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Author Topic: Sourcing solar panels and batteries  (Read 1178 times)

numerobis

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Sourcing solar panels and batteries
« on: April 24, 2017, 04:01:50 AM »
Where does one get good information on sourcing supplies for home solar + battery systems, for Canada? I'm finding it hard to know what current prices are.

I know Tesla is selling its battery, supposedly shipping next month, for surprisingly not so expensive. But they must have competition. And for panels, it seems highly fragmented.

sidd

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Re: Sourcing solar panels and batteries
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2017, 06:07:59 AM »
look at sonnenbatterie, livio felici, tell him sidd sent you.

Red

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Re: Sourcing solar panels and batteries
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2017, 12:16:48 PM »
Where does one get good information on sourcing supplies for home solar + battery systems, for Canada? I'm finding it hard to know what current prices are.

I know Tesla is selling its battery, supposedly shipping next month, for surprisingly not so expensive. But they must have competition. And for panels, it seems highly fragmented.

I've been off grid for more than a decade and sourced all my equipment from here:
http://aeesolar.com
I'm approx. 44 degrees north with 5.4 kw PV. Propane for hot water and cooking and clothes dryer. Eight 6 volt lead acid deep cycle solar for storage. I'm in my second place, sold the first one. The first place was under sized due to the fact that the math said a 1kw turbine would be more than enough to supply the requirements for the house. Mother nature didn't take math! Had to add PV within the first six months. That place now runs fine on 2kw of PV with the turbine. My learning curve was steep so the batteries took a bit of a pounding, lasted seven years. My new place is all PV and runs fine, so far no hiccups. I installed the panels and all the DC wiring myself so as to help with cost. I run an Outback Radian inverter GS8048 which is 48Vdc input and 240Vac output. The entire system, panels, racking, inverter, batteries and all necessary hardware cost $23k Canadian. I will never go back to grid power. The inverters are true sine wave and the wave is clean and as such is a lot easier on electronics.

etienne

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Re: Sourcing solar panels and batteries
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2017, 12:21:52 PM »
There was a few weeks ago the anouncement of a new battery type :
https://climatecrocks.com/2017/04/08/at-94-inventing-the-solar-future/

Guess it will take 2-3 years before being available.

So maybe it could be interesting to keep some place in the project for extra batteries in a few years.

I believe that each electrical switch board should have some space for future changes. Nobody knows what technology will bring.

Best regards,

Etienne
« Last Edit: April 24, 2017, 02:12:22 PM by etienne »

etienne

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Re: Sourcing solar panels and batteries
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2017, 02:11:46 PM »
In the previous post, the word in bold was originally not correctly translated. I corrected the translation directly in the post in order to insure a correct understanding.

nicibiene

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Re: Sourcing solar panels and batteries
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2017, 05:45:33 PM »
Don't know about the sources in Canada, but I just was busy with making my own decision regarding PV & storage. I took a LG RESU 10 kWh, not a Tesla. Prices are a difficult thing to compare - I assume there is a lot of orientation on the subventions and energy prices of each country. In the end it seems to be a reverse calculation.  :o
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” –“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” Albert Einstein

numerobis

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Re: Sourcing solar panels and batteries
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2017, 02:05:40 AM »
Ok, lots to read when my internet improves!

Red in particular gives me hope. Though I'm twenty degrees north of you ;)

numerobis

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Re: Sourcing solar panels and batteries
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2017, 06:18:10 PM »
It seems that Green Sun Rising in Windsor does a lot of projects up North (NWT, Yukon, Nunavut, and the Nunavik region). Looking positive!

Hopefully next year I can get together several people to all go solar.

Unfortunately the local political power is stuck in the fossil era.

etienne

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Re: Sourcing solar panels and batteries
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2017, 06:39:24 AM »
Hello,
What is the situation in US/Canada when you use yourself your photovoltaïc electricity ? In Luxembourg, you have to pay network costs on the electricity that you don't sale to the network, around 4,5 cents per kWh, but usually you can't find a utility company that agrees to buy less than 100%, so you have to choose between buying back your electricity and loosing overproduction. The argument is that the network is available for all the kWh that you use, not only the ones you buy.

I heard that in some parts of Belgium, if you have an overflow of electricity going in the network without a sales contract, there are penalities around 100 EUR per kWh production capacity.

This makes the batteries business not so interesting, but I also found an article arguing that it isn't so interesting from an efficiency point of view.
https://biophyseco.org/2017/05/19/storage-is-the-holy-grail-of-the-energy-transition-or-is-it/

Best regards,

Etienne

sidd

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Re: Sourcing solar panels and batteries
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2017, 07:11:40 AM »
I'm afraid that paper by Chevallerau is quite weak. Rather look at

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,256.msg110079.html#msg110079

and the discussion following, which includes reference to a nice paper by Budischak and another by MacDonald, the latter of which eliminates storage in favor of renewable overbuild and extra grid.

One of the few points i agree with  Chevallerau is that the last bit of storage is the most expensive. But that is tautology, exactly as much storage will be built as satisfies marginal cost. And I note that battery cost is already low enuf in parts of Australia to completely disconnect from the grid, and that is coming soon elsewhere.  Utilities will wind up with hugely overbuilt distribution and transmission legacy cost as their residential customer base evaporates, and will have to be bailed out by the government.

sidd



Bruce Steele

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Re: Sourcing solar panels and batteries
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2017, 04:59:06 PM »
Etienne, Grid tied solar is a pretty good deal here in Calif.  The utility company buys back the energy at the rate they charge a the time of production. Since peak use and solar output match up fairly well ,summer,hot days, and air conditioners you can run solar with little or no bill. There is a standard grid charge of about $25 per month but the solar array puts out enough to cover that in energy sold back so your bill can be zero during summer. Winter bill is usually larger, less watts produced.

http://www.thernelectric.com/solrtext.html


numerobis

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Re: Sourcing solar panels and batteries
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2017, 07:56:06 PM »
Hello,
What is the situation in US/Canada when you use yourself your photovoltaïc electricity ? In Luxembourg, you have to pay network costs on the electricity that you don't sale to the network, around 4,5 cents per kWh, but usually you can't find a utility company that agrees to buy less than 100%, so you have to choose between buying back your electricity and loosing overproduction. The argument is that the network is available for all the kWh that you use, not only the ones you buy.

I heard that in some parts of Belgium, if you have an overflow of electricity going in the network without a sales contract, there are penalities around 100 EUR per kWh production capacity.

This makes the batteries business not so interesting, but I also found an article arguing that it isn't so interesting from an efficiency point of view.
https://biophyseco.org/2017/05/19/storage-is-the-holy-grail-of-the-energy-transition-or-is-it/

Best regards,

Etienne

Just like in Europe, it depends by jurisdiction. Typically by state or province, sometimes it varies even within a jurisdiction. So there's about a hundred sets of rules.

Nunavut currently a fairly simple policy: you pay a flat rate per kWh you draw from the grid, that's all. I'm not sure whether they care about pushing power into the grid, but they certainly don't pay you for it. The price is heavily subsidized, but despite the subsidy it's three times more expensive than the national average. It's also slightly unreliable: losing power for a couple hours happens a couple times a year in Iqaluit, which is the most reliable community (the legislators are there). And it's very dirty: diesel gen-sets. Iqaluit at least has a district heating system, but most communities don't (oh yeah: there's a local grid per community, but they don't interconnect).

Quebec has limited net metering. You can put up to something like 20 kWh per day onto the grid and get your bill reduced accordingly. But you're competing with the cheapest electricity rates in North America. It's also almost all hydro power, so very low carbon intensity. If we generated more from solar power, we'd be able to export more hydro power, displacing coal and gas in the US. But the carbon impact is muted compared to somewhere that has coal and gas on its grid. Exception: northern communities. They're on diesel like in Nunavut, but with Québec policies. Hydro-Québec is excited about efficiency and renewables because finally they can cut their losses in the north. The price they're allowed to bill is the same everywhere in the province, so every kWh they sell is at a big loss.

Ontario has a feed-in tariff that was *much higher* than the retail cost, and poorly thought out. It helped get a huge amount of solar on the grid, but it would have been cheaper if the government simply had handed out free panels. They seem to be getting things under control now, maybe?

New Hampshire, or at least part of it, has net metering with a limit that your monthly bill can't go below zero, if I understand my friends. But I don't have much details: I get the impression they got an unexpected bonus and just sank it into their passive-house without thinking too hard about it (unlike the degree of thinking that went into the initial construction).

Friends in Pennsylvania and California are mostly putting up panels with lease agreements: they pay zero to install -- a company finances it, then they buy their electricity from that company. That company in turn manages the policy situation.

ghoti

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Re: Sourcing solar panels and batteries
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2017, 01:34:50 AM »
Actually Ontario has both net metering and feed in tariff allowed for residential <10kW. It also turns out that the FIT isn't as huge as the detractors feel it is - the rate is set based on provided a return on capital of 15% which is not high for regulated generators. The price has dropped with each tranche of contracts awarded as the installed costs have dropped. It is now 28.8 cent/kWh which is very close to the price paid for peak electricity if you include all the non-electricity charges that are added to your bill.

The net metering credits the generator's electricity bill with the limit that surplus credit can only be carried forward a max of 13 months. I'm pretty sure this is also how it works in NH. The low tier rate is paid to the generator regardless of when the electricity is generated.