Many fervent believers that solar is free, a smashing good deal, and the answer to our problems

softdownsoftdown Posts: 1,922Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
I usually feel a need to let the starry eyed individuals know that panels are only part of the equation. Batteries are expensive and have limited lives. Heavy duty electronics are expensive and have limited lives. Plus you have a significant amount of wiring and safety protocol to deal with. 

Many attack me for the "negativity" and lack of knowledge about fabulous new lithium technology that is so much better and cheaper these days. "Don't you know about Elon's new battery in Australia that is saving hundreds of thousands of dollars"? While exhorting the independence that off grid living has. I still feel pretty dependent on the sun, batteries, and electronics. 

Solar power is a sound alternative when the power poles are a long ways away. Or when grid power is horribly unreliable. Panels have come down in price by a great deal. They are also much larger now, to the point that their sheer size may present additional problems.

Where are these wonderful new lithium batteries that are now so affordable? Will they really last for 15-20 years? Is solar now the greatest bargain since fire, the wheel, and the light bulb?
First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries

Comments

  • EstragonEstragon Posts: 2,933Registered Users ✭✭✭✭✭
    Pretty much all power is solar in one way or another (except maybe tidal, but even that wouldn't work for long without the sun), just the form it's stored is different. A barrel of oil is really a battery storing ancient sunlight.

    My guess is there's a reasonable chance lithium battery production capacity outruns EV penetration, with the result that lithium battery prices fall quite a bit over the next 5-10 years. With any luck, my FLAs will hang in there in the meantime :smile:
    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
  • softdownsoftdown Posts: 1,922Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Estragon said:
    Pretty much all power is solar in one way or another (except maybe tidal, but even that wouldn't work for long without the sun), just the form it's stored is different. A barrel of oil is really a battery storing ancient sunlight.

    My guess is there's a reasonable chance lithium battery production capacity outruns EV penetration, with the result that lithium battery prices fall quite a bit over the next 5-10 years. With any luck, my FLAs will hang in there in the meantime :smile:
    You know what I meant and served up a combination of logic and theory. The voters may be in the mood for some Congresscritters. Have you considered that Mr. Fancypants?
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • petertearaipetertearai Posts: 356Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Yes .... im continually told i should add wind to my system by experts who know little about off grid ... and that lithium is the way to go . 
    I started the off grid power when i found out how much $  the transformer and cable was to my Hoilday home . 
    Has been interesting and successful . New battery bank in August going to be lead carbon , if specs to be believed will be similar life to Lithium.
    2225 wattts pv . Outback 2kw  fxr pure sine inverter . fm80 charge controller . victron battery monitor . 24 volts 450 ah surette batterys . off grid  holiday home 
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