Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Headshot

Solar Generation Installation and Maintenance

Recommended Posts

Paul

 

However, if you need power because of Brown outs, then maybe, but still consider a generator, as one liter of Diesel can produce ca. 4-5kwh, which ist still cheaper than some solar installations.

 

I am still experimenting with solar (last3 years), but the price ist still higher than grid power.

Fair enough. It may be somewhat cheaper to stay on the grid. But, it is much more reliable to produce your own, than anywhere I have lived in SE Asia, thus far, certainly including the Philippines. Brownouts are as common as colds.

 

For me, reliability says a lot. And, not having to depend on another entity, period, says even more. So, you have to do a bit of maintenance. If you also do the install yourself, you can save a LOT on the entire system. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to do it, just someone with half a brain.

 

Another thing is, the power I produce will be considerably cleaner than the power coming from the wall power points, in many cases. It will also be stable. That is much more than I can say about the power that has been provided for me, over the past - oh, 13 years.

 

So, there are trade offs. Knowing you will have power, when everyone else around you is sitting in the dark, well, that is a comfortable feeling.

 

At the farm, where we are producing our own power, the neighbors come over in the early evening, because they know we will have lights around the property, when they do not.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cgu

Where, particularly the Tayud shop?  On the Cansaga bridge road?

When going up north it is to your left (by the coastal road), after the intersection. So it quite far from the bridge and it might be around the border between Tayud Consolacion and Tayud Liloan. It is a small shop, but seems to have nearly everything. It is fairly new.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cgu

Where, particularly the Tayud shop?  On the Cansaga bridge road?

Yes Cansaga bridge road (see post above)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stevensanph

I added the application form and net metering tech specs for Meralco to Paul's dropbox.

 

Links are:

 

Application form

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5699donscf3km6h/meralco%20renewable%20energy%20app.pdf

 

Tech Specs (spot the mistake on the first page!  Their engineer admitted to me they have no idea what they are doing and copied the specs from an American company!!)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/mc19p3ple1etccs/meralco%20tech%20specs%20solar.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cgu

I added the application form and net metering tech specs for Meralco to Paul's dropbox.

 

Links are:

 

Application form

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5699donscf3km6h/meralco%20renewable%20energy%20app.pdf

 

Tech Specs (spot the mistake on the first page!  Their engineer admitted to me they have no idea what they are doing and copied the specs from an American company!!)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/mc19p3ple1etccs/meralco%20tech%20specs%20solar.pdf

Thank you,

 

I am with Veco and will find out what infos, forms etc, they have.

 

Did you do you provision for the tie uo yourself?

 

I am wondering if it is possible to feed the generated electricity into the house circuit to lessen the consumption (without net metering). I never investigated it, but I suspect not as you would mix the 2 circuits. However, that happens in a tie up as well. Any thoughts... (I am aware that it might not be ideal, as no consumption would lead to loss in energy, but this should not be considered in my question).

 

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stevensanph

The below link is an example of how the system will be wired.  It feeds into the main breaker providing power.  You will consume this if your using.  If your not it will be exported.  Meralco provide a 2nd meter to measure the export.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4a6u2v5u62lhatc/74590899%20%281%29.png

 

So, if your using power while generating you will draw less from the grid.  If you are generating more than you use, the excess will be exported.

 

It took me over 30 calls to meralco to get an answer on the net metering.  Answers ranged from "its impossible", to "what?".  I eventually got an answer going into my local office (headquarters for the region) and asking all the way up to the duty manager.  They didn't know, but went and got the chief engineer who did know and get all excited as I was the first person to inquire!  Apparently as of December only 2 people in the entire Meralco service area (many millions of people) had applied.

 

I have done everything myself so far.  I was provided a copy by the engineer of a previous application which was done by a proper solar installer on which to base my application/layout etc.  So far Meralco have been nothing other than incredibly helpful since finding the right person to talk too.

Edited by stevensanph

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mikala

In order to tie into the system, your inverters will have to be designed to synchronize their output with what the grid is currently supplying. Most inverters today have this, but my off-grid system at my ranch in Hawaii does not have this feature.

 

If you're looking to install a system that will take care of your needs in all weather conditions, consider going with a battery bank that would be enough to power your household for 1/2 a day or so, along with a generator that has an automatic pickup when the voltage drops too low. That way, during long periods of cloudiness, you're fully covered. Keep it simple though. If you have a voltage sensing relay hooked up to the battery bank and the contacts hooked up to the starting wiring on the genset, it works great at a low cost!

 

Keep in mind that the wattage ratings of the solar panels will NOT be the wattage that you get out of it. There are various factors to take into account, but cloud cover, angle of the sun and dirtiness of the collectors all must be taken into account. In the Philippines, there's also a derating that occurs if the panels get overheated. That's generally solved by providing some space between the solar panels and a roof (for example) by using "stand-offs" to allow some space for air flow.

 

Note: one of the biggest electricity savings you could get would be to setup a solar hot water heating system. I've had neighbors that have done it using a coil of black hose on their roof. It's cheap and effective, but the hose needs to be replaced every year or so.

 

For a lot more information, read Home Power e-Magazine www.homepower.com. I read it for years before designing and building my own system.

Edited by Mikala

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cgu

Thank you.

 

I have an inverter and power (solar and soon wind as well). My main point was to connect into the grid, even with no meter and so lower my consumption. As far as I understand now this is possible just to attach the power to the panel (or main breaker). My fear was (or is) that once you tie up the two circuits it might flow back, but might not.

 

My converter should be ok (60 mhz for the PI and to 230). I will still do some research.

 

My main reason is not to have to many batteries and so get a better efficiency.

 

As far as for savings, the main source is not hot water here in the PI, but air conditioning, but this can be solved, as cooling with solar electricity is not efficient either. It is better to use the solar heat to generate cooling (using a refrigerant and absorber or adsorber). It is still expermimental, but once going it will cool without electricity and forever (anyway we heat with ice in Europe :) and that is already commercial)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mikala

Your fears about feeding power back into the grid would only be realized if you were creating more power than you used. That would run your meter backwards (at least meters I'm familiar with in the USA). But then your meter would run forwards again when you were using more power than you produced (at night perhaps). The overall effect usually is that you get charged a lot less for your electricity.

 

Back in Hawaii, we would install special meters for customers that had solar, wind or hydro connected to our grid. it was called net-metering. We charged the customer about 20 pesos per kilowatt-hour used, but only paid customers about 5 pesos per kilowat that they produced (above their daily usage), it worked as a bonus for the company. Personally I thought it was a complete rip-off, but I was just the engineering supervisor. I didn't set electric rates.

 

One of the most important things with a system like yours though is to ensure the grounding is well 'bonded' throughout the system. Photovoltaics (solar) can really produce some nasty shocks when strung together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cgu

Yes, I am just reading about the feed in circuits. It seems that you can just plug a grid tied inverter into a wall mounted plug and it starts feeding. That would be great. I need to buy a consumption meter (watt meter) and start to measure :). However I will still start to apply in parallel fo the net metering at VECO, as that might take a year. But with the rates going now (around 10 pesos) solar becomes financially feasible. Wind power of course is already financially feasible, as it nearly as cheap as nuclear (according to worl statistcs even at par with nuclear) - and we have quite good wind here.and the advantage is that I will not use as many batteries.

 

In the US I read about this rip-off rates and this started a guerilla movement, where people just started to meter without any application and the utility not even knowing about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stevensanph

Yes, I am just reading about the feed in circuits. It seems that you can just plug a grid tied inverter into a wall mounted plug and it starts feeding. That would be great. I need to buy a consumption meter (watt meter) and start to measure :). However I will still start to apply in parallel fo the net metering at VECO, as that might take a year. But with the rates going now (around 10 pesos) solar becomes financially feasible. Wind power of course is already financially feasible, as it nearly as cheap as nuclear (according to worl statistcs even at par with nuclear) - and we have quite good wind here.and the advantage is that I will not use as many batteries.

 

In the US I read about this rip-off rates and this started a guerilla movement, where people just started to meter without any application and the utility not even knowing about it.

 

You can just plug into the breaker yes... but is your inverter a grid tie type.  Will it automatically shut off if the grid power fails?  If not, your going to give someone a nasty shock.

Also note that not all meters in Philippines will go backwards.  Those that do may raise alerts.  Reading my Meralco contract, feeding power into the grid is strictly prohibited without the permission of the power company... eg - net metering provisions!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cgu

 

 

You can just plug into the breaker yes... but is your inverter a grid tie type.
 

Thanks for the advice. I need to check. This is a grid tie converter and it will shut off once the voltage drops below the acceptable range. I do not think the meter runs backward and there is certainly no alerts.

You do not have to plug into the breakers, actually any outlet will do (of course depending the regualtion), but from a technical point you can feed in anywhere. It makes no difference to the supply and also the safety features.

During outages we disconnect from the grid and attach a generator (maybe in the future we can supply short outages via batteries, but these are used to power my outdoor lights during night at the moment, but I plan to run everythimg without batteries)
As mentioned I will still apply to VECO, but in the meantime I might give it a try. Edited by Paul
fixed quotes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul

How about micro inverters?  Just a thought. Um, a member in England, Chas, made three posts about them in a thread back in May:

 

Post 1

Post 2

Post 3

 

Personally, I know very little about them. But, they seem to be the way to go, according to those who are running grid tied solar arrays.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cgu

The below link is an example of how the system will be wired.  It feeds into the main breaker providing power.  You will consume this if your using.  If your not it will be exported.  Meralco provide a 2nd meter to measure the export.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4a6u2v5u62lhatc/74590899%20(1).png

 

So, if your using power while generating you will draw less from the grid.  If you are generating more than you use, the excess will be exported.

 

It took me over 30 calls to meralco to get an answer on the net metering.  Answers ranged from "its impossible", to "what?".  I eventually got an answer going into my local office (headquarters for the region) and asking all the way up to the duty manager.  They didn't know, but went and got the chief engineer who did know and get all excited as I was the first person to inquire!  Apparently as of December only 2 people in the entire Meralco service area (many millions of people) had applied.

 

I have done everything myself so far.  I was provided a copy by the engineer of a previous application which was done by a proper solar installer on which to base my application/layout etc.  So far Meralco have been nothing other than incredibly helpful since finding the right person to talk too.

I have a so called micro inverter and I am really concerned about it. What inverter are you using? The problem I see is the kind of power we have here in the PI. First it is 2 hot wires with 2x 110 no grounding, but measuring it gives me different results, despite that we have our own transformer. The problem are the voltage fluxes, which I do not think any inverters can handle to match (at least that what the brother of my in-law says (he is electrcian back in Europe, just checked with him today, so that is not my statement - maybe somebody can proof different).

 

I went to Veco today and they said I have to go to SM City to talk to an engineer. At the same time I asked them via their facebook site, sent them a question about net metering. They responded that Veco has not implemented net metering yet and I should wait until they make it public. Of course I send them back my response (polite though) and will see what will be their second response.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul
The problem are the voltage fluxes

 

My personal view: 

 

As I have openly stated before, whether on this forum, or the Living in Cambodia Forum, I would NEVER have a grid-tied system in either country, simply due to the nasty, fluxuating, irregular, and undependable power that is produced in both countries.

 

The power my solar array produces is clean, pure, DC voltage. My inverter, in turn, produces clean, reliable, pure AC voltage. (For those geeks who may decide to ask, no, I have not put it on an oscilloscope to check the wave. But, I would be happy to do so, if necessary.)

Edited by Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Commercial Banner Advertisers

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Guidelines. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..