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Photovoltaic Power Systems And the 2005 National Electrical Code

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  • #16
    Howdy, if your meter is an older one, it cant tell the difference between power originating from the grid or from solar panels it's all just power going through a meter and you will be billed for the power you produce and send to the grid. No getting around the fact that the rules are the rules and they are there for a good reason.

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    • Guest's Avatar
      Guest commented
      Editing a comment
      G'Day ,Again I don't follow this . The input from my solar system is going into the house side of the meter according to my installer and any exported power runs backwards through the meter as far as I can tell and the meter seems at times to run in reverse? Its a fairly old meter . Probably 20 years old at least.
      Last edited by tytower; 11-21-2016, 02:56 PM.

  • #17
    the POCO will know of an illegal connection and can disconnect the customer
    The PoCo has all sorts of computer tools to see what a customers usage has been and will be. When you deviate from it for more than a month, they flag your account for fraud, and the next time someone walks the meter route, they do a close inspection on the meter. If they see PV panels and no connection agreement, you are busted
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

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    • #18
      Originally posted by tytower View Post
      Thats an interesting read thanks .
      One question I did not follow in the last post " In addition the POCO will know of an illegal connection and can disconnect the customer. " I'm wondering how that could be the case as any power out usually goes to a transformer of some kind so how could they know?

      Secondly the statement "Any excess you generate and send to your neighbors will be billed as energy used so you pay for the electricity you send the POCO to sell to your neighbors." is not clear to me . If what you produce goes out to the grid how would it come through your billing system?
      If your meter is not configured for two way operation (purchase on incoming and sell on outgoing) then any power that goes through it will be considered as purchase. It will not subtract the outgoing. It will just add it to the incoming.

      Also based on your past energy consumption you will have a different profile if you now generate your own power that will raise a flag at the POCO which will probably initiate a house call to see what is going on. Once they find you are now co-generating without a contract they will decide how the will penalize you up to disconnecting you until you rectify the issue.

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      • Guest's Avatar
        Guest commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes I understand what you are saying but where is the power from your system injected? I can see that it could be injected house or line side of the meter but I would not expect it ever to be injected on the line side unless an export meter is also fitted separately.

        Clearly a solar input not signed off on would reduce power useage and operate a flag in normal circumstances and lead to reprisals . My thoughts were well it mixes with the input supply from the line , thats what the inverter does , As such it then passes to a transformer somewhere down the line which then converts it to a much higher voltage anyway.

        My interest here was that I don't see at present that the POCO's have any other method of picking up unapproved power injection . I wondered how long it would be before some sort of signal system is built in to the grid tie inverters that sends a coded signal or message to the POCO through all of their line network similar to say injecting a control signal to switch water heaters or lights on that is being used now?

        I don't understand how ( I hav'nt looked yet) but I have a separate water heater meter that is turned on at a different rate and I guess this must be done with a signal down the line somehow. One of those blinking red lights type mentioned previously
        Last edited by tytower; 11-21-2016, 04:07 PM.

    • #19
      A few years ago my UK grid utility company supplied us with a digital electricity meter (Itron ACE1000 SM0 800) for billing. It has a LED interface that outputs 800 pulses/kWh and stops pulsing whenever electricity is fed back to the utility supply. I attached to the Itron a wireless Efergy E2 IR meter so that I can see real power being consumed by the house. This issue of export never arises because I feed export energy to an an Immersun (Truesine) converter and then to a 3kW immersion heater.

      There is a fixed overhead to be paid no matter what the size of the install is and this is usually recouped by having as many panels as you can afford. I took a different route - I decided to invest in reduced appliance consumption by replacing less energy efficient appliances so that the static load of the house is around 50W to 150W. This means that a micro install is sufficient to show zero on my efergy meter with excess power being fed back to the immersion heater. I don't like the principal of exporting kW to the utility because is screws with sub station transformer settings.

      The sad thing is that the overhead required to save energy is not part of the building cost. I guess I'm penny wise pound foolish but when the Efergy meter reads zero I get an enormous amount of satisfaction. I sincerely believe that you should consume all that you generate and that my small install is a socially acceptable way of generating solar power. Sorry about the product naming no spamming was intended.
      Last edited by Grinder; 11-21-2016, 06:33 AM. Reason: Grammer

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      • #20
        Originally posted by Grinder View Post
        A few years ago my UK grid utility company supplied us with a digital electricity meter (Itron ACE1000 SM0 800) for billing. It has a LED interface that outputs 800 pulses/kWh and stops pulsing whenever electricity is fed back to the utility supply. I attached to the Itron a wireless Efergy E2 IR meter so that I can see real power being consumed by the house. This issue of export never arises because I feed export energy to an an Immersun (Truesine) converter and then to a 3kW immersion heater.

        There is a fixed overhead to be paid no matter what the size of the install is and this is usually recouped by having as many panels as you can afford. I took a different route - I decided to invest in reduced appliance consumption by replacing less energy efficient appliances so that the static load of the house is around 50W to 150W. This means that a micro install is sufficient to show zero on my efergy meter with excess power being fed back to the immersion heater. I don't like the principal of exporting kW to the utility because is screws with sub station transformer settings.

        The sad thing is that the overhead required to save energy is not part of the building cost. I guess I'm penny wise pound foolish but when the Efergy meter reads zero I get an enormous amount of satisfaction. I sincerely believe that you should consume all that you generate and that my small install is a socially acceptable way of generating solar power. Sorry about the product naming no spamming was intended.
        Bottom line financially is to use as little power as fits your lifestyle and opinions, while at the same time and thinking long term, to pay as little as possible to achieve the goals you set within the framework of the utility setup you have to work with.

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        • #21
          this is straying way off topic from a stickie and I'm going to purge the comments, since we don't have a way to send them to a new thread.
          Sorry,

          Sadly it looks like the whole link/thread is dead / 404 and may need to be removed.
          Last edited by Mike90250; 11-21-2016, 02:50 PM.
          Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
          || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
          || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

          solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
          gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

          Comment


          • #22
            I've attempted to move those for you Mike to a separate thread and found a link for the sticky which might help
            https://swtdi.nmsu.edu/codes-standards/

            Also noted on the right of the page there are Resource Books, Installer Checklist
            and they both come down as a pdf .

            I would imagine that people in the States might benefit from this link but I have had difficulty getting anything useful out of it for me.
            http://www.solarabcs.org/
            Last edited by tytower; 11-21-2016, 04:18 PM.

            Comment


            • bcroe
              bcroe commented
              Editing a comment
              Your mechanical spinning disc KWH meter may reverse spin with power direction. But it probably
              (like mine) has a gear shift that keeps the counter going forward no matter matter which way the
              disc spins. I plan to use one of these I own to keep track of my KWH reserve, with the gear shift
              glued in one position. Bruce Roe

            • Guest's Avatar
              Guest commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks bcroe . I spoke to my electrician while having a beer with him and he says our meters both run backwards and reduce the count so I've asked him to find an old meter from a garage /builders sale if possible and test it out and inspect it internally . . That should be interesting but finding one could take ages . Could you shift this over to the other thread maybe as the moderators want to tidy up the sticky I think.

              However the new link I found for them has not been changed on the original post so perhaps the mods can't do that and maybe Jason has to do it.https://swtdi.nmsu.edu/codes-standards/
              Last edited by tytower; 11-22-2016, 04:41 PM.

          • #23
            Originally posted by tytower View Post
            T
            Secondly the statement "Any excess you generate and send to your neighbors will be billed as energy used so you pay for the electricity you send the POCO to sell to your neighbors." is not clear to me . If what you produce goes out to the grid how would it come through your billing system?
            Because the POCO are not fools. You have to have a contract with the POCO to interconnect. The POCO uses SMART METERS. The very second your meter records power going out, the METER raises an alarm of an illegal connection and notifies the POCO. .The meter measures that power going out and charges you as power used and will keep doing so until you have a legal binding contract, or they disconnect your service.
            MSEE, PE

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            • #24
              Originally posted by Sunking View Post
              Because the POCO are not fools. You have to have a contract with the POCO to interconnect. The POCO uses SMART METERS. The very second your meter records power going out, the METER raises an alarm of an illegal connection and notifies the POCO. .The meter measures that power going out and charges you as power used and will keep doing so until you have a legal binding contract, or they disconnect your service.
              You seem to have assumed a position of defence ?. this is a DIY site yeh? . I have a fully legal connection and wish to understand whats going on . But I must say i am tempted to try the above to test it , I tend to test wherever possible to get at the truth myself and am developing systems for future use in various electronics and electrical areas . I am also not in the states and our systems seem different in many ways to what you discuss here . It's all good knowledge though. Thanks for that
              Last edited by tytower; 11-22-2016, 04:26 PM.

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              • ButchDeal
                ButchDeal commented
                Editing a comment
                if you are not in the states then the information from SunKing is not accurate. Some places even allow small systems to feed in without any contract.
                In the US where we are talking about, it would not be wise to "try the above to test it " as you risk disconnection, and heavy fines.
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