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Solar energy just got better

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Solar energy just got better Empty Solar energy just got better

Post by Flamingo on Sat May 02, 2015 12:59 pm

When we lived off grid NOB, we had battery back up and to me, it just makes good sense. We have always had fairly frequent power outages in Mexico, some places worse than others. Always for several hours, usually not more than a day, several times a month. Grid tied solar wouldn't help unless the outage was during daylight hours.

Tesla just came out with a whole house battery back up at a reasonable cost. WOW
http://www.cnet.com/videos/tesla-diversifies-its-product-line-with-home-battery-back-up/
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Post by CanuckBob on Sat May 02, 2015 4:02 pm

We have had 3 power outages in the 2 1/2 years we have lived in Ajijic centro. None of them were longer than 6 hours. We had more power outages in Vancouver. Usually about 3 per year there.

The battery pack looks good anyhow.
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Post by Pedro on Sat May 02, 2015 4:10 pm

we have been here 9 years and the very few brief power outages we have had don't warrant anything special be done.
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Post by Flamingo on Sat May 02, 2015 4:24 pm

Living in more rural areas vs. living in the village. Tranquility vs. noise and activity. THe trade-offs we make.
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Post by David on Sat May 02, 2015 10:17 pm

We have solar electric. Battery backup doesn't make economic sense here.
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Post by Ezzie on Sun May 03, 2015 7:34 am

The press releases are conspicuous by their lack of technical details. What is the major technical breakthrough here that is going to "save the world from an impeding energy crisis?????? Is this just some marketing hype to inflate Tesla's share price or is there something solid here?

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Post by mapleleaf on Sun May 03, 2015 7:41 am

There is no major technological breakthrough. What is being offered is a neat, simple package at a reasonable price. Having said that, anybody buying this for purely economic reasons is fooling themselves; what this offers is backup for power outages and potential grid independence NOT cheap electricity. Some might find that attractive. To me, its not worth it at this time. At some point, maybe 5 to 10 years, as solar panels and batteries come down in price and or increase in efficiency, this type of system may very well be cheaper than buying power from the grid.
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Post by Ezzie on Sun May 03, 2015 7:49 am

Thanks for that mapleleaf.  I thought I had missed something!! $3500 US for a box to hang on the wall that has enough batteries to provide 10kW. Add on the costs of the panels and associated installation costs and you are still better off just getting a genset (for now).

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Post by David on Sun May 03, 2015 8:07 am

I disagree, solar electric makes excellent economic sense in Mexico today and has for the last 4 years. In that time the cost of a home solar voltaic system has fallen almost 45%. When I bought mine 4 years ago the economics were compelling. Today even more so!
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Post by mapleleaf on Sun May 03, 2015 8:22 am

The economics in Mexico are a little different than the rest of North America. Having said that, we are not talking about solar, we are talking about battery storage. I still doubt that the battery would make economic sense even in Mexico.
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Post by Ezzie on Sun May 03, 2015 8:47 am

I agree.  We are not talking here about an "on grid" solar system, we are discussing "off grid" which means a bunch of batteries in a box charged up and maintained by a solar system.

"On grid" systems make great economic sense here in Mexico because of two major factors:

1. The abundance of sunlight
2. High relative cost of electricity from CFE

"Off grid" isn't there yet due to the cost and technical limitations of current electricity storage.  For emergency purposes, it is still much more economically feasible to buy a standby generator.  I brought down from Canada a 6500W diesel genset that can produce up to 30A at 240V - sufficient to power a whole casa.  Canadian cost - about $1,200 CDN (www.auroragenerators.com).  A jug of diesel fuel will run that puppy for 24 hrs.

Where "off-grid" makes sense is low power, unattended applications in remote areas such as communications sites, agricultural use pumps, monitoring & level controls for storage tanks, etc.


Last edited by Ezzie on Sun May 03, 2015 9:09 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by otrocanuck on Sun May 03, 2015 8:57 am

For years I lived in the Canadian Rockies, far from any community or grid power. I did not have a choice, either do without electricity or install a battery system, or run a generator. I loved having the independence and reliability of being off grid but it was still restrictive in what you could operate and when. Here in Mexico it makes sense to be on grid but in a situation like I was in battery/solar made sense and did the job. I think it is a good thing that a company with Tesla resources look at this and start bringing it into main stream operation. It may not be a perfect solution today but with them tackling the problem it will only develop into a better option over the years.
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Post by mapleleaf on Sun May 03, 2015 9:28 am

I think you hit the nail on the head Otro. Tesla is looking at this as a first step in a potentially huge future market. And that future is probably not very distant.
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