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Author Topic: Please help a newbie out.  (Read 40012 times)
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« Reply #30 on: November 24, 2013, 04:45:16 PM »

Thank you for your advice everyone.

I was honestly under the impression that the off the grid system would pay for its self after maybe 10 years or so.

Also I was on the understanding that the rolls batteries I would be purchasing would last a very long time if properly maintained.

Now I'm starting to question  everything, lol.

So now you're starting to question everything, you have come further in a few posts than most Westerners will in their entire life! You're starting to learn fast - and don't give up, just because things are more complex than you'd imagined. Collecting and using your own energy is a little like climbing a steep mountain, hard work at first but soon the pleasures of climbing/learning and emerging views/knowledge make it very worthwhile. Once you reach the summit, it's euphoric! Then you search for another mountain.

The off-grid cost is quoted as being a lot higher than grid, correctly, but there are other factors to consider. Once you're off-grid, you'll be very aware of the energy produced and used, so your consumption may fall significantly. It has been noted how drivers of electric cars suddenly start to consider how they drive, in order to conserve energy - even when there's more than enough power in the batteries for a given journey. Education has a beneficial effect in general and being self-taught is one of the finest available.

If you are off-grid, then you aren't at the mercy of grid price rises, which will continue well above inflation for years to come. You're also immune to any disruption in the grid supply. It's well-known that the UK is going to be at breaking point, electricity-wise, over the next few winters. Consider a generator for running the washing machine and other occasional high energy consumers. Refridgeration often requires a bit of thought, but you'll be saving energy and money the more you reduce demand.

Once you've mastered your kilowatts and the like, you may notice how relatively low the demand for energy a well-insulated, well-run house is compared with your average motor car. At which point you'll realise how much sense it makes to do local trips on a bicycle and minimise the time spent accelerating and decelerating in a car. That will lower your carbon footprint massively as well as saving loadsamoney.

As people have already said, reduce your demand then design your system.
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biffanio
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« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2013, 06:19:58 PM »

Thank you everyone for your kind help.

I am deeply mulling over my options.
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todthedog
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« Reply #32 on: November 24, 2013, 07:37:24 PM »

I fall on the site of Jonsey.
If you are already on grid why not buy a few panels, an inverter and reduce your energy consumption that way. Time your consumption for when the sun I shining.
Do you really need batteries?  Unless you intend to live totally off grid, for me invest in more panels.
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biffanio
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« Reply #33 on: November 24, 2013, 08:10:09 PM »

Hello todthddog.

I currently have no solar system yet.

Me referring to the grid was my newbie Way of meaning reliance on the power companies electricity.

I am still very undecided on which way to go.

What type of costs would be involved to do away with the battery/off grid option and have a on the grid Inverter installed just to get me started.?

Also if I did go down the battery route would adding a wind turbine help with costs against usage.

I really do not want to pay for a system that will never pay for its self eventually.

Many thanks

Neil
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todthedog
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« Reply #34 on: November 24, 2013, 09:03:39 PM »

Hi Neil,
To keep costs down at the moment PV offers the best bangs for bucks. In my view.
I will post a couple of navitron links tomorrow so you can work out costs.
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biff
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« Reply #35 on: November 24, 2013, 09:32:23 PM »

Hello neil,
        "I really do not want to pay for a system that will never pay for itself eventually"
      The present main system is not paying for itself.? Everytime you pay the bill, It,s dead money.GONE.
   However,If you were a canny operator,with the head screwed on,You could install a nice 4kw array on-grid and that will provide free lecky and pay for its self in 7 years,then the rest is free+ profit.??
    Off-gridders like myself,AG, Paul and others just accept it as a way of life.I could have had mains connected to the house,in fact the red mains pipe was laid out to the road but I never even asked for a connection,(1138euros).Its the independence value more than anything else,plus I always wanted to produce my own electricity.It would be a lot lot cheaper for you because the price of the panels has dropped through the floor and PV is really the big one though I have to say the wind turbine does the business in real windy winter weather.
       These are decisions you have to make for yourself but a small parallel system would still be a good idea in case of power failure.
                                                                    Biff
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biffanio
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« Reply #36 on: November 24, 2013, 09:54:46 PM »

Thanks Biff.

I was just quoting what some comments stated above that in there opinion an off the grid system would never save you money.

Like I said I was hoping that an off the grid system would eventually pay for its self in like 10+ years.

If I do still decide to go for one would it be easy to combine a turbine and a pv system together to power the battery bank?
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« Reply #37 on: November 24, 2013, 11:02:20 PM »

"would it be easy to combine a turbine?"......... hey ho for "Martin destroyer of dreams" to strike again! Realistically, wind turbines are non-starters for over 99% of UK homes - if you're in a built-up area it's a total nono (in simple terms, the turbulence induced by buildings kills the performance stone dead) - even in the sticks it's still difficult!
Sadly, the Windsave debacle of a few years ago gave the false impression that roof-mounted turbines were a good idea - it was a heartless and ignorant con!
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biff
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« Reply #38 on: November 24, 2013, 11:07:39 PM »

Hi Neil,
       For the time being,i would spend my time and money sorting out the PV side of things.Later on,If you have the site then a wind turbine would certainly be of benifit.However,you need the right site.NO WIND<<NO GO.
                                                         Biff
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« Reply #39 on: November 25, 2013, 07:38:15 AM »

Martin, This thread and its title, "Please help a newbie out." Is what this Forum is all about.

Do you think this thread can be made prominent on this forum.?

The questions being asked are what most ordinary folk, no offence biffanio, who have green aspirations and want to do their best. I am constantly asked about going green, power generation, costs, commitment, how to etc.

It would be cracking if I could point them directly at an all rounded discussion source that is on The Navitron Forum. 
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todthedog
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« Reply #40 on: November 25, 2013, 07:56:32 AM »

Hello Neil
I would say Biffs post about 3 back has hit the nail firmly on the head. The choice of course is yours, as Biff as said a battery system would give you some backup in case of a power cut, but realistically how often are you without the grid.  You could certainly get more for your money without the expense of batteries. 
For a dual system see Clockmans posts.
I would suggest a call to the Navitron main site for a chat, their prices are pretty good and the folk on the phone knowledgeable and not pushy. They can advise on best value for your budget. Also they are a solid company and not going to disappear unlike some others. 
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clockmanFR
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« Reply #41 on: November 25, 2013, 07:58:16 AM »

I have to agree with Jonesy, "I've now put my panels onto a grid tie.  Wouldn't go back,"

We have not got true data yet, but I reckon that here we loose about 1/3rd of our power generation using battery storage, inverters, maintenance factors etc.

So Yes, Grid tied is far more efficient to use your generated electricity for your surrounding community as far as your local transformer I think, just 2 small farms and 2 dwellings, (Jonesy will put me right).

Unfourtuenetly, there are downsides to Grid tie, which have been discussed elsewhere on this forum, and for us dealing with our local supplier, EDF Normandy, is a nightmare.

Pic...Yesterday, EDF lines folk following their cables, at just about zero height, looking if any trees need lopping. They do it every year. Chickens, cows, sheep all calmed down now.


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« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 08:03:33 AM by clockmanFR » Logged

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todthedog
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« Reply #42 on: November 25, 2013, 08:16:59 AM »

This link will help estimate your production

http://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pvgis/apps4/pvest.php

Most of us just use a car CM,  genuflect genuflect genuflect

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clockmanFR
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« Reply #43 on: November 25, 2013, 08:20:04 AM »

Tod, Here we loose grid about once a week now. From just a few minutes to several days, on average about 2 hours a month.

Sorry to say, over the past 10 years its getting expedientialy worse. Everyone here in our village has standby generators, mostly for the fridge and freezers.

Our snail man down the road, lost 20,000 snails, they did a bunk in a 2 hour power cut, when the electric fence was off. Yep he's got a genny now.

I have no choice for Mrs CM, as she is global with her work, and requires both satellite links working continually for her work, conferencing etc, so she is always on our own inverter supply. Our whole house lights are always on our own supply, as well as necessary circuits.

First pic, is Mrs CM power supply.

I also use good quality changeover switches at the main distributor box, got loads more to install.



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« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 08:31:00 AM by clockmanFR » Logged

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biff
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« Reply #44 on: November 25, 2013, 09:50:38 AM »

Just to keep everything in perspective, Grin
                           No wind today,cloudy and overcast,Our bank showed a voltage of 123vdc and I know there will be enough solar coming in to restore its good health but not enough to run the house.This is the third day of no wind.We did have good solar but I used that up on the drills and grinder in "Der Shed"so now I will have to start the geni today.I will have to pull the weeds and dead overgrowth away from around it and clear the exhaust.I will be amazed if the battery is not flat.It must be 5 months since it was last used and then only for a couple of hours to run the washing machine and keep its battery spruced up.I am not short of lecky hysteria,there is still the pv 1kw x 48volt system sitting with a full tank which can be rerouted to the house if the need be.
 I think C/M has a very good point.This might be a nice thread to point Newbies to when they are starting off. Off-grid can be very very good but there will come times when you have to start the geni.To be fair,I should be using the geni to do all the drilling and grinding but I hate the noise.I even run the cement mixer of the solar and have done for years.Then I look back and remember all the different trials and errors.(not that many).But feelgood factor is massive and very rewarding.
                             Biff
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