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  • Hybrid Solar, grid tied solar pv with batteries

    Hi All,

    So what is hybrid solar? Well the definition I favor is simply, a grid- tied solar panel system with battery storage. There has been quite lot of talk about Tesla's new power wall battery and this may lead to a rise in hybrid systems in the near future.

    So why have a Hybrid solar power system? As the battery's are still quite expensive to me there are few circumstances or scenario's where it might make sense.

    1. Critical Loads, that is where in the event of a grid-outage (blackout) you still must have power to run critical loads, this could be to power a medical device or critical infrastructure like servers etc. If this is the case you need to determine how much power you need as a minimum and for how long. This is difficult as who knows how long a black out will last, a generator will also be required in this scenario.

    2. Wanting to reduce your night time grid usage. Now while this is very doable in many instances it just wont make financial sense. If you are charged at a high rate per kWh (kilowatt hour) you could look at the viability of shifting your night time usage to your batteries. The thing to remember here is you need to size your solar pv array to be large enough to both charge your batteries and run the house loads during the day time. NOTE, even though you might get say 8 or 10 daylight hours a day that is not how solar isolation is measured, best to think of it as you only get 4 or 5 usable day light hours in summer and maybe half that in winter. You do not want to be in a situation where you are forced to charge your battery's from the grid as this is defeating the purpose of having battery's in the first place. Each situation will be different that is why you need to talk to an experienced solar pro as this needs to be planned and designed correctly.

    3. Peak Shaving, this is more for commercial applications as I see it and depends on how a customer is billed for their electricity consumption. Commercial customers who have large mains feeds can be billed with a type of sliding scale that is determined by how much peak power the poco (power company) needs to deliver. For example we have a supermarket client who has a 100kW system on their roof, over the last year this has both reduced their bill and we suspect (yet to be tested) reduced their peak demand. Its possible that if we add battery storage to the existing PV system we could further reduce peak demand thus decreasing their overall bill. Its still early days with this scenario but its getting closer to reality the cheaper the storage options get.

    So what equipment do you need to run a hybrid solar system? Well the same as a normal solar pv system with the addition of a battery/batteries and either a hybrid inverter or a charge controller (CC) and perhaps a BMS (battery management system) .

    So this is a new stickie so please comment/correct/improve etc

    Here is a link to a large hybrid solar panel system. http://s12.photobucket.com/user/pete...?sort=3&page=1


    Cheers

  • #2
    Originally posted by solar pete View Post
    So what is hybrid solar? Well the definition I favor is simply, a grid- tied solar panel system with battery storage. There has been quite lot of talk about Tesla's new power wall battery and this may lead to a rise in hybrid systems in the near future.

    So why have a Hybrid solar power system? As the battery's are still quite expensive to me there are few circumstances or scenario's where it might make sense
    I have to agree, pretty much a waste of money for such little benefit.

    To start with the Hybrid Inverters Inverters are more expensive than a Grid Tied Inverter. A good 4000 watt GTI will run you around $1100 to $1500. A 4000 watt 48 volt Hybrid around $2200 to $2500.

    With a hybrid Inverter is going to require you to require you to install an Emergency Breaker Panel, and running or rerouting your existing home wiring to Critical Loads and is very limited in power. It will require a licensed electrician in most case and very expensive. That alone is going to cost mid/high 4 digits and can go to low 5 digit cost.

    Is going to require a significant battery cost of 4 digits, and battery replacement ever 4 to 6 years. What really is bad if you used those same batteries in a Off-Grid system where they are used every day, the Kwh cost is roughly 4 to 10 times more than buying it from the POCO. So even if you do intend to sell back to the POCO at night from your batteries is terrible foolish. Think about it. It cost you 60 cents per Kwh to make a Kwh, and you sell it for 15 cents. Is that a problem for you? However used as Emergency power, will the Kwh cost of the batteries is beyond astronomical when only used once or twice a year during an outage. Easily into hundreds of dollars per Kwh. Not too mention extremely limited amount of power consisting of a few lights, refrigerator, TV, fan motor on heater, and a few receptacles.

    A hybrid system still requires a generator for extended outages of more than a few hours.

    On the other hand a conventional Grid Tied System with a pad mounted Emergency generator cost 1/2 that of a hybrid system installed.

    Conventional allows you to run everything in your home like nothing happened. You get to sit back in hot summer time and watch all your neighbors suffer while you drink ice cold lemonade or you favorite brewsky.

    Your Kwh fuel cost are reasonable.

    Much more environmentally friendly.

    More reliable.

    No rewiring your home.

    When you look at the big picture, there is no comparison. It would be rare circumstances where a Hybrid system would be a batter choice. For the vast majority the only persons happy with Hybrid Inverters are the company who sold it and installed it for you. They are laughing all the way to the bank. Not only that, it just keeps on giving them more of your money as you replace your batteries.
    MSEE, PE

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by solar pete View Post
      3. Peak Shaving, this is more for commercial applications . . . .
      Agreed. Peak shaving/load shifting won't make economic sense for residential systems until two things happen:
      1) Real time pricing (i.e. pricing per hour rather than fixed prices by time or by kwhr)
      2) Lower cost batteries.

      At this point I'm glad companies like Tesla are working on such systems, because when the above two things happen the hardware will be ready to go. Until then they are more toys than ways to save money.

      Comment


      • #4
        I've said this elsewhere, but will say it here too....

        If one has any financial goals in considering a hybrid system, unless that goal is to spend a lot of money - it's probably not going to happen. Unless a prospect has some very wild POCO rates with a ToU rate plan that is extremely worthwhile, load shaving is probably not going to be a good incentive on it's own. If anything, it's just a way to recapture a small percentage of your investment into solar. FWIW, my inverter manual is very clear that peak load shaving is not advised or worthwhile unless all of your loads are on the inverter, which is impractical for an average home.

        With that said, is it reasonable for people to have non-financial goals for investing in a hybrid system? Sure it is! Are there advantages to such systems? Sure there are. There is no requirement that things always make financial sense.

        As a hybrid system owner - one of those wackos who spent money on such - there were two main advantages to going with a hybrid system. Other prospects would need to determine if those advantages are worthwhile:

        1) Uninterrupted power (on protected loads). Unlike a generator, battery-based inverters immediately switch over using their built in ATS. I am not aware of a generator that can do so as quickly - if they exist, I'd be interested to know more and if they're cheaper than batteries.

        2) Stretching fuel. To run on a generator while grid-down requires running the generator any time you want power (unless you have PV and a grid-tied inverter that makes some of that power available). Batteries and PV are a fuel multiplier (a very expensive fuel multiplier). With a hybrid system - you only burn fuel and run the generator to recharge the batteries.

        What helped me conclude what I wanted was to ask myself how I would want to operate in a 14 day outage. Is that number reasonable? Sure - just ask people who lived through Hurricane Sandy or Katrina, or ice storms, etc. One doesn't have to look hard to find reports that grid outages are on the rise in the US, though in fairness, only 5% of US outages are > 4 hours.

        If we lost power for 14 days, our critical loads would run off PV for up to 5-6 hours per sunny day (placing no load on a generator, or a battery). Of course, hurricanes aren't usually fair sunny weather, but most of that time would be post-hurricane and average weather. When the sun wasn't available, it would then utilize our batteries. When the batteries were eventually depleted (for us, about .8 - 2.5 days or so), then the generator would kick in. The generator would run for approx 45m-4h (depending on a few variables), shut off, then begin to use PV and/or battery power again until the batteries were once again drawn down to the point of needing to be bulk charged. With our generator, that equates to about 4 gallons of fuel per day (worst case). If I were to run my critical loads off a generator for 24 hours, that would require 24 gallons of fuel, and most of it would be wasted because of my loads pattern. Without the batteries, if I decided to run on generator for 24h, I would need 336 gallons of fuel. But maybe I am willing to conserve and run it 12 hours a day.... 168 gallons for the 14 days. With my setup, I can get by on 56 gallons.

        For my interests, these things are an advantage. I had several colleagues who had a very difficult time finding fuel during hurricane Sandy. Those that did had to make daily trips to re-stock on fuel for their generators. They waited long hours and got gouged. For me, the battery pays for itself after only one such event, or several smaller such events because I can continue to work vs spending my day on a resupply mission. That was just a hurricane. If there were a situation where people were truly freaked out, then it can become downright dangerous to resupply.

        Some other advantages:

        1) Options!!! A hybrid system can run on grid, battery, PV, generator power. That is one more option than a grid-tied system (battery), and one more option than an off-grid system (grid). To be fair, that option comes at a price - more money invested, more maintenance, more time.

        So who would most benefit from a hybrid system?
        1) Those who are just really bothered by the prospect of having solar power that doesn't work (not very much anyway) when the grid is down.
        2) People interested in being prepared for the unexpected
        3) People who need large-scale uninterrupted power.
        4) People who want peace of mind about having long-term power without massive amounts of fuel stored.
        5) People who would like to know they can live off-grid if there is a need to do so, but would prefer to live on-grid the rest of the time.

        To be clear - the advantages above have don't really require any PV. You can can these things with just a generator, a hybrid inverter, and a battery bank. The PV just further stretches (potentially) the fuel by relying on solar power when it is available.
        Last edited by gmanInPA; 04-07-2016, 05:52 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          A recent example of other good reasons to have at least a generator, or a generator and batteries:

          From the attached story link:

          "“It is only a matter of the ‘when,’ not the ‘if’—we’re going to see a nation-state, group, or actor engage in destructive behavior against critical infrastructure in the United States,” Rogers, who is also director of the National Security Agency, said in a speech March 2."

          All that to say that planning on power outages being greater in severity than they are today is a reasonable and prudent approach for any homeowner. Does that necessarily mean batteries? Of course not. But batteries would be a potential additional 'force multiplier' in such circumstances.

          Comment


          • #6
            I threw this flowchart together to help people who are just starting to consider solar to figure out what direction to head in. It is by no means exhaustive. I'm open to suggestions for edits, but I think it consolidates some of the main ideas.
            Attached Files

            Comment


            • #7
              With all of the things you have said. You guys really don't like Hybrid systems that is for sure. And sunking, you are way biased and not necessarily correct with your evaluation. The last one I sold was just at $45,000.00 turn key. It came with the XW 6048, distribution panels with breakers etc., 3 classic 250's, 25 265W Solar World's, 3 MS PV6 with disconnecting means and breakers on the roof, 16, 6V Crown solar batteries, custom thermal blocked battery box with acid catch, complete critical load extraction and equipment, SCP,Gen control, and combox. Let me tell you, I was not laughing all of the way to the bank. It is a challenging installation. And you do not make as much as you would think. It sells back to the grid every day, has no problems and the customer never runs out of power when the grid goes down. He has a gen for backup, never had to use it yet.( and a hybrid system does not require a gen for extended periods of outage ). He pumps water out of a well and lives normally and can live fine if the grid never comes back. He lives at the end of a transmission line that SDG&E will shut power off every time the wind picks up and looses power frequently. He has had the grid down for over a week at a time. To most that want these systems, the first time the grid fails, it is worth every penny that they spent and they will tell you that. This is not the kind of system that you just go out and peddle either. People come to you, if they want it and there are a lot of these in San Diego County and for all different kinds of reasons. The Tesla powerwall is a joke and will never even come close to what a well designed hybrid system will deliver when the grid goes down. Neither will a gen and batteries and or the SPS from your Sunny Boy.
              Last edited by ncs55; 05-10-2016, 02:40 AM.

              Comment


              • ncs55
                ncs55 commented
                Editing a comment
                I forgot to add his payback is 9 years which is not much more than a standard grid tie at the time of his installation.

            • #8
              Some of us like hybrid systems very much! Many here, including myself (a hybrid system owner) just want to be sure to point out some of the cons as well as the pros. As a Schneider XW owner, I had to chuckle that your customer has had zero issues, especially with the combox and AGS. Maybe they've not really tried so much with them yet. They're not huge problems, but those two devices are quirky to say the least.

              I'm not an installer, but if I were, I would definitely see an opportunity in hybrid systems, though probably less profitable and more time consuming than setting up grid-tied systems I imagine.

              For me, one big upside, at least with my AHJ and POCO, is not needing anything other than an electrical inspection since the system is all on a branch circuit.

              Comment


              • gmanInPA
                gmanInPA commented
                Editing a comment
                Our winters get reasonably cold here... we get plenty of days at 0 degrees, and some colder. I am running at 24v, so I have no means to even come close to the max voltage because I can only harvest 2560w per CC at 24v (per Schneider). I have my CC set to three-phase charging and my inverter to two-phase. Nearly all the time, my batteries are at 100% SoC. Sure, I could then self-consume, but I prefer to just turn off my main on occasion vs trying to do to use load shaving to do so. Some might choose to do try to harvest more during the day, then use at night, but I prefer to enter a grid-outage event at 100% SoC vs up to 50% depleted if such an outage took place in the early hours. This is just my preference. What I don't want to do is just sell my POCO my stored energy. I've not found the magic settings in the XW platform that gives me the best of everything.

              • TomWA
                TomWA commented
                Editing a comment
                You must have an interesting story. Surely you didn't pre-plan a 24-volt inverter going with the 600-volt charge controller, since a 150 or 200 or 250 volt would have perhaps worked. I'm guessing that you already had the inverter when the CC came out. There are good reasons to have a single string, but not if you have a separate CC for each string.

                I'm going to call Schneider soon, and try to get details. I have found those guys good for routine stuff, not so good for this kind of stuff.**

                page 3-17 of the Xantrex configuration manual:
                "To allow Grid Support to function after battery charging has completed, it is recommended to set the Charge Cycle to 2-stage. After completing the absorbtion charger stage the XW Inverter/Charger checks whether battery voltage is above the Grid Supp Volts Setting. If battery voltage is above the Grid Supp Volts Setting, the XW Inverter/Charger uses available DC power to support the loads."

                ** This still doesn't assure that the CC is wide open when the batteries are charged. I don't think it is smart enough.

                So the Grid Supp Volts Setting can be a little (somewhat) below the voltage where the batteries are charged, and the above will work (maybe).

                "Max Sell Amps" must be set high, whatever the inverter is capable of (maybe 80% of it). The AC1 breaker setting must also be set appropriately high. The default AC1 breaker seems to be set to 60 amps, plenty high. Max Sell Amps default seems to be 27, also reasonable, since 27 * 240 = 6480 watts (the 4024 would max out at 4000 watts).

              • TomWA
                TomWA commented
                Editing a comment
                I talked to the Schneider guy, he was helpful.

                The XW and XW+ inverters have something called "enhanced grid support" or "enhanced interactive mode". It is not shown in my XW4024 manual, but it is basically there, described differently (especially since I have upgraded my firmware). Anyway, it is documented in the following place:

                http://solar.schneider-electric.com/...olar-inverter/

                go to "downloads", "user documentation", english.
                The PDF describes this on page 3-30. The firmware version for this unit is 1.07.

                By the way, when you first crank up sell mode, it waits 5 minutes to be sure it is indeed talking to the grid (that has screwed me up before).

                My unit is a XW4024 (not Conext). The newest document is for the "Conext XW+". I don't know for sure if my older unit is compatible with "enhanced grid support", but my guess is that it is. The current firmware version is 1.07. I currently have 1.07, which I installed last year, so I should be OK. I also upgraded my charge controllers (to v1.05) at the same time. I did this because my Equalize function dropped out when I tried to start it up. The new firmware has a "soft start" on Equalize.

                Apparently the (Xantrex 150) CC is indeed smart enough to engage in this complex dance. Through the network (Xanbus), it has access to "Grid Supp Volts", which is set in the inverter. So it can determine if that is higher than the battery voltage, and act accordingly.

            • #9
              Originally posted by ncs55 View Post
              With all of the things you have said. You guys really don't like Hybrid systems that is for sure. And sunking, you are way biased and not necessarily correct with your evaluation. The last one I sold was just at $45,000.00 turn key. It came with the XW 6048, distribution panels with breakers etc., 3 classic 250's, 25 265W Solar World's, 3 MS PV6 with disconnecting means and breakers on the roof, 16, 6V Crown solar batteries, custom thermal blocked battery box with acid catch, complete critical load extraction and equipment, SCP,Gen control, and combox. Let me tell you, I was not laughing all of the way to the bank. It is a challenging installation. And you do not make as much as you would think. It sells back to the grid every day, has no problems and the customer never runs out of power when the grid goes down. He has a gen for backup, never had to use it yet.( and a hybrid system does not require a gen for extended periods of outage ). He pumps water out of a well and lives normally and can live fine if the grid never comes back. He lives at the end of a transmission line that SDG&E will shut power off every time the wind picks up and looses power frequently. He has had the grid down for over a week at a time. To most that want these systems, the first time the grid fails, it is worth every penny that they spent and they will tell you that. This is not the kind of system that you just go out and peddle either. People come to you, if they want it and there are a lot of these in San Diego County and for all different kinds of reasons. The Tesla powerwall is a joke and will never even come close to what a well designed hybrid system will deliver when the grid goes down. Neither will a gen and batteries and or the SPS from your Sunny Boy.
              Most uneducated people can be easily swayed into purchasing a hybrid system that is way over priced and not really needed. Based on Sunkings experience that has happened a lot and he trys to get people to start thinking about wasting their money.

              As you have pointed out there are both people with real needs for a hybrid and good systems that can be purchased but as I have read those are few and far between compared to what some of the "sellers" try to push people to get like the powerwall.

              So while Sunking may be not 100% correct in his statements he is probably closer to 98% considering the crap that people have tried to sell the unknowing who want to be "free" from their POCO and go "green"

              Comment


              • ncs55
                ncs55 commented
                Editing a comment
                I do not see anyone actively pushing hybrids or systems like what I am describing in this thread to people in my area. The people that want a true hybrid have to search to find a company that can actually do it correctly for them. I, on the other hand see the enphase battery storage and tesla walls actively being pushed on to customers all of the time. IMO, these systems are a waste of money for the average consumer, and are being sold to profit solely the installers. And are being lumped in as a hybrid system. I see intentional confusion by the sellers of these systems by comparing the two types when in reality, they are nothing like each other.

              • gmanInPA
                gmanInPA commented
                Editing a comment
                I agree... Few companies in my region seem to understand, let alone recommend hybrid systems. I suppose that is because as a business proposition, it's not the path of least resistance for the money earned. I too think that the power wall is touted as some grand solution that it's not and many will buy one expecting great things. One doesn't have to look very hard to see the vastly growing market for preparedness solutions. If I were an installer, I'd be specializing in hybrids and generators because there are a lot of people interested and they're often willing to spend considerably - like someone here who recently declared they didn't care if they spent > $20k to have their fridge and freezer run off of solar! Poo poo the financials all you want... If you want to do well, follow the money people are spending.

            • #10
              I second SunEagle ... I think most people approach solar in general, but definitely hybrid systems, as some sort of magic bullet that will not only give them backup power, but also save them money. There is no saving money in a hybrid system. There is recovering some part of the investment, but among solar options, it is the lowest of recoveries, if one can really say there is even a real recovery of the investment. There are legitimate reasons to for someone to use hybrid, but none of them are green (money/environment).

              Asserting that a $45k system pays for itself the first time the power is out for a week... seriously? I mean... Is there anywhere in the world that power is that expensive? I suppose if one earns $45k+ a week, that could be possible, but is otherwise just hyperbole.

              Comment


              • gmanInPA
                gmanInPA commented
                Editing a comment
                Remember ncs55 - I too am an XW owner and realize those advantages... some were part of my own decision to go that route. But I can also see the devil's advocate point of view - that you can do those things with a good backup generator, and for much less. Believe me, I see plenty of reasons to use hybrid - just none of them purely financial. That is THE main point that many here (including myself) often make, because many looking for such systems approach hybrid systems believing they will save money - whether through ignorance, or because that is how it is sold to them. For my investment of ~$26-30k, I save about $17/mo. That is a 122 year payback at a minimum . That is just my scenario based on my use patterns, the sun in my area, etc - but I really doubt the average homeowner is going to save scads of money. Anything they do save should be banked for their next battery, which they are sure to need. One does save some money on their monthly bill, but they spend a whopping amount to do so, so there is no true savings.

                FWIW, Schneider only recommends peak shaving if ALL the loads are on the inverter, which is unlikely on a single XW 6048, especially with an inverter only supporting 60 Amps AC output. You can still do so, and set it very aggressively, but you would not want to do so in a way where more kWH are used from the battery than were put in. Furthermore, when you use peak shaving, you are reducing your battery capacity, so if the power goes out during that time, you're not at 100% SoC - therefore reducing the time until the battery is discharged and reducing the effectiveness of having a battery backup. These aren't things that one really learns about until you start using a hybrid. They can do a lot, but there are always tradeoffs.

                Also, if one doesn't understand what they're doing with peak load shaving, they're basically just selling their battery capacity to the grid, which with normal POCO rates is just silly, because the credit earned per kWH sold is a fraction of what it cost to obtain it - at least in most contexts.

              • ncs55
                ncs55 commented
                Editing a comment
                I never said to peak shave with the XW, although yes it can be done, using the new SW is the unit for that application. And yes, you can install a generator to provide power, IF you can get a permit for it and prove that your gen is below the required noise DB levels. Try that anywhere in S.D. County and see how far you will get. Most gens out here in rural areas are unpermitted and unsafe in how they are being used by the customer who hacks them into their home. Also a gen will not let you use an existing grid tie system. So your grid tie inverter is useless and has to be isolated from the gen, and you are relegated to burning fuel. That is ok for a few hours at a time. And yes it is cheaper to install, but living in earthquake and fire country, it is not necessarily the best solution. And yes, hybrids are expensive and no they are not for everyone. 122 year payback? For the system I was referring to at 45k, the payback that customer calculated, is around 15 years for him, not factoring any food loss or other losses with no grid. This was calculated and was a factor in his decision to move forward with this system vs regular grid tie. He is net zero, has only the yearly charges as his bill. The payback is usually double or a little more than that compared to straight grid tie. Not as bad as most in here will have you believe and the equipment prices are dropping.
                Last edited by ncs55; 05-11-2016, 03:23 PM. Reason: added text.

              • gmanInPA
                gmanInPA commented
                Editing a comment
                The 122 yr payback was my payback, solely based on monthly savings for having installed such a system. I have a small array.

                So let's get back to the original point... people here, by and large don't seem to be patently against all hybrid systems. There is a lot of exhortation to go another route for those with primarily financial goals, and for those who want backup power. For those folks who want backup power, many who could have a generator supply the need are not aware that doing so would be far less expensive, though of course not in every locale.

            • #11
              Originally posted by gmanInPA View Post
              I second SunEagle ... I think most people approach solar in general, but definitely hybrid systems, as some sort of magic bullet that will not only give them backup power, but also save them money. There is no saving money in a hybrid system. There is recovering some part of the investment, but among solar options, it is the lowest of recoveries, if one can really say there is even a real recovery of the investment. There are legitimate reasons to for someone to use hybrid, but none of them are green (money/environment).

              Asserting that a $45k system pays for itself the first time the power is out for a week... seriously? I mean... Is there anywhere in the world that power is that expensive? I suppose if one earns $45k+ a week, that could be possible, but is otherwise just hyperbole.
              Some continuous manufacturing process can cost millions if it shuts down unexpectedly. That includes PV servers, continuous web machines, solid state component manufacturing, long term heating process, etc. So having immediate and seamless backup power will easily pay for itself if it can eliminate even one outage.

              As for most home or small company systems the loss of power is not that expensive to their business, but maybe the one that ncs55 mentions could cause a major loss of money if it suddenly stopped and stayed down for days.

              Comment


              • ncs55
                ncs55 commented
                Editing a comment
                No, the one I mentioned is just a person who wishes to be self reliant even without there being grid outages. He has reported actually shutting his main off and simulating outages for extended periods of time so he can educate himself in real world exercises of not having the grid and what he can actually do with his system. Basically choosing to live off grid temporarily.

              • gmanInPA
                gmanInPA commented
                Editing a comment
                I do the same, and it is a worthwhile exercise on many levels. Not as pleasant of a situation with grid-tied

            • #12
              My system is primarily for my business. On average, I stand to loose ~$2-3k per business day of down time. That happens approximately 5-7x per year on average, mostly because of vehicular accidents on a nearby highway causing outages, and secondly, due to the weather. Downtime also amounts to frustrated clients who might take their business elsewhere if I'm unavailable frequently-enough. Staying up and running with as little human intervention as possible is helpful to my business. There was also tax benefits for the system.

              I enjoy the seamless nature of the battery backup vs the time required for a backup generator to kick on, warm up, and take a load. I could have solved these problems using a whole bunch of cheaper UPS systems and a generator perhaps, but the solar allows me to work entirely off of PV during the bulk of my business hours (when the sun is shining). It doesn't save me much at a POCO level, but there is still monetary value to the installation.

              Comment


              • #13
                Originally posted by gmanInPA View Post
                My system is primarily for my business. On average, I stand to loose ~$2-3k per business day of down time. That happens approximately 5-7x per year on average, mostly because of vehicular accidents on a nearby highway causing outages, and secondly, due to the weather. Downtime also amounts to frustrated clients who might take their business elsewhere if I'm unavailable frequently-enough. Staying up and running with as little human intervention as possible is helpful to my business. There was also tax benefits for the system.

                I enjoy the seamless nature of the battery backup vs the time required for a backup generator to kick on, warm up, and take a load. I could have solved these problems using a whole bunch of cheaper UPS systems and a generator perhaps, but the solar allows me to work entirely off of PV during the bulk of my business hours (when the sun is shining). It doesn't save me much at a POCO level, but there is still monetary value to the installation.
                Sounds like you are doing the best you can using the solar technology to keep your business up and running when the grid goes down.

                No one likes to lose their electric power but for some it is an irritation, for others it means a loss of business which can run into some big dollars.

                Everyone needs to do the own calculations to determine if an energy "backup" system is worth the cost or not.

                Comment


                • #14
                  I think as has been shown, the general consensus here is that hybrid systems are expensive, finicky and often not the right answer, However for the "house at the end of the power run" and the business that can fail if offline too much,a hybrid system is the best answer, For Joe in the 'burbs, it still works, but it's not going to save him any money, the deep freeze full of moose steaks will keep 6 hours till he starts up the generator.
                  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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                  • #15
                    Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
                    I think as has been shown, the general consensus here is that hybrid systems are expensive, finicky and often not the right answer, However for the "house at the end of the power run" and the business that can fail if offline too much,a hybrid system is the best answer, For Joe in the 'burbs, it still works, but it's not going to save him any money, the deep freeze full of moose steaks will keep 6 hours till he starts up the generator.
                    But what a mess the loss of power does to the ice cream.

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