How much can we save?

SunSolarDudeSunSolarDude Posts: 6Registered Users
There's a company in town that offers solar energy solutions. If I convert to solar power, how much could I save?
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  • ZakarumeZakarume Posts: 143Solar Expert ✭✭
    How much you can save depends on how big you want your system and how much power you will use at home. NEED MORE INFO. If you want to know more
    1460 Watts Solar @24v. 675 AH Battery Bank using 12 6v Trojan T-105. 1 Midnite Classic 150. 1500 Watt 24v Samlex Pure Sine Inverter
  • Mountain DonMountain Don Posts: 493Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    edited November 2015 #3
    How you convert is also part of the question. If you put out the cash up front it's how long before you break even on the investment. If it's a lease then how much less will the lease payment be compared to the usual monthly consumption bill.  Have you made efforts to reduce consumption. That is the place to start. 

    Is this conversion proposal a grid tied solution or a stand alone with battery storage?
    Northern NM, 624 watts PV, The Kid CC, GC-2 batteries @ 24 VDC, Outback VFX3524M
  • solar_davesolar_dave Posts: 2,334Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    I assume it is grid tie, you need to know about your net metering program.
  • oil pan 4oil pan 4 Posts: 752Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭

    Convert to solar, as in going off grid. You would save negative tens of thousands of dollars.

    Solar hybrid gasoline generator, 7kw gas, 180 watts of solar, Morningstar 15 amp MPPT, group 31 AGM, 900 watt kisae inverter.

    Solar roof top GMC suburban, a normal 3/4 ton suburban with 180 watts of panels on the roof and 10 amp genasun MPPT, 2000w samlex pure sine wave inverter, 12v gast and ARB air compressors.

  • JoshKJoshK Posts: 232Solar Expert ✭✭
    If you already have power from the local utility, you will find the only way to save money is to be more efficient.
  • SunSolarDudeSunSolarDude Posts: 6Registered Users
    How you convert is also part of the question. If you put out the cash up front it's how long before you break even on the investment. If it's a lease then how much less will the lease payment be compared to the usual monthly consumption bill.  Have you made efforts to reduce consumption. That is the place to start. 

    Is this conversion proposal a grid tied solution or a stand alone with battery storage?

    It's for grid tied. What's the difference with the stand alone?
  • Mountain DonMountain Don Posts: 493Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    batteries
    Northern NM, 624 watts PV, The Kid CC, GC-2 batteries @ 24 VDC, Outback VFX3524M
  • BB.BB. Posts: 27,914Super Moderators, Administrators admin
    edited November 2015 #9
    Meaning Grid Tied--Solar Panels => GT Inverter => AC Mains Panel (Utility Power)

    Off Grid--Solar panels => Solar Charge Controller => Battery Bank => AC Inverter => AC Load

    The GT system uses AC Mains to "stabilize" the power (i.e., the AC Mains, for all the world, look like a giant "AC Battery Bank"). And, if the AC mains fall, you do not have any backup power from your solar panels.

    An Off Grid system uses the battery bank to accept solar power during the day, and to supply power to an off grid AC inverter to power AC loads (or DC direct loads). There is no direct tie between an off grid inverter and AC mains...

    Then it gets more complicated... There are AC inverter+chargers--These use the AC mains when it is "up". And supply power from the battery bank when the AC mains are down (think computer UPS--Uninterrupted Power Supply). And can also connect to an AC generator for backup power.

    And then there are Hybrid AC inverters--The are basically Off Grid Inverters that can also use the AC main power like a GT inverter.... GT Inverter (AC mains supplies/accepts power from AC inverter) when grid is "up". And when grid is "down", the AC inverter goes to "off grid mode" and supplies your AC loads (again like a UPS system).

    There are many options here--But at a quick start, an Off Grid (and Hybrid) AC inverter system + batteries + charge controllers + etc. are much more expensive than a pure GT Solar AC Inverter system (both to install and to maintain). Something like 4-10x as expensive for Off Grid solar power system vs a GT solar power system of similar "capacity".

    Really depends what your needs are.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • SkippySkippy Posts: 301Solar Expert ✭✭
    edited November 2015 #10
    Yup, totally agree with you guys.

    Batteries.

    So, too answer your question from my point of view, How much can you save ?

    I am not "saving" anything .. . I am getting my money back a little bit at a time.

    Too install the system I have here cost me between 8 and 10 thousand. . .  out of pocket . . then when I flipped the switch, I hope too get 40 $ a month back every month - since my summer bills around around 40 $ a month, I should have no hydro bill in the summer ...while with the winter bills - it should help . . I plan to be here a while . .  :smiley: 



    Now, the one benefit that I am seeing, is the fact that now that I have a monitor on my wall telling me how many watts I am making every 15 minutes or so, I am far more aware of everything that clicks on in the house.  So far - I have removed my ceiling fluorescent light in the living room (40 watt) and replace it with an l..e.d screw in bulbs (9 watts). Replaced my entry light from a 60 watt Edison bulb - to a 9 watt l.e.d. bulb...

    I am also in the process of removing all the fluorescent lights in the shop which adds up too around 600 watts with everything on - and installing 8 of the same 9 watt l.e.d. lights . . for 72 watts or so . .  AND it should be brighter in there as well . .

    As for the fridge that I have wrapped in Styrofoam, I am seriously thinking of adding that second layer of foam too it . . it would only save .15 of a kilowatt a day, but it is still a savings . . on going everyday savings that add up . ..

    Me personally do not like the whole "rent your roof out" for solar . .  that is just a way for them too jack up the sale price of a "cheap" system . .and add a year of two for you too pay it back . .  but then that is just negative old me talking... just my opinon


    16.jpg 658.6K
    2 - 255W PV - Tristar 45 MPPT CC / 3 - 110W PV -wired for 36V- 24V Sunsaver MPPT CC / midnite bat. monitor.
    1 KW PSW inverter 24V / 2.5 KW MSW inverter-24V ~ 105 AHR battery.
    3 ton GSHP.- 100 gallon warm water storage / house heat - radiant floor / rad
    Apricus solar water heater with Tempra 12 on demand for backup.
    9 -220W PV - net meter - Enphase inverters and internet reporting system.
    420 Gallon rain water system for laundry.***  6" Rocket Mass Heater with 10' bed for workshop heat.
    Current project is drawing up plans for a below grade Hobbit / underground home.
  • BB.BB. Posts: 27,914Super Moderators, Administrators admin
    Skippy,

    Is that a fast growing tree in front of the array? Has to go...

    Regarding lighting... In about four houses  now (ours, in-laws, etc.) have installed 4" in LED can lights. And use up to 3 different light switches in one room to allow us to turn on just the amount of light we need (just above couch, or whole room). Really like not having floor/table lamps to trip over/clean/dust for general lighting.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • solar_davesolar_dave Posts: 2,334Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Skippy said:
    <snip>
    I am also in the process of removing all the fluorescent lights in the shop which adds up too around 600 watts with everything on - and installing 8 of the same 9 watt l.e.d. lights . . for 72 watts or so . .  AND it should be brighter in there as well . .


    Yep I have been thinking about doing the same in my shop, all on it takes 500 watts to drive all the fluorescents.  It was the cheap thing to do when the building got set up.
  • SunSolarDudeSunSolarDude Posts: 6Registered Users
    Decided to just go and convert to solar power. Hoping for great results
  • wellbuiltwellbuilt Posts: 312Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    I'm wire my place now and went with 10 9 watt  recessed lights in the garage .
     Seems kind of fancy for a garage but the  fixtures dim down to 10 W  and give ok light .
     Full power is bright . 
     And I'm done , nothing else to buy. 
    Out
  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Posts: 446Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    oil pan 4 said:

    Convert to solar, as in going off grid. You would save negative tens of thousands of dollars.


    Yep. Accurate without needing a calculator.
    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • mvasmvas Posts: 298Registered Users ✭✭✭
    Decided to just go and convert to solar power. Hoping for great results
    Please do a significant amount research first and then you will know how many years it will take to BREAK-EVEN.
    Tell us ...
    1) How much you plan to spend?
    2) How many solar panels, their NOCT wattage rating and their orientation
    3) Make & Model of GTI
    4) The price you pay for electricity ( cents per KWH )
    5) Your longitude & latitude
    There will be no net savings for many years.
  • BB.BB. Posts: 27,914Super Moderators, Administrators admin
    SolarSunDude was a spammer out of Philippines. If I recall correctly, his last post was for a random solar power installer somewhere else in the world (Australia, UK, Los Angeles, or similar).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Posts: 4,709Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    oil pan 4 said:

    Convert to solar, as in going off grid. You would save negative tens of thousands of dollars.


    Yep. Accurate without needing a calculator.
    I was about to say he might live where electric is >40 cents a Kwh....
    ...Bill spoiled my fun...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Posts: 446Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Yep - I got sucked in too. I need to pay closer to attention to who is posting and what they are saying.

    Since we are kicking it around......Today's cost justification is something that I will have to look into, just out of interest. I have not run the numbers in a long time to see where the breakpoints are. PV module costs have dropped precipitously and new, lower cost micro inverters have changed the solar landscape.

    My gut tells me that even $.40 would be tough to financially justify taking an existing home with existing utility service totally off grid. But it wouldn't be the first time I guessed wrong.

    In general, battery systems tended to put it over the top, while straight grid tied can easily work in many areas.

    Marc

    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Posts: 4,709Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2017 #20
    My gut tells me that even $.40 would be tough to financially justify taking an existing home with existing utility service totally off grid. But it wouldn't be the first time I guessed wrong.

    In general, battery systems tended to put it over the top, while straight grid tied can easily work in many areas.
    Marc
    Marc, I did a break down about 5 years back after setting up my current system, I think I was around 26 cents a Kwh, WITHOUT the tax credit. It doesn't include personal installation and labor costs and some very good shopping. And doesn't include the installation and deferment of heating to wood stove (about an extra $1000 and some labor each year, though I also don't credit the energy but the wood stove is required) but does include an extra charge controller vs replacing an existing forklift battery and inverter.

    I should do an update, as originally I had calculated to go ahead an replace the existing inverter and calculated the battery would last 10-15 years. I had several battery issues, it was under rated at 20hr by GB and I had a cell poisoned (I worked security at a place I lived), which is limping along but has shown surprising durability. 5 years+ and it'd likely to make 10. I should have the cell replaced but the nearest place is 110 miles and the cost would be very high unless I wanted to figure out how to load and transport it...

    Now I'll keep the battery until it's near death and replace the inverter then. May even look to pick up a small 1100 watt ExelTech 48 volt to make the transition easier and have a back up.

    Here's a link to the original calculations. A couple things jump out at me. The calcs look to be based with the added 2600 watts of panels I mostly still have in a closet. I did add 1000 watts I purchased on a lark for $250 or $300. I'm setting up some of those other panels as a direct water heating system.

    Also the local cost of electric has gone up as there is now a $32.50 per month fee (up from $25) so 8 months out of the year when I use @4 Kwhs a day the cost would be 37 cents a Kwh! during the summer when I use @14Kwh's a day cost would be about 15 cents a Kwh. So over all annual usage of 2540 Kwhs (9.6 cents)  243.84 + $390 (monthly fee x12) = $633.84 or 25 cents a Kwh from the grid (633.84/2540)

    http://forum.solar-electric.com/discussion/15701/its-going-to-be-close-to-cost-effective-or-off-grid-at-26-cents-a-kwh
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • EstragonEstragon Posts: 2,850Registered Users ✭✭✭✭✭
    The future local grid power cost might be the least predictable piece of the puzzle.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Posts: 4,709Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Estragon said:
    The future local grid power cost might be the least predictable piece of the puzzle.
    Certainly, I understand Texas is lower these days, I suspect in areas where renewable have caught on big, grid prices will be up. I also understand the coop manager who we have really intends to continue increasing it's user fee and has else where. Mom's Florida Electric has split off the line/infra structure fee (per Kwh) and it's energy cost, both on a per KWh. Energy was pretty low 3.5 cents? She opted to pay 5 cents for energy from their being built solar plant. I suspect this is to combat 'net metering' which is odd since Tallahassee is pretty much pro renewables.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • EstragonEstragon Posts: 2,850Registered Users ✭✭✭✭✭
    Ontario Canada was pretty pro-renewables until they got the bill. RE wasn't the only issue, but the rates mess has changed public opinion on it a lot.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Posts: 446Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    @Photowhit - Thank you for the link. I want to sit down and go through the numbers.

    I worked for a company called SunEdison before the banking collapse in 2008/2009. Our model was strictly Power Provider Agreements and generally those PPA's were for 15 to 20 years. Another approach is to simply sell power at a fixed percentage below the prevailing utility company rate.

    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • LumisolLumisol Posts: 374Registered Users ✭✭✭
    When I went with off grid solar, I saved 39,000 on the installation cost and will save 1,200 a year on bills but will need to put back 1,200 every 2-3 years for batteries.
  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Posts: 1,036Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Lumisol said:
    When I went with off grid solar, I saved 39,000 on the installation cost and will save 1,200 a year on bills but will need to put back 1,200 every 2-3 years for batteries.

     Can you provide detailed numbers on this installation? How you saved that much? Unless you live with extremely expensive POCO rates It is generally agreed off grid will never save you any money. $1200.00 for replacement batteries sounds like a pretty small battery bank which compared to a $39,000.00 savings on installation makes no sense whatsoever.

     Inquiring minds want to know.

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 700 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Posts: 4,709Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Lumisol said:
    When I went with off grid solar, I saved 39,000 on the installation cost and will save 1,200 a year on bills but will need to put back 1,200 every 2-3 years for batteries.
    . ...$1200.00 for replacement batteries sounds like a pretty small battery bank which compared to a $39,000.00 savings on installation makes no sense whatsoever....
    Sounds like he just doesn't have a per year figure, Large battery banks may last 7-15 years or more, and there aren't hard numbers until something fails. $1200 every 3 year would be $6000 toward a 40 Kwh forklift battery, Not a small system!
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • LumisolLumisol Posts: 374Registered Users ✭✭✭

    No idea what a POCO rate is. :) 
    It would have been 47,500.00 to hook up to the grid. I spent less on all the components and supplies and saved the difference. I will also not pay for the bills at around 100.00 a month (50.00 maintenance fee and 50.00 electric cost, it's a co-op). I figure if the batteries last 2-3 years, it will be replaced on that schedule, if they last longer (I hope they do) then the savings will increase, however, I expect the worst and hope for the best and plan accordingly.
    The bank is very very small indeed as it was sized to match my loads and usage which are very small.
    12.24 KWh.
    Even without any yearly savings, the saved capital from the installation will continue to generate income from the investments the money will be in rather than having been spent.
    Solar been very very good to me. :)
  • solarkingsolarking Posts: 67Registered Users ✭✭
    There's a company in town that offers solar energy solutions. If I convert to solar power, how much could I save?
    It is a very vague question coz it depends upon several factors. It depends upon your solar setup , electric tariff and many other factors.
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