Poll

Do you keep records of your solar production

No I dont have solar
22 (55%)
No I don't care
3 (7.5%)
I look at the GTI LCD occasionally
5 (12.5%)
I look at the GTI display often
3 (7.5%)
I look at the GTI display even after dark
4 (10%)
I have solar, no GTI and I keep records (like Mike)
3 (7.5%)

Total Members Voted: 40

Author Topic: UK solar doldrums  (Read 13013 times)

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Online coppice

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #200 on: March 26, 2018, 09:04:35 pm »
I live in sunny Tucson, Arizona.
A solar power paradise, payback very fast I should imagine...
Yeah, but you use a lot of that power just running the air cons.  :)
 

Offline paulca

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #201 on: March 26, 2018, 09:19:35 pm »
Well my nano setup hit boost voltage on the battery for the first time.  Panel voltage shot up, amps fell, battery pinned at 14.40V, so rapidly found things to charge off it.  I now have a pile of charged LiPos.  No point wasting sunlight.  I expect I'll be needing it next few days look rubbish and it can be cloudy for weeks at a time here, so having an energy stock pile helps.
Sounds like your ready for anything the atlantic has coming to you, forecast for later this week not to good over here in the east either. So hopefully this will encourage you now we are past the spring equinox the worst part of the year is done with and it's make hay while the sun shines :)

If only lead acids weren't so expensive.  I would consider doubling up on the 26Ah.  Instead I can charge all my RC LiPos and use them until the sun returns :)

Downside is, they don't like being fully charged, so they need to be used up first.
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Offline woody

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #202 on: March 27, 2018, 06:12:17 pm »
payback very fast I should imagine where here in northern europe it's a real struggle to make it economic. Many years ago the subsidies were very much higher but I dont see many new installations going in now, ok for those already on high subsidies as I seem to remember they were fixed for 25 years..........

Yes, but many years ago solar panels were much more expensive and much lower in power.

I'm not too pessimistic about this. I think that you can run solar on your rooftop without subsidy and at least break even.

The biggest problem IMO (at least here in Holland) is that solar was and is sold to people as a moneymaker. The installation cowboys promise a 7-10% ROI on your system. So much more than your bank gets you on your savings account. Only, that kind of ROI is all coming from subsidies.

The honest story should be that solar is a means to make all the electrical power you need in the cleanest way possible. Somewhere in the near future you will be paying a decent fee to solve the problems you create because you make way too much in summer and make way too little in winter (so somewhere somehow some storage or alternative generation has always to be on stand-by for you). You will be paying your energy tax like everybody else. But still you will break even in the time your installation runs (20 years). So the ROI moneywise (if there at all) is low but the ROI for the environment is high.

Subsidies should be used to get new technology out of the lab and into the field. But when new technology can hold its own they should vanish pronto. We have a gigantic problem on our hands that will cost us many many billions to solve. There are better ways to spend that money than subsidizing already proven technology.
 
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Offline fourtytwo42

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #203 on: April 12, 2018, 06:16:57 pm »
Third sucsesive day of fog here and that was preceded by several days of rain so the daily output has been at winter levels for a week now, only saving grace is the extended hours of very low output! Apparently the scientists say the gulf stream is weekened by ice melt (global warning) hence our stuck claggy weather systems so maybe the clock is ticking against solar in northern europe. Maybe that retirement cottage/tent in the Sahara beckons  :-DD
 

Offline paulca

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #204 on: April 12, 2018, 06:22:46 pm »
Yea, looks like the whole of April is set to be cool, wet and breezy.  Nothing unusual over here though.  Fingers crossed for May.
"What could possibly go wrong?"
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Offline woody

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #205 on: April 12, 2018, 07:10:27 pm »
Today is grey. Yesterday was good. The whole of April so far looks nothing like last year; I need to make 500kWh in the 18 days left to equal it. And looking at the forecasts that's not gonna happen. Good thing is it will help me explain to my wife why I decided to cut down on the vacuuming :-)
 

Offline fourtytwo42

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #206 on: April 12, 2018, 08:10:26 pm »
Good thing is it will help me explain to my wife why I decided to cut down on the vacuuming :-)
Carefull she might suggest you buy a vintage hand powered one!
Actually in our house the oil boiler and heating pump combined use about a unit a day in cold weather and thats from 25-30% of our entire consumption! Roasting a joint uses about 3 units but hell I just love roast dinner :)
 

Offline woody

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #207 on: April 17, 2018, 03:15:30 am »
Today was a good day: 38.1 kWh. Forecasts promise lots of sunshine up until Saturday .  8)

That boiler uses little energy then. Our (natural gas) CV from 2011 uses at least 2 kWh per day in cold weather. On a yearly basis this turns out to be one of the most energy consuming devices in our house. The oven with the occasional steak and Guinness stew does not come close, that's for sure.

But, as I make more power in a year than I need, I don't complain.
 

Online metrologist

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #208 on: April 17, 2018, 11:46:04 pm »
Jeebs my average household energy use barely cracks 10kWHr
 

Offline paulca

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #209 on: April 18, 2018, 12:00:28 am »
Jeebs my average household energy use barely cracks 10kWHr

Per?
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Online metrologist

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #210 on: April 18, 2018, 12:50:05 am »
 :palm: daily use
 

Offline paulca

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #211 on: April 18, 2018, 12:55:15 am »
Yea, mines about the same.  10-15kWh/day.  Circa £1.50-£2 per day.  £50 of leccy lasts me about a month.  Less in summer as less lights, less heating running (gas boiler still and pump uses about 300W).

Changed all my bulbs to LED and a few CFLs, so the main consumers now would be:

1) The PC/Monitor, 150W idle, 450W gaming.
2) Cooker/microwave
3) The incandescent 300W up-lighter (though usually dimmer to about 25%) to light the main living space, although I intend to see how well an LED replacement does.

When I move house the plan is to install enough solar and batteries to run the PC from solar.
"What could possibly go wrong?"
Current Open Projects:  3 Channel Audio mixer with DAC, BT, pre-amps and h/phone amp, WS281x LED controller Version 2 5V/5A w/Atmega328, FY6600 Power supply, 5A DC Load (Still!)
 

Online metrologist

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #212 on: April 18, 2018, 02:04:59 am »
I always blame the fridge. My "gaming" PC is about 5 years old and draws 100W surfing (I've lost my lust for games). I should just get a netbook or something more economical for that. We use mostly gas for cooking, and I don't usually run the heat or AC. Gas is actually costing a good portion of the bill now - that is just hot water and the stove. ~$70USD/mo total and we are billed in two tiers, $0.20 and $0.28/kWh.

I have a couple of white gas camping stoves that I should try using for a month to see, and soon I'll turn down the water heater. I miss the $40 bills.
 

Offline fourtytwo42

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #213 on: April 18, 2018, 02:54:45 am »
That boiler uses little energy then. Our (natural gas) CV from 2011 uses at least 2 kWh per day in cold weather. On a yearly basis this turns out to be one of the most energy consuming devices in our house. The oven with the occasional steak and Guinness stew does not come close, that's for sure.
I supliment the boiler with a woodstove in the lounge afternoons and evenings in winter so the boiler is only used in the mornings, usually an hour, sometimes two if its extremely cold. Like you said before it's all about insulation, all the windows are argon filled, the walls are filled with foam and the roof with up to 500mm of fiberglass.

I am shocked by other peoples daily electric consumption here, ours is 3.5Kwh/day on average and that includes an electric cooker BUT if we use the oven (an exception) it's a 6Kwh day! We also rarely watch television (boring) a DVD is probably half a unit :) We do lots of small things to save energy for example using a big thermos to store boiled water to save boiling the kettle to make tea all the time, using simple laptops and having all non-essentials not on standby but unplugged. We have a small modern chest freezer that is only on for 6 months (summer harvest surpluss) and a well insulated modern fridge freezer. All lighting is CFL and I try to only run irrigation pumps when the sun is out and of course in summer a lot of our cooking is outdoors :) Our background power is about 45W but I am always working to reduce it, thats where I keep thinking of installing a DC-bus, so many gadgets many with small mains transformers with 1W magnetisation current, but they get swamped by the fridge etc anyway :( ho hum!
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 03:28:08 am by fourtytwo42 »
 

Offline woody

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #214 on: April 18, 2018, 06:41:06 am »
@fourtytwo42
I admire your efforts!

We use approx. 5300kWh / year, or a bit less than 15 kWh / day. We run a house, an office with a couple of computers and a server and my workshop on it. So all in all not too bad taking into account that all the living and the making of money is done here and no office buildings elsewhere need to be kept warm and lighted for us. My other excuse is that the solar panels on the roof generate 5400+ kWh / year so in principle all electricity we use is home-made, green and already paid-for and we do not have to be frugal with it.

But (and this is a big but) this only works because of the so-called 'salderingsregeling' in my country, which means that generated (and grid-delivered) kWh's cancel out kWh's we take from the grid 1:1. Which is quite unreasonable as in the summer during the day we generate a lot of energy that maybe nobody uses, while at night and in the winter a big, probably coal fired power station somewhere is making the energy we use then. For that luxury we do not pay a cent.

Good thing that this salderingsregeling will be moderated in a couple of years. This will be an incentive to save power. I only hope they'll invest the money I then give them in storage. Although more tarmac is more likely  :(

@metrologist
Early 2016 I replaced the desktop (120W) with an Intel NUC. As long as you do not try to render Avatar on it it works perfectly. It runs webbrowsers, LibreOffice, Lightroom, Kicad, Eagle, Gimp etc. with 'twee vingers in z'n neus', as we say. And that while using <15W. Also replacing the 10 year old CCFL based monitor with an LED unit saved nearly 50 watts.

And I would trade you our gas bill anytime. We use approx. 2500m3/year, at €0.57/m3. For heating the house, the office and the workshop (85%)  and hot water for showers etc (15%).
 

Offline paulca

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #215 on: April 18, 2018, 09:08:52 pm »
I always blame the fridge. My "gaming" PC is about 5 years old and draws 100W surfing

5 years you might be okay, but around that time the PC hardware folks came under serious scrutiny about power usage of devices.

I was spec'ing a gaming system back then that needed a 650W power supply.  The next system, 3 years ago I was worried I'd be looking at 1000W PSU, but... as it turns out the new one consumed less.

It's the video card that churns through the power when running flat out.  I believe mine consumes something like 200W at full tilt, the CPU up to 220W.
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Offline fourtytwo42

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #216 on: April 19, 2018, 05:05:52 am »
1st BBQ of the year and a record production for 2018 so far of 3.4Kwh/KW of our quirky PV installation. The oil boiler has not been on for several days and we have more hot water than we know what to do with (we don't wash much  :-DD). Of course if we were exporting to the grid like most I know our production would be much higher but this is an entirely subsidy free system :)

In connection with the other day and consumption figures we do use extra power in winter as we run a de-humidifier, this contributes some heat as well as enabling us to keep the windows tight shut in all the nasty cold weather. I found the humidistat in modern de-humidifiers totally useless, the old one that was near on 30 years old before the coolent circuit was perforated beyond repair ran a hair humidistat and worked perfectly. The new de-humidifier is overridden by yet another of my gadgets enabling the energy consumption to be sensibly controlled.

@woody

Thats a good combination of premises use and of course also avoids commuting! There is just two of us and I am retired although still run some consultancy also home based. I reckon the amount of hardware/software I get involved in now has hardly diminished as now I don't have to waste valuable time politicing and stuck in endeless meetings  :-DD  On top of that we grow our own fruit & veg and I am an avid home brewer hick!!
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #217 on: April 19, 2018, 11:32:04 am »
I always blame the fridge. My "gaming" PC is about 5 years old and draws 100W surfing

5 years you might be okay, but around that time the PC hardware folks came under serious scrutiny about power usage of devices.

I was spec'ing a gaming system back then that needed a 650W power supply.  The next system, 3 years ago I was worried I'd be looking at 1000W PSU, but... as it turns out the new one consumed less.

It's the video card that churns through the power when running flat out.  I believe mine consumes something like 200W at full tilt, the CPU up to 220W.
Sandy Bridge was the last time the performance per watt jumped by a large amount. After that, the improvements were more or less incremental. I have an old HP Z600 (Westmere - just one generation older than Sandy Bridge) that I rarely use because it is not particularly efficient. (And running it as a miner really heats up the room - handy on very cold days but not profitable otherwise.)

GPUs use a lot of power, but the performance per watt is still improving a lot with every generation at this point.
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Offline paulca

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #218 on: April 19, 2018, 04:44:22 pm »
Monitors and TVs have become much more efficient too.  I have two monitors here.  Both Acer.  A 24" 16:9 and a 34" 21:9 1440p.  Guess which consumes more power?  The smaller one as it's about 4 years older.  When it's been on for a while it's about 50*C at the top vent.  The larger, newer monitor even runs off a DC brick and is barely more than ambient at it's exhaust vent.
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Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #219 on: April 19, 2018, 05:13:16 pm »
Monitors and TVs have become much more efficient too.  I have two monitors here.  Both Acer.  A 24" 16:9 and a 34" 21:9 1440p.  Guess which consumes more power?  The smaller one as it's about 4 years older.  When it's been on for a while it's about 50*C at the top vent.  The larger, newer monitor even runs off a DC brick and is barely more than ambient at it's exhaust vent.
My Seiki 50" 4K only uses about 40W. Of course, it really is more of a monitor than a TV with very limited ability to play media by itself. Basic upscaling can use surprisingly little power, however - a Tegra X1 can upscale 1080p to 4K on just 6W. A desktop GPU will easily outdo it in upscaling quality, though. (I have to admit that I have no idea how much power my 970 uses just doing 1080p to 4K upscaling since I started mining Curecoin/Foldingcoin well before I found content that really does call for good upscaling.)
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Offline fourtytwo42

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #220 on: April 20, 2018, 05:40:09 am »
Monitors and TVs have become much more efficient too.  I have two monitors here.  Both Acer.  A 24" 16:9 and a 34" 21:9 1440p.  Guess which consumes more power?  The smaller one as it's about 4 years older.  When it's been on for a while it's about 50*C at the top vent.  The larger, newer monitor even runs off a DC brick and is barely more than ambient at it's exhaust vent.
My Seiki 50" 4K only uses about 40W. Of course, it really is more of a monitor than a TV with very limited ability to play media by itself. Basic upscaling can use surprisingly little power, however - a Tegra X1 can upscale 1080p to 4K on just 6W. A desktop GPU will easily outdo it in upscaling quality, though. (I have to admit that I have no idea how much power my 970 uses just doing 1080p to 4K upscaling since I started mining Curecoin/Foldingcoin well before I found content that really does call for good upscaling.)
Hey guy's thanks for the info I didnt realise LED display's saved so much compared with CCFL's, of course all my displays are the latter. I kinda know how much computing efficiency has moved on from the bad old P4 days :) I run a smallish T2300 laptop on about 75W and just put up with the extra time simulations and compilations take (time for more tea :)) I am always looking for way's to save energy as well as generate it, one of my biggest standing consumers is the DSL modem, 15W 24/7 :( turn it off and the exchange software marks you down, it doesnt understand your just trying to save energy!

P.S. Another cracking 3.3Kwh/Kw production today but there are clouds on the horizon!
« Last Edit: April 20, 2018, 05:42:47 am by fourtytwo42 »
 

Online coppice

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #221 on: April 20, 2018, 05:45:06 am »
Hey guy's thanks for the info I didnt realise LED display's saved so much compared with CCFL's.
LED backlighting does save quite a lot of power in a modern LCD monitor, but you shouldn't discount how much the power draw of every other component has dropped. The use of finer geometries and higher integration levels has transformed the chip sets from rather hot to barely warm.
 

Offline paulca

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #222 on: April 20, 2018, 05:16:43 pm »
That and voltage.  The CPU/GPU race has been about running on lower and lower core voltages to save power.  Higher voltage usually means more heat.  Overclockers will generally up the voltage as it allows for faster clock speeds without lock ups, with caveats about burning it out, though they are fairly well protected.

Today things like the i7 and (I believe) Ryzen have variable voltage, so when idle the drop their voltage to a minimum and consume less power, produce less heat, but when you kick off a compilation or a game the voltage ramps up, along with the clock frequency/divider.

I believe they are as low as 1.1v in some cases, maybe lower.  My CPU is power hungry and runs at 1.45V :(
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Offline woody

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #223 on: April 21, 2018, 03:48:12 am »
As a panel owner you got to love the spring: another 38.8 kWh  (5.3 kWh / kW) day  8) I just GOT to replace that inverter to get this to 40k...
 

Offline fourtytwo42

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #224 on: April 21, 2018, 04:58:09 am »
As a panel owner you got to love the spring: another 38.8 kWh  (5.3 kWh / kW) day  8) I just GOT to replace that inverter to get this to 40k...
Good weather for being on the roof too, no nasty slippy slidy wet moss!! SWMBO is really keen on this this year, she checks if the grid tie is running before doing the ironing  ;D
 


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