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Driving on Sunshine

Do you have solar to power your car?

  • Yes

    Votes: 249 63.4%
  • No

    Votes: 50 12.7%
  • No, but hope to soon

    Votes: 94 23.9%

  • Total voters
    393

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,104
1,900
Toronto, ON
Does it have a battery buffer, or do you get a brownout if it gets cloudy? Just curious how it works.

In Ontario, grid connected solar has to have "anti-islanding" circuitry which cuts off the generation if utility power goes down. Grid connected gets you the premium feed-in-tariff rates, so it's the way to go financially but can't be used as emergency generation.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Moderator
The new Sunny Boy SMA LT ... system ONLY works if you have good sun AND you manually switch it on. It is not automatic. But for me it is a very nice option to be able to use at lest some of my power if the grid is down. It just did not seem right to have all those panels and not to be able to have any power. And to my surprise the Roadster was happy with the power it did supply.

SUNNY BOY 3000TL-US / 4000TL-US / 5000TL-US.SMA America, LLC.

dhrivnak, where do you live? I am in California. My understanding was that in California, PV systems that were grid tied were not allowed to be configured to have off grid capability.

I'm very interested in the new inverter you describe.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Thank you! That capability makes so much sense to me. In my neighborhood power outages are rare but do happen every year or two. Duration can be minutes to hours (longest was maybe 8 hours).

Once I take delivery of my S85 in early December I will take a few months to see what my increased electrical usage is and then have enough data to properly size a PV system.
 
Article on the new inverters, which I'll be buying for my next PV system:

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com...r&utm_campaign=green-building-advisor-eletter

P.S. I think the electric grid (as least where I am) has only <0.1% downtime, however, being that these inverters will be cost-comparable, will be a great option - especially for situations like Hurricane Sandy when we lost power for several days, many were sunny days after the storm passed
 
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Hoping to get a few more votes, how many Tesla owners have gone solar? My system has been on-line for 2 months now. Last month I fully covered the electric needs for the house and the car; The $7.20 fee is the connection charge. The reality of a sustainable future is here now!
Electric_11_2013.jpg
 
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dhrivnak

Active Member
Jan 8, 2011
4,657
4,314
NE Tennessee
In Long Beach it has been 10 years 3 months - last month's charge was $0.95. Does that qualify me to be considered an "early adapter"? In New Mexico I purchase 15 panels (3.5kw) in a co-op 12 months ago. I may purchase a couple more to totally eliminate my monthly electric bill there.

You are absolutely an early adopter! Way to go and show the rest of us the future.
 

Al Sherman

It's about THIS car.
Nov 29, 2012
1,687
5
Batesville, IN
Can we get to 100 votes? How many owners have solar or are planning on it. I would love a larger sample for an upcoming presentation at the East TN environmental conference. Thank you.

K. I voted hope to soon. I want solar badly and will probably do it. I simply can't make the numbers work. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Might just be the useable sunlight in Indiana, or the markup that the folks I'm getting quotes from are taking. Or, maybe because there are no incentives in Indiana. NONE. I know it's not all about numbers (dollars) but I'd be dead well before it became worthwhile to write the check. I keep hearing about the price of panels dropping drastically but I simply can't justify the dollars.
As I said, I'll probably do it anyway because I want it. BUT I'd like to be able to tell my neighbors why they should do it also. Let's face it; cost is the number one factor for most people.
 

gg_got_a_tesla

Model S: VIN 65513, Model 3: VIN 1913
Jan 29, 2010
6,534
789
Redwood Shores, CA
Used to have a 2 kW PV system - installed by SolarCity in their early days back in 2007 - in my previous house before I moved last summer. I had about 5 months of driving on sunshine.

Contemplating a system for the new house but, given that my charging needs are met at work, not sure if my electricity usage patterns otherwise justify it.

All the same, I'm looking into this instead of a conventional large PV panel system:

DOW POWERHOUSE: Solar Shingle

Replace Your Roof And Generate Electricity From Solar Shingles - Forbes

Anyone have any deeper knowledge of these? I like how they are the roof themselves rather than be on top of one. Had a terrible experience with pigeons roosting between the panels and the roof tiles at my last place so, not too thrilled with the idea of a conventional install. Solar shingles are comparatively pricier but, I'd need a new roof soon anyway so, this makes sense.
 

VolkerP

EU Model S P-37
Jul 6, 2011
2,464
27
Germany
solar shingles cannot shed heat as easy as a conventionally rooftop mounted solar module. You will see severe drop in output unless it's cool and/or windy outside.
Ask your installer for a reference installation to see. Check their output curves and compare them with similarly oriented PV arrays in the neighborhood.

Installing pidgeon defences is a major industry, OTOH. They should have a solution for you.
 
As for the cost/payback of solar I was able to get my 7.1 KW system installed for $3.75/watt. The ONLY incentive was the 30% federal credit. With net metering and $.085/KWH I figure about a 5% return which is after taxes and indexed for inflation. Not a great return but one could also do far worse.

As for Dow Solar Shingles I tried hard to get them but they are in a VERY slow ramp up and they would not sell in my state. I think they only sell in CA, CO, and TX and even then through a very limited set of installers.
 

Ugliest1

S85: "Sparky"
Supporting Member
Aug 19, 2013
1,401
1,661
Victoria BC Canada
In case the explanation will help: I voted no; I live in a condo so the approval process is far more complicated. Also I just managed to get two 60 amp EVSE's installed (live mid-Jan) so I don't want to immediately approach the strata council with another non-ROI idea. Especially because at the moment I'm the only one using the charging stations, plus an occasional visiting Volt. I have thought about it, and will continue, but I can't see the time being right in the foreseeable future.
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
7,441
7,454
Los Altos, CA
K. I voted hope to soon. I want solar badly and will probably do it. I simply can't make the numbers work. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Might just be the useable sunlight in Indiana, or the markup that the folks I'm getting quotes from are taking. Or, maybe because there are no incentives in Indiana. NONE. I know it's not all about numbers (dollars) but I'd be dead well before it became worthwhile to write the check. I keep hearing about the price of panels dropping drastically but I simply can't justify the dollars.
As I said, I'll probably do it anyway because I want it. BUT I'd like to be able to tell my neighbors why they should do it also. Let's face it; cost is the number one factor for most people.
To me, the primary consideration as to whether it pays off or not is your current electric rates. I've heard of rates in the midwest that are flat at below 15 cents/kWh. At that price, I would not bother going solar. California has tiered electric rates that are so high that you're foolish not to put up at least a small solar system to get you back down to baseline prices.
 
I was happy to lend a charge to a fellow EV who was passing through the area on his way to Washington DC. Too bad Tesla changed the charge connector as I can only offer Model S owners 48 amp J-1772 charging rather than the 64 amps available from my Roadster HPC. But my 12 KW is far better than the 6 KW you get from local J-1772 options in the area.

Giving_a_charge.jpg


If you have not yet done so please list on PlugShare as you never know when you can lend a hand.

PS Yes the charge currents are quirky installing my own equipment one has more flexibility in design options.
 

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