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Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       01-31-2018, 4:00 PM Reply   
Does anybody know anything about batteries or storage for Solar? We are making great power from our panels at my office and would love to store it on days that we don't use it all or rainy days. I have looked at Telsa batteries, but there has to be a better solution I am thinking. I am making 70 KW on days like today and around 100 on summer days. We only use 70-90 every day through the year So would love to get as much off the grid as possible.
Old     (plhorn)      Join Date: Dec 2005       01-31-2018, 4:23 PM Reply   
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       01-31-2018, 4:40 PM Reply   
My friend is taking Used Chevy Volt packs and converting them to solar storage. It’s not a commercially available system what he makes and sells it more for the Advanced DIY guy. Chevy Volt Battery’s can be bought used for a good deal from Auto salvage yards often on Ebay. You need to break them up and re wire them for your voltage needs and amp hr needs. Chevy Volt uses Lithium Maganeeze, it a very stable battey chemestry and offers good energy. He has been bragging about “Lithium titanate” calling it bullet proof or idiot proof battey chemestry that cant be damaged due to over chargeing or drawen down and stored to low. It’s great for home use because it’s larger heaven Battery’s don’t matter in a home application. I’m a big fan of the Lithium maganeeze. I have had very good luck with them. As far as I know you have to either open up your wallet and have a pro do a costly install that’s turn key OR do the research search become proficient and DIY. I’m not aware of a over-the counter kit for weekend warriors YET!
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       01-31-2018, 4:45 PM Reply   
Chris Anthoney makes a fancy battey with built in charger and BMS, this stuff is Badd A$$.
Old     (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001 Location: Texas       01-31-2018, 9:34 PM Reply   
Curious what you didn't like about the Tesla solution?

Not considering a battery right now as we are still plus on usage (although winter bills are only around $18/mo) but things may change.
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       02-01-2018, 6:33 AM Reply   
Thanx G. Wes - For my property I would be looking at (4) of the Tesla batteries at $11K a piece plus of installation of course. I am not sure if it is compatible with my panels (probably is). I have read some not so good reviews and they lead time is still a long way out. There has to be other companies that are doing it every day by now.
Old     (brettw)      Join Date: Jul 2007       02-01-2018, 6:35 AM Reply   
With net metering, what's the benefit of having batteries? For my solar, the extra power during some days goes back to the grid, and I get credit. At the end of the year, with those credits, I'm usually about even. So besides being maybe a backup, what's the financial benefit of putting in batteries?
Old     (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       02-01-2018, 6:58 AM Reply   
How hard is it to set up these panels.

I was just looking at do something with solar for our place at the lake. We have a minimum charge of 35 dollars by the power company. So during the winter that what we get charged. But during the summer I would love to leave my boat on a on the charger and one refrigerator going while we are back at home during the week.

How many panels would it take to do this.
Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       02-01-2018, 7:24 AM Reply   
I would suggest bringing in a local firm who is familiar and can also get you info on what Focus on Energy rebates are available. As Brett mentioned, depending your office hours it might be just as beneficial to oversize your system and feed back to the grid to earn credits vs. storing the energy.

... I've been looking into for where I work too and the pros know a lot of little tricks to maximize your payouts. In a lot of cases energy companies will "lease" the equipment too, basically a free install for you and you just split profits of energy sold back to the grid.
Old     (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       02-01-2018, 8:41 AM Reply   
Never mind I figured it out. I'm still learning with the whole RV thing.

I can run my side refrigerator off the two propane tanks, apparently it uses very little propane to keep it cold. Then buy a solar panel kit with a controller and wire it directly in the the batteries that are already on the front of the camper. Then when I cut the main power I'll just be running on battery power which is charged by the solar panels. At this point the only thing pulling power should be my PRO marine battery charger on the boat.

Makes sense in my head???
Old     (stanfield)      Join Date: Mar 2004       02-01-2018, 9:23 AM Reply   
^^^That's correct and what I did for our camper that sat on river property. Be careful what solar panels you buy though. Most stuff sold for RV's is junk that won't do the job.
Old     (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       02-01-2018, 10:10 AM Reply   
10-4 I will upgrade the panel then.
Old     (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       02-01-2018, 11:04 AM Reply   
Electric water heaters are one of the largest consumers of solar power...noting I am in Florida and gas is not common. Would a supplemental hot water tank be an easy solution for storing energy versus a battery. Could someone should make a simple electrical plug and play solution for water heaters to pull them all off of the grid.
Old     (phatboypimp)      Join Date: Apr 2005       02-01-2018, 1:51 PM Reply   
I think you might want to reconsider the Tesla Solution. From my research they are the best option. I had placed a deposit when they were first announced and they have gone into production in January 2018. I am due to have mine installed in a couple weeks after we agree to the design and location.

I am not doing it for the same reason you are but we often lose power at our house and I am installing these batteries instead of a generator. I am using three of the Tesla Wall batteries which will work in tandem with my 48 panel ground mount solar. I am excited that I can charge during the day and draw after hours. This set up will also give me up a minimum of 7 days of back-up for my entire house. There is an advantage with these over the netmetering as PGE sells me electricity for .23 per KWH and buys from me for .03 a KWH if I end up using more than I generate. So the more of my own power that I consume the better. It is also a nice perk that with this set up it switches over in less than a second if the power goes out - you don't even have to reset your clocks lol. Second perk is that if there is an extended outage, which is common where I live, that the batteries will enable your solar to power your house and charge your batteries even in an outage. Today if the power goes out so does my solar.

I am hopeful that they will live up to the hype and I am paying $7K per wall not $11K. I will update you after we get them up and running and really see what they can do.
Old     (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001 Location: Texas       02-01-2018, 1:55 PM Reply   
Look forward to your report!
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       02-05-2018, 7:09 AM Reply   
Phat - Looking forward to your report. Generally we do not lose power to our property but we do not have a generator so it if goes out, my employees go home. I did oversize the system and so in the end I should get a check back,. but still bugs me to watch the software every day and know that I am "giving" away power that I pay .25/kw and only getting paid .04/kw. Just thought if I save enough of it, especially on a nice weekend like last weekend, I could increase the amount that is coming from my property and minimizing the amount I pay at the full rate. Since it is for my business and I own the property, the cost for all of it is a write off, so in the end it will be beneficial. I know this market will change drastically over the next 10 years for sure though.
Old     (phatboypimp)      Join Date: Apr 2005       02-28-2018, 11:14 AM Reply   
We had some design challenges based on the unique aspects of my electrical "grid" but we have a final design and wanted to include the finalized pricing. Once we get the permit from the county we will be able to get started on the installation.

I am only able to do a "partial backup" because I have 400amp system and as of right now their backup gateway is only rated at 200amp.
Attached Images
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-02-2018, 7:38 AM Reply   
Intersting and intriguing for sure. Since I am a commercial business we use a lot more energy. My solar has been kicking butt even though we are in the dead of winter (in Cali.) and some rain. I have been generating on average 91.2 KW per day and only using about 65-75 through the winter. The numbers will both go up of course in Summer. I would love to have a day's worth of backup in batteries. That way over the weekend we are storing like crazy even though we use very little. Also on rainy days I would stay off the grid. Phat- Keep me posted for sure!
Old     (cowwboy)      Join Date: Jul 2008       03-07-2018, 5:31 AM Reply   
Slightly off-topic, but wow you guys pay a lot for electricity compared to here (Oklahoma).
Our residential is .0654 / kwh and commercial is .07-.11 depending on usage (OG%E).
Old     (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001 Location: Texas       03-07-2018, 8:43 AM Reply   
Lol I'd love to be paying CA rates again; we pay more than double that here. Very glad the folks we bought from put solar in back before the neighborhood got saturated and HECO stopped accepting new applicants... I work from home running my gear all day (until the girls started preschool we were all home all day) and in the winter our bill is about $18/mo... Summer with the AC running a ton it can get up to $100 or so. My neighbors without solar are paying $5-600/mo easy, it's nuts.
Old     (cowwboy)      Join Date: Jul 2008       03-07-2018, 1:08 PM Reply   
Yet our residents complain about our rates.
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-08-2018, 8:12 AM Reply   
Yhea its Cali! My home engird is $400-800 per month and commercial was $500-1000 per month. Now PGE owes me every month for my commercial property
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       05-24-2018, 7:46 AM Reply   
Hey PhatBoy - did you get your Tesla power wall? How did it go?
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       05-29-2018, 6:46 AM Reply   
Funny - I just saw Tesla Power Wall at Home Depot but the salesman had no clue about commercial storage
Old     (phatboypimp)      Join Date: Apr 2005       06-08-2018, 10:56 AM Reply   
Sorry for the delayed response - work has been a little nuts. We are having a bit of a problem on my design as my house is on a well and septic. I want to be able to power the house (within reason), the well and the septic and it is too much of a load to power the three separate sub-panels. Although they are trying to come up with a solution I likely need to wait until their gateway is able to handle more than 200amp. They are coming out in a couple weeks to see what we can figure out.
Old     (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001 Location: Texas       10-12-2018, 1:46 AM Reply   
Phatboy, what’s the latest? Curious about some real world info.

We are looking at net zero for our next home so really looking forward to how it’s working out for you.
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-17-2018, 7:05 AM Reply   
My solar has kicked butt this year. It would be amazing to store some of this since PGE owes me a fair amount at .04/kw Pulled 31,000 KW since January 1.

We power (3) buildings and the property lighting and such.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-18-2018, 9:04 PM Reply   
Buffalow; nice job:

Here is a 12k battery in my Gem Car:
Attached Images
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-18-2018, 9:08 PM Reply   
Here is a Example of some battery’s for a home system: this is 48k for a home system, depending on what your trying to do ( how much power you need) you have lots of options.
Attached Images
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-19-2018, 9:23 AM Reply   
Chevy Volt packs are becoming very popular for off grid/home back up power, easy to source and the price per Kw is a deal. Mike was at the Solar show a few weeks ago, it’s like the CES for solar power industry people. He said the guys in the booths selling flooded lead acid battery’s were like A leopar colony. Traditional battery vendors Place was a ghost town. It will be interesting to see when the price of FLA (flooded lead acid) get super cheep. 2nd hand Lithium packs are not found on a shelf and take a bit of skill to adapt to home use but damm they are a deal if you have some tools and and are willing to learn. Example in the golf cart world a factory 12kw pack is gonna cost you close to 12 thousand dollars. You can get a new/used 12kw lithium pack for under 2k-3k depending on age and style and then DIY. Huge Savings. And FYI a friend of my’n sells lots of battery’s to mennonite‘s ya know the” The Amish “ with a bit more electronics. The Mennonites have a loop hole in their religion that they can use battery’s for certain things. Most are using 18-36v cordless battery’s to power their homes and the. Use solar to recharge them. Clever! These people are coming on line with off grid systems.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-19-2018, 9:25 AM Reply   
This is a 12kw pack going into a car
Attached Images
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-22-2018, 6:52 AM Reply   
Awesome. I have looked at other storage but because we generate so much power, it takes alot of them and they are very expensive. I am sure in the next year or two I can find something that will work. I can't see spending 50-60K on battery backups at this point.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-23-2018, 3:00 PM Reply   
Jason I have not looked into what traditional power cell systems sell for but I know you could get a 80 KW pack for abut 3-4 thousand How much power storage do you need?


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