Gamma1966 Show full post »
BillM
78buckshot wrote:
Not only the length and width but the height is probably twice that of the air cooled so a HOA might have issues with it.

That's a good point, the LC is 17 inches taller. 
Quote
BillM

I wasn't even thinking about fuel type.  The concept of turning off the NG, which I just would have never considered makes me really think you should do what I just finished a few weeks ago;  Install Tesla Powerwalls .... or the Generac version too.  The cost of burying a propane tank ..... well, that can't be cheap.  And these generators drink propane.  Also, I just looked up the fuel consumption which is impressive but the LC model burns .4 gallons of LP less than the air cooled.  So, the decision tree for me is simple:
You can't go NG if they turn it off during hurricanes.  I'd validate that data and find out if it was a policy thing or if a line ruptured ... exactly what was the deal there.
Going propane is good and bad, it localizes your fuel source but you have to bury a tank, oh hell no if the LP is just for the genset and not the whole house.  For me, being a simpleton, that's just too much effort and more moving parts, issues when there are alternatives.
Propane can run out.
Diesel, I love diesel, damn good solution, but you ruled that out (understandably) and it also can 'run out.'
Go with a battery solution, the Tesla Powerwall or the Generac one.  It might be more $, but something tells me if we're being honest, that's not the biggest concern out there.  I went solar too and I'm net zero and I'm charging electric vehicles.  It can also run out but you put in 3 or 4 powerwalls the way they nicely stack in the same footprint .... well, that's many many weeks of power.

Can you also do solar?  I'm running solar, battery (Tesla Powerwalls) and a genset.  I don't really need the genset anymore but I like it.
Of course, the only right solution is what works for you and that you like.  I'm just throwing it out there since I literally just did it so it's fresh on my mind.

Quote
Gamma1966
I am putting a new screened in porch on the north side of the house. Part of the roof is pitch @ 32 Degrees and facing south so it will be ready for solar early next year. I have been considering solar / battery storage ( aka the Powerwall approach ) as apparently you have already done so. Like you I like to have more than one option for insuring I have electric power. Georgia Power does have large solar farms and lots of Nukes, so the generation side is secure. It's getting the power to my house is the real concern.

If you would like to share ...

what was the cost of your Tesla Powerwall system? what is the capacity in AHrs or KWHrs. Did you do the install yourself, or if not who did you contract with.

What solar capacity do you have and what was the overall cost of the installation?





SAVANNAH, GA 31411-2508

(510) 915-3971
Quote
BillM

Gamma1966 wrote:
I am putting a new screened in porch on the north side of the house. Part of the roof is pitch @ 32 Degrees and facing south so it will be ready for solar early next year. I have been considering solar / battery storage ( aka the Powerwall approach ) as apparently you have already done so. Like you I like to have more than one option for insuring I have electric power. Georgia Power does have large solar farms and lots of Nukes, so the generation side is secure. It's getting the power to my house is the real concern.

If you would like to share ...
what was the cost of your Tesla Powerwall system? what is the capacity in AHrs or KWHrs. Did you do the install yourself, or if not who did you contract with.
What solar capacity do you have and what was the overall cost of the installation?

SAVANNAH, GA 31411-2508

(510) 915-3971


I installed a ground based solar solution because I didn't want to get on the roof, I did the solar solution myself and installed 18 panels, all of them 360w.  There are 2 rows of 9 and I put sonotubes in the ground to support the wooden base foundation that the frame is installed onto.  That's optional.  The frame does tilt but it's completely manual and it is a two person job to do it safely.  After shipping, the ground frame kit for 18 panels ended up being $1080.  It's similar to installing a suspended ceiling in the number or things/parts/bars/etc...  You've got end caps, rails, fastening objects, inverters and the necessary monitoring.  My house and property is fully home control automated right down to the NG fire pits, torches, etc.  Alexa can start my grills.  So, I want to know exactly what is coming from the solar which the Powerwalls appreciates and meters too so they know how to operate.  They make 410w panels now btw, but those are more than I want to spend.  My plan is to stay net zero.  I put in the genset, an air cooled 22kW in 2014.  But solar incentives from the Federal Govt are getting slashed EOY so I decided to use that excuse to push ahead.  I've always wanted solar and a nanny.  I wasn't sure I was ever going to get either but life rewards you now and then.  My utility provider offers no real incentives and does what it can to punish alternative energy proponents so the concept of selling my energy was not in scope.  So, I decided that if I had extra energy, to store it.  And that is where the Tesla Powerwalls came into the plan.  Buying a Tesla Powerwall has the same experience as buying the car.  You can price it online, but if you call, the price is actually lower.  Remember that if you buy the car, build it online, but don't buy it online.  I have EV's btw, and I'll explain the one error in that plan that I have to adjust for next spring.  In any case.  I installed the genset myself, and the solar myself but my integrator for the Powerwall forced my hand.  The suppliers who would allow me self-install either made up for it in the price or availability was too far out in the future.  You need to find an integrator who orders Powerwalls under fake customer names who magically back out after the Powerwalls come in .... a couple in my area do that.  In any case, I paid for the Tesla component installation, see below.

Solar panels, monocrystalline 360w x 18 delivered was $4100.  These are dropping fairly fast in cost.  They come crated, so check with your HOA on burning wood.
Ground installation kit as mentioned above, $1080 delivered.
2 Powerwall 2's were $7250/ea.  They are 13.5kWh units each.
Labor for the Powerwalls was $2400!  It should have been half of that in my opinion.  It took them less than a day.
The Backup Gateway 2, with the optional panelboard and the extra metering was a grand.  They will tell you it's $2200, that's MSRP.  Don't pay MSRP.
I wired for 6 Powerwalls, that's what the calculations came out for but I only installed 2 because of the genset is a variable to consider.
The genset will not charge the Powerwalls, the Powerwalls are before the ATS.
I operate in the self consumption mode, so I run the house off of the solar during the day and the solar charges the Powerwalls.  The Powerwalls are set to reserve 40% for backup so they will never discharge below that.  You configure that value.  So, if we get below 40%, the house will take grid power.  It won't charge the Powerwalls unless the grid is providing cheaper TOU power.  Another item you control.  The Powerwalls charge at a rate of 1.7kW's each.  All these things are customizatable.  You can run in backup mode if you don't have solar.  Or you can run in backup mode if you have solar.  In this mode, the Powerwalls will maintain 100% charge, will take that charging power from Solar or the grid.  And the Powerwalls will standby for a grid outage.  I am not in that mode.
Since I have the genset, I'm not so concerned about sustained grid outage run time.  But, where I went wrong as I mentioned above is with my EV's.  I calculated everything with summer consumption numbers.  I didn't calculate what my EV energy consumption in the winter is.  My primary EV has active battery management cooling so it's winter power usage to warm the battery AND keep me toasty is much more than the summer.  The air conditioning hit on an EV is negligible, almost not worth measuing.  But heating the cabin for the carbon based lifeforms is where you take the big hit.  The hit to warm the battery is much less.  So, my point is as I babble is that when I get home in the summer, the charge time is between 1 and 2 hours each night.  In the winter, the same driving, is going to be between 3 and 4 hours.  

What's next?  Adding more solar, but I'm going to wait to see if the government renews the legislated perks that expire EOY.  I believe they will, but not sure.  If I didn't have the genset, I'd run more Powerwalls, but the genset is there.  It's not been as reliable as it should be and much less reliable than the average 22kW.  The numbers above are exact.  I did get a $1000 cash rebate from a program called Focus on Energy.  I received nothing else, beyond the tax credits on the Federal side that everyone gets which are not yet realized as this was all completed end of summer.  My utility does not give rebates.  My state does not give rebates.  I paid cash, cashed out comp time from work.  I do a lot of overtime.  The only numbers I did not include because I can't honestly give you exact numbers is for the wire to the Solar farm which is 200 feet east of my house.  I had a lot of wire left over from my generator project and 3 of my best friends are electricians (one lives 3 doors down) and I got the 'extra' wire 'left' over from jobs and 'end' of spools and other discounts that would make a great story line for Miami Vice.  Also, I bought optional and supplemental surge suppressors to protect the panels and other goodies in different directions.  I need to find that invoice.  

Quote
BillM
And in about 5 years, or the first out of warranty failure of the genset, I'm going to replace it with the model I quoted a few posts above, the RG022 I think it is.  I have dreams of that generator in my backyard.  I'm going liquid cooled.  I bought a boat right before Covid hit with overtime I planned to do but I ended up doing half the overtime I expected because the DNC was effectively cancelled though I still 'worked' it. 
Quote
grsthegreat

Being net zero is a fine goal, but for me to do it would require a minimum of 5 tesla firewalls plus assorted hardware. I played with the figures with a friend if mine up here that does off grid electric. Without govt rebates my realized payback would be 10 years after i died. No joke. My problem is i only pay 5.5 cents per kwh. 


I also hate all automated house systems. Alexa will never set foot in my house. Ring will never set foot in my house. But thats just me.

Quote
BillM
grsthegreat wrote:

Being net zero is a fine goal, but for me to do it would require a minimum of 5 tesla firewalls plus assorted hardware. I played with the figures with a friend if mine up here that does off grid electric. Without govt rebates my realized payback would be 10 years after i died. No joke. My problem is i only pay 5.5 cents per kwh. I also hate all automated house systems. Alexa will never set foot in my house. Ring will never set foot in my house. But thats just me.



I think your points are more than fair.  The element of me going net zero is a component of my solar, not my Powerwalls more or less.  I need enough solar to run the house during the day, AND to charge the Powerwall back up to 100% from the use the night before.  If the solar fails to keep up, the Powerwall will only charge during low TOU rates.  My next step will to be to add more solar.  My ROI isn't that bad, BUT in my opinion it is only attainable in 'my' situation (no state/utility incentives) because I had very little labor and made it a DIY project.  I also ordered my solar wholesale, and didn't pay markup that the 'installer' would have capped onto it.  Here's my WE Energies bill for the month before I went live:

Energy - Off Peak (2,108 kWh x $.088680/kWh) $186.94
Energy - On Peak (697 kWh x $.196250/kWh) $136.79

I've been changing the programming and the mode of the Tesla to adapt to my current situation and I've had to accept some win's and some losses.  Here's what I have been able to achieve;  My on peak energy usage is now zero.  But my off peak is of course not zero.  I haven't achieved net zero.  I need more solar.  My solar is taking care of my day needs and on super hot days my Powerwall also assisted because I told my Tesla Gateway to not accept utility power during the day unless one of two things is happening;
1)  I'm on generator.  If I'm on generator, the Powerwalls go into standby mode until the generator stops running.
2)  The Powerwalls are discharged to below 40%.  If the Powerwalls hit 40%, they will not discharge and will wait for TOU cheap energy to take them to 60%.  On the weekend, they balance and go to 100% one way or the other, of course the weekend is TOU cheap energy for me.
My Powerwall is 90% efficient so it's cheaper for me to use the Powerwall, if need be, to power the house during on peak (daytime) for air conditioning and if I run into a deficit (I do), to pay that back with the cheaper power and charge only during off peak.  For those without solar or who have not enough solar (me), there is of course, a Tesla mode where the Powerwall runs the house during the day as needed, and charges when it's cheap.  This is the default non solar installation mode unless you go into purely backup power only mode.  The beauty of my design is solar is relatively cheap because I'm buying semi direct and installing myself .... I'm doing a ground based install and I'm sitting on 6 acres.  It's too early to tell but I'm hoping my ROI is about 15 years.  I have $24000 in this solution.  It's too early to put in good numbers, but at what my first month of going live looks like, my ROI is 15 years.  The interesting part is if I double my solar, literally buy 18 more panels which over 15 years would cost me $22/month.  Those 18 additional panels would actually generate so much more energy than that, that my ROI would actually decrease opposed to increase.  Now, last but not least.  The $24000 I put into it doesn't take into account the state $1000 rebate nor the federal credit.  I am going to wait and see that before I count it.  I am learning.  I didn't do this to save the planet.  I didn't do this because I thought I would save a lot of money.  But I wouldn't have done it if I didn't think I could manage it in a way that I could tolerate the cost and return.  I just bought a 2020 Four Winns HD220 boat.  I understand the concept of throwing money away.  I did not enter the solar venture to throw money away.  It has always been a want.  Even to a small part, a dream.  I hope by summer of 2021, or 2022 to actually hit or get super close to net zero while maintaining a 15 year break even point.  I wish it was closer to 10.

Quote
Gamma1966
Thanks for all the info on your hybrid system.  If I had the land, I would do exactly as you have done.  You indicate the 22KW air cooled unit has some reliability issues?  What were the failures or causes of not being reliable?   Your reference  RG022 ..  I assume this a 22 KW genset ...  who is the manufacturer ?
Quote
Geoff Z
RG022 is a Generac 22kW liquid cooled unit. We have had very good luck with them. I think it is in one of the best model lines they have ever created.
Quote
BillM
Gamma1966 wrote:
Thanks for all the info on your hybrid system.  If I had the land, I would do exactly as you have done.  You indicate the 22KW air cooled unit has some reliability issues?  What were the failures or causes of not being reliable?   Your reference  RG022 ..  I assume this a 22 KW genset ...  who is the manufacturer ?

My 22kW has had the controller replaced, coils, cold weather kit (oil sleeve only), muffler, OPCB in the ATS and the mobile link failed too and remains failed, in the end it wasn’t worth $99/year.

One element I didn’t explain well previously; The Powerwalls are before the generator.  If my utility fails, the Powerwall immediately powers the house (milliseconds).  At this point HCA is aware that my utility has dropped and the Powerwall is on backup mode.  It’s possible at this point that the solar is delivering all I need, but the Powerwall is still in backup mode.  HCA will wait 90 seconds (configurable) and it will then interrupt N1 and N2 in the ATS to start the generator.  And there is logic in the reverse that dictates return to normalcy when the utility returns.  In my deployment, I’m using the Tesla less as a backup solution, and more as storage which is why I only have 2 and not 6+ for my size house.  And my lightbulbs in the house are LED color WiZ bulbs so my bathroom vanity will have one bulb change in the group of 4 to red.  That way when I get up to pee overnight, it’s another way for me to know that something exciting is happening.
Quote
Geoff Z

My 22kW has had the controller replaced, coils, cold weather kit (oil sleeve only), muffler, OPCB in the ATS and the mobile link failed too and remains failed, in the end it wasn’t worth $99/year.

Is this an air cooled or liquid cooled unit? Your problems certainly speak for themselves and you are right to be upset. I don't think we can condemn the whole model line though.

Wow, I did not know what Wiz lighting is. I had to look it up.Technology is passing me by! Might be time for me to be kicked to the curb!!
Quote
Gamma1966
BillM .. Thanks for of the good info on your setup, it encourages others to follow in your foot steps.
I assume you mean the NON red LED's  run differently when on generator power versus  Power Wall or Utility power ?
Quote
grsthegreat
I hardly have any issues with the post 2013 series 20&22 kw air cooled. They make up the majority of the units i service. I have had continuing oil leaks in the 11 kw units over the years. Weird yours had had so many issues.
Quote
BillM

Gamma1966 wrote:
BillM .. Thanks for of the good info on your setup, it encourages others to follow in your foot steps.
I assume you mean the NON red LED's  run differently when on generator power versus  Power Wall or Utility power ?

I switched to WiZ lights in the house, Philips bought the company WiZ in 2019 and currently that brand of WiZ is only sold at Home Depot and they are inexpensive.  Of course, pro's and con's, but in the case of my master bath, the vanity fixtures are two double bulb units over the sinks that is controlled by one switch.  In reality, the two fixtures are hot 24/7, the wall switch is just a trigger but you won't be able to tell.  If you hit the wall switch, you are notifying the controller in the basement to turn on the vanity lights.  The bulbs are color LED's so they will run bright white, warm white, soft white or green for that matter.  To anyone walking into the bathroom, they hit the switch and the lights turn on immediately.  There is truly no delay, not even the delay that the old LED technology used to have when you hit the switch and 1/2 second later they illuminate.  The WiZ bulbs do come out of the box with a 1/2 second ramp up but configurable.  So, forgive me being long winded.  But to the average person, it's two bathroom vanity fixtures, 4 total bulbs on one simple toggle light switch.  To the house, it's 4 independent bulbs that are color LED capable.  When I'm in bed, sleeping, I typically don't have my phone anywhere near me and it's effectively silent/off.  But I might want to know about things, and to some degree subtle.  My genset is far away from my bedroom, that if it's on, I wouldn't hear it.  The Tesla Powerwalls make no noise.  I have a damn blood pressure med that (TMI) tends to get me up in the middle of the night.  Or if I'm retired in the bedroom watching Netflix, I might want to know that something is going on and I just dreamed up the idea that an alert could be in many forms.  We have txting, email and even making Alexa announce an alert (have that too).  I decided to program the system, for instance.  If it see's the bedroom lights are off, and I have walked into the bathroom, it does not bring all 4 of those bulbs to 100%.  It brings them up to 10%.  And, if something is not quite right, it makes one of them a different color.  If it's more serious but not to the level of waking me, the light will flash.  Here is what that looks like:

20200918_160647_resized.jpg  20200918_160720_resized.jpg 

Quote
grsthegreat
Billm, you have way too much spare time on your hands 😄😄😄
Quote
BillM

Geoff Z wrote:

My 22kW has had the controller replaced, coils, cold weather kit (oil sleeve only), muffler, OPCB in the ATS and the mobile link failed too and remains failed, in the end it wasn’t worth $99/year.
Is this an air cooled or liquid cooled unit? Your problems certainly speak for themselves and you are right to be upset. I don't think we can condemn the whole model line though.
Wow, I did not know what Wiz lighting is. I had to look it up.Technology is passing me by! Might be time for me to be kicked to the curb!!

The model is a 65510 picked up from the Whitewater plant in Sept '14.  I don't speak very highly of my genset but statistically I will admit that my experience is not typical and NOT at all to the level that I would call it a lemon.  I have not figured out what I might have inadvertently done to increase my failure rate.  I picked it up from Whitewater.  So it's been in my direct supervision and responsibility from day 1.  It's been babied.  I did the first oil change to synthetic, and have followed maintenance to the letter and since it's under warranty, I've had authorized service do all of the PM's.  I learned of 'Ziller' after buying the generator and my self install was done live on this forum for anyone who might recall.  I would like to upgrade to the RG022, it's a dream machine. 

Quote
BillM
Geoff Z wrote:

Wow, I did not know what Wiz lighting is. I had to look it up.Technology is passing me by! Might be time for me to be kicked to the curb!!

I did not know of WiZ until this year.  I went to Home Depot to buy Philips HUE lights.  That's when I saw HUE lights and WiZ lights and the packaging and capability to me are identical.  The HUE lights require a HUB to use advanced features and I don't want a HUB nor do I want the cloud to be involved in my home automation.  So I saw WiZ used WiFi, no HUB.  I was intrigued and the price was much much much less than HUE.  I always have the problem deciding which degree K to buy for bulbs.  Do I want bright, do I want soft, do I want warm?  Well, the bulbs are currently only sold at Home Depot and for $12.97 I can buy the color one and choose and change it as I see.  Also, my home automation system is completely local.  It does not use the cloud except the Alexa component and if I lose internet, I of course lose Alexa, but everything else in the house remains fully functional, not hobbled.  The lights still work.
Quote
Gamma1966
BillM ... Now I understand the red light is your alert signal, controlled by your Home Automation system.. Cool.
I manage my house using am ISY controller with ZWave add-on and abunch of Insteon line modules and SWave lights, fans and controllers. I also monitor the power consumption on every circuit in the house real-time using the cloud based SiteSage from PowerHouse Dynamics .. i.e.  https://sitesage.net/user/o7zhn84fofq/8737  snapshot of my house in real time.  Thanks for sharing ..
Quote
BillM
Gamma1966 wrote:
BillM ... Now I understand the red light is your alert signal, controlled by your Home Automation system.. Cool.
I manage my house using am ISY controller with ZWave add-on and abunch of Insteon line modules and SWave lights, fans and controllers. I also monitor the power consumption on every circuit in the house real-time using the cloud based SiteSage from PowerHouse Dynamics .. i.e.  https://sitesage.net/user/o7zhn84fofq/8737  snapshot of my house in real time.  Thanks for sharing ..

I have gone 100% Insteon for modules, and my Insteon switches are basically all linked to the home automation system and don't power any loads directly since all the bulbs, can lights, etc are WiFi WiZ bulbs except one hallway that I haven't switched out yet.  I was X10 prior to Insteon.  My neighbor is UPB I think it is.  I have not yet gone to full monitoring beyond solar, battery and the cars and I rely on the EVSE's to do all the metrics and I ignore the car.  Did you put a CT Clamp at every breaker?  
Quote
Gamma1966
Yes there is a CT on each circuit and a gateway from CTs to the Cloud.  I have been using this system for the past 10 years.  I have one system in my California house and another here in Savannah.  It has been valuable to me in monitoring and managing my homes.  Highly recommend it.
Quote
BillM

Gamma1966 wrote:
Yes there is a CT on each circuit and a gateway from CTs to the Cloud.  I have been using this system for the past 10 years.  I have one system in my California house and another here in Savannah.  It has been valuable to me in monitoring and managing my homes.  Highly recommend it.

I have always wanted to do that and I even ran extra wire from my main panel in the basement to the 125A subpanel I put in the garage so I could put clamps there as well.  At the time when I was doing the electrical, I wasn't aware how informative EVSE's are at reporting consumption so the need to capture my electrical consumption for the cars was minimized.  Then I ran into a problem with Generac SMM's that didn't perform the way I thought they would and my global plan to isolate the cars was falling apart so I got distracted.  I'm in the process of making manual load shedding modules that are controlled by Insteon's to literally shed the EVSE's when I want to.  
I have nothing in my house in the cloud, except for the Alexa integration.  I have been reluctant to be in the cloud more than the world has already herded me to it.  All of my lighting switches of course operate if I lose internet, etc.  HCA is running on a Raspberry Pi, my Plex server runs my movies and I have a Ubiquiti NVR storing all the camera's and the video is stored in house.  I would not shy away from going cloud based for energy monitoring.  The Powerwall's give me power monitoring for each of their circuits, but it's not granular.  I know all about the solar, but I can't tell you how well I'm playing within TOU parameters.  Right now, there is zero grid consumption during PEAK time.  With the exception of doing testing, failover testing, monitoring testing and playing with alerts with real time failovers, no electrons have flowed during peak.  I knew the AC unit would not work on Solar, wasn't sure about the well pump but it runs off solar.  As of right now, the AC runs off the Powerwalls but that system only cools occupied areas within TOU guidelines so my AC consumption during the day is not bad.  No bedrooms get AC unless overridden during peak.
One more question, did you do all the circuits?  I counted my circuits, so SiteSage will get pricey for me.  I can afford it, but I've turned into a real miser at times and I'm allergic to recurring revenue which is why my camera's are in house, my home automation isn't cloud, and I use a Plex server (NZB/SAB/Sonaar) for my tv.  I'm waiting to turn into a hoarder, that's got to be next.  If I get this correct:
I need a SiteSage M-44 for $1539.  My main is a 42 circuit box with 41 used.  But two are used for surge, 2 are branch feeding to the garage and 2 are branchfeeding to the basement panel right next to it.
I need a SiteSage M-24SH Subpanel for $784 for the basement subpanel that is next to the main.  There are 11 circuits used.
I need a SiteSage M-24SH Subpanel for $784 for the garage.
I'm at $3,107 before I get to monitoring.
They sell monitoring by points.  And they have a 50 point tier, but do you know if a point is per CT clamp OR per 'circuit' as I define it.  To my simpleton logic, my well pump with a double breaker would use two CT clamps, but it's one circuit.  Is that one point or two for licensing purpose?  Sorry to put you on the spot, but I'm trying to figure out true costs for me.  
Monitoring is $364/2 years for 50 points.  I'm looking at $3741 out of the gate if I have calculated this correctly.  I'm waiting for black Friday Insteon sales to complete my final migration to all Insteon, and at that point I can probably convince myself to add something like this.  I have priced out other solutions, all of them in house but of course in house isn't as pretty as many of these cloud based solution providers.

Quote
Gamma1966
For residential I believe each circuit is an "energy monitoring Point"  does not matter whether it is a single or double breaker.  I have a 42 breaker panel, all filled with circuits and so I have 42 points on my 50 point license.  They are able to put CT's in sub-panels and they connect by RF to the main gateway; which has the Internet  / LAN connection.  In my house in California, I ran the CT sensor wires from the garage sub-panel to my main panel, because of too much RF interference, and that worked fine.  Still I have a 50 point license for that house as well, using 40 out of 50 circuits.  Welcome to the SiteSage world... you will be happy to use it. The nice part of the cloud of course is you can monitor it anywhere,  it is READ ONLY since there is no Actions provided by the SiteSage monitoring application.
Quote