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Subjective listening impressions of alternate power (solar, generator, battery)


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1 hour ago, acg said:

I would not worry about panel efficiency varying with temperature...that is a relatively solved problem.

 

OK, thanks. This is a typical example of something good to know. This with the notice that over here everybody seems to be selling solar panels, and it has become a thing of not being able to see the wood because of the trees.

 

1 hour ago, sdolezalek said:

No the rating is for ambient temperature. 

 

Thank you too. I did not expect that.

 

1 hour ago, acg said:

We have added 'extra' panels so that the solar inverter is 'maxed out' earlier in the day and later in the evening...this makes a significant difference in my experience.

 

Yes, this is obvious. Or intuitively true. Still I reason that while I could make a sun-aiming (rotating) system, it would be overkill.

 

In my case all relates to my situation of my property being in the middle of water, with a long edge all pointed to the south. So I would be catching the sun twice. Or more with wind (the surfs on the water would imply even more light, I think).

 

image.thumb.png.691968969ce48ac2bf5ea833b00fc101.png

(at the left hand side could be the panels)

 

But I am really more and more in doubt about the landscape and how I would not like the panels. Over here, more and more fields of panels emerge. Miles and miles in a row. It starts to disturb. But it is for a good cause.

 

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Maybe good to know for reference: For me it is a cost no object project, if it only works.

What I hunt for is completely off-grid, thus also with heating and all. This will probably mean :

 

- A heat pump (water-water in my case);

- Solar panels as many as needed to charge batteries for xx power;

- As many batteries as needed to drive the heat pump (of ~8KW consumption, 40KW output ) as long as needed (no sun, no wind);

- Wind Generators because it simply can't be done sufficiently without them or else the number of solar panels become extraordinary** (the wind generators need to be small and vertical ones);

- A solar water heater of sufficient size and water storage because else the heating of shower etc. water will be too costly (draws the batteries too quickly).

 

**) Whether this is really the case (requires wind as well) will depend on whether solar panels can be sufficient on the winter day and clouded day. This again in combination with the battery storage. It is quite complicated and *all* related to each other (must match). But also: When the system with solar only is sufficient for the winter day, in the summer day you'd have too much energy. This is how wind has to be to be involved, IMO.

 

 

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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1 hour ago, PeterSt said:

Maybe good to know for reference: For me it is a cost no object project, if it only works.

What I hunt for is completely off-grid, thus also with heating and all. This will probably mean :

 

- A heat pump (water-water in my case);

- Solar panels as many as needed to charge batteries for xx power;

- As many batteries as needed to drive the heat pump (of ~8KW consumption, 40KW output ) as long as needed (no sun, no wind);

- Wind Generators because it simply can't be done sufficiently without them or else the number of solar panels become extraordinary** (the wind generators need to be small and vertical ones);

- A solar water heater of sufficient size and water storage because else the heating of shower etc. water will be too costly (draws the batteries too quickly).

 

**) Whether this is really the case (requires wind as well) will depend on whether solar panels can be sufficient on the winter day and clouded day. This again in combination with the battery storage. It is quite complicated and *all* related to each other (must match). But also: When the system with solar only is sufficient for the winter day, in the summer day you'd have too much energy. This is how wind has to be to be involved, IMO.

 

 

 

(If your house is well insulated) have you considered a Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery (MVHR) system?

 

https://www.passivhaustrust.org.uk/guidance_detail.php?gId=46

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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18 minutes ago, semente said:

(If your house is well insulated) have you considered a Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery (MVHR) system?

 

The house is isolated to perfection, however, the MVHR system was never applied (I did not like it and was familiar with noise (of air) it could make. But sure, that would increase the efficiency. On some other hand, when I just never open the windows etc., you could say we are suffocating in here (but we are not) but at least the heat won't go out. So that was my idea about this house. It is fine as it is (as long as there is sufficient air).

 

Anyway moral : I don't think that such a system can be applied (made) afterwards. It requires all the piping etc. ...

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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4 minutes ago, PeterSt said:

I don't think that such a system can be applied (made) afterwards. It requires all the piping etc. ...

 

I agree that it is near-impossible.

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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9 hours ago, austinpop said:


Indeed.

 

But I do want to hear about solar and battery installations. 
 

A couple of friends who have solar PV installs without battery sent me their experiences. Both have Sunpower panels with micro inverters. Two experiments were reported:

 

- friend 1 compared SQ during the day, when the panels were supplying power, to the night, when power was from the grid. They observed no noticeable difference.

 

- friend 2 ran an experiment during the day. First with panels providing power. He then disabled the panels via a switch, and compared SQ to grid power. He felt the grid SQ was a tick better, but not night and day (pun intended)!

 

Same setup as I have. My electric bills are $8/month, all taxes and fees, nothing for grid electrical usage because I don't have any.  The house is very well insulated thus quiet.  I haven't noticed a difference between night and day except that I personally feel more quiet and attentive during the evening, so for me that's a better time for listening.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> wi-fi to router -> EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> USPCB -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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9 hours ago, acg said:

@austinpop

 

I will be moving soon to off-grid for my office which also includes my playback system.  Different country and different mains issues but it will be solar into LiFePO4 batteries which feed voltage into the system via a 240V Victron inverter (Victron simply because Living Voice use them in their battery power systems, and because they are very good quality).  Following that inverter I have had a very knowledgeable and experienced fellow in this field wind an enormous balanced isolation transformer with an inductive AC filtering system which should improve sound quality above and beyond the already decent mains system I have here.

 

The first bits have been picked up by the courier today and if you like I can update you with what I end up with.

 

Location of the transformer is an interesting problem.  The closer to your system (wiring length) the more effective, but you also have to account for possible acoustic hum from large transformers.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> wi-fi to router -> EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> USPCB -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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3 hours ago, PeterSt said:

 

The house is isolated to perfection, however, the MVHR system was never applied (I did not like it and was familiar with noise (of air) it could make. But sure, that would increase the efficiency. On some other hand, when I just never open the windows etc., you could say we are suffocating in here (but we are not) but at least the heat won't go out. So that was my idea about this house. It is fine as it is (as long as there is sufficient air).

 

Anyway moral : I don't think that such a system can be applied (made) afterwards. It requires all the piping etc. ...

 

3 hours ago, semente said:

 

I agree that it is near-impossible.

 

I think actually it is possible (if you would want it).

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.althoffind.com/blog/is-a-hrv-retrofit-the-right-solution-for-my-building%3fhs_amp=true

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> wi-fi to router -> EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> USPCB -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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We have a 27 kw whole generator from Generac. Special attention was made to properly grounding the system. There is no difference in SQ pre and post install and while the generator is running. I have listened to music for hours with it before the power came back. No experience with solar. Checked into with Tesla. Due to the terrain here they told us not to bother as we would basically get nothing in the winter months.

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22 minutes ago, JoeWhip said:

We have a 27 kw whole generator from Generac. Special attention was made to properly grounding the system. There is no difference in SQ pre and post install and while the generator is running. I have listened to music for hours with it before the power came back. No experience with solar. Checked into with Tesla. Due to the terrain here they told us not to bother as we would basically get nothing in the winter months.


Great data point, Joe. Thanks.

 

I’m assuming you have this infamous auto-transfer switch?

 

And could you elaborate on grounding considerations with the generator?

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Yes, we have the transfer switch. The box on the back of the house next to the meter looks the same as that of MF but I can’t sure the innards are the same. I relied on the electrician and the Generac people to do it right as I am not electrician. They did say that grounding was important and they had years of experience doing it properly and according to code. It works beautifully, a good friend has the 22 kw box with the transfer switch with a truly SOTA room and has no issues at all. I really wouldn’t worry about it. The problems MF has seem strange to me. 

 

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2 hours ago, JoeWhip said:

We have a 27 kw whole generator from Generac. Special attention was made to properly grounding the system. There is no difference in SQ pre and post install and while the generator is running.

 

Gasoline, natural gas, or propane?

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> wi-fi to router -> EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> USPCB -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Note the quieter standby generators put out something in the range of 60+ decibels.  If you want one to run your audio system, you'll need a home or room that is well insulated from outside noise.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> wi-fi to router -> EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> USPCB -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Natural gas, the line out of the meter was split, one to the inside and one to the generator.  You can hear it in the audio room but it is not very loud with the windows closed. It is two levels above the ground level of the house. The space is fully insulated and is 4 years old now.

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1 hour ago, JoeWhip said:

Natural gas, the line out of the meter was split, one to the inside and one to the generator.  You can hear it in the audio room but it is not very loud with the windows closed. It is two levels above the ground level of the house. The space is fully insulated and is 4 years old now.


Can it take propane as an alternative, if you lose natural gas, for some reason?

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We bought a gasoline generator too after Sandy. Filling it every few hours with gas in the rain and wind and running cords through open windows was a PITA. Doing that in winter with a snow or ice storm, no way. Yes the whole house generator was expensive but it has worked like a charm and it operates instantaneously and I don’t have to get off the couch. Worth every penny.

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1 hour ago, lmitche said:

Following this incident, I swore I would buy a whole house, natural gas generator. Unfortunately I was not alone, and it was months before even an appointment with a salesman was available. Later a quote for a $15,000 installation was obtained. I passed, the $1000 solution was really all that was necessary.

 

The portable generator sits in the garage today, unused since the hurricane, drained of oil and gas.  Will it start if needed again? IDK, but I like having it there.

 

29 minutes ago, JoeWhip said:

We bought a gasoline generator too after Sandy. Filling it every few hours with gas in the rain and wind and running cords through open windows was a PITA. Doing that in winter with a snow or ice storm, no way. Yes the whole house generator was expensive but it has worked like a charm and it operates instantaneously and I don’t have to get off the couch. Worth every penny.


You both have perfectly stated the dilemma I am now on the horns of.

 

Since I’m not as handy as Larry’s solution would require, the low-cost alternative I’m contemplating is to have an electrician install a manual transfer or interlock switch, identify the breakers we would use in an outage, and then buy an LPG portable generator and a few tanks of propane, that could be wheeled out if and when  needed.

 

But the whole house system is very appealing too. I will also have to wait a few months to get a quote, due to the insane demand.

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I can imagine that the demand is crazy. We purchased one that was more than we needed at the time but we had been thinking of enlarging the house in the future which we did. So, we we’re set. Having the entire house work rather than a few key circuits is something I would not want to be without anymore. Plus, it doesn’t exactly hurt the resale value of the house.

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