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An Approaching RF Shinola Storm?




 
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AJ1G
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« on: May 10, 2018, 05:43:13 PM »

So my neighbor comes over today and after we bemoaned the loss of the last 2 Red Sox games to the evil empire, he asked me what I thought about our electrical utility offering to install “free” solar panels.  They apparently sent a sales rep through the neighborhood this week.  I told him I think in principle it was worth considering, but I personally had big concerns about RFI to the ham bands from those types of solar installations. At that point, my  wife heard us talking, and chimed in with the news that another neighbor, directly behind us, was taking up the offer from Eversource.  So it looks like I am going to have a
set of panels, presumably with on-panel inverters, less than 50 feet from my 80/40 inverted vee.  So I am asking if anyone on the forum has had any experience with having solar panels in such close proximity to their antennas.  If the RFI  indeed trashes the spectrum at my location, other than moving, is there any recourse to have the utility provide remediation?

Does the noise floor increase with panel output, and hopefully drop or go away at night?
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Chris, AJ1G
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2018, 08:04:40 PM »

  I did RFI complaints for the local utility here before I retired, the utility is only responsible for RFI off it's equipment. If the utility provides a solar system then that may be considered their equipment, the CT PUC might have info on that.

  I had one ham who had noise from 80 meters to 6 meters, the source was a utility interactive solar system on a school across the street, this was a 3 phase system and one of the inverters appeared to be the noise source.

   Another ham I know who had a utility interactive system on his home, the panels were tied together by an ether net and that was a RFI source.

    My HMO here in the Bay Area has been installing awnings over their parking lot for the past year that are covered with solar panels. A few weeks ago I went for an eye examination, I was listening to KFSO 560 KHz and soon as I got near the awning there was very severe RFI.

     The owner of Palomar Engineers, AK6R, has dealt RFI issues from solar installations in Southern California and has some good info on his website.


* Solar Panel Awnings.JPG (141.27 KB, 1024x768 - viewed 63 times.)

* Solar Panel Awnings.JPG (141.27 KB, 1024x768 - viewed 39 times.)
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KD6VXI
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2018, 09:25:00 PM »

You'll be best off with a central inverter.  That's the least efficient.

Next is the micro inverter systems.  Those switch DC to sinewave 240 at the panel.  As long as good grounding practices are followed, these systems are pretty quiet.

Then comes the optimized panels, or panels with seperate optimizers.  These are the proverbial nightmares.  These are whole-system integrated.  They have each panel producing x amount of watts.  The optimizer keeps the voltage level the same, no matter if it's partially shaded or not.

This has the effect of keeping the voltage stable at the central inverter.  Higher input voltage means better efficiency.

However, they use pwm to control the voltage!  And, they don't filter it out....  Some brands being worse than others.

All is not lost, however.  Start taking sdr screen shots TODAY!  with noise level markers at your ambient.  Do it every hour, every day, for 2 weeks.

As SOON as the solar system comes online, you'll see it!  Start grabbing captures again.

Call the installation company.  Find out who actually owns the system.  It is their responsibility to ensure its compliant.  Force the issue.  I have seen solar systems ripped off a roof because the contractor was incompetent.  I have been hired by other companies to install the ferrite rings the manufacturers WILL provide to reduce or eliminate rfi.

Be careful, though.  Most of the rfi elimination kits do squat at hf. They are designed to restore the am broadcash band.  Money talks.  Here, again, is where your sdr screens hots come into play.


Yes, as the sun goes down, the rfi will reduce itself.  UNLESS!!!  Unless they are using any of the battery systems for on demand  or for net energy metering.  Then, they can go all night as well.

I'm pretty lucky.  As the solar systems wind down around me, the local pot farmers digital grow ballasts pop on.  So I get another 12 hours of rfi.

F all of this.  I'm moving.


--Shane
KD6VXI


(although no longer affiliated with any company, I've sold and installed almost all types of solar systems, charging systems, etc.  Both on and off grid. )
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KD6VXI
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2018, 09:29:08 PM »

I wanted to add.  The typical rfi box that uses phasing will do wonders for a single solar system.  If you have more than one installed system, don't waste your money.

The best thing I've found to reduce solar rfi is an SDR.  Some of the noise banker algorithms are really good.  To the tune of 5 to 7 s unit reduction.

Doesn't help when the rfi is 50 over, but.....


--Shane
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WA2TTP Steve
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2018, 01:48:06 AM »

There was a pretty good article in QST April 2016 page 33 that addresses noise issues with solar power systems. K1kP’s solutions were planned out in advance of the system installation. He had access to an operating system in the area so he was able to measure the sources, frequency and amplitude of the noise. He was able to get help from W1HIS a retired MIT professor who had extensive experience in RFI reduction techniques.

I thought it was very interesting but I don’t plan on getting a system anytime soon.

Steve
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2018, 09:46:23 AM »

In Spain the government solved the problem. If you put-up a solar system, they come, put a meter at YOUR panel and you have to pay tax over the electricity generated, TAX OVER THE SUN!!!!. That makes the electricity more expansive than buying electricity, which is the most expensive in whole Europe. So .... nobody has solar panels, problem solved Roll Eyes
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K6IC
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2018, 07:01:32 PM »

Most Grid-Tied solar systems seem to generate little,   or perhaps even no RFI.

Some of the worst noise generator solar systems are called Hybrids  --  those that charge a low voltage battery with an MPPT battery charge controller,   and sell/buy power to/from the grid.   These systems generally use a 48 V battery bank,   and the solar charge controllers  (technically)  need NO EMI/RFI  emissions suppression,   as   FCC Class B  emissions testing for devices that are not directly connected to the AC power mains,   BEGINS AT 30.0 MHz  and continues into the GHz range.   These MPPT chargers are large switchers that usually handle about 4 kW of power  =  NOISE.

Microinverters,   and String inverters DO connect to the AC power lines,   and  need to pass Line Conducted emissions tests, which begin at 100 KHz (IIRC),   and extend to at least 30 MHz.   This generally means that inverters from name brand companies  usually are RF quiet.

A contester friend,    had a large solar system installed (Uniphase microinverters),   and noticed NO added RFI  on any frequency of interest.

The power systems hear are off-grid,   and use MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking)  solar chargers,   which DO generate some RFI,  which is fairly easily suppressed with  Ferrites,   running all above cables in EMT conduit (metal),   and running AC power feeds to buildings under ground,   and in Rigid or EMT,   above ground.

The only reason we moved to this low-density rural area,   was to leave behind PG&E utility power line NOISE,   and later,   much of that line noise  is masked by all of the el-cheapo,  lowest-cost producer switcher  gizmo  NOISE.

3 cents worth,   GL,   Vic
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K6JEK
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2018, 04:58:39 PM »

Got a check today for $112 for the extra power my panels pushed into the grid this year. Yes, my electric bill, excluding connection charges and special assessments, was -$112 for the year. I put this system up a hundred years ago, back before micro inverters. I actually picked the inverters by visiting various installations. The ones I picked were quiet as a mouse. I can't hear a difference when I turn them on and off. They are Xantrex inverters OEM'd by SunPower back then.

PS I don't want to imply this system made economic sense. Now it might. Back then panels cost what, two or three times as much as they cost now. The payback period now might be three years. For my system when I bought it I think it was roughly ten thousand years.
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KL7OF
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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2018, 12:05:38 PM »

My neighbor is putting in a solar array using AP systems YC 600 micro inverter..It will be hooked to the grid so he can sell any power that is excess to his needs... His system is approx 800 ft away  from my shack...https://usa.apsystems.com/portfolio-item/apsystems-yc600/
Their literature doesn't mention anything about RFI suppression. I talked to the installer and he didn't seem to know about RFI.The solar company is working on the install today so I guess I will know soon enough.  I have taken some screen shots and will take some more.  I will report the results as soon as I know ....
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K6IC
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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2018, 01:56:01 PM »

Hi Steve,

It has been several decades since I have done any Emission Compliance testing. And there are some international standards that may well have equal or better emission limits for the HF spectrum.

The Data Sheet for the YC600 has this Compliance statement:

"Emissions & Immunity (EMC) Compliance FCC PART 15, ANSI C63.4, ICES-003".

FCC Part 15,   as a general statement is not a particularly high standard.

One model of these inverters  does use PLC (Power Line Communication,   assumed),   although this is the method used by Enphase,   for some time,   and those microinverters are known to be RF quiet,  in most installations at or near HF-active hams.

There is a contact phone number (Seattle,  WA),  noted at the bottom of the data sheet,   and other materials on their site:

600 Ericksen Ave NE, Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98110 | 844.666.7035 | APsystems.com

Why not call them,   and try to penetrate into,   at least the Applications specialist,   or  Applications Sales folks.

Try to find the FCC product ID number for this product.   And/or ask specifically about Emission Compliance,  perhaps stating that you are considering these inverters for your Hammie QTH,   or similar.

GL,   FWIW,   Vic
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2018, 02:47:22 PM »

Shane

(although no longer affiliated with any company, I've sold and installed almost all types of solar systems, charging systems, etc.  Both on and off grid. )

OM, please consider writing a guide for hams that covers the trade-offs between various methods and equipment. Here are a few questions that I'd appreciate info on.

  • My sister just had a system installed by a company that sells them at Home Despot stores, and although there are no batteries, she does get enough of a discount on her electric bill that she considers it a good deal.
  • I know other solar system owners who did it themselves, and they deride the panels-only type of setup that my sister got as a blatant ripoff that gives a perpetual lease of her roof to big energy. Is there accurate info about the trade offs and benefits of a panels-only system vs. a battery-based system vs. commercial-only power?
  • I bought a house which used to have solar power, but no longer does. Is it cost-effective for a retired couple to put in a new solar system right now? What are the payback intervals these days?
  • Are the utilities still obligated to buy power from solar owners?
  • Will have an array on my roof raise my insurance costs?

Thanks for your time.

Bill, W4EWH
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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2018, 03:52:09 PM »

Hi Steve,

It has been several decades since I have done any Emission Compliance testing. And there are some international standards that may well have equal or better emission limits for the HF spectrum.

The Data Sheet for the YC600 has this Compliance statement:

"Emissions & Immunity (EMC) Compliance FCC PART 15, ANSI C63.4, ICES-003".

FCC Part 15,   as a general statement is not a particularly high standard.

One model of these inverters  does use PLC (Power Line Communication,   assumed),   although this is the method used by Enphase,   for some time,   and those microinverters are known to be RF quiet,  in most installations at or near HF-active hams.

There is a contact phone number (Seattle,  WA),  noted at the bottom of the data sheet,   and other materials on their site:

600 Ericksen Ave NE, Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98110 | 844.666.7035 | APsystems.com

Why not call them,   and try to penetrate into,   at least the Applications specialist,   or  Applications Sales folks.

Try to find the FCC product ID number for this product.   And/or ask specifically about Emission Compliance,  perhaps stating that you are considering these inverters for your Hammie QTH,   or similar.

GL,   FWIW,   Vic
Thanks Vic...I'll take your advice and give them a call.   Steve
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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2018, 05:21:14 PM »

Shane

(although no longer affiliated with any company, I've sold and installed almost all types of solar systems, charging systems, etc.  Both on and off grid. )

OM, please consider writing a guide for hams that covers the trade-offs between various methods and equipment. Here are a few questions that I'd appreciate info on.

  • My sister just had a system installed by a company that sells them at Home Despot stores, and although there are no batteries, she does get enough of a discount on her electric bill that she considers it a good deal.
  • I know other solar system owners who did it themselves, and they deride the panels-only type of setup that my sister got as a blatant ripoff that gives a perpetual lease of her roof to big energy. Is there accurate info about the trade offs and benefits of a panels-only system vs. a battery-based system vs. commercial-only power?
  • I bought a house which used to have solar power, but no longer does. Is it cost-effective for a retired couple to put in a new solar system right now? What are the payback intervals these days?
  • Are the utilities still obligated to buy power from solar owners?
  • Will have an array on my roof raise my insurance costs?

Thanks for your time.

Bill, W4EWH

Bill,

First one.  Yes, as long as the system is sized correctly, it doesn't matter if you have batteries or not.  If you size a system large enough, you end up offsetting the power used during a 24 hour period.  All a battery system (like the Power Wall, Sohnnen, etc) do is allow you to fudge the power company if you're on time of use.  In a TOS system, your kwh billing varies throughout the day.  A battery being charged up during soap opera hours, then used to run your home during peak purchase times makes sense, in this case.  You charge the battery all day, not using the power from the utility.  Then, during peak power purchase times, pull from the battery to power your home.

This is TOTALLY different from a non grid tied battery system.  A non grid tied system charges the batteries all day, and you pull all the time.  Not just during peak energy times.  These are also called off grid.  In other words, no utility.

Second:  the only thing that would give a perpetual lease to big energy is if she signed a lease. And, depending on her age, this might be the right thing to do.  My 'money guy' looked at a cash purchase of a large solar system..  Writing a 50k dollar check wouldn't have been anything.

However, he found that with the projected 15 years of his life left, he wouldn't see a return on the investment.  Instead, he leased a system that makes sure he doesn't have a power bill for the rest of his life.  He is guaranteed a set rate for the next 20 years, and his wife keeps the house at 75 degrees.  It's 115 here in the summer.  He's happy.

If you have 20 plus years, (and this is TOTALLY dependant on the cost of the system, the interest charged, how much power you use, whether your utility wholesale purr hades power from rooftops, etc), then purchasing a system can make more sense.  Typical systems pay off in 5 to 10 years.  I've had smaller ones pay off in 3.  After 3 years, the single 65 year old man will live the rest of his projected life, electric bill free.  He had a 40 dollar a month bill, though.

The payback interval is totally dependant on the cost of the system.  My last employer could get people off CARE or FERA.  Yes, people on welfare, he could get them into solar.  However, it wasn't a gargantuan solaredge system with remote panel by panel monitoring!  It was a central inverter and ching fong panels.  But, these people now have a 0 dollar energy bill, and pay 75 bucks a month for 10 years.  Which beats the cooling bill in summer when it's 115 out!  So, if you go with a basic system, have a company that will look aggressively for the best deal for you, you can easily come out ahead in 5 to 10 years.  Possibly a lot shorter if your in a cash purchase position.

The rules governing utilities are a state by state case.  If look in your area for real answers to the other questions you've posed.  Here jn California, they are reality trying not to, but the CPUC only let's them get away with so many shenanigans a year.

I know people that got in 10 years ago that get 1 to 5 hundred dollar a month checks.  They have solar FARMS in their back 40 though.




Didn't mean to derail the thread....

--Shane
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2018, 12:16:38 AM »

The gripe I have w/ the solar panel thing.. if they are 'my' panels.
The power company charges you retail but pays you wholesale for what you put in. Not going to play that, let's them have it both ways.
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2018, 10:16:43 AM »

The gripe I have w/ the solar panel thing.. if they are 'my' panels.
The power company charges you retail but pays you wholesale for what you put in. Not going to play that, let's them have it both ways.

In some places it's like that. In many places it's not. As Shane says, it's a state by state thing. In fact, it's even a county by county thing. It has been retail in and retail out in most locations. That is they pay you retail rates, not wholesale, for the power you push into the grid. Utilities think this is a raw deal for them and are lobbying to change it to retail in wholesale out. Some have succeeded. Many have not.

Google "Net Metering" and stand back.
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« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2018, 06:34:55 AM »

Well, the neighbor’s install started this past Friday and will come on line this week.  Will consist of 20 panels and a Solar Edge HDWave central inverter located at the main breaker panel.  The installers are doing what appears to be a good job on the wiring, everything they have put in is run in steel conduit from the wiring coming down from the roof and what is going to the main distribution panel and incoming commercial meter.  I have driven by a number of similar looking installations in town which I assume are similar ones put in by Eversource, and have not heard any significant interference on the BCB in the truck radio or on 40 meters on the little K1 QRP mobile setup. Keeping my fingers crossed!  Since Eversource serves the majority of towns in CT, I’m thinking the ARRL people who have been following the solar EMI concern may have some feedback from others in the state on these systems.  One thing that caught my attention when my neighbor was showing me the install progress was that the panels that were staged to go on the roof did not appear to be new, the frames and the barcode stickers showed considerable weathering.  Looked like they had been installed previously elesewhere.
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« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2018, 10:39:34 AM »

The gripe I have w/ the solar panel thing.. if they are 'my' panels.
The power company charges you retail but pays you wholesale for what you put in. Not going to play that, let's them have it both ways.

I have clients with this attitude. I tell them solar was never designed for a payback.  Your payback is sizing it correctly so you don't have a power bill, and your solar finance bill is smaller than the power bill.

Take it a step further and install a battery to power yourself at night.  Completely (not really, you still have to maintain the interconnect) autonomous power!

On the net metering, they are also introducing TOU here. Time Of Use.  Power will be cheapest for residential customers from 9a to 5p.then it rises, exponentially until. The end of prime time.  After that, power rates go back down.

Yes, they got the public utilities commission to guarantee revenues.  So, we install batteries so you never run off the meter.

--Shane
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« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2018, 11:25:47 AM »

The gripe I have w/ the solar panel thing.. if they are 'my' panels.
The power company charges you retail but pays you wholesale for what you put in. Not going to play that, let's them have it both ways.
Utilities think this is a raw deal for them and are lobbying to change it to retail in wholesale out. Some have succeeded. Many have not.

Google "Net Metering" and stand back.


If you have a home garden and have extra tomatoes, you would not expect to go to your local grocer and have him pay you retail for them. Same concept.

It is a not fair to other customers of the utility to pay the solar customer retail for the feedback. Remember the solar customer is essentially a power generator. They are only displacing some of the costs associated with generating the electricity.

However, the retail cost includes expenses that are entirely unrelated to generation. A person who installs solar in effect becomes a generator. However, they expect the utility to provide backup service when their solar cannot produce 100% of their power needs (very expensive BTW), maintain the lines, infrastructure, support etc.

Most people, understandably want the utility available when their installation is not able to meet their needs. Utilities in deregulated states are often still required to act as the "Provider of Last Resort". Essentially, the utility must act as a “back up” electric service in the areas that they cover So they have to build and plan for sufficient resources to be available when you want it. There are costs associated with that.

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« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2018, 02:22:12 PM »

Carl is right on the money.

Also, in California you are required to have electric hooked up, if it is feasible to do so.  One side of the political spectrum says its intrusion on our rights.  The other says it's for emergency backup, etc.  Cases to be made for both sides.

--Shane
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« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2018, 03:43:01 PM »



Can the home owner depreciate the panels ?

KLC
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« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2018, 04:55:35 PM »


That is a pretty complex question and I would talk to your accountant and lawyer. There are a lot of elements to that question. A you buying the system, leasing it or using some of the more obscure plans where the company retains ownership, and you allow use of the roof.

If you are going to own it outright as a homeowner there is a substantial FIT credit that was extended in the recent tax bill. However, usually to claim depreciation you have to be a corporation. I suppose theoretically you could set up a singular corporation to "own" your system and pay yourself for the electricity. The corporation could then take depreciation on the equipment and related expenses. But now you are a commercial power generator and may be subject to all sorts of filings and regulations on the state and Federal level as well as corporate taxes.

Seems like way too much work for the benefit.

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« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2018, 05:22:07 PM »

I have some questions regarding outright ownership costs, DIY approach:

I once looked into the costs and maintenance of various self-generated power solutions.  

My power bill runs about $1500 per year which is not too bad.  The first thing I looked at was putting up a wind turbine on one of the towers.  We're on top of a windy 800' hill and have access to several tall, very strapping towers for the turbine. (190')     After looking at the cost of the blade and turbine, interface - and the cost of replacing the bank of batteries periodically.... PLUS what would be the cost if the turbine crapped out or the blade fractured, etc.?  How about bringing in a crane every time  - and labor etc?  I found it was a big loser and then better appreciated the cheap cost of electricity from the corporate giant.

The solar solution seems somewhat better, though we must remember the cost of replacing large battery banks (if used) and how long do the solar panels last? Are they prone to wind storms, tree branch missiles, snow and ice and other weather damage?   A large farm of solar panels seems like an easy target to hit at random.

In the distant past, I figgered by now there would be a way for everyone to have a small nuclear power source. One that was foolproof and could not be used as a weapon. But that obviouly never happened.

I'm under the impression, just like buying a new Tesla electric car, in the end self-generation is a financial loser or break-even venture (at best) at this point in technolgical advancement. Thinking that the little consumer can compete with the economies of the large corporate power companies and the oil companies is currently not here yet. They have it down when it comes to economy of scale.

I'd like to hear comments about the cost and replacement of a large 12 volt battery bank, maintainence and the crap-out factor that comes with any of these systems...

The fact that solar panels are becoming more common for individuals and wind turbines are very rare tells us a lot.

Also, obsolesence - have solar panels advanced so that a large panel system 20 years ago should  now be replaced by a more modern, smaller, more efficient and cheaper panels? IE, more future expenses to upgrade?  Has solar technology advanced at a fast pace like radio or computer technology - or has it been more like a slow turtle pace like the battery or electic bulb over the last century?

And I wanna know - why aren't there hundreds of hydro power plants just off the coast of our country taking advantage of the tides, just like the Hoover dam?  I would think channeling the tremendous force of water as it flowed every 6 hours could be accomplished in a big way.  Ocean oil drilling rigs and all the associated mess of oil power seems like a harder solution to energy.  

T


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« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2018, 10:33:01 AM »

I have some questions regarding outright ownership costs, DIY approach:

I once looked into the costs and maintenance of various self-generated power solutions.  

My power bill runs about $1500 per year which is not too bad.  The first thing I looked at was putting up a wind turbine on one of the towers.  We're on top of a windy 800' hill and have access to several tall, very strapping towers for the turbine. (190')     After looking at the cost of the blade and turbine, interface - and the cost of replacing the bank of batteries periodically.... PLUS what would be the cost if the turbine crapped out or the blade fractured, etc.?  How about bringing in a crane every time  - and labor etc?  I found it was a big loser and then better appreciated the cheap cost of electricity from the corporate giant.

The solar solution seems somewhat better, though we must remember the cost of replacing large battery banks (if used) and how long do the solar panels last? Are they prone to wind storms, tree branch missiles, snow and ice and other weather damage?   A large farm of solar panels seems like an easy target to hit at random.

In the distant past, I figgered by now there would be a way for everyone to have a small nuclear power source. One that was foolproof and could not be used as a weapon. But that obviouly never happened.

I'm under the impression, just like buying a new Tesla electric car, in the end self-generation is a financial loser or break-even venture (at best) at this point in technolgical advancement. Thinking that the little consumer can compete with the economies of the large corporate power companies and the oil companies is currently not here yet. They have it down when it comes to economy of scale.

I'd like to hear comments about the cost and replacement of a large 12 volt battery bank, maintainence and the crap-out factor that comes with any of these systems...

The fact that solar panels are becoming more common for individuals and wind turbines are very rare tells us a lot.

Also, obsolesence - have solar panels advanced so that a large panel system 20 years ago should  now be replaced by a more modern, smaller, more efficient and cheaper panels? IE, more future expenses to upgrade?  Has solar technology advanced at a fast pace like radio or computer technology - or has it been more like a slow turtle pace like the battery or electic bulb over the last century?

And I wanna know - why aren't there hundreds of hydro power plants just off the coast of our country taking advantage of the tides, just like the Hoover dam?  I would think channeling the tremendous force of water as it flowed every 6 hours could be accomplished in a big way.  Ocean oil drilling rigs and all the associated mess of oil power seems like a harder solution to energy.  

T



You need to talk to Vic, K6IC. He's off grid, owns a bunch of batteries, has a lot of solar panels. I do know this: solar panels have become dramatically cheaper in the last few years but not dramatically more efficient, not silicon ones anyway. I believe the theoretical maximum is 29%. In the labs they are hitting 26% and on the roofs 23%, up from 20% ten years ago.  They often talk about a 20 year life span but they seem to last a lot longer than that.  The degradation rate is something like .4%/year so after 20 years they are still producing .... dang. Can't find my slide rule.

I'm pretty sure the answer to the tides question is it's hard, much harder than it might seem.
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« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2018, 01:54:01 PM »

Here near Albany, NY my neighbors two very large solar panels are less that 30 feet from my receiving antenna offer no RFI from 22 MHz to 1.3 GHz, Her system is a direct connection to the grid where no storage is used in her home. There is a large DC dis-connection switch right next to the meter and I think it said that it was rated for 480 volts DC? The only problem I have with her system is that several times during the winter months, the solar panels cause a snow or ice avalanche! The accumulation of ice or snow is more that 500 pounds per panel and they come thundering down as soon as the sun raises the temperature on the panels below the build up of ice or snow, endangering our cars or people that may be walking or driving under them. When the snow hits the driveway it compacts making it very difficult to snow blow the compacted snow. The first winter after she installed the panels it was all ice that came thundering down so I warned the xyl where to walk and not park her car in the area. I as yet have not said anything to her about the problem as her 17 year old son unfortunately had died in a one car crash where the car burst into flames and he was burned to death. I didn't have the heart to bother her over the panels. So that was almost three years ago and I think there must be someway to heat them or put up a barrier so we don't have to worry about future avalanches?  Does anyone have any ideas on how to avoid build up of snow or ice on panels?    
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"Let's go sailing, Tommy!" - Yaz


« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2018, 02:33:34 PM »

 Does anyone have any ideas on how to avoid build up of snow or ice on panels?    

Hola Terry,

Interesting to hear about the snow and ice issues.

One solution would be to build a massive frame, something like what the UHF guys do to mount their huge eme arrays.  Make it tilt and rotate. (alt / az )  Then when the forecast says snow or ice, put the panels into an alt direction facing the ground. As a bonus, during sunny days both the alt and az could rotate to follow the sun for maximum received solar energy.


It wouldn't be easy with a massive panel array, but for smaller stuff like I see around here, it is doable. I'll bet there are already manufacturers specializing in this stuff now.


K6JEK - thanks for the comments.

T
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