Sunny Thoughts

Bill592
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Mike Hewson wrote:....... we

Mike Hewson wrote:

....... we are instead getting a kitchen upgrade. :-))

Cheers, Mike.

What good is a Kitchen Upgrade with no Power ?

Please explain that to the Other Half ....

Ah .... never mind , it's pointless  : )

 

Bill

 

.

Mike Hewson
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Yes. Indeed. LOL

Yes. Indeed. LOL :-)))

Energy : on the face of it the penny/shoe may have dropped DownUnda however. Apparently if you can store electricity and release it later, but independently of the times of generation then renewables like hydro/solar/wind can have superb market merit. Do you think so ? LOL ..... who would have thought ? :-)))

drips sarcasm

.... so Elon has offered to install for South Australia a 100MWh battery system for $100M and in 100 days from contract sign-off or get it free. I for one believe him when he says that. Interestingly one of his major Aussie competitors assisted greatly with that bid. There's probably plenty for all if it gets rolling. Victoria may follow suit. However there is already push-back on that idea from the usual quarters. Didn't take long. Paradoxically but especially from those that think man is evil, his electricity is evil, or at least evil if not correctly sanctioned/blessed by true believers & thinkers. We can't have rich & clever people coming up with the good ideas can we ? Will Elon be seen as the right sort of acolyte ? I predict Rent-A-Riot will turn up sometime to lay down in front of the cameras, mainly because no one is asking their opinion and we can't have any nasty irrelevance creeping in can we ? However we might still have an environmental impact study discovering that lithium batteries distort the growth of marijuana plants. Mutant Mull. Even if it doesn't come to anything ( I'm not holding my breath ) it will be an outstanding indicator of the true intent of those that have the power to authorise and fund. I predict a sociopolitical mess generating more heat than light. Watch this space folks. :-)))

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

Gary Roberts
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Mike Hewson wrote:Well guys,

Mike Hewson wrote:
Well guys, the inevitable has happened. Sunny thoughts not withstanding, we are instead getting a kitchen upgrade. :-))

I was following your adventure with quite a deal of interest and was disappointed for you when you posted this unexpected outcome :-).

I started my own adventure quite a while ago and it has come to fruition just this weekend.   I had no desire to go off grid, just make a bit of a dint in the electricity bill.  Down the track a bit further I'm sure I'll be installing more production and some storage capacity but not yet :-).

I now have 34kW peak power on the roof - 100 x 340W panels.  Yesterday (May 7) was an OK day - bit of cloud around at times - and the system produced 132kWh of which I used 113 and exported 19.  Today, being a business day, I expect to export nothing but hope to produce about the same.

It's not looking all that good at the moment - full overcast and the cloud isn't burning off quickly like it did yesterday.  Should be good in about a month's time when the humidity drops and the full mid-winter sunny days are here.  Hopefully the cloud is thinning and at 9:45am the current production has risen to 8kW.  At this time yesterday it was 18kW.  The computers in the farm draw about 13kW but on a business day total consumption is a lot higher.

Cheers,
Gary.

Mike Hewson
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Gary Roberts wrote:Mike

Gary Roberts wrote:
Mike Hewson wrote:
Well guys, the inevitable has happened. Sunny thoughts not withstanding, we are instead getting a kitchen upgrade. :-))

I was following your adventure with quite a deal of interest and was disappointed for you when you posted this unexpected outcome :-).

I too had a measure of surprise ..... :-)

Gary Roberts wrote:
I started my own adventure quite a while ago and it has come to fruition just this weekend.   I had no desire to go off grid, just make a bit of a dint in the electricity bill.  Down the track a bit further I'm sure I'll be installing more production and some storage capacity but not yet :-).

I have by no means ruled out any further plans.

Gary Roberts wrote:
I now have 34kW peak power on the roof - 100 x 340W panels.  Yesterday (May 7) was an OK day - bit of cloud around at times - and the system produced 132kWh of which I used 113 and exported 19.  Today, being a business day, I expect to export nothing but hope to produce about the same.

That's a good slab. 

Gary Roberts wrote:
It's not looking all that good at the moment - full overcast and the cloud isn't burning off quickly like it did yesterday.  Should be good in about a month's time when the humidity drops and the full mid-winter sunny days are here.  Hopefully the cloud is thinning and at 9:45am the current production has risen to 8kW.  At this time yesterday it was 18kW.  The computers in the farm draw about 13kW but on a business day total consumption is a lot higher.

My outlaws over the other side of the valley have a flat roof upon which were recently installed some rows of tilted arrays. As a senior pair with modest needs they will probably come back to neutral on cost, except of course the 'facility' fee for being attached to grid at all. For them it is a great solution. Their asset repay I estimate at 6 years.

{ We had to smack the installer on their ear-hole for trying to charge $1200 for a $250 item, but otherwise the install was smooth. They don't like customers with solid intel & I don't like rip-off merchants, but we promptly found the middle ground. :-)) }

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

Mike Hewson
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The hard figures are now in

The hard figures are now in for the retail price rise given the closure of Hazelwood ( referred to earlier in this thread ). It will be pretty close to a 10% rise per year over the next four years ie. 40% overall by about 2021. Perversely this is more than the expected 25% rise over that time that one might have predicted from 25% loss of generating capacity from that closure. The primary reason is quite straightforward : Victorian generators were selling to adjacent states at a nice premium. Due to the reduction of total generating capacity we haven't got the excess electricity to sell anymore. The secondary reason is that, as we speak, gas fired generators have been co-opted to maintain load. This is both more expensive and no 'cleaner' by any measure. You see all along we were getting cheaper than true cost power due to subsidy from cross border trade ( already down 60% ). Darn. So New South Wales and South Australia are no longer paying that fraction of our bills like before. Famously even Khrushchev hated economics because being in a communist system per se didn't create something from nuthink.

In our house we will deal with this pretty simply : reduce consumption but pay more even despite that. We have the 'luxury' of that choice but many don't. Therein lies a political hand grenade which will get very messy when it goes off ie. how much do you really care now ( in actual dollars and cents as written on this power bill which falls due on that date ) about potential descendants some 100 years away ? This will be the choice, including the cost any new infrastructure ( of any type ). IMHO that is not the best way to approach the topic, but that is what one gets if reality is ignored and not planned for.

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

Gary Roberts
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Mike Hewson wrote:Gary

Mike Hewson wrote:
Gary Roberts wrote:
I started my own adventure quite a while ago and it has come to fruition just this weekend.   I had no desire to go off grid, just make a bit of a dint in the electricity bill.  Down the track a bit further I'm sure I'll be installing more production and some storage capacity but not yet :-).

I have by no means ruled out any further plans.

In that case, seeing as I now have two months production experience, I thought I'd make sure the embers of interest are still smouldering away by showing a couple of pretty pictures/useful stats :-).  Firstly, a small site image (N at top) showing the panel layout on a roof which (in the main) slopes at a low angle in the 'wrong' direction, ie. just east of due south.

The left-hand (westerly) group of panels is on a roof that is a couple of metres below the main roof and (despite the early morning shadow) is rather packed with panels because there is a box gutter visible and below it the roof slopes upward to the south, so there is less shadow effect and none at all when the higher roof section ends.  There was a strong incentive to get as many panels as possible on that bit, particularly right at the southern end.

The layout was designed to maximise production.  It's possible to get daily production figures from individual panels and all of those in the 'better sloping' southern group are producing similar (or in many cases more) output than the 'no shadow but wrong slope' group on the higher eastern portion of the roof.

 

 

Today, July 9, is a fairly nice day.  It's just before midday and it's pretty much mid-winter so below is the current production showing a bit of export going on.

 

The system was installed in May so here is the first full day (May 7) of production - just a couple of bits of cloud around.

 

And now, 2 months later, a 'no cloud - full sun' day of production (July 8).  A significantly lower total generated despite no cloud interruptions.  Should be all uphill from here as we head towards spring :-).

 

Winter in Brisbane is supposed to be the dry season with lots of days like the one above.  The previous day (July 7) was a miserable, heavy overcast, steady rain pretty much all day, event and it produced the result below.  This is the worst day for energy generated in the whole period since installation.  It was so dreary that I'm a bit surprised we got this much.

 

June had quite a few cloudy/wet days as well.  Below is an image of the daily breakdown for the whole month.  The worst day was pretty much full rain but still produced a bit more than what was received on July 7.

 

 I'm fairly pleased with the performance so far.  I'll be very interested to see how close to 200KWh per day the production gets in mid summer :-).

 

Cheers,
Gary.

Jonathan
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With this topic title I had

With this topic title I had expected something different. But yes, bring able to go off grid would be awesome. But him much would that be worth? Will it ever really pay itself back? If doing so becomes popular, the lack of income on taxes is going to cause other taxes to be increased.

 

And comparing this to a tax free rate will make this only interesting to do if you want it for the environment. Not likely that the majority is going for a setup like this though.

Gary Roberts
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Jonathan_76 wrote:With this

Jonathan_76 wrote:
With this topic title I had expected something different.

Why?  The topic has been around for quite a while.  I would have thought most regulars would have been quite aware of it :-).

Jonathan_76 wrote:
But yes, bring able to go off grid would be awesome. But him much would that be worth? Will it ever really pay itself back? If doing so becomes popular, the lack of income on taxes is going to cause other taxes to be increased.

In Australia, the bulk of the population wants to live in increasingly higher density urban areas, close to the coast.  Going completely off grid isn't really an option that makes sense.   It's certainly an option for remote/outback communities where the costs of providing a grid and connecting to it are enormous, both for the customer and for the providing authority.  I imagine it would save money for the taxpayer in general to subsidise communities where a grid is nonexistent or inadequate.  Instead of building/upgrading a grid, support them to go off grid.  I don't know details but I imagine it might already be happening.  However, we are talking of a very small fraction of the total population.

If you think about usage patterns for urbanised populations, there would be a short morning peak where people get up, grab a bite, freshen up, go to work/school.  This would happen when generating ability would be quite low.  For most of the day, when generating ability is highest, many houses would have lower consumption.  The evening peak would be rather higher and longer than the morning one and once again, no generating ability.  Without expensive storage, solar on private dwellings may indeed struggle to pay for itself in a reasonable time frame.

There is another scenario which is much more attractive - the small business market.  Australia has lots of these, with a business owner/occupier and a relatively small number of employees.  Energy usage is high throughout the working day and peak demand (air-conditioning) occurs at peak generating time - the middle part of the day.  I have my 'farm' in an industrial complex where a small business (Monday to Friday) is being conducted.   My computers provide a 24/7 continuous consumption which you can see in the previous images.  Only one of those corresponds to a working day - the others are all at weekends.  Can you guess which one? :-).   It was a cold rainy winter's day but the aircon still needs to run because there are about a dozen people working in the office.  Can you tell when it was switched on and off? :-).  On warm sunny days, the aircon works harder and the office consumption in the middle of the day goes a long way towards doubling the 'farm' consumption.  Here is an example.  There was a fair bit of cloud about as you can see and it wasn't overly warm - late autumn, close to the start of winter here.  I shudder to think of what the aircon consumption will be like in summer :-).

 

 If you remove the farm consumption from the above image, a lot of the business consumption could be provided by the generating capacity of a somewhat smaller solar system.  Rising energy costs are a real crippling factor for small businesses so I'm a little surprised that there aren't already a lot more of these installations.  I guess it's because many of these businesses are in leased (rather than owned) premises and the landlord doesn't care too much about costs that the tenant has to meet.

Even with the 24/7 base load of the farm, this system will pay for itself in around 4 years.  If there were no farm, the payback for a suitably downsized system would be less than 3 years.  I haven't done detailed calculations but I wouldn't be surprised if were around 2 years.  Solar panels have come down a long way.  The economics for installing battery storage are probably not going to be favourable for a little while yet for a small business installation :-).

Jonathan_76 wrote:
And comparing this to a tax free rate will make this only interesting to do if you want it for the environment. Not likely that the majority is going for a setup like this though.

I don't really understand the point you are making here.  The environment (although I'm quite concerned about it) wasn't the driving force - more of a side benefit.  It was all a matter of an investment to control costs, both mine and those of the small business that is also benefiting.

 

Cheers,
Gary.

Gary Charpentier
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Gary Roberts: 15Kw at

Gary Roberts: 15Kw at midnight?  Is there some kind of production going on then?  BOINC farm?  Weed farm? Refrigeration?  I suspect you could save a lot of money with some timers to shut a bunch things, er lights, off when the place is empty.

 

Mike Hewson
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This is why Gary has a

This is why Gary has a massive RAC, he is ranked #3 for the project after Gavin and the AEI supercomputer in Hanover. Zalster is #4. This is hard core .... :-)))

@Gary : so typically about 1/4 to 1/3 of needs. So far for winter at least. We'll see what sunny QLD brings later on. On our Victorian tariffs that 100+ kWh per day could be either ( approx ) $30 of electricity not purchased from the grid or about $10 if sold to the grid. The repay on export is really crap down here, keeping in mind that $10 worth sold to supplier is resold elsewhere for another $20 ie. an epic markup. For my situation I should have mentioned that due to my local horizon ( mountains and trees ) my production would have been ( at best ) half of what was quoted to me on the calculated specification. In my particular valley you lose significant radiation for Sun position away from local high noon +/- 30 degrees.

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

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