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Comment: Re:Talk about creating a demand (Score 1) 329

by Ferretman (#49571055) Attached to: Why Our Antiquated Power Grid Needs Battery Storage

Ha. No such technology exists, unless you don't count maintenance costs as additional costs.

This is untrue. My alma mater was the University of Missouri at Rolla (big tech school in Missouri) and it was a year before I realized that the tiny little building just off the library was an actual working nuclear reactor. Unless it's been relocated/moved it was about the size of two trailers more or less (though of concrete block construction) and I think three stories in all.

Ferret

Comment: Re:Talk about creating a demand (Score 1) 329

by Ferretman (#49569455) Attached to: Why Our Antiquated Power Grid Needs Battery Storage
I loved my swamp cooler when I lived down in the flatter areas of Colorado...that sucker was cold.

Now I'm up at some altitude and in an ICF house, so my walls are very thick and I haven't felt the need for anything other than a couple of fans. Good construction of the house can very much make a difference, if that's an option (i.e. you're building from scratch).

Ferret

Comment: Re:The power should be cached in the community (Score 1) 533

by Ferretman (#49513849) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power
You said "inexpensive". You didn't say "one time expense".

That said, you're basically arguing with the wrong person. As I said I'm 100% off-grid, love it totally, and wouldn't change it for the world. But it's not cheap, and that's what the original post was alleging to a degree I thought was too much.

FYI panels last around 20-ish years or so nowadays. They used to degrade roughly 1% a year but the newer ones don't....closer to .25% or so (haven't had mine long enough to really tell any difference at all).

No way I'd use a refurbished battery, but to each his own there.

Ferret

Comment: Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 1) 533

by Ferretman (#49513785) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power
I honestly don't know why you're being hostile....please explain how I'm to tell one AC from another?

As to answering an AC but thinking the conversation has gone too far without greater identification, you'll note I did engage the AC. Since I can't tell if further posts are him/her or if multiple people are involved I figured that was the end of it.

I did in fact explain precisely what my reasoning was (this is the post http://hardware.slashdot.org/c... if you need help). To my mind the question as asked and answered.

Really, the onus is on or more of the ACs to either say "thank you" for my explaining or to engage in further discussion. I would request the courtesy of an actual user ID however if they wish to continue.

Ferret

Comment: Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 1) 533

by Ferretman (#49507377) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power
I note I'm speaking to an AC in an AC thread here...but what the heck.

The original post did indeed read very much as if the OP was fobbing off most of the problems and costs to other people. This might not be what he/she intended of course, but he/she hasn't jumped back in to defend them either. I'm afraid I interpreted them virtually the same as the AC I agreed with did.

Having now had at least two and possibly three ACs in this conversation, I must insist on actual names for further conversation....

Ferret

Comment: Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 1) 533

by Ferretman (#49506393) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power
Not sure how you get from nationalizing energy production to exploring space....?

In either event if you knew anything about Cold War history you'd know that the Russians primarily operated their space program as a way to shake out various engineering issues for their ballistic missiles--putting a person into space was just a nice touch and gave them bonus propaganda points. And to further push a bit nobody said government couldn't do some things well, just that they generally can't do them as well as private industry.

But that's off the subject, which was privatiziation vs. nationalization of power production. How do you avoid the obvious lessons learned over the past few decades that point against such nationalisation? Are you saying it would work here in the United States for same reason where it hasn't in other places? What specifically makes you think that?

Do you include companies such as Solar City and what Elon Musk is doing with his Tesla power packs for the home in this nationalization? Why or why not?

Ferret

Comment: Re:The power should be cached in the community (Score 3, Interesting) 533

by Ferretman (#49505943) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

A small lead acid bank capable of driving a house for an evening isn't that expensive.

Please define "not that expensive".

Eight of these for example would run you just about $3000 (I chose 8 to get you to a 48V system, the common configuration for off-grid systems these days). I include shipping but not the wiring and interconnects and such to make them work for you:

http://www.wholesalesolar.com/...

A lead-acid system shouldn't be discharged more than around 20% in order to avoid longer term damage; you can discharge them more deeply but you'll shorten their life significantly:

http://www.solar-electric.com/... of Batteries

Scroll down to the "Cycles vs. Lifespan" section and click on that chart. It's amazing.

So if you are likely to use half of your storage (~225AH for those selected) then a single set of batts would be discharged 50% in normal use. At that rate the batts will last you around 1000 charge/discharge cycles, so a bit less than 3 years if it's every day. If you want them to only be discharged 75% (moves you up the lifetime curve to 2000 charge/discharge cycles or around 5.8 years) it'll cost you double the price above, or around $6K. And quite honestly 225AH is a very shallow system....we're not talking about much being on overnight here. You definitely couldn't consider running a microwave--you'd tap that puppy right out.

I'm leaving out the equipment costs and such; charge controllers to dump power into the batteries and an inverter to take power out will add around $5K more.

I love the idea of as many folks as possible having back up and/or being off-grid entirely (I am) but it ain't cheap. I did it because I had no other choice here; the house is 5 miles away from the nearest power line.

Ferret

Comment: Re:Solar is here to stay (Score 1) 533

by Ferretman (#49505843) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

Battery cost has dropped by 94% in 20 years.

I'm sorry but that's uninformed nonsense. Battery prices have barely budged in the last 5 years--I know, I've got an off-grid system that needs batteries for off-hours and bad weather storage.

The biggest single advancement batteries have made in the last 20 years was to put carrying straps on the sides of the things so they're a bit easier to handle.

Ferret

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