Electronics > Power/Renewable Energy/EV's

Solar PV is now the most cost efective energy source.

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--- Quote from: Seekonk on February 28, 2017, 08:20:49 pm ---There are a lot of PV water heating patents.  Each are as vague as the next. There is another one that says "any adaptive control."  That covers a lot.  USPTO doesn't work like it used to.  Google search seems to have taken that searching over. I just did a search for "photovoltaic water heater." So, you can just invent an "unspecified control system."

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That patent you mentioned while a bit confusing to read seems to be fairly similar to the DMPPT heating part (the DMPPT combines that also with battery charging).
The idea was useless at that time since PV panels where much more expensive than  thermal solar panels.
In any case that is an old patent and hendorog mentioned above that one is expired since it has more than 20 years since the application was made in 1992.
That is maybe a good thing since I think an idea that had a patten and expired can not be patented again. (not sure that is just what I think makes sense)
I will never patent any of my ideas since I find that a waste on money and resources from my part and hinder progress in general (my opinion).

USPTO screws up a fair amount.  I have heard that the Field Effect Transistor was patented three times, twice before it could be fabricated.  Once in the first decades of the twentieth century, and a second time before WWII.  Unless you are planning to hire an army of lawyers to defend your turf, the patent system is best left to the large corporations to play their games with.


--- Quote from: HackedFridgeMagnet on February 12, 2017, 11:10:37 pm ---I am thinking of getting some solar but I may as well do a grid connect, and synch the heaters to run when the sun is shining, as we only get a 7c per kWh for generated energy.
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We get 5c, but feed the grid anyway because the net benefit is significant. If nothing else the panels shade the roof in the summer :) The way the market is at the moment the net install cost after selling the RECs is very low. Although one tip: if you have tiles on the roof I suggest looking art replacing them with insulated steel before putting up PV. Tiles are awful, especially old clay tiles.

--- Quote ---Then put enough insulation and thermal mass into the house to make the best of it.

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That's where you can win big. Australian houses make me cry, there's so many easy wins left on the table. Sadly most of them are nigh on impossible to retrofit - albeit sometimes only because the local government won't let you... or you won't be able to sell the house "because it looks funny". Maybe not an issue for most, but it is for us.

We ended up building a "shed" on the western/back side of the house that is well insulated, but also shades some of the exposed brick walls which helps a lot with summer cooling. Having that as a refuge room on hot days is almost magic - the modern split system aircon uses about 500W to keep that room 20 degrees cooler than outside, and we have ~3kW of PV being generated on those days. Turning aircon off as the sun goes down doesn't hurt much, and if we did it again I'd go for a much thicker, more insulated slab underneath and have a pipe to divert the aircon output through the slab to pre-cool it for the overnight. Half a metre high concrete box full of gravel, pump air in one side and draw it out the other as a "cool store".

Also, in Oz it's usually cheaper and more efficient to have a solar hot water storage system than PV plus heat pump. We have good local skills in the area and while maintenance is a little higher (heat pump HWS fail too!) the roof space and dollars required is significantly lower ($4k rather than $10k for us)


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