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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Electric meter running backwards

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Heyseed

05-10-2014 10:40:05
69.35.203.240



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Been doing punch out work on a home in Tiger Valley, This week they came and installed a little solar panel. It is about 70 yards long, has 80 panels and will power the entire farm. Each footer has over three yards of concrete. I couldn't find a place to plug in and charge my phone. PS The tractor is a 4WD Komatsu

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Bret4207

05-12-2014 04:04:38
64.19.90.196



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Heyseed, 05-10-2014 10:40:05  
It IS a political topic when public funding or tax breaks are allowed. And that is the case in many places. If one guy puts in a $50K solar system and gets a tax break then why shouldn't the guy putting in a $15K solid fuel (wood) burner get a break too? Why does the guy putting in solar get a break, but the guy retro fitting a home with better windows, insulation, etc. not get the break? If I ever get my micro-hydro built I won't be getting any tax breaks, in fact my taxes could go up because I'll have a pond on my property. Solar is more of a political statement today than anything else, it's almost a religion. It's touted as "free" and "green" and it's not, not by a long shot.

It should either be everyone that's trying to lower their power use getting a tax break or no one.

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Pops1532

05-11-2014 16:38:55
98.227.133.60



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Heyseed, 05-10-2014 10:40:05  
I don't think it can be openly discussed without being somewhat political.

Are you sure they just got a tax break? Some states and maybe even at the national level there are or at least were government programs that paid some of the up front costs with grants to those installing the systems.

My sis and BIL in CA are looking into solar. Not sure if what they're considering is subsidized or not. They're just wanting to reduce their $1200 a month power bill.

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Alberta Bill

05-11-2014 13:14:08
68.145.178.8



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Heyseed, 05-10-2014 10:40:05  
I like it. I am currently looking, Reading, and you tubing. Trying to learn more about it, the cost, the buy back time. Keep us up to speed time to time to help us understand this new stuff. Thanks for the Pics more please. Bill



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Heyseed

05-11-2014 08:51:12
69.35.203.240



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Heyseed, 05-10-2014 10:40:05  
Hey guys, this was not supposed to be political. It is a cool thing being installed by some good people. So they get a tax break, more power to them (no pun intended) they had to invest the money up front to get those breaks. I think Solar power is the answer, not the only answer, but if every roof in the country had panels on them it would solve a lot of our energy issues.



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rustyfarmall

05-11-2014 09:15:30
208.126.186.41



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Heyseed, 05-11-2014 08:51:12  
And if every roof had solar panels on it, we wouldn't need those big, ugly, whirly monster wind turbines.



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Bret4207

05-11-2014 05:50:16
64.19.90.196



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Heyseed, 05-10-2014 10:40:05  
IMO his 15 year payoff is a dream. right now solar sales gimmicks and exaggerations are running pretty high. Plus all the "green" trash that they talk while completely ignoring the mining operations for the minerals to make the panels- in China. There is no free lunch. Solar is great, but it's not all that green and it's never free.



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Mark - IN.

05-10-2014 22:19:11
50.104.113.15



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Heyseed, 05-10-2014 10:40:05  
They will wake up one morning and it will be gone because some robbers will steal it in the middle of the night to sell as scrap aluminum.

Mark



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Diydave

05-10-2014 16:58:10
96.244.158.43



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Heyseed, 05-10-2014 10:40:05  
how much of the upfront cost, are we, the taxpayers subsidizing? Enquiring minds want to know....



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showcrop

05-11-2014 04:01:47
75.67.231.80



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Diydave, 05-10-2014 16:58:10  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

From the last reference I had we paid for a third of it.



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George Marsh

05-10-2014 13:59:55
50.121.45.101



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Heyseed, 05-10-2014 10:40:05  
What size coin are we looking at, including everything?



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ShadetreeRet

05-10-2014 13:44:08
184.4.13.135



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Heyseed, 05-10-2014 10:40:05  
Thanks for the post Heyseed. Very interesting.



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bison

05-10-2014 13:01:17
69.168.144.136



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Heyseed, 05-10-2014 10:40:05  
[quote="rustyfarmall"](reply to post at 12:25:18 05/10/14) [/quote/]I can't see how these panels can power the whole farm for more than a couple hrs a day unless the sun stays stationary in the sky there?



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John T

05-10-2014 15:26:44
216.249.72.121



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to bison, 05-10-2014 13:01:17  
The sun doesn't have to be direct overhead, heck the solar panels on the roof of my RV with it setting under roof in a pole barn still charge some........True, a direct hit produces more energy, but with them facing south at that angle they will still work quite well over an entire days span, although stronger in direct sunlight WELL DUHHHHHHH

John T



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ShadetreeRet

05-10-2014 13:41:47
184.4.13.135



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to bison, 05-10-2014 13:01:17  
The sun does not have to be a direct hit on the panels. The panels do require an Eastern and Southern exposure, but they will generate power as long as the sun is shining on them. As a matter of fact, an electric light bulb will actuate a photovoltaic cell.



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Tom in TN

05-10-2014 12:16:50
70.210.6.90



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Heyseed, 05-10-2014 10:40:05  
I'm not solar savvy, so I'm asking out of ignorance not to make any kind of point here.

Does the solar system also require batteries to be used in conjunction with it? It seems to me that there must be some kind of storage facility for use when the sun isn't shining.

If there are batteries, are they typically lead-acid batteries or something else?

Tom in TN - the not smart solar guy



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Rich_WI

05-10-2014 15:57:00
50.50.82.205



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Tom in TN, 05-10-2014 12:16:50  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

You have 2 choices Tom. You either have to use batteries to store the electricty.... or you can still hook up to the utility system, they call that grid tied. When you are grid tied, during the day you "sell" electricty back to the power company and at night you "buy" electricty from the power company. The power company is acting as your battery.

The big thing to think about is some states are generous with the buy/sell part, others not so much. Some states "buy" your surplus electricty from you at normal retail rates (the full rate that you pay on your electric bill). Other states "buy" your surplus electricty from you at what they call "production cost". That means, they know how much electricty costs them at the power plant and they know how much it costs to maintain the lines. They only pay you the production cost amount. Usually that price is about 1/3 of the total cost on your electric bill.

If this system was built in Virginia, it looks like its a good state because they net meter back to the customer at retail rate (with many additional policies in effect). Thats how some people can pay for these systems so soon; federal rebates + state rebates + favorable state laws that let people sell back surplus electricity at retail rates = quick payback. http://dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=VA02R

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bison

05-10-2014 16:09:13
69.168.144.134



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Rich_WI, 05-10-2014 15:57:00  
Me thinks i stick with the grid,..cheaper that way and less head aches.

If there's a power outage i have the standby power plant to get me by,..its big enough to power everything on my farm.



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John T

05-10-2014 15:35:17
216.249.72.121



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Tom in TN, 05-10-2014 12:16:50  
You can have a system with or without batteries. Without, it can still provide energy and even backfeed the grid subject to the load and its output, but without sun you would be using the utilities energy. With batteries, it can charge a battery energy storage bank and use an Inverter to change the battery DC voltage over to 120 or 240 VAC for use even if you weren't connected to the utility.

Many use like L 16 Deep Cycle flooded lead acid batteries in series parallel to achieve whatever amp hours of energy storage and voltage they require.

Its cheaper to just have the solar panels and backed the utility when possible, but more user friendly and more freedom and choices if you let the solar panels charge a battery bank so you can store that energy (like when sun shines) and then use it at night via an Inverter system when theres no sunshine

Got it??

John T Retired Electrical Engineer

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ShadetreeRet

05-10-2014 13:36:37
184.4.13.135



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Tom in TN, 05-10-2014 12:16:50  
Tom in TN, Yes, solar systems do require storage in order to supply current at night or during prolonged cloudy weather. Typically, lead-acid batteries have been used, but I just Googled Solar Electricity and found that several different companies are working on different types of storage batteries as this is one of the weak links in the system.



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dustycoal

05-10-2014 11:57:14
74.229.201.151



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Heyseed, 05-10-2014 10:40:05  
Really nice set up, Like how it is installed. Think it will take home builders installing and putting the cost into the mortgage of a new built house to get in the main stream. Grid tied is the best if your power company will allow it.



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wile E

05-10-2014 11:57:00
75.128.139.236



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Heyseed, 05-10-2014 10:40:05  
You say 15 yrs to pay for itself. Lets figure it out.

$100 per month elect. bill. $1200 per year. 15 x $1200 = $18,000 I am sure it was more like $30-40k. Especially with the concrete work/install. Aint cheep. I do like clean AC power, where I do not have to do anything other than pay the bill.



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dr sportster

05-10-2014 13:48:57
68.195.46.253



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to wile E, 05-10-2014 11:57:00  
You don't have a welder or machines in your house do you?



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wile E

05-10-2014 16:36:51
75.128.139.236



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to dr sportster, 05-10-2014 13:48:57  
No, But that is a good point.

I do not have machines at my home. Electric/dryer/stove/well pump/regular stuff.

I could easily see my bill double with having a home shop.



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dr sportster

05-10-2014 18:23:37
68.195.46.253



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to wile E, 05-10-2014 16:36:51  
That's why mine runs high but don't tell my wife about this . LOL.



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ken combs

05-10-2014 12:04:20
76.254.213.30



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to wile E, 05-10-2014 11:57:00  

$100/mo electric bill?? Don't know where you're at or what you power but that is 1/2 to 1/4 the bills around here, especially during A/C season. I think the average in our area would be $300-400. Of course, more in the mini-mansions that are becoming so common.



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Heyseed

05-10-2014 13:22:47
69.35.203.244



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to ken combs, 05-10-2014 12:04:20  
Wile E, I think Ken is closer to the real electric bill. This new home is very large. I'm sure pretty costly to power. I just did a quick google search for an 80 panel system. They start in the mid thirties, add another eight grand for the mounts and then all the labor site work and materials. It probably is close to 100 grand. That 15 year payoff line probably came for some sales person.



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TomH in PA

05-10-2014 16:11:18
184.5.162.203



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Heyseed, 05-10-2014 13:22:47  
"That 15 year payoff line probably came for some sales person"

Yea, think about what a 15 year mortgage payment would be on a $100K loan. That"s what you need to save every month. Not likely.



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rustyfarmall

05-10-2014 12:25:18
208.126.186.41



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to ken combs, 05-10-2014 12:04:20  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

I'm in southwest Iowa. My electric bill averages maybe $80 per month, and we are not particularly conservative.



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rustyfarmall

05-10-2014 13:08:45
208.126.186.41



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to rustyfarmall, 05-10-2014 12:25:18  
[quote="bison"](quoted from post at 13:01:17 05/10/14)
Depends on the defination of "farm". If the "farm" is a couple of acres, with a house and maybe a chicken coop or two, then those panels might just work. If we're talkin' a full sized farm, with a large heated shop, a 2,000 square foot house, or larger, a good sized cattle and/or hog operation, and a few grain bins thrown in for good measure, then no, there is no way that solar array would provide everything.

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John T

05-10-2014 11:05:21
216.249.72.121



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Heyseed, 05-10-2014 10:40:05  
If I were younger and just starting with a new home etc ID GO SOLAR, AND GEOTHERMAL, AND SOLAR HOT WATER, MAYBE SOME WIND POWER, AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY OUT THE YING YANG. That would be the ONLY way to go in the future.

Actually, when we live in the RV often off the grid dry boondock camping (free or minimal cost) for long periods we are mostly self sufficient and sustainable other then a small amount of LP Gas for hot water and the LP Gas fired fridge. Its equipped with 200 watts of rooftop solar panels, a four battery bank totaling 460 Amp Hours of energy storage, and an Onan generator just in case.

It would be fun to be twenty something just starting out wouldn't it????????? lol Its been a good life and as my buddy says, "Its been a good ride"

Ol John T

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Retired Farmer

05-10-2014 14:13:35
72.19.130.74



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to John T, 05-10-2014 11:05:21  
If you were twenty something you would be unemployed now days.



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jennifer408

05-10-2014 10:51:53
67.142.162.20



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Heyseed, 05-10-2014 10:40:05  
nice, way to go, we are on solar, but we are off grid so we don't pay to watch a meter go backwards.



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Janicholson

05-10-2014 10:49:02
199.17.6.160



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Heyseed, 05-10-2014 10:40:05  
Yes! More the better. Real solution real fine. Jim



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Dean

05-10-2014 10:46:26
24.1.134.162



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Heyseed, 05-10-2014 10:40:05  
Nice.

What did it cost?

Nice TLB, too.

Dean



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Heyseed

05-10-2014 10:52:29
69.35.203.240



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Dean, 05-10-2014 10:46:26  
I don't ask customers how much things cost :-)
They did say it will pay for itself in 15 years.



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bill mart

05-10-2014 12:15:52
69.204.67.49



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Heyseed, 05-10-2014 10:52:29  
life expectancy of the system ? bill



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Ozlander

05-10-2014 16:36:00
108.193.193.49



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to bill mart, 05-10-2014 12:15:52  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Probably 15 years or the first hail storm.



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Dean

05-10-2014 11:16:15
24.1.134.162



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Heyseed, 05-10-2014 10:52:29  
NO ONE can predict much of anything 15 years into the future.

Dean



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IH2444

05-10-2014 12:23:34
98.67.146.165



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 Re: Electric meter running backwards in reply to Dean, 05-10-2014 11:16:15  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Why not?

1. Prices will increase.

2. People will still be fussin in wars and such.

3. Politicians will still mostly be slime.

4. People will still be dying.

5. People will still be being born.

6. People will still thinking that their religion is the only correct one.



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