Solar Energy Systems: Which is right for you
Solar Energy Systems: Which is right for you?
Topics
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US Power Grid Threats
Gas vs Solar Generators
# solar panels & batteries needed
How to shop for Solar Systems
by Tom Brennan Engineering Manager
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Severe Weather
Power Grid Threats
EMP
Solar Flare
Cyberattack
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15 Critical US Infrastructures All Rely on the 16th = US Power Grid
Water &
Wastewater
Communication
Transportation
Food & Agriculture
Dams:
flood control
Information Technology
Financial Services
Energy &
Distribution
Healthcare & Public Health
Manufacturing
Emergency
Services
Commercial
Facilities
Defense
Industrial Base
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Government Facilities
Nuclear Reactors
& Materials
Chemical
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Gas vs. Solar Generator
1 Fridge & Freezer over 10 years
11,000
Gallons Gas
+ 1800 Qts Oil
$35,000
=
Quiet,
Automatic
Solar Generator
$0 to $2500+
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Renewable Options: Solar is lowest cost
30% Federal Tax Credit.
Cost compare in $/watt
produced
(not inverter power!)
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How much power do you need?
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36
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How many Panels & Batteries are needed?
# of 250W Solar Panels needed =
TV/PC
Lights
Microwave
Fan
Freezer
Fridge
Gas
Furnace
0.4
0.3
0.5
0.8
1
1.8
6
Window
A/C
9
https://www.portablesolarllc.com/customize-pricing-emp-protection/
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Sol-Ark
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kWh Cost
Justification
AGM
Tesla
Aquion
Number of Batteries
8
2
4
Volts per Unit
12
350
48
Total System Voltage
48
350
48
Amp Hours
220
168
10.6 kWh
12.8 kWh
8.1 kW
3.2 kWh @ 30%
3.8 kWh @ 30%
4 kW @ 50%
$1,600
$7,000
$5,676
Cycle Life Span
2000 cycles
4000 cycles
3000 cycles
Total Energy
Throughput
6,400 kWh
15,300 kWh
12,100 kWh
Cost Per kWh
$0.25 Per kWh
$0.46 Per kWh
$0.47 Per kWh
After-Life Costs
Recyclable
Non-Recyclable
Non-Recyclable
kW of Storage
kW Usable Storage
kW Cost
How to Shop for
Solar Systems
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Solar FAQ’s: Inverter
Is Inverter Pure Sine-Wave (PSW) or Modified (MSW)?
Modified Sine will not run freezers, gas furnace, clocks, and some electronics.
Pure Sine runs all
Modified Sine
Pure Sine
lowest idle power
low idle power
Beware if no idle current or power listed
Does AC output automatically transfer between Solar & Grid?
Inverter Power Output >2000W?
Inverters shut down if peak OR continuous power is exceeded.
Just 2 appliances or 1 microwave can kill a 2000W inverter.
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Compare $/Solar W
Subtract the Inverter
Idle power!
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Solar FAQ’s: Cost
Consider all the Costs?
Professional Install labor ($2000 - $5000)
Permits (up to $1500)
Does it reduce your electric bills?
99% of DIY emergency backup systems only use panels when grid goes down.
Does the system run when the AC Grid goes out?
Grid tie systems shut off during a power outage.
Monthly connection fees (up to $70/month)
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12 Panels
8 Batteries
Starting Price
12000
10000
8000
6000
4000
2000
0
-2000
Series 1
Series 2
Series 3
Series 4
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12 Panels
8 Batteries
Starting Price + Inverter Idle Cost
12000
10000
8000
6000
4000
2000
0
-2000
Series 1
Series 2
Series 3
Series 4
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12 Panels
8 Batteries
Starting Price + Inverter Cost – Tax Credit
12000
10000
8000
6000
4000
2000
0
-2000
Series 1
Series 2
Series 3
Series 4
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12 Panels
8 Batteries
Starting Price + Inverter Cost – Tax Credit – Bill Reduction
12000
10000
8000
Tax Credit
Tax Credit
Inverter Cost
Inverter Cost
Electric Bill
Savings
6000
$10K
4000
2000
Tax Credit
0
-2000
-$1K
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$10K
Solar FAQ’s: Solar Charger, Batts, AC Charger
Can you Add Solar Panels?
Max length of solar wires?
100 feet to be shade free
Is Solar Charge Controller Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT)?
Optimizes power in sun & clouds
Can you Expand Battery Capacity?
Does it have a large (>300W) AC charger?
Keeping batteries charged increase lifespan 400%
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Solar System Summary
• Solar Power instead of Inverter Power
– Low Inverter idle power?
• “Low Cost” vs. Usability
– 100+ ft solar wires?
– Expandable panels & batteries?
• Use Grid to increase battery life & solar panels to reduce electric bills
• Professionally Installed vs. Professionally Designed vs. “Low Cost”
– DIY? Permits/fees?
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Key Points to Remember
• Cyberattack, EMP, Solar Flares are serious
• Invest in Solar systems used Daily
– Grid & Battery systems that cut electric bills
– Expandable
– Systems >2 x 250W (500W) solar panels
• Compare $/Solar W
• Budget Solar Panel Watts & Batteries to Off
Grid needs
• Get a professionally designed system & avoid
low power / low quality.
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