Vindication?

CALLDCALLD Solar Expert Posts: 230 ✭✭
Woke up at around 4am sensing the temperature in the room had risen significantly - silence, aircon is off for some reason. Switch on bedside lamp, there is power. Oh wait....... Pretty much everything in the house runs on solar/batteries except the heavy stuff like the aircon etc!

Run downstairs to check the distribution board for a trip. Nothing. This is a power failure! Looked outside, the entire neighbourhood is in blackness except for me. The outside LED security floodlights suddenly seem a lot brighter than they usually are. Feeling a little nervous that everyone knows I still have power, but heck this is why I have what I have right?

Now the wife can finally see the method in my madness - Vindication!

Comments

  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Vindication?

    Hahaha Yes! And I've become used to telling neighbours I didn't know the power was off - - when they ask me how long it was off. It's kind of nice to look out over the hills at night and see only total darkness where usually there are street lights where no one lives. Yes, our municipality seems to have an excess of money, so they pay Nova Scotia Power to install, operate and maintain street lights along country roads, no matter if anyone lives there or not. These street lights have recently been switched to LED, but when they were still HPS, I could honestly say that just one of those lights wasted more power than I used.
    Sorry, got a bit off topic there - - ask me if I hate waste. Hahaha
    But seriously, it's awesome to have everything continue operating normally while all around is darkness. Some would tell me it's a waste of money to operate off grid when grid is available, and they would be right if money were the only concern. I could also ask some of those people about the financial return on their smoking and drinking habits. I guess most of us have our vices, if not one kind, then another. Some vices help us, others destroy us. Take your pick. :D
    This coming Winter when the power goes off and people are wrapped up in blankets and sleeping bags shivering their time away while waiting for the power to come back on and hoping their frozen pipes don't burst, I'll be comfortable, warm and worry free, feeling sorry for those in distress.
  • CALLDCALLD Solar Expert Posts: 230 ✭✭
    Re: Vindication?

    Wayne I totally share your view - wish I had the funds to do the whole house with wind as backup too, but for now I have most of my needs met.
    As far as the money side of things go I have always tried to justify it to my wife like this:

    The PV is what makes us the electricity - at a much cheaper rate than the grid if taken over 10 years or more. The batteries are our backup for blackouts. That money could just as easily have been spent on a backup generator (for which fuel and servicing is required) or a home scale UPS (which still needs to be charged with expensive grid-power).

    Sure Grid-tied saves you money, but it does not give you peace of mind when the grid fails.
  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963 ✭✭
    Re: Vindication?

    Calld
    If thats all it take to get vindicated in front of your wife, I can't wait till my power goes off. My experiance so far has been a bit differrent. Its more like, honey get up, the power went out you need to fix it, there for I run to the garage in a lightning storm to find my inverter has been struck. Go back in and tell her, hey baby, gonna be another $500. She says, you need to set all the clocks.

    I am waiting for the day that the tables are turned. The stupid electric company is not helping as I don't think the power has went out since I installed my system. Then again how would I know as it switches with out a hitch.
    Cheers
    gww
  • CALLDCALLD Solar Expert Posts: 230 ✭✭
    Re: Vindication?
    gww1 wrote: »
    Calld
    If thats all it take to get vindicated in front of your wife, I can't wait till my power goes off. My experiance so far has been a bit differrent. Its more like, honey get up, the power went out you need to fix it, there for I run to the garage in a lightning storm to find my inverter has been struck. Go back in and tell her, hey baby, gonna be another $500. She says, you need to set all the clocks.

    I am waiting for the day that the tables are turned. The stupid electric company is not helping as I don't think the power has went out since I installed my system. Then again how would I know as it switches with out a hitch.
    Cheers
    gww

    gww1,
    Well I'm not quite there yet - as things go there are many factors that still need to come into play before my $5000 setup seems fully justified.
    1) This is the first power outage we've had in the 2 years we've been in this house, and it lasted all of 2 hours.
    2) I was so nervous that it could have been serious like the one that happened before in this neighbourhood (several days without power after a big substation blew it's guts out) that I insisted we conserve as much power as possible. The forecast for the next 2 weeks is dismal - nothing but grey skies. Today has seen the lowest production for one day in two months - and we are not far from the summer solstice down here!
    3) I'm very good friends with "Ole Murphy", so when we do get a prolonged power outage it will be accompanied by the ultimate record-setting darkest gloomiest stretch of weather ever that can be certain...

    One thing solar has taught me more than how deal with the incessant demands of batteries is that the weather is always the boss.....
  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963 ✭✭
    Re: Vindication?
    One thing solar has taught me more than how deal with the incessant demands of batteries is that the weather is always the boss.....

    Here, here!!!!
    gww
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Vindication?
    CALLD wrote: »
    1) This is the first power outage we've had in the 2 years we've been in this house, and it lasted all of 2 hours.

    Prime example of when it does not make any sense at all to have a battery-based back-up system.

    If that's the history of power outages there you don't need any back-up system at all.
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,343 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Vindication?

    I get Vindication every month when I tell her about the electric bill, $30 instead of $300 or $400.
  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963 ✭✭
    Re: Vindication?

    If I made sence, I would have already made my first $100,000,000 and would have direct billing and a caretaker and I would be on an african saffari or in search of a record blue marlin. As it is I just waste my time on solar.
    gww
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,994 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Vindication?

    Where I use to live we had frequent power outages of short duration, but what had people actually move out was a 19 inch snow that trapped people for 4 days with 20 degree highs. Most people who had relied on electric heat switched to gas with at least a single heater with out blower. Others actually moved out and into town. All that and the electric never went out, but it had people nervous....

    ...me I had to switch LP tanks, and go brush off the bottom panels so I was comfortable to make brownies as I waited out the isolation.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • CALLDCALLD Solar Expert Posts: 230 ✭✭
    Re: Vindication?
    Prime example of when it does not make any sense at all to have a battery-based back-up system.

    If that's the history of power outages there you don't need any back-up system at all.

    Yes but South Africans are a paranoid bunch after the 2008 Eskom crisis. True it has yet to return us to those dark days, but the threat is always there! Confidence in our power utility is very low, they are constantly in the news and none of it is positive. I think we have so far avoided rolling blackouts due to very low demand brought about by huge tariff hikes, a depressed economy, mild weather and a surge in people like myself who have opted to go off-grid out of similar paranoia. Since going solar I've realized there are probably over 30 solar dealers in Port Elizabeth alone with probably hundreds in cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town. It really has taken off here! It's just that Eskom and local municipalities won't come to the party with reverse metering - grid tied only works if you use more than you make at any given time of the day..
  • Alaska ManAlaska Man Solar Expert Posts: 252 ✭✭
    Re: Vindication?

    Happened to me three times last winter. I got into work and the first question was, "How long was the power out at your house"?, Me, "Ah........ I'm off-grid, didn't even know it was out". Co-worker, "Oh!! well I still don't have power and couldn't even make coffee this morning or open a can of tuna fish to make my lunch"......

    Call the wife for a mockery partner and together we look down on the rest of the cubicle dwellers with derision. ;-)
  • creekycreeky Banned Posts: 31
    Re: Vindication?

    not sure if that's a humble brag "woke to find the air con off" when cold weather is upon us northern folks...

    but last fall during the "Grey Cup" Canada's football super bowl ... the power went out locally ... the next Monday the first question I was asked was ... "wasn't that terrible when the power went out in the middle of the play and we missed 20 of the best minutes of the game ..."

    to which I answered, "what play was that, what? I must have been making nachos." but only the first time. after that I was, "oh ya. terrible."

    saw the whole game.
  • CDN_VTCDN_VT Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭
    Re: Vindication?
    creeky wrote: »
    not sure if that's a humble brag "woke to find the air con off" when cold weather is upon us northern folks...

    but last fall during the "Grey Cup" Canada's football super bowl ... the power went out locally ... the next Monday the first question I was asked was ... "wasn't that terrible when the power went out in the middle of the play and we missed 20 of the best minutes of the game ..."

    to which I answered, "what play was that, what? I must have been making nachos." but only the first time. after that I was, "oh ya. terrible."

    saw the whole game.

    Canada has football ? I though ya'll just do hockey in the snow :-)


    How many of you folks who are off grid get knocks on your doors because you have lights / power ?


    VT
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Vindication?
    CDN_VT wrote: »
    How many of you folks who are off grid get knocks on your doors because you have lights / power ? VT

    Has never happened here, at least not yet. Neighbours know I'm living off grid, but so far we haven't had a really serious week, or two week outage during Winter. That might change things, but mostly here, it's the elderly who can't look after themselves during extended outages, and they can't easily travel, especially during blizzards.
    Our local Fire Department is set up to be a place of refuge during extended Winter outages, have a generator retired from a closed lighthouse, that can run 24/7 for a year with only adding fuel as needed. 30 gallon engine lube oil sump allows that extended run time without an oil change.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,370 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Vindication?

    I have to track local power outages, so that when mine goes out, I can compare cumulative downtimes.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

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