solar home power

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Re: solar home power

Postby boatmik » Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:14 pm

Thanks Roy,

Batangas 2. I will try to dig something up.

Cheers
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Re: solar home power

Postby maligno101 » Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:01 am

From what I heard Meralco has to first make an appraisal of your power requirements (for a fee!!) before you can connect your solar system to the grid. And it seems Meralco is not at all eager to do this.
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Re: solar home power

Postby boatmik » Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:12 pm

I did some digging around.

I couldn't find anything specific, but I did find that the requirement for electricity companies to allow this is enshrined in legislation.

If they don't like, I guess the best recourse for them is to wrap it in red tape.

BWAHAHAHAHAHa --- just found this - the philippines govt does seem to like its flow charts :)

... on the surface it is quite legit as a chance for the utility to check the part of the system you attach to will deal with the wattage of the installed system https://www.doe.gov.ph/netmeteringguide ... on-utility

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Re: solar home power

Postby Lorenzo » Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:41 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: That flowchart looks like the map for finding Yamashita's treasure chest!... full of booby traps that can blow your mind and pocket!

I hope that flowchart is designed for business ventures for putting up a solar plant big enough to power an entire barangay and not for small installations that are producing less than 500Kwh per month.

When I inquired my local grid provider last year, they are still at lost about it, and they just nodded to go ahead with my intention for grid-tie without the need for paperwork and net-metering since I informed them that I will not be producing excess power that they will pay back to me.

My plan back then was to split the system between off-grid (for natural disaster preparedness) and grid-tie (to slash power bills). My off-grid system already cut my bills by 40% and I survived the two-month power crisis last summer.

I'm not grid-tied yet, since I'm still enjoying watching the price of the inverters going down every month.

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Re: solar home power

Postby maligno101 » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:31 pm

I have it on good authority that VECO (Visayan Electric Company) in Cebu does the assessment promptly and for free.

You gotta love that flow chart!
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Re: solar home power

Postby arvin555 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:43 pm

From what I understand from reports and info from a friend of mine.
1. First of all there is a law already in place that Alternative Energy will be given priority as a power supplier.
2. This also includes small scale/home generated electricity.
3. Equipment requirement is a digital meter that will allow/monitor electricity that is put back to the grid. (Analog will not work), if you ask for upgrade, it will cost you of course. This is for Meralco supplied areas, unfortunately the ones being supplied by Cooperatives will be way more behind.
4. Keep in mind that the electricity that you put back and thus you expect to be reimbursed is just the power... if you look at our electric bill, the really big cost is the "transmission cost" which will still be fixed and will not change.

Just a rough example, if you are paying P5,000 every month for your electric bill, chances are P2,500 is for transmission fees, and P2,500 is for the actual power. Consider if you want out on a 1 month vacation, you will still be paying P2,500 and say maybe P500 or P1000 for the power your Ref consumed while you were out.

I know of someone who actually offers systems already that will "sell back" power into the grid with his system, the system will automatically switch from putting power back into the grid and getting power from the grid automatically. Basically making the power grid a big "battery".

The only disadvantage with this system is that it will not give you any backup power during power outages, well technically during the day it could still function as an offgrid system, but at night, you will need to add batteries in the system.

5. I also came to this conclusion early:
Solar panels are becoming affordable
Controllers are as well.
Batteries are the ones that are a bigger investment and needs to be "amortized" as they have a cycle life.

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Re: solar home power

Postby boatmik » Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:32 am

Howdy Arvin and all,

(nice analysis Arvin)

I am gravitating towards a basic backup system but because of falling component prices I will get a slightly larger solar panel than normal, with the aim of increasing the number of batteries down the line. Might even factor in a larger controller so a second solar panel might be added later.

Be wonderful to keep all the electronics humming along happily along with lighting. But to look at keeping a couple of fans going too. (We shun aircon - what is the point of moving to the tropics if you hide from the heat hehe).

I've dug up a few suppliers on the net so will get cracking in the next few weeks.

Thankyou all

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Re: solar home power

Postby Pablo_Nasidman » Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:53 pm

Some very good remarks above.
My place is run on solar power (mainly) now for over 15 years and if there is one thing I learned over this period it is that solar power is great, but ít is most efficient to start designing your system 'backwards''. First determine how you can save electricity and only after you have ruthlessly minimized your power consumption, you start on your solar system and then you will find out that you need only a relatively small system and still live comfortably.
examples:
- Run your house on 12 or 24 Volt system with LED's as lights so you avoid interterpower for lights.
- My fridge runs on 24 Volt. It is a very efficient fridge with 15cm. insulation and a top opener. This way, I can run it during the daytime and can switch it off at night, so I do not need battery power for the fridge.
- I run my computers directly on the batteries. One computer I have specifically bought so it can run on 12 Volt, my big one runs on 19 Volt and I have made a DC-DC power converter from 24V to 19 Volt.
- I have a 12V television and satellite system.
- I use a 24V waterpump to fill my tanks using excess power during the day, no need for battery capacity for this.
- When I need things like a sewing machine, I use a small inverter on my 24V system to feed this. If I would use a sewing machine a lot, I would install a 12V or 24V motor on the sewing machine.

And then, there is my backup generator for my washing machine and if it would be very cloudy for a prolonged time.
But also there, go as small as you can get away with, so I got the smallest Kubota and run it at 1800 rpm instead of 2400 so I can reduce the power output and save diesel.

It is not 'mains power' and you cannot just suck as much as you want, but it encourages you to think. Even the wife is not complaining, so it can't be that uncomfortable. It is always funny when I see the mainland power 'brownout' and we have ample power left in the batteries. Suddenly all is black apart from my place. And I never paid a dime to the power companies.
Why support the highest electricity prices in the world and be rewarded with brownouts? If your transport charges are half your bill, don't bother about feeding back excess power into the grid, just cut yourself off the grid.

My next project: A windmill to give me ample power for the washing machine and maybe feeding some power into the barangay.
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Re: solar home power

Postby Pablo_Nasidman » Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:01 pm

All very useful comments.
But I wonder if it is effective to feed excess power in the net.
Consider the following option:
Since 15 years, we have our own, independent system.
I started similar as described above, inverters & batteries, but over the past years, I gravitated to another system and within a year, I will pull out the old system and replace it completely with a 12 & 24 V system.
Where to start? Simple: Throw out all high consumers and replace them with low consumption units. This is really the most important first step and I cannot stress it's importance enough. I don't need a 54" TV or a 3kW sound system or a huge American 4-door fridge or 2 kW lighting or floodlights in the garden.
Also ensure users requiring battery power are limited:
- All lighting 12 or 24 V LED. Be careful with the voltage. I put a voltage stabiliser on the lighting group.
- 12 or 24V ventilators, where needed. Construct the house such that air con is not required. It can be done.
- The fridge/freezer has a 24V compressor unit and is insulated with a 15 cm thick insulation. I can therefore switch off the unit at night and use only direct feed during the day and do not need big batteries for my fridge.
- my computers run either on 12V direct feed or 19V with a DC DC converter.
- I fill my overhead watertank during the daytime with a 24V pump, using excess power.
- if I would frequently need a heavy duty sewing machine, I would replace the motor with a 24V motor, otherwise have a small individual inverter for this machine.
- My stereo, television, satellite etc all run on 12Volt directly,
- only my washing machine needs 220V, but then we run the backup generator for this and I am now constructing a windmill so we can do the laundry when there is wind.

So since 15 years, we do not have a connection to the electrical mains and even my wife is very happy with it.

As your power bill is 50% transport / connection charges only, it hardly will be worthwhile trying to feed back excess power into the grid.
In my opinion, it is more energy efficient (Your Energy, Your sanity, Your patience) to spend your effort in becoming independent of the grid. And it is very rewarding to be the only house with light & television when there is a brownout and your neighbours 54" TV is dead while my wife continues her series on our 24" unit.

Why pay the highest electrical rate in the world and subsidise a highly inefficient system when you can be independent?.

Your choice.
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Re: solar home power

Postby Lorenzo » Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:47 pm

Very helpful tip Pablo. Thanks.

One drawback of DC ref/freezer is the price. They are outrageously sold in the range of P50k - P100k in the Philippines. With that amount of money, I personally would rather choose a hybrid inverter/charger that can run the grid meter backwards when the batteries are full. If the days are cloudy, the grid can charge the batteries.... instead of running a generator. On a natural disaster scenario, when the grid is down, the alternators in cars can charge up house batteries too.

Wind and hydro micro generators are good when you are blessed with a good location. If not, stick to gas/diesel generators, car alternators, and grid power as backup.

I personally don't like the idea of selling back too much power to the grid, because these companies still control the amount of money they pay back to you. They maybe paying P7++ per kWh today. One day, they might get crazy and decided to pay you P1/kWh. This is happening already in Japan and Germany. The public picked up the trend too fast but the power companies can't keep up.

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Re: solar home power

Postby boatmik » Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:34 am

One aspect is that it is so incredibly cheap to rent as opposed to build.

If I was building a house what you are both saying would be very much in consideration. ANd I am filing it away for that day, should it come.

Renting pushes towards a sensible ... probably not too minimal approach.

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Re: solar home power

Postby maligno101 » Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:51 am

What wire type and size is needed for a 12v system?
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Re: solar home power

Postby Lorenzo » Fri Nov 28, 2014 8:29 pm

Hi Maligno. Use automotive wire, these are fine stranded wire. As for the size, it is proportionate to the ampacity of the load and the length of run. See chart below.

For bigger loads in an inverter or charger system, use battery wire or welding wire. I like the using the welding wire as the strands is more fine and the cable is more manageable to bend around corners. Its insulation is thicker too.

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Re: solar home power

Postby boatmik » Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:12 am

This is turning into an enormously useful thread! Thanks for the contributions and follow up questions.
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