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Hybrid Installers in WI

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  • Hybrid Installers in WI

    I’m looking for a hybrid system installer. I’d like my system to essentially be capable of using 100% solar/battery power. Not ready to be actually off the grid, but I’d want my system to be capable of it.

    Who is the best hybrid installer out there that will do a job in WI?

    You can assume my budget can handle it and the goal is not to save money or have it eventually pay for itself. I just don’t want to be reliant on the power company any more.

  • #2
    Originally posted by GreenLantern View Post
    I’m looking for a hybrid system installer. I’d like my system to essentially be capable of using 100% solar/battery power. Not ready to be actually off the grid, but I’d want my system to be capable of it.

    Who is the best hybrid installer out there that will do a job in WI?

    You can assume my budget can handle it and the goal is not to save money or have it eventually pay for itself. I just don’t want to be reliant on the power company any more.
    If my budget could handle what sounds (reads) like what you want, I'd probably need to have pretty deep pockets.

    If so, I'd hire an energy consultant/P.E. outfit familiar with what you want and who knows what/who's available in your area, and not rely on semi anonymous, unvetted opinion from strangers whose subject knowledge and veracity is unknown and unverifiable to you or most anyone.

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    • #3
      I have heard Tesla has good prices but there is a long wait.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by GreenLantern View Post
        I’m looking for a hybrid system installer. I’d like my system to essentially be capable of using 100% solar/battery power. Not ready to be actually off the grid, but I’d want my system to be capable of it.

        Who is the best hybrid installer out there that will do a job in WI?

        You can assume my budget can handle it and the goal is not to save money or have it eventually pay for itself. I just don’t want to be reliant on the power company any more.
        I guess my only question is, how bad is your power company concerning reliability?

        Based on a lot of POCO's I have dealt with the usual issue of power losses is due to the customers location on the grid and not anything the POCO is doing or not doing to cause someone to not be connected to them.

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        • #5
          I live in the country and it seems like whenever it gets windy or we get storms the power goes out. I have a brand new Generac whole home generator. Since I've had it the power has gone out several times, and it's failed twice, despite passing every weekly test it does. It's under warranty and they are looking into it, but I'm not happy with it at all to say the least. It's also annoying that there is a delay between power outage and the generator kicking on, which means I have to run around the house and reset a bunch of clocks on things like stoves, microwaves, thermostats, etc. I'm hoping that the battery power will be fast enough that it's uninterrupted.

          I am currently talking with a local solar installer and so far they seem good, but I guess I can maybe rephrase the question a different way. How do I know they are really good? I haven't had a lot of time to really research this and know what equipment is really good and what isn't. I want to make sure what I'm getting is the best I can get. I don't want to cut corners. I want it robust and reliable.

          Maybe I'm just getting ahead of myself and need to wait to get details of the equipment they are planning to use and can post it here to get some feedback?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by GreenLantern View Post
            I live in the country and it seems like whenever it gets windy or we get storms the power goes out. I have a brand new Generac whole home generator. Since I've had it the power has gone out several times, and it's failed twice, despite passing every weekly test it does. It's under warranty and they are looking into it, but I'm not happy with it at all to say the least. It's also annoying that there is a delay between power outage and the generator kicking on, which means I have to run around the house and reset a bunch of clocks on things like stoves, microwaves, thermostats, etc. I'm hoping that the battery power will be fast enough that it's uninterrupted.

            I am currently talking with a local solar installer and so far they seem good, but I guess I can maybe rephrase the question a different way. How do I know they are really good? I haven't had a lot of time to really research this and know what equipment is really good and what isn't. I want to make sure what I'm getting is the best I can get. I don't want to cut corners. I want it robust and reliable.

            Maybe I'm just getting ahead of myself and need to wait to get details of the equipment they are planning to use and can post it here to get some feedback?
            Well if money is not problem there are some very big UPS systems that will provide continuous power from batteries even if the grid goes down. Since you already have a generator I expect you also have an emergency power panel. If not you may be required to rewire critical loads to a second panel and have the UPS connected to that one. The batteries can be recharged from the grid or your generator.

            You can add solar but I think that will just be an added expense although a grid tie solar pv system with Net metering is the best of most worlds.

            I really can't help you with your decision concerning an installer. Although from what I have heard most of those companies do not last anywhere near the life of the equipment warranty.

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            • #7
              I do have a transfer switch installed. I would not want to charge the batteries off the grid or generator. I'd rather charge them from solar and be self reliant, if possible. Even if that means I need a larger solar system that can both charge batteries and give me power during the day. If that's not possible, then perhaps I would just scale back the batteries to only power critical things (like well pump for example).

              Basically, I want to be grid tied for now, but if I had to cut off from the grid I want it so I wouldn't even notice.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by GreenLantern View Post
                I do have a transfer switch installed. I would not want to charge the batteries off the grid or generator. I'd rather charge them from solar and be self reliant, if possible. Even if that means I need a larger solar system that can both charge batteries and give me power during the day. If that's not possible, then perhaps I would just scale back the batteries to only power critical things (like well pump for example).

                Basically, I want to be grid tied for now, but if I had to cut off from the grid I want it so I wouldn't even notice.
                The problem with charging batteries from only solar is that no one gets 365 days a year with useful solar energy. Anyone that has batteries as a house energy storage system also has them charged from the grid and/or a generator.

                If you do not have more than one way to charge the batteries then you should expect times of no power if they are what you are relying on.

                Most people that have a hybrid grid tied solar pv system along which includes batteries also have a limited power supply if the grid goes down. If it was me I would invest in multiple generators along with the batteries.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by GreenLantern View Post
                  I live in the country and it seems like whenever it gets windy or we get storms the power goes out. I have a brand new Generac whole home generator. Since I've had it the power has gone out several times, and it's failed twice, despite passing every weekly test it does. It's under warranty and they are looking into it, but I'm not happy with it at all to say the least. It's also annoying that there is a delay between power outage and the generator kicking on, which means I have to run around the house and reset a bunch of clocks on things like stoves, microwaves, thermostats, etc. I'm hoping that the battery power will be fast enough that it's uninterrupted.
                  I have heard Generac is working on an integrated solution. They did recently purchase Pika, a battery manufacturer, and Nuerio a company that has expertise in measuring and controlling battery systems. The Neurio controller is the data gathering device inside the Tesla Powerwall and I have used one in a standalone application to turn on devices when my solar is producing, What little I have seen about the battery, it seems overpriced but the real value could be if they get the integration correct. Maybe the profit opportunity and and marketing opportunity would be enough for Generac to give an installer and you sufficient support in this emerginng market opportunity. That may give you some comfort. I think in many parts of the country a battery backup that can leverage solar and have a generator available for when the sun doesn't shine would be an attractive option. Strategically Generac seems to have identified that opportunity.
                  I am currently talking with a local solar installer and so far they seem good, but I guess I can maybe rephrase the question a different way. How do I know they are really good? I haven't had a lot of time to really research this and know what equipment is really good and what isn't. I want to make sure what I'm getting is the best I can get. I don't want to cut corners. I want it robust and reliable.
                  That is a good question. As I mentioned above, If Generac can turn a bad or less than acceptable generator solution into an example of a great integration maybe there is some leverage there for you to use. They are in Wisconsin and you could use Generac's referral network to get another bid and see which of their dealers can give you the best guarantee of factory support.
                  Maybe I'm just getting ahead of myself and need to wait to get details of the equipment they are planning to use and can post it here to get some feedback?
                  I wouldn't say that you are getting ahead of yourself. I think a long term strategic view is where you are going and that coupled with a small dose of risk management can result in a better outcome.
                  Last edited by Ampster; 04-23-2020, 05:10 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Ok, that makes sense. I suppose in that case then I may have to rely on some alternative sources for the batteries. Thank you for the help!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
                      ......... Anyone that has batteries as a house energy storage system also has them charged from the grid and/or a generator.
                      That is good advice and as a blanket statement for active members on this forum and/or those living off grid that is probably true. However, as of June 30, 2019, in the the case of the 50,000 sites at which one or more Tesla Powerwalls were installed that is not the case that they charged from a generator. That number is probably even larger today based on guesstimates of Powerwall installations. That also goes for StorEdge installations but I couldn't find a number for StorEdge installations.

                      I do think there is a real market opportunity for an inverter driven generator or an interface that could fill that niche since a Powerwall and StorEdge have no generator input option. That is an option available for more expensive hybrid inverter systems.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ampster View Post
                        That is good advice and as a blanket statement for active members on this forum and/or those living off grid that is probably true. However, as of June 30, 2019, in the the case of the 50,000 sites at which one or more Tesla Powerwalls were installed that is not the case that they charged from a generator. That number is probably even larger today based on guesstimates of Powerwall installations. That also goes for StorEdge installations but I couldn't find a number for StorEdge installations.

                        I do think there is a real market opportunity for an inverter driven generator or an interface that could fill that niche since a Powerwall and StorEdge have no generator input option. That is an option available for more expensive hybrid inverter systems.
                        You are probably correct. Although a lot of members that want a battery backup also have issues with the grid always being there. If they chose not to have some other type of power generating charging device they may discharge their batteries too far.

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                        • #13
                          I haven't done the math on my generator yet to find out, but if I had to guess I would say that charging the batteries from the grid would be more economical and cleaner than the generator. My Generator runs on propane, and IIRC it uses it quite fast. I have a 1000gal propane tank for my house and at half speed the generator consumes 2.5gal/hr and about 4gal/hr at full speed.

                          My propane company never fills the tank 100% full. It seems like it's always 80% after a refill. So, 800 gallons, assuming they just filled it, gives me ~8 days of power at full speed. That's also assuming no other propane consumption. The other items that use propane in my house are the clothes dryer, oven, boiler for hot water and in-floor heat.
                          Last edited by GreenLantern; 04-24-2020, 11:36 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by GreenLantern View Post
                            I haven't done the math on my generator yet to find out, but if I had to guess I would say that charging the batteries from the grid would be more economical and cleaner than the generator. My Generator runs on propane, and IIRC it uses it quite fast. I have a 1000gal propane tank for my house and at half speed the generator consumes 2.5gal/hr and about 4gal/hr at full speed.

                            My propane company never fills the tank 100% full. It seems like it's always 80% after a refill. So, 800 gallons, assuming they just filled it, gives me ~8 days of power at full speed. That's also assuming no other propane consumption. The other items that use propane in my house are the clothes dryer, oven, boiler for hot water and in-floor heat.
                            For reasons of thermal expansion, and other thermophysical properties of propane, and so primarily for safety reasons, 80% is a pretty common max. fill on a residential propane tank.

                            An overfilled tank can explode. The more common and hopefully more likely result is that the pressure relief valve on the tank will lift and spew contents to relieve the over pressure. The giveaway there is the hissing sound the PRV makes when it lifts and the smell of the odorant. Just hope that the PRV has been inspected on a regular basis and it operates as it should.

                            You also, and for practical reasons of delivery schedules and other things, may not want to drop below some minimum level like 5 - 10 % or greater. See your propane distributor or google for specifics on max. fill levels and reasons why it's a good reason to stay below the 80% level. You could always get larger or additional tankage, although there may be municipal restrictions on that in terms of number size and placement.
                            Last edited by J.P.M.; 04-25-2020, 04:15 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

                              For reasons of thermal expansion, and other thermophysical properties of propane, and so primarily for safety reasons, 80% is a pretty common max. fill on a residential propane tank.

                              An overfilled tank can explode. The more common and hopefully more likely result is that the pressure relief valve on the tank will lift and spew contents to relieve the over pressure. The giveaway there is the hissing sound the PRV males when it lifts and the smell of the odorant. Just hope that the PRV has been inspected on a regular basis and it operates as it should.

                              You also, and for practical reasons of delivery schedules and other things, may not want to drop below some minimum level like 5 - 10 % or greater. See your propane distributor or google for specifics on max. fill levels and reasons why it's a good reason to stay below the 80% level. You could always get larger or additional tankage, although there may be municipal restrictions on that in terms of number size and placement.
                              Sometimes the problem with a larger tank is that the locality wants it buried in the ground. That is one of the drawbacks for me to get a 250 gallon tank as well as the expense of burying it.

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