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Random Renewables Thread



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,441 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin

    Also, sorry for the long post.

    TLDR version, everyone in a position to make decisions is stupid and buy solar panels while you can

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,621 ✭✭✭ bullit_dodger

    Nahh good post that raisin.

    The idea of residential wind turbines comes up a lot on these formus. On paper it looks appealing. You bang in a small 1m turbine. Sure it might only do 500w as opposed to the 5Kw that you might have in panels, but it does it 24x7 (assuming the wind is there). What's not to like eh?

    Unfortunately most of the time turbines do about 50-100 watts, if even. Here's a good vid (by a wind engineer) which explains why small turbines generally are pants.

    (676) Wind Turbines for Home: Is it Worth It? - YouTube

    Love wind me, and there are places in ireland where you can get a wind turbine to work for your home, but perhaps not in Cabra or Tallaght :-)

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,426 ✭✭✭ Ubbquittious

    A lot of those boyos think they'll have it sorted as long as they have a bit of petrol and a cheap genny. It might get them out of a hole if they badly need to make a cup of coffee during a rolling blackout of a few hours, but with anything more serious they are stuffed.

    I noticed if the power goes for more than about 12 hours here things go downhill rapidly. The mains water pressure will go within the first day, so you need some way of pumping water out of a stream and then pumping it into the tank in the attic. Your local friendly Telecom Eireann exchange will go into some fallback mode where it only supports voice calls made using a bakelite landline telephone machine. After a day it won't even support those anymore, if you are lucky some crew will show up with a genny to bring the exchange back online but they'll be run off their feet and it will be a while before they get around to it. Next to go is your mobile phone coverage. Though you will notice some deterioration of service within the first hours most likely.

    Once you start running low on fuel rock up to the local shop where you'll find the pumps not working. The shop itself will be eerily dark because it has feck all windows, you may still be able to buy some non perishable items if you are lucky.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,164 ✭✭✭ Gerry

    Yeah I hear ya about small turbines. I think theres plenty of folks down the country who could make something slightly bigger work. Not necessarily to power everything, but to tick things along when you've already got solar and batteries that arent doing much in winter.

    As for larger scale wind, again good info there. Probably more that the govt could do about the medium term there, but not any evidence of it yet.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,441 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin

    I'll be honest, when I get solar installed I'll probably get a generator hook up installed as well. It's nice to have as a just in case

    But as @Ubbquittious said you need somewhere to store fuel.

    I reckon I'd probably use about 10.5l of fuel a day if I didn't cut down on my energy usage much. Realistically I'd be cutting down as much as I could but it's hard to avoid some high consumption when all of my heating and cooking is electric

    So a couple of jerry cans could see me through a week or so of total power cuts probably. Of course if it's gotten that bad then the power is probably never coming on, in which case all those apocalypse preppers are going to be having the time of their lives

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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 16,412 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1

    Would you not be better with a battery? 20kWh with ~ 16kWh usable should be more than enough to power an average home for a number of days during a grid failure, ~€2.5k via DIY route, plus you can use throughout the year and not just sitting there waiting for an event that may never arise

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,426 ✭✭✭ Ubbquittious

    Anyone who has the hybrid inverter/battery system will be only laughing at the rest of us struggling, at least until we get a few dark days in a row. Particularly if they have a changeover switch and their own well. I have a small off the grid system with some batteries and 1kW inverter but you can't run a whole lot off that.

    Things will get ugly fast if the grid goes down for more than a day or two. During lockdown the takeaways stayed open but they might not be able to this time. A sizeable cohort of society will be "losing their sh1t". A lot of people have no backup at all

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,441 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin

    Oh yeah, absolutely batteries are better.

    If I'm running off a generator next year then it pretty much means the **** hit the fan big time and it's time to resort to drinking my own pee

    Unfortunately I've no solar or batteries yet, so I'm going to have to survive winter before I can afford them

    I would like to point out that a lot is being made of power cuts this winter but there needs to be some realism applied

    Gas storage in Europe is currently at 80%, so if there's no curtailment of demand and no additional supplies come online then there's enough in storage to last most countries until February or March of 2023

    Of course our wonderful governments over the years neglected to build up any gas storage over the past few years, so we're depending on imports from the UK.

    Hopefully Ms Truss doesn't decide to let the Paddys freeze to protect her own people. It's not like the UK has a history of doing that or anything

    In any case, I don't think we're facing the end of days. It's going to be a tough winter and in general people are going to be a lot more reluctant to use energy where they can avoid it

    I think there's some fairly obvious load shedding that could be done, for example subsidizing some industry to run at night to avoid that evening peak

    As grim as it is, I think the idea of not running the Christmas lights this year is a good one. I mean they could probably switch them on for 3 days over Christmas to give some cheer while everyone is off work

    Realistically, we might be looking at rotating blackouts during peak times for an hour or two. In which case a battery is going to be more useful.

    But I can also see how all this talk might have people running scared. And I can't really blame any folks who worry about keeping the heating on getting a generator as a short term solution. Especially if they have any kind of medical equipment they need to run

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,441 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin

    Actually I'm going to rant some more 😂

    I decided to go to the office today (God only knows why I bothered) and there's about 5 people on my floor out of probably 200-300 desks

    All the lights are on and the heating is set to a balmy 23C

    The other floors are a little busier but I'm pretty sure they could fit everyone in work today onto one floor of one building (there's 4 buildings total)

    How big a waste of energy is that in the middle of a crisis?

    Companies all over Ireland should be forced to use a desk allocation system and only heat the floors that are needed

    After 5pm the office should be shut down and the heating set down to 16C or something just to stop any frost building up. Everyone should be told to piss off home and stop working

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 16,412 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1

    Didn't I read somewhere the EU were going to look for a 19C max setting for public offices, agreed on work space heat, my place is deserted on non-mandatory office days

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,621 ✭✭✭ bullit_dodger

    I don't think you can mandate people to piss off home at 5pm. Many of us work flexible hours and if I need a defibulator to get out of bed at 8am, I can go in at 10am and work later and that helps. Others need to drop off/pick up the kids, so there's external factors that dictate the hours they work.

    That said, there is no reason that temperatures need to be above 20C. The fact that you have yours at 23C is a bit bonkers. Someone needs to get onto your facilities manager and get that changed and probably "locked" so that your average employee can't move it beyond 21C. I'd have it set to 19C, but that's a personal comfort level.

    My pet peve is the monitors. I often head home later in the evening from the office and I'd see 10-20 monitiors left on. Granted they aren't the juice sucking fiends their CRT brothers were 20 years ago, but still each one probably 50-100w and for nothing. Why someone cant reach for literally 2 seconds and hit the power button, beyond me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,441 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin

    True 5pm is a bit optimistic maybe. But we're supposed to have the right to switch off from 7pm or something so it's probably not unreasonable to lower the heating demand

    Could do some automation with the desk sockets, just kill them all at night

    There's a few desks around me with some "do not unplug" signs on the desktops. Facilities really should be bringing the stick out and tell teams to move that equipment into a lab where it belongs

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,621 ✭✭✭ bullit_dodger

    It's worse that that mate - we've a "group policy" in active directory which sets the sleep timeout value on the monitors. The fact that someone has them on means that they've over ridden the value set in the registry. We give people the power to do that, but really they're just being kleps, on a number of fronts.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,164 ✭✭✭ Gerry

    Companies will get a short sharp shock with bills.

    I've a question with trying to boot up a non hybrid pv system in the event of a power cut. feed it 220v mains from a car battery via an inverter. all is well until it decides to export. anyone tried this?

    Thinking with a steady load it might work? or a load I could vary.. or if an eddi was in place.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,426 ✭✭✭ Ubbquittious

    I never tried it but I imagine because there is nowhere for the excess power to go the voltage will rise quickly and it will decide to cut out. It could in theory work if you designed a dump load that prevents the voltage rising too much. The eddi will do feck all because it's current sensor will be reading 0 all the time if there is nowhere to export to

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,441 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin

    Can you set the export to 0 temporarily so it won't try and export anything?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,441 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin

    What are people's thoughts on heat batteries like the Sunamp?

    Are they worth the bother if you already have a decent hot water cylinder?

    My main goal with it would be to store up heat either from excess solar or using night rate and then discharge it during the day in winter

    EDIT: Probably worth mentioning that the house is heated with a heat pump already

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,441 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin

    Does anyone here have an induction hob? If so, do you know if it draws a constant load does it constantly switch on and off like an electric hob?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,485 ✭✭✭ con747

    AFAIK you can get both but open to correction. I was gifted a single ring counter top one by a fellow boardsie and found it reduced electricity use by a good amount so will be buying a full size one in the sales. Cooking times greatly reduced.

  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 7,496 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Jonathan

    Mine definitely has a duty cycle at lower heat settings.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 667 ✭✭✭ buzz11

    I had looked into these earlier this year and your spot on -- it would be far cheaper to buy a top notch water cylinder.

    If the sunamp prices came down then it could be a contender in a newbuild/refub situation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,441 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin

    That's kind of my thinking too. I guess they make sense when you don't have much space to spare. But a decent sized buffer tank with an immersion and an Eddi would probably do the same and cost less

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,441 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin

    Yeah I kinda suspected they were duty cycle based, pretty much every appliance is it seems

    I was thinking one might be a good way to avoid that peak load from the electric hob and help stay within the output of the solar panels

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,164 ✭✭✭ Gerry

    its not a hybrid inverter, dont know if export can be switched off but ill look at the manual.

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,502 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Tree

    You can configure the powerdraw on some of the induction hobs. Mine came set at max but you could drop it. (I'm impatient, i'll tolerate draw from the grid as I eat after peak times usually)

  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 7,496 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Jonathan

    We had a new 32A circuit installed when we got the hob, so I had forgotten all about that feature. Looking again at the manual on my hob, the maximum power draw is configurable in 500W intervals from 1000W through 7400W (full power).

  • Registered Users Posts: 341 ✭✭ idc

    I was also looking at sunamp recently but given it still needs a heat source didn't see the point of it over a water cylinder. Has anyone looked at the Tepeo Zero Emission Boiler ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,971 ✭✭✭ graememk

    Yeah been discussed over a smattering of threads.

    Fancy storage heater, Heats to 600C Very well insulated, 10kW charge rate, 40kwh of storage. More compact and less heat loss than 1000L of water :D

    Cost about £6000 + install... Weighs about 375kg.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,441 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin

    Hmm, sounds like a crate of CALB cells is better value per kWh of energy storage

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,971 ✭✭✭ graememk

    Yes, but getting them charged is a different story.

    No point having 40kwh and only being able to charge and discharge at 3kw your chatting about 12 hrs to get 36kwh. But we only have 9 hrs of night rate.

    On smart meters it's only 2-3 hrs of really cheap rate.

    The solis de rates from 100 to 70amps after 15 minutes. So not much extra gained there.