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I see a lot of members as of late, new and old, that are "Jones"ing on these 145 watt panels, at about a buck a watt, what a deal, wish they were available when I started....and with those panels, there is alot of talk about GTI's, 300, 600, 1200 watt GTI's....
I'd like to slip a word of caution into the mix...many of you have the new "Smart Meter", the digital meter that records your power usage from the power company...when someone puts numerous 145 watt panels together, there quickly becomes high wattage thru those GTI's which will drop the power usage in your household, but remember not to go too far, with the Smart Meter, when you reach the usage balance, where you are supplying the same amount of power that you are using, that's where one should stop, as if you send more power from the panels towards the grid then what you're using, the Smart Meter thinks you're using Power Company power and charges you for it...
You have 100 watts from panels thru the GTI and the only appliance on is your 100 watt TV...that's a wash...the meter stops...
OR, You have 300 watts from panels thru the GTI and the only appliance on is your 100 watt TV...that's bad, as the meter sees 200 watts going towards the grid, and begins to charge YOU for those 200 watts of power...is it fair, no, is it reality, yes!
So, let's think about what we're doing, I'd hate to see a member get their socks knocked off when that first power bill arrives, thinking they're to the good and the bill is sky high...
Very good info, Bill. I would also like to add that in some states you have to have a net metering agreement before you plug in.
Surprised we don't hear more about 12 volt water heating here on the forum. In the early years of DIY solar it seemed like everybody did the "water heater dump" thing, at least around here. Seems to have gone out of style.
Check out the Xantrex C40's , they have a great little dump feature and their predecessor the C35 were real popular when they first came out. Most guys were using multiple water heaters [solar tank as a pre heat] and just changing out the elements. I think these 12 volt elements fit a standard residential water heater.
Of course it also seemed like every guy doing those early panels were also doing home made wind power. Most guys had some kind of crazy blades tethered to some kind of car or truck alternator. Some of them worked pretty well.
The 12 volt elements I have fit into a standard water heater I bought a while back. It's a 28g tank I bought in clearance from Lowe's and I will be plumbing it in line before my house hot water heater on the cold intake. We use most if not all our hot water in the morning or at night for the kids bath/shower. Plan is to preheat fir the night time with the sun and for the morning with the batteries.
I have a energy saving water heater.
It has a box on the top that can monitor usage and adjust for savings.
Do you think it could be converted to 12V DC?
My thought is that it is to fancy convert to DC.
Anyone convert one like mine?
I have a tank and 12v element. I was just waiting to get a turbine. Never crossed my mind to run it from my batts at night! Had thought of using as my dump load during the day. Anyone doing that? I have the Xantrex C35 as my cc.
I disconnected my 300w GTI today and decided to focus on getting a bigger battery bank. The requirement for getting a net meter installed is all equipment must be UL certified... in other words I need to start saving up some cash.
Has anyone here gone through the process of getting a meter installed? If so, how did you go about doing it?
I'm sure there are many makers of the Smart Meters, I am speaking of the Itron Centron C1SR Digital Electric Meter (the one hanging on my house)...if you are shackled by this meter, here's how to read the usage...
I've tested this meter for reverse power, nervously switching appliances off as I was pounding the GTI with high amps (I expected the power police to come flying up to my door, lights flashing and sirens blairing, kicking my door in and hauling me away in cuffs!...hmmm, didn't happen)...and, indeed, the meter begins to clock watts with the charges directed at my bill, even tho it was my power...
i don't want to be a dooms-dayer, I'm just asking....know your system, and know "their" system...in the long run, you'll be glad you did...