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Imagine if you had just bought a solar system in Iowa..

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  • #16
    Currently in my area net metering is 1 to 1 and electricity is super cheap anyways. No tou pricing ect. Not alot of solar installs but for how long? The thought of the rule changes being a possibility has definitely crossed my mind. I just think in that scenario I'm going to make my own powerwall. Probably need to get different inverters and basically pretend like I'm off grid. I can shut my power off at the meter. If the power company wants to play a game where they want to charge me for per kw of solar I have (which is ridiculous btw) then they can disconnect me completely. I'll just keep buying panels and batteries until I can power my house for a week plus of clouds and then use the generator in a pinch. I mean seriously inverters have the ability to be placed in self consumption mode with batteries ect. How can the poco charge you per kw of solar on your roof if you're not sending excess to the grid? I'd be losing my mind.

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    • #17
      Mobile homes are typically not very well insulated. https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...TE+MOBILE+HOME
      has some good videos on how to do it, good luck!

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      • #18
        Power companies don't like home solar. My experience with my local power company is less than friendly

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        • #19
          Originally posted by magic8192 View Post
          Power companies don't like home solar. My experience with my local power company is less than friendly
          Let's hear the story....don't leave us hanging

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Markyrocks69 View Post

            Let's hear the story....don't leave us hanging
            I have gone round and round with them. They have a limit of 10KW for the system you can hook up to their grid. I misunderstood their requirement even after talking to them. I took away that I could hook up a larger system if I met the requirements of a system > 10KW. The document they provide has requirements for systems < 10KW, 10KW to 100KW, and over 100KW. I met their insurance/planning requirements for an array over 10KW and they denied it because only 10KW is approved for home solar. I would have to be a business to use a larger system.

            Ok, no problem. It doesn't directly say that you have to be a business to use the 10 -100 KW system, but it does say that home solar is limited to 10KW.

            After figuring out that I could not hook up to their grid, I decided to use a separate grid with my big loads on the power company side and the rest on my personal and separate power grid. I have a 15KW inverter that I planned to use to power my grid and use the power company as a back up for my personal grid when it is rainy/cloudy. The power company would hook up to the inverter on the generator side of the inverter. It would switch over to the generator input(power company)when battery voltage was low. At that point it would stay on the generator(power company) connection until the battery is charged. At that point my personal grid would switch back over to the battery/solar input on the inverter.

            The power company engineer inspected my drawing/documentation provided and determined that it would operate properly on their grid.

            The power company denied it because my inverter is over 10KW and I could rearrange it after they(power company) inspects/leaves to push power over 10KW onto their grid.

            My only option is to sell my equipment and purchase 10KW gear or use an actual generator for my backup.

            My take is that most solar is done by contractors and it is the same grid tied system every time. The power company representatives did not know very much about what they are trying to regulate, their documentation is poorly written and confusing. They are meeting the regulation they have to abide by to the letter of the law and see me as a competitor that they need to quash.

            I currently have the grid tied portion of my system operational and complete. I can't connect it to the power company grid because it is over 10KW. I am in the process of completing my battery/inverter install. I will operate it for a while without a generator. If I have issues, I will buy a generator.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by magic8192 View Post

              I have gone round and round with them. They have a limit of 10KW for the system you can hook up to their grid. I misunderstood their requirement even after talking to them. I took away that I could hook up a larger system if I met the requirements of a system > 10KW. The document they provide has requirements for systems < 10KW, 10KW to 100KW, and over 100KW. I met their insurance/planning requirements for an array over 10KW and they denied it because only 10KW is approved for home solar. I would have to be a business to use a larger system.

              Ok, no problem. It doesn't directly say that you have to be a business to use the 10 -100 KW system, but it does say that home solar is limited to 10KW.

              After figuring out that I could not hook up to their grid, I decided to use a separate grid with my big loads on the power company side and the rest on my personal and separate power grid. I have a 15KW inverter that I planned to use to power my grid and use the power company as a back up for my personal grid when it is rainy/cloudy. The power company would hook up to the inverter on the generator side of the inverter. It would switch over to the generator input(power company)when battery voltage was low. At that point it would stay on the generator(power company) connection until the battery is charged. At that point my personal grid would switch back over to the battery/solar input on the inverter.

              The power company engineer inspected my drawing/documentation provided and determined that it would operate properly on their grid.

              The power company denied it because my inverter is over 10KW and I could rearrange it after they(power company) inspects/leaves to push power over 10KW onto their grid.

              My only option is to sell my equipment and purchase 10KW gear or use an actual generator for my backup.

              My take is that most solar is done by contractors and it is the same grid tied system every time. The power company representatives did not know very much about what they are trying to regulate, their documentation is poorly written and confusing. They are meeting the regulation they have to abide by to the letter of the law and see me as a competitor that they need to quash.

              I currently have the grid tied portion of my system operational and complete. I can't connect it to the power company grid because it is over 10KW. I am in the process of completing my battery/inverter install. I will operate it for a while without a generator. If I have issues, I will buy a generator.
              My question here is if you're basically planning using the grid as your backup. .. why does it need inspected by the poco? If you're not net metering then its really none of their business what you do as long as you cant backfeed their grid....

              Edit... after thinking about the logic of "poco denied it bc after they leave/inspect I could reconfigure "....what's to stop anyone from doing that anyways? You could buy a 10kw inverter, get everything inspected and just swap in the 15kw inverter afterwards according to the logic. To be denied based on that is to say they should deny everyone based on the potential to break the net metering agreement....it really doesn't make much sense considering most inverters have the ability to throttle back. Basic math would expose you almost instantly if you started pumping out 15kw an hr to their grid. The only issue I can see from their end is after the approval there is probably zero follow up to look at the numbers ect. That sounds like a shortfall of their end and I'd probably be pretty upset aswell if they were basically accusing you of violating the agreement b4 it has even been made.

              Something else that is kinda confusing is you say home solar is limited to 10kw system but 10-100kw doesn't need to be a business but it can't be home solar? What exactly does that mean? Like if you were leasing the system to someone else it would be ok as long as you don't live there? I'd probably want more clarity on that bc that sounds like some shenanigans. Maybe they leave in that loophole incase you wanted to provide your neighbor with solar power too? I'm not exactly sure how that works but apparently with my poco I can supposedly generate power for someone else? Like if my mother in law down the road paid me to put panels in my yard ect she could somehow share that benefit? Maybe a certain % of my production would come off her bill?
              Last edited by Markyrocks69; 08-13-2019, 05:37 PM. Reason: Epiphany

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Markyrocks69 View Post

                My question here is if you're basically planning using the grid as your backup. .. why does it need inspected by the poco? If you're not net metering then its really none of their business what you do as long as you cant backfeed their grid....
                My understanding is that if you operate their grid in a manner that they have denied, the end result after warnings/negotiations would be disconnecting power.

                The power company engineer hinted that I should do just what you suggested.

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                • #23
                  That sounds like a shortfall of their end and I'd probably be pretty upset aswell if they were basically accusing you of violating the agreement b4 it has even been made.
                  Yes, it is a BS answer because they didn't want to deal with what I was doing.

                  Something else that is kinda confusing is you say home solar is limited to 10kw system but 10-100kw doesn't need to be a business but it can't be home solar?
                  It isn't clear what I said. Only businesses can run a system over 10kW.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by magic8192 View Post
                    My understanding is that if you operate their grid in a manner that they have denied, the end result after warnings/negotiations would be disconnecting power.

                    The power company engineer hinted that I should do just what you suggested.
                    As far as my knowledge goes they are only giving you permission or denying you the ability to net meter. Basically give you permission to send excess power back to them . If you have the inverter isolated from the grid via a automatic or manual transfer switch.... there ain't a damn thing they can say. In that scenario the only concern they should have is the grid accidentally being backfed if there wasn't a transfer switch inline. In this type of scenario your solar setup is nothing more than a glorified generator. The same rules for a backup generator or essentially a off grid system should be exactly the same. The only thing I could recommend is to figure out if you can ac couple the batteries without back feeding the grid when ac power is on . This would be useful if you have tou rate structure.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Markyrocks69 View Post

                      As far as my knowledge goes they are only giving you permission or denying you the ability to net meter. Basically give you permission to send excess power back to them . If you have the inverter isolated from the grid via a automatic or manual transfer switch.... there ain't a damn thing they can say. In that scenario the only concern they should have is the grid accidentally being backfed if there wasn't a transfer switch inline. In this type of scenario your solar setup is nothing more than a glorified generator. The same rules for a backup generator or essentially a off grid system should be exactly the same. The only thing I could recommend is to figure out if you can ac couple the batteries without back feeding the grid when ac power is on . This would be useful if you have tou rate structure.
                      The engineer looked at the documentation I gave him and was good with it. I would think he would have complained if it could back feed. I don't know the politics of all this and I don't really care. I am saving money for a generator. I would like to keep using their power for my large loads, so I will probably do what they ask.

                      I would really like to be unnoticed by them if possible. I am pretty high profile with them at the moment and I think that is a lot of the reason they strictly enforced the rules.

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                      • #26
                        I haven't had a chance to digest everything in this very interesting discussion. The critical issue is who is the entity that governs what you do behind the meter? In California it is either a city or the county. They do that by adopting the state building code, modifying it if necessary. From what I have read on this forum some rural jurisdictions have delegated that to the local power companies. Hopefully that is not the case in your jurisdiction.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Ampster View Post
                          I haven't had a chance to digest everything in this very interesting discussion. The critical issue is who is the entity that governs what you do behind the meter? In California it is either a city or the county. They do that by adopting the state building code, modifying it if necessary. From what I have read on this forum some rural jurisdictions have delegated that to the local power companies. Hopefully that is not the case in your jurisdiction.
                          The thing is usually if a building permit isn't required then you can basically do whatever you want on your own end. Now I'm not recommending doing shoddy work or sketchy stuff but after the meter it shouldn't be the power company's business what a customer is doing. They arnt a governing body, the only thing they have the authority to do is shut your power off.
                          Think of it outside of solar. If I build a garage and my municipality is nonexistent or doesn't care about a permit. What is it any of the power company business what I do with the power after it hits the meter? Its not their property, they're not insuring my property. Obviously theres the safety factor but if I build a garage and no permit is required but I put a subpanel in there. What right would a electric company have to come on my property and claim that somehow I violated their rules? Honestly besides coming to look at the meter they don't have the right to take one extra step past that meter unless I have like some blatantly obvious violations within eyeshot or am doing something illegal in the meter socket or fraudulent.

                          If they would ask me about my new garage I'd say its always been there and no power runs to it.


                          Markyrocks - please be careful what sort of "advice" you are passing out. Just because you want to do it your way, does not mean other folks are able to do it that way in their jurisdiction. You can become liable if some person takes your advice and suffer a service disconnect or fines because of what you said. - Moderator
                          Last edited by Mike90250; 08-13-2019, 09:50 PM. Reason: added moderator note

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                          • #28
                            I live in a rural area and the power company is a Co-Op. I think they have the power to shut me off if I don't follow their rules. They probably won't and will forget about me in a few months if I leave them alone.

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                            • #29
                              Yes, that is what I am saying with the caveat that one must follow applicable building codes. That often means using UL approved equipment. Generally if there is a reasonable Net Metering policy it will be more cost effective to be grid tied and use the grid as your battery. However if the power company puts obstacles in the way of grid tied installation by way of rules and or pricing then people have the right to install solar and batteries behind the meter and reduce their grid consumption.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Markyrocks69 View Post

                                ........ What right would a electric company have to come on my property and claim that somehow I violated their rules? Honestly besides coming to look at the meter they don't have the right to take one extra step past that meter unless I have like some blatantly obvious violations within eyeshot or am doing something illegal in the meter socket or fraudulent.....
                                Anything you connect to your household outlets or electrical panel, especially if it is capable of backfeeding their grid, is subject to their jurisdiction. Pi$$ the PwrCo off, and if they disconnect their meter on your property, for improper connections, they can also have your house red tagged - unable to legally enter, because it has no official electrical service.

                                Be very careful what game you are playing, the PwrCo has most of the rules and law & case history on their side. You have -squat-.

                                Markyrocks - please be careful what sort of "advice" you are passing out. Just because you want to do it your way, does not mean other folks are able to do it that way in their jurisdiction. You can become liable if some person takes your advice and suffer a service disconnect or fines because of what you said. - Moderator

                                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 ||
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