The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Register Now!

Register Now!

We want your input!

Featured:
   

2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

   
Recent Posts
Recreational Trailer Power Supply
by David1
10/01/16 04:42 PM
Locked rotor, no burnout
by geoff in UK
10/01/16 02:04 PM
Temporarily feeding a panel...
by Potseal
09/29/16 11:05 PM
Massive power outage South Australia
by Meadow
09/29/16 06:46 AM
short circuit??
by Meadow
09/29/16 06:43 AM
New in the Gallery:
12.5A through 0.75mm˛ flex (just out of curiosity)
Shout Box

Top Posters (30 Days)
HotLine1 11
sparky 10
gfretwell 8
Potseal 7
sparky66wv 6
Who's Online
3 registered (David1, Webmaster, sparkyinak), 89 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#187422 - 06/26/09 10:59 AM PV systems
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9012
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I think the time may have finally come when these make sense. I know I was slow to come around but the government is throwing money at it and collector prices are coming down. I can virtually get my collectors for free now.
One of the problems is they only want to pay for government blessed systems, not home built systems and I think that is a mistake. We are not going to get much innovation if they only subsidize what is already out there but that is another rant.
Florida will pay $4 a watt for anything over 2 KW and I am looking at a DC system to run a pool pump That is a very simple system, no inverter, no storage. My problem is it is only 750-1000w so I need to come up with another KW or so to get my rebate and I am thinking about another traditional system, around 1-1.5kw, to run my well pumps, the pool bar fridge and the other loads out there. If there is enough left over, maybe feeding my PCs that run all the time. They are on UPS so if I did have to switch back to utility power it would be non-disruptive. The part I probably have to find is the smart controller for this that does the transfer function in a listed, compliant way.
Anyone ever done something like this?
There would also have to be some load management so the fridge and the well pumps were interlocked but that is not that big a deal.
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

Top
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Arc Flash Clothing, Gloves, KneePads, Tool Belts, Pouches, Tool Carriers, etc. etc....

#187423 - 06/26/09 11:11 AM Re: PV systems [Re: gfretwell]
LarryC Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 775
Loc: Winchester, NH, US
Most grid tie inverters are all set to directly tie to the grid. If the grid goes away, the inverter opens up the utility connection.

Larry C

Top
#187428 - 06/26/09 04:02 PM Re: PV systems [Re: LarryC]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9012
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I am not thinking about grid tie at all, too much hassle for too little gain. I just want transfer equipment that will switch to utility when my batteries are low and I really only plan on a minimal amount of battery, perhaps only enough to run my well pumps.
Another thing I would connect direct would be attic ventilation, perhaps with a DC motor. I am really trying to keep this as simple as possible.
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

Top
#187431 - 06/26/09 06:02 PM Re: PV systems [Re: gfretwell]
LarryC Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 775
Loc: Winchester, NH, US
Without the grid tie, I suspect getting the rebate will be very hard.

If all of the loads are on a sub panel fed by a transfer switch, connect the grid tie inverter to the sub panel. When the PoCo goes away the inverter continues to feed the sub panel.

You will just figure out a way to get the inverter to supply the load with no utility present. Perhaps some sort of contact on the transfer switch to prove no utility connection?

Top
#187433 - 06/26/09 06:55 PM Re: PV systems [Re: LarryC]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9012
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I am still trying to get some real info on the rebate but I haven't seen anything about requiring a grid tie yet, either on the federal or state program. I do have a feeling any "innovation" will have to happen after the government blesses the system. I imagine I will end up buying something off the shelf and then going from there. I do have an engineer and a GC who will do their part to get this blessed. I will pull the electrical permit myself.
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

Top
#187451 - 06/26/09 10:54 PM Re: PV systems [Re: gfretwell]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9012
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I did dig out the certification process and it does appear they are leaning toward grid tied systems but they do recognize stand alone systems for off grid applications. I am now trying to see if you can do an "off grid systems" to serve selected loads in a house on the grid.
This is the process in Florida if anyone is interested.

http://gfretwell.com/electrical/solar%20pv%20approval%20process%20Fla.pdf
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

Top
#187474 - 06/27/09 06:06 PM Re: PV systems [Re: gfretwell]
Tesla Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/04
Posts: 1280
Loc: Sacramento, CA
In my state the PV system must be tied into the grid to get the rebates and tax credits.
_________________________
Tesla

Top
#187483 - 06/28/09 12:14 AM Re: PV systems [Re: Tesla]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9012
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I think the criteria is stupid if they want masses of people saving energy.
One of the biggest single power hogs here is the pool pump and a solar PV system that uses a DC motor is the simplest system you can have but they won't give you a break on it. That is just stupid.
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

Top
#187531 - 06/29/09 10:13 PM Re: PV systems [Re: gfretwell]
ChicoC10 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/30/07
Posts: 169
Loc: CA
You don't think masses of people "conserving" is really what they want do you? You seem a bit more savvy than that to me.

Its about building infrastructure in a PC blessed manner, on your property. Complete with "right to inspect" disclosures.

The last thing they want is for you to take their rebates and go off-grid with them.

Sorry if I seem cynical, but I am.

Top
#187532 - 06/30/09 12:10 AM Re: PV systems [Re: ChicoC10]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9012
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
They do bless some totally off grid systems.
I have a question open as we speak with the folks who certify systems asking why they won't encourage the pool pump system.
It is the simplest PV system you can get. No batteries, no inverters, no grid ties. Just collectors spinning a motor when the sun is shining.
It would save about 3-4 megawatt hours per pool per year and 22% of Florida homes have a pool. That is 15-20% of my electric bill.
That could be a whole power plant they don't need to build when you average that across the state.
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

Top



ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals