Author Topic: PV solar, EV vehicle stupidity in California  (Read 987 times)

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Offline DougSpindler

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PV solar, EV vehicle stupidity in California
« on: April 24, 2018, 03:22:08 am »
Last Saturday I drove my electric car to De Anza college which is in the heart of Silicon Valley in California.  The college has 14 EV charging stations and acres upon acres of solar panels covering the parking lots.

Out of the 14 EV charging stations 8 were wrapped in plastic indicating they were broken and not useable.  I followed the instruction on the charging stations to charge my EV car.  Didn't work.  Called the 800 tech support number, not open on weekends.  Followed the instruction on the college's web site for charging.... doesn't work or outdated.

Then I noticed next to the EV car chargers several very large perminetly mounted diesel generators.  Not sure I belive this person but apparently the diesel generators are used to charge the EV cars.  Since they weren't running, the EV chargers do not work. 

I was also told since solar is so unreliable in sunny California they have to use the diesel generators to power the college at times during the day when solar porduction is low.

As much as I like my EV, what a pain in the ass it is to get the thing charged even at places with EV chargers.

And how stupid is this....  We charge EV cars with diesl generators even when the solar pannels are producing surplus  electriciy.




As a side note.....   The college must have spent top dollar on their solar installation.  They have large arays of panles which are of the tracking type.  Very impressive.



This is ridicious.


« Last Edit: April 24, 2018, 12:38:38 pm by DougSpindler »
 

Offline edavid

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Re: PV solar, EV vehicle stupidity in California
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2018, 04:40:38 am »
They are not conventional diesel generators, they are fancy micro-turbines.  You can read about the system here:

https://us.sunpower.com/commercial-solar/case-studies/deanza-college/
 

Online metrologist

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Re: PV solar, EV vehicle stupidity in California
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2018, 05:09:40 am »
Fun fact. I studied Fortran90 at DeAnza...
 

Offline Marco

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Re: PV solar, EV vehicle stupidity in California
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2018, 05:58:18 am »
We charge EV cars with diesl generators even when the solar pannels are producing surplus  electriciy.
They probably use solar first, generator when the heat is needed and grid for the rest (unless the generators can compete with the grid even without cogeneration, in which case they're probably run as much as possible).
Quote
As a side note.....   The college must have spent top dollar on their solar installation.  They have large arays of panles which are of the tracking type.  Very impressive.
With tracking solar will never be cost effective, it just takes too much material and maintenance. Not so much impressive, as expensive.
 

Offline phil from seattle

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Re: PV solar, EV vehicle stupidity in California
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2018, 07:13:55 am »
Well, if the "not reliable" comment was simply about the fact that the sun doesn't shine 24 hrs a day, then I find the use of the term "unreliable" to be very poorly applied.  If it was used in the proper sense that the solar tracking panels fail even when the sun is shining is a problem of maintenance or perhaps design.  I agree tracking is a failure in general but perhaps it was an experimental design to see how well tracking did. 

Also, you use the phrase "I was told" or similar in several places to report what some unqualified stranger told you about the design/usage. Personally, I would take that with a large grain of salt and do a little additional research before condemning the whole thing to complete stupidity, mismanagement or worse.

 

Offline DougSpindler

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Re: PV solar, EV vehicle stupidity in California
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2018, 12:46:27 pm »
We charge EV cars with diesl generators even when the solar pannels are producing surplus  electriciy.

With tracking solar will never be cost effective, it just takes too much material and maintenance. Not so much impressive, as expensive.

Are you sure?  The local power company on peak days pays $0.85 kWh for excess kWhr. 
 

Online metrologist

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Re: PV solar, EV vehicle stupidity in California
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2018, 01:05:05 pm »
It seems PG&E never actually pays more than wholesale ~$0.04 per kWh. You may get credit to offset your monthly use, with caps.
 

Offline DougSpindler

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Re: PV solar, EV vehicle stupidity in California
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2018, 01:48:16 pm »
It seems PG&E never actually pays more than wholesale ~$0.04 per kWh. You may get credit to offset your monthly use, with caps.

Take a look at the following presentaiton from PG&E.  Specificly slike 86.  Also attaching.
https://www.pge.com/includes/docs/pdfs/shared/solar/solareducation/solar_power_basics.pdf

The rate plan I am on PG&E pays market rate for kWhrs.  That's can be up to $0.45 for the rate plan I am on.  But for other rate plans PG&E pays up to $0.85 kWhr.

PG&E doesn't offer roll-over kWhrs after 12 month.  Any kWhr dollars not spent in 12 months are then paid out at $0.02.
 

Offline IanMacdonald

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Re: PV solar, EV vehicle stupidity in California
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2018, 05:38:50 pm »
Greens have never been too hot on arithmetic. Maybe we should buy them a solar powered calculator.

(They might not be able to figure out how to use it, but at least they'd notice that it doesn't work in the dark)
 

Online metrologist

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Re: PV solar, EV vehicle stupidity in California
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2018, 11:52:39 pm »
It seems PG&E never actually pays more than wholesale ~$0.04 per kWh. You may get credit to offset your monthly use, with caps.

Take a look at the following presentaiton from PG&E.  Specificly slike 86.  Also attaching.
https://www.pge.com/includes/docs/pdfs/shared/solar/solareducation/solar_power_basics.pdf

The rate plan I am on PG&E pays market rate for kWhrs.  That's can be up to $0.45 for the rate plan I am on.  But for other rate plans PG&E pays up to $0.85 kWhr.

PG&E doesn't offer roll-over kWhrs after 12 month.  Any kWhr dollars not spent in 12 months are then paid out at $0.02.

It's just a credit rate, not an actual dollar rate, meaning you do not get paid actual dollars. Similar to how coupons "have no cash value."

The only reason it has the value you state is because of your use. If you used zero energy, I believe PG&E would pay very little. It reads like they would pay the spot wholesale value at the end of year true-up, but I think there is something like a $50 cap, and you monthly minimum service and connection fees would be much more expensive.

page 25: "• You can reduce your yearly electric bill to a small amount, but you cannot make a profit."

The way I look at it is like buying an instrument and then changing some of the options for less expensive ones to reduce its cost, does not feel like I'm getting paid for those options. Verizon gave me 10 bucks off my bill because I lowered my data plan - does not feel like Verizon is paying me $10/mo for that extra GB of data I never used.
 

Offline DougSpindler

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Re: PV solar, EV vehicle stupidity in California
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2018, 01:05:52 am »
It seems PG&E never actually pays more than wholesale ~$0.04 per kWh. You may get credit to offset your monthly use, with caps.

Take a look at the following presentaiton from PG&E.  Specificly slike 86.  Also attaching.
https://www.pge.com/includes/docs/pdfs/shared/solar/solareducation/solar_power_basics.pdf

The rate plan I am on PG&E pays market rate for kWhrs.  That's can be up to $0.45 for the rate plan I am on.  But for other rate plans PG&E pays up to $0.85 kWhr.

PG&E doesn't offer roll-over kWhrs after 12 month.  Any kWhr dollars not spent in 12 months are then paid out at $0.02.

It's just a credit rate, not an actual dollar rate, meaning you do not get paid actual dollars. Similar to how coupons "have no cash value."

The only reason it has the value you state is because of your use. If you used zero energy, I believe PG&E would pay very little. It reads like they would pay the spot wholesale value at the end of year true-up, but I think there is something like a $50 cap, and you monthly minimum service and connection fees would be much more expensive.

page 25: "• You can reduce your yearly electric bill to a small amount, but you cannot make a profit."

The way I look at it is like buying an instrument and then changing some of the options for less expensive ones to reduce its cost, does not feel like I'm getting paid for those options. Verizon gave me 10 bucks off my bill because I lowered my data plan - does not feel like Verizon is paying me $10/mo for that extra GB of data I never used.


PG&E pays market rate int he form of energy credit dollars.  It’s like frequent flyer miles.  The more you export/sell to PG&E the more frequent flyer energy credit dollars you get.  But you are right you can only redeem them for electricty you would normally have to purchase from PG&E.  If you have any energy credit dollars left over at the end of the year PG&E cashes you out at $0.02 kWhr.

If you don’t have enough frequent flyer miles energy credit dollars to pay for you trip/electricity you have to purchase additional miles/kWhrs at market rate.

You can’t use the energy credit dollars for the beverage service/monthly connect fees.  For that you have to pay out of your own pocket.



 


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