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Building Reserve and Using KWH

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  • Building Reserve and Using KWH

    My PoCo earlier mass customer emailed me that adding PV solar might be advantageous if I had the
    roof space. Now a similar suggestion came with the latest bill, it also mentions community solar. A
    little snooping indicates the terms may be similar to mine from 5 years ago, don't know
    about gov rebates or what inspired this.

    Fine, but my net metering annual reserve reset to zero about 1 April. So with cold weather, clouds, and
    no reserve, April is my hardest month to stay ahead and avoid buying any KWH. A look at the weather
    reveals that reading the meter on today, the last day of April, would really help with maybe 400 more
    KWH added to my reserve in the last 3 days. Just as if to make it harder, the PoCo read my meter
    remotely, 3 days before the end of April, but I managed to be ahead by 600KWH anyway.

    The major conservation effort for a while will be about adding enough mini split heat pumps to take care
    of the house almost all year. The electrical distribution center is prepared, more about that later.
    Bruce Roe

  • #2
    I am lucky as my POCO doesn't have reset date, but they will gladly write me a check for my surplus generation at some very low rate every year

    I do encourage you to do the minisplit route. Except for the high installation markup they are hard to beat. Being in northern NH, I don't tend to use the AC often but even in this extreme climate I get a lot of "free heat" on mild days in the winter and where it really saves me is in the "shoulder seasons" where I don't need to run my wood boiler and eat standby losses. It also is nice option when I am going to be gone for several days and cant put enough heat into my hot water storage tank to cover the heating demand. In this case I run the minisplit for primary heat with the wood boiler storage as secondary. I tend to run the minisplit when the overnight temps are above 30 and use it for supplemental heat during the daytime in the winter if the temps are over 20 and its sunny. I have done my own installs and have posted about it a few times but that's your call.

    The big trick with minisplits in winter is set them and forget them. They are good at maintaining a space temp but struggle to catch up from a temperature setback. The air is just warm not hot going out of it and if you use it on high output the coils tend to frost up quicker which means more defrost cycles. I don't have snow baffles on mine but its located on the lee side of the house from the prevailing wind with a slanted roof with some overhang over the top of it to keep snow out. It usually stays snow free unless I accidentally aim my snow blower chute at it.

    I may not have a reset date on net metering but March is usually the cruelest month for determining if I need to reign back on minisplit use. I made a big dent in my surplus this winter and got surprised by a month long cold and stormy stretch in late February and most of march. My surplus got down quite low and I had to ramp up wood use. That time is hopefully past and I am happily cranking out surplus for next winter. The only down side is without standby losses from my wood boiler and storage my basement temps drop down to ground temps. Probably a good place to hang meat and a root cellar . I sometimes fire the boiler if I am working down there and warm things up with big unit heater.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by peakbagger View Post
      I do encourage you to do the minisplit route. Except for the high installation markup they are hard to beat.

      The big trick with minisplits in winter is set them and forget them. They are good at maintaining a space temp but struggle to catch up

      I may not have a reset date on net metering but March is usually the cruelest month for determining if I need to reign back on minisplit use. I made a big dent in my surplus this winter and got surprised by a month long cold and stormy stretch in late February and most of march.
      Thanks for the mini split info. I did get to experience them with my cousin hundreds of miles north,
      I found no fault and she likes them. The very good COP and operation to 13 F below zero should
      be a big improvement over what I have.

      I figure a minimum of three (at 9000 btu) should be immediately installed on this strung out
      ranch, 2000 sq ft. Of course the basement is the same size and treated like another floor,
      fully heated. After a year, will decide if there is a place another mini is needed. The first one
      will have the compressor hung on my brick wall, above the snow. I believe everything
      needed for the job is here, have done other air conditioning years ago. DIY I expect will
      REALLY save a lot of $. Already done is a new power distribution center in a good location,
      and with plenty of space for those mini double breakers. Bruce Roe
      Last edited by bcroe; 05-01-2018, 12:46 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        My POCO just zeroed out my account yesterday because it is the end of their fiscal year. I'll get a credit for about $85 for the 3150 kWh I banked. I have one month to bank before the real heat hits in June.

        With strategic vacations during the hottest months and further conservation measures around the house, I've had zero net billable energy every month for the last 36 months and paid under $10 per month for the connection fee.

        My POCO (SRP) is now offering up to $1800 rebates on battery storage systems but since they let me stay on the basic plan when I went solar there is no incentive or reason for me to load shift.
        Dave W. Gilbert AZ
        6.63kW grid-tie owner

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by bcroe View Post

          Thanks for the mini split info. I did get to experience them with my cousin hundreds of miles north,
          I found no fault and she likes them. The very good COP and operation to 13 F below zero should
          be a big improvement over what I have.

          I figure a minimum of three (at 9000 btu) should be immediately installed on this strung out ranch,
          2000 sq ft. Of course the basement is the same size and treated like another floor, fully heated.
          After a year, will decide if there is a place another mini is needed. Bruce Roe
          The first mini split is ready for installation to begin, more of my scheduling problem than technical
          I do hope. Bruce Roe

          Comment


          • #6
            I take it you already moved your system anniversary date once? PoCo's in NJ let you change your anniversary date once (and only once) after the install of your system to maximize self consumption prior to true it. It might be worth a call.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JSchnee21
              I take it you already moved your system anniversary date once? PoCo's in NJ let you change your anniversary date once (and only once) after the install of your system to maximize self consumption prior to true it. It might be worth a call.
              Huh, me? Never changed it, the other possible date is for wind power.

              My impression is, that mini-split heat pumps are just not accepted in this area. Asked one service guy,
              he said he had never seen one. But last night I was surprised by a local TV ad. Their approach was
              that if you have hot water heat, your house may not have and central air distribution. But you can add
              zone control with a mini-split, no ducting. I also spotted one behind an exercise place last month.

              They did not mention the things that are driving me that way. Double the electrical efficiency over the
              old centralized units, and ability to operate down to minus 13 F (covering 97% of the time here). Will
              be noting if this starts a local trend.

              Meanwhile the first of 3 house locations is ready to install, the inside and external units are next to the
              wall. One year ago there was a problem of enough double breaker positions to operate this equipment,
              though the total drain is decreasing. This 1978 originally all electric house (my neighbor still is) had
              some heavy wiring in place for the original electric heat, unused after the PO converted to propane.

              I repurposed this wiring to a new box which is dedicated to the relatively few devices that are heavy
              KWH users/suppliers. With a bi directional spinning disc KWH meter in the feed, my reserve summer
              buildup and winter drain down are mostly displayed, the original box has lots of circuits but very light
              KWH load. The disc does 34 rpm when the sun is in position.

              I also picked up a bottle of R410 refrigerant and a better vacuum pump, gave my R22 bottle to a
              friend who still uses it. The backup of some 6KW resistance heat will stay for now.

              Anyway, my last, now obsolete heat pump seems to have kicked the bucket. Bruce Roe

              Comment


              • #8
                And, the propane system is still in place, it with my generator could supply heat for a while in
                case of an extended power outage. I use just enough for clothes drying and another building
                so that my supplier doesn't disown me. Got my annual refill, noting the best summer price is
                now $1.30 a gallon. Just a short time ago it was $1 a gallon, solar is looking better all the time.
                Bruce Roe

                Comment


                • #9
                  Today did the install of the Mini-Split indoor unit. Not very heavy, but would be easier to get everything
                  lined up with 2 people. As expected it was just a matter of getting some holes in the right places. With
                  apparently no technical difficulties, will go ahead ordering 2 more for installation this year. MiSpIn3.JPGMiSpIn5.JPG

                  The design puts all the freon tube connections outside, seen sticking out (plugged) with the drain. The
                  compressor unit is pretty light as well, seen here with the bracket for mounting on the wall (well above
                  any snow). Have a jug of R410 and borrowing a premium vacuum pump for the lines, unit is precharged.

                  MiSpIn6.JPGMiSpIn9.JPGMiSpOt1.JPG

                  Compressor is relatively light, plan to hang it above the flower garden on the wall. Needs proper
                  drain (outside), and light 240VAC with disconnect, no problem. House wiring is ready to accept 3 of
                  these mini-splits. These will be checked out over winter 2018/19. If they fall short of capacity, can
                  put in one or two more next year. Anyway my older heat pump has quit and I don't want to waste
                  more resources on it. Bruce Roe

                  Comment

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