Solar Power

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Zasso Nouka
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Re: Solar Power

Post by Zasso Nouka »

Gru wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:19 am
You have to consider that you can't use the full 40kwh, not of a (usually lead based) Home Battery, nor of your car. At least for most Germans it is like the end of the world if they don't have the possibility to drive right now the 900km to his uncle :lol:
And even the most durable deep cycle batteries doesnt like it to getting fully discharged.
You Germans certainly do like your long distance driving :lol: and I mean no offence by that :)

The main benefit for us would be we already have the car and won't have to spend money buying anything new plus it spends 90% of it's time parked outside of the house it's there 90% of the time already. At least once a year we get the power lines cut by a typhoon, one of the negative sides to living in the middle of a forest I guess and next year we loose the guaranteed feed in tariff we currently enjoy so it will probably make financial sense then.

I did hear on the tv that there is a company down in Kyushu taking old end of life Leaf batteries and turning them into home battery systems. That sounds like a pretty good idea to me, they reckon there is still plenty of life left in the cells even after they are no longer able to power a car.

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Re: Solar Power

Post by LeeB »

I can't recall if I commented on the aspects of the current Victoria State solar program currently ongoing.

Basically, you can get a rebate of up to $2250 or half of the cost of a system if you haven't put one up on your roof.

Supposedly the rebate is to help people out who can't afford the system in the first place, but the limits are $180,000 a year in income and a house worth A$3 million or less. (If you make that kind of income and have a house worth $A3 million and can't afford a system that costs $A5000 there is something wrong with you!!!)

Anyway, last year the commission that sets rates for new solar installs implemented a new time of day generation model feed in tariff which was optional for utilities to adopt.

They set the highest price for periods in the afternoon from 3 - 9 pm at 29 cents per kWh. That is the peak time for electricity usage for many people as it is often the time the A/C are on in summer and people are returning home from work.

Panels that face west or in a westerly direction provide the best generation output in summer and would provide a higher return under this type of system. Normal rates were set at 10.3 cents during the day.

Not a bad rate for new installs and it would have provided a much faster payback.

Fast forward and on 1 March the commission set the new rates for the coming year starting on 1 July.

Ouch.

That new rate for the peak time was more than cut in half to 14.6 cents, but the day rate was increased to 11.6 cents.

That cut will totally mess up the ROI and payback periods for any systems installed and adopting the TOU system.

And there have been comments that the retail price of electricity and service fees continue to increase with some indicating a 15% in prices.

I don't know about those price increases as I fixed my rate and service charges for a period of two years and have a year left on that contract. So we'll have to shop around and see what the situation will be in a year or so.

There are some huge solar farms coming on line in the next year or so, but I wonder if the retail price of electricity here will ever fall and if it does fall, will the fall in prices be wiped out by increases in the service fees.

(Current non discounted prices of electricity here are 37 cents per kWh and service fees are A$1.42 per day. There are no discounts given for the service fees, but often 'pay on time' discounts for usage which makes comparing the actual cost of the various plans a real mess. Add in solar and some plans are not available and others charge more for usage for those with solar. Most companies require you to go on a TOU plan if you have solar panels as well.)

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Re: Solar Power

Post by DocDoesFarming »

Bit of a stupid question but, can you make money selling the unwanted electricity you generate from Solar Panels?
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Re: Solar Power

Post by Zasso Nouka »

It's not a stupid question at all :lol:

You do get paid for the electricity you put into the grid, don't know what the current rate is but it will be above what you pay to buy electricity and you should get that price guaranteed for 10 years I believe. It's not a huge amount but should help pay for the panels and cover installation.

Next year our contract expires so we aren't sure what happens then, whether the feed in tariff remains the same or not I have no idea so we will see. If it remains the same we will probably just carry on as now exporting to the grid during the day but if it reduces then we might look into into getting a house battery or Leaf2Home and using the car as a house battery.

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Re: Solar Power

Post by DocDoesFarming »

So you buy the panels and fit them, the money selling back helps pay off the panels.
Then you buy a battery later on and essentially have free or super cheap electricity in the future?

Why aren't more people doing this? It seems like a win win all round.
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Re: Solar Power

Post by gonbechan »

A lot of older mass built Japanese houses just are not structurally sound for panels on the roof.
South facing sides are mostly windows and the houses are usually 2x4 based timber frame.
I watched something on youtube a while ago (will go and see if i can find it) with a Japanese architect explaining why it was a very bad idea just to add the panels without reinforcing both the house frame and the roof before considering having solar panels installed.

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Re: Solar Power

Post by Zasso Nouka »

DocDoesFarming wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 7:33 am
So you buy the panels and fit them, the money selling back helps pay off the panels.
Then you buy a battery later on and essentially have free or super cheap electricity in the future?
Pretty much, just to give you an idea with a 4kw set up at the rates fixed around 9 years ago on a typical month you can expect to get paid around 16,000円 a month from selling electricity back to the grid. Now that amount varies depending on the weather some months you get more and some less, other factors will also come into play like whether your roof is south facing and the pitch of the roof.

You could just use the grid as your 'battery' selling to it during the day and buying back at night but as home batteries decrease in cost I suspect many more people will opt to fit one to their houses.
DocDoesFarming wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 7:33 am
Why aren't more people doing this? It seems like a win win all round.
As Gonbechan mentions not all houses are suited to holding panels on the roof and they are still quite expensive in Japan but local grants can help offset the initial costs.

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Re: Solar Power

Post by LeeB »

The Victorian State subsidy plan that I posted about earlier has closed - a couple of months before the deadline as they ran out of money. Too many people taking up the offer.

Supposedly starting on 1 July there will be a battery subsidy starting up. Those people who got the above subsidy can't get the battery one, but with the price of batteries here well north of $12,000 for a Tesla Powerwall, only the people with extra bucks and not looking to break even will go down that route.

That subsidy is supposed to last until 2024 (HAH - it'll run out of money just like the other program!) with decreasing amounts per year.

With all the new solar coming online here in Victoria no doubt there will be a cut in the price people get for their excess generated electricity next year. I have 4 1/12 years more to go on my premium feed in tariff which is nice.

In regards to Japan, I thought that they locked in a feed in tariff for ten years......is that plan already coming to and end or was that only for commercial generators?

I used to see a lot of commercial solar farms in various sizes being advertised for sale in Japan as well as companies looking for land for sites to put up farms as well. I haven't looked for a while, but they were quoting some pretty goods returns (Really??) for these things.

One thing that surprises me is that with all the commercial rooftops available in Japan that there aren't more systems on those roofs.

When you take the Airport Bus from YCAT to Narita you pass a huge number of large buildings on the way to the airport - many are warehouses along the port areas that have nothing on them.

Wonder why?

Also in Japan can you do a DIY solar panel installation?

Here you can't and have to have an accredited installer put one up and then have it signed off after the install with an inspection by an electrician. Only then will you be allowed to turn it on and get the benefits.

I did go back and check the price of the system I put up 9 years ago. The cost was A$7500 of which $A4500 was a subsidy so the out of pocket cost was A$3000. Plus I had to pay for a new smart meter to be put in which was another $A300. Now you can get a 6.6 kW system out of pocket for around $A5000 - 4 1/2 times as big for 50% more!!!

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Re: Solar Power

Post by DocDoesFarming »

gonbechan wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 9:35 am
A lot of older mass built Japanese houses just are not structurally sound for panels on the roof.
South facing sides are mostly windows and the houses are usually 2x4 based timber frame.
I watched something on youtube a while ago (will go and see if i can find it) with a Japanese architect explaining why it was a very bad idea just to add the panels without reinforcing both the house frame and the roof before considering having solar panels installed.
Might have to have a word with the guy who built this place if it could handle the weight. I've got two houses side by side, the older house hasn't got a chance because it's one of those old style buildings with a thatched type inner section covered with those metal sheeting. Hopefully the newer one can handle it.
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Re: Solar Power

Post by DocDoesFarming »

Zasso Nouka wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 6:03 am
Pretty much, just to give you an idea with a 4kw set up at the rates fixed around 9 years ago on a typical month you can expect to get paid around 16,000円 a month from selling electricity back to the grid. Now that amount varies depending on the weather some months you get more and some less, other factors will also come into play like whether your roof is south facing and the pitch of the roof.

You could just use the grid as your 'battery' selling to it during the day and buying back at night but as home batteries decrease in cost I suspect many more people will opt to fit one to their houses.
16,000円, damn that would be handy. Just need to convince the wife to do it. She's very reluctant at the moment. I suppose I can see her point, we've just moved in. But the sooner we do it the sooner we can pay it off is my thinking.

So I take it you automatically "sell" the daily energy by not using it right?
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