The Survival Podcast Forum

Energy Options => Solar Power => Topic started by: bob3 on February 14, 2015, 06:53:14 PM

Title: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: bob3 on February 14, 2015, 06:53:14 PM
Niiiiiice...

http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/13/8033691/why-teslas-battery-for-your-home-should-terrify-utilities (http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/13/8033691/why-teslas-battery-for-your-home-should-terrify-utilities)

Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Dreamer75 on February 15, 2015, 03:01:53 PM
I just read about this.  Sounds pretty cool.  Could be a game changer for ending our reliance on the grid.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: fritz_monroe on February 15, 2015, 05:31:39 PM
Sounds pretty cool.  I'll be keeping an eye on this. 
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Carl on February 15, 2015, 06:22:32 PM
I am here for the popcorn.... :popcorn:   always fresh and hot.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Caveat on February 15, 2015, 08:01:14 PM
 :knitting: I'll knit one, pearl two while watching this.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: lhcbinpa on February 16, 2015, 07:17:47 AM
This and other advances in the technology (real and rumored) are why I haven't jumped into solar as a backup. Panels are rumored to have similar leaps on the near term calendar. Watching, waiting, investigating.... fingers crossed that the new stuff won't be too exorbitantly priced.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: fritz_monroe on February 16, 2015, 04:03:51 PM
This and other advances in the technology (real and rumored) are why I haven't jumped into solar as a backup. Panels are rumored to have similar leaps on the near term calendar. Watching, waiting, investigating.... fingers crossed that the new stuff won't be too exorbitantly priced.
And I believe that this is why solar is a LONG way from having buy in for the majority of households.  Take a look at any article about solar and the industry is ALWAYS just on the brink of a huge breakthrough.

I have the same view, there seems to be something big coming so I should wait a bit.

Personally, I think that's the way TPTB want the general public to act.  But I won't go there since I'd rather not spin this into the TFHB territory.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Bonnieblue2A on March 11, 2015, 02:54:00 PM
And I believe that this is why solar is a LONG way from having buy in for the majority of households.  Take a look at any article about solar and the industry is ALWAYS just on the brink of a huge breakthrough.

I have the same view, there seems to be something big coming so I should wait a bit.

Personally, I think that's the way TPTB want the general public to act.  But I won't go there since I'd rather not spin this into the TFHB territory.


This.   I've been waiting for the next big leap with PVC panels and battery storage technology x 7 yrs. and waiting for it to make that leap.  It hasn't happened........yet.

What I've read of Musk, I respect.  I think he has the vision but will the low oil prices destroy him before he has the opportunity to reach the realization?

Think what President Hoover did to the small car manufacturers like Tucker and how we actually ended up with "the big three" US car manufacturers.   Musk is a doer who is breaking the rules.  Hopefully he will accomplish much before TPTB manage to destroy him.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: nkawtg on March 11, 2015, 03:36:24 PM
Musk has some hurdles to overcome other than technical. For example here in Las Vegas you are not permitted to have a battery backup with your grid tie system.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Bonnieblue2A on March 11, 2015, 03:52:03 PM
Musk does have some hurdles to overcome.   Tesla and Solar City are hemorrhaging money.  Solar City stock is down over 31% this year. Tesla down over 17%.   This is going to hurt the cash for battery research and ever lowering oil prices are going to harm demand for the battery technology.

Solar City just made this announcement with DirectTV to offer affordable solar to its customers:
http://www.cnbc.com/id/102495716
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: nkawtg on March 11, 2015, 04:05:27 PM
"Under the new service relationship, DIRECTV technicians visiting customers' homes will be able to offer those homeowners the opportunity to use solar electricity from SolarCity".
That makes for happy technicians I'm sure.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: jerseyboy on March 11, 2015, 11:17:20 PM
Niiiiiice...

http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/13/8033691/why-teslas-battery-for-your-home-should-terrify-utilities (http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/13/8033691/why-teslas-battery-for-your-home-should-terrify-utilities)

OK, so the article said the "10 kilowatt-hour battery pack" will power a house for two days. Check my math but if you divide by 12 volts you get 833 amp-hour worth of 12 volt batteries. That is about eight type-29 deep cycle lead acid batteries which is about $800 worth of batteries.

Taken another way, that is 83 amp-hours at 120 volts. At the 48 hours stated in the article that is less than 1.75 amps every hour.  That is like two 100 watt light bulbs on all day.

What am I missing?

That is about a factor of 10 off, right?

Jerseyboy
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: jonnyc on April 08, 2015, 10:26:44 PM
Agree, I have an 8 battery bank charging on solar and i cant hardly run 2 small chest freezers sporadically for 24 hours let alone my entire house. when its nice weather we use about  18 to 24 kw hours per day...in the heat of summer double that.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Chemsoldier on April 09, 2015, 01:00:46 AM
Truly useful home batteries have been identified as a holy grail in science fiction for years.  Heinlein called them "shipstones" if I recall correctly.  They powered ships, houses (that could be located anywhere now that they were not tethered to the grid and the stories had flying cars), just about everything.  Of course, in his stories the company that made the shipstones had a LOT of influence.

Speaking of flying cars...my personal feeling is that waiting for a game changing breakthrough is a mistake.  As preppers/survivalists/homesteaders/etc we must entertain the possibility that the steady or even revolutionary progress of technology will stall (or at least become unattainably expensive) and we should be willing to work with what is in the possible now.  A solar system that will keep you in fans, radios and lights may not be perfect but its something you can have now.

I say don't wait for it.  It might take a year (or ten) for the breakthrough to occur.  Then it will be VERY expensive for a number of years.  If it really is a game changer, the demand will also be very high.  How long do you want to wait?
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: David in MN on April 09, 2015, 07:55:27 AM
For the first time I will have an option other than my current energy company that routinely makes errors in billing and autopay and then makes me spend hours on the phone debating late fees that their errors caused.

You don't need ubiquity to revolutionize an industry. My wife and I are so pissed at our provider we'd take a pretty big hit to get an alternative. I'd like to see how my energy company reacts to an instant 5% loss of customers. Maybe service and quality would improve if their monopoly was threatened.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Carl on April 09, 2015, 08:11:37 AM
But if solar was really the answer,Wouldn't power companies have solar on every customers roof?
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Chemsoldier on April 09, 2015, 08:56:04 AM
But if solar was really the answer,Wouldn't power companies have solar on every customers roof?

I would posit that power companies don't see the same profit margin in individual consumer solar.  So they don't push it.

Solar is by no means "the" answer, it is just "an answer."  Other answers are more efficient buildings, smarter power distribution systems, better storage options, expanded generator options or just learning to do without as much power.  "The answer" is likely some combination of the options above....or Mr. Fusion.

Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: endurance on April 09, 2015, 09:06:14 AM
A little cynicism here is warranted.  The CEO of a company that just missed the earnings forecast did some spinning to point at a market they have yet to actually enter.  Then you have an enthusiast for the guy post a graph like this:

(https://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/qtVuq9pEg_AIRNzeKVeEeg7y3R0=/800x0/filters:no_upscale()/cdn0.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/3406874/solarstorageforecast.0.png)

Where else can you have a graph with a downward trend for the last two years and make a forecast for a 20 fold growth in the market in the next four years and have it be believed?  Only in a market that is clinging to the hope that our energy and environmental woes are over. 

There's plenty of energy out there to replace oil, but nothing will ever give you the bang for the buck that millions of years of stored solar energy will give you.  It's a pipe dream and everyone wants a toke.  The reality is our lifestyles are going to retract substantially over the next 20 years because of the changing energy market and the impacts it will have on the economy and food supply.

I'm all for solar, but only because I don't have many other options where I live.  I'm all for cheap batteries, but they're not going to come from a car company who's cheapest car is $51k and if you want a battery that's 15kwh bigger it costs an additional $10k.  That math alone should tell you that they don't have "THE" answer.  There is no "THE" answer.  There's the best option for individuals heading into a tough future to make things a little easier. 
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: nkawtg on April 09, 2015, 09:07:48 AM
I like the Mr. Fusion option.
(http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/bttf/images/d/d0/Mrfusion.jpg)
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: David in MN on April 09, 2015, 09:09:01 AM
I doubt solar would work for me... A panel would have to be powerful to get enough during both sunny weeks in MN. That said, I bet a micro wind turbine could help.

I think a lot of power costs are distorted due to the monopolies, regulations, and subsidies. It'd be fun to push back on that system. And a great prep.

I'm not looking for a silver bullet. Just a stronger seat at the negotiation table with the power company.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: nkawtg on April 09, 2015, 09:12:10 AM

There's plenty of energy out there to replace oil, but nothing will ever give you the bang for the buck that millions of years of stored solar energy will give you.
(http://shutupandtakemymoney.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/fueled-by-recycled-dinosaurs-decal.jpg)
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: endurance on April 09, 2015, 09:21:28 AM
Ooops, I didn't notice the deceptive advertising that assumes you're driving a friggin Abrams tank currently:

(http://i.imgur.com/YqQpBhi.png)

$2000 a year in fuel savings?  Are you kidding me?  My wife and I barely use that much in both our cars in a year.  So, $75k for the base model.

A coworker keeps talking about the cheap one coming out soon... I'll believe it exists when she parks it in the parking lot. ;D


As for solar, wind, microhydro, biogas, etc., different ones make sense for different regions.  I think microhydro is the best of the bunch, but what, maybe 1/10th of one percent of the rural homes have enough fall and volume to make it practical.  Biogas seems like a great option if you're Cedar and have access to a large volume of animal waste in a never ending supply.  For me, I get 300 sunny days a year, so solar makes sense.  Right now, I live in a state with some of the cheapest KWH in the country, so it doesn't make a lot of sense to invest in it now, but if they ever put in a gas line to export our natural gas, that's likely to change.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Marinesg1012 on April 09, 2015, 09:50:35 AM
This is here I run into the snag, my home is very efficient, we are suppose to be spend less then 2 grand a year (it is probably less hen that but we havent hit the one year mark yet) in energy to heat and cool the home, hot water and general electricity. A solar system for my house was quoted at 30,000. lets say I end up breaking even from the solar, that is a 15 year return on my investment. In 15 years where is the technology going to be? That doesnt include a battery back up system which will run another 10 grand or so... I want to pursue it but if you look at it from a strictly investment side it doesnt make sense. Of course our power rates keep going up and if I paid for the panels now it would hedge against them continuing to raise the rates.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: endurance on April 09, 2015, 10:12:46 AM
This is here I run into the snag, my home is very efficient, we are suppose to be spend less then 2 grand a year (it is probably less hen that but we havent hit the one year mark yet) in energy to heat and cool the home, hot water and general electricity. A solar system for my house was quoted at 30,000. lets say I end up breaking even from the solar, that is a 15 year return on my investment. In 15 years where is the technology going to be? That doesnt include a battery back up system which will run another 10 grand or so... I want to pursue it but if you look at it from a strictly investment side it doesnt make sense. Of course our power rates keep going up and if I paid for the panels now it would hedge against them continuing to raise the rates.
Yep, our total electric and gas bill averages under $100 a month.  Our worst month ever was still less than $150. I just don't see it. Now, if I lived somewhere that cost $600 a month in energy, that's a whole different math problem.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: nkawtg on April 09, 2015, 10:14:03 AM
That's their only selling point is a hedge on rate increases.
In Las Vegas, we can't have Stand-Alone Grid-Tied Systems, only Grid-Tied systems. So during a power outage, all that solar on your roof wouldn't matter.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Carl on April 09, 2015, 10:20:12 AM
This is here I run into the snag, my home is very efficient, we are suppose to be spend less then 2 grand a year (it is probably less hen that but we havent hit the one year mark yet) in energy to heat and cool the home, hot water and general electricity. A solar system for my house was quoted at 30,000. lets say I end up breaking even from the solar, that is a 15 year return on my investment. In 15 years where is the technology going to be? That doesnt include a battery back up system which will run another 10 grand or so... I want to pursue it but if you look at it from a strictly investment side it doesnt make sense. Of course our power rates keep going up and if I paid for the panels now it would hedge against them continuing to raise the rates.

SHHHH....it's my opinion also that our current distribution system is the economic champion,so far and even when you do get solar,you will still pay for electricity....diesel generation and battery show promise...though still not less costly than commercial power. But I haven't tried a Mr Fusion yet.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: endurance on April 09, 2015, 10:24:38 AM
There's several neighborhoods around me that don't have power available yet. For them, solar and generators are the best option since the utility company wants $3,000 per pole to get power into the neighborhood and the nearest home is about a half mile from the nearest lines. There's definitely useful applications. The same applies to remote cabins where you might use it a few months a year and getting the power to the cabin might cost several thousand bucks. A good generator makes a lot more sense.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: nkawtg on April 09, 2015, 10:53:22 AM
I can see finding any alternative to generator power is high on the priority list for remote homesteads. At $2.40 a gallon for off road #2 and a 100 gallon tank that's about $240 bucks a week for a 6kw generator if running continuously.

Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Carl on April 09, 2015, 11:45:53 AM
There's several neighborhoods around me that don't have power available yet. For them, solar and generators are the best option since the utility company wants $3,000 per pole to get power into the neighborhood and the nearest home is about a half mile from the nearest lines. There's definitely useful applications. The same applies to remote cabins where you might use it a few months a year and getting the power to the cabin might cost several thousand bucks. A good generator makes a lot more sense.

A shared generator and distribution system may be an economic option where commercial power is not easily available.
And 24 hours a day is not how you run a generator, you use a small battery bank and auto start the generator for higher loads when needed...at my BOL the generator runs less than 1 hour in six hours of lighting and radio ,fans etc
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: endurance on April 09, 2015, 12:33:45 PM
My only point was that there's a time and a place for everything, not that someone living off grid 24/7 should use a generator. I think a generator for a summer cabin you visit ten weekends a year makes sense, if you're there year-round, solar, hydro, or wind would be a better long term solution, but once again I'm the mod leading the charge off topic. Five more demerits. Bad moderator, no donut.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Carl on April 09, 2015, 12:42:03 PM
My only point was that there's a time and a place for everything, not that someone living off grid 24/7 should use a generator. I think a generator for a summer cabin you visit ten weekends a year makes sense, if you're there year-round, solar, hydro, or wind would be a better long term solution, but once again I'm the mod leading the charge off topic. Five more demerits. Bad moderator, no donut.

No...you're testing us...yea ,that's it. Even the sun will,one day,burn out..what then?
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: David in MN on April 09, 2015, 01:40:30 PM
No...you're testing us...yea ,that's it. Even the sun will,one day,burn out..what then?

Then you'll all know what MN is like.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: endurance on April 09, 2015, 02:33:49 PM
Then you'll all know what MN is like.
Ahh, so lots of mosquitoes, eh?  ;)
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: nkawtg on April 09, 2015, 02:55:56 PM
Ahh, so lots of mosquitoes, eh?  ;)
State bird...
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: endurance on April 09, 2015, 09:30:45 PM
State bird...
Bigger problems than that, apparently:

(http://image.egokick.com/image/upload/w_708,h_505,c_fill,g_face:center,q_60,f_jpg/v1425672170/t6anhphfxxbzsridwwyu.jpg)
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Marinesg1012 on April 09, 2015, 10:19:03 PM
SHHHH....it's my opinion also that our current distribution system is the economic champion,so far and even when you do get solar,you will still pay for electricity....diesel generation and battery show promise...though still not less costly than commercial power. But I haven't tried a Mr Fusion yet.

Nh will pay you for any power pushed into the grid but I am sure the rate is close to nothing. I have a few other things to do to the homestead to reduce the power load (first is a wood stove) Once that is installed we should be back to about 150 or so dollars a month in power, it would be a lot less but the "delivery charge" they have gone crazy with in NH is killing me. 
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: TexDaddy on April 22, 2015, 08:34:03 AM
New article

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-22/tesla-powered-wal-mart-stores-attest-to-musk-s-energy-ambitions
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: keebler on April 22, 2015, 03:32:12 PM
I'm on a Coop from Crewe,Va. 42 miles away, closest sub station almost 20-- constant Brown outs, been here a long time .
so since 2008. 90% of my lighting at night, all from solar & battery's. I also have a 12 volt well pump for when the grid is down.I'm on the end of the line. took almost 4 years to get power.
light bill runs over $100. budget. Cooking & tv.well. Darn meter $18.00 a month- this is crazy & the county taxes the bill (2) times.
keeb in the woods of s. Va.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: SloSheepdog on May 01, 2015, 12:00:20 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKORsrlN-2k (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKORsrlN-2k)

Here's a video of Elon's debut of the Tesla Powerwall. It seems you're paying for the control electronics in it, not just the kwh's. I am a bit knowledgeable about electrical and mechanical things, and have been thinking of piecing my own system together. I need to go look at my power bill to see how much sense this plus solar would make for me.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Carl on May 01, 2015, 02:03:39 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKORsrlN-2k (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKORsrlN-2k)

Here's a video of Elon's debut of the Tesla Powerwall. It seems you're paying for the control electronics in it, not just the kwh's. I am a bit knowledgeable about electrical and mechanical things, and have been thinking of piecing my own system together. I need to go look at my power bill to see how much sense this plus solar would make for me.

BUT $3500 for TEN KILOWATT HOUR of battery(350 to 450 volts with 2 KW continuous out (for 5 hours?))
and it does not MAKE POWER,it stores power. 10 year WARRANTY, life?
And that is BATTERY ONLY,and cooling...not inverter..Might be a good battery depending on the cost of additional electronics.

Somebody try this for me and see if it holds up.





Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Bonnieblue2A on May 01, 2015, 02:35:34 PM
 :popcorn:

Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: SloSheepdog on May 01, 2015, 03:08:56 PM
BUT $3500 for TEN KILOWATT HOUR of battery(350 to 450 volts with 2 KW continuous out (for 5 hours?))
and it does not MAKE POWER,it stores power. 10 year WARRANTY, life?
And that is BATTERY ONLY,and cooling...not inverter..Might be a good battery depending on the cost of additional electronics.

Somebody try this for me and see if it holds up.

I would hope it would include the inverter with the cooling and monitoring electronics. How large an inverter is my question. They way he's selling it seems to be to the consumers who want to power their house. Not engineers who like to design & build our own toys (guilty). I admit I need to look into it more, but I wanted to share the video with you all.

So some options are: 1) do nothing, 2) get stand-alone or smart-switching solar and home-made battery bank w/inverter, 3) get commercially installed solar with integrated cots Powerwall, 4) truck/car mobile power source.

My current setup: I have an inverter and a truck right now, as well as a battery charger (dumb one, not smart charger). No additional battery bank but some stored gas. Charge the battery, bring it into the garage, run stuff off it.

A typical car battery is what, 0.5 kwh? 1 kwh? Just asking for comparison to the Powerwall.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Bonnieblue2A on May 01, 2015, 03:16:15 PM
More info. here:
http://www.teslamotors.com/powerwall
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Carl on May 01, 2015, 03:44:10 PM
I would hope it would include the inverter with the cooling and monitoring electronics. How large an inverter is my question. They way he's selling it seems to be to the consumers who want to power their house. Not engineers who like to design & build our own toys (guilty). I admit I need to look into it more, but I wanted to share the video with you all.

So some options are: 1) do nothing, 2) get stand-alone or smart-switching solar and home-made battery bank w/inverter, 3) get commercially installed solar with integrated cots Powerwall, 4) truck/car mobile power source.

My current setup: I have an inverter and a truck right now, as well as a battery charger (dumb one, not smart charger). No additional battery bank but some stored gas. Charge the battery, bring it into the garage, run stuff off it.

A typical car battery is what, 0.5 kwh? 1 kwh? Just asking for comparison to the Powerwall.

A 50 amp hour (typical auto ,group 27 or 31,)battery is ,squeezed dry ...
about 500 watt hours but you really only want to use 50% of a wet cells capacity...
So the auto battery will provide 1/4 KW hour.
So a 100 amp hour Deep Cycle 12 Volt battery will last a good life at 500 watt hours (100 watts for 5 hours)

It takes a lot of size and weight to chemically store power..
Even the cute 10 KW Tesla battery is some 220 pounds though most
100 amp hour 12 volt batteries weigh over 100 pounds each.
So Tesla has a size/weight edge over wet cells as it compares to about 20 wet cells  at a bit over a TON of weight...
if tesla's 10 KW is repeatable capacity and not squeezed dry capacity ,
though it probably is good for over 50% cycles over it's life.

I suspect the special inverter / charger electronics will cost MORE than the battery...They don't post the cost...

One last thought for now is LITHIUM ION battery,the same dependable batteries like commercial aircraft use
and that and the 110 fahrenheit temp maximum might be of concern.

Link for reference to battery use on aircraft:

http://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2015/05/01/us-testing-of-lithium-batteries-alarms-aviation-officials

But don't worry ,your's will work just great.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Bonnieblue2A on May 01, 2015, 04:58:12 PM
The Tesla battery is a lithium ion rechargeable battery.

http://money.cnn.com/2015/05/01/technology/tesla-powerwall-battery-product/index.html
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: FreeLancer on May 01, 2015, 06:11:46 PM
I'm interested.  I've already got a grid-tied system and have been looking at adding in battery storage so I can use my solar power in a grid down situation.  I suck at maintaining flooded lead acid cells over the long haul, though, so I had been looking at the more costly AGM batteries.  If I can get similar Ahr/$ from Tesla's Li-ion technology, I'll be very tempted.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Bonnieblue2A on May 02, 2015, 12:14:19 AM
Here's a rather skeptical review:

  http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2015/05/01/why-teslas-powerwall-is-just-another-toy-for-rich-green-people/

And one which questions if Elon Musk and Tesla's Powerwall just killed nuclear power.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2015/05/01/did-tesla-just-kill-nuclear-power/

We live in amazing times.



Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Carl on May 02, 2015, 04:45:00 AM
Here's a rather skeptical review:

  http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2015/05/01/why-teslas-powerwall-is-just-another-toy-for-rich-green-people/

And one which questions if Elon Musk and Tesla's Powerwall just killed nuclear power.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2015/05/01/did-tesla-just-kill-nuclear-power/

We live in amazing times.

YEP...from the first link ...
Battery wall = $3500
plus average $2000 install
 and inverter $4000  (ten year expected battery life)

Will need many time larger than average solar panels (EIGHT 6.7 KW systems)

Grid connected? expect 30 cent per KWH cost over life of system


I’ll say it another way: unless your solar-powered home is entirely disconnected from the grid, or your system is big enough to provide for all your electricity needs, an expensive battery backup system like Powerwall does not make economic sense.


All info above is from the first link...thanks Bonnieblue...good find. To quote a movie"Wanna' take a ride?" (Movie "CONTACT")

Maybe worth watching when cost is lower and capability is greater, but not todays answer...in my opinion.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: iam4liberty on May 02, 2015, 06:18:24 AM
I’ll say it another way: unless your solar-powered home is entirely disconnected from the grid, or your system is big enough to provide for all your electricity needs, an expensive battery backup system like Powerwall does not make economic sense. ...

Maybe worth watching when cost is lower and capability is greater, but not todays answer...in my opinion.

Agreed, math doesn't work today.   But in countries which passed a "carbon tax" grid based prices were generally set to quadruple over time.  Under that scenario it is a lot different.   

The powers that be see a carbon tax as the solution to massive government debt piled up.   They can print lots of money then suck it out with a tax thereby, as their defective theory goes, avoiding inflation.   And the great thing from their perspective is that they can place the blaim elsewhere by claiming they had to do it to save the planet. In fact there is a devoted group clamoring for it.   So it will be a huge push over the next five years.

Musk is basically offering a parachute to the wealthy to opt out of this tax.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: iam4liberty on May 02, 2015, 06:53:14 AM
Just adding this for perspective to the above post to show where prices would go if European stye taxes are imposed:

(http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/electriccost1.gif)

And this is current rates.   Most are set up for an approximately 5% increase in tax per year.   Scenario is much different with numbers like these.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Carl on May 02, 2015, 06:59:16 AM
And the TESLA,while all other prices go up,....will remain the bargain it is today ::)
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: endurance on May 02, 2015, 03:46:02 PM
I'd want to wait a few years at the very least.  Lithium batteries can be extremely scary when things go wrong and I wouldn't want to be that test case who burned his house to the ground.

The economics, as I suspected before the numbers were released, don't add up today for anyone in the lower 48 who can get grid tied.  For those off grid, it seems reasonable, especially since you aren't dealing with the large are you need for, as others have mentioned, a ton of lead acid batteries.  There's also no off gassing like with lead acid.  Life span has the potential to be better, but right now nobody has tested this battery, including Tesla, for more than a handful of years.  Will they live up to the specs?  If not, I suspect the warranty is like all other batteries, prorated, so if it goes out on day one, you get a free battery, but after five years, you're paying close to half the original purchase price.  At nine years you're paying roughly 90% of the cost of new batteries.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: FreeLancer on May 02, 2015, 04:02:42 PM
I'd want to wait a few years at the very least.  Lithium batteries can be extremely scary when things go wrong and I wouldn't want to be that test case who burned his house to the ground.

Aren't these the same lithium chemistry that have been in the vehicles for a couple years now?  Seems like there would be less safety variables to consider when the batteries are just hanging on the wall compared to bouncing around on the road and rapid charging all the time. 
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: endurance on May 02, 2015, 04:26:51 PM
Aren't these the same lithium chemistry that have been in the vehicles for a couple years now?  Seems like there would be less safety variables to consider when the batteries are just hanging on the wall compared to bouncing around on the road and rapid charging all the time.
Says the guy who lives on San Andreas fault. Lol

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plug-in_electric_vehicle_fire_incidents (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plug-in_electric_vehicle_fire_incidents)

Looks like two out of the four cars that had battery related fires from lithium batteries and collisions were in fact Teslas.

I'd just want to make sure they weren't somewhere aunt Mildred could back into them when she borrowed the car while she was on vacation. ;)
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: FreeLancer on May 02, 2015, 05:48:47 PM
Looks like two out of the four cars that had battery related fires from lithium batteries and collisions were in fact Teslas.

But those incidents involved impacts to the battery at highway speeds, that's a couple of orders of magnitude more force than the shaking from an earthquake.  Do laptops and cellphones burst into flames when they get jostled by a quake? 
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Carl on May 02, 2015, 06:10:53 PM
Just look up lithium battery and heat or fire...with HEAT ,they EXPLODE...
with water (and case damage...they BURN (this makes heat)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3hb9JVmZfA
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: FreeLancer on May 03, 2015, 12:31:43 AM
Is lithium that much more hazardous than the gasoline we sit on top of in our cars, or the gas we pipe through our houses?
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Carl on May 03, 2015, 04:52:12 AM
Is lithium that much more hazardous than the gasoline we sit on top of in our cars, or the gas we pipe through our houses?

The act of charging or discharging can cause thermal runaway,aggravated by battery temp
causing the battery to self ignite and explode...dangerous? The other gases don't self ignite
at commonly found temps. Odds are this will not happen...lead acid batteries are dangerous
too...but I still use them.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: endurance on May 03, 2015, 07:48:47 AM
To me, lead acid are a known quantity with some inherent problems (large, heavy, off gas hydrogen, relatively short life span if not cared for impeccably). Lithium ion are newer with less certainty with some problems with fire, but much more energy dense and lighter. It seems that with the right engineering lithium ions can be less prone to fire, but manufacturing quality control can lead limit the effectiveness of the best engineering. All seem vulnerable to intrusion damage. If you get one engineered right and made right and protected right, no problem. However, for me, I want a longer track record. They're getting there. Since 2008 Tesla has put 70,000 vehicles on the road. Two of those had belly breaches by objects in the road, to which they responded by increasing shielding for the batteries. I guess I'd like to see more time and trouble shooting on an item that costs $3,500. I'm not likely to be an early adopter at that price point.  Besides, at $0.13/kWh for utility power, it's hard to justify spending even $10k on a solar array, etc. I use less than $60 a month in electricity today.  Even at 20 years I still wouldn't be getting a positive ROI even if my batteries never needed replacement. Then there's the possibility of a hail storm taking out my solar panels, the short lifespans of inverters and the likely need to replace batteries every 10 years.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Carl on May 03, 2015, 08:21:57 AM
Thanks ENDURANCE , I was beginning to believe my 'spidey senses' were wrong...
plus the $3500 cost is the INSTALLER PRICE and that means probably $10K for a system will be lowball
as the inverter runs $4K and I wonder what homeowners insurance would do with the costs too.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: endurance on May 03, 2015, 09:00:16 AM
I talked with my agent about solar panels. If you add $40k in panels, the upcharge is a considerably more than if you added a $40k man cave to the house. In my case, that's adding about 20% to my premium, but I live in one of the worst hail belts in the country, which is factored in. That said, if the panels get wiped out, they're insured, but in my case, with a roof loss deductible of $3,500 (my insurance carrier is trying to get out out of insuring me because of my wildland fire risk, and will do anything to make me leave, but after comparing rates, paying for a new roof out of pocket would be dirt cheap compared to competitors).

Most inverters have a 5-10 year prorated warranty and few make it to ten years before needing replacement. I doubt a homeowners company wants any part of that other than "insuring" it for fire and theft. That's the biggest weakest link in the system when it comes to sustainability for teotwawki. Plus, I suspect they're highly vulnerable to EMP.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: iam4liberty on May 03, 2015, 11:34:12 AM
A lot more information has been coming out on the radio talk shows and other media this weekend.  Here is the short story:

500 residential units have already been installed and these are being actively monitored for real world reliability,etc.  So we will have that information in a couple of years.

The units are being rolled out as an upgrade option for grid tied systems provided by solar city.  It will act as an emergency backup for power outages and with a capacity that will last about two days.  This is a cheaper, more convenient turn key solution compared to backup generators especially where natural gas service is not available.  Given how many times there have been threads on this forum about rerouting grid tied systems to batteries in case of emergencies, this could end up being a popular option.

Demand in Hawaii is expected to soak up almost all the early production.  They are stating electricity rates on the grid are 35 to 45 cents per KWH in Hawaii.  And the rates actually go up with usage, i.e. the more you use the higher the rates.  (Note: this claim seems odd, can any forum member from Hawaii confirm this?)  At the new price point established by the Tesla battery, going solar in Hawaii will be much cheaper than grid power, something like 35% cheaper.  If I lived in Hawaii I would definitely look into it.

The interest from some commercial entities is also high, especially retail stores on the West Coast.  In certain states the tax incentives are covering a large portion of the costs for the solar panel connected projects.  But even without the incentives the grid tied systems are a net money saver for some companies.  This is because in these states there is a sizable spread between peak and off-peak commercial electric rates.  Some companies can simply plan work around the peak times to avoid the added costs.  But for retail stores the peak times correspond to shopping times so their usage goes up at those times.  The batteries are efficient enough to store off peak from the grid and then use that during peaks. I am not sure of the math but they were stating a 20% savings including installation costs.  They are also saying that companies are interested in it to avoid brownouts.  I find this claim a little odd.  Where in the US are we having brownouts? 

Some are speculating that a utility or consortium of utilities may purchase Tesla.  This is because laws are requiring them to move more to solar and wind which is exacerbating the peak/non-peak issue.  But the utilities don't want the costs and vulnerability associated with on-site storage.  So the battery system makes sense as it uses the residents own house for storing the battery and the consumer is responsible for it (insurance, etc).  Though Tesla has also created 100KWH units for utility usage so not sure about this claim either.  The price for the big units are coming in at $250 per KWH.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Bonnieblue2A on May 03, 2015, 11:58:55 AM
It appears that SolarCity may be offering the Tesla Powerwall battery at a lease option for its customers who lease their solar panels.

Quote
•Customers will be able to lease the home battery packs, which are to be paired with SolarCity rooftop solar systems, for an initial $1500 payment, followed by $15 monthly payments for 10 years. About 300 SolarCity customers in California are currently part of a pilot program combining the battery packs and solar systems.   

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/teslas-new-home-battery-will-have-a-lease-option-report/391173/

I wonder if they are doing Google Fiber style contracts that one cannot get out from underneath?  Or, if that 10 yr. date is because of the grid-tie contracts with utility companies?



Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Carl on May 03, 2015, 12:08:19 PM
It appears that SolarCity may be offering the Tesla Powerwall battery at a lease option for its customers who lease their solar panels.

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/teslas-new-home-battery-will-have-a-lease-option-report/391173/

I wonder if they are doing Google Fiber style contracts that one cannot get out from underneath?  Or, if that 10 yr. date is because of the grid-tie contracts with utility companies?

I never was much at math ,
but this says for $3000 ($1500 plus $15 per month equals $1500 per 10 years )
you can lease the $13,000 battery system...where did the $10K go...govt rebates?

That is creative math

"The total cost of the battery is around $13,000,
but leasing options similar to those used by the solar industry reportedly
lower prices to a $1500 down payment, followed $15 per month after that."

Something is missing from that equation....
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: mountainmoma on May 03, 2015, 12:26:47 PM
I talked with my agent about solar panels. If you add $40k in panels, the upcharge is a considerably more than if you added a $40k man cave to the house. In my case, that's adding about 20% to my premium, but I live in one of the worst hail belts in the country, which is factored in. That said, if the panels get wiped out, they're insured, but in my case, with a roof loss deductible of $3,500 (my insurance carrier is trying to get out out of insuring me because of my wildland fire risk, and will do anything to make me leave, but after comparing rates, paying for a new roof out of pocket would be dirt cheap compared to competitors).

Most inverters have a 5-10 year prorated warranty and few make it to ten years before needing replacement. I doubt a homeowners company wants any part of that other than "insuring" it for fire and theft. That's the biggest weakest link in the system when it comes to sustainability for teotwawki. Plus, I suspect they're highly vulnerable to EMP.

Maybe the new inverters are that bad, my inverter ( a made in California Trace SW4048)  is over 15 years with no problems, and it is in far from ideal conditions -- it is HOT in the summer, over 100deg, and coldish in the winter, cob webs over the vents when I'm not paying attention....
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: iam4liberty on May 03, 2015, 02:16:53 PM
I never was much at math ,
but this says for $3000 ($1500 plus $15 per month equals $1500 per 10 years )
you can lease the $13,000 battery system...where did the $10K go...govt rebates?

That is creative math

"The total cost of the battery is around $13,000,
but leasing options similar to those used by the solar industry reportedly
lower prices to a $1500 down payment, followed $15 per month after that."

Something is missing from that equation....

The article is confusing several different offerings.  Here are the confirmed numbers for installation as a backup system:

In an email sent to Bloomberg, SolarCity representative, Jonathan Bass, confirmed that the company plans to offer the potential customers a choice of two pricing options for the 10kWh model. The pricing options consist of a nine-year lease plan at $5000, or the customers can buy the battery pack for $7,140 flat.
 
Furthermore, the $5,000 lease plan include installation, electrical inverter, maintenance agreement, and a control system. According to reports, SolarCity also confirmed that installation will begin in October 2015.


And below is what has been included with the backup add-on option for PVC customers.  I expect the standalone option is the same system.

SolarCity will provide backup power for up to four (4) electrical circuits rated at 120 VAC and up to 20 amps each. The battery backup system can power up to 1,900 watts of backup loads at any given time. Typical backup loads include refrigerators and other kitchen equipment, lights, outlets that power computers, phones and Internet routers, and home security systems. We will never offer backup to circuits greater than 20 amps including most pool pumps, well pumps, electric heaters, electric water heaters, air conditioners, and hot tubs. Eligible loads must be located in the same electrical panel being used to connect your solar PV system at the time we install. If we cannot provide backup power to the four (4) 20 amp, 120 VAC circuits that you request due to access or electrical constraints, you may cancel your battery backup installation at no cost to you.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: FreeLancer on May 03, 2015, 03:49:31 PM
I'm reading that California rebates will subsidize up to 60% of the cost of installing a Powerwall system. That might make it economically competitive.

Plus, it's likely the new Tesla battery plant in Nevada will lower the price of lithium ion. Currently, lithium travels 35,000 miles from the time it's mined until it's back in the U.S. as a functioning cell. Mining it in the Mojave and sending it to Nevada for final processing cuts out a lot of expense.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Fredu89 on May 04, 2015, 12:00:32 PM
I'm actually very happy about Tesla making this product, Tesla building that gigafactory will speed up the pace of battery prices falling which will make it readily available for more and more people. Now we can get 10kWh for 3.5k, in five years we might be able to get 20kWh for 3.5k etc.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: nkawtg on May 04, 2015, 12:06:03 PM
That's nice and all for short duration blackouts, but can you run your house on 10kw during extended blackouts?
My energy efficient home in Vegas uses 20kw a day during non heating and cooling months and over 60kw a day during the summer.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Smurf Hunter on May 04, 2015, 12:16:59 PM
From viewing 3 pages of responses so far, it's clear to me the use case for this battery system is confusing.

It seems most people are viewing this as a partial to full grid power substitute, integrated solar panels.  I live somewhere without a lot of sun, and with relatively cheap grid power.

In the context of a power outage, I treat that as a low impact emergency, similar to a flat tire.  Just as I might have a top speed restriction on a spare tire, I'm willing to only power the most critical devices when running off battery backup.  If I was preparing for a 2 week power outage, I could spend my money better.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Carl on May 04, 2015, 01:35:31 PM
It appears that SolarCity may be offering the Tesla Powerwall battery at a lease option for its customers who lease their solar panels.

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/teslas-new-home-battery-will-have-a-lease-option-report/391173/

I wonder if they are doing Google Fiber style contracts that one cannot get out from underneath?  Or, if that 10 yr. date is because of the grid-tie contracts with utility companies?

Actually ,the ten years came from (me)  the expected life of the battery and warranty from Tesla.
It may be like a cell phone contract where you pay and pay...
but how would you ever pay off the $13K initial cost?

The initial cost of $13K with $1.5K down payment and $15 dollars a month
would break even at about SEVENTY FIVE YEARS.
That is some business plan....
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: endurance on May 04, 2015, 02:16:34 PM
Actually ,the ten years came from (me)  the expected life of the battery and warranty from Tesla.
It may be like a cell phone contract where you pay and pay...
but how would you ever pay off the $13K initial cost?

The initial cost of $13K with $1.5K down payment and $15 dollars a month
would break even at about SEVENTY FIVE YEARS.
That is some business plan....
Some of these systems collect any surplus energy your system produces and keep that profit from selling it back to the utility company.  They might design a system to produce 40% more power than the consumer needs, then sell that surplus to the utility.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Smurf Hunter on May 04, 2015, 04:52:52 PM
Some of these systems collect any surplus energy your system produces and keep that profit from selling it back to the utility company.  They might design a system to produce 40% more power than the consumer needs, then sell that surplus to the utility.

Theoretically at some future time, if enough PV panels were installed, and enough surplus electricity sent back to the grid, it could bankrupt the power company.

Not likely to happen soon, but curious to consider...
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Carl on May 04, 2015, 05:24:14 PM
Without the tax credits and rebates your solar would NEVER PAY FOR IT'S COST and the credits are a false economy.

Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: danimal on May 04, 2015, 05:42:22 PM
Theoretically at some future time, if enough PV panels were installed, and enough surplus electricity sent back to the grid, it could bankrupt the power company.

I thought I saw a video saying this was the power companies issues with solar in Hawaii. It just wasn't fiscally possible to let people tie in to the grid and stay profitable. Maybe I missed the point of the video...
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: iam4liberty on May 04, 2015, 08:33:52 PM
I thought I saw a video saying this was the power companies issues with solar in Hawaii. It just wasn't fiscally possible to let people tie in to the grid and stay profitable. Maybe I missed the point of the video...


Wow.  Just looked it up

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/gridlocked-power-grid-hawaiis-solar-energy-industry-crossroads/ (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/gridlocked-power-grid-hawaiis-solar-energy-industry-crossroads/)

Oahu has over 10% of its electricity coming from solar now, mostly from grid tied systems.  Problem is that on peak sun times so much electricity is produced that it exceeds local use. So the excess power is feeding back to the grid substations that weren't designed to distribute it. And also the utility doesn't have the ability to accurately measure the solar and so can't adjust production correctly.  So while solar is so much cheaper than utility produced electricity they can't easily add any more grid tied systems.   No wonder they are saying almost all the early Tesla systems will be going to Hawaii, it is currently the only practical solution there for significant further expansion of personal solar.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: iam4liberty on May 07, 2015, 10:39:43 PM
The market has spoken and it is a big hit.  Supply is already sold out through middle of 2016

http://www.engadget.com/2015/05/06/tesla-powerwall-earnings/ (http://www.engadget.com/2015/05/06/tesla-powerwall-earnings/)
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Marinesg1012 on May 08, 2015, 12:16:59 AM
Steven Harris has weighed in... http://www.steven1234.com/harris_on_tesla_power_wall.mp3
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Smurf Hunter on May 08, 2015, 09:11:39 AM
Steven Harris has weighed in... http://www.steven1234.com/harris_on_tesla_power_wall.mp3

Possible investment ideas...
(https://d21uq3hx4esec9.cloudfront.net/images/uploads/just-one-trade/7766/image/Lithium_Market_Share_20_fmt.png)
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Carl on May 08, 2015, 09:19:29 AM
Possible investment ideas...
(https://d21uq3hx4esec9.cloudfront.net/images/uploads/just-one-trade/7766/image/Lithium_Market_Share_20_fmt.png)

Also a good investment will be fire extinguishers... :o
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Smurf Hunter on May 08, 2015, 09:46:39 AM
Also a good investment will be fire extinguishers... :o

100 years ago there was a guy with horse buggy talking about how unproven and dangerous automobiles would be.
By 2015 standards, a Model T or earlier car models were horribly dangerous.

I'm not intending to argue your point, but new technology has to start someplace.  I also think Tesla values its reputation a bit more than the various Chinese ***Fire batteries, and will have better quality standards.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: FreeLancer on May 08, 2015, 12:23:41 PM
The British enacted a law that required a flag man to run ahead of all horseless carriages for reasons of safety, back in the early days. The handwringing over lithium safety reminds me of that.

I don't dispute that there are dangers, but they're amenable to mitigation by engineering and innovation. I'm much, much, more worried about killing myself with cheap lithium cells and inadequate knowledge of proper procedures in my personal projects than I am with buying a Tesla product. I'm not convinced that I'm more likely to die a fiery death in a Tesla vehicle than a conventional one. Likewise, a Powerwall won't be any more likely to burn down my house, either.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Carl on May 08, 2015, 12:51:33 PM
With the listed 110 fahrenheit operating temperature I just kinda' question the Southern States....and Norther States  ability to not have fireworks...It may be wonderful,but for $10 K plus...someone else should test it...
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Smurf Hunter on May 08, 2015, 01:48:35 PM
With the listed 110 fahrenheit operating temperature I just kinda' question the Southern States....and Norther States  ability to not have fireworks...It may be wonderful,but for $10 K plus...someone else should test it...

I believe I read Hawai'i is one of the bigger markets for these batteries. 
Combine that with the point Steven Harris made, that they don't produce quite enough current to run central A/C units, this could be interesting...
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: endurance on May 08, 2015, 02:55:02 PM
The British enacted a law that required a flag man to run ahead of all horseless carriages for reasons of safety, back in the early days. The handwringing over lithium safety reminds me of that.

I don't dispute that there are dangers, but they're amenable to mitigation by engineering and innovation. I'm much, much, more worried about killing myself with cheap lithium cells and inadequate knowledge of proper procedures in my personal projects than I am with buying a Tesla product. I'm not convinced that I'm more likely to die a fiery death in a Tesla vehicle than a conventional one. Likewise, a Powerwall won't be any more likely to burn down my house, either.
I'm pretty sure the first house fire caused by one will be someone's teenager backing into it in the garage when nobody is home and leaving without calling 911 when they see it's smoking so they can plead ignorance.   ;D
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: FreeLancer on May 08, 2015, 04:51:25 PM
I'm pretty sure the first house fire caused by one will be someone's teenager backing into it in the garage when nobody is home and leaving without calling 911 when they see it's smoking so they can plead ignorance.   ;D

I'm pretty sure more houses will burn because of teenagers smoking in the garage when nobody's home.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Greekman on May 16, 2015, 07:43:40 AM
guys and galls it is by no accident this thing is white and curvy.

It is the iphone equivalent of stored power.

it does further the genre (see android apps) at the expense of the hipsters.

the smart guys join-in later in the party and buy Samsungs, or what else
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Marinesg1012 on May 16, 2015, 09:11:51 PM
It is definitively designed to be seen inside a home, I was thinking it would look to nice in the basement which is where I would be putting it.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Thehun13 on July 23, 2015, 03:47:30 PM
Latest news is it will not be offered for an upgrade to exisiting systems, only new installs and it will not be actually installed until March ish 2016 when the batteries are available. There will be a few select trial install but most will be in March.   
It will only be offered for leased systems and will not own the system or battery.
Unless your in Hawaii, it must be grid tied.
it will be $4000 a battery.

Hope that helps.  Let me know if you have anymore questions.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: nkawtg on July 23, 2015, 04:10:47 PM
Not cost effective any way you look at it.
And here in Las Vegas, there will be no more solar installs permitted after this month based on an arbitrary cap by NVEnergy.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Smurf Hunter on July 23, 2015, 04:20:39 PM
Not cost effective any way you look at it.
And here in Las Vegas, there will be no more solar installs permitted after this month based on an arbitrary cap by NVEnergy.

I assume that's limited to grid-tied.  Seems if you wanted to setup panels on your RV or trailer for camping, that should be permissible.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Carl on July 23, 2015, 04:27:24 PM
I assume that's limited to grid-tied.  Seems if you wanted to setup panels on your RV or trailer for camping, that should be permissible.

They are afraid people will suck up all of the sun's energy. 8)

It is interesting use of technology,but with no economical gain....yet.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: nkawtg on July 23, 2015, 04:31:59 PM
That's correct, no more permits for grid-tied systems.

On the plus side, I did some calling around and learned that most solar mini-split air conditioners are not grid-tied. It's a hybrid system. The mini-split still requires a 220 connection but they are also supplied with DC current direct from the panels.
The built in controller determines how much household current is needed to make up what isn't supplied by the panels. If the panels are producing all that's needed, only about 60 - 80 watts of household power is needed.
Three 300 watt panels should provide enough for a 1 ton mini-split.

Here in Las Vegas, cooling is our biggest energy suck and since this type of unit isn't grid-tied could be a big seller in town.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Bonnieblue2A on August 24, 2015, 04:52:15 PM
The drama continues.  Per Bloomberg report today (Black Monday).   Hedge fund manager Jim Chanos triggers a rout of SolarCity Corp. stock to a 22 month low by calling it a "subprime finance company".  Musk increases his personal holdings by 123,510 shares (0.6%) on the news of Chanos's short.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-24/elon-musk-buys-5-million-of-solarcity-shares-after-plunge

 :popcorn:




Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: nkawtg on August 24, 2015, 05:39:25 PM
That's correct, no more permits for grid-tied systems.
Correction, permits will still be issued, however home solar generation customers who install solar after the cap will be as much as 40% more on their power bill.
The cap was reached last week.
The higher rate for new solar producers will essentially wipe out the solar business in Nevada.

Ironic that, as obama came to Vegas today to speak at the National Clean Energy Summit at Mandalay Bay.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: FreeLancer on February 08, 2016, 11:51:17 PM
This dude's building his own Powerwall for a few hundred bucks using 600 salvaged laptop cells.

https://youtu.be/Bk50IuWXg-c (https://youtu.be/Bk50IuWXg-c)
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: nkawtg on February 09, 2016, 06:13:09 AM
Correction, permits will still be issued, however home solar generation customers who install solar after the cap will be as much as 40% more on their power bill.
The cap was reached last week.
The higher rate for new solar producers will essentially wipe out the solar business in Nevada.

Update:
The Public Utilities Commission has voted to eliminate the cap and increase fees and rates for all existing and future solar producers. They also voted to lower the buyback rate of surplus power to below wholesale prices.
In effect they killed solar in Nevada
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Jeremy Downing on February 09, 2016, 06:29:18 AM
If I were trying to homestead in Nevada, after first wondering where my water was going to come from, I'd probably just not attach my property to the grid. Take all the investment for solar and enjoy all the reward.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Chemsoldier on September 08, 2016, 12:03:55 AM
The first powerwall user in Australia talks about his system and how it is working out.


http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-27/six-months-on-how-is-the-tesla-powerwall-working/7664450
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: jerseyboy on September 08, 2016, 06:03:55 AM
The first powerwall user in Australia talks about his system and how it is working out.


http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-27/six-months-on-how-is-the-tesla-powerwall-working/7664450

Not bad.  I never heard of solar panels paying off in three years.  I always thought is was more like 10.

 Hopefully the price of these batteries come down.  Still quite a chunk of change.

This guy has Carl's philosophy, reduce usage to save money.  I think the monitoring makes all of the difference. When you sit in ignorant bliss of your energy usage, you consume more.

Jerseyboy
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Carl on September 08, 2016, 06:25:44 AM
But Mr Martin cautioned  were still a costly option.

"The thing that is common to these battery banks is they still don't make sense from a pure financial perspective," he said.

"Pretty much none of them will pay for themselves before the warranty expires."


If I paid $16,000 for panels,,this is over 25 years worth of my average power bill...the system is NOT economical ,even in a country where power costs THREE TIMES THE US AVERAGE.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: mountainmoma on September 08, 2016, 09:54:33 AM
Not bad.  I never heard of solar panels paying off in three years.  I always thought is was more like 10.

 Hopefully the price of these batteries come down.  Still quite a chunk of change.

This guy has Carl's philosophy, reduce usage to save money.  I think the monitoring makes all of the difference. When you sit in ignorant bliss of your energy usage, you consume more.

Jerseyboy

SOlar panels only pay off n three years for very wasteful houses who were using ALOT of electriicity. So, these are houses which did not reduce their power.

I have solar and am amazed at how the average installation these days is for 4x the amount of kWh of mine, or more !!

I put mine in 16 years ago, but if I was looking at the situation today, it would be the last thing I did, and I likely wouldnt do it at all.

Instead of looking at how you meet your home needs now, and paying a fortune in panels, look at your needs and how to meet them without relying on external inputs, as much as possible, especially for critical needs.

SO, you look at (1) shelter ( which includes being out of the weather and temperature moderation, and on person clothing)
(2) Food preparation, processing and storage
(3)communications
(4) Sanitation. Waste dealt with safely and cleaning of people/clothes/dishes
(4) lighting (which in an emergency, you may cover in different ways or not use much at all)
(5) extra, gadgets, entertainment

critcal needs should have more than one way to cover that need, 3 is good.

Many ways to do all these, topic for another thread, but for me to meet these (my resources and location),
-I would first keep my wood stove (space heat, back up cooking and back up hot water)
-I would add biogas generation for cooking and back-up hot water ( not very expensive to implement, esp compared to solar photovoltaic),
-I would keep my solar hot water,
-I would keep using my solar ovens and sun dehydration methods I use in the summer months,
-I would keep having a water storage tank for my well, but I would change well power to direct DC pump with a couple dedicated PV panels, to would pump to the tank when the sun was out, I would add a manual pump alongside the well pump for back up, there are ones that can go deep
- I would keep expanding my non-refrigerated (or frozen) food preservtion techniques, I might build a small root cellar, that could double as a storm(tornado) shelter
- I would tighten up the house alot to keep temperature extremes of heat and cold out, including warm windows shades, "cool roof" on house, trellis and shading, etc..... Same for people, I would continue to acclimate myslef to seasonal variations of temp. and continue to insulate my person accordingly
- If I was hooked to the grid and couldnt afford it yet, I would not add whole house solar, I would look to having a few low cost ways to get electricity for essentials in a power outage, car inverter, small solar and a few batteries, etc... focus here on communication needs
- If I could afford it, and everything else on the list was covered, I would put in a small whole house solar electric, why not ? The amount I would need at this point would be small, and I do like my washing machine, refrigerator, lights and communication. And, I would want battery back up, and I would buy one that lasts a long time, if I could afford it. But, I would bypass the power wall, which is over hyped, and I would go with a SMALL amount of backup from Iron Edison or Aquion.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: mountainmoma on September 08, 2016, 10:15:01 AM
A note on batteries.

Batteries never pay for themselves on any level. Battery based power is always expensive, ie., a light bub in a socket uses less power than your flashlight. We have batteries to provide power when there is no other way to get it. So, of course they do not have a "pay back" !

There is an artificial system in place, at this moment, that people with money can get subsidies from the power companies or governments and play games about when they store, use, sell back, etc.... to make batteries appear pay for themselves, but realy it is everyone else who shares the payment of them. Yes, I do know the argument of them possibly being cheaper than another pwoer plant being built, but I have not researched the real data on this, so I dont know, so many variables and hidden costs on all sides.

That said, batteries can be very convenient to do things like give us portable power where we want it, but this is NOT less expensive than being plugged in, it is just more convenient. Batteries are also good to store power and give it to us later, so convenient, but again more expensive.

I have battery back up for my house. I have this for power outages. It has turned out to be expensive. Doesnt mean you should or shouldnt do it, just means they do not create money or wealth of any type, they are a consumption product for convenience. They do not create power, they use resources and power to be made. If you can afford batteries for a power outage, this is a reasonable thing to do. Your generator does not pay for itself either, it is an expense, and different solutions work for different people.

My particular solar system is a hybrid one, and does not work without batteries. No batteries and I cannot get solar power out of my system, like all off grid ones. I have sunk costs, ie., resources have already been used for panels and inverter that have many years of life left. So, while their are many ways to solve this, and the right solution does vary by location, temperatures, health of the owner to maintain, etc.... for my needs of all that, when I researched, I bought 3 small Aquion S-stacks, (and took the state government rebate), but they do not pay for themselves. But, they do mean I have electric lights at night, and can power various things when the sun is covered by storm and rain clouds

Do look at Aquion if you were thinking power wall....

As for the entire Photovoltaic costs of mine, it is this : I have had the system for 16 years, I spent $11k dollars on it, including batteries, as I did as Carl said and reduced everywhere first. I killed batteries a few times as I did not maintain them or monitor them, and also, lead acid only lasts so long, so add in more money over the years for that, but I only kept 4 12V batteries, so small battery bank. All told, lets say spent less than $800/year, which is less than $67somthing dollars a month. With Californias electric rate structure (PG and E) I have, over all, spent less money having solar electric than I would have done. I especially spent less tho because of solar hot water too. My house is all electric, including hot water and cooking.

My inverter and panels where made in America and are very sturdy, and I expect that I will have another 10 or 15 years, and I do thnk alot could/will happen with society, costs, reliability of grid power. ANd, my system is here for me, and I like that piece of mind. Also, with the new Aqions, I wont have any more expenses for alot of yeras, so that 67/month over time will be alot less averaged out. ANd, as I am on pension and that is on shaky grounds, this power is now paid for -- paid ahead and their for me

I just dont think it is all about paying for itself. Like my house or my car, all durable goods are an expense. Quite frankly, the solar system has been less of a money drian, and more reliable on always working, than the hosue or car
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Greekman on September 08, 2016, 10:25:01 AM
I would like to add one more parameter in solar viability. the cost of bringing power to your home.

at least overhere, bringing power a mile away rom the main line 9liek in a farm) is considerable expense and solar makes sense fast.
In the summer we visit our neighboors at their summer (farm) house. they are strictly solar but at the enpanse of an electrical oven and an electrical water heater (non-issue at our summer)
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: mountainmoma on September 08, 2016, 10:40:44 AM
I would like to add one more parameter in solar viability. the cost of bringing power to your home.

at least overhere, bringing power a mile away rom the main line 9liek in a farm) is considerable expense and solar makes sense fast.
In the summer we visit our neighboors at their summer (farm) house. they are strictly solar but at the enpanse of an electrical oven and an electrical water heater (non-issue at our summer)

exactly. But, having electricity is a convenience that we like, we could live without it. But, we like it and so far can afford to have some. Having electric power is an expense is all I mean. One of many expenses we have.

I realy, realy like my washing machine ! ANd, electric lights. None of this pays for itself is all, we pay for it.

ANd, yes, it is less expensive to have onsite solar electric generation than to pay a power company to run wires to a new house. That is the same out here too

But, less expensive doesnt mean it pays for itself
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: mountainmoma on September 08, 2016, 10:45:16 AM
These work in high temperatures, which the power wall does not like, and are not a hazard in a fire :

http://aquionenergy.com/businesses-utilities/maintenance-free-battery/

this article is 2 years old, and I dont have time to look for more recent reviews. But, they cannot make them fast enough, they are being installed all over, I have installed them even, so it did prove out. Elon musk just has a fantastic PR team or something..... Even Real Goods, where I bought them, the tech's like these way, way better than what they hear of power wall..... just saying

and, these Aquions were very easy to hook up to an existing location (one that already had batteries, like mine) total DIY operation

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/524466/storing-the-sun/
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Jeremy Downing on September 08, 2016, 01:00:21 PM
These work in high temperatures, which the power wall does not like, and are not a hazard in a fire :

http://aquionenergy.com/businesses-utilities/maintenance-free-battery/

this article is 2 years old, and I dont have time to look for more recent reviews. But, they cannot make them fast enough, they are being installed all over, I have installed them even, so it did prove out. Elon musk just has a fantastic PR team or something..... Even Real Goods, where I bought them, the tech's like these way, way better than what they hear of power wall..... just saying

and, these Aquions were very easy to hook up to an existing location (one that already had batteries, like mine) total DIY operation

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/524466/storing-the-sun/

I'd like two of those 48M's. How much are they?

Answered my own question: https://www.civicsolar.com/product/aquion-energy-m110-ls83-battery-stack

Somewhere in the neighborhood of $16,575 each. Screw it, i'll take 4. lol.

Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: mountainmoma on September 08, 2016, 01:39:04 PM
I'd like two of those 48M's. How much are they?

Answered my own question: https://www.civicsolar.com/product/aquion-energy-m110-ls83-battery-stack

Somewhere in the neighborhood of $16,575 each. Screw it, i'll take 4. lol.

Why do you think you need the 48M's ? The M stands for Module, that is a prewired pallet of their standard, stand alone battery which is the S stack. I have 3 S stacks....... which was a little more money than 4 12V Trojan solar bateries, but will last a lot longer, so actually less expensive over the long run even if there wasnt a CA rebate, similar price to buying a few Iron Edison batteries.

https://www.civicsolar.com/product/aquion-energy-s20-p08f-battery-stack

Like I said before, batteries do not pay for themselves. Wether your needs or concerns warrant buying any depends on each ppersons circumstance.

In my mind, I only want and can afford enough to take care of household basic needs for a 4 day storm or such, other people want something else.

Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Smurf Hunter on September 08, 2016, 02:01:43 PM
Why do you think you need the 48M's ? The M stands for Module, that is a prewired pallet of their standard, stand alone battery which is the S stack. I have 3 S stacks....... which was a little more money than 4 12V Trojan solar bateries, but will last a lot longer, so actually less expensive over the long run even if there wasnt a CA rebate, similar price to buying a few Iron Edison batteries.

https://www.civicsolar.com/product/aquion-energy-s20-p08f-battery-stack

Like I said before, batteries do not pay for themselves. Wether your needs or concerns warrant buying any depends on each ppersons circumstance.

In my mind, I only want and can afford enough to take care of household basic needs for a 4 day storm or such, other people want something else.

Assuming grid power is already readily available at a location and the rates are +/-20% of the average in the USA, it will usually take DECADES for most alternative energy systems to break even.
Where any type of off-grid closed system shines (pun intended) are applications where grid power is unavailable.  Boats, RVs, small private islands, etc.

If you are millionaire and want the very best for your SHTF bunker, these might be a consideration.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: mountainmoma on September 08, 2016, 02:11:14 PM
Assuming grid power is already readily available at a location and the rates are +/-20% of the average in the USA, it will usually take DECADES for most alternative energy systems to break even.
Where any type of off-grid closed system shines (pun intended) are applications where grid power is unavailable.  Boats, RVs, small private islands, etc.

If you are millionaire and want the very best for your SHTF bunker, these might be a consideration.

Yep, it is a thread about Elon Musk and Power walls, Elon Musk is all about brand name showing off, like Teslas....power walls...... pricey stuff for people with money.

That said, my grid tied system has more than broke even, even including batteries, and even that the latest batteries are Aquion S stacks. I showed that up thread a ways, and my system has alot of life left, and so will end up even less averaged over its life.

But, I live in California, and you live in Washington state. Grid power prices are way different. CA ( and Hawaii even more so) is above your +/- 20% of nationwide average electric rates. So, that is one reason I didnt spend more than I would have otherwise.

And, I already did an amazing amount of conservation first, and I have what is considered a very small set up, but that meets this houeholds needs
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: mountainmoma on September 08, 2016, 02:16:59 PM
Assuming grid power is already readily available at a location and the rates are +/-20% of the average in the USA, it will usually take DECADES for most alternative energy systems to break even.
Where any type of off-grid closed system shines (pun intended) are applications where grid power is unavailable.  Boats, RVs, small private islands, etc.

If you are millionaire and want the very best for your SHTF bunker, these might be a consideration.

The majority of Real Goods customers are off grid, and so according to the Tech's there, these are selling like hotcakes for the off grid. Even the off grid broke hippish ones. But those do not buy the pallatized M modules, they buy a few S stacks, like I did.

So, not just for the rich because they are cheaper over time than the Trojan Solar batteries.

And, what is relevant for THIS thread, is that they are prefered by the humble normal solar battery buyers who are not into name branding, than the Power Walls.

They are considered better than the power walls, for many reasons, but you guys have never heard of them, because of PR for Elon Musk and anything he says or does
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Carl on September 08, 2016, 02:34:21 PM
MountainMomma,not because you agree with me,but because of your great solar information as someone who has done it...KARMA
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: DonC on September 08, 2016, 02:54:42 PM
MountainMomma,

You hit the nail on the  head! I have a solar setup as well. It's a convenience and nothing more! It's so I can brew coffee, watch some movies, and power some lights and a fan! Nothing more, Nothing less! Sure, these ideas sound good in a video, But as you said, they're for those with money to burn!!!!!! Carl and I had discussed at great length several times! It's nice to hear someone half way across the country can come up with the same philosophy! KUDOS/KARMA!!
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Smurf Hunter on September 08, 2016, 03:22:06 PM
Yep, it is a thread about Elon Musk and Power walls, Elon Musk is all about brand name showing off, like Teslas....power walls...... pricey stuff for people with money.

That said, my grid tied system has more than broke even, even including batteries, and even that the latest batteries are Aquion S stacks. I showed that up thread a ways, and my system has alot of life left, and so will end up even less averaged over its life.

But, I live in California, and you live in Washington state. Grid power prices are way different. CA ( and Hawaii even more so) is above your +/- 20% of nationwide average electric rates. So, that is one reason I didnt spend more than I would have otherwise.

And, I already did an amazing amount of conservation first, and I have what is considered a very small set up, but that meets this houeholds needs

Did you include any tax incentive or rebates?
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: mountainmoma on September 08, 2016, 04:39:54 PM
Did you include any tax incentive or rebates?

There wasnt much of that 16-17 years ago, no tax breaks at all, a very small rebate, maybe 2k (?) in that range, which would not have changed the numbers by very much at all( in the range of $2 or 3 a month so far, which is lowered to $1 or less a month over entire system lifespan). It is interesting to me that supposedly panel prices have fallen in 16 years, but installed systems are way, way more expensive ! I wonder about this phenomena, actually. As far as I can see, it is for 2 reasons, the main one being that people are installing MUCH larger systems than we used to, so since someone else is helping to pay for it, they do not spend other money on conservation and such, they keep everything n the house the same, and put in a huge solar setup. Second one is that the installation companies, and electronics companies are takng more of a profit. A self installed, smaller system may well still have a lower price. I did a small amount of shopping around when I make choices, then too, for example the panels I bought (Astro-power 100W) were 2nds, cosmetically blemished, that shaved off a few dollars. The early solar install companies were smaller outfits, they had less employees, for example, an owner and a few others, all of whom actually did work, not some corporation like solar city, I think my installer was efficient. I know that my equipment has shown itself to be robust.  My inverter and charge controller were actually manufactured in California. I see cheaper inverters were used later, grid tie only, which means now they are trying to sell a "next layer" of equipment to households to add on battery back up (islanding) capabilites, which is what this thread is about, and that the projected lifespan of equipment is less, so the inintial cost is less, but doesnt last as long or do as much as mine from that long ago.

So, mostly people are just putting in way larger solar systems, and not doing conservation. Secondly, people are financing their systems, so they have interest charges. I paid for my system with cash 16 years ago, I sold a house to buy this one, and I just put a slightly smaller down payment on the house, and paid the solar outright.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: mountainmoma on September 08, 2016, 04:48:00 PM
this is $7k. No rebaes required for that price, a bit smaller than mine, but gets the point across, now how much do you realy think it can/should cost to have a crew put this up ? Or, do it yourself.

http://realgoods.com/real-goods-solar-pv-kit-1750w


Now, this one is much bigger than mine, for $11k

http://realgoods.com/real-goods-solar-pv-kit-3500w

if it were me, I would swap out hte batteries for the Aquion before buyng, for a couple thousand more. Because I would have alot less headaches and not have to replace as soon.

But, you can see, that it is alot less expensive than the solar city/elon musk combo that they are selling to the silicon valley upthe penensula people

So, why are people paying more than 10k and not even having the option for any amount of battery backp ? Because that is waht the solar installers are selling. Why are they paying so much ? They are paying for too much solar and not doing conservation measures around the house.

should everyone install solar ? no

people in my area pay hundreds a month for electric bills, and often average .3/kWh, sometimes more
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Smurf Hunter on September 08, 2016, 05:43:56 PM
I think after taxes I pay $0.118/kwh

Base rate is around $0.08/kwh

And it's already fall, so the sun is gone until next June anyhow :(
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: endurance on September 09, 2016, 10:09:49 AM
Having just finished a week in the Nevada desert where there was no grid to speak of and watching the various solutions people use to manage the lack of plug and play power, it's all a matter of scale.  For me, I just wanted enough light to not be a total darkwad, be able to find things at night in my kit, and charge my phone every day.  An ample supply of AA and AAA batteries and a phone charger that plugged into my cigarette lighter worked brilliantly for nine straight days.  I bought ice for chilling my drinks and food every other day.

A neighboring camp had a solar panel for a deep cycle battery that powered their LED light strips in their canopy all night.  Worked brilliantly and could have been sustained for years.

Another neighbor used a 4kw generator to run a microwave, swamp cooler, lighting, refrigerator, and air compressor.  He used a little more than 2.5 gallons of gasoline a day.

When it comes to energy "needs" and priorities, for me, it's evident that in the long run the thing we will miss the most is refrigeration and freezing and for many households, their refrigerator accounts for 25-40% of their monthly energy bill.  That's why one of my first investments was a solar freezer, a Sundanzer 8.1 cu.ft. freezer.  If I wanted to run my kitchen refrigerator, I'd need a huge solar array, probably 800 watts of panels, a large inverter and large battery bank.  The sundanzer can run on a 75w panel and two 55ah deep cycle batteries.

Otherwise, what is important to me is lighting and with USB rechargeable lithium cells for my headlamps and flashlights, along with some select solar led lights around the home, I think it's quite easy to scale that back.  Power tools are obviously a hugely beneficial item to have, so rechargeable tools and a big enough inverter to run a table saw, skilsaw, and milling machine off a deep cycle battery would extend these items for years to come.

Trying to run an entire house on solar, especially on battery power for reserves, I think will never be cost effective.  With that said, I'd never want to be without a 200w panel, charge controller a couple deep cycle batteries and a large inverter.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Greekman on September 09, 2016, 10:37:11 AM
the commend on refrigeration needs is enlightening. thanks!
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: iam4liberty on March 11, 2017, 07:28:19 AM
We have batteries to provide power when there is no other way to get it. So, of course they do not have a "pay back" !
...
Yes, I do know the argument of them possibly being cheaper than another pwoer plant being built, but I have not researched the real data on this, so I dont know, so many variables and hidden costs on all sides.

Looks like we have our first full scale experience to look at.  Should be interesting. Solar + battery is delivering at 13.9 cents per KWH which is half the cost of current diesal based electricity for the island.  So it looks like a positive payback for remote applications now.

https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/10/teslas-kauai-solar-storage-facility-offers-a-glimpse-of-the-companys-future/ (https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/10/teslas-kauai-solar-storage-facility-offers-a-glimpse-of-the-companys-future/)

More cool images:

http://www.theverge.com/2017/3/8/14854858/tesla-solar-hawaii-kauai-kiuc-powerpack-battery-generator (http://www.theverge.com/2017/3/8/14854858/tesla-solar-hawaii-kauai-kiuc-powerpack-battery-generator)

Tesla built a huge solar energy plant on the island of Kauai
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Carl on March 11, 2017, 07:35:41 AM
Looks like we have our first full scale experience to look at.  Should be interesting. Solar + battery is delivering at 13.9 cents per KWH which is half the cost of current diesal based electricity for the island.  So it looks like a positive payback for remote applications now.

https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/10/teslas-kauai-solar-storage-facility-offers-a-glimpse-of-the-companys-future/ (https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/10/teslas-kauai-solar-storage-facility-offers-a-glimpse-of-the-companys-future/)

More cool images:

http://www.theverge.com/2017/3/8/14854858/tesla-solar-hawaii-kauai-kiuc-powerpack-battery-generator (http://www.theverge.com/2017/3/8/14854858/tesla-solar-hawaii-kauai-kiuc-powerpack-battery-generator)

Tesla built a huge solar energy plant on the island of Kauai

Karma fo IAM4 , this is the kind of application that solar does 'shine' with.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: iam4liberty on May 10, 2017, 09:20:34 PM
This is looking promising:

http://bgr.com/2017/05/09/tesla-battery-life-jeff-dahn/ (http://bgr.com/2017/05/09/tesla-battery-life-jeff-dahn/)

It is rare these days for scientists to use the brute force method of experimentation to move science forward.  It harkens back to Edison's incandescent bulb filaments. Now if some talented theoretician could go back and figure out why this compound works we could see some serious changes in how we leverage batteries.
Title: Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
Post by: Greekman on May 10, 2017, 09:56:39 PM
Quote
now in collaboration with electric car company Tesla, Dahn aims to make a battery that lasts 30 years.
https://medium.com/evannex-tesla-news/tesla-battery-researcher-wins-award-a3bd7b1d146e