Next solar challenge a hybrid inner city retirement home

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Next solar challenge a hybrid inner city retirement home

Postby TsaTsa2CV » Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:54 am

After our successful off grid country house project over the last 5 years, our eventual city "retirement home" is next.
The ideal wishlist is long and extensive starting with a energy efficient rebuild of a single level, single fronted inner city, turn of the last century brick house! Town planning has already consumed almost 12 months and tested our patience (and wallet)! However, in this give and take game we are now advancing to the nitty gritty of what the architect calls the fun bit of the two level extension. I hear you think 2 levels and retirement home contradict! We do too, which is why we install a lift! Knowing what old folks home charge the payback will be short if it keeps us home longer :lol:
So, extensive insulation, double glazing, PV (which must be invisible from the street) and air tightness of the build are givens, as are the most energy efficient white goods and lighting and odorvac to toilets. We hope to have a all electric house, disconnecting gas if they let us.
We are investigating the use of ground sourced heat pump for hydronic heating and cooling and hybrid battery storage if it is economically possible. Looks like hot water will be a Sanden heatpump so super efficient and noiseless used on our off grid house. Off street parking would let us charge a future plug in car by solar energy not wanting to feed any back to the grid!
Does anyone have any feedback on micro inverters Enphase? With the restrictions of panels needing to be invisible, due to heritage overlay, some will face west at around 10 degees some east and some north and my conclusion would be having individual panels controlled by micro inverters could do the trick. I have no idea if future hybrid battery incorporation is possible as it appears to convert to AC power at the individual PV panel.
Any thought and feedback would be greatly appreciated :idea:
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Re: Next solar challenge a hybrid inner city retirement home

Postby davidg » Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:25 am

The very short answer is yes although thanks to the powers that be "hybrid" is not the correct definition anymore.

I designed and installed one such system a system along with an upgrade last year which does include quite a few micro-inverters in the system. A fairly large batteries pack has been installed with them, the battery inverter (Selectronic) is able to deliver 7.5kW's continuous. I have custom power manager device allows them operate with or without the grid being available and still have excess power managed.

The ability to manage excess power when batteries are fully charged for most systems represents a big challenge or batteries can/will be adversely affected. I also have such a system at my own house and have done for several years, the systems work a treat and cope with everything any normal household is likely to do.

Enphase very recently released a battery inverter modular system which might make it simpler, certainly not cheaper, ATM. It's a small device so if a decent amount of storage is required it will likely become a very expensive option in comparison. Time will tell if it becomes more competitive later on.
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Re: Next solar challenge a hybrid inner city retirement home

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:49 pm

The oddly named "AC battery" from Enphase is only 1.2kWh, so you'd need a stack of them to have much insulation from grid imports in cloudy weather. It wont be available in Oz until next year. There is talk of a larger capacity battery in the works though. Other larger capacity modular Lithium batteries, such as from LG Chem are ready to go now.

As long as you can mount a number of panels in the same plane- enough to get well into an inverter's MPPT operating range, you don't really need to go to microinverters, unless you have serious shading problems. Individual strings need the panels in the same orientation, other parallel strings can have a different orientation.

Spreading the panels out E-N-W is generally of benefit if trying to reduce imports and exports, see the Virtual Tracker thread here: solar-wind-gear/topic5064.html Loomberah weather and astronomy including live solar radiation intensity and UV + Gunagulla aquaponics, organic eggs and cherries
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