Poll

Do you keep records of your solar production

No I dont have solar
30 (57.7%)
No I don't care
5 (9.6%)
I look at the GTI LCD occasionally
5 (9.6%)
I look at the GTI display often
4 (7.7%)
I look at the GTI display even after dark
4 (7.7%)
I have solar, no GTI and I keep records (like Mike)
4 (7.7%)

Total Members Voted: 49

Author Topic: UK solar doldrums  (Read 27990 times)

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Offline fourtytwo42

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #275 on: January 17, 2019, 09:21:45 pm »
Hi Paul it's really great to hear that your battery is ok after all, today was a day of surplus for me getting 1.5Kwh from my 1Kw array, I could have got more but I ran out of load, hot water full, de-humidifier on and freezers on but I still could not absorb it all so you see I am thinking BATTERY (one day)!

As for confusing technology tell me about it, I blew another IRS2110 half bridge driver today yet not the mosfets I hope all because I suspect a PIC is not terminating the current cycle on overcurrent, very hard to prove without further losses, so although your system and problems are at a very high level I can assure you even at the coalface life remains confusing!

I think you are from Ireland, I spent a lot of time there inside steam engine boilers at Whitehead, I hope the RPSI is still going strong and entertaining families with the Portrush flyer :)
 

Offline paulca

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #276 on: January 19, 2019, 11:02:49 am »
Not sure about the RPSI but they have opened a train museum in Downpatrick where they collect old trains and have about half a mile of line to run them on.

I live just across from Whitehead in North Down.
"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!)
 

Offline fourtytwo42

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #277 on: March 02, 2019, 05:22:06 pm »
Not sure about the RPSI but they have opened a train museum in Downpatrick where they collect old trains and have about half a mile of line to run them on.
I live just across from Whitehead in North Down.
I am sooo jealous :'( many is the time I have been down there lighting up at 4am! You must be able to see, smell and hear them hahaha but I must admit most of the big trains for tours were stabled overnight in Belfast the night before the off.

Anyway an update covering the last three years up till the end of last month from my tiny 1Kw array here in the dull UK! 52deg North. This is predominantly a water heating system but during 2018 a GTI was added (export inhibited) to use some of the surplus in the house, this improved the utilization in summer 2018 compared with 2017. There are several outages due to experimentation and uhum magic smoke emissions :)
 

Offline paulca

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #278 on: April 24, 2020, 04:09:43 pm »
I have too much solar power.  My panel is sitting at 22V producing FA squared.

I have charged every battery I can find.  I have now:

100Ah marine primary fully charged.
26Ah old primary AGM charged.
12Ah Maplin salvage charged.
55Ah old car battery charged.
About a dozen LiPos charged.
My 22Ah USB powerbank charged.
Phone, all eCigs, anything I can find, fully charged.

It's painful watching the panel sit open circuit.  I need ideas.

12V 50W off grid hobby system.

EDIT:  I could use the laptop as the bedroom TV source again, rather than the media PC and run it off a Lead acid to use up some of the power.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2020, 04:11:24 pm by paulca »
"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!)
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #279 on: April 24, 2020, 05:40:37 pm »
I have too much solar power.  My panel is sitting at 22V producing FA squared.

I have charged every battery I can find.  I have now:

100Ah marine primary fully charged.
26Ah old primary AGM charged.
12Ah Maplin salvage charged.
55Ah old car battery charged.
About a dozen LiPos charged.
My 22Ah USB powerbank charged.
Phone, all eCigs, anything I can find, fully charged.

It's painful watching the panel sit open circuit.  I need ideas.

12V 50W off grid hobby system.

EDIT:  I could use the laptop as the bedroom TV source again, rather than the media PC and run it off a Lead acid to use up some of the power.
If you have unlimited Internet, run some old laptops/tablets/phones playing Youtube videos to help out makers who currently have lost their primary source of income (including temporarily) as a result of the current crisis? Not sure if that would make them enough to cover the usual cost of electricity but if it's going to waste otherwise...

I have since (back around early 2019) reclaimed most of my crypto mining setup to use for other purposes due to coins either crashing or going up in difficulty to the point where they're no longer worth mining. What's left is a tablet mining Swagbucks, now down to about $5/month. The 100W panel I have is now mostly being used to power my IT setup.

My latest project with solar is a system that can power the whole house, with no significant rewiring needed. More or less it makes use of a modified Prius inverter connected to a FPGA in order to source current in step to what the load is drawing, in order to not export any power and avoid the hassles associated with doing so.
Cryptocurrency has taught me to love math and at the same time be baffled by it.

Cryptocurrency lesson 0: Altcoins and Bitcoin are not the same thing.
 

Offline fourtytwo42

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #280 on: April 25, 2020, 10:29:07 am »
I have too much solar power.  My panel is sitting at 22V producing FA squared.
How about water heating, do you have an immersion ? If so a small boost converter with MPPT would be an interesting project maybe. If not that then a desk fan to cool your sweaty brow whilst working from home  :phew:

Of course the weatherman is about to take the sun away again so nature may also have an answer to your problem  ;D
 

Offline paulca

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #281 on: April 25, 2020, 03:29:34 pm »
I have too much solar power.  My panel is sitting at 22V producing FA squared.
How about water heating, do you have an immersion ? If so a small boost converter with MPPT would be an interesting project maybe. If not that then a desk fan to cool your sweaty brow whilst working from home  :phew:

Of course the weatherman is about to take the sun away again so nature may also have an answer to your problem  ;D

I have a combi boiler now :(

I did wonder if I could make beer with solar power, but running a 3kw boiler for nearly 2 hours, 6 Kwh, is a bit beyond a 50W panel and a few lead acids. 

And yes, looks like it could rain for weeks now.  Probably my fault, I ordered a BBQ.
"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!)
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #282 on: April 26, 2020, 09:08:13 am »
So far this thread has just confirmed that solar power in northern Europe is only from April to September. For it to be any use, we need more energy storage, cables to get power from more sunny places and other energy sources such as wind.

We'll probably have another wet summer, especially has we've had a warm and dry April, which is often a prelude to a soggy summer.
 

Offline fourtytwo42

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #283 on: April 26, 2020, 06:22:45 pm »
So far this thread has just confirmed that solar power in northern Europe is only from April to September. For it to be any use, we need more energy storage, cables to get power from more sunny places and other energy sources such as wind.
I would say it shows solar solutions are perfectly feasible at the DIY level with an economic return on investment without spending large amounts of money on so called turnkey solutions. Wind is not practicable in an ordinary UK household as the land area is not available. Energy storage (as in batteries) at a household level is unlikely to ever pay for itself and cables to carry power from north Africa to the uk beggars the imagination. This thread is about SMALL SCALE DIY PV, nothing else.
 

Offline fourtytwo42

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #284 on: April 26, 2020, 06:29:56 pm »
I did wonder if I could make beer with solar power, but running a 3kw boiler for nearly 2 hours, 6 Kwh, is a bit beyond a 50W panel and a few lead acids. 
I have often thought the same as I make lots of wine & beer, sometimes I plan it so my small 1Kw array is generating when I do the boil for a brew but as often as not I don't have the patience! I have also thought of increasing PV capacity for such occasions (and cooking) but it would be hard to justify it as on average in my case 1Kw is enough for both water heating and the standing loads (like fridge, freezer & PC etc).

Actually with a dry garden I am looking forwards to the rain  :)
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #285 on: April 26, 2020, 08:18:01 pm »
So far this thread has just confirmed that solar power in northern Europe is only from April to September. For it to be any use, we need more energy storage, cables to get power from more sunny places and other energy sources such as wind.
I would say it shows solar solutions are perfectly feasible at the DIY level with an economic return on investment without spending large amounts of money on so called turnkey solutions. Wind is not practicable in an ordinary UK household as the land area is not available. Energy storage (as in batteries) at a household level is unlikely to ever pay for itself and cables to carry power from north Africa to the uk beggars the imagination. This thread is about SMALL SCALE DIY PV, nothing else.
Yes, that's true. Small, domestic solar panels are practical, whilst wind is not and batteries don't pay off. The problem is, what happens if everyone does it? There will be surplus energy in the daytime, especially during spring and summer. There could be some energy storage, like the hydroelectric one in Wales, but we need much more of it. Otherwise energy will end up being wasted during the day, only for oil and gas generators to start up overnight. I can foresee more wastage in areas where there's already a large power station, such as nuclear, which can't be shutdown.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #286 on: April 27, 2020, 02:22:17 am »
The problem is, what happens if everyone does it?
Grid connection costs will have to go way up, too much of the grid costs are put into kWh pricing.

PV costs are going to keep plummeting though, assuming civilization doesn't collapse, so I doubt they will stop making sense. It might stop making sense as retrofit, but I wouldn't be surprised if things like roofing rubber for flat roofs will start becoming PV ... it's not going to add enough cost relative to the bulk cost of the rubber and labour to matter much. Same with siding.
Quote
Otherwise energy will end up being wasted during the day, only for oil and gas generators to start up overnight. I can foresee more wastage in areas where there's already a large power station, such as nuclear, which can't be shutdown.
If you give it out for free, people are going to use it. Hydrogen generation might be energy inefficient, but if the energy is free who cares?
 


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