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Thread: Solar Electricity - Grid Connect

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Solar Electricity - Grid Connect

    Solar Electricity - Grid Connect
    Anyone know anything about this.
    We are getting quotes from 'Modern Solar' (Newcastle) and 'Energy Matters' (Melbourne) on a 1485 - 1620 (9 panel) system.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Mount Gambier
    Posts
    950

    Re: Solar Electricity - Grid Connect

    Thin film amorphous panels are about the same "dollar per rated watt" as other panels, however the wattage rating is measured with the panel at 25 degrees. In practice the panels in operation are closer to 50-75 degrees, which poly and monoscrystaline panels are putting out a drastically reduced output, thin film amorphous panels produce considerable more under these conditions, as well as cloudy or overcast conditions .mine dont seem to put out any less on hot days, (unike a friends polycrystaline array) and even still produce when the sun is shining on the back of them (as happens on late afternoons in summer) Thin film amorphous panels also take a lot less energy to make.
    The downside is (unless you want to shade a lot of roof area?) is that they are about 3 times larger in area, meaning companies which dont come to your house to measure up (Energy matters from my expirence) dont like them as they want to install the smaller and easier amount of panels.
    The solar shop (and if you mention me I will get a $200 kickback) do the thin film panels preferably. Mind you ask for the good installers, they do have them) not the ones I had that fell somewhere between trained gibbons and untrained monkeys. Rendering first aid to them I felt was a bit over the top, although the week before one fell through a skylight so it could have been worse.
    The current renew magazine has a good article on the difference between the types of panels.
    Last edited by Captain Echidna; 9th February 2010 at 11:40 AM.
    cheers<BR>Chris.<BR>1990 landcruiser 80, 1HD-T two tank, copper pipe HE+ 20 plate FPHE, toyota solenoids and filters. 1978 300D, elsbett one tank system.<BR>

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Mount Gambier
    Posts
    950

    Re: Solar Electricity - Grid Connect

    The old system was ended by the "minister without hair" early, and they have been fart arsing around for ages. I suggest contacting an installation mob, they should know what the go is. Probably going an inverter and switching between panels and whatever else would be the go, inverters that have 2 inputs may get people asking questions best not asked.

    And is it just me or has the abovementioned minister been the only person in history to go from someone not on an electoral roll to a minister and member of a political party in power and become LESS of a political influence in the process?
    cheers<BR>Chris.<BR>1990 landcruiser 80, 1HD-T two tank, copper pipe HE+ 20 plate FPHE, toyota solenoids and filters. 1978 300D, elsbett one tank system.<BR>

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Lake Macquarie (just south of Newcastle) NSW
    Posts
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    Re: Solar Electricity - Grid Connect

    Chris - you are right about the minister!
    No rebates currently.
    NSW just went to a gross feed in tarrif of 60c/kWh - locked in for the next 7 years.
    That means I get 60c/kWh for what I put into the grid and pay 15.6c/kWh for what I take out of the grid. Meter does not 'run backwards' there are 2 meters, one for in and one for out. fitting a 1.5 kW system I should get on average a $200 cheque each quarter instead of a $130 bill.
    If you can connect a generator to your inverter you could put in more.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    4,079

    Re: Solar Electricity - Grid Connect

    Use of a generator when the solar panels are not producing will allow you to use the same inverter for both, providing the inverter is rated for use with generators.

    Some technical information here:
    If the grid disconnects from your home (power outage), the inverter will disconnect and shut down.
    If solar panels are in use, the voltage at the inverter DC input will rise to the Open Circuit voltage. The inverter is rated to withstand that voltage.

    If you are using the generator to supply DC voltage for the inverter and it disconnects, the output voltage of the generator can rise up to 10 times the nominal voltage, or more. Most inverters are not rated to withstand this voltage on the DC input. Result - one fried inverter.

    There are inverters which can operate from wind generators, engine generators and/or Solar. These would be the types of inverter to use. They may require you to install a battery bank to limit the peak DC voltage if the inverter disconnects.

    We use a large battery bank and 2.5kwp of solar panels, for our stand alone power system. The diesel generator will charge the batteries directly (specifically in winter when solar generation is low).
    We also have a 1kwp Grid connect system, which generally makes up for the small amount of power we use from the grid (3 phase pumps, oven, etc)
    I hope this information is of use to you.

    Regards,
    Tony
    Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

    Current Vehicles in stable:
    '85 Mercedes Benz W123 300CD Turbodiesel single tank using 95% used cooking oil and 5% to 10% misfuel (where someone had filled diesel vehicle with petrol).
    '06 Musso Sports Crew Cab. Running on used cooking oil with 5% to 10% misfuel.
    Toyota Camry Hybrid - (Wife's Car)

    Previous Vehicles:
    '90 Mazda Capella. (2000 - 2003) My first Fatmobile. Converted to fun on veggie oil with a 2 tank setup. Died when supercharger stuck at max boost for weeks. Stretched head bolts.
    '80 Mercedes 300D. 2 tank conversion [Sold]
    '84 Mercedes 300D. 1 tank, no conversion. Replaced engine with rebuilt OM617A turbodiesel engine. Finally had good power. Donor for current Fatmobile coupe. (body parted out and carcass sold for scrap.)
    '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car)[sold]
    '98 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car)[sold]



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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Lake Macquarie (just south of Newcastle) NSW
    Posts
    1,363

    Re: Solar Electricity - Grid Connect

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Echidna View Post
    Thin film amorphous panels are about the same "dollar per rated watt" as other panels, however the wattage rating is measured with the panel at 25 degrees. In practice the panels in operation are closer to 50-75 degrees, which poly and monoscrystaline panels are putting out a drastically reduced output, thin film amorphous panels produce considerable more under these conditions, as well as cloudy or overcast conditions .mine dont seem to put out any less on hot days, (unike a friends polycrystaline array) and even still produce when the sun is shining on the back of them (as happens on late afternoons in summer) Thin film amorphous panels also take a lot less energy to make.
    The downside is (unless you want to shade a lot of roof area?) is that they are about 3 times larger in area, meaning companies which dont come to your house to measure up (Energy matters from my expirence) dont like them as they want to install the smaller and easier amount of panels.
    The solar shop (and if you mention me I will get a $200 kickback) do the thin film panels preferably. Mind you ask for the good installers, they do have them) not the ones I had that fell somewhere between trained gibbons and untrained monkeys. Rendering first aid to them I felt was a bit over the top, although the week before one fell through a skylight so it could have been worse.
    The current renew magazine has a good article on the difference between the types of panels.
    Thanks Chris,
    I went on the net to Solar Shop and used their message system to request they call me. They haven't yet so I will call them this morning.
    I said on their contact form that I was referred but there was no space for your name. Please PM me you details (surname etc.) so that I can make sure they know you sent me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South East Qld Australia
    Posts
    67

    Re: Solar Electricity - Grid Connect

    I too have looked into the solar panel joke, a dribble of power feed back with the gov. paying 52c. per kwh and quarantee of 44c for the next 10 years. That sounds good for us but hidden costs eg. insurance installing and service plus layout I think it would take 14 years to break even. Now the "cap&trade scam has fallen over will the gov honour the 44c? I think they were using solar panals and roof insulation to off set carbon credits for themselves. The hairless Minster is copping it because he stopped the Trav. dam with a hint of nuke power station. Sorry just old and cynical.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    4,079

    Re: Solar Electricity - Grid Connect

    Grey Hair,
    While I can see where you are coming from, I disagree with your conclusions.
    I have been using solar power for 10 years. 6 as a grid connect in a suburban house with swimming pool etc, where the inclusion of solar power and time of use billing in our energy mix was sufficient to cause a shift in usage patterns.
    The savings from solar power were about 20% of our consumption, but the savings from
    changes in our behaviour were in the order of 60%.
    This included having a timer of the pool pump to run the filter in the off peak period, with override when the pool was in use. Installing CFL lights, turning appliances off at the wall, and when not in use, etc.

    4 years ago we moved house and decided to install a 2.5Kwp stand alone power system, with a large battery bank, but with the option to switch to the grid for times when we had insufficient battery storage.
    2 years ago we also added a grid connect 1KWp system
    Our power bills are usually less than $50 per 2 months and in late spring, summer and early autumn are actually in credit.
    We are nett importers of power, but with all of our water being pumped from rainwater tanks or bores that is to be expected.

    My total system cost is much lower than a commercial system as I did most of the owrk myself, am an electronics technician and used my electrician neighbour to make the 240V changes I specified. A friend installs battery systems for a living and provided our battery bank at no cost. It was a 10 year old battery that he had replaced. He either sold it as scrap (at an extremely low price) or gave it to me. I thank him for the choice he made.

    I hope this helps balance the discussion.

    Tony
    Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

    Current Vehicles in stable:
    '85 Mercedes Benz W123 300CD Turbodiesel single tank using 95% used cooking oil and 5% to 10% misfuel (where someone had filled diesel vehicle with petrol).
    '06 Musso Sports Crew Cab. Running on used cooking oil with 5% to 10% misfuel.
    Toyota Camry Hybrid - (Wife's Car)

    Previous Vehicles:
    '90 Mazda Capella. (2000 - 2003) My first Fatmobile. Converted to fun on veggie oil with a 2 tank setup. Died when supercharger stuck at max boost for weeks. Stretched head bolts.
    '80 Mercedes 300D. 2 tank conversion [Sold]
    '84 Mercedes 300D. 1 tank, no conversion. Replaced engine with rebuilt OM617A turbodiesel engine. Finally had good power. Donor for current Fatmobile coupe. (body parted out and carcass sold for scrap.)
    '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car)[sold]
    '98 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car)[sold]



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    Adding images and/or documents to your posts


  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    central coast
    Posts
    284

    Re: Solar Electricity - Grid Connect

    I was one of the very few lucky ones that got in on the last day before
    they cancelled the rebate.

    Only took it up at the last minute as lendlease/diamond energy was offering
    a free no cost to you 1.2kw grid connect.

    Notice in the Newcastle herald a few days back some mob offering a 1.2 for
    $1600.00 installed.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Perth Western Australia
    Posts
    931

    Re: Solar Electricity - Grid Connect

    Nuddy,

    I installed a 1kw system under the old rebate a year or so ago, and added the grid connect feature so I could sell back electricity. All up it was around $2500 out of pocket for us. Even at that price it was a no brainer.

    You don't HAVE to install the new meter that sells your excess power back, you can just leave your cells to power whatever they can in your house. This is good if you have a large load in your house and will generally use all you cells can make.

    I felt it was worth the couple of hundred for the new backwards meter to give me a sense of justice getting money back from the power supplier!!

    We also have Smart Power, which is the High, Low, Shoulder and Off peak charging system offered by WA's sole supplier, Synergy.

    Tim
    Toyota Landcruiser 1988 HJ61 Manual Wagon
    12H-T turbo Direct Injection.
    Twin Tank setup runs on 100% WVO after warm up. 30 plate FPHE with 80C output, 12mm fuel lines
    Start up and shut down electric fuel pump feeds IP direct.
    Front 4WDSytstems Lokka, Rear ARB airlokka for quick escapes up sandhills. Performance GTurbo with 600mm FMIC gives 450nm @ 1700rpm at 20psi boost.

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