Author Topic: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries  (Read 64640 times)

Offline bob3

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Offline Dreamer75

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #1 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.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2015, 05:31:39 PM »
Sounds pretty cool.  I'll be keeping an eye on this. 

Offline Carl

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2015, 06:22:32 PM »
I am here for the popcorn.... :popcorn:   always fresh and hot.

Offline Caveat

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2015, 08:01:14 PM »
 :knitting: I'll knit one, pearl two while watching this.

Offline lhcbinpa

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #5 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.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #6 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.

Bonnieblue2A

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #7 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.

nkawtg

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #8 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.

Bonnieblue2A

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #9 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
« Last Edit: March 11, 2015, 03:58:30 PM by Bonnieblue2A »

nkawtg

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #10 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.

Offline jerseyboy

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #11 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

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

Offline jonnyc

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #12 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.

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #13 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?

Offline David in MN

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #14 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.

Offline Carl

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #15 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?

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #16 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.


endurance

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #17 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:



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. 

nkawtg

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2015, 09:07:48 AM »
I like the Mr. Fusion option.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #19 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.

nkawtg

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #20 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.

endurance

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #21 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:



$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.

Offline Marinesg1012

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #22 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.

endurance

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #23 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.

nkawtg

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #24 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.

Offline Carl

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #25 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.

endurance

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #26 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.

nkawtg

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #27 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.


Offline Carl

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #28 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

endurance

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Re: Elon Musk, Solar, Home Batteries
« Reply #29 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.