Solar Power and Storage - a nerd's view



  • Apparently this can be retrofitted to an existing system which should make my parents happy. Their solar system and associated tariffs provides free electricity, which isn't bad considering multiple widescreen tvs, aircon and pool. Father wanted to store the energy rather than feeding it back into the grid.



  • Cost will also depend on how their inverter stacks up - may need to replace it.



  • And in other news: fuck.
     
     
    http://www.techradar.com/news/world-of-tech/tesla-powerwall-mark-ii-confirmed-for-2016-launch-by-elon-musk-1314184
     
    ast year saw the introduction of the Tesla Powerwall â€“ a wall-mounted rechargeable lithium ion battery with the ability to power your entire home, powered entirely by solar energy.
    And while the first version of the Powerwall has only recently gone to market, just like Tony Stark and his various armors, Musk is already working on a next-generation model of his zero-emission power solution.
    Speaking at an event for Tesla car owners in Paris, Musk told attendees that plans for a second version of the Powerwall are already on track for a 2016 launch.

    Elon story short
    

    “We are coming up with the version two of the Powerwall probably around July or August of this year, which will see further step changes in capabilities,” said Musk.
    Though Musk did not elaborate on what these changes are, he did reveal thatTesla’s Gigafactory will now be producing its own battery cells, instead of using the ones manufactured by Panasonic the first time around.
    “Moderate improvements” to the technology were teased, and it is expected that the second generation Powerwall will boast a longer lifecycle.
    You can watch the full video of the Musk’s talk in Paris below.



  • Great podcast here with Lyndon Rive talking about the economics and business of SolarCity in the US.
     
    http://ecorner.stanford.edu/podcasts/3557/The-Science-and-Incentives-Behind-Solar
     
    I was thinking of a similar business plan a few years back - should have got off my arse and done something about it



  • You'd assume most of Australia & a lot of NZ the eventual home setup will be really good solar units, a powerwall & effectively zero input from the grid. Even more so once you tie it all into well designed houses with great insulation, underfloor heating etc.
     
    Whats the insulation like on your house Nick? Double glazed etc?
     
    Thats weirdly the bit that always makes me go "maybe next year" when I look at building a self suffecient home. The powerwall tech is more or less there, Solar has come way down, but I'd want to incorporate REALLY good insulation & yet I have a thing for full length glass. And fuck me, double or triple glazed glass will do very bad things to your budget.



  • Unfortunately no double glazing - don't get it a lot in Australia except for noise related reasons, or architect designed bespoke jobbies.
    However, I have ensured the insulation in the ceiling (batts) are of suitable size and coverage. The original owner didn't put batts over the garage, so that was a massive suck hole for the thermal status of the house, which I corrected. I also insulated the inside of the garage door, which faces west, to limit heat transferred into the house from the metal surface late in the day.
    The house was built with wide eaves - very important in Australian heat - and the roof (corrugated steel) had a pretty big pitch on it. I installed a solar powered extractor fan that keeps it pretty nice up there and on the hottest days, the fan works hardest, so it balances things nicely and stops more reflective heat against the ceiling.
    The air con is a ducted system in the whole house, which isn't the most efficient, but is zoned to do either the east or west (roughly), so that minimised wasted energy to as large a degree as can be expected as the sun moves.
    I can take it a step further and get exterior blind or shutters, but I think I've spent enough money for now 🙂



  • Have just seen consumer group CHOICE Australia say the payoff time for the PowerWall, with 4kw solar panels, of 23 years.
    LOT of assumptions made. Look forward to proving them wrong.
    Today was a new record for my solar panels: 32.68kWh generated. Wish my fucking meter was changed over so I could at least get some cash for that



  • Have just seen consumer group CHOICE Australia say the payoff time for the PowerWall, with 4kw solar panels, of 23 years.
    LOT of assumptions made. Look forward to proving them wrong.
    Today was a new record for my solar panels: 32.68kWh generated. Wish my fucking meter was changed over so I could at least get some cash for that

    Setup a website detailing stuff you are doing. Have links to retailers. You can get that down to 15 years with click thrus. This stuff is going to get more & more mainstream & folks will always want to have a read about what people are doing with their houses, I've book marked half your stuff & I'm probably not building for 5 years



  • Yeah the inverter comes with an API feed off the manufacturer's website. I'm assuming the Reposit stuff does too, so I can wire that all up and spit out some metrics n shit. Add comments and such



  • Need a bit if time to get my head around it and get the peak (summer) dusted to see where I go next



  • Setup a website detailing stuff you are doing. Have links to retailers. You can get that down to 15 years with click thrus. This stuff is going to get more & more mainstream & folks will always want to have a read about what people are doing with their houses, I've book marked half your stuff & I'm probably not building for 5 years

    Great idea - you should be all over this Nick. Add a few sneaky links to the fern for shits and giggles too!



  • Great idea - you should be all over this Nick. Add a few sneaky links to the fern for shits and giggles too!

    If I reference "interested fluffybunnies in FNQ" you'll know I'm speaking about Mariner 😉



  • If I reference "interesting fluffybunnys in FNQ" you'll know I'm speaking about Mariner 😉

    fixed



  • Whatever. You're still a fluffybunny.



  • Not sure if its geo-blocked for some, but last night on ABC their resident science show, Catalyst, were looking at home storage. Besides a lot of stuff I've covered here, they had a more in-depth look at Reposit, and also the future of batteries: zinc-bromine.
     
    http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/catalyst/SC1502H001S00
     
    If you can't see it - the Zinc-bromine stuff is great, because its quick to charge and about as efficient as lithium, BUT being liquid in the current configuration, not very small or practical for some application.
     
    Except some smart cookie at Sydney University has thought about making the liquid into a gel - WHICH IS ALSO FIRE RETARDANT - which means they can make the scale much smaller. And cheaper than lithium.
     
    Advantages? Well, what about 5 minutes to charge your smartphone, on a battery that lasts days instead of hours? Could be integrated into buildings and make superstructure a storage medium in itself. Fucking rad.



  • For solar power, sodium-ion batteries might be the future. Lower capacity per volume or mass than lithium, but potentially much cheaper.



  • Overcast nearly all day today, still drew off just over 14kWh - enough to fill the battery almost twice, considering efficiency ratio.
     
    Have signed up with Reposit, and will change energy providers to one that has GridCredits as part of their scheme. In essence, this is the "selling" bit where I get more than the 5-8c / kWh off my current energy provider. When an "event" happens, I can sell for up to $1 per kWh.
     
    It'll be interesting to see what we use out of the battery. It is quoted as "5 hours of the average house" but what if they mean the average house in the USA?
     
    Dunno. Sitting tight, waiting for the last technical bit to be fitted. Then the stats will flow for all devices.



  • Keep this going as a bit of a blog.



  • Keep this going as a bit of a blog.

    Agree, this is really interesting. Thanks for sharing.



  • Will do.
     
    BTW if you're looking at Solar and maybe want to see what someone in your area is doing, check this out:
     
    http://pvoutput.org/listmap.jsp?sid=17459
     
    PV output uses the API interface for some of the more modern inverters, allowing people to see what everyone else is doing. I found a random Kiwi generator, and clicked on the "map" option to see he's in Whanganui (nice town).
     
    You can look through all these people who have put up stats, maybe find someone in your region, and see how they're operating. Depending on aspect, shade, landscape etc you might get similar results.
     
    This is a link for NZ:
     
    http://pvoutput.org/map.jsp?country=167
     
     
    I'll be putting my system up on PV Output at some point, once I figure out the API doco (Postman not helping me - keeps returning errors).


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