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Author Topic: Do Something About Wildfires! Okay, We Will.  (Read 4115 times)
MillCreek
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« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2019, 07:19:41 AM »

I have wondered from time to time about the combination of solar panels and a Tesla Powerwall or equivalent.
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« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2019, 07:29:11 AM »

I have wondered from time to time about the combination of solar panels and a Tesla Powerwall or equivalent.

I've thought about that myself. What turns me off about it is that the powerwall is solar only. No way (last time I checked) to charge the powerwall with a generator. That seems kinda lame for say, an extended outage and an overcast December.

I don't know if there are equivalent setups, but to me, ten solar panels tied to a battery array the size of one powerwall that also allows, at the flip of a switch, for generator charging would be an ideal solution for me. If sunlight in Winter doesn't cut it, you charge the batteries for a few hours with the genny before nightfall, and then you have enough silent power to run at least a gas furnace through the night.
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MillCreek
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« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2019, 07:56:07 AM »

^^^Wow, I learn something every day: the Powerwall is solar only?  That is an odd decision.  I wonder if there are engineering issues why that is.
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Quote from: Angel Eyes on August 09, 2018, 01:56:15 AM
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dogmush
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« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2019, 08:46:48 AM »

The powerwall is a battery and voltage regulator.  Feed it power and it will charge.  Give it a load and it will discharge.

Because of code issues and backfeeding the mains the Powerwall is considered a "backup generator" and normally fills that spot (charging from solar and discharging as needed) but Tesla does list ways to integrate it with a backup generator and Automatic Transfer Switch. In that hookup the gen wouldn't charge the battery pack. detailed here

One could, of course, put the battery on the other side of the Automatic Transfer Switch, so the gen charged it.  You'd want to take some care with the charging circuitry and make sure it shut off when fully charged. You'd probably have to run the generator power through a rectifier and to the DC side of the powerwall to get to the charging circuits.
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HankB
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« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2019, 09:31:18 AM »

I am rolling on the floor here! 

Apparently a ton of people in CA (and likely elsewhere) installed solar panels, but didn't include any battery backup. Now they can't understand why their solar panels aren't getting them through the power outages. 

NO batteries? When I was on safari in Africa the hunting camp - WAY off the grid! - had solar panels feeding what looked like ordinary car batteries. There was sufficient power to keep a couple of fluorescent lights on for at least several hours after dark.

If people in remote parts of Africa know that batteries are needed . . . what kind of morons are we raising in the USA who don't know it?   Face Palm!

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Ben
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« Reply #30 on: October 12, 2019, 09:47:43 AM »

but Tesla does list ways to integrate it with a backup generator and Automatic Transfer Switch. In that hookup the gen wouldn't charge the battery pack. detailed here


That must be somewhat new. When I was looking at Powerwalls a couple of years ago,  I seem to recall they didn't want a generator anywhere near the powerwall. Though the above still defeats the purpose for me. Being able to switch to a generator is no different than what I have now with my lockout switch. The benefit for me would be to be able to generator charge the powerwall during the day so I don't have to listen to a generator at night, or else go out in the freezing cold to turn it on and off.

I recall when I first looked, guys listed workarounds, but I believe they voided any and all Tesla warranties.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2019, 11:07:23 AM by Ben » Report to moderator   Logged

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Hawkmoon
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« Reply #31 on: October 12, 2019, 12:10:58 PM »

And so it begins:

https://fox40.com/2019/10/11/pollock-pines-family-says-man-died-when-oxygen-tank-lost-power-during-pge-shut-off/

Man dies, and the family blames it on the power cut.

Quote
Family members performed CPR on Mardis, but responding paramedics pronounced him dead. Aldea says her father's health issues didn't help, but she believes part of the blame is on PG&E.

"I don't understand why they turned off the power," she said. "No winds at all. And because of that, my father is gone. Blaming them is not going to bring my father back, unfortunately."

Maybe they turned off the power because they had assessed a risk and acted accordingly. It's not like it was a secret -- this had been in the news for at least a week before the power was cut.
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Ben
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« Reply #32 on: October 12, 2019, 01:41:02 PM »

Quote
"No winds at all. And because of that, my father is gone.

I wonder how many people looked outside and said, "No wind. They won't cut the power." without realizing they might get their electricity from 30 miles away where there IS wind.
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Hawkmoon
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« Reply #33 on: October 12, 2019, 02:03:05 PM »

I wonder how many people looked outside and said, "No wind. They won't cut the power." without realizing they might get their electricity from 30 miles away where there IS wind.

30 miles? Isn't it more like 300 miles?
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Ben
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« Reply #34 on: October 12, 2019, 02:11:45 PM »

30 miles? Isn't it more like 300 miles?

They're outside Sacramento. Three hundred miles would put them in Oregon, Nevada, the ocean, or SoCal Edison territory. Nothing that PG&E would shut down.
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Hawkmoon
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« Reply #35 on: October 12, 2019, 03:55:29 PM »

Grid.

The electricity currently (no pun intended) in Sacramento almost certainly is not all generated within 30 miles of Sacramento.
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Fly320s
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« Reply #36 on: October 12, 2019, 04:21:41 PM »

I've thought about that myself. What turns me off about it is that the powerwall is solar only. No way (last time I checked) to charge the powerwall with a generator. That seems kinda lame for say, an extended outage and an overcast December.

I don't know if there are equivalent setups, but to me, ten solar panels tied to a battery array the size of one powerwall that also allows, at the flip of a switch, for generator charging would be an ideal solution for me. If sunlight in Winter doesn't cut it, you charge the batteries for a few hours with the genny before nightfall, and then you have enough silent power to run at least a gas furnace through the night.

Skip the Powerwall.  It is way too expensive and you'll never recoup your costs.

We just installed solar panels on the roof.  I wanted batteries as backup, but the costs and ROIs just didn't work.  We are grid-tied, as almost everyone is, so we will get credit on our bill for the power we generate and we also get to sell our RECs on the open market.  Renewable Energy Certificates:  https://www.epa.gov/greenpower/renewable-energy-certificates-recs

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Ben
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« Reply #37 on: October 12, 2019, 04:22:44 PM »

Grid.

The electricity currently (no pun intended) in Sacramento almost certainly is not all generated within 30 miles of Sacramento.

30 miles was an example.
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MechAg94
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« Reply #38 on: October 15, 2019, 05:17:59 AM »

https://babylonbee.com/news/progressive-utopia-of-california-becomes-first-state-to-eliminate-electricity-entirely
Progressive Utopia Of California Becomes First State To Eliminate Electricity Entirely

Quote
"Other, backward states still use carbon-heavy electricity, gas for heating and cooking, and wasteful air conditioning," he said proudly as people applauded around him. "But not on my watch. California has progressed beyond these archaic concepts."

What's Next?
Quote
Next on the legislative docket? The elimination of water-wasting toilets, to be replaced by just going on the sidewalk. A pilot program in San Francisco has been very successful, according to the homeless population there.
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adively
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« Reply #39 on: October 15, 2019, 10:19:41 AM »

https://babylonbee.com/news/progressive-utopia-of-california-becomes-first-state-to-eliminate-electricity-entirely
Progressive Utopia Of California Becomes First State To Eliminate Electricity Entirely

What's Next?

    The Bee hits another one out of the park.
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Ben
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« Reply #40 on: October 18, 2019, 04:36:24 AM »

Continuation of the whining from the lower half of the state, where SoCal Edison is being sued instead of PG&E.

https://www.independent.com/2019/10/17/supervisors-double-down-on-edison-litigation/
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Hawkmoon
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« Reply #41 on: October 18, 2019, 06:13:33 AM »

Continuation of the whining from the lower half of the state, where SoCal Edison is being sued instead of PG&E.

https://www.independent.com/2019/10/17/supervisors-double-down-on-edison-litigation/

At least there are a few sane people there, albeit in the minority.

Quote
Supporting Adam was Andy Caldwell, who is running for Congress and attends county supervisor meetings regularly for the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business. Caldwell attacked the supervisors for ôintellectual dishonestyö: ôYou want them to keep the power on, even if thereĺs a wind event,ö he said, ôbut on the other hand you sued them for fires associated with a wind event.ö He accused the county of ôcomplicity with fires and debris flows,ö saying, ôYou canĺt have it both ways.ö
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Ben
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« Reply #42 on: October 18, 2019, 06:52:54 AM »

At least there are a few sane people there, albeit in the minority.


Yeah, I'm continually amazed that Adams remains on the Board of Supervisors. He's from the North county, which includes Vandenberg AFB and was reliably conservative (albeit in small numbers), but conservatives are as rare as the dodo there nowadays. I expect his lone common sense voice to disappear in one or two election cycles.

Caldwell is something of a gadfly to the board of supervisors there, which continually amuses me when I check in to the goings on in my old haunt.
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dogmush
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« Reply #43 on: October 18, 2019, 09:25:51 AM »



You know the power companies have got to be thinking it......
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« Reply #44 on: October 18, 2019, 09:39:59 AM »

NO batteries? When I was on safari in Africa the hunting camp - WAY off the grid! - had solar panels feeding what looked like ordinary car batteries. There was sufficient power to keep a couple of fluorescent lights on for at least several hours after dark.

If people in remote parts of Africa know that batteries are needed . . . what kind of morons are we raising in the USA who don't know it?   Face Palm!

I think that they're looking at the solar panels being like a generator - they probably understand that no batteries = no power at night, but what is shocking them is that they can't get power even during the day when the solar panels should be producing plenty of electricity.

It's a bit more complex to realize that you need extra equipment in the inverter, preferably with at least a few batteries, to implement load following.
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Angel Eyes
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« Reply #45 on: October 18, 2019, 02:28:33 PM »


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« Reply #46 on: October 18, 2019, 02:43:01 PM »

[img]https://i.pinimg.com/originals/21/1a/63/211a634c190d8b84a4319b386476bcb6.jpg

You know the power companies have got to be thinking it......

No kidding. Apparently Newsom wants to break PG&E apart and encourage entities like the city of San Fran to buy those pieces and run things. I mean, it's right out of the book. These days  I honestly don't know which will make it to real life first: Atlas Shrugged or Idiocracy.
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RoadKingLarry
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« Reply #47 on: October 18, 2019, 03:07:30 PM »

No kidding. Apparently Newsom wants to break PG&E apart and encourage entities like the city of San Fran to buy those pieces and run things. I mean, it's right out of the book. These days  I honestly don't know which will make it to real life first: Atlas Shrugged or Idiocracy.

I'm not entirely sure they would be mutually exclusive...
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« Reply #48 on: October 19, 2019, 03:35:21 AM »

Don't forget... some years ago California made PG&E pick between distribution and generation. Can't do both... that's an evil capitalist monopoly!

So, PG&E chose distribution and purchased power from the distributors.

Only, they now had no excess capacity, because that was being sold out of state where it was more profitable. Which meant that during times of high demand, PG&E had to purchase power on the spot market, which was subject to, oddly enough, demand pricing, which caused rates to soar, which was, in part (only part because of government mandated price caps... WE'RE HELPING!). Now, the distribution companies also did some manipulation designed to drive up spot market prices, but that was, somehow, still PG&E's fault...

Cue screeching from the politicians who created that mess, screaming about how PG&E was gouging consumers to line its pockets, when nothing was farther from the truth.

Now California is crying about how PG&E criminally neglected its infrastructure, when even a most cursory glance reveals that in a lot of cases California law is a direct impediment in the ability to maintain those lines.

Part of me likes to think that some of this is PG&E's board just sitting around and voting to enact their Screw you Newsome Plan Phase 1.
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« Reply #49 on: October 19, 2019, 01:26:52 PM »

Don't forget... some years ago California made PG&E pick between distribution and generation. Can't do both... that's an evil capitalist monopoly!

So, PG&E chose distribution and purchased power from the distributors.

Only, they now had no excess capacity, because that was being sold out of state where it was more profitable. Which meant that during times of high demand, PG&E had to purchase power on the spot market, which was subject to, oddly enough, demand pricing, which caused rates to soar, which was, in part (only part because of government mandated price caps... WE'RE HELPING!). Now, the distribution companies also did some manipulation designed to drive up spot market prices, but that was, somehow, still PG&E's fault...

Cue screeching from the politicians who created that mess, screaming about how PG&E was gouging consumers to line its pockets, when nothing was farther from the truth.

Now California is crying about how PG&E criminally neglected its infrastructure, when even a most cursory glance reveals that in a lot of cases California law is a direct impediment in the ability to maintain those lines.

Part of me likes to think that some of this is PG&E's board just sitting around and voting to enact their Screw you Newsome Plan Phase 1.

I'd be curious if there were/are any financial relationships between in state decision makers and out of state energy providers.
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