How Can I Take the 30% Federal Tax Credit for Solar If ...

Re: How can I take the 30% Federal Tax Credit for Solar if ...

PostBy: lsayre On: Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:08 pm

jpete wrote:How does the grid being down prevent you from making power?


I'm not exactly sure how this works, but this is what I've been told. Where is Freddie when we need him?
lsayre
 
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Re: How can I take the 30% Federal Tax Credit for Solar if ...

PostBy: jpete On: Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:13 pm

Frankly, I think a combination PV and hydrogen fuel cell system is the way to go right now.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... gen-house/

I saw a demonstration on an episode of "This Old House" but I can't find the video right now.

Make and store hydrogen all day with your PV panels, then use the fuel cell to power the house all night.

If you have a plug in electric car, you can charge it either day or night and if you have a hydrogen fuel cell car, you can fuel up from your storage tank.

The technology has come a long way and has become less expensive since the above article was written.
jpete
 
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Re: How can I take the 30% Federal Tax Credit for Solar if ...

PostBy: lsayre On: Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:45 pm

Certainly a PV system with no batteries would be dead in the water during the night, and mostly dead on any day other than a nice and sunny one.

But I believe that by law they must go down when the grid goes down so they will not be back-feeding electricity to a grid that is being serviced by linemen. An automatic disconnect may serve to solve this problem though. The same problem would present itself to the intermediary system that lies between the full extremes of grid-tied and off-grid, this being called grid-tied with battery back-up. Grid-tied with battery back-up is what I'm considering now that I know I can't come fully off the grid this side of using the hydrogen cell system that Jpete provided an example of.
lsayre
 
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Re: How can I take the 30% Federal Tax Credit for Solar if ...

PostBy: McGiever On: Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:10 pm

No, a home pv w/ grid tie is still functional w/ grid down.
They have auto transfer interlock for isolation from the grid when grid goes out.
This is also part of the certifed installer prerequisites.
No utility linemen can be harmed by some half-wit diy'er backfeeding the grid during a power outage.
McGiever
 
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Re: How can I take the 30% Federal Tax Credit for Solar if ...

PostBy: lsayre On: Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:13 pm

McGiever wrote:No, a home pv w/ grid tie is still functional w/ grid down.
They have auto transfer interlock for isolation from the grid when grid goes out.
This is also part of the certifed installer prerequisites.
No utility linemen can be harmed by some half-wit diy'er backfeeding the grid during a power outage.


But will such a system that is battery free accomplish much of anything in regard to providing usable power to a home on a cloudy day or during the night if the grid is down?

My suspicion is that it would not, else why would anyone consider costly batteries.
lsayre
 
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Re: How can I take the 30% Federal Tax Credit for Solar if ...

PostBy: McGiever On: Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:30 pm

Was just trying help show that PV doesn't need to shut down when grid is down, due to isolation of PV being automated into all systems.

But, one can size and build a system for acceptable output on cloudy days...but during nights, you know that answer. :no1:

Having a favorable site and use wind and/or water, they work after sundown. :)
McGiever
 
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Re: How can I take the 30% Federal Tax Credit for Solar if ...

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:38 am

Here is a link to one of the sources whereby I got the understanding that when the grid goes down a grid-tied solar system goes down with it:

Con:

If there is a power failure, you have no electricity.
Doesn’t generate solar power at night or on overcast days, so you’re back to using the grid.


http://www.offthegridnews.com/2013/09/2 ... ar-energy/
lsayre
 
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Re: How can I take the 30% Federal Tax Credit for Solar if ...

PostBy: McGiever On: Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:10 am

But...who's "Power failure?" Is it assumed the grid's...or maybe ones own PV system?
The grid has no effect on ones own PV system...only the sun or lack of has an effect.
McGiever
 
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Re: How can I take the 30% Federal Tax Credit for Solar if ...

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:17 am

lsayre wrote:
jpete wrote:How does the grid being down prevent you from making power?


I'm not exactly sure how this works, but this is what I've been told. Where is Freddie when we need him?


I'm up north with no solar! Yup, for safety, when the power goes down a grid tie system goes with it. With no batteries you have no power. There is one inverter that will deliver a small amount of power with no batteries, but only for charging cell phones or what not. Think about it.... if you want power directly from panels, you must have zero clouds. One little cloud &your TV shuts off.

Hydrogen is wayyyy too expensive. That guy has $400, 000 in government grants!!!

If you are off the grid it's expensive no matter what to live the same lifestyle. On grid, batteries don't make sense to me. You must have a generator either way. Skip the batteties, save the money.

The Feds give 30% for self install. Some states screw you out of the rebates unless it's a pro doing the install.
Freddy
 
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Re: How can I take the 30% Federal Tax Credit for Solar if ...

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:27 am

Thanks Freddie! I feel vindicated! :D

Currently downsizing my solar dreams.
lsayre
 
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Re: How can I take the 30% Federal Tax Credit for Solar if ...

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Aug 10, 2014 12:07 pm

When I get back to a qwerty keyboard I'll explain why you need a generator either way......and why batteries only make sense when off grid.
Freddy
 
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Re: How can I take the 30% Federal Tax Credit for Solar if ...

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Aug 10, 2014 12:33 pm

Freddy wrote:When I get back to a qwerty keyboard I'll explain why you need a generator either way......and why batteries only make sense when off grid.


With the help of PVWatts I've already figured on the need for a generator for at least November, December, January, and February (or alternately to really suck in the belt and not use much electricity during that span). The sun angle is too low and on top of that there are too many cloudy and snow filled days during that run which merely compound the problem. Snow covered panels must be a nightmare to the off-grid crowd.

There is no way I could afford sufficient batteries to power everything in my house for 3 days, that's for sure. And I'm quite certain that particularly during November, December, January, and February there are likely going to be plenty of spans greater than that with no sun.

Freddie, what are your thoughts on going with grid-tied plus battery back-up? Primarily using the batteries to provide electrical power during power outages. I could probably go with sufficient batteries to get me through 24 hours.
lsayre
 
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Re: How can I take the 30% Federal Tax Credit for Solar if ...

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sun Aug 10, 2014 3:33 pm

lsayre wrote:There is no way I could afford sufficient batteries to power everything in my house for 3 days, that's for sure.


I would evaluate what you need to run vs. what you want to run during extended power outages. Also consider the use of LP gas for certain appliances.
Rob R.
 
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Re: How can I take the 30% Federal Tax Credit for Solar if ...

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:00 pm

Rob R. wrote:
lsayre wrote:There is no way I could afford sufficient batteries to power everything in my house for 3 days, that's for sure.


I would evaluate what you need to run vs. what you want to run during extended power outages. Also consider the use of LP gas for certain appliances.


I've considered going with LP, but that would mean a propane tank in the yard. My wife is not too keen to that.
lsayre
 
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Re: How can I take the 30% Federal Tax Credit for Solar if ...

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:35 pm

I'm bacccccck! I's so nice to not have to one finger pick & poke...

OK.... Before we start I want to say that each state may be a little different.... in some states the electric company pays you cash for extra power. Other states they pay you wholesale & you buy it back at retail. Other states they trade, but will never send you money. Some states pay you EXTRA because it's "green"!! Find out how your electric company works & go with it. Here in Maine, they trade 100% even, but extra credits evaporate after 12 months. The bottom line is, in every state, the Electric company will accept extra power generated by you & will allow you to take it back within the rules of that state. ( or electric company) With a grid tied system, the electric company "is your batteries" so to speak. That is.... They "store" your extra power & you take it back as needed.... night time, on rainy days...during snow cover, etc.

My system works like this: I have no batteries. On average I use about 22 Kilo Watt hours (KWH) a day. On sunny days my 33 panel system can make up to 50 KWH. The extra power spins my meter backwards & they keep track on a month by month basis. I store up power during the summer & use it back during the winter. Last year my panels were snow covered for some weeks. I came very close to having to buy power (within one dollar!) But, just as I was running out of credits, the panels cleared & I squeaked by. I did sweep my lower panels, but the upper ones I didn't touch all winter. There was a warm day this Spring & I did get up on the roof & cleared some that once. The minimum bill (for paperwork I guess) is now $7.25 a month and that's what I pay each month.

Now... why you don't want batteries with a grid tie system & why you need a generator either way. Batteries are expensive! And, they need to be replaced every so often. The life of a battery can vary dramatically. What kills a battery quickly? Using it!!! The worst thing you can do to a lead acid battery is let it go dead, completely dead, and even worse, is to allow it to stay that way. If you can see to it that your batteries never go more than 50% dead they will last much longer. If you allow them to remain in a state of discharge they will sulfate & die much sooner. Hence, the need for a generator. Once your batteries are depleted because of lack of sunshine, you MUST recharge them. You can NOT allow them to sit, uncharged, until the sun comes back out. You WILL fire up the generator and charge them. So... If you must have a generator to charge the batteries, why not skip the batteries and just use the generator to power your house? Because the generator alone gets expensive fast. We are now back to "If you are off the grid, you will do what ever you need to do to live life as you want". An off grid system must have some batteries. The batteries have to be there so when a cloud goes by the electrons keep flowing. Also, you don't want to run the generator to run one light bulb or a single night light to see down the hall. Why is a off grid battery system not a desirable thing? It's like this: Dumm dee dum dum... It's a sunny day. The sun sets & the batteries are all charged. Tonight you watch some TV, use some lights & do laundry. Tomorrow is a sunny day. The sun comes up, the panels start making power, the batteries start charging. At about noon the batteries are fully charged. What happens to all the power made by the panels from noon to sunset? It's LOST! You either use it as it's made, or you lose it. In a grid tie system, none of that power is lost. Now , let's look at it the other way. Same day... the sun sets & the batteries are charged. the next day is rainy....the next day us also rainy. Toward the end of day two & into the day of day three, the batteries are getting low. Now is when you MUST fire up the generator to charge the batteries.

If you can have a grid tie system, do it! Now that you see that you have to have a generator anyway, and now that you understand that with a grid tie system you don't lose power when batteries are done charging (because there are none) it doesn't matter if you lose a tiny bit of saved power/ credits if they turn 13 months old. With a battery system you don't get 12 months, you don't get 12 days! And that's why I recommend a grid tie system with no batteries.

Oh, gosh, now I've rambled & probably confused everyone LOL. Ask questions if needed. As for "is it fair to get a government credit?" I don't make the rules, I just follow them. Is it fair to get a credit for having kids or being married? I don't care... I just follow the rules. I think I'd feel guilty if I accepted $400,000 so I could make a hydrogen system, but I'm sure as heck not going to feel guilty for getting 30% back when I worked my butt off to earn the money in the first place....and spent that money putting Americans to work. Yes, I made sure my panels and inverters were built in America. ( Although now I see my inverters are being made in China. *sigh*)
Freddy
 
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