Tesla announces new "household battery"
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    Icon5 Tesla announces new "household battery"

    Elon Musk has announced the release of a new storage battery for home use. The new battery in principle dramatically reduces the cost of going “off grid” – powering your house entirely from solar or wind, and using the battery to provide backup power, to ensure continuous supply.

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    According to The Guardian;

    The electric car company Tesla has announced its entry into the energy market, unveiling a suite of low-cost solar batteries for homes, businesses and utilities, “the missing piece”, it said, in the transition to a sustainable energy world.

    The batteries, which will retail at $3,500 in the US, were launched on Thursday at a Tesla facility in California by the company’s ambitious founder, Elon Musk, who heralded the technology as “a fundamental transformation [in] how energy is delivered across the earth”.

    Wall-mounted, with a sleek design, the lithium-ion batteries are designed to capture and store up to 10kWh of energy from wind or solar panel. The reserves can be drawn on when sunlight is low, during grid outages, or at peak demand times, when electricity costs are highest.

    The smallest “Powerwall” is 1.3m by 68cm, small enough to be hung inside a garage on or an outside wall. Up to eight batteries can be “stacked” in a home, Musk said, to applause from investors and journalists at the much-anticipated event.

    Interesting move from car battery technology to providing the "missing link" storage that may make renewable home generated energy more useable for the average home owner.

    Or will it.

    Some very good discussion on the net.

    Ken
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    I am hoping that a Tesla will lose control and crash into my house. That way I get the batteries for free.

    John
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    Icon4 Some interesting discussions but who is right.

    Just roaming around the internet, most seem to be speculating that if you look closely at the deal, and at other products already on the market, it does not stand up to close scrutiny, and so they dismiss it as just another media promotion to access government subsidies so it will be more attractive to use to combat ever rising energy prices, caused in part by Governments insistence on subsidising Renewable sources like wind and solar, as that added cost is just passed on to consumers and the subsidies are a gift to well protected investors who otherwise would not invest unless they can access government subsidies to offset risk and guarantee returns by continual price rises in basic energy.

    The other tack appears to be that such costly batteries are for rich people who can afford to buy them and possibly claim rebates as well as the ability to cut peak period power costs, which is similar to solar panels where the rich have no worry about buying many panels and using that advantage over the poor, who haven't the means.

    Why Tesla's Powerwall Is Just Another Toy For Rich Green People - Forbes

    Another side is those who see this as a way the Mr and Mrs average can use savvy thinking and planning to place a downward pressure on the ever spiralling cost of energy, but that would depend upon government and tax incentives to allow ordinary people to purchase sufficient panels and battery banks to lower personal energy costs - and that would cause a scream from the privatized power companies who would then have to compete as they do in the special prices offered for large energy users.

    Then you have the renewable energy target but that is based on a belief that forcing usage of expensive renewable energy will save the world but when you look at the actual figures, the how where and why is very hazy unless you accept authority statements from experts, who may or may not have vested interests in the outcome.

    And if you ask questions or for actual figures those very vocal vested interests rush to silence or censor as it seems you should not ask such impertinent questions.

    Lastly there seems to be a section of interest in DIY inventions or adaptation of available batteries that are cheaper and available, or even to build your own and get the same benefit as the rich folks can get in going off grid or using the warmth of the sun, or the freedom of the winds.

    Makes people think, so all is good and perhaps someone will eventually build a bigger and better storage battery, though for me the Hydro schemes if re-pumped using renewable power is probably the most efficient large scale battery to store reserve energy and power.

    On the DIY stuff I liked the ideas canvassed on this site.

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2015/0...-battery-hype/

    and if all else fails Dilbert as always has the answer....

    Dilbert Comic Strip on 2009-04-28 | Dilbert by Scott Adams

    So there you have it, Tesla enabling the rich to remain rich or saving the world?

    I guess its your choice..

    Ken

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    I'd rather the technology be out there to buy and encourage further development than it being kept under wraps because some rich people might stay rich.
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    Good point.

    "Home battery" sounds like something on a DV charge sheet.

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    I haven't done any comparison technically, but took this photo about 18 months ago at a WA agricultural field day (posted somewhere on AF back then), readily available locally. So I don't know what's new with the Tesla. I think the possible value for remote areas is quite good, having been brought up in an era of limited power supply, with 32 volt generators, etc, running only for about 12 hrs per day. Even in my childhood (in the 1950's) one of my uncles had a wind power generator (commercially available) with a stack of 12volt car batteries on his farm.

    I will agree with Psychlone on development of the product, it should become more readily available as time goes on. Maybe in 20 or 30 years these will be commonplace.

    Tesla announces new "household battery"-p1030980.jpg

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    The chiefio link has the specifications for the Tesla, on top of the price you need to add the inverter cost required to convert to 240 volt power, but maybe that might already be in the solar system if being fitted to existing setup. EM also does a rough comparison with a Honda generator, but that is not the issue.

    Add this site as it has some Australian pricing in the discussion, which is often the best part of the links as the participants tease out the details, don't know the site or the posters so can't make a comparison on the quality of the comments - up to your experience.

    http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2015/05/te...for-your-home/
    Last edited by Kenfuego; 4th May 2015 at 01:01 PM. Reason: add gismodo link

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    I can't see what what all "news" is about.

    It's just a battery after all. It may be competitively priced and quite compact compared to existing battery technology but it's hardy a ground breaking concept.

    If the manufacturer was to offer a replacement warranty on loss of storage capacity or cell failure for seven years or so that would make the technology attractive. Otherwise the current battery technology offers the same features albeit at a higher cost.

    Even basic grid connected (no battery storage) PV systems need an inverter, so that's old hat too.

    The only way to get a rebate is to install a grid connected PV system. Enjoy the pittance "feed in tariff" that you are paid for installing and maintaining the system.

    However when you install a system that stores the charge for later use there is no rebate at all. And currently it can't be grid connected.

    Unless the market dynamics and attitude change a lot, I'm tipping these batteries will be destined to be used mainly on off grid systems.

    Currently, factoring in the cost of PV arrays, batteries and inverters off grid is only practical where grid supplied is unavailable. Even then off grid system users generally seem to have a back generator.

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    The government supports batteries, The Age today
    You don't even need solar panels installed

    Australian households will have the ability to make money from selling stored electricity into the wholesale power market through a tie-up between Australian technology start-up Reposit Power and United States electric car and battery supplier Tesla.

    The deal builds on Tesla’s heralded announcement last Friday that it was moving into the home battery storage market, offering rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs that can store electricity generated from solar panels for use when the sun isn’t shining.

    Reposit chief executive Luke Osborne said the integration of Reposit’s GridCredits technology with Tesla’s new home batteries would turn household energy consumers into generators, able to sell surplus electricity at a profit , instead of just sending it into the grid.

    The technology allows consumers in theory to access prices in the wholesale electricity market that can reach as high as $13 a kilwatt-hour , 200 times the normal feed-in tariff they would receive from surplus power from their rooftops flowing into the grid.

    Consumers would buy power from the grid when prices were lowest, consume their own solar power, and occasionally sell to the markets when prices spiked, reducing or potentially eliminating power bills in some cases.

    The systems would also benefit retailers by helping modify demand and avoiding the need for peaking power stations, Mr Osborne said.

    AGL Energy also launched a suitcase-sized battery storage device in Australia on Friday, becoming the first retailer to take that step. The 6kWh battery will be followed by larger sizes this year.

    Mr Osborne said he saw storage as a large growth market as costs fell, offering retailers the opportunity to avoid the need for additional peaking power plants.

    Reposit has been operating a pilot trial of its GridCredits technology , partly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agenc, since late 2014 in Canberra, which Mr Osborne said had proved up the system. Each unit costs about $15,000 and involves software that is integrated into the battery system .

    For households to sell power into the grid through GridCredits, their supply needed to be aggregated, most probably by a retailer , Mr Osborne said.


    Copyright © 2015 Fairfax Media

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    Quote Originally Posted by driven View Post
    The government supports batteries, The Age today
    You don't even need solar panels installed

    Australian households will have the ability to make money from selling stored electricity into the wholesale power market through a tie-up between Australian technology start-up Reposit Power and United States electric car and battery supplier Tesla.

    The deal builds on Tesla’s heralded announcement last Friday that it was moving into the home battery storage market, offering rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs that can store electricity generated from solar panels for use when the sun isn’t shining.

    Reposit chief executive Luke Osborne said the integration of Reposit’s GridCredits technology with Tesla’s new home batteries would turn household energy consumers into generators, able to sell surplus electricity at a profit , instead of just sending it into the grid.

    The technology allows consumers in theory to access prices in the wholesale electricity market that can reach as high as $13 a kilwatt-hour , 200 times the normal feed-in tariff they would receive from surplus power from their rooftops flowing into the grid.

    Consumers would buy power from the grid when prices were lowest, consume their own solar power, and occasionally sell to the markets when prices spiked, reducing or potentially eliminating power bills in some cases.

    The systems would also benefit retailers by helping modify demand and avoiding the need for peaking power stations, Mr Osborne said.

    AGL Energy also launched a suitcase-sized battery storage device in Australia on Friday, becoming the first retailer to take that step. The 6kWh battery will be followed by larger sizes this year.

    Mr Osborne said he saw storage as a large growth market as costs fell, offering retailers the opportunity to avoid the need for additional peaking power plants.

    Reposit has been operating a pilot trial of its GridCredits technology , partly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agenc, since late 2014 in Canberra, which Mr Osborne said had proved up the system. Each unit costs about $15,000 and involves software that is integrated into the battery system .

    For households to sell power into the grid through GridCredits, their supply needed to be aggregated, most probably by a retailer , Mr Osborne said.


    Copyright © 2015 Fairfax Media
    It's still vaporware a the moment. Like the FTTH for most of us. In spite of various government promises. Shows how quickly a major project can be emasculated and downgraded when the reality reveals the cost.

    Do you really believe that you will receive 200 times the going rate for feed in credits?

    I apologise if I seem cynical, because I am.

    Something that is too good to be true- usually isn't. Ask all the "suckers" that signed up for expensive solar installations on the promise of a 3-5 x feed in credit. Good while it lasted (around 2 years) and now they get a pittance.

    There is noticeable lack of comment on government involvement in the article. Do you think they will stand back and see their supply charges eroded without making up somewhere else?

    Early days yet and time is the true test of all unrealistic claims.
    Last edited by robmac; 4th May 2015 at 05:44 PM.
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    Absolutely; there's no free lunch (or big fat "bonus"), anyone who thinks to the contrary isn't observing the actual implementation of such things. NBN is a cracking example! Good money is made in Australia by riding the back of someone else; it's how feudal the divide remains.

    But, Rob, I want to complain about one phrase:
    time is tester
    It led me to an earworm... Time is a traveller / Tenterfield saddler
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    Absolutely; there's no free lunch (or big fat "bonus"), anyone who thinks to the contrary isn't observing the actual implementation of such things. NBN is a cracking example! Good money is made in Australia by riding the back of someone else; it's how feudal the divide remains.

    But, Rob, I want to complain about one phrase:
    It led me to an earworm... Time is a traveller / Tenterfield saddler

    I've fixed it.

    I line with your connections try this one.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50xx1_CbJTI
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post

    ...

    But, Rob, I want to complain about one phrase:
    It led me to an earworm... Time is a traveller / Tenterfield saddler
    Born in Tenterfield, grew up in Armidale (Peter Woolnough that is ). Armidale remains a very good place to get a musical education, but no, we don't specialise in earworms

    Cheers

    Alec
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armidillo View Post
    Born in Tenterfield, grew up in Armidale (Peter Woolnough that is ). Armidale remains a very good place to get a musical education, but no, we don't specialise in earworms

    Cheers

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    When I hear the name , I associate: Tenterfield Terrier - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Ah the well known political push without offering anything other than a jock strap and a "seemed like a good idea at the time" stuff and of course its Fairfax Ghosts rattling empty buckets type article. What more can one expect.

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    We've been off-grid since 1998 and our current battery bank is probably going to expire sometime in the next year or so. But I'll be sticking with the old tech flooded lead-acid cells, even though they will probably cost me upwards of $8k unless I'd be very lucky to find a second-hand set. For a big investment like this, I'm not going to be a pioneer. I'll let others try lithium ion and other new large battery technologies and when my next set needs replacing 10 to 15 years later, they'll be well and truly proven, and cheaper.
    Last edited by WLB; 10th May 2015 at 11:52 AM. Reason: fix big typo
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    Quote Originally Posted by WLB View Post
    We've been off-grid since 1998 and our current battery bank is probably going to expire sometime in the next year or so. But I'll be sticking with the old tech flooded lead-acid cells, even though they will probably cost me upwards of $8k unless I'm very lucky and find a second-hand set. For a big investment like this, I'm not going to be a pioneer. I'll let others try lithium ion and other new large battery technologies and when my next set needs replacing 10 to 15 years later, they'll be well and truly proven, and cheaper.
    WLB -You could try some of the forklift style batteries, this is an American site and in US $ but there is probably an equivalent here for these deep cycle batteries, adapted to alternatives in off grid situation. Some sites are also suggesting banks of used Commercial UPS systems , that could be used and also reconditioned fork lift battery packs.

    http://www.solar-electric.com/crinba12vo10.html

    Would pay to look about when replacement is approaching, and with LED 12 volt lighting which is getting cheaper all the time, actually the Tesla announcement has really spurred some earnest research into what is available, I note that in that linked add they understand that people may be using those battery packs for hitching up to existing solar arrays.

    I reckon Edge would be interested too as he was when I last had contact, existing on off grid power.

    Ken.

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    as usual, some people dont get it at all.
    Musk is a visionary who is trying to, and succeeding in, making things happen.
    He started and sold Paypal, the most user friendly method of paying for things currently available.
    He started and part owns SpaceX, a company which is, among other things, carrying supplies to the ISS.
    He started a car company which has outdone every mega manufacturer in producing all electric cars with range.

    The home battery has nothing to do with "another media promotion to access government". nor is he pretending that LiOn batteries are revolutionary. though one notes that noone else thought of using a matrix of them to power a car...

    Rather, Musk is fully aware that the only way to make electric cars really affordable is to produce the batteries on mass scale, to lower their unit cost. That is why he is building the Gigafactory, at a cost of $5bn. So any way of increasing demand for batteries, helps the scale of production, which lowers the unit cost, and makes whatever use to which they are put, more viable.

    The home battery isnt necessarily aimed at homeowners. Utilities could get behind them to lease to home owner, for example, which would allow electricity production to be smoothed out over the daily cycle. any reduction in peak load = lower overall cost. no, it isnt "revolutionary" as an idea, but, as with pretty much everything Musk has touched, he is the only one pushing the idea. and leaves other people who didnt think of it, to later say it was obvious.
    Last edited by alexander; 6th May 2015 at 06:15 AM.
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    Totally agree he is one of the true visionaries.....and is on my list of " who would you invite to a dinner party " if you had a choice. Of course whether he would come or not is a different matter : )

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    I see him as one of those people that are out there doing it, whilst everyone else sits on AF and argues why it can't be done...
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    Quote Originally Posted by WLB View Post
    We've been off-grid since 1998 and our current battery bank is probably going to expire sometime in the next year or so. But I'll be sticking with the old tech flooded lead-acid cells, even though they will probably cost me upwards of $8k unless I'm very lucky and find a second-hand set. For a big investment like this, I'm not going to be a pioneer. I'll let others try lithium ion and other new large battery technologies and when my next set needs replacing 10 to 15 years later, they'll be well and truly proven, and cheaper.
    Do you have a diesel generator back up or have you succeeded long term in running off 100% off PV/ battery power?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenfuego View Post
    WLB -You could try some of the forklift style batteries, this is an American site and in US $ but there is probably an equivalent here for these deep cycle batteries, adapted to alternatives in off grid situation. Some sites are also suggesting banks of used Commercial UPS systems , that could be used and also reconditioned fork lift battery packs.

    Crown Industrial Battery - 12 Volts, 1000 Amp-hours

    Would pay to look about when replacement is approaching, and with LED 12 volt lighting which is getting cheaper all the time, actually the Tesla announcement has really spurred some earnest research into what is available, I note that in that linked add they understand that people may be using those battery packs for hitching up to existing solar arrays.

    I reckon Edge would be interested too as he was when I last had contact, existing on off grid power.

    Ken.
    Sorry for the late reply, but I've been away for work since Monday and relying on motel WiFi in the evenings. I seemed to get dodgy connections this trip and kept losing the connection, so I gave up until I got home.

    Thanks Ken,
    You've reminded me that a friend used to know someone at Crown, so I'll see if he's still there and can do a deal on forklift batteries, although I'm still unsure about them. I prefer the traditional flat plate type over the tall skinny tubular plate type used for forklifts. I'm not sure why. You can find convincing arguments for the benefits of both, and they contradict each other, and they're usually written by the respective manufacturers. I've always had ex-Telstra/Telecom/PMG 2 volt cells with transparent cases. You could see the state of the plates and any sediment. You could also see if they were gassing properly, and you could see the electrolyte level without removing caps or fiddling with float indicators. I've never bought new ones as I could always get them second-hand, in good condition, and expect another 5 or so years from them at a fraction of the price of new. I've been working with them since I was a kid and Dad worked for the PMG and Telecom Aust. When telephone exchange back-up batteries showed any sign of performance drop, they were replaced and went to the scrap man. No-one else wanted them. We belonged to a ski club on a mountain with no grid connection so every club lodge had its own generator. But we also had battery supply so we didn't have to run our generator all night like the others did. Dad would know when an exchange in his area was replacing batteries and we would swap our club's set for the set going to scrap. It made no difference to the scrap man as it was just the weight of the lead. We'd then get another 5 or 6 years out of them before replacing them again. By the time I was running on batteries at home and needed replacements, Telstra sold its used cells to battery dealers and you could buy them for $110 each instead of $800. I replaced mine in this way until the last time. Ex-telephone exchange batteries now go straight to the scrap man. It's easier for the corporation. When the previous lot died suddenly without warning (entirely my fault I must admit), I was lucky to get a replacement set the next day from a friend who didn't need them. These are the first tall tubular plate cells I've used and although they are sold for solar storage, I'm sure their origins are in the design of forklift batteries.

    The house was built about 30 years ago by a guy who got into selling solar and off-grid equipment early on; when it was all extremely expensive. The grid is only 200m or so away in neighbouring properties, but when I enquired about connection 12 or 13 years ago, the power company's estimate was between $24k and $30k. You can buy an awful lot of off-grid solar gear for that sort of money, so we remain disconnected. All lighting has always been fluoro or LED. Heating is by wood-fired heater and LPG for quick heat. Cooking and hot water is LPG. Solar hot water not quite ready to connect due to roof alterations needed first. Everything else is normal 240Vac electric from a large inverter. The battery bank is 24V (12x 2V cells) and 940Ah, with a smaller bank of AGM sealed cells (600Ah) as back-up and maintained on float by the original solar system that was here when we moved in.

    The current main system has two solar arrays of 1750W each, and that's about to be doubled giving us 7kW. We can then run reverse cycling air-con during daylight hours which should reduce firewood consumption in winter.

    I didn't realize that Edge was off-grid. Should have guessed. He doesn't seem to post as often as he did. Haven't seen anything from him in a long time. But then that might be because I'm not here as often as I once was.

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Do you have a diesel generator back up or have you succeeded long term in running off 100% off PV/ battery power?
    I've got an old mid-60s air-cooled twin-cylinder Lister diesel generator, Rob, plus an even older 1940s single-cylinder water-cooled Lister. And there's a portable Honda petrol generator and arc welder. The air-cooled Lister was here when we bought the place and the lovely old water-cooled Lister came from the ski lodge 10 years ago. When we first moved in, there was only 450W of solar panels and an old-tech solar charge regulator, so I made a point of running the diesel every night, regardless of how sunny it had been, to ensure the batteries reached full charge everyday to ensure maximum life. We only used about 600 or 700 litres of diesel a year. The generator shed is about 50m from the house, behind another very large shed, so you can't hear it running unless you go outside on a still night. I could start and stop it remotely. However, since the array size was increased, the batteries reach float stage every day just on solar power, regardless of the weather. In fact I have to make a point of running the Lister periodically to give it a bit of exercise and make sure it will work if I really need it. I also use it for equalization charging of the cells, which has to be done every couple of months. This involves running the diesel for 5 or 6 hours for a deliberate controlled over-charge. But once the new lot of solar panels go up, I'll have enough power to do the equalization just using solar. As for other back-ups, there are 2 sets of batteries as I mentioned before. There is an identical spare on hand for the main inverter, and an identical spare for the inverter on the back-up battery system. All the inverters are also battery chargers when the diesel is running. I can swap between most of these systems with the flick of a switch, without disturbing power in the house, although my son's Playstation detects the brief interruption and shuts down. The next project is to design an ice bank system to carry the fridge through the night without power. That's the only thing that draws significant, regular power from the batteries at night. The less you draw down on them, the longer they last. Also considering adding a small wind generator one day to put a bit into the batteries at night when it's windy. When the new solar panels go up in the next couple of months, we'll have 2 arrays facing east and 2 facing west. This will bring the batteries to float much earlier in the day and hold them there until much later in the day. This will not only benefit the batteries, but the surplus power will run the air-con in summer.

    Warwick
    Last edited by WLB; 3rd March 2016 at 02:05 PM. Reason: Fix typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by WLB View Post
    . This involves running the diesel for 5 or 6 hours for a deliberate controlled over-charge. But once the new lot of solar panels go up, I'll have enough power to do the equalization just using solar. .

    Warwick
    warwick, how many panels do you currently run, and how many are planning to add?

    thanks
    alexander.

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    We've got 26 installed at the moment Alexander; set up as 3 separate arrays. The house sits on the north side of a low hill and is aligned east-west. The battery shed is a small structure near the house, about the size of a big garden shed.

    The original 6 panels, totalling 450W, were mounted on a frame beside the battery shed, angled towards north. It was set up so that the angle could be adjusted for the seasons. This was sufficient to recharge the batteries in summer, but the generator would take 3 or 4 hours to recharge them of an evening in winter. When the original owner installed the system nearly 25 years ago, solar panels cost about $10/watt. Those 6 Australian made BP Solar panels would have cost him around $4,500. Allowing for inflation, that's about $7,400 in today's money.

    The first upgrade I did about 10 years ago was to add another 100W and change to a new type of solar charge controller that increased available panel output by about 20%. This took our effective input from 450W to 660W.

    Then about 5 years ago, the price of panels had dropped significantly due to the high AU$ and falling Chinese manufacturing costs. It had dropped to about $2.50/watt so I bought 8 new 175W panels, moved the old array to the roof of the battery shed, extended the original frame, mounted the new panels on it, and bought another charge controller. (There's a limit to how many amps you can put through one controller). This then took us to just under 2kW in 2 arrays. 550W pointing almost straight up, and 1,400W tilted towards the north. From that time onwards, I'd check the system when I got home each day to see if the batteries had reached float, and I only ran the generator if they hadn't. I had one of those old home heating oil 100 gallon tanks supplying the diesel fuel to the Lister and I'd get it filled once or twice a year by the local fuel merchant. However, generator use had dropped to the point where that tank was replaced by a small truck fuel tank and I just filled it from a 20L jerry can when I needed to.

    The next upgrade was about 2 years ago when I bought another 12 x 175W panels and mounted 10 on the house roof, also pointing almost straight up. The other 2 were to take the other big array up to the limit of its charge controller. This is where we sit at the moment. 10 x 175W on the house roof and 10 x 175W on the extended original frame angled to the north.

    The conventional wisdom for alignment is that you angle fixed panels to suit the angle of the sun at noon. You aim them straight up in summer, and at an angle of about 45 degrees towards the north during winter (depending on your latitude), and somewhere in between for spring and autumn. It seems logical. However, what I've observed over the years since we've had 2 arrays (one permanently angled for summer, and the other for winter) is that in winter the panels aimed straight up tend to produce more, most of the time. This is because during winter, it's overcast most of the time. The sun is not visible and the light is diffused across most of the sky by the cloud cover, so the panels facing straight up receive more light. Of course on clear days in winter, those panels tilted to the north do better.

    I now have 8 x 200W panels and 8 x 210W panels waiting to be installed. I thought I'd have them up by now, but I've been a bit busy. Not far from the house is a barn with a gable roof running north-south, so one 45 degree sloping roof surface faces east and the other faces west. The eastern face will accommodate both existing 1,750W arrays of 20 panels, and the western side will take the 16 new panels. This will give us 4 arrays totalling 6,780W feeding 4 networked charge controllers. The original 6 BP panels (450W) will be keeping the spare battery set charged.

    Even on a dull day in winter, we should have the batteries fully charged by midday, and they'll stay charged until much later in the afternoon. This will greatly reduce the depth of discharge of the batteries and extend their life. And then I can look seriously at air conditioning.

    I'll be building a better battery room in the barn, close to the relocated panels, and demolish the old shed.
    Last edited by WLB; 10th May 2015 at 01:20 AM.
    Australdi and Pugnut403 like this.

  25. #25
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    Icon14 serious off grid arrays..

    WLB
    Sounds like you are close to achieving the off grid dream with not much in the way of downsides as you have added more capacity over the years. One of the things that I have thought about is the need to replace panels as they age. It sounds like that really hasn't been an issue.

    Have any of your panels showed signs of reduced output/capacity in normal use, or is there any easy way to detect this in your setup?

    I take it that you have also increased thermal efficiency with insulation or was the house already heavily insulated, double glazing? or is this a project too with the advent/idea of air conditioning in the future?

    Your setup would be a good destination for a Froggy Forum Energy conservation run some time in the future!

    Regards

    Ken.

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