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This week I went solar :)

How cool new technology is... Micro-inverters are cool!

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#141 aliali

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 01:36 PM

 

Had some CFL 12W that were almost ideal yet 20W that were barely over what I wanted and other 12-14 that were inadequate.

Need to look at lumens for light brightness and couple that with colour temperature.

Eg a warm white will seem dimmer than a cool white or daylight even if they have the same lumen output.

Just be aware warm whites (around 2000k to 3000k) emit a fair bit of infrared that may interfere with some IR remote controls.

Had a warm white CFL years ago that buggered up my TV remote. Took me a while to figure out why the remote went cranky when the desk lamp was turned on.


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#142 Rybags

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 04:24 PM

Heh... I generally found that the poor light output was with the cheaper ones but seems in the modern day the CFLs are getting better.

Though now's the point of time where LEDs are almost worth just buying in bulk when the prices are good.

But funnily enough the LEDs can have a similar situation where wattage isn't always linear to lumens - but when it's 10.5 vs 12 Watts to get the level you want, who cares for an extra 1.5W consumption?

The preference is warm for relaxing situations but white for stuff like kitchen/bathroom, and I've got various work lamps if I want to do stuff like soldering or piddling around with fiddly little stuff.



#143 stadl

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 04:45 PM

My kitchen/dining/family area is open plan, with 21 halogen downlights. When I moved in 5 years ago, it was a priority to replace them, but at that time LED was pricey to avoid poor colour cast or lifetime - especially if you wanted to dim them. I was looking at about $3000 parts and labour to replace them with good dimmable warm white LED.

 

But a few selective lamps with LED or CFL bulbs has been the way to get nicer light (downlights can be effective, but they are not aesthetically pleasing IMO) in a very controllable fashion.

Same in the other parts of the house, where multi-bulb hanging lights, even using 5x 8W CFL bulbs is either more light than is needed for normal use, but handy to have when doing work.

 

Instead of replacing the halogens, I invested in a solar system. They might go if the bills start going up too much now that my solar FIT has dropped, but no rush - even with the lower cost of quality LED downlights dropping significantly, their ROI would be many years for the hours/week that they are used.


A device so simple that it took a mind as brilliant as mine to create it! So brilliant, in fact, that simply by harnessing the power of one live frog, it... it... uhh... <poke> <poke> ... World domination has encountered a momentary setback. Talk amongst yourselves.


#144 twinair

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 10:30 AM

I've gone and replaced a stack of halogens already. I've downloaded a Light Meter app on my phone which indicates that my LED's are outputting only slightly less light. With the naked eye it's negligible.

So looks like I will be doing it in batches. As Rybags mentioned on the previous page, it makes sense to change the ones that are used for longer periods of time. Like living room and kitchen. So they're now all replaced. The less frequented rooms are getting done with the next batch that are delivered.

 

Also still gathering data and quotes for solar. Doing this all at once. I am still so fkn angry with the electricity providers. It's way, way out of control. I am lucky in that I can afford it, even though I don't want to. But there are so many people out there these days who cannot afford to heat their house in winter. It disgusts me that we are in this predicament in 2017 Australia.

There's a debate for a whole other thread, regarding the clean(ish) coal powered plants Vs the renewable energy schemes the Government are dreaming up.

 

I am yet to find the answer for myself, as to which way is right or wrong. Perhaps we still need a combination of then two.

But the way I see it, is we are flogging all our coal off to China, so they can burn coal to produce cheap electricity and yet we here are being shafted with skyrocketing costs.

Something aint right!

 

This is the precise reason I am going solar. This way I am in control, relatively speaking.

I strongly suggest everyone goes solar!


Edited by twinair, 10 August 2017 - 10:31 AM.

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#145 Master_Scythe

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 04:39 PM

Yeah, they're getting greedy....

When you don't have a family to support, living cheap is easy. But add in little ones, and ouch!

 

As a (mostly) single guy, I try not to cook at home. I take my meals to work and microwave, or eat out.

When you live alone, or as a couple, the amount of food you go through is so small, it's often actually cheaper to eat out at budget restaurants.

 

Charge the laptop and phone at work, or off the solar phone charger\battery I have.

 

I'm lucky enough to have gas heated water.

 

Thinking about it, the only power use in my house each quarter would be: Fridge (on warmest setting), File Server, PC, and a TV.

Occasionally on weekends, an air compressor to run the rattlegun.

As I mentioned earlier, if my quarterly bill is above $200, something is wrong.

I'm also with the most expensive provider out of pure lazyness. I should fix this.

 

 

 But there are so many people out there these days who cannot afford to heat their house in winter.

 

Wow, you know I never even thought about that?

I guess I've taken heating for granted, as my hobbies tend to make heat (computers).

 

When I lived at home, we had a potbelly stove that we used as a fireplace, kept everything cozy.

 

And since I've moved out, I've always had a PC, and a Server, both of which, once again, keep everything cozy.

When it gets cold, begin the crypto currency mining, and soon a nice 80*C heater is blowing in the room (and earning me money! Well... offsetting).

On the really cold nights, a couple of candles get lit to help keep the chill down. (people didn't believe me that this makes a difference till they felt it!)

 

And in summer, it's always been pedestal fan, and iced water in a spray bottle.

 

I guess having grown up without an electronic HVAC system, it never even crossed my mind that there would certainly be people out there who consider it to be a necessity.

0 judgement, I just genuinely never thought about it.


Edited by Master_Scythe, 10 August 2017 - 04:40 PM.

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#146 stadl

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 02:42 PM

For those thinking about batteries.... 

Over the last couple of months, I have read several few articles about the proposed standards for home battery installs. I understand the need for safe installation, but it's a risk management issue, and some of the proposals are over the top.

Common sense needs to apply in this case. Consider those people running gas without mains gas - they have explosive gas in a bottle sitting alongside the house. Those with gas appliances can have exposed gas pipes inside and outside - they can leak, spark and boom.

Risk vs reward says we allow that to occur without concrete bunkers.

 

http://www.afr.com/b...20170816-gxxzbh


A device so simple that it took a mind as brilliant as mine to create it! So brilliant, in fact, that simply by harnessing the power of one live frog, it... it... uhh... <poke> <poke> ... World domination has encountered a momentary setback. Talk amongst yourselves.


#147 Jeruselem

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 08:33 PM

I'm sitting like 3m from the house gas bottle.

Having trouble with A [?]OS11.1?

 

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#148 Rybags

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 08:49 PM

Gas bottles have pressure relief valves that'll let the gas vent if the bottle gets too hot.  Gas explosions from bottles in domestic situations would be fairly rare IMO.  And you'd be well aware there's a fire and out of there before any explosion risk.



#149 twinair

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 12:52 PM

 Consider those people running gas without mains gas - they have explosive gas in a bottle sitting alongside the house.

 

*raises hand*

 

We have no gas plumbed in our area. So I have several (three) 45KG gas bottles around the house.

And I also have a few tonnes of well seasoned Ironbark firewood in various stacks around my house.

Throw into the mix that I reside inside the Royal National Park...my house is a bushfire catastrophe waiting to happen. But that pretty much goes for my entire neighbourhood.

 

Yes, we have a very good fire plan in place.

:)


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#150 chrisg

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 01:29 PM

:)

 

My sister and her husband have been cooking on bottled gas in Crafers in the Adelaide Hills for decades, never seems to give any problem.

 

I much prefer cooking on gas myself :)

 

Cheers


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#151 stadl

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 10:07 AM

I have no problem with the Gas bottles. Just illustrating that risky gear can be managed - but they are rarely eliminated. But it's about making it acceptable.

 

Risk management is a fundamental engineering principle - and not difficult to comprehend - but bureaucrats seem incapable of grasping the concept of acceptable risk.

 

Forcing every Li tech battery to be installed in a bunker, because a subset are dangerous and unsuitable for that application is an inefficient mitigation of that risk.


A device so simple that it took a mind as brilliant as mine to create it! So brilliant, in fact, that simply by harnessing the power of one live frog, it... it... uhh... <poke> <poke> ... World domination has encountered a momentary setback. Talk amongst yourselves.


#152 twinair

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 12:18 PM

 bureaucrats seem incapable of grasping the concept of acceptable risk.

 

Forcing every Li tech battery to be installed in a bunker, because a subset are dangerous and unsuitable for that application is an inefficient mitigation of that risk.

100% in agreement with you.

 

The nanny state strikes again!


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#153 @~thehung

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 01:27 AM

we have a very good fire plan in place.


not enough imo.

 

you should plan for all kinds of fires.


no pung intended

#154 twinair

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 10:36 AM

 

we have a very good fire plan in place.


not enough imo.

 

you should plan for all kinds of fires.

 

 

 

*groan*


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#155 g__day

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:18 PM

Very pleased to hear from my installer (Solaray) that they submitted a Voltage Rise Request form along with my system's Enphase micro-inverter details to Ausgrid (noting my system has currently just over 9.5 kW of panels) and its all aproved!  This is the process you follow to get an export cap raised above 5 kW for a standard single phase solar installation.

 

I logged onto Enlighten Manager and ran the Grid profile report this morning – and the export limit configuration change was there. So next I looked at my Envoy-s instatneous production / consumption / export data at midday and it read I was producting of 8.70 kW and it was sending 7.01 kW to the grid (whereas in the past it never exported more than 4.95 kW) at any moment.

 

So finally after much follow up I have the much larger export limit applied. By my rough calculation over the last two months production and export limit (whilst I have been at home and turning every possible thing on to avoid export limiting) I still forego about 50 kWh last month. If that was an average trend there is another 600 kWh I will send to the gird (where I home using everything). Considering I am not likely to be home – well then raise this number to more likely over 2,500 kWh a year – that is a saving potential of around $3,000 over the course of a decade – not too bad for a days work!

 

So if any other solar system owners are on single phase and have a system over 7 kW it is quite possible to get your export limits raised and from my financial modeling quite worthwhile to do so!

 

PS

 

Am currently following up with Enphase on an interesting question.  Enphase is capable of arbitary export limiting, so why is it when the grid goes down they switch off all solar to keep the lines safe for line workers rather than simply adjust the export limit from its normal value to zero when the grid goes down until the grid comes back on?


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#156 g__day

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 02:20 PM

So to confirm my modelling isn't too far off I asked AGL for an interim bill at the 48 of day 91 mark - total owning $38.10 wow!

 

The difference big solar, no export limit, daylight savings and a better plan makes.  I calculate that with about 2 kW more of panels - say 9 - 10 panels our net monthly bill would be zero!  I was thinking of adding storage, but it's economics really don't stake up against simply adding even more solar - cover all your good and bad days, export a heap and have this offset grid connect fees and evenings when you import a bit during cooking.

 

It's a bit early to tell having had 9.5 kW of solar and 9.2kW of inverters for a quarter - but after a year it will be interesting to see how this all stacks up.  If this trend continues it means my $4000 per annum bills will shrink to maybe $400 - which is a huge saving year on year!


Edited by g__day, 31 October 2017 - 11:29 PM.

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#157 Cybes

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 05:58 PM

Well, I guess I'm now at the base of the learning curve - or just up it: Inverter went in last evening, and 11 panels went up today. Gotta do the last bit of paperwork with the power supplier.

"Reality does not care what you think." - Dr Richard Feynman
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