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  • #16
    Originally posted by azdave View Post

    Yes. Buy a small backup generator if you need some A/C power when the grid is down. Far easier and cheaper than what you are planning.
    ASDAVE. Thanks for your suggestion.
    The problem is that a generator requires attention.
    Constantly cycling fuel to be sure it hasn't gone 'stale'. Periodic running to make sure it's "ready". Then, if the power is gone for days, making sure you have enough fuel to get through (and who knows how much that would be).
    Most generators don't want to be in the rain and you certainly can't run it in the garage so where DO you run it? Our outages are the result of tropical storms or hurricanes. Pretty wet! Plus, their noisy as he!!.
    An Inverter generator reduces some of these concerns by reducing RPM's/ fuel requirements as the load lightens and they are a lot quieter that the "conventional" generators.
    I'm think about it though.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

      Either you're confused or I'm reading FPL's website wrong, or FPL is not your POCO, but FPL claims to be paying full retail on what looks like the usual net metering arrangements. Excess generation is at ~ $0.04/kWh, pretty much like elsewhere.
      No, FPL is not my utility. I'm in Myrtle Beach. Ours is Santee Cooper.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Convert View Post

        No, FPL is not my utility. I'm in Myrtle Beach. Ours is Santee Cooper.
        And as you stated in your opening post. My bad.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Convert View Post

          No, FPL is not my utility. I'm in Myrtle Beach. Ours is Santee Cooper.
          OK, my ignorance is showing here. I have downloaded the appropriate document (24 pages) however, from your comment J.P.M. I'm believe therr may be a difference between "Net Metering" and Excess Generation.
          It looks as though I can go "one for one" as long as I am consuming the "credit" I acquire by putting power into the grid.
          Is that close to how it works?

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Convert View Post

            Thank you SUNEAGLE for your explanation. You've certainly got me (re) thinking this premise.
            I'll still want the batteries but, perhaps, only for those (very few) times the grid fails. Actually, I may be able to utilize the batteries in my golf cart to cover those times.
            Depending on how often the grid fails should be a motivator as to what type of emergency power backup you want to purchase.

            Case in point I have a couple of small solar / battery systems and a couple of generators. The battery systems cost me about $3000 total and can provide maybe 800 watt hours a day.

            On the other hand I have a new 12000 watt dual fuel generator which cost me about $1200 and will provide me 6000 Watts from a 20lb bottle of propane over a period of maybe 8 hours or roughly 48kWh a day.

            Seems to me that a better use of my money would be using a generator then a battery. But I was young once and insisted on purchasing a solar/battery system only to be proven that it is not a cost effective way to provide my family emergency power.

            Again you have to decide how to spend your money and on what you want to use when the power grid fails.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Convert View Post

              BUTCHDEAL. Thank you for your input. Unfortunately, my utilities company will only credit $0.04/ Kwh but I suppose that's better than nothing. My supposition was to utilize all that I generate (thus the batteries) without dealing with the provider. Obviously, that's not going to 'cut it'. Guess I'll need to look into a meter and an appropriate inverter.
              Are you certain you are understanding your utility companies information? What utility company is it?
              FL has 100% net metering, ALL utility companies.
              They would pay you $0.04/kWh for any OVER production but you would get full retail value for any kWh used within the net meter window of 1 year.

              http://programs.dsireusa.org/system/program/detail/2880
              OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Convert View Post

                No, FPL is not my utility. I'm in Myrtle Beach. Ours is Santee Cooper.
                well it sounds like you have a case against Santee Cooper for not providing net metering, as they clearly state on their web page that they do NOT provide net metering.

                http://www.santeecoopersolar.com/wp-...ome_020218.pdf

                But your FL H.B 7135 states :
                H.B. 7135 required municipal utilities and electric cooperatives to "develop a standardized interconnection agreement and net metering program for customer-owned renewable generation" by July 1, 2009.
                However on this page it sounds like they are wording it strangly you might want to call them and see if they are talking about crediting net excess generation at the $0.04/kWh rate or ANY power exported even for a few minutes to the grid at the lower rate?

                Santee Cooper does credit customer-generated energy that is consumed by the customer at the full retail rate. Any generated energy that is exported back to the grid is credited to the customer at the rate specified on the Distributed Generation Rider.
                http://www.santeecoopersolar.com/solar-home/faqs/

                It looks like they also have a rebate up to $7.8k
                Last edited by ButchDeal; 11-06-2018, 01:49 PM.
                OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Convert View Post
                  The problem is that a generator requires attention.
                  Constantly cycling fuel to be sure it hasn't gone 'stale'. Periodic running to make sure it's "ready". Then, if the power is gone for days, making sure you have enough fuel to get through (and who knows how much that would be).
                  Propane solves the stale fuel problem, as does obtaining gasoline from a vehicle during power outages.
                  Getting enough fuel to run for days isn't much of an issue.
                  Most generators don't want to be in the rain and you certainly can't run it in the garage so where DO you run it?
                  Garage with the door open. Under an overhang. In a vented enclosure.



                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Convert View Post
                    So, the consensus is that I should just stay on the grid until the grid fails?
                    That's the easiest way, yes.
                    I have little interest in attempting to sell excess power to the utility (not that there would be much excess). Here, the utilities payout about 25% of the going rate and charge a monthly fee on top of that.
                    So size your system to cover your own usage, and that's it.
                    Could you explain why this setup would be so detrimental to the batteries? Don't electric vehicles do essentially the same thing?
                    Perhaps I've got the wrong idea altogether.
                    Lead acid batteries like to be at full charge. They last longest in that state. Keeping them below 50% kills them very quickly.
                    EV's have lithium ion batteries. They prefer to be at half charge and don't mind deeper discharges (as long as they don't get to 0% charge.)

                    Two very different approaches.

                    My suggestion - if you really want solar, get a small (~3kW, do the math to get the exact number) grid tied system with an SMA secure power system. Keep a computer UPS ($99) plugged in to the wall at all times. When the power goes out use the computer UPS for power. If the blackout is long, plug the UPS into the SMA secure power outlet. You will get power when the sun is out and the UPS will let you run small loads (i.e. USB lights, phone chargers) at night.

                    If you want longer/better backup, get a generator.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      I think the problem with someone not wanting a generator is that they are either too inept to keep it running or just too overwhelmed with running one. They just want a simple (but expensive) "plug and play" system using a battery.

                      What they don't understand is that a battery system may require more attention then a generator to keep providing power as long as you need it.

                      But then again if you have money to burn then go with batteries. Not my problem or concern.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
                        But then again if you have money to burn then go with batteries. Not my problem or concern.
                        Amen.


                        MSEE, PE

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
                          I think the problem with someone not wanting a generator is that they are either too inept to keep it running or just too overwhelmed with running one. They just want a simple (but expensive) "plug and play" system using a battery.
                          Of course I want the simplest system I can come up with. Doesn't everyone?
                          As for being inept, during my stint at Deep Water Horizons in 2010, I operated more stand by generators of larger sizes than most will ever see, let alone be responsible for.

                          How quick we are to judge!!!
                          How quick to criticize!

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Convert View Post
                            Of course I want the simplest system I can come up with. Doesn't everyone?
                            As for being inept, during my stint at Deep Water Horizons in 2010, I operated more stand by generators of larger sizes than most will ever see, let alone be responsible for.

                            How quick we are to judge!!!
                            How quick to criticize!
                            I may be quick to judge but it may come from not understand why people would rather go with a solar/battery system then a good stand by generator.

                            The generator is easy to run and maintain but the solar only works on sunny days and nights if you keep a close eye on the battery system. Even if you spent every day keeping the battery happy you would still be paying way more to generate a couple of kWh a day as to using a gen set which will get much more bang for your buck.

                            Don't be fooled into believing a solar / battery system is simple or easy to use. Look to your experience with gen sets and ask yourself is this something I can do and how do I want to provide emergency power for my family if the grid goes down for a period of time.

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