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  • Smart Meters and Grid Tie Solar Systems!

    Well I have seen personally that the new Smart Meter is not Solar freindly. I sold them 27 KWs on a Analog meter and the Games began! The meter that the power company brought out would not go backwards at all. They after finally complaining for about 2 days strongly, programed the new meter that would not go backwards at all, to have 2 seperate readings.
    One reading of numbers of KWs that I buy from them and a second reading of KWs that I now sell them for .0495 per KW. There is no such thing as backing up power anymore and using what youve backed up. The only way I fully benefit from my system is to use all my heavy use items during the day when solar is available to cover the KW Hogs. And timers are really great for this when your not home. Because after sundown, its paying the power company period!
    Has anyone had issues with these Smart Meters with their power company? And if so what have you dealt with and what kind of agreement have you worked out. Here I beneifit only when the system is going on my high KW drawers. At night I try to keep it to a min.
    Smart Meters are Smart, but if you know how to outsmart them. Well its still all good!

  • #2
    That is unfortunate, My utility bills the same way but my utility just subtracts the generated amount from the grid amount to get a total for the month, (on peak is almost always in my favor). At the end of the year they pay $0.065 for any excess I have pushed into the grid overall anually. A bit unfair as they sold my excess to the neighbor @ $0.015 kWh but that is better than it used to be as they just kept the overage.
    [URL=http://phx-solar.dyndns.org:8081/Footprints.html]My TED 5000 system[/URL]
    Sticking it to the power company one watt at a time!
    60 Ningbo Electric 175 watt panels and 12 Canadian Solar 180 watt panels with 2 PVP 5200 Inverters

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by livewire1 View Post
      Well I have seen personally that the new Smart Meter is not Solar freindly. I sold them 27 KWs on a Analog meter and the Games began! The meter that the power company brought out would not go backwards at all. They after finally complaining for about 2 days strongly, programed the new meter that would not go backwards at all, to have 2 seperate readings.
      One reading of numbers of KWs that I buy from them and a second reading of KWs that I now sell them for .0495 per KW.
      That is the way it is suppose to work. No new meters spin backwards. Utilities are smart and will punish you for violating contract terms.

      For example all you clever folks who buy one of those plug-in grid tie meters and hook up your home made panels thinking you arer saving money are pretty foolish. The power you generate back on the grid, is registered as power you bought. So you are being charged for the power you generate out to the grid, and then the POCO sells it again to your neighbor at your expense.

      Does not stop there either. If you do have a new smart meter, if you have one of those illegal set ups like above, the second you generate power out to the grid, it is detected and reported. You are now at the mercy of the POCO. At that point they can disconnect your service, report you to local code enforcement agency and will not reconnect you until you get approval from the local authorities and have paid them a nice fat reconnect fee.

      They have some other real nasty things they can do with Smart Meters like Time of Day billing. You are going to fall in love with that once you know what that means. They will also have the ability to turn things off in your home like your air conditioning, or your dryer.

      Beware of the smart meter, it is out to get you.
      MSEE, PE

      Comment


      • #4
        It is not the meters fault it is the regulating agency who is responsible to set the rates. If the meter is an old one it will spin backwards or less forward. On a smart meter, it makes little difference if they measure the grid in coming and subtract from it the grid out going for a net amount. I consider that fair plus they never see the stuff I am actually generating at all, as that load is all contained on my side of the meter.

        TOU (Time of Use) rates actually made the decision for us to get a grid tie setup. They make sense for the utility as well, you pay for the extra on peak that they have to buy or the extra generation capacity they have to own to meet peak demand.
        Mine is 9AM to 9PM Mon-Fri $0.156 per kWh and $0.055 the rest of the time. My net on peak on the grid is really pretty low.
        Look here:
        http://phx-solar.dyndns.org:8081/Footprints.html

        My annual net $$$ is probably in my favor as the Utility allows me to Bank both on-peak and off peak kWh towards my future consumption. Then on Dec 31 they send a check for any excess in my favor at the rate of $0.065 kWh, by my calculations that should totally offset my monthly bill which is mostly fees, so my grid tie creates all my power needs and my net annual electric bill is negative.

        Non-TOU rate plans are actually more expensive overall assuming the Utility has the proper rate structure.

        The real danger as I see it is when you have compatible appliances and the meter has enough smarts to control to turn them off in times of excessive grid load. BTW I have yet to see any such appliances, but read somewhere there was a pilot of that going on.
        [URL=http://phx-solar.dyndns.org:8081/Footprints.html]My TED 5000 system[/URL]
        Sticking it to the power company one watt at a time!
        60 Ningbo Electric 175 watt panels and 12 Canadian Solar 180 watt panels with 2 PVP 5200 Inverters

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by solar_dave View Post
          Mine is 9AM to 9PM Mon-Fri $0.0156 per kWh and $0.0055 the rest of the time. My net on peak on the grid is really pretty low.
          If you can buy power for 1.5 cents per Kwh, why on earth would you do anything with renewable energy that cost you 20 times more? I think you made a typo
          MSEE, PE

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Sunking View Post
            If you can buy power for 1.5 cents per Kwh, why on earth would you do anything with renewable energy that cost you 20 times more? I think you made a typo
            oops your right! I am really a capitalist, and my grid-tie system is paid for in under 4 years making me very happy.
            [URL=http://phx-solar.dyndns.org:8081/Footprints.html]My TED 5000 system[/URL]
            Sticking it to the power company one watt at a time!
            60 Ningbo Electric 175 watt panels and 12 Canadian Solar 180 watt panels with 2 PVP 5200 Inverters

            Comment


            • #7
              Well Al. Tx. Tn and I beleive 3 other states dont recognize Net metering. I ordered a seperate meter that is certified and had it installed after the power companys meter. I know its useless if they wont allow net. But Ive busted them after hours as in DARK. 2000hrs to 0500hrs and their meter read 10 KW more than mine on one test. Since this happened Ive started to do a 30 day test after hours on this Smart meter, then Ill confront them. I dont trust a meter they can do what they will with the touch of a keyboard 30 miles away.
              Smart Meters are Smart, but if you know how to outsmart them. Well its still all good!

              Comment


              • #8
                There is a BIG fraud case going on in Northern California, about PG&E's smart meters overcharging thousands of households, something like 30% of meters are bad.
                spreadsheet based voltage drop calculator:
                http://www.solar-guppy.com/download/...calculator.zip
                http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...oss-calculator

                http://www.mike-burgess.org/PVinfo_2.html

                solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,
                battery lugs http://tinyurl.com/LMR-BigLug
                Setting up batteries http://tinyurl.com/LMR-NiFe

                gear :
                Powerfab top of pole PV mount | 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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
                  There is a BIG fraud case going on in Northern California, about PG&E's smart meters overcharging thousands of households, something like 30% of meters are bad.
                  Something similar here in TX. The meters work perfectly, what is causing the 100 to 300% monthly bill increases is the Time of Day rates people get with the meters. TOD is designed to give the POCO huge rate hikes.
                  MSEE, PE

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What I have read about the CA situation is that a very few meters actually gave faulty readings and some were not installed correctly.

                    Much of the crying is not much more than bar stool talk or what the barber told someone anyway.
                    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Smart meters might work well in my area for people like me. We get credit for anything fed to the grid, retail rate up to the zero point. After that, we get wholesale and can't collect until disconnected. (That is like buying a really bad life insurance policy!)

                      There is rarely anyone home at my house during the weekdays. With peak rates I would be "selling" power to the POCO at a higher rate than I use it during the evening and night hours. Of course, they may demand a change in the net-metering rules if they go to smart meters here.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ionized View Post
                        ......
                        There is rarely anyone home at my house during the weekdays. With peak rates I would be "selling" power to the POCO at a higher rate than I use it during the evening and night hours. Of course, they may demand a change in the net-metering rules if they go to smart meters here.
                        In Calif, the actual meters that PG&E installed are bad. ToU rates were imposed to "save consumers money" but the charges went up. And the ToU program now extends the peak hours till 9pm, negating any solar benifit, other than "feeling good about not burning fossil fuel".

                        No winners in Calif.
                        spreadsheet based voltage drop calculator:
                        http://www.solar-guppy.com/download/...calculator.zip
                        http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...oss-calculator

                        http://www.mike-burgess.org/PVinfo_2.html

                        solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                        gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,
                        battery lugs http://tinyurl.com/LMR-BigLug
                        Setting up batteries http://tinyurl.com/LMR-NiFe

                        gear :
                        Powerfab top of pole PV mount | 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

                        Comment

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