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Topic-icon Solar

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3 weeks 2 days ago #545913 by seanphone

Hi
I am thinking of buying a bare block in Northland.
No anything. But what is the story with Solar. Is this an alternative to having to pay for elec?

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3 weeks 2 days ago #545915 by Hawkspur

Yes, it can be. It makes a lot of sense if you want to be independent or the cost to connect is high, or both.

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3 weeks 2 days ago #545918 by Deanna

Yes a good option as opposed to the sometimes large cost of connecting to the grid. Batteries are very expensive. We have a 10kwh system but are still connected to the grid as we have no batteries yet. At night only the fridge runs and any light or tv that is on.


25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.

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3 weeks 1 day ago #545932 by neil postie

Hi. we are 98% solar, 2% generator. It would cost us $35,000 to get connected to the grid so no choice really. Our system is big, 4.6kw of solar panels, 64Kw hours of batteries. I am guessing that all up maybe $40,000 has been spent but we don't worry about lights left on, our hot water is electric (over summer) as is the jug. Before you commit its worth doing the sums. The batteries that cost $15,000 and will last about 15 years so that's $1000 a year. If we invested the $40,000 that would earn $$ that's lost income plus maybe $300 a year to run the generator so while people think it free electricity, it's not. My solar guy is excellent so if you need someone to chat to he'd be the man (he does hydro and wind as well). Message me if you want his phone number

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2 weeks 2 days ago #546015 by tonybaker

I can't see how the numbers add up for conventional solar panels? I would use a couple of panels to directly feed the heater in the hot water cylinder, and use the batteries in my electric car as a power source. LED lights need very little power, so if you have wood fired heating and gas cooking, you should be ok.
As soon as solar becomes popular, govt will find a way of preventing it as the lines companies won't be making enough money to extend or repair the infrastructure.


5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, ducks, Kune Kune pigs, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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2 weeks 1 day ago #546032 by Mudlerk

Sadly, Tonybaker's prediction is already true. For instance:
Our solar water heater was installed 9 years ago, complete with a legally-required thermostat in the tank. Preset at 65 degrees, it prevents legionnaires' disease. This, of course, in conjunction with the legally required tempering valve to reduce tap water maximums to 55 degrees, makes solar heat part of the system superfluous! A bit of investigation reveals that the disease can be prevented by raising the temperature to only 63 degrees for only half-an-hour once every fortnight, so a thermostat with a 'memory' would've saved a lot of electricity...and restored functionality to the solar heating tubes.
Fortunately, the installers also put in an override switch...in case anything went wrong with the thermostat, I guess. :whistle: :whistle:
A friend more experienced in the mysterious ways of parliamentary committees has explained to me that both the thermostat and tempering laws came in after lobbying by, respectively, the electricity and plumbing industries.
It seems to me that this sort of corruption of legislators is inevitable, so long as political parties are dependent on donations to win elections...you don't last long if you bite the hand that feeds you. Anyone got any quick and easy solutions??

Last Edit: 2 weeks 1 day ago by Mudlerk. Reason: bad proof reading

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2 weeks 1 day ago #546035 by Hawkspur

Mudlerk wrote: ... the legally required tempering valve to reduce tap water maximums to 55 degrees...


That temperature limit applies to home handbasins, baths, showers, and bidets, or other personal hygiene sanitary devices, where people are likely to come into direct contact with the hot water, particularly immersion contact.
You can have the water hotter for sinks, laundry tubs etc. and a tempering valve allows you to reduce only the necessary fittings' supply.

In schools and institutions with children or elderly, the limit is 45ºC

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2 weeks 7 hours ago #546040 by max2

We have a 6kW system with inverters and still on mains power. We export about $26 per month in electricity to the grid. I try and stagger starting times for devices like the big pump, washing machine, spa etc to when the sun has hit our panels. Our technician can log in remotely and he believes we are turning over quite a bit of our own power.


Our electricity supply is three phase which means we would require a battery for each phase. It's uneconomical for us to consider as a battery for 1 phase is $10K (so we have been advised).

Instead, we are buying a generator which will run our needs for approx. $4,500 odd at field days in June and our electrician will be setting it up so we turn over to generator power if and when (according to my BIL it's more when than if) the power fails again.

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2 weeks 2 hours ago #546042 by tonybaker

do you really need 3 phase power? I believe the standing charges are higher.


5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, ducks, Kune Kune pigs, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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1 week 6 days ago #546050 by max2

Yes

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1 week 6 days ago #546051 by Ramsay

Hi
I have always wondered why so many farms have 3 phase.
Do you run industrial size engineering tools?..lathes drills and the like?
Or is it some other reason?
Just being nosy :)
Thanks
Richard

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1 week 6 days ago #546052 by iSor

Yes, lathe, thicknesser, some other things I don’t know the names of and 3 kw double oven/ induction hob require us to have 3 phase power and we have to pay around $100 incl GST availability charge for the pleasure of maybe using all this equipment, on top of everything else in the house, all at once. If we didn’t have 3 phase and blew the transformer thing down the road that would be a horrendous bill to fix.
Last month’s power bill,with 16 pv panels on the roof, was $172 after they took off what we fed back to the grid ($24) As much as I’d like to run the house on more solar it would cost $11,000 to get 6 more panels and battery storage to do so and we’d still have to pay the availability charge to stay connected just in case.

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1 week 6 days ago #546053 by tonybaker

3 phase is not so much to do with how much power you use, but more the type of motor you run. I doubt you use all those appliances at once so normal single phase will be ok.


5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, ducks, Kune Kune pigs, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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1 week 3 days ago #546123 by max2

Our power account last month was the lowest its ever been at approx. $233 after prompt payment discount with 24 6kW panels and inverters and minus exported electricity approx $26 power back to the grid.

We have a smallish cow shed (currently turned off out of season as well as the shed hot water cylinder, we have three in total on the property) running through the same meters as the house, so take advantage of the ''residential'' rate to run that.

I have asked if it was possible to run the essentials through on one of the phases, but the answer seemed to be no. Whether that would change for new construction with everything done at the beginning, might well be different.

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1 week 20 hours ago #546166 by Stikkibeek

Our power bill last month was $132.00 and that includes the discount we get from our powerco. We do not have solar. We used to have two meters one for the house and one for the barn which ran a water pump for the troughs and an electric fence. The separate meter was horrendous as it was classified commercial and we couldn't get the lines company to waive the charge despite a water pump and an electric fence hardly being commercial. Rental was $80 a month for $12 worth of power, so, when we built our shed we changed the power. We put services underground and put the house on the new meter first. That changed us to "residential" and just one meter. We do run a bandsaw (Mostly for firewood) a mill, an air compressor and a lathe which are all on 3 phase.
Our water is electric, but I will be turning that off soon as the need for a fire increases and with a wetback, all our hot water taken care of by this wetback from about mid April to mid October when the power bill will drop. Coupled with the heating allowance on our super, that makes things rather better for us.


Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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