The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

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Gregski
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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

Post by Gregski »

Scrappyjoe wrote: Fri Aug 12, 2022 7:56 amSurely you mean you captured .672kWh with your single panel? Aka 672Wh?
correct, that was a typo

and here's a look at the guts of that little $15 dollar 150 amp DC power meter


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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

Post by Scrappyjoe »

Gregski,

Aside from advancing the state of human knowledge, what’s the value proposition here? I see two possibilities

1. Somehow you consume the sun-generated energy rather than grid energy in your home, thereby reducing your gross utility consumption (and therefore your total bill at the end of the month).

2. Somehow your production is fed back into the grid and your regular consumption (which comes from the grid) nets off against your solar production (which goes to the grid), reducing your utility bill.

The reason I ask is (2) is illegal in my country unless I jump through hoops, use blessed hardware, and pay a license fee to my utility.

But if you are somehow managing (1) it could be a viable ‘undetectable’ strategy for me.

Apologies if you’ve answered this one already, I skimmed but didn’t see the answer.
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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

Post by Gregski »

Scrappyjoe wrote: Fri Aug 12, 2022 1:37 pm Gregski,

Aside from advancing the state of human knowledge, what’s the value proposition here? I see two possibilities

1. Somehow you consume the sun-generated energy rather than grid energy in your home, thereby reducing your gross utility consumption (and therefore your total bill at the end of the month).

2. Somehow your production is fed back into the grid and your regular consumption (which comes from the grid) nets off against your solar production (which goes to the grid), reducing your utility bill.

The reason I ask is (2) is illegal in my country unless I jump through hoops, use blessed hardware, and pay a license fee to my utility.

But if you are somehow managing (1) it could be a viable ‘undetectable’ strategy for me.

Apologies if you’ve answered this one already, I skimmed but didn’t see the answer.
I see, and you are spot on correct on both counts, I am sure the utility companies will fight tooth and nail to make these things look unsafe and deem them illegal, yet I envision these no different than under the desk heaters, toaster ovens, heat guns, or blow dryers, etc. not to mention the scetchy strings of Christmas lights come December (or as soon as November these days)

also there is #3. provide mediocre entertainment at my expense
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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

Post by Gregski »

THE 4 PANEL $500 DOLLAR SETUP
  • four panels x 100 watts each, at 12 volts, these can be had for $84,99 as I write this (and I just bought some more)
  • same ol' 1000 watt 12 volt grid tie inverter, currently on AMAZON for $85.99
  • 20 feet of 12 gauge wire $23.99
  • outdoor, organic, vegtarian, free range installation
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I was ronin' two different solar panel pairs Windy Nation on one side and Rich Solar on the other, so I decided to use two DC meters, to see how each pair compares

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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

Post by Gregski »

THE 4 PANEL $500 DOLLAR SETUP = 2.75 kWh

so this little 400 watt system generated 2.75 kWh of energy in one day in August of 2022 for me, so let's do some maths, 2.75 killer watt hours divided by 4 panels is 687.5 watts per panel, so we take that and multiply it by 9 panels and we project we can make 6.2 kWh of energy per day with this $1,000 gitty up

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yes it was 92°F @ 7:00 PM that day [makes you view the heat in a totally different perspective now]
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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

Post by Gregski »

so let's do a little stare and compare of the $200 dollar 100w OPS (One Panel System) and the $500 dollar 400w FPS (Four Panel System) daily generation report, is it generation, or is it absorption, or capturization? I don't know


it's very interesting to see that I am able to catch the sun for 12 hours a day (each vertical bar represents an hour 8am - 7pm)

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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

Post by Gregski »

an example of using one of these cheap 1000 watt 24 volt grid tie inverters with some used solar panels and a clever way to manage the system by means of something called an Etekcity Smart Plug, please have a watch


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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

Post by Gregski »

in the second video The Greg adds a second panel and we have words about it


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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

Post by Gregski »

just wanna share a fun little line up of these grid tie inverters, keep in mind that since these simply plug in to your regular AC household outlet (mostly a standard 15 amp circuit here in the US) they are limited by that circuit to just under 1,500 watts

120 volts times 15 amps (at 80% efficiency for safety) means 120 volts times only 12 amps so roughly 1,440 watts


12 volt 24 volt
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10.8 - 30V
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20 - 45 VDC
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15-28 VDC
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30-45 VDC
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22-50 VDC
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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

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oh wow the same Inverter that I bought for $104 bucks is not on sale on AMAZON for only $85, there are three left, no I am not the seller and no I am not affiliated with them in any way, just sharing what I just saw, since they were SOLD OUT, back ordered for quite some time, this would be a great time to pick one up to play with


VEVOR Grid Tie Solar Inverter, 1000W MPPT Power Inverter, 50/60 Hz Solar Grid Tie System, Grid Tie Inverter, DC10.8-30V Input to AC90-140V Output Wind Turbine Grid Tie Inverter for Solar Panel System

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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

Post by remy_martian »

It does not appear to be UL certified, and their CE ("China Export") marking means nothing, so this box cannot be tied to the US electrical grid afaik.
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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

Post by johu »

It's amazing how undisturbed these devices can be distributed however. It's fairly obvious that they will be connected to the grid while not implementing any country specific frequency and voltage derates. Let alone bothering with certification. Not too worried anyhow, most of all they reliably shut down when disconnected from grid voltage.
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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

Post by remy_martian »

Penal Code 591 PC is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to maliciously disconnect, remove, injure, or obstruct any telephone, cable, or electrical line. A violation of this law can lead to misdemeanor or felony charges, and is punishable by up to 3 years in jail.

The full text of the statute reads as follows:

591. A person who unlawfully and maliciously takes down, removes, injures, disconnects, cuts, or obstructs a line of telegraph, telephone, or cable television, or any line used to conduct electricity, or any part thereof, or appurtenances or apparatus connected therewith, including, but not limited to, a backup deep cycle battery or other power supply, or severs any wire thereof, or makes an unauthorized connection with any line, other than a telegraph, telephone, or cable television line, used to conduct electricity, or any part thereof, or appurtenances or apparatus connected therewith, is subject to punishment by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine, or by imprisonment in a county jail for 16 months, two or three years pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 and a fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

That $85 "grid tie" inverter can get expensive in a hurry. Amazon is a mere down payment 😂
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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

Post by johu »

Come on, that's FUD
Never heard of anyone getting in trouble and there must be millions floating around
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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

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so how do I manage this thing? well, with a $10 dollar Emporia smart plug, so let's start off with some stock pics and then I'll tell you all about it, and why I picked this smart plug instead of half a dozen others
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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

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so what the hell is a smart plug, well, it's a Kill A Watt meter on steroids, there are bazillion different kinds and they all claim to be smart (in most cases that means you are able to turn them ON and OFF using some sort of software) most come with their own proprietary software, some advertise themselves as Alexa or Google Home friendly (which means you still need their proprietary software to talk or integrate with those two big fish)

what I like about the one I chose is that it adds two more radical features:

1. remote Wifi access to your data in real time from anywhere in the world (notice I did not just say Bluetooth as some only pair with Bluetooth) so graphs

2. historical data logging, so more graphs


here's the WiFi Emporia smart plug actually plugged in to the Kill A Watt meter just so I can see the real time data right next to the inverter for troubleshooting


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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

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now before we go any further let me tell you that this Emporia logging solution is not perfect meaning it is not solar aware it does not know that the energy is flowing into the house it only measures it one way as though it was coming out, but that's ok it's not adding to my utility costs it just skews the consumption results in the app, as Emporia software (which also runs on an actual PC in addition to them little hand held iGadgets you all know and love, bonus!) sees it as yet another appliance

note to self: ditch the garage fridge and be done with it you won't need this crappy criminal sketchy solar setup

Emporia Home.jpg

I honestly stumbled upon this app in an even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes fashion strictly by accident, yet it is the best app out there that is not an expensive solar dedicated management thingie, here we are looking at what solar fishing looks like throughout the day, it basically represents a bell curve, in the morning you get a little energy, and that increases till it peeks at some middle point of the sun in the sky, then it decreases until the sun goes na nights

Emporia Hr.jpg
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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

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As a side note I have emailed, chatted, and forumed a bunch of [ahem] suggestions aka "feature enhancements" to Emporia which I believe were well received, meaning I don't think they are BLOCKING me yet.

on a serious note Emporia is one of the few companies if not the only one that does not integrate with AMAZON's Alexa or GOOGLE's Home suites of products, because that's all those big guys are, they don't write their own smart plug code, they still require you to install: eWELink, IFTTT, Smart Life, Tuya, or VeSync, or one of dozens of others, in order to control all these smart plugs

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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

Post by TheSilverBuick »

I heart data.

FYI, stealing sunshine is a gateway crime. Next you'll be making your own battery fuel and robbing banks!
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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

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TheSilverBuick wrote: Mon Aug 15, 2022 5:35 pm I heart data.

FYI, stealing sunshine is a gateway crime. Next you'll be making your own battery fuel and robbing banks!
LOL, next thing you know I'll be the guy in the 10 Items or Less with eleven things

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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

Post by Gregski »

and here you go, if you thought I was BSing about that $85 dollar Inverter price being a good deal, they are now sold out and the going price is $140

even if you don't use it for production it is a fantastic and cheap way to learn about solar
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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

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so I decided to do a little stare and compare of the energy usage of the house I grew up in (currently still lived in by my mom) and our current house (family of four with both kids about to head off to college this very month)

the point I guess is to share a very common trend of how everything seems to be getting bigger here in the States (cars got bigger, people obviously got bigger, and now homes are getting ridiculously bigger) I grew up in a 1,100 square foot, 3 bedroom, 1 bath home with my brother and mum and dad, and we were perfectly happy. Now my family of four, wife, daughter and son live in a house twice the size, and of course we are happy, but boy do we consume a lot of killer watts, naturally I blame the girls!

each month's figures represent the daily average for that month
2021 Electricity Usage.jpg
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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

Post by johu »

For Europeans and other metrically minded: dividing by 10 roughly gives you m² :) Who vacuums all that?

I don't understand the scaling - if you only consumed 45 kWh in the hightest month that wouldn't be much. Is that per day average?
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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

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johu wrote: Tue Aug 16, 2022 8:36 pm For Europeans and other metrically minded: dividing by 10 roughly gives you m² :) Who vacuums all that?

I don't understand the scaling - if you only consumed 45 kWh in the hightest month that wouldn't be much. Is that per day average?
sorry yes those are daily averages for those months, and mostly hard wood floors that was all the rage over the last 20 years, I think last month we hit 75 kWh in one day, I may need to give my family a refresher course on shutting windows when the AC is running
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Re: The Greg's Grid Tie Solar Project

Post by Gregski »

goes without saying that this "system" is built on workarounds and here is an example of one mitigating factor one could implement, let's say you don't want the system running while you go away for the weekend, but you find yourself 60 miles down the road before you realize you forgot to unplug it, no worries, that's where the Smart Plug shines, I can just use my cellular phone to turn it off remotely from anywhere in the world, well except from my buddy's Rod's house that's straight up Verizon zone only, ha ha

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Emporia SOLAR Off.jpg
Emporia Power Button 2.jpg
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