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Survival and Preparations Long and short term survival and 'prepping'.

View Poll Results: where to get the power
City power 20 35.09%
Solar and a gen 34 59.65%
Other 3 5.26%
Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

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  #41  
Old 03-08-2014, 1:03 PM
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Originally Posted by wheels View Post
I was wondering why they would have made grid tie systems so disfunctional
It's a primarily a safety issue, in addition to being a load issue.

Safety: If the utility power goes out (say a local line blows down or a transformer fails), then power line workers will be working to repair/replace the equipment. They don't want your grid-tied inverter suddenly making those lines hot while they're working on them.

Load: Do you think your inverter would be happy trying to power your entire neighborhood?
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  #42  
Old 03-08-2014, 2:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Spyguy View Post
It's a primarily a safety issue, in addition to being a load issue.
My post you quoted was rhetorical, they have not made grid tie inverters dis-functional at all, as referenced by all the models on the page in my quote supporting operation when the grid is down. I imagine there are models that cost less which have no ability to operate without grid power, but the decision to use that inverter just makes the system single use - run the meter backward during the day.

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Originally Posted by Spyguy View Post
Safety: If the utility power goes out (say a local line blows down or a transformer fails), then power line workers will be working to repair/replace the equipment. They don't want your grid-tied inverter suddenly making those lines hot while they're working on them.
That is a good explanation of why a building with it's own internal power source has a disconnect on the outside of the building near the meter. Crews working on the lines in my area will physically disconnect my system before they work on lines in my area.



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Originally Posted by Spyguy View Post
Load: Do you think your inverter would be happy trying to power your entire neighborhood?
Yep that's the reason why the inverters have the ability to prevent the inverter being the only power source in the neighborhood. I'm not sure why you thought I didn't understand the problem unless you are just attempting to clarify for others benefit. As I mentioned I designed and installed my own system in 20025 (wow just looked that up), it was hard to find an electrician who understood solar PV systems in North San Diego County back then.
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  #43  
Old 03-08-2014, 3:08 PM
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Originally Posted by wheels View Post
My post you quoted was rhetorical, they have not made grid tie inverters dis-functional at all, as referenced by all the models on the page in my quote supporting operation when the grid is down. I imagine there are models that cost less which have no ability to operate without grid power, but the decision to use that inverter just makes the system single use - run the meter backward during the day.
Most people (probably >95%) purchasing solar inverters are not planning for TEOTWAWKI and they are NOT running huge banks of storage batteries. They are either looking to reduce/offset their grid usage, or they are commercial installations looking to generate and sell power to the utilities. Thus it's pointless for inverter manufacturers to design and build inveters with an internal automatic transfer switch and the ability to operate without grid power. Yes, it's about cost, but not in the way you're portraying it. Simple economics: you design the system to meet market needs. The live-off-the-grid/SHTF crowd are a TINY market, so there will be very few commercial offerings for that type of system.

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Originally Posted by wheels View Post
That is a good explanation of why a building with it's own internal power source has a disconnect on the outside of the building near the meter. Crews working on the lines in my area will physically disconnect my system before they work on lines in my area.

Do you really think utility workers are going to be knocking on every door in the neighborhood to attempt to discover who has a live grid tie-in so they can manually disconnect it before working on the lines? That's why the electrical code and building ordinances require AUTOMATIC transfer switches for the installation of any back-up generator. For solar systems, they require grid-tie inverters to shut down when grid power is lost.

I don't know the particulars of your home-brewed system. But if you have an inverter that stays live after the loss of grid power AND it does not have an automatic transfer switch to disconnect from the grid, then what you are doing is VERY dangerous. You cannot rely on someone (you or utility workers) disconnecting your system manually. If it does rely on manually disconnecting, then I think it's safe to assume you built your system without a permit or an inspection and your system is in total violation. You are risking, at a minimum, a multi-million dollar lawsuit if someone gets injured. At worst, you could be facing criminal charges if someone gets killed.
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  #44  
Old 03-08-2014, 4:14 PM
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The way my system works is when the power fails for just a second it automatically isolates me from the grid. It requires me to go out and throw a switch manually to go back on the grid. PG&E does a yearly inspection on my system.

They do the same thing up here with people that have backup generator systems. I sure don't want to back feed a line and kill someone.

I am looking into these new AGM batteries. Twice the cost but last 4 times as long.
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  #45  
Old 03-08-2014, 4:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyguy View Post
Most people (probably >95%) purchasing solar inverters are not planning for TEOTWAWKI and they are NOT running huge banks of storage batteries. They are either looking to reduce/offset their grid usage, or they are commercial installations looking to generate and sell power to the utilities. Thus it's pointless for inverter manufacturers to design and build inveters with an internal automatic transfer switch and the ability to operate without grid power. Yes, it's about cost, but not in the way you're portraying it. Simple economics: you design the system to meet market needs. The live-off-the-grid/SHTF crowd are a TINY market, so there will be very few commercial offerings for that type of system.


Do you really think utility workers are going to be knocking on every door in the neighborhood to attempt to discover who has a live grid tie-in so they can manually disconnect it before working on the lines? That's why the electrical code and building ordinances require AUTOMATIC transfer switches for the installation of any back-up generator. For solar systems, they require grid-tie inverters to shut down when grid power is lost.

I don't know the particulars of your home-brewed system. But if you have an inverter that stays live after the loss of grid power AND it does not have an automatic transfer switch to disconnect from the grid, then what you are doing is VERY dangerous. You cannot rely on someone (you or utility workers) disconnecting your system manually. If it does rely on manually disconnecting, then I think it's safe to assume you built your system without a permit or an inspection and your system is in total violation. You are risking, at a minimum, a multi-million dollar lawsuit if someone gets injured. At worst, you could be facing criminal charges if someone gets killed.
SDG & E knows full well about the system, it was fully permitted and met the code when installed. I guess I could post a scan of my latest net metering summary, but I don't think anyone really cares but you. If they have my section of the grid de-energized to work, they know where the houses are that have grid tied systems and do come by and secure the dis-connect for the duration of the work. They like disconnects from my experience as they know the power is secured, and no internal mischief has been wired.

I corrected some misinformation in my initial post above, and provided a link to a dealer selling inverters that work exactly as I posted - which BTW had nothing to do with you. I posted a picture of my disconnect on my permitted system, maybe you'd care to post some pictures of your self designed and installed, permitted system to validate any of the nonsense you have posted.

Maybe you could PM it to me, I think we're pretty far afield of the initial OP, unless you'd like to start a thread showing your PV system. Mines been running since 2002 and paid itself off in late 2008.
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  #46  
Old 03-08-2014, 5:55 PM
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The grid powers the inverter. No grid no inverter. No inverter means no AC power the DC dies at inverter. They now make hybrid inverters to do both on and off grid.
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.....In fact, the majority of people don't want freedom and wouldn't know what to do with it even if they had it.
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  #47  
Old 03-08-2014, 11:43 PM
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Actually my post about inverters IS correct! The inverter and outback system that was linked was what I was talking about as being a different one! Ie it's not the norm, it's the exception! 95% of ALL inverters sold in the US must have power coming from the grid to work! I guess in the event of power failure you could disconnect from the grid and back feed the inverter with a generator but I've never seen that so it's just a guess!
If you want to be able to run batteries, you must get a very specific and costly system to do so!
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  #48  
Old 03-09-2014, 8:17 AM
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On micro inverters this guy is splicing before the micro inverters to make his own hybrid solar. It's easier to do this with a single inverter
http://youtu.be/_lLG0ifXojg
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.....In fact, the majority of people don't want freedom and wouldn't know what to do with it even if they had it.
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  #49  
Old 03-13-2014, 2:37 AM
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Just received permit today ill be doing whole thing myself. $200 for permit.
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