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  Reply # 1610054 11-Aug-2016 12:08
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deadlyllama:

 

Are there any options to replace good old corrugated iron / coloursteel / etc?  My house is old...

 

 

 

 

I guess that "solar rib" mentioned above might be doable - but it's not going to be cheap, might be complicated, might look a bit odd on an older house, and might not be very efficient if the pitch and orientation of the existing roof isn't ideal.


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  Reply # 1610077 11-Aug-2016 12:46
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kiwifidget:

 

But would you bother with the expense of putting them on the south and west facing sides of your roof?

 

 

West for sure, south, possibly not. They do make power on overcast days when facing south but not a lot. Would really have to see how they stack up in that situation.





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  Reply # 1610094 11-Aug-2016 13:38
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Hopefully it isn't as big a waste of money as solar panels themselves are.


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  Reply # 1611308 14-Aug-2016 08:16
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Kopkiwi:

 

Hopefully it isn't as big a waste of money as solar panels themselves are.

 

 

I think to some extent it depends where you are. I believe several countries offer subsidies from government towards the costs, for example. Not sure if NZ does.






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  Reply # 1611317 14-Aug-2016 09:18
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Geektastic:

 

I think to some extent it depends where you are. I believe several countries offer subsidies from government towards the costs, for example. Not sure if NZ does.

 

 

 

 

NZ offers an indirect subsidy via the low user charging regulations. The rule which forces power companies to offer a price plan with max daily charges of 33c/day. For people who use less than 8000kW/hr per year. And they can't offer another plan that would have a customer who uses less than 8000kW/Hr paying less overall than what they would pay on the 33c/day plan. Problem is 33c/day doesn't come close to covering the fixed costs of supplying power to a house. So the per unit charge is higher on this plan.

 

But if you then get grid connect solar installed, and you are on this plan. You get higher savings as you are buying less power at the artificially inflated per unit price. And even higher savings if you were previously a standard user. But the solar dropped your usage enough for it to be under 8000kW/hr per year.

 

Problems with this subsidy - It means lines fees both fixed and per unit are higher than they should be to ensure compliance. Which in turn means - if you have an electric car you have to pay more to charge it. More fossil fuels are used for water and space heating in houses. It is not income or means tested, you can still get it if you have millions in the bank but happen to be a low user. But low income families who use more than 8000kw/Hr per year have to pay more. Typically those on low incomes spend a bigger % of their income on energy costs. So it becomes a tax on poor people.

 

Since peak demand is on winter evenings. Solar does nothing to reduce peak demand. Therefore doesn't reduce the fixed costs of running the power network. And alot of solar houses still have high peak demand. Meaning they are using alot of marginal coal fired generation in the evenings. Yet around 2-3pm there is a trough in demand, which happens to align quite close with peak solar production. Renewables generation is high during this time. So most solar output during this time is competing against other renewable generation.

 

 

 

What needs to happen - Power companies / lines companies need to start billing based on peak demand. With these charges used to cover grid upgrades and paying power station owners to keep capacity in reserve. If done right per unit costs would then be not much more than 10c/unit. And there would be alot less fossil fuel generation as well. Although there would be alot of complaints if such a system was introduced. As people would have to change their usage patterns to keep their charges low. And solar panel owners would definitely complain about not getting a subsidy anymore. But if you have an electric car - you will really be winning with much lower charging costs.

 

The current system cant remain forever. The network can barely supply current peak demand. It wont be able to support an electric car in every 2nd house charging during peak demand. Especially when 32A home electric car charging arrives.

 

At the very least - the rules should be changed so you have to have a community services card to get the low user power pricing.








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  Reply # 1611322 14-Aug-2016 09:51
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Aredwood:

 

Geektastic:

 

I think to some extent it depends where you are. I believe several countries offer subsidies from government towards the costs, for example. Not sure if NZ does.

 

 

 

 

NZ offers an indirect subsidy via the low user charging regulations. The rule which forces power companies to offer a price plan with max daily charges of 33c/day. For people who use less than 8000kW/hr per year. And they can't offer another plan that would have a customer who uses less than 8000kW/Hr paying less overall than what they would pay on the 33c/day plan. Problem is 33c/day doesn't come close to covering the fixed costs of supplying power to a house. So the per unit charge is higher on this plan.

 

But if you then get grid connect solar installed, and you are on this plan. You get higher savings as you are buying less power at the artificially inflated per unit price. And even higher savings if you were previously a standard user. But the solar dropped your usage enough for it to be under 8000kW/hr per year.

 

Problems with this subsidy - It means lines fees both fixed and per unit are higher than they should be to ensure compliance. Which in turn means - if you have an electric car you have to pay more to charge it. More fossil fuels are used for water and space heating in houses. It is not income or means tested, you can still get it if you have millions in the bank but happen to be a low user. But low income families who use more than 8000kw/Hr per year have to pay more. Typically those on low incomes spend a bigger % of their income on energy costs. So it becomes a tax on poor people.

 

Since peak demand is on winter evenings. Solar does nothing to reduce peak demand. Therefore doesn't reduce the fixed costs of running the power network. And alot of solar houses still have high peak demand. Meaning they are using alot of marginal coal fired generation in the evenings. Yet around 2-3pm there is a trough in demand, which happens to align quite close with peak solar production. Renewables generation is high during this time. So most solar output during this time is competing against other renewable generation.

 

 

 

What needs to happen - Power companies / lines companies need to start billing based on peak demand. With these charges used to cover grid upgrades and paying power station owners to keep capacity in reserve. If done right per unit costs would then be not much more than 10c/unit. And there would be alot less fossil fuel generation as well. Although there would be alot of complaints if such a system was introduced. As people would have to change their usage patterns to keep their charges low. And solar panel owners would definitely complain about not getting a subsidy anymore. But if you have an electric car - you will really be winning with much lower charging costs.

 

The current system cant remain forever. The network can barely supply current peak demand. It wont be able to support an electric car in every 2nd house charging during peak demand. Especially when 32A home electric car charging arrives.

 

At the very least - the rules should be changed so you have to have a community services card to get the low user power pricing.

 

 

This is where what is going on in China right now is relevant. They are building battery farms of gigawatt proportions....to store solar and wind and hydro power so this power may be drawn down at the peak (or on a cloudy day) when it is required.

It's an obvious answer no one else has really done much about. But China isn't at the mercy of the short-term thinking typical of business people (and 'business-friendly' governments). China has huge downsides......but moving rapidly to address obvious problems (once they become obvious) isn't one of them.

There is no reason why we couldn't build a giga factory here to make batteries for massive regional power storage units to smooth power supply across the day or week or whatever. Elon Musk's Gigafactory only cost him a billion dollars....and we've just spent $8 billion on roads alone...and we've done that out of tax for no user charges at all.

We definitely have the money. What we lack is imagination and vision. National, in particular, is always building for yesterday. Worst government ever. 

Our government (and most of us) lack the imagination required to see that we waste tens times on the money on stuff that will ultimately deliver very little actual benefit.....and fail to invest in the stuff that will transform our world for the better.   





____________________________________________________
I'm on a high fibre diet. 

 

High fibre diet


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  Reply # 1611397 14-Aug-2016 15:42
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Linuxluver:

 

Aredwood:

 

Geektastic:

 

I think to some extent it depends where you are. I believe several countries offer subsidies from government towards the costs, for example. Not sure if NZ does.

 

 

 

 

NZ offers an indirect subsidy via the low user charging regulations. The rule which forces power companies to offer a price plan with max daily charges of 33c/day. For people who use less than 8000kW/hr per year. And they can't offer another plan that would have a customer who uses less than 8000kW/Hr paying less overall than what they would pay on the 33c/day plan. Problem is 33c/day doesn't come close to covering the fixed costs of supplying power to a house. So the per unit charge is higher on this plan.

 

But if you then get grid connect solar installed, and you are on this plan. You get higher savings as you are buying less power at the artificially inflated per unit price. And even higher savings if you were previously a standard user. But the solar dropped your usage enough for it to be under 8000kW/hr per year.

 

Problems with this subsidy - It means lines fees both fixed and per unit are higher than they should be to ensure compliance. Which in turn means - if you have an electric car you have to pay more to charge it. More fossil fuels are used for water and space heating in houses. It is not income or means tested, you can still get it if you have millions in the bank but happen to be a low user. But low income families who use more than 8000kw/Hr per year have to pay more. Typically those on low incomes spend a bigger % of their income on energy costs. So it becomes a tax on poor people.

 

Since peak demand is on winter evenings. Solar does nothing to reduce peak demand. Therefore doesn't reduce the fixed costs of running the power network. And alot of solar houses still have high peak demand. Meaning they are using alot of marginal coal fired generation in the evenings. Yet around 2-3pm there is a trough in demand, which happens to align quite close with peak solar production. Renewables generation is high during this time. So most solar output during this time is competing against other renewable generation.

 

 

 

What needs to happen - Power companies / lines companies need to start billing based on peak demand. With these charges used to cover grid upgrades and paying power station owners to keep capacity in reserve. If done right per unit costs would then be not much more than 10c/unit. And there would be alot less fossil fuel generation as well. Although there would be alot of complaints if such a system was introduced. As people would have to change their usage patterns to keep their charges low. And solar panel owners would definitely complain about not getting a subsidy anymore. But if you have an electric car - you will really be winning with much lower charging costs.

 

The current system cant remain forever. The network can barely supply current peak demand. It wont be able to support an electric car in every 2nd house charging during peak demand. Especially when 32A home electric car charging arrives.

 

At the very least - the rules should be changed so you have to have a community services card to get the low user power pricing.

 

 

This is where what is going on in China right now is relevant. They are building battery farms of gigawatt proportions....to store solar and wind and hydro power so this power may be drawn down at the peak (or on a cloudy day) when it is required.

It's an obvious answer no one else has really done much about. But China isn't at the mercy of the short-term thinking typical of business people (and 'business-friendly' governments). China has huge downsides......but moving rapidly to address obvious problems (once they become obvious) isn't one of them.

There is no reason why we couldn't build a giga factory here to make batteries for massive regional power storage units to smooth power supply across the day or week or whatever. Elon Musk's Gigafactory only cost him a billion dollars....and we've just spent $8 billion on roads alone...and we've done that out of tax for no user charges at all.

We definitely have the money. What we lack is imagination and vision. National, in particular, is always building for yesterday. Worst government ever. 

Our government (and most of us) lack the imagination required to see that we waste tens times on the money on stuff that will ultimately deliver very little actual benefit.....and fail to invest in the stuff that will transform our world for the better.   

 

 

 

 

I certainly passed a lot of big areas of solar panels in places like Nevada when I was in the US recently. Easily enough to generate enough for small towns, I would guess.

 

We do not necessarily need to rely on government to do these things: there are plenty of wealthy entrepreneurs around NZ and the world. Instead of worrying about cats, Gareth Morgan (for example) could get the ball rolling on clean energy such as this. 






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