Run Your Electric Meter Backwards – Selling Electricity

Question:

:   : Please don’t paint everyone who feeds power back to the grid with the : same brush.  The vast majority are doing it the legal way, with a transfer : switch, which won’t let it backfeed to the grid. : Curious logic. So, I said "feeds power back", rather than "sells engergy to".  Are you intentionally trying to not see my point? : So, let me get this straight.  I generate (x) amount of power, and sell it : back to the power company… : No. You sell energy vs power. See above comment. : Nick Dave Hinz

Response:

Did you acquire the solar and wind equipment free or was there an initial investment?  What is your annual maintenance and depreciation costs?  What are these same costs for the generator??

Of course I didn’t get it for free.  But I did pay less for a complete system than what it would cost me to bring in the grid.  Currently annual maintenance consists of an oil change for the genny and distilled water for the batteries.  Estimated costs for fuel and water and oil for the year to be about $200.  We don’t make enough to itemize so depreciation is a moot point. We bought a GOOD geeny with a claimed rebuild time of 15000 hours. – Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – The home builder was John F. Long.  It was a gimick which made a lot of brownie points with the environmental nuts.  They really pissed off the power company and the local phone companies for the way they pumped energy back into the grid. I’m glad for the input.  I had heard no more about those homes since I looked at the model on Indian School.  I understand your criticism of their impact, but still feel they were a step in a good direction.  You even indicate that while there were problems, there were also solutions.  That’s par for the course with any new idea put into practice. I wonder how many of those solar homes Long sold?  The rammed-earth wall was a kind of a neat thing, too.  It amounted to an adobe house without individual blocks.  The interior was studded normally, so it was sorta like a normal house with a fort built around it really close.  The walls were 22" thick overall.  Dual glazed windows also helped make the homes quiet as a church.  You could look out and see normal neighborhood activities taking place in absolute silence. I agree that the rammed earth home is a good idea.  I also agree that solar power is a good idea, though not a very cost effective one considering the Phoenix has a huge and smooth working nuclear power plant a few miles to the west.   The only part which wasn’t a good idea is backfeeding the power and getting paid for it.  It cost everyone a bundle and did no one any good.  If you consider the total price of the "solar" home it didn’t even do the people who bought them any good compared to the neighbors who just bought commercial power.   There was no enviromental savings either.  Solar panels take a fair amount of industry to produce.    I’m not against solar power.  For a rural area where commercial power isn’t available it’s an attractive and workable solution. I’ve lived with solar and wind for the past 5 years.  It was very cost effective for me.  The local utility wanted a minimum of $15k to bring in the grid.  I’ve lived happily with apple power for 99% of my needs. The balance is handled by a generator.  Nice thing is that I don’t have a montly utility bill and have NEVER been without power.  Yes, there are fuel costs for the generator but it’s small compared to what those on the grid pay yearly. Kirk www.stormyacres.com

Kirk www.stormyacres.com

Response:

Tinman is right:  Store the nuclear wastes on-site.      The nation has been caring for the waste from nuclear power effectively for a quarter of a century by storing it on the sites of the nuclear power plants and should continue the practice indefinitely.  The radioactivity is contained in hermetically sealed fuel elements, each of which has been proven to be secure by having survived service inside the power reactor for a several-year fuel cycle; and there is no reason to move them or open them up.  Nuclear fuel from newly mined ore or from dismantled US and Russian nuclear weapons is cheaper than fuel from spent fuel elements.  After a cooling period, there is no more radioactivity than was present in the original uranium ore with its decay products accumulated for millions of years.  In effect, we have encapsulated the uranium ore making it safer than it was in nature. Bill B.

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – Whoops!  What do they do with spent materials still radioactive? It’s stored on site (and the mention of "Whoops" reminds me of all the failed bonds from a State of Washington power company that went into default) Did they ever get that old salt mine project in New Mexico finished to the satisfaction of all? Not yet, still a few billion bucks worth of modifications to be made.

Response:

Maybe I can clarify this a bit. I am a computer geek with a California utility. California deals with this a lot. The underlying concept is flawed. While it is quite possible to reduce your power bill to a very low value by generating most or all of the power you use, it is not possible to be paid the same for kilowatt hours that you generate as those you use. In California, only about one third of a residential power bill is energy cost. One third is distribution cost (paying for the wires, poles, meters, workers, etc.). The other third is taxes and franchise fees. California utilities are able to generate power for about 2 to 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour.

At the hydro and the nuclear plants this might be true, but the plants that run on NG cost considerably more to run. Unfortunenately, for reasons we all know (Not-In-My-Back-Yard and environmental laws), utility companies in California have not been able to build sufficient power plants to cover all generation needs (their generation capacity is only about 40% of maximum load).

And don’t forget the "I’m afraid of nuclear power" crowd.  If CA were to build 6-8 new nuclear plants this would allow the NG power plants to go off line, and the gas they are burning would then be returned to the supply in the supply and demand equation.  NG prices would drop as a result, air polution would drop, and electric rates could go down. I for one am very ready for some of that "too cheap to meter" electricity we were promised. — Roger Shoaf If you are not part of the solution, you are not dissolved in the solvent.

Response:

I found this neat web site (link below) that has information about selling electricity back to the electric company, if you have your own power generation source. (Like solar panels or wind power.) This is called "net metering" and uses a device called a "PV inverter". This device assures only proper clean power is sent out to the "grid" and has safety features to protect electrical workers should the main electric power go out. (Disconnects your power source from grid.) Your electric meter can run backwards and they pay you! It sounds like requirements for this vary from state to state. Anyone doing this?

I used to, ages ago.  Ran a pelton wheel generator off a small stream with moderate drop, in a good month I broke even, on a very few really good months I got a credit from the electric company.  This was done more as an engineering experiment than a real project, and the expenses of the project would have made it impractical as a money maker but the payoff for energy reduction was at about 11 years, very respectable.  This was in Vermont, back when energy conservation was the rage.  Where I am now in SW Florida, water conservation is the issue and my property has less than a 3" drop across it so water doesn’t even flow anywhere to have a stream…  :) Jeff

Response:

…In any event, it would be a really dumb idea to parallel your generator onto the grid without letting the local distribution company know…

Sounds like a really good idea to me. You’d have to be crazy to apply for a permit for parallel generation when you can simply buy a PV panel with an attached line cord, take it home, and plug it in. Nick

Response:

Did you acquire the solar and wind equipment free or was there an initial investment?  What is your annual maintenance and depreciation costs?  What are these same costs for the generator?? – Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – The home builder was John F. Long.  It was a gimick which made a lot of brownie points with the environmental nuts.  They really pissed off the power company and the local phone companies for the way they pumped energy back into the grid. I’m glad for the input.  I had heard no more about those homes since I looked at the model on Indian School.  I understand your criticism of their impact, but still feel they were a step in a good direction.  You even indicate that while there were problems, there were also solutions.  That’s par for the course with any new idea put into practice. I wonder how many of those solar homes Long sold?  The rammed-earth wall was a kind of a neat thing, too.  It amounted to an adobe house without individual blocks.  The interior was studded normally, so it was sorta like a normal house with a fort built around it really close.  The walls were 22" thick overall.  Dual glazed windows also helped make the homes quiet as a church.  You could look out and see normal neighborhood activities taking place in absolute silence. I agree that the rammed earth home is a good idea.  I also agree that solar power is a good idea, though not a very cost effective one considering the Phoenix has a huge and smooth working nuclear power plant a few miles to the west.   The only part which wasn’t a good idea is backfeeding the power and getting paid for it.  It cost everyone a bundle and did no one any good.  If you consider the total price of the "solar" home it didn’t even do the people who bought them any good compared to the neighbors who just bought commercial power.   There was no enviromental savings either.  Solar panels take a fair amount of industry to produce.    I’m not against solar power.  For a rural area where commercial power isn’t available it’s an attractive and workable solution. I’ve lived with solar and wind for the past 5 years.  It was very cost effective for me.  The local utility wanted a minimum of $15k to bring in the grid.  I’ve lived happily with apple power for 99% of my needs. The balance is handled by a generator.  Nice thing is that I don’t have a montly utility bill and have NEVER been without power.  Yes, there are fuel costs for the generator but it’s small compared to what those on the grid pay yearly. Kirk www.stormyacres.com

Response:

     That nuclear plant Lou mentioned causes much less pollution.  

Whoops!  What do they do with spent materials still radioactive? Did they ever get that old salt mine project in New Mexico finished to the satisfaction of all?

Response:

I talked to a local solar cell dealer today about this. The first thing he said was that they were just at a home improvement convention and that I would need to schedule an appointment and that they were booked for two and a half weeks out… I did manage to get some information out of him though. He said my state office of energy (Oregon) has low interest loans available to pay for installation of the equipment. Also the PV inverter is about $3,000 and each solar array is about $500. I’ll call in a few weeks and try to find out how many arrays I would need. Also he said that the electric company would not pay me if I generated more electricity than I used, but that my electric bills would be credited for any extra electricity I produced. I still like the idea of my electric meter running in reverse and having a fixed cost for energy in the years to come. I guess I’ll call the power company and see what they have to say about "net metering". (They’ll say… You want to do what?)

Response:

Whoops!  What do they do with spent materials still radioactive?

It’s stored on site (and the mention of "Whoops" reminds me of all the failed bonds from a State of Washington power company that went into default) Did they ever get that old salt mine project in New Mexico finished to the satisfaction of all?

Not yet, still a few billion bucks worth of modifications to be made.

Response:

writes: I found this neat web site (link below) that has information about selling electricity back to the electric company, if you have your own power generation source. (Like solar panels or wind power.) This is called "net metering" and uses a device called a "PV inverter". This device assures only proper clean power is sent out to the "grid" and has safety features to protect electrical workers should the main electric power go out. (Disconnects your power source from grid.) Your electric meter can run backwards and they pay you! It sounds like requirements for this vary from state to state. Anyone doing this?

I have a friend who is doing it in Idaho just north of Moscow.  He does business as Palouse Wind and Water, and can be reached at of Jacobs wind turbines in the 17kw to 27 kw range, complete with steel towers and inverters.  I think he has five on hand that he could potentially sell, in the $30,000 price range.   He is on net metering with the utility company. When he started this project 10 years ago I laughed and told him he would never break even.  The way power rates are going, I wonder.  Maybe he was not as crazy as I thought. — No one can ever have enough books, pockets, friends, guns, or garlic.

Response:

Maybe I can clarify this a bit. I am a computer geek with a California utility. California deals with this a lot. The underlying concept is flawed. While it is quite possible to reduce your power bill to a very low value by generating most or all of the power you use, it is not possible to be paid the same for kilowatt hours that you generate as those you use. In California, only about one third of a residential power bill is energy cost. One third is distribution cost (paying for the wires, poles, meters, workers, etc.). The other third is taxes and franchise fees. California utilities are able to generate power for about 2 to 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour. Unfortunenately, for reasons we all know (Not-In-My-Back-Yard and environmental laws), utility companies in California have not been able to build sufficient power plants to cover all generation needs (their generation capacity is only about 40% of maximum load). They buy power from other sources to make up the difference. Prior to the current restructuring fiasco, they had long term contracts with merchant generator and other utilities. The cost for this energy was typically higher than that generated by the utilities but usually in the 2.5 to 5 cents per kilowatt hour range. (Of course right now the best the state is able to do for writing contracts is 6.8 cents per kilowatt hour.) As part of the push for "Green" energy sources, the California utilities were required to provide sweetheart contracts with qualifying facilities like the wind generators, biomass, and other facilities at prices well above those paid to conventional generation facilities. PG&E even operated a large geothermal facility north of San Francisco. A large photovoltaic facility was built in central California. Through all this, the question about how much to pay someone who puts power out onto the grid has been pretty well worked out. In California, the "Green" source incentives are still in place and will probably remain so due to the present generation shortage. Anyone who expects to put power out onto the grid though, must realize that they must install a new meter, one that records power being drawn from the grid separate from the power generated. The reason for that has to do with those distribution costs and taxes mentioned earlier. The way cities and counties look at it is that if you make your meter run backwards, you are not merely making money generating power but you are stealing tax money from them. The California Public Utilities commission want to make sure you pay your fair share of distribution costs. Thus, the amount you will be paid per kilowatt hour for putting power onto the grid is much less than what you pay to draw it off the grid. Concerns about lines being energized are really less of a concern for small residential installations but they are real. The big concern would be for things like paper mills and such that generate hundreds of thousands of kilowatts and could actually keep a distribution feeder energized when its substation feeder breaker is opened. Additionally, many newer residential meters simply won’t run backwards, the drive for the meter dials is often not designed to be turned backwards so pawls are installed to keep the meter from breaking. I think the older counter-rotating dials may be able to turn backwards but the odometer style dials probably aren’t. In any event, it would be a really dumb idea to parallel your generator onto the grid without letting the local distribution company know. They do some interesting switching and often make voltage adjustments by changing transformer taps and switching in condenser banks dynamically. Besides, if you are paralleled and the utility power to your distribution branch is lost, you will immediately receive the disconnect transient. I would avoid that if possible. Anyway, I hope that clears things up a little. Gary

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – I found this neat web site (link below) that has information about selling electricity back to the electric company, if you have your own power generation source. (Like solar panels or wind power.) This is called "net metering" and uses a device called a "PV inverter". This device assures only proper clean power is sent out to the "grid" and has safety features to protect electrical workers should the main electric power go out. (Disconnects your power source from grid.) Your electric meter can run backwards and they pay you! It sounds like requirements for this vary from state to state. Anyone doing this? Device to connect to the "grid"… http://www.tracegridtie.com/products/gridtie/index.html Main page… http://www.tracegridtie.com/

Response:

IEEE approves standard to simplify solar electric-utility interconnection standards… http://www.bizspaceenergy.com/ieee_stan.htm

Response:

     As Lou says: Solar power is good in its place.  But, as he says, it takes a lot of industry to make the hardware.  It uses energy and materials and causes pollution to produce the glass, metals and plastics used in the panels.  In effect they are like a battery, which you charge up somewhere else and run them at your house to recover the energy expended in making them.      That nuclear plant Lou mentioned causes much less pollution.  Think how much solar panel area it would take to equal the power of a 1000 MW nuke. It would be like building an center-city elevated system out in that area. Bill B.

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – I agree that the rammed earth home is a good idea.  I also agree that solar power is a good idea, though not a very cost effective one considering the Phoenix has a huge and smooth working nuclear power plant a few miles to the west.   The only part which wasn’t a good idea is backfeeding the power and getting paid for it.  It cost everyone a bundle and did no one any good.  If you consider the total price of the "solar" home it didn’t even do the people who bought them any good compared to the neighbors who just bought commercial power.   There was no enviromental savings either.  Solar panels take a fair amount of industry to produce.    I’m not against solar power.  For a rural area where commercial power isn’t available it’s an attractive and workable solution. — Lou Boyd —–= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =—– http://www.newsfeeds.com – The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! —–==  Over 80,000 Newsgroups – 16 Different Servers! =—–

Response:

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – The home builder was John F. Long.  It was a gimick which made a lot of brownie points with the environmental nuts.  They really pissed off the power company and the local phone companies for the way they pumped energy back into the grid. I’m glad for the input.  I had heard no more about those homes since I looked at the model on Indian School.  I understand your criticism of their impact, but still feel they were a step in a good direction.  You even indicate that while there were problems, there were also solutions.  That’s par for the course with any new idea put into practice. I wonder how many of those solar homes Long sold?  The rammed-earth wall was a kind of a neat thing, too.  It amounted to an adobe house without individual blocks.  The interior was studded normally, so it was sorta like a normal house with a fort built around it really close.  The walls were 22" thick overall.  Dual glazed windows also helped make the homes quiet as a church.  You could look out and see normal neighborhood activities taking place in absolute silence. I agree that the rammed earth home is a good idea.  I also agree that solar power is a good idea, though not a very cost effective one considering the Phoenix has a huge and smooth working nuclear power plant a few miles to the west.   The only part which wasn’t a good idea is backfeeding the power and getting paid for it.  It cost everyone a bundle and did no one any good.  If you consider the total price of the "solar" home it didn’t even do the people who bought them any good compared to the neighbors who just bought commercial power.   There was no enviromental savings either.  Solar panels take a fair amount of industry to produce.    I’m not against solar power.  For a rural area where commercial power isn’t available it’s an attractive and workable solution.

I’ve lived with solar and wind for the past 5 years.  It was very cost effective for me.  The local utility wanted a minimum of $15k to bring in the grid.  I’ve lived happily with apple power for 99% of my needs. The balance is handled by a generator.  Nice thing is that I don’t have a montly utility bill and have NEVER been without power.  Yes, there are fuel costs for the generator but it’s small compared to what those on the grid pay yearly. Kirk www.stormyacres.com

Response:

Grid tie systems have improved greatly, Battery storage is No longer Required – users are storing & selling excess power to the utilities in many areas.  Many utilities are paying a premium for these solar watts — much more so than they charge the customer.  More than just quite a few more pennies in some areas.  Seems to help with their capacities :) . Solar grid systems prices have come down, technology has gone up – Control systems don’t keep pumping volts into the grid if the grid is down. – for certain, solar is Not cost effective for the consumer yet — certainly are Zero Emissions & non-polluting.

: : : The home builder was John F. Long.  It was a gimick which made a lot of : : brownie points with the environmental nuts.  They really pissed off the : : power company and the local phone companies for the way they pumped : : energy back into the grid.  Two reasons.  One is that it’s dangerous. : : Only if done in violation of the codes which regulate this. : : : If the power company has to disconnect a part of the grid these home : : generators keep the grid energized. No one got hurt that I know of but : : it caused a lot of extra work to go around in disconnect each source. : : Please don’t paint everyone who feeds power back to the grid with the : same brush.  The vast majority are doing it the legal way, with a transfer : switch, which won’t let it backfeed to the grid. : : : The other reason is that the power put back into the system was not : : sinusoidal.  The current looked like a truncated scecant which is very : : rich in mid audio band harmonics.   It noised up telephones for blocks : : around.  I was a Telco engineer at the time.  We got them to put some : : filters on their power but it cost everyone a lot of time and expense. : : I can see how noisy power would be a problem.  Is this still an issue with : the modern generation of inverters?  From what I read in the literature, : they claim to be extremely clean. : : : The amount of usable power they returned to the grid was miniscule, even : : compared to the power use of just the solar power homes. : : It depends.  I’ve got a nice hill, lots of clear space, and lots of : wind.  I bet I could break even some months, or maybe even generate : more than I use. : : : The idea of homes selling power to power companies was something which : : environmntalists sold to some stupid legislators.  The idea is really : : bad.  Done on a massive scale with proper equipment it could work  but : : just legislating that power companies have to pay for anything which : : spins the meter is a disaster. It wasn’t and would not today be a cost : : effective method of providing power. : : So, let me get this straight.  I generate (x) amount of power, and sell it : back to the power company (at wholesale yet, not even retail), and it’s : a disaster somehow?  The way I see it, if I can supply clean, safe power : to the grid, there’s no reason that I should be blocked from entering : into an agreement with my power company for them to buy it. : : Noisy sine waves, or unsafe (illegal) connections to the grid, I : can see objecting to.  But, for the vast majority of folks who are : doing it properly, I feel that your apparent anger is misplaced. : : Dave Hinz : :

Response:

Please don’t paint everyone who feeds power back to the grid with the same brush.  The vast majority are doing it the legal way, with a transfer switch, which won’t let it backfeed to the grid.

Huh? A transfer switch isn’t used to feed power back into the grid. Where the arrangement is completely above board and fair, the customer has two meters in series.   Each meter has a ratchet (or equivalent) to keep it from running backward.   One meter totals the power being delivered to the customer and the other meter totals the power being delivered to the power company. The risk to linemen from home generators feeding the grid is WAY overrated. Linemen with gloves just can’t be hurt by the low voltages.   When they work on high voltage line they don’t touch any wires unless they themselves have bonded the wire(s) to ground and their work platform.

Response:

- Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – The home builder was John F. Long.  It was a gimick which made a lot of brownie points with the environmental nuts.  They really pissed off the power company and the local phone companies for the way they pumped energy back into the grid. I’m glad for the input.  I had heard no more about those homes since I looked at the model on Indian School.  I understand your criticism of their impact, but still feel they were a step in a good direction.  You even indicate that while there were problems, there were also solutions.  That’s par for the course with any new idea put into practice. I wonder how many of those solar homes Long sold?  The rammed-earth wall was a kind of a neat thing, too.  It amounted to an adobe house without individual blocks.  The interior was studded normally, so it was sorta like a normal house with a fort built around it really close.  The walls were 22" thick overall.  Dual glazed windows also helped make the homes quiet as a church.  You could look out and see normal neighborhood activities taking place in absolute silence.

I agree that the rammed earth home is a good idea.  I also agree that solar power is a good idea, though not a very cost effective one considering the Phoenix has a huge and smooth working nuclear power plant a few miles to the west.   The only part which wasn’t a good idea is backfeeding the power and getting paid for it.  It cost everyone a bundle and did no one any good.  If you consider the total price of the "solar" home it didn’t even do the people who bought them any good compared to the neighbors who just bought commercial power.   There was no enviromental savings either.  Solar panels take a fair amount of industry to produce.    I’m not against solar power.  For a rural area where commercial power isn’t available it’s an attractive and workable solution. — Lou Boyd —–= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =—– http://www.newsfeeds.com – The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! —–==  Over 80,000 Newsgroups – 16 Different Servers! =—–

Response:

: The home builder was John F. Long.  It was a gimick which made a lot of : brownie points with the environmental nuts.  They really pissed off the : power company and the local phone companies for the way they pumped : energy back into the grid.  Two reasons.  One is that it’s dangerous. Only if done in violation of the codes which regulate this.

That was a problem in the John F. Long installation.  The solar panel attachment to the line was simply a phase switcher which attached the solar array through a polarity reversing switch.  It received phase information from the power feed.  It was crude and dangerous. Apparently the then recently passed laws requiring to power company to pay the resident for the power took precedence over the power company regulations against it.  Anyway, it did cause the power company problems.  I don’t know the present legal status.  I hope its been cleaned up.  It certainly is technically practical to solve the problem. : If the power company has to disconnect a part of the grid these home : generators keep the grid energized. No one got hurt that I know of but : it caused a lot of extra work to go around in disconnect each source. Please don’t paint everyone who feeds power back to the grid with the same brush.  The vast majority are doing it the legal way, with a transfer switch, which won’t let it backfeed to the grid.

I didn’t.  Note the IF<.  I was describing the Phoenix system.  It’s transfer switch was crude and dangerous. : The other reason is that the power put back into the system was not : sinusoidal.  The current looked like a truncated scecant which is very : rich in mid audio band harmonics.   It noised up telephones for blocks : around.  I was a Telco engineer at the time.  We got them to put some : filters on their power but it cost everyone a lot of time and expense. I can see how noisy power would be a problem.  Is this still an issue with the modern generation of inverters?  From what I read in the literature, they claim to be extremely clean.

If they’re built right they could be clean.  The one in Phoenix wasn’t.   : The amount of usable power they returned to the grid was miniscule, even : compared to the power use of just the solar power homes. It depends.  I’ve got a nice hill, lots of clear space, and lots of wind.  I bet I could break even some months, or maybe even generate more than I use.

Price all of the components.  Do the math. You didn’t say how many months "some" is, so I will agree with you.   Remember to take into account the interest your money spent on the solar equipment would earn if you invested it instead.   I’d be surprise if you ever break even if your power loads are typical of your neighbors. If you live with a reduced electricity lifestyle or live in a remote location then solar or wind generators can save money over a commercial power feed.  I have neighbors who use solar+generator because grid access is too remote and expensive.  I even have a couple of neighbors who get along just fine with no electricity at all.  Everyone got along without electricity before the 20th century. : The idea of homes selling power to power companies was something which : environmntalists sold to some stupid legislators.  The idea is really : bad.  Done on a massive scale with proper equipment it could work  but : just legislating that power companies have to pay for anything which : spins the meter is a disaster. It wasn’t and would not today be a cost : effective method of providing power. So, let me get this straight.  I generate (x) amount of power, and sell it back to the power company (at wholesale yet, not even retail), and it’s a disaster somehow?  The way I see it, if I can supply clean, safe power to the grid, there’s no reason that I should be blocked from entering into an agreement with my power company for them to buy it.

I wouldn’t argue with that, but I’d bet it will cost you more.   If you want to do it and the laws in your area let you do it then do it. Noisy sine waves, or unsafe (illegal) connections to the grid, I can see objecting to.  But, for the vast majority of folks who are doing it properly, I feel that your apparent anger is misplaced.

Not everything which is legal is automatically safe, healthy, or desirable. The converse is true to.   Study the economics.  If you come out ahead then do it.  I was just pointing out that the system in Phoenix in the 1980s which was mentioned in earlier posts was an inefficient mess.  If current or future technology presents a cost effective and safe alternative I have no complaint and would welcome it.   I have no anger toward solar technology.  I do have some anger toward "feel good" legislation which places a financial burden on me and my neighbors because of expenses incurred from having to patch up a bad situation because the laws did not require a clean and safe installation.  I had quit a bit of anger at the time from listening to radio ads from John F. Long company about how wonderful their new solar project was while I was fighting dozens of noise complaints on their neighbors’ telephone systems.   The John F. Long company initially denied causing any problem or responsibility until they threatened with legal action, then they reluctantly agreed to add some filtering.  Considerably  more was spent by the power company and phone company than by John F. Long in resolving the problem.   The dollar value of the power returned to the grid was trivial compared to the cost of the problems it caused. Arizona has had (still has) several foolish pieces of legislation with respect to energy usage.  One is State funded kickbacks on the purchase of solar water heaters.   Another is the recent fiasco where taxpayers spent hundreds of thousands to pay for propane conversions on newly purchased trucks for private businesses and individuals.  Some bureaucrats lost their jobs and some elected officials didn’t get re-elected over it but the taxpayers still got stuck with the bills.   If a technology is safe and cost effective (or not) I see no problem with you purchasing it and using it.  I do see a problem with taxpayers or regulated utility customers getting stuck with any added expenses you may cause if you tie your equipment to the public facilities. — Lou Boyd —–= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =—– http://www.newsfeeds.com – The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! —–==  Over 80,000 Newsgroups – 16 Different Servers! =—–

Response:

: The home builder was John F. Long.  It was a gimick which made a lot of : brownie points with the environmental nuts.  They really pissed off the : power company and the local phone companies for the way they pumped : energy back into the grid.  Two reasons.  One is that it’s dangerous. Only if done in violation of the codes which regulate this. : If the power company has to disconnect a part of the grid these home : generators keep the grid energized. No one got hurt that I know of but : it caused a lot of extra work to go around in disconnect each source. Please don’t paint everyone who feeds power back to the grid with the same brush.  The vast majority are doing it the legal way, with a transfer switch, which won’t let it backfeed to the grid. : The other reason is that the power put back into the system was not : sinusoidal.  The current looked like a truncated scecant which is very : rich in mid audio band harmonics.   It noised up telephones for blocks : around.  I was a Telco engineer at the time.  We got them to put some : filters on their power but it cost everyone a lot of time and expense. I can see how noisy power would be a problem.  Is this still an issue with the modern generation of inverters?  From what I read in the literature, they claim to be extremely clean. : The amount of usable power they returned to the grid was miniscule, even : compared to the power use of just the solar power homes. It depends.  I’ve got a nice hill, lots of clear space, and lots of wind.  I bet I could break even some months, or maybe even generate more than I use. : The idea of homes selling power to power companies was something which : environmntalists sold to some stupid legislators.  The idea is really : bad.  Done on a massive scale with proper equipment it could work  but : just legislating that power companies have to pay for anything which : spins the meter is a disaster. It wasn’t and would not today be a cost : effective method of providing power. So, let me get this straight.  I generate (x) amount of power, and sell it back to the power company (at wholesale yet, not even retail), and it’s a disaster somehow?  The way I see it, if I can supply clean, safe power to the grid, there’s no reason that I should be blocked from entering into an agreement with my power company for them to buy it. Noisy sine waves, or unsafe (illegal) connections to the grid, I can see objecting to.  But, for the vast majority of folks who are doing it properly, I feel that your apparent anger is misplaced. Dave Hinz

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Please don’t paint everyone who feeds power back to the grid with the same brush.  The vast majority are doing it the legal way, with a transfer switch, which won’t let it backfeed to the grid.

Curious logic. So, let me get this straight.  I generate (x) amount of power, and sell it back to the power company…

No. You sell energy vs power. Nick

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The home builder was John F. Long.  It was a gimick which made a lot of brownie points with the environmental nuts.  They really pissed off the power company and the local phone companies for the way they pumped energy back into the grid.  

I’m glad for the input.  I had heard no more about those homes since I looked at the model on Indian School.  I understand your criticism of their impact, but still feel they were a step in a good direction.  You even indicate that while there were problems, there were also solutions.  That’s par for the course with any new idea put into practice.   I wonder how many of those solar homes Long sold?  The rammed-earth wall was a kind of a neat thing, too.  It amounted to an adobe house without individual blocks.  The interior was studded normally, so it was sorta like a normal house with a fort built around it really close.  The walls were 22" thick overall.  Dual glazed windows also helped make the homes quiet as a church.  You could look out and see normal neighborhood activities taking place in absolute silence.

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I found this neat web site (link below) that has information about selling electricity back to the electric company, if you have your own power generation source. (Like solar panels or wind power.) This is called "net metering" and uses a device called a "PV inverter". This device assures only proper clean power is sent out to the "grid" and has safety features to protect electrical workers should the main electric power go out. (Disconnects your power source from grid.) Your electric meter can run backwards and they pay you! It sounds like requirements for this vary from state to state. Anyone doing this? Device to connect to the "grid"… http://www.tracegridtie.com/products/gridtie/index.html Main page… http://www.tracegridtie.com/

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 Your electric meter can run backwards and they pay you! It sounds like requirements for this vary from state to state. Anyone doing this?

I expect so, although I’m not certain.  A major Phoenix contractor offered super insulated rammed-earth wall homes here back in the mid 80s.  An option involved solar displays on the roof that provided hot water plus generation of electricity.  It was claimed that while insufficient juice could be expected for all living needs, it would certainly reduce demand upon the local grid, and actually put juice <into the grid when the house was unoccupied.  Unfortunately, most new home buyers are more interested in stupid ‘design features’ of no real value whatsoever, so the contractor sold few if any such homes, and they were soon dropped.  I was underemployed at the time, or I would have bought one.

Response:

- Hide quoted text — Show quoted text –  Your electric meter can run backwards and they pay you! It sounds like requirements for this vary from state to state. Anyone doing this? I expect so, although I’m not certain.  A major Phoenix contractor offered super insulated rammed-earth wall homes here back in the mid 80s.  An option involved solar displays on the roof that provided hot water plus generation of electricity.  It was claimed that while insufficient juice could be expected for all living needs, it would certainly reduce demand upon the local grid, and actually put juice <into the grid when the house was unoccupied.  Unfortunately, most new home buyers are more interested in stupid ‘design features’ of no real value whatsoever, so the contractor sold few if any such homes, and they were soon dropped.  I was underemployed at the time, or I would have bought one.

The home builder was John F. Long.  It was a gimick which made a lot of brownie points with the environmental nuts.  They really pissed off the power company and the local phone companies for the way they pumped energy back into the grid.  Two reasons.  One is that it’s dangerous. If the power company has to disconnect a part of the grid these home generators keep the grid energized. No one got hurt that I know of but it caused a lot of extra work to go around in disconnect each source. The other reason is that the power put back into the system was not sinusoidal.  The current looked like a truncated scecant which is very rich in mid audio band harmonics.   It noised up telephones for blocks around.  I was a Telco engineer at the time.  We got them to put some filters on their power but it cost everyone a lot of time and expense. The amount of usable power they returned to the grid was miniscule, even compared to the power use of just the solar power homes. The idea of homes selling power to power companies was something which environmntalists sold to some stupid legislators.  The idea is really bad.  Done on a massive scale with proper equipment it could work  but just legislating that power companies have to pay for anything which spins the meter is a disaster. It wasn’t and would not today be a cost effective method of providing power. — Lou Boyd —–= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =—– http://www.newsfeeds.com – The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! —–==  Over 80,000 Newsgroups – 16 Different Servers! =—–

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