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  1. #101
    Elite Member Redneck in training's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    2,737
    Location
    South Central Iowa
    Tractor
    TYM 330 HST with FEL

    Default Re: Grid-tied solar

    In fact I can supply exact numbers.-meters-1-jpg-meters-2-jpg
    The left image shows our consumption at 11 c/kWh rate and the geo consumption at 4.2 cents. The right image shows air/air heat pump installed in the guest room also at rate 4.2 c/kWh and total consumption of the house. The basic load of the house excluding the heat or AC is about 1000 kWh/month. The 4.2 c/kWh is used only in the heating season. AC is charged at normal rate.
    Our geo system was expensive due to fact that we have floor heating and AC as well. Forced air system is significantly cheaper. The geo uses waste heat to heat all hot water during AC season.

  2. #102
    Veteran Member
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    Mar 2010
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    1,740
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    Ontario
    Tractor
    CT235

    Default Re: Grid-tied solar

    Quote Originally Posted by dave1949 View Post
    Glad to hear your system is doing well. I didn't opt for any PC or Web interface, your display is nice though.
    I would recommend you acquire one. We discovered that one of our inverters was going offline for substantial periods and NOT storing error codes on the display. Our wireless monitoring system more than paid for itself, and we have it sitting in the kitchen where everyone can see it.
    Tim.

  3. #103
    Platinum Member
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    Dec 2010
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    837
    Tractor
    Massey

    Default Re: Grid-tied solar

    Photovoltaics in the northeast is a feel good hobby at best, if you already have public powerlines to your place. I don't care how many people put up forcasted projections. The great technological breakthrough the makers were hoping for back in the 80's never happened. The efficiency still sucks <20%. Then you have all your losse converting storing DC to AC . PR press can't wait up for tech breakthroughs, so everyone in the business has been/ still is still talking it up, even though it can't compete cost wise or convience. If you are in a dry area somewhat close to the equator,solar becomes feasable, but in down-east Maine... sorry. You have to cook the books to make it look cheaper than the grid. Never mind no power during a snow storm, don't forget to go out and clean them off afterwards. Efficiency loss over time? Yup you bet. Look at your cars paint job, or the headlght covers. Look in your rain gutters. Personally, just the thought of mothering a flock of batteries at my house would be a deal breaker by itself. Dealing with a room full of batteries sucks.What's wrong with this one- oh- bad cell, Hey what's that smell, ohh- over charging- just venting.
    If you don't have grid power available, then that's a different story.
    Last edited by DarkBlack; 08-16-2012 at 04:10 PM.

  4. #104
    Veteran Member Dutch445's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    2,140
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Tractor
    JD X585

    Default Re: Grid-tied solar

    wow, i never explored geothermal, but, i'm going to!
    after some quick web research, i want to explore the options.
    if i were to just convert to geothermal i would save a ton of
    heating costs, and then to convert that over to solar would
    be a piece of cake. sounds like an awesome combination!
    but, how much will all of it cost? that is the magic question.
    my existing water well is approx 300ft, so can that be used?
    hmmmmmmmmmm
    JD X585 with 45 loader, 3ph, 62C deck, 47SB, 54 blade, Soft Cab. JD F620 with 60". JD 4X2 gator. JD T23 trimmer
    JD CS56 and CS36 saws. JS35 WB mower.

  5. #105
    Platinum Member
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    Dec 2010
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    Massey

    Default Re: Grid-tied solar

    Geothermal is a much more sound science for your area of the country than solar.

  6. #106
    Super Member dave1949's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
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    9,616
    Location
    Industry, Maine
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40

    Default Re: Grid-tied solar

    Quote Originally Posted by tcartwri View Post
    I would recommend you acquire one. We discovered that one of our inverters was going offline for substantial periods and NOT storing error codes on the display. Our wireless monitoring system more than paid for itself, and we have it sitting in the kitchen where everyone can see it.
    I only have one inverter, so that would be pretty obvious if it quit. It's in a location I walk by several times a day and I watch the display cycle through it's various messages now and then. The inverter does not display the output of the two pv strings independently. I can't compare them to see if they are essentially identical, which they should be. I have been assuming the strings are both functional based upon the total output shown, but I agree that is a "blind" assumption.

    Beyond that, if the "In" and "Out" utility meter readings seem to make sense compared with the inverter's display, I assume it is working okay. Lot of "assumings" there but would a more complete interface tell me that much more?

    I am not too worried about recalling history, the inverter displays total kWh's and total operation hours since installed, current day's total kWh's and operation hours, and current sampled kWh's for the AC and DC sides. I record some of those readings on paper occasionally.

    Of the missing info, the independent string readings are what I would find most useful -- I think. Does that make sense?
    "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end ..."
    When there is a huge solar energy spill, it is called a "nice day"!

  7. #107
    Super Member dave1949's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
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    9,616
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    Industry, Maine
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    New Holland TC40

    Default Re: Grid-tied solar

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch445 View Post
    wow, i never explored geothermal, but, i'm going to!
    after some quick web research, i want to explore the options.
    if i were to just convert to geothermal i would save a ton of
    heating costs, and then to convert that over to solar would
    be a piece of cake. sounds like an awesome combination!
    but, how much will all of it cost? that is the magic question.
    my existing water well is approx 300ft, so can that be used?
    hmmmmmmmmmm
    I don't think any solution would be cheaper upfront than adding a wood or coal furnace to your existing hot-air system if you have your own wood-lot. Your fuel price is extremely low, aside from your labor and property taxes. I just couldn't burn coal although I have in the past in Fisher Papa Bear with coal grates

    Wood does have the continuing labor drawback to it, but seasoned well and burned well in a modern stove, it's also pretty green. In UpState NY you would be relying on a very local resource. If you purchase wood, you are supporting the local economy rather than sending your energy dollars away. And, you will be warm.
    "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end ..."
    When there is a huge solar energy spill, it is called a "nice day"!

  8. #108
    Veteran Member
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    Mar 2010
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    Ontario
    Tractor
    CT235

    Default Re: Grid-tied solar

    Quote Originally Posted by dave1949 View Post
    I have been assuming the strings are both functional based upon the total output shown, but I agree that is a "blind" assumption.
    On my system, I assumed the production output per day was different from one inverter to the other because of shading. Once I got the data logger I realised what was really happening. I guess in my case it's a little different because I'm selling to the grid, so I'm geeking on maximum output.
    Tim.

  9. #109
    Gold Member
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    Aug 2009
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    470
    Location
    Adelaide South Australia
    Tractor
    Foton FT404, International 444 with forklift, International B250, Kubota L2000DT, Truck converted to all terrain forklift and lots of other junk

    Default Re: Grid-tied solar

    If you have a look at this link you will see how much diesel is being saved so we can use it on our tractors
    Australia urged to act as South Pacific goes solar - Yahoo!7 News

  10. #110
    Elite Member Redneck in training's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    Location
    South Central Iowa
    Tractor
    TYM 330 HST with FEL

    Default Re: Grid-tied solar

    The depth of the well is not as important as the flow it could supply. I think you would be better off with closed loop system. Open system requires heat exchanger maintenance especially if the water is hard. The guy who installed my outside loops has directional drill with which they can install underground loops with only minimal ground disturbance. The drill's shaft doesn't rotate, only the drilling head powered by hydraulic motor supplied by drilling polymer through the hollow shaft. The polymer fills the bore providing lubrication and thermal contact for the pipe they pull underground when they retract the drill shaft back to the machine. They can install loops under trees or a house. One thing about geo to remember is to select system optimized for you climate to get the best efficiency.

    If you have ducts already in place the geo "furnace" will fit in with only small modifications.
    We paid extra for the floor heating (about 5k more that forced air only). In other words we spent about 13k more than propane burning forced air system. I estimate that we would burn about $2000 in propane/season so the system paid for itself in about 7-8 years.

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