JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3700
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: Got Solar!

Thu May 02, 2019 10:36 pm

ed5000, I think it's a great energy-saving idea to use the solar collectors and water heater tank as a pre-heater with storage! The tankless using only 1kW is a HUGE consumption reduction. Hope this scheme continues working for you and I trust you have some automatic controls for not overheating the water that comes from the collectors (uncontrolled and at a very low flowrate my pool solar collectors are great at generating steam on a summer afternoon).

Yes, the Climate Change Credit it nice and offsets the monthly meter fee (another PG&E profit center) which had doubled a couple of years ago.

Now that May 1 has come and PG&E's revised 2019 summer rate structure has kicked in (peak of 46.4¢/kWh, at least for me on their E-6 tariff) we really need to pay attention as to when we do the laundry or charge the cars. Due to PG&E's wacky scheme, I am always above 100% of baseline (due to generation, not consumption) which kicks me into their highest tier for the entire month so my lowest nighttime rate is 27.2¢/kWh. Happily, as I generate the consumption $$ decrement at this high rate as well so my net is always in my favor, dollarwise.

PG&E has declared Chapter 11 as a result of their potential liabilities for those wildfires and there is talk of their rates doubling!

As it is, most of us are now purchasing our power from a Community Choice Aggregator (CCA) (in my case, Silicon Valley Clean Energy), with PG&E only providing the distribution. SVCE not only provides clean/renewable electricity but also pays me at market rates for what I export. :mrgreen:

Suffice it to say, I haven't had to pay for my electricity since 2006 and, on top of that, with SVCE taking over a couple of years ago I received a check for $430 from them last year and expect around $740 this year.

My solar panels amortized themselves years ago... :geek:
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

Don
Site Moderator
Posts: 2845
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Got Solar!

Fri May 03, 2019 11:33 am

JoeS wrote:Hope this scheme continues working for you and I trust you have some automatic controls for not overheating the water that comes from the collectors (uncontrolled and at a very low flowrate my pool solar collectors are great at generating steam on a summer afternoon).


I have no overheat protection on my system. My 40 sq ft panel will get 110 gallons of water up to 150 or 155 degrees on a cloudless day in the summertime, but I've never had any problems with anything getting too hot. I do have a mixing valve on the tank outlet which mixes cold water with what's coming from the tank and I have that set at 115 degrees so we never have scalding water anywhere in the house

The little circulation pump in the system only runs when the collector temp on the rooftop panel is 15 degrees higher than the warmest point on the storage tank, so it cycles on for a couple minutes every 10 or 15 minutes, depending on how hot the water in the tank already is and how bright the sun is shining

It's 100% solar for 9 or 10 months every year and I have a time clock with 120 volts on the upper element that I use in the dead of winter when we have more cloudy days. It's been working pretty flawlessly now for 12 or 13 years

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1979 Honda CBX six into six

ed5000
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:22 pm
Location: Castro Valley, CA

Re: Got Solar!

Sat May 04, 2019 8:57 pm

JoeS wrote:ed5000, I think it's a great energy-saving idea to use the solar collectors and water heater tank as a pre-heater with storage! The tankless using only 1kW is a HUGE consumption reduction. Hope this scheme continues working for you and I trust you have some automatic controls for not overheating the water that comes from the collectors (uncontrolled and at a very low flowrate my pool solar collectors are great at generating steam on a summer afternoon).

Yes, the Climate Change Credit it nice and offsets the monthly meter fee (another PG&E profit center) which had doubled a couple of years ago.

Now that May 1 has come and PG&E's revised 2019 summer rate structure has kicked in (peak of 46.4¢/kWh, at least for me on their E-6 tariff) we really need to pay attention as to when we do the laundry or charge the cars. Due to PG&E's wacky scheme, I am always above 100% of baseline (due to generation, not consumption) which kicks me into their highest tier for the entire month so my lowest nighttime rate is 27.2¢/kWh. Happily, as I generate the consumption $$ decrement at this high rate as well so my net is always in my favor, dollarwise.

PG&E has declared Chapter 11 as a result of their potential liabilities for those wildfires and there is talk of their rates doubling!

As it is, most of us are now purchasing our power from a Community Choice Aggregator (CCA) (in my case, Silicon Valley Clean Energy), with PG&E only providing the distribution. SVCE not only provides clean/renewable electricity but also pays me at market rates for what I export. :mrgreen:

Suffice it to say, I haven't had to pay for my electricity since 2006 and, on top of that, with SVCE taking over a couple of years ago I received a check for $430 from them last year and expect around $740 this year.

My solar panels amortized themselves years ago... :geek:

Right now for control I use one of those Watts circulator pumps with a time clock on it (came with a water saver kit for preheating your hot water line) and set it for 10 am to 4 pm. After 4pm the neighbor's redwood tree shades that side of the house. And then I move a 2'x4' piece of plywood around in front of the panel to try and keep the water temp around 130 degrees, at least for now. I've also ordered a Miso solar hot water controller that should come in any day now.

That's great news about the CCA. At least your getting something from your system. I wish I installed my system sooner! Here our CCA is East Bay Community Energy.
2012 ES, Cool Metalic Silver, no quick charge, no fog lights and no navi but a cold weather package for when it gets 13 below, wait - it never gets that cold here.
"Silver Shadow"

ed5000
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:22 pm
Location: Castro Valley, CA

Re: Got Solar!

Sat May 04, 2019 9:20 pm

Don wrote:
JoeS wrote:Hope this scheme continues working for you and I trust you have some automatic controls for not overheating the water that comes from the collectors (uncontrolled and at a very low flowrate my pool solar collectors are great at generating steam on a summer afternoon).


I have no overheat protection on my system. My 40 sq ft panel will get 110 gallons of water up to 150 or 155 degrees on a cloudless day in the summertime, but I've never had any problems with anything getting too hot. I do have a mixing valve on the tank outlet which mixes cold water with what's coming from the tank and I have that set at 115 degrees so we never have scalding water anywhere in the house

The little circulation pump in the system only runs when the collector temp on the rooftop panel is 15 degrees higher than the warmest point on the storage tank, so it cycles on for a couple minutes every 10 or 15 minutes, depending on how hot the water in the tank already is and how bright the sun is shining

It's 100% solar for 9 or 10 months every year and I have a time clock with 120 volts on the upper element that I use in the dead of winter when we have more cloudy days. It's been working pretty flawlessly now for 12 or 13 years

Don

That's a nice setup you have there. I can see how the 110 gallon tank gives you some "working room" along with the time clock for the winter months.

I found a good book at my local library called "Solar Water Heating" by Bob Ramlow that I really like so far. I'm trying to decide exactly how I'm going to set my "preheater" up.
2012 ES, Cool Metalic Silver, no quick charge, no fog lights and no navi but a cold weather package for when it gets 13 below, wait - it never gets that cold here.
"Silver Shadow"

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3700
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: Got Solar!

Wed May 08, 2019 2:54 pm

It's beginning... not only had PG&E already raised the rates on March 1 of this year (I don't remember the percentage), and was quickly followed by another one on May 1, the following is from my latest CCA's BOD agenda packet regarding the generation portion of the rates (generation costs had been going down due to renewables):

"PG&E is now projecting a weighted average 3.5% increase in generation rates for July 1st from March 1st, versus the 6.5% decrease that had been anticipated. Although the May 1 rate change was expected, PG&E unexpectedly included 6 other changes including decommissioning costs for Diablo Canyon in the generation rate change."

All the more reason to go solar!
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

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