Author Topic: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation  (Read 62761 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline (*steve*)

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 47
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #25 on: June 16, 2013, 09:38:41 pm »
It's interesting that because they pay you less than it costs you per unit that it becomes economical to move your consumption away from those times when total consumption is lowest.

It seems to be counterproductive.

I get paid substantially more per unit than it costs me.  The effect is that I try to reduce my consumption and move the rest to off-peak hours.

Another trick is that with 3 phase power, and my airconditioner on a different phase to the solar, I actually get paid while my airconditioner is running.  They try to put the solar on the "most used" phase, but in my case they picked another phase from the one used by the airconditioner.

What I'd really like to see is something that can take the output of a solar panel and use it to supplement the power to an appliance, with any excess load powered by the mains.  It seems to be a far better option than guerrilla solar and shouldn't fall foul of any power regulations.  Is such a device possible?
 

Online Monkeh

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5650
  • Country: gb
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #26 on: June 16, 2013, 09:56:40 pm »
That little 'fuse box' is an.. interesting way of doing things. Don't think I've seen such a contraption in service for a while.

Is that a steel sheet it's all secured to?
 

Offline manicdoc

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 43
  • Country: au
    • Aykira Internet Solutions
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #27 on: June 16, 2013, 10:05:36 pm »
I wish Dave the best of luck with his solar set up. I've been 50/50 over going solar power based, too many external variables for my liking, plus it has been somewhat of a political football. Be most interested in the figures and how it stacks up to doing things on the consumption side of the equation.

Currently we use evacuated tube solar hot water and roof space heat reclaiming (Ventis) with passive solar design & thermal mass (plus a forced air wood fire for winter) - we have no air con, don't need it.
 

Offline Dreso12

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 17
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #28 on: June 16, 2013, 10:06:37 pm »
Combining solar thermal and PV is possible but I will involve redesign of the whole Panels. The problem is not only over heating is also electrical safety, back of the panels are isolated by a really thin sheet of polyester or tedlar any small hole or scratch make an isolation problem if the back is in water. Installations are often at voltages of 600 v or more.
I used to manufacture PV panels and believe me, the back isolation is really thin and any scratch can cause isolation problems even in rainy days so better not to put it in direct contact with liquids for a long time. There were even some fires in Germany years ago due to scratches in the back of pannels mounted in wooden roofs.
I don't recommend you doing this with commercial modules as they are not design for that.
 

Offline lewis

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 704
  • Country: gb
  • Nullius in verba
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #29 on: June 16, 2013, 10:22:04 pm »
I used to manufacture PV panels and believe me, the back isolation is really thin and any scratch can cause isolation problems even in rainy days so better not to put it in direct contact with liquids for a long time.

Obviously you wouldn't have the water in direct contact with the back of the panel, that would be stupid. You'd use a thermally bonded pipe to form a heat exchanger.
I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered.
 

Offline madires

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4359
  • Country: de
  • A qualified hobbyist ;)
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #30 on: June 17, 2013, 12:21:06 am »
The panels are not that efficient, most of the light is still turning into waste heat and the panels can get to 50+ degrees easily.
If you are already using electric based water heaters you already spend power on the heaters, so giving the heater warm water to start with will save power. Solar water heater installations are often augmented by electrical heaters already. What I'm proposing is free cooling for the panels and free preheating for the heaters.

Got solar panels (non PV) for water heating and supporting the central heating on the roof. On a sunny day in the summer the temperature goes up to 160° celsius. In the winter it's about the half for a sunny day.

When I watched the video I first thought WTF, everything's outside, the mains distribution, gas, the boiler and the inventer. Over here (nearly) all homes got a cellar, so everything's inside. And the few homes whithout a cellar got a dedicated utility room for all that stuff.
 

Offline SeanB

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 15019
  • Country: za
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #31 on: June 17, 2013, 12:27:34 am »
Sydney does not exactly get extreme weather, no snow, a little hail and the odd tropical cyclone do roll through, but no extremes of temperature and massive snow loads. Sticking it all outside makes it cheaper to maintain, even if the lifetime is slightly shorter due to solar radiation degrading the plastics and the rust that will appear.
 

Offline madires

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4359
  • Country: de
  • A qualified hobbyist ;)
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #32 on: June 17, 2013, 12:31:59 am »
Yes the inverter generates a sinewave with the same phase but with a higher voltage than the mains and it also has a high output impedance approaching current drive. If there are too many inverters on the grid it can drive the actual mains voltage too high and all inverters have an over voltage limit to shut them down when this happens. They also have a feature called anti-islanding which means that if the grid and mains fails the inverter will shut down thus making the grid safe.

That simplifies the installation but is a bad feature IMHO. I'd like an optional mains contactor to disconnect the grid and run my little island if the grid has an outage. If the grid is online again the inverter would need to re-synchronize to the grid. Of course the inverter needs a sensing input from the grid, i.e. parallel to the mains contacter. And if the inverter it's synchronized it would connect the grid again.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 12:37:44 am by madires »
 

Offline Eliminateur

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Country: ar
  • Electronic's Technician
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #33 on: June 17, 2013, 12:34:21 am »
When I watched the video I first thought WTF, everything's outside, the mains distribution, gas, the boiler and the inventer. Over here (nearly) all homes got a cellar, so everything's inside. And the few homes whithout a cellar got a dedicated utility room for all that stuff.
yeah i found that odd too, i mean the fuixebox is publicly accesible!!!, that's a big "NO NO"!!.
not even a transparent window so that the utility guys can meter without opening it!.

over here the meter lies on the downpost from the overhead lines(or underground downtown) with a transparent plexiglas window(it's not a protruding wall-installed box but an embedded one), the door has a special secure lock that only utility guys have a key to access.
That box is han
On another small box lies YOUR side of the grid per-se where you have to put two big screw-in ceramic fuses(they look from around 1920ish) in what iirc is a lot like an edison screw, the fuse is actually a strand of wire(the fuse itself has two screws to replace the "fusing element"), if it blows you essentiually eyeball it.

after that it's all inside the house, if the fusebox where to be accesible like that it would take days for someone to shut-it off it in the middle of the night, break in and rob/kill/rape everyone for hours.

our water/heater tank is also inside the house, no dedicated room per-se(it's a small room without a door) and they design is vastly different, Dave's look like some industrial HVAC unit.

Also, i don't remember seeing a differential breaker(or at least not in the configuration i'm used to, which is that king of fat/boxy front ones), that strickes me as odd
 

Offline Eliminateur

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Country: ar
  • Electronic's Technician
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2013, 12:37:41 am »
That simplifies the installation but is a bad feature IMHO. I'd like an optional mains contactor to disconnect the grid and run my little island if the grid has on outage. If the grid is online again the inverter would need to re-synchronize to the grid. Of course the inverter needs a sensing input from the grid, i.e. parallel to the mains contacter. And if the inverter it's synchronized it would connect the grid again.
i can think of a cool idea, if you have a generator you already have some sort of switchboard gear bypassing everything, i'd simply put the generator and the sunnyboy output to my internal line and isolate the grid, hence the gen would run mostly idling/peak loads and you'd save a ton of fuel when the grid goes down.
Or you need those solar system with battery banks....
 

Offline madires

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4359
  • Country: de
  • A qualified hobbyist ;)
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #35 on: June 17, 2013, 01:01:21 am »
over here the meter lies on the downpost from the overhead lines(or underground downtown) with a transparent plexiglas window(it's not a protruding wall-installed box but an embedded one), the door has a special secure lock that only utility guys have a key to access.
That box is han
On another small box lies YOUR side of the grid per-se where you have to put two big screw-in ceramic fuses(they look from around 1920ish) in what iirc is a lot like an edison screw, the fuse is actually a strand of wire(the fuse itself has two screws to replace the "fusing element"), if it blows you essentiually eyeball it.

A typical mains distribution panel for a home looks like this one: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_IlFRyHMSviA/TN70AWU7hYI/AAAAAAAAAEQ/1bh1C0vtB-Y/s1600/00000001.JPG The black cover will be replaced with the meter. And the main fuses are NH types (http://mschrod.de/Elektrik/Sicherungen/NH.jpg) with 35A (3 phase system is standard).

Quote
Also, i don't remember seeing a differential breaker(or at least not in the configuration i'm used to, which is that king of fat/boxy front ones), that strickes me as odd

RCDs are placed in the distribution panels for each flat/apartment/floor, or if there's just a single main distribution panel then it's placed there. A standard 3 phase one: http://www.voltus.de/out/pictures/generated/product/1/665_665_75/2CSF204201R3630.jpg.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 01:03:33 am by madires »
 

Online Monkeh

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5650
  • Country: gb
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #36 on: June 17, 2013, 01:11:44 am »
over here the meter lies on the downpost from the overhead lines(or underground downtown) with a transparent plexiglas window(it's not a protruding wall-installed box but an embedded one), the door has a special secure lock that only utility guys have a key to access.
That box is han
On another small box lies YOUR side of the grid per-se where you have to put two big screw-in ceramic fuses(they look from around 1920ish) in what iirc is a lot like an edison screw, the fuse is actually a strand of wire(the fuse itself has two screws to replace the "fusing element"), if it blows you essentiually eyeball it.

A typical mains distribution panel for a home looks like this one: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_IlFRyHMSviA/TN70AWU7hYI/AAAAAAAAAEQ/1bh1C0vtB-Y/s1600/00000001.JPG The black cover will be replaced with the meter. And the main fuses are NH types (http://mschrod.de/Elektrik/Sicherungen/NH.jpg) with 35A (3 phase system is standard).

Quote
Also, i don't remember seeing a differential breaker(or at least not in the configuration i'm used to, which is that king of fat/boxy front ones), that strickes me as odd

RCDs are placed in the distribution panels for each flat/apartment/floor, or if there's just a single main distribution panel then it's placed there. A standard 3 phase one: http://www.voltus.de/out/pictures/generated/product/1/665_665_75/2CSF204201R3630.jpg.

None of which is remotely like that used in other countries.
 

Offline Rufus

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2094
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #37 on: June 17, 2013, 01:18:46 am »
Got solar panels (non PV) for water heating and supporting the central heating on the roof. On a sunny day in the summer the temperature goes up to 160° celsius.

That would be for steam heating then.
 

Offline M. András

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1020
  • Country: hu
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #38 on: June 17, 2013, 01:22:28 am »
over here the meter lies on the downpost from the overhead lines(or underground downtown) with a transparent plexiglas window(it's not a protruding wall-installed box but an embedded one), the door has a special secure lock that only utility guys have a key to access.
That box is han
On another small box lies YOUR side of the grid per-se where you have to put two big screw-in ceramic fuses(they look from around 1920ish) in what iirc is a lot like an edison screw, the fuse is actually a strand of wire(the fuse itself has two screws to replace the "fusing element"), if it blows you essentiually eyeball it.

A typical mains distribution panel for a home looks like this one: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_IlFRyHMSviA/TN70AWU7hYI/AAAAAAAAAEQ/1bh1C0vtB-Y/s1600/00000001.JPG The black cover will be replaced with the meter. And the main fuses are NH types (http://mschrod.de/Elektrik/Sicherungen/NH.jpg) with 35A (3 phase system is standard).

Quote
Also, i don't remember seeing a differential breaker(or at least not in the configuration i'm used to, which is that king of fat/boxy front ones), that strickes me as odd

RCDs are placed in the distribution panels for each flat/apartment/floor, or if there's just a single main distribution panel then it's placed there. A standard 3 phase one: http://www.voltus.de/out/pictures/generated/product/1/665_665_75/2CSF204201R3630.jpg.

None of which is remotely like that used in other countries.

we have similar boxes here but that big white one on mostly industrial or office sites or a multi flat building on the main distribution site
 

Offline ChrisGreece52

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 773
  • Country: gr
  • Electronics Engineering Undergrad
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #39 on: June 17, 2013, 01:24:26 am »
Got solar panels (non PV) for water heating and supporting the central heating on the roof. On a sunny day in the summer the temperature goes up to 160° celsius.

That would be for steam heating then.
6 cents per Kwatt seems pretty cheap but if you think its long term its pretty ok :D
 

Offline madires

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4359
  • Country: de
  • A qualified hobbyist ;)
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #40 on: June 17, 2013, 01:44:33 am »
None of which is remotely like that used in other countries.

How does a typical mains distribution look like in the UK?
 

Online Monkeh

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5650
  • Country: gb
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #41 on: June 17, 2013, 01:46:19 am »
None of which is remotely like that used in other countries.

How does a typical mains distribution look like in the UK?

I don't have any pictures on hand, Google works as well for you as me..
 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 719
  • Country: au
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #42 on: June 17, 2013, 01:57:36 am »
Haha Dave, going through the installers toolbag  :-DD

hmmm.

 :palm:
 

Offline madires

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4359
  • Country: de
  • A qualified hobbyist ;)
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #43 on: June 17, 2013, 02:12:47 am »
How does a typical mains distribution look like in the UK?

I don't have any pictures on hand, Google works as well for you as me..

Does this one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distribution_board#Inside_a_UK_distribution_board match?
 

Online Monkeh

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5650
  • Country: gb
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #44 on: June 17, 2013, 02:15:29 am »
Not domestic stuff, no.
 

Online Monkeh

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5650
  • Country: gb
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #45 on: June 17, 2013, 02:53:01 am »






Internet, meet reality.
 

Offline martysdomain

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 10
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #46 on: June 17, 2013, 04:09:51 am »
This is a fantastic thread/video. I wanted to get in that industry about four years ago, but didn't get the chance. It still is a topic of interest for me.


 

Offline dr.diesel

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2095
  • Country: us
  • Cramming the magic smoke back in...
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #47 on: June 17, 2013, 04:29:11 am »
This is a fantastic thread/video. I wanted to get in that industry about four years ago, but didn't get the chance. It still is a topic of interest for me.

Ditto.  Not really for the fact of saving money, but for the self reliance aspect.  First I've seen of that pvoutput website as well, all very interesting.

Offline madires

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4359
  • Country: de
  • A qualified hobbyist ;)
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #48 on: June 17, 2013, 04:37:27 am »
Internet, meet reality.

Thanks! Wow! The local power companies would refuse to connect such distributions to the grid (maybe the first and the third).
 

Online Monkeh

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5650
  • Country: gb
Re: EEVblog #484 - Home Solar Power System Installation
« Reply #49 on: June 17, 2013, 04:44:38 am »
Internet, meet reality.

Thanks! Wow! The local power companies would refuse to connect such distributions to the grid (maybe the first and the third).

Why? They're not unsound.

They're also not new installations, I picked the last two because they actually show the incoming service.

The real world is not shiny and new.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf