Is it possible?

Discussion in 'The Guru's Pub' started by robert1990, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. robert1990

    robert1990 Master Guru

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    Hi gurus, I'm thinking to connect a solar power grid system by using array of solar PV panels on my house roof. I'm at Sydney atm studying, but originally from Indonesia. The reason I'm considering this alternative because of dodgy electricity supply in my country. The company (Perusahaan Listrik Negara / PLN) started to cut out the electricity supply on certain period of time, because they start struggling to supply enough amount of power.

    The questions is: Is it possible to completely replace my house electricity needs from conventional power grid to solar panel? The prices of the panels start to be reasonable, but I don't know much about this new technology :( Thanks heaps guru :)
     
  2. Mkilbride

    Mkilbride Banned

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    Well, all I know is that my Teacher had a friend who did this. What they did was also have backups that collected excess energy after awhile, so they could use it after-dark and such. Said the person just replaced their roof with solar panels. Of course, if you think about winter, with snow, and hail, it seems like it could become quite a bother. Birds ****ting on it and whatnot.

    Still, in the long run, I think it'd be cheaper than getting electricity, as long as you know how to maintain them and position them.

    My Teacher said that her friend lived very comfy and saved alot on power bills...

    So I'd say if you can afford it without being broke afterwards and are into the idea, do it. It may work out wonderfully for you.
     
  3. robert1990

    robert1990 Master Guru

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    Well, another reason I'm considering this because my country located on equator line, so plenty of sunshine everyday :) The problem is, not many solar panel makers can be found in my country :( So far I found Sharp, and the rest are from China. I heard Panasonic planning to build a solar panel factory in my country, but the exact time still unknown :( Wish I could find few more choices.....
     
  4. Palerider

    Palerider Ancient Guru

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    At least for now, they're best used as supplemental energy.As said above, short days, bad weather seasons, and age all contribute to inefficiency.And efficiency is one of the bigger hurdles for manufacturers to overcome.
    As a supplement, you may be able to sell back power to the local electric company, and that would greatly reduce your bill.
    The day is coming, but it's not quite there yet.

    edit, just saw where you live.That's a leg up on most of us.can't you have panels shipped to you and have a local contractor set up your array?
     

  5. FULMTL

    FULMTL Ancient Guru

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    I would say you could reduce the electrical bill cost to a minimum but not all together. At my previous job, you can buy large solar panels for about $700 for a 5' 235W one. Thats enough to use things like microwave, TV, refridgerator, and of course lights. I would however recommend moving to cooking with propane or open fire to save electricity.
     
  6. JohnMaclane

    JohnMaclane Ancient Guru

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    Depends how much roof space you have.

    You would have to conduct a load study first which means basically how much energy you use and at what time. You should get some power meters and measure the usage on a couple of weeks, ideally you measure all situations because power usage is constantly changing according to external conditions.

    After the first study you have to study how much sun your house is exposed to. Buying a small panel and again taking power readings will tell you just how efficient each panel is going to be and the number of panels required, batteries etc.

    The system you would like consists of the panels, power converter and batteries ( you would need a well ventilated battery room). The panels aren't cheap but the batteries and a good power converter are going to run into the thousands range. It is a very large investment which depends on the weather, if you have good predictable weather you are a OK.

    There are other options, if you were you live is cold a CHP might just be cheaper to use and since you happen to live in an area where cheap single cylinder engines are common (lister D).

    You should give some details about the weather, if you need space heating or cooling and just more details in general.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011
  7. rotzilla

    rotzilla Member Guru

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    I have an aquaintance who is a solar nut, he has a huge barn that is run on solar only. However he had approx. 30 to 40 auto batteries for storage. I can only speculate that a large barn probably dosen't use as much energy as a average house.
     
  8. lunan

    lunan Member

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    have you watch discovery channel green planet or the one in national geographic? they actually combine several technology altogether. solar panel with small wind turbine.

    if you want to use solar panel, remember to have some sort of energy storage. either normal battery or water<->hydrogen or steam power. because the problem start when the blackout happens at night. also, compare the cost with generator cost, solar panel is expensive.

    i know what you mean man, im also indonesian...damn PLN keep cutting electricity.
     
  9. Chillin

    Chillin Ancient Guru

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    I have a solar panel on my roof right now.

    However, I am not using it to power my house. Rather, I am using it to power one of the most power-hungry appliances in the house; the hot water heater (boiler).
     
  10. dcx_badass

    dcx_badass Ancient Guru

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    Hilbert uses them as well he did an article about it a few years back.
     

  11. Doug

    Doug Ancient Guru

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    Ditto. We got a couple panels on our roof and all they're used for is hot water. They don't suffice on their own, even for that, though.
     
  12. robert1990

    robert1990 Master Guru

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    Thx for your replies guys, appreciate it. Ok, so I need to find out 1st how much kW I'm using on average for a day I guess?

    About roof space, I think I have enough (because 2 small houses connected became 1 quiet large one :))

    Just found out the biggest solar panel available in my country is the one with 130W/panel (from Sharp, Polycrystal). I can get the 235W polycrystal or 240W monocrystal from SolarWorld, but their nearest headquarters is at Singapore (will be very expensive I guess).
     
  13. JohnMaclane

    JohnMaclane Ancient Guru

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    Finding your load profile is very important, you must consider seasonal changes.

    So the test should cover all possible conditions so you know exactly where your peak power is.

    How is the roof? Is it sloped? straight? any antennas? low walls?
     
  14. thecake90

    thecake90 Ancient Guru

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    Yes it is possible, but it ain't gonna be cheap you're looking at 5k++$$ depending on your consumption, how many kWh do you use every month?
    For a stand alone system you would need batteries to store excess energy to use at night time. The batteries would need to be replaced every 5 years, and the inverter "DC/AV converter" would need to be replaced every 10 years roughly speaking.
    The payback period is gonna be 10+ years so it is a long term investment.

    BTW utility combines don't have to buy electricity from you, cuz it cheaper for them to just produce it. Depends on the laws in your country
    And if your maximum load is 200W for example, you can't just go buy a 200W PV cell and expect it to power your load it is not that simple. 200W is the peak power output it only happens with solar radiation higher than 800W/m^2 and 1 AM conditions.

    Feel free to ask me anything :)
     

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