Question About Solar

Discussion in 'Energy & Electricity' started by IrritatedWithUS, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. IrritatedWithUS

    IrritatedWithUS Well-Known Member

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    This question was posted on a different forum and no one answered it. I'm hoping someone can here.


    I heard rumors that if your system is tied to the grid that if the grid goes down, so does your power... no matter what happens with your panels.

    I thought it was a technical issue so I talked to a buddy that works for the electric company. He said that it is a safety issue. That when the power
    is out, the utility company needs to know there isn't any power being fed into the grid or their workers will get killed (thinking power is off, but then
    getting zapped when solar panels are feeding back in).

    Is this true? If it is, I wonder why people bother with buying grid-tied solar. I wonder if they don't think about this problem.
     
  2. Meerkat

    Meerkat Seeking The Truth

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    That would be a real bummer now would'nt it?:eek:

    I don't know but will bump ya up.
     

  3. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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    there should be a mainline disconnect that allows for switching from 'grid-tied' to 'independent' which should maintain your power
     
  4. IrritatedWithUS

    IrritatedWithUS Well-Known Member

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    Ah-ha! Thanks!

    And I like your new avatar
     
  5. Nadja

    Nadja Well-Known Member

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    Having solar panels does not mean you will have power when the grid goes down. If your only doing a grid tie, you won't have power if even your local line goes down. In order to insure that you will have power in the event of a power failure, you would need a batter bank of deep discharge batteries that stay charged up as long as the lines are feeding power to your house. Then, should the power lines fail, your inverter (if you have the right one) will automaticly switch you over to battery back up power. Having lived on solar/wind for over 16 years now, I know a little bit more about this then the average person who has only read about this stuff.
     
  6. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

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    Any grid tie system has automatic transfer switches that disconnect the solar power system from the grid when power fails. Like the article states, it's for the safety of anyone working on the power lines. Back feed from solar panels can kill as efficiently as the power from the grid.

    Your panels will still generate electricity though so whether you have power or not will depend on how your system is set up. If you have batteries and an inverter your system should switch automatically to an "off-grid" mode. You'll still have power at home but in most cases not unlimited power as if you were on the grid. It will depend on the size of your system.

    Some of these transfer switches are so fast that your computer will remain on.
     
  7. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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    I have NEVER heard of an install that did NOT have a battery bank, not one... ever

    and it's NOT "the inverter" that does the switching, it's the VVVF control box, specifically the backfeed monitor portion

    :wave:
     
  8. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    Our local power company is installing wind and solar power systems onto homes in the area right now. Depending on the size of the roof of your house, you could generate enough power to run your house (and back-feed power to the grid turning your meter backwards) during day-light hours, but, the power company will not install battery back-up - that is upto the home-owner to complete if they so desire.

    The system from the power company consists of all the permits to install the panels (wind generator), the wiring, the fuses and the power inverter - it also covers all maintenance and repairs to the system as required (hail-damage, etc).
     
  9. IrritatedWithUS

    IrritatedWithUS Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking about wind power attached to the roof. It's a three story house so the blades will be 40+ feet in the air. And we ALWAYS have wind of at least 8-10MPH at all times. At night, it's a good 12MPH. We're known for CoHo winds all Summer and Fall as well. Our Gorge is FULL of wind turbines. And I've been downtown twice in a week and I've seen 3 wind turbines go down the tiny streets on flatbeds. I wonder where they are going since the gorge is the opposite direction.
     
  10. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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    yeah, but it's a clearly labeled (12V/24V) output with a switch, if people are prepping, they probably can figure it out ;)

    electric hookups aren't as hard as many make it sound, just RESPECT the 'juice'...
     
  11. ra5451

    ra5451 Well-Known Member

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    Blob,

    I'm in the process of reviewing bids to install a solar farm on my property. There is no battery backup. Essentially, what i'm doing is called net metering. I find an offtaker (large consumer of power) and put a contract in place to sell them electric at a rate less than the electric company. Then, when the solar panels create electricity it is pushed back onto the grid through my meter and I get what are call S-Recs (in addition to free electric). These S-recs are what I sell to the offtakers. BTW, there is hardware in place so if the grid is down then no solar generated power is sent to the grid to protect to pole jumpers. This type of switch is (should be) also used on generators that are hooked up to your house electrical panel. Hope this clarifies things.
     
  12. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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    ok...

    what I should've said is that I've never seen anyone STUPID enough to spend that kind of $$$ on a solar install without a battery bank...

    WHY would anyone try to directly run ANYTHING off a VVVF/VVVA system?

    the only reason would be if they had more $$$ than brains...

    an YES it IS stupidity & NOT ignorance at that point in a project where a transaction is made...

    ... and I have NO tolerance for idiots :gaah:

    we are PAST the time of hand-holding and babying the populace about preparedness, if they're NOT on board now, they do NOT have the time to 'catch up'
     
  13. Jimmy24

    Jimmy24 Member

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    Hold on Blob, cool your jets....:surrender::D ...lets have a :beercheer::D

    Having been in the distribution side of the utility business for nearly 30 yrs, I can speak to this. We had grid ties to all sorts of power producing systems. These are systems that just do it for the benefit of selling excess power to the utility company and having quote "free power" . Usually based on a commercial customer, but I guess a residential customer could do it too. Just costly.

    But not as costly as a stand-alone-system, as you are thinking of. You have to figure that a solar system like that would be significantly less expensive, as no batt bank required, no batt charge regulation required and no inverter required (for your use). Those are the largest cost of a stand-alone system. If a grid tie and panels are all your really buying, it might actually be a pretty good deal.

    Translation was lost when no one wrote that they were not building a stand-alone system. That is the terminology we usually understand in these types of forums.

    Hope that helps

    Jimmy
     
  14. LincTex

    LincTex Jack of all trades?

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    NEVER attach a wind generator to the house... the noise transmitted will drive you nuts. Even if it's just guy wires.
     
  15. Nadja

    Nadja Well-Known Member

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    A grid tie system may or may not have batteries. Just because you haven't heard of it , doesn't mean it is not so. Friend of mine is putting up a lot of solar and 6 wind generators, and no batteries. It is to cut his elec costs on one of his stores. Before commenting on solar/wind whether it is solar or wind or combo, you should do a lot more research on all of the above.
     
  16. ra5451

    ra5451 Well-Known Member

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    WOW! Really? :scratch Blob, I'm kinda new here and never expected to get a BLOB stuck up my ***. You should play nice! Take a deep breath, re-read my post, do some research on the type of solar farm that I spoke of, and then apologize.....;)

     
  17. Jimmy24

    Jimmy24 Member

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    Don't think it's gonna happen. Too embraced at making a "whatever" of himself.

    It happens ra5451...takes more of a man to apologize than to make rash statements....and just ignore the truth...

    To the OP, sorry your thread was taken this direction. I thought was gonna be a good imformation thread.

    Jimmy
     
  18. Nadja

    Nadja Well-Known Member

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    There is a lot of good info on this site and several others just like it. Sometimes people that really don't know or understand something will just jump feet first and see what happens., Kinda like jumping in a hole with bamboo pointie spikes aimed up . Not good.
     
  19. ra5451

    ra5451 Well-Known Member

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    This is what a solar farm looks like...Usually a private electric company who deals in solar leases or buys you property and builds one. The term is usually 15 years because that is the guarantee of the panels.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Nadja

    Nadja Well-Known Member

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    Nice Pic. There is also the solar farm like they are getting ready to build here that uses mirrors. Must be terrible with mirrors for pilot's though!