Author Topic: Question Regarding Going Solar  (Read 461 times)

ATWhite

  • New Bugout Bag
  • *
  • Joined: Feb 2017
  • Location: Demorest,GA
  • Posts: 33
  • Total likes: 15
Question Regarding Going Solar
« on: March 24, 2018, 04:23:40 PM »
Hello, my end game is 100% solar powered home, off grid or tied in I'm not sure which would be better. I know we average 73 kwh daily that is taken from the last 186 days of my power bill. I'm looking into companies to buy from and install it. With my husband and my work schedules if we did it our selves, we would only have about 2 hours a month to work on it if we were lucky, plus honestly we are clueless on the workings of it.

My question is does anyone know of a good reliable company in NGA? Also, if anyone knows of good sites I can go to to learn more about solar in general.

Thank you for your time.
All Knowledge Is Worth Having

RWS

Re: Question Regarding Going Solar
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2018, 05:07:50 PM »
Hello,  Years ago I subscribed to Solar Power magazine.  Today there are many others. 

While at the Sunbelt Expo this last Fall, there was a company out of Atlanta "AmericanSolar" www.americansolarenergies.com.  Don't know anything about them except they are in the Atlanta area by phone # 678-395-6380'

I built my own system 3 times.......You see the equipment kept getting better, my system kept getting bigger so I upgraded.  It took 10 years to complete.  Because my batteries became too small and were charged up by 10AM, I went grid tied.  Now I sell all excess to the power company.  Of course they don't pay you anything much.  I have been power bill free for 5 years.  My house is off grid capable.
73KWH   O U C H !!  First step is reduce your load.  Install a wood stove for winter heating,  Install solar water heating.  Both will reduce your load.  Then you will be looking at a 48 solar panel minimum 48VDC 12KW inverter and 400AH batttery min.
Sorry for the news as it is probably not what you are looking for.

John Galt 1

Re: Question Regarding Going Solar
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2018, 07:12:10 PM »
73 kwh/day average (160 kwh/month) is very high.      You must be 100% electric.        First understand it is almost always cheaper to make things more energy efficient than to make the extra electricity.      Led lights are nice but most of you power is going to heating/cooling, stove, hot water heater, clothes dryer,,, you get the picture.       Solar power for heating water or drying clothes isn't a great choice so move your hot water heater, dryer, stove, ect to propane or NG.       Minimize parasitic loads.    Your sat TV receiver uses about 1 kwh of power every day even when turned off.

Solar without batteries is usually cheaper than grid power over the long run.      Solar with a huge battery bank is rarely cheaper than grid power because of the high cost to replace the batteries every 4-10 years.

I'm 95% solar powered and using a more efficient mini-split for cooling and some heating has really helped.         
I self installed my system (built 3 systems now) and learned that there is a lot to learn about building a "ballenced solar system"        We've also made small lifestyle changes to work with solar such as trying to wash clothes when the sun is good.

recomend Mike Hover with GreenPoint Wind and Solar 678-787-8301
can't recomend Johnny Valentine with Gain Solar in Gainesville.      Very knowlageable and good pricing but terrible after sale support.



RWS

Re: Question Regarding Going Solar
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2018, 07:36:00 PM »
Yes, very expensive.  If you live in town or in a suburb, you might consider a couple acres in a rural area.  Then build a small solar powered cabin with a garden out back.  A good idea.....In an existing home you would most likely have to upgrade the meter base and add an off grid lighting panel and rewire your essential loads to the off grid panel.

Starlady

  • Bugged Out
  • *****
  • Joined: Sep 2012
  • Location: NWGA
  • Posts: 3563
  • Total likes: 597
  • Region 1 Leader
    • http://www.georgiacarry.org/
Re: Question Regarding Going Solar
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2018, 10:39:07 PM »
Sorry you had a bad experience with Johnny, JohnGalt, he did my entire system and I've been very happy with his after sale support.  He's driven 2.5 hrs 1 way many times to help me out with things I thought I understood but didn't.  I had  my system put in 4/14 and he's been out at LEAST once every year........most recently because I destroyed $2k worth of batteries.  I wanted to go with the same replacement but he spent hours explaining another option that did not require any maintenance on my part and gives me all the same power I had for half the price.  I probably will have to replace them in 5 years but that's pretty close to normal considering I use my solar power first, then the grid if I need it.  Only my dryer and HVAC run on the grid, though, so my bill is mostly TAXES!!!!!!

I, too, replaced all my lights with LED (except the fluorescents, those are ridiculously expensive last time I checked!) and also do the wash and vacuuming early on sunny days so I know I'll be back to 100% by dark.  But HOLY STUFF!  I had no idea my sat receivers pull so much power.  Since I only watch TV during emergencies or on the weekend, can I just unplug it without messing up the sat system?  I pretty much unplug everything else including chargers,  when not in use, especially things that have lights on them.

PS I know you are fairly new here, but everyone else knows I HATE electricity (because I don't understand it),  LOL.


"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." Albert Einstein

John Galt 1

Re: Question Regarding Going Solar
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2018, 11:49:21 AM »
StarLady,     I purchased most of my materials through Johnny after seeing his home solar setup.      I like Johnny as a person but I've called him numerous times (he never answers) the last few years to ask a question or buy something and he has never returned a call.       The Crown batteries he suggested haven't held up well (I check SGs and clean cables regularly) and I've wanted to ask if other customers have had similar problems with the Crown L-16 6v batteries.         

I've been on the phone and emailed with Crown support several times over the last 18 months as I've begun to see these 32 month old batteries are losing capacity.         What type of batteries did he suggest for you this time?

Both the Direct TV and Dish receiver draw 45-55 watts when plugged in but turned off since they are constantly monitoring the satellite to update the program guide.      If you simply unplug them it takes about 5 minutes before they are back up and running.       

ATWhite

  • New Bugout Bag
  • *
  • Joined: Feb 2017
  • Location: Demorest,GA
  • Posts: 33
  • Total likes: 15
Re: Question Regarding Going Solar
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2018, 08:08:16 PM »
Bad thing is we don't even have sat. we just us prime tv and stream our tv when we watch, no outdoor lights but solar, all led bulbs, and we TRY to remember to switch the surge strips off that power the tv's. Only thing in kitchen plugged in is oven, microwave, and coffee pot, not even the can opener is left plugged in. I think it's all the ac/furnance (installed 5 yrs ago), hot water heater, and being a family of 4 with lots of dishes, clothes, fridge & freezer. Last month our bill was over $400! We replaced the roof 2 years ago and had new insulation put in too thinking that would help, it did a bit believe that or not lol. But yes we are 100% electric no gas, couldn't afford the price fluctuations and to the best of my knowledge no natural gas in my area.

FYI I LOVE life without Dish! I watch all the same stuff and only pay $90 a year vs. $180 a month, check out Sling TV. 
All Knowledge Is Worth Having

Fixit

  • New Bugout Bag
  • *
  • Joined: Nov 2017
  • Location: Lewis county Tennessee
  • Posts: 60
  • Total likes: 30
Re: Question Regarding Going Solar
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2018, 08:30:13 AM »
One thing to check on grid tie in your area. Here the contract with the local electric company clearly states that they have the right to lockout your equipment at any time for any reason .  When questions were asked they made it clear that if lines were down they would not just do the double throw switch to the grid but would require that the system would have to be completely be shutdown . This is an electric co-op in southern middle Tn. So just a warning to read carefully before you gridtie .

RWS

Re: Question Regarding Going Solar
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2018, 11:32:26 AM »
One thing to check on grid tie in your area. Here the contract with the local electric company clearly states that they have the right to lockout your equipment at any time for any reason .  When questions were asked they made it clear that if lines were down they would not just do the double throw switch to the grid but would require that the system would have to be completely be shutdown . This is an electric co-op in southern middle Tn. So just a warning to read carefully before you gridtie .
Since I have been grid tied the EMC has cut off my connection to the grid three times.  The first time they used the 60Amp circuit breaker in my meter box even though I had provided a visibly open lockable switch beside the meter box.  They did not turn it back on when they were done.  I verified they wer done and turned it on 2 days later.   The same happened the second time.  The third time was aprox 9PM Thursday evening.  This time they pulled the fuse on the 14.4KV primary to my 15KVA transformer.  Friday I went out of town.  Saturday I figured out the grid was down.  After trouble shooting I found the pole fuse pulled.  Sunday evening was a 5th Sunday and our community has a combined evening service and a social after.  At the social was an employee of EMC, so I asked him to have my power turned back on Monday morning when he went in to work.  I got up Monday morning and had grid power.  I told him I had my main open so no surge would occur when they they the fuse back in.  So ye they will disconnect, but don't them to reconnect.  Needless to say my house is comfortable without the grid.