Climate Change and Solar Solutions: A Hurricane Sandy (Ongoing) Experience

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body-climate-change-and-solar-solutions-a-hurricane-sandy-ongoing-experience.jpg Raina Russo drives through the ravaged streets of her coastal neighborhood in New York, dodging downed trees and aware of the constant sirens that indicate emergency workers are responding to yet another fire. This is what she calls her "new normal" in her life post-Sandy.

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  • mtdoc
    mtdoc Solar Expert Posts: 600 ✭✭
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    Re: Climate Change and Solar Solutions: A Hurricane Sandy (Ongoing) Experience

    Interesting article:

    Despite her difficulties, there is one part of Russo’s property that seems to have made it through the storm unscathed: her 10.4-kW rooftop solar system. Pending a full system check from Mercury Solar Solutions, her installer, Russo says it looks like her inverters are high enough to have avoided flood damage, and her panels withstood the Hurricane-force winds and remain intact. And Russo isn’t the only solar customer amazed at the integrity of their panels; there are several stories of rooftop panels surviving the storm, and some even credit the panels for providing extra security to the roof. There are also reports on larger solar farms (and other renewables) that sustained minimal impact.

    Russo lost electricity because her system is tied to the grid; during outages most systems shut down to prevent power from feeding into power lines, which endangers workers that may be out for repairs. This got Russo thinking about storage solutions. She says she hadn’t thought about storage until Sandy, but after speaking to friends and neighbors who own top-of-the-line generators that were flooded and, ultimately, unusable, Russo thinks she should take her existing system to the next level.

    “Storage is going to be my first priority in my [home] rebuild process. I need to consult with people on this because I’m not an expert, but why would I invest in a gas generator,” says Russo. “Our panels are on our roof, supposedly they are not damaged, the inverters are high enough that they are not getting damaged either, so if we had storage, that could act as our backup generator.”

    Solar companies are starting to catch on to this necessity. SolarCity now offers an energy storage system with its installations, and claim that during a utility outage, the battery system will allow for up to three days of power for basic needs. It can even reduce utility bills by providing power at night instead of drawing from the grid.

    Russo believes the storm has given the solar industry the perfect opportunity to break out into the mainstream and expand. “We’re talking about a tri-state metropolitan area of people. This is the time for us to capitalize on it. Everyone is aware that this isn’t an once-in-a-lifetime storm as we’ve always been told. That’s why we need to discuss climate change,” says Russo.

    Perhaps Hybrid or Grid tie with battery back-up systems will become more popular now.
  • westbranch
    westbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Climate Change and Solar Solutions: A Hurricane Sandy (Ongoing) Experience

    Issue is that her house may not be inhabitable even with power available. a whole rethink about where houses can be built is needed.
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • ggunn
    ggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Climate Change and Solar Solutions: A Hurricane Sandy (Ongoing) Experience
    westbranch wrote: »
    Issue is that her house may not be inhabitable even with power available. a whole rethink about where houses can be built is needed.
    People along the US Gulf Coast have been dealing with this sort of thing for a long time. I know a guy who has what is now a beachfront house on West Galveston Island. Ten or fifteen years ago his was the fourth house back. He will enjoy his ocean view until the next hurricane.
  • inetdog
    inetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Climate Change and Solar Solutions: A Hurricane Sandy (Ongoing) Experience
    ggunn wrote: »
    People along the US Gulf Coast have been dealing with this sort of thing for a long time. I know a guy who has what is now a beachfront house on West Galveston Island. Ten or fifteen years ago his was the fourth house back. He will enjoy his ocean view until the next hurricane.

    Over here on the Left Coast, we have problems with houses 100 feet above the water, but with the cliff edge approaching them at several feet per year. With a big jump if there is a large storm.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • westbranch
    westbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Climate Change and Solar Solutions: A Hurricane Sandy (Ongoing) Experience
    ggunn wrote: »
    Ten or fifteen years ago his was the fourth house back. He will enjoy his ocean view until the next hurricane.

    HEY, who took away my breakwater...??
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada