bottom line is the planet as a whole would have been far better of if NOTHING was done at all.  Repeatedly creating these mistakes which are well known to be detrimental in what their stated goal is although can be profitable in pulling in investor money and Gubbermint grants should be stopped because they are a lie.

In my observation the green movement is the worst for this. They are so hell bent on achieving an idealogical goal, they do far more damage than if they did nothing.

It's time to stop the profiteering and put some honesty and legitimacy back into these areas that at this point, are a complete and utter lie and delusion.
 
noneyabussiness
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Joined: 31/07/2017
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Posts: 330
Posted: 02:39am 01 Oct 2020
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I still do believe there needs to be investment in renewables, just more realistic goals and WAYYY less wastage... won't happen, but we can always dream / hope...
I think it works !!
 
Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 727
Posted: 09:03am 01 Oct 2020
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  noneyabussiness said  I still do believe there needs to be investment in renewables, just more realistic goals and WAYYY less wastage... won't happen, but we can always dream / hope...


Yes, the trouble with the green movement is they see things as uncompromising in their way only.

The logical and obvious  thing to do right now would be to  set the grid up so the renewables  take the load of the FF power stations when they can and make savings in emissions where practical. When that RE power isn't available, we should have power plants in place that can take up the shortfall and maintain supply.

It's definitely doable, it's definitely practical but it's not the most Profitable way of doing things so that discounts the idea and any other sensible approach.

I do see 2 sides to this. There are the green washed whom have the all  or all  mentality their way whom basicly play out as useful idiots for the corporations and their profit agendas. It's been proven that Big biz funds a lot of these green groups because they look to be in opposition but actually serve a purpose that advertising just can't buy.  

The whole thing really is just a manufactured Crock in a very transparent disguise.
 
renewableMark

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Joined: 09/12/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 1633
Posted: 10:28pm 01 Oct 2020
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My house is off grid, it relies on a battery alone (1000ah @48v), being topped up by 12kw of panels.
I have a backup charger ready to hook up with a gen but haven't used it since making that. Previously I used a small 48v charger and only used that once in 12 months.

This works in a Melbourne winter.
East, West and North arrays.
Winter use is about 10kw hr per day, in summer I let the air con rip and may use 30kw hr as there is an endless supply then.
BTW we don't live trying to avoid power use, we live the same way as before it was off grid.

I couldn't give a stuff what the power companies or grid is doing.
Cheers Caveman Mark
Off grid eastern Melb
 
Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 727
Posted: 10:20am 02 Oct 2020
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  renewableMark said  
Winter use is about 10kw hr per day,


I'm guessing you also have energy input from Gas or wood?
 
noneyabussiness
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Posted: 10:19pm 02 Oct 2020
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10kwh is easy with that many panels, i myself have at least that and even on the " bad " days still get close to that.. i have Genny backup too, even still have a grid connection, rarely use it....
I think it works !!
 
Davo99
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Posted: 12:07pm 03 Oct 2020
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I agree, 10 Kwh is a walk in the park even on completely wet days if you have enough panels. My record so far is 102 Kwh and that was probably a couple of months ago. I have taken down 7 Kw of panels since and still made 91 kwh today.

The thing mark was talking was consumption I believe and heating and running a house on 10 KWh in winter with  no other heat source is basically not doable for any sort of normal home on a latitude with Melbourne or Sydney for that matter.

I'm on the outskirts of Sydney where it regularly gets to freezing in winter but I'll bet it's a lot warmer than Melbourne. One could probably do it in a flat or other very small place but an average 3-4 Bedroom home.... I don't think so. Not without help.

The problem with batteries on a house hold level is units and flats. No where near enough roof area  for panels to generate the power needed.  Sydney is predicted to have 30% of it's population living in units in the next 10 years so none of those people will be able to generate their own renewable power.

For the grid to be able to store enough power for them is just not feasible unless they want to pay 10X the price they are paying now.

I like the idea of off grid and if it ever becomes the best financial option, I'm there.
 
solarwind

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Joined: 03/02/2008
Location: South Africa
Posts: 51
Posted: 09:31pm 03 Oct 2020
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  Davo99 said  
  renewableMark said  
Winter use is about 10kw hr per day,


I'm guessing you also have energy input from Gas or wood?


I like your point of view and agree totally!
You don't have success until you've tried it!
 
solarwind

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Joined: 03/02/2008
Location: South Africa
Posts: 51
Posted: 09:33pm 03 Oct 2020
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  renewableMark said  My house is off grid, it relies on a battery alone (1000ah @48v), being topped up by 12kw of panels.
I have a backup charger ready to hook up with a gen but haven't used it since making that. Previously I used a small 48v charger and only used that once in 12 months.

This works in a Melbourne winter.
East, West and North arrays.
Winter use is about 10kw hr per day, in summer I let the air con rip and may use 30kw hr as there is an endless supply then.
BTW we don't live trying to avoid power use, we live the same way as before it was off grid.

I couldn't give a stuff what the power companies or grid is doing.


Solar. when available, should be used to its full extent and I fully agree with your viewpoint.
Edited 2020-10-04 07:35 by solarwind
You don't have success until you've tried it!
 
Davo99
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Location: Australia
Posts: 727
Posted: 11:00am 04 Oct 2020
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  solarwind said  

Solar. when available, should be used to its full extent and I fully agree with your viewpoint.


I looked at a few " Alternative Energy" Forums which frankly were all over run by zealots who thought " alternative" HAD to mean Green / Renewable and berated anyone that didn't follow that mantra.

One berating I got was in a discussion about the stressed power grid in Summer. All the do gooders were championing " Smart" AC systems that could be switched off remotely by the grid operators when the grid was stressed.
I said I was not going to give up my comfort and that of my family because of the mismanagement of power companies and would run my Big Ducted AC as I wanted because that's what it was bloody there for!

Didn't that light the bedwetters up. I was told it was unfair I should " Blast" my whole home with the AC when I could probably get by with just cooling a room or two and not tax the grid and be selfish.

I pointed out that ( at the time) I could run my ac flat out and still be pumping over 5 KW back into the grid with the solar I had and that was at 4 Pm in the afternoon ( would we well over 10kw now but anyway).  I also asked some of the indignant how much power THEY fed back to the grid when it was most needed?  Got crickets to that question of course. Many of these over the top types at best have a small system, some insulation in the roof, turn off some appliances at the power point and think they are saving the world.

The next thing I was accused of was " Wasting" the power I was making by running the AC.
Umm, how is using something for a valid purpose, the purpose it's there for in fact " wasting" it?  I should only cool half the house and send the rest back to the grid which I don't get paid for or should I turn my inverters off and let everything just sit there? No, that wouldn't be a waste would it?
Morons.  Jealous, petty, close minded morons in fact.

Like Mark, I use the power I have put in the effort to make from the renewable, clean Yada, yada panels and setup I have installed for my comfort and in the altruistic level, I'm also helping prop up the mismanaged grid by providing power they struggle to deliver so my neighbours can run their AC on hot days so they can also be comfortable.  Last summer it was more than that. The woman next doors elderly and sick mother was staying with her so it was more than comfort for her, was effectively life support.  

I get great satisfaction and comfort from being able to have my home warm or cool as I want it and not have to cringe about the bill.

Some Friends I haven't seen since Christmas and just moved into their new home just before came over yesterday.  I had been discussing solar with them  when I saw them and mates position was "We'll see how we go and get an idea of what it's going to run the place and decide then". Fair enough.  Yesterday was telling me they discovered how much it costs to heat the place. Bit different to the little units they had both lived in before separately and together before getting their home.

They are pretty Keen to get solar now also having a clue what Cooling the place is going to likely cost. Mate has a smart meter and showed me that they had on one day when the mother was over hit almost $20 for the day keeping the place warm for her.
I showed him my own records that I used more than that several days and my power bill averaged out at $2.16 a day.

That's a big thing for me, the luxury of being able to not worry about how much hot water is being used, the cost of running the AC, the daughter can dry  2 articles of clothing at a time and I don't give a rats.  It's a good feeling and one well worth  what I regard as the minimal cost, a bit of sweat and effort which I write off to exercise anyway.

Do do wish I could find something to put all the extra solar power I make in summer towards.  I have an idea for some tractor accessories I'm building for myself and My father that are Popular OS but very expensive here when you can get them... which isn't often. Can put some of the power to welding and using the plasma cutter but I doubt if that will even make a dent in it.

If I could nuild a "Neatness machine" to run round after me, I could use all my solar and suck the grid dry at the same time.  :0(
 
Georgen
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Joined: 13/09/2011
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Posts: 453
Posted: 11:53am 04 Oct 2020
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I would use A/C in half the house if I would not have to go to the half that is not cooled down.

My reason would be AC wear and tear, that most probably more affects running AC than AC on standby.

(Could be wrong here)
George
 
noneyabussiness
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Posted: 09:05pm 04 Oct 2020
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Its like the water allocation up here, we pay some of the highest rates in the state, if not country, and part of that is our water. Which needed to be upgraded 20 years ago,  but sure enough they have been arguing over whos responsible blah blah for 19 of those 20 years.

So the allocation ive already paid for can only be used for what they decide, simply because they can't get there s#$% together and sort it, and they wonder why people tell em to bugger off and do as they please. It baffles me on the stupidity of people, cause a lot agree with the council and dob neighbours in etc. . When its the local, state , federal grubberments in the first place.

Oh and to fix the problem they have to tap into a water source the would supply our water issues for the next 20-30 years, single pipeline and pump.

What the iceing on the cake is, they continue to put up new sub divisions constantly, never slows, just more restrictions...
I think it works !!
 
Davo99
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Posted: 12:31am 05 Oct 2020
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The old thing. Duck shove the important but unpopular decisions till the pollies are gone from their watch and then shove it to the next lot.


  noneyabussiness said   It baffles me on the stupidity of people, cause a lot agree with the council and dob neighbours in etc.


Can't stand that.
My neighbour apologised to me a couple of months back for disturbing me when they had a wake for her mothers passing one weekend. I said not problem, didn't worry me. Then she mentioned the Police coming and sorry for having to call them. I said hang on!, I never called the cops, Heard you and went to bed and never lost a winks sleep.  Mrs came out and I told her that someone called the cops and she said wasn't us!  We all knew who it would have been, do gooders across the road that would have not heard a peep from that distance but probably saw the cars and always looking for something to put people in for.
Put in another elderly neighbour last summer for watering her plants out of prescribed hours.

Wonder if they figured who sent them the letter saying if anyone else around gets reported for anything that's none of your concern, the council will be made aware of the unapproved Shed with the Granny flat on the top that you have up the back.
I HOPE they figured it out who sent it to them!

  Quote  What the iceing on the cake is, they continue to put up new sub divisions constantly, never slows, just more restrictions...


Well, "ya know, The council is making money from the developers and getting more rates  and undoubtedly backhanders as well as political support so what do you expect? Long as there is someone they can duck shove the problem onto, all good.

There is the same thing with electricity near here.  I don't know the technical terms but the feeder line or something is at capacity so it's not just a matter of putting in new substations, it has to go a long way back. They will supposedly need more towers which is a major point of contention of course.   No one wants to foot the bill for that so they have brought in some charge I forget the name of now, Estate or Development or something charge that is an extra fee on you having the power hooked to your house. The kicker is, if you have solar put on there is an extra charge again!

As well as that they are only allowing  I think it is 32A single phase per house hold unless you want to pay a load more and get a higher amp connection. This is again for new homes, that have no natural gas, very few have the roof space for more than a few KW of solar if that and many have pools in the tiny back yards.

Not enough power but the size and scale of these new estates they are building is Mind Boggling. We thought we were on the outskirts when we moved here 3 years ago.
The sprawl is coming like a tidal wave and where we were on the edge of semi rural before you hit the farms and big land proper, that's now getting bought up behind us and new estates going in there. Our little Country Town is going to become Chocked as all these people come in to do their shopping and get their essential services.

Not enough power, not enough water, not enough money for roads, NO public transport yet no limit on how many people they are going to set up to use these resources.

No doubt even with the shortages they have already with power, they will still push the BS line about the grid being over powered as an excuse to cut private solar back while they continue to build solar farms  and cash in on Gubbermint subsidies which is the only place they make any money out of these things despite the BS about it being cheap power.

It's cheap because the tax payers are subsidising it on the back end as well as the front.

Won't be long and the each way power co's will go from bitching there is too much solar to  we can't keep up with supply on hot days and please turn off your AC and swelter like roasting chooks so our mismanagement and corporate greed isn't highlighted yet again.
 
pollenface

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Joined: 01/09/2020
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Posted: 12:33pm 13 Oct 2020
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The new feed in tariff* in WA encourages folks to have western facing panels and install batteries. I think the grand plan is to get as many households as possible producing and storing their own power.

*10c/kwh between 3 & 9pm, 3c/kwh for all other hours.
Off grid man caver
 
Davo99
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Posted: 05:43am 15 Oct 2020
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I would think that homes having batteries would not be in the Power co's interests.
The only thing I can think that may put a slant on that is they have figured the cost of building new power stations, be they FF or unreliable and the cost of providing batteries themselves.

They may have figured taking the load off from homes so they can provide power to Businesses as part of their model.  One thing is for sure, grid level power storage is going to at an astronomical cost and a mega project.

FIT's are predicted to fall into the future till they are eliminated all together.

I am curious as to how I would go if I went legit with my solar even with the current FIT's.  My meter reading was done 5 weeks ago and I'm over 1000Kwh up already.
I have had to shut the solar down because If I get much further ahead I won't be able to burn it all off before the next read.  Production is around 80kwh a day even though I took a fair amount of panels off the roof to make way for solar setup MkII.

The thing is I'd have to get on the radar and be feeding back extra power from my own setup to make it economical. If I couldn't do that for whatever of a load of reasons, I'd be screwed.

I'm not going to take the risk with loosing my spinny meters. I'm happy just not to pay a big bill.  Getting greedy and trying to make something back will shoot me in the foot like everything else always does.  I'll stay with the way things are.

I am seeing some second hand home batteries coming onto the market. Not sure why people are selling them but even at the reduced prices they are selling them, they are still Uneconomical. I also am seeing that they tend to be pretty small as well, usually under 5 Kwh and a lot smaller much smaller than that.

Even if one could get them at a reasonable price, they are batteries and always a big risk as to the condition and life you would get out of them. I consider used panels a low rik investment, Inverters can be a bit more but batteries would be for a very confident gambler in my book at the price they are still at even used.

If I had to go that way, I'd still be favouring a Forklift pack.
 
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