Lots of Snow

CougTek

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#4
Most of the snowfalls occur to the south this year. Here, we are well below average for this time of the year. If it continues like this, we'll have a record-low for the amount of snow by the end of Winter. It's going to be dry this Spring and early Summer. Not good for agriculture.
 

jtr1962

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#5
At least this is the first accumulation this year. Last year we were having snow like this seemingly every few days. I snuck the camera out the front door to take a few pictures:

SUNP0001.JPG SUNP0002.jpg SUNP0003.JPG

I'm more concerned about the 50 mph wind gusts than the snow. It's going into the teens tonight. If we lose power, the cold won't be great for mom (or me). Last time we lost power I kept the kitchen moderately warm by keeping the burners on with pots of water. I guess that's the game plan this time around. Being busy with work this week, I totally forgot to make sure I have charge all my batteries. Having a good supply of spare Eneloops on hand though most likely means I won't suffer from this oversight.
 

jtr1962

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#6
A few more pictures after shoveling:

Snow Storm 1.jpg Snow Storm 2.jpg Snow Storm 3.jpg Snow Storm 4.jpg


I measured the accumulation at 13" to 14" before shoveling. About an inch came down while I was shoveling.

I was overly optimistic sanitation would pick up the garbage. I put the pails out at 7 last night, long before any snow came. Sometimes they pick up by 1 or 2 AM. I guess they were too busy getting the plows ready.
 

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Pradeep

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#7
Prob too late now jtr but may want to look at getting a Mr. Heater Buddy propane heater for times when the power goes out and you need emergency heat, especially for your mum. It takes the small portable propane tanks but you can get a hose to hook up a 20lb bbq tank for longer run times. It has a tip over and low oxygen shutoff, do keep the room you are heatings door open to allow for fresh air.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mr.-Heater-Portable-Buddy-Heater/14710768
 

jtr1962

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Actually since we already have a gas line going into the kitchen for the gas stove I would imagine that heater could run on natural gas. Thankfully we don't lose power often enough for it to be a huge deal. Last time we had an extended power outage was when Sandy hit. Last year one of the power lines went, and we lost power for a few hours. It was summer, so the problem was more keeping cool than warm. Long term I'm planning to go solar with battery backup which should pretty much make power outages moot.

Just shoveled another 7 inches but it's finally tapering off. Looks like we got maybe 21 or 22 inches total so far. Some parts of the city are reporting over 2 feet.
 
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#9
Solar panel efficiency drops considerably when there is more than 0.1" of snow on them. Enough battery capacity to keep space heaters running for a couple days would be insane. Running combustion-based heaters in a living space also isn't recommended. Might I suggest a generator in the basement/garage (someplace ventilated) powering electric heaters in the house? More expensive and less efficient, but way less likely to cause brain damage.
 

Pradeep

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Actually since we already have a gas line going into the kitchen for the gas stove I would imagine that heater could run on natural gas. Thankfully we don't lose power often enough for it to be a huge deal. Last time we had an extended power outage was when Sandy hit. Last year one of the power lines went, and we lost power for a few hours. It was summer, so the problem was more keeping cool than warm. Long term I'm planning to go solar with battery backup which should pretty much make power outages moot.

Just shoveled another 7 inches but it's finally tapering off. Looks like we got maybe 21 or 22 inches total so far. Some parts of the city are reporting over 2 feet.
There are no conversion parts to run Buddy heaters on natural gas. But if you go for solar+batteries you could wire up your natural gas furnace to run the blower/ignitor off battery power, prob around 4-500W or so for a 1/2 HP blower.

Or get a whole house natural gas genny, though to get long life you need to spend money on a water cooled unit that runs at 1800 rpm versus an air cooled 3600 rpm model.
 

mubs

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#11
All you guys on the east coast, take care. Hopefully this will be over soon.

The past few months, the weather has been bizarre. Flooding in a few parts of the world, drought elsewhere, etc. Hope it's not going to become the new norm.
 

LunarMist

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The economics are probably not reasonable to build extra infrastructure. It's not like such storms are commonplace. It would be better to take a nice vacation for a week or so. :)
 
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The past few months, the weather has been bizarre. Flooding in a few parts of the world, drought elsewhere, etc. Hope it's not going to become the new norm.
The last several years have been out of line with historical norms, not planning for this or something similar to be the new normal strikes me as slightly myopic.
 

LunarMist

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The last several years have been out of line with historical norms, not planning for this or something similar to be the new normal strikes me as slightly myopic.
The best planning is to have good insurance and a method of getting out of town, but I'm no survivalist. :D
 

Handruin

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#17
Compared to last year's record setting snow fall, this past storm has been nothing worth mentioning in the New England area of the east coast.
 

jtr1962

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There are no conversion parts to run Buddy heaters on natural gas. But if you go for solar+batteries you could wire up your natural gas furnace to run the blower/ignitor off battery power, prob around 4-500W or so for a 1/2 HP blower.
Actually we still have oil heat but the same idea would apply. We would need to run the blower and the water pumps for the hot water heating. Probably a few hundred watts give or take.
Or get a whole house natural gas genny, though to get long life you need to spend money on a water cooled unit that runs at 1800 rpm versus an air cooled 3600 rpm model.
I'm thinking of that if it turns out power outages become a lot more frequent. I did the math for running a few space heaters off batteries but I would end up needing something with the capacity of an EV battery. If Con Ed gets their head out of their behind, and puts the power lines underground like they already are in much of the city, I wouldn't be concerned with outages at all. Nobody bothers trimming trees here. Whenever there's high winds I worry we'll lose power.
 

jtr1962

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#21
The last several years have been out of line with historical norms, not planning for this or something similar to be the new normal strikes me as slightly myopic.
My opinion as well, which is one of the reasons I'm planning on installing solar power. With a system roughly the size you plan to install, I could run heating or cooling while the sun is out, and have enough battery capacity to at least run lights and some electronics at night.

The best planning is to have good insurance and a method of getting out of town, but I'm no survivalist. :D
The problem is where to go. I've read in several places often the best survival strategy is making sure you have enough food/water for at least several weeks, and hunkering down where you live. I couldn't imagine trying to get out of town dragging my mom and the 3 cats along on public transit. Driving wouldn't be any better if either of us drove given that the roads would be parking lots.
 

snowhiker

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#23
My opinion as well, which is one of the reasons I'm planning on installing solar power. With a system roughly the size you plan to install, I could run heating or cooling while the sun is out, and have enough battery capacity to at least run lights and some electronics at night.
Read and absolutely understand your local building regulations and limitations regarding a solar power installation in your city/county/state. Not all electricians can install solar. Only "special" electricians (read: companies that have payed city for special permit) or those "OKd" by power companies. The way many "home solar regulations" are written is that your panels only generate power which you sell back to the power company for 25-40% (or whatever) of what you pay them for the same power. And if the grid goes out you are SOL.

Heard some stories of people with solar panels that lost power during Sandy and were SOL because their panels were rendered useless due to the loss of the grid.

The electric companies don't want you hooked-up/utilizing their grid but you not buying power from them so even if you could generate all the power you need you'd still have an electric bill.

Perhaps cities allow some type of automatic disconnect* switch that disconnects your house from the grid when it goes down and then you can run your house on solar? Will your solar be enough to power everything? If not will you need to run a few dedicated circuits (HVAC, refrigerator, phone/cable/internet/router, few lights, etc) for essentials?

If you live in the middle of nowhere you could have any configuration of solar panels, batteries, back-up-whatevers with no concerns. But in a major city such as NY there ARE going to be regulations, thanks to power company brides/lobbying, about the types of solar installations you can have and what they can do.

Assuming cost were no concern how would you setup a dream solar power system jtr? Panels? Total output kw/h? Batteries? Fallover/grid-disconnect? Inverter? Generator/type? Dedicated circuits? Low voltage/DC lighting straight from battery? Anything else?






*Remember don't think about whats possible/logical/no-brainer to implement but what city/county/state building regulations are in place as these will determine what you can do/install.
 

jtr1962

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#24
It seems the regulations in NYC aren't that onerous. For example, here's the part on selling power back to the power company. Power generated directly offsets the power you're billed for on a 1 to 1 ratio. Yes, you'll still have administrative charges on your bill if you generate more than you consume, but you can carry forward the excess kW-hrs generated to your next bill.

The usual regulations regarding structural modifications apply with solar panels: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/sustainability/solar_faq.shtml

None of this is that surprising. NYC is trying to go green in a big way, so they're going to make regulations as non-restrictive as possible.

Dream solar setup? Probably about 10 kW installed capacity, which might net me zero kW-hrs for the year. Batteries? Depends on the cost, but I'd probably want at least enough to carry me through a few cloudy days such that I can run lights and electronics. Maybe that translates to 10 or 20 kW-hrs of installed battery capacity. Ideally I would like upwards of 100 kW-hr but that would cost as much as the rest of the system. Given the way batteries are improving in terms of capacity and price, I'd probably just start off with a bare minimum, say 5 kW-hr, and eventually add to it as battery cost dropped. Grid disconnect? Obviously regulations require disconnecting from the grid if the grid goes down or you could have the lines outside being repaired energized. Other than that, I haven't given it much thought. Same with the inverter. Probably 5 kW capacity is enough.

I really like the idea of separate low-voltage circuits for lighting and possibly electronics. You can run 48VDC or less without any regulations. If the solar panels aren't mounted on a structure then you don't need any permits for them. I could in theory stick a bunch of solar panels in our driveway (which isn't being used for car storage), run the output to a battery and dedicated low-voltage line, and power whatever I want. As I transition more of the house to LED, I could conceivably have 100% of the lighting on the low voltage circuit. Same thing with electronics as more power supplies are built with a choice of line voltage inputs or lower voltage DC.

Long term I feel with battery storage coming down, plus restrictions placed on selling back power by the power companies, more and more people will just disconnect from the grid altogether. Here's an article to that effect: http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/utilities-move-to-kick-rooftop-solar-off-the-grid-15250
 
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#25
Paperwork with7 th7e power company was by far th7e limiting factor. Mainly th7at th7ey didn't want me producing more th7an a tiny percentage of wh7at I could receive. Solar City managed to put togeth7er an argument based on sub-optimal angles of th7e panels and weath7er conditions in my area to allow for more panels th7an th7e stated rating would h7ave oth7erwise allowed. I also h7ad th7em install a fancier cut-over switch7 th7at will allow me to run on local power once I get batteries installed.
 

jtr1962

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#26
It sounds like you have more restrictions than we do. For what it's worth, NYC is also a free-for-all. I have little doubt as the economics make it viable we'll have all sorts of DIY systems here which they'll be powerless to do anything about. It's worth noting the grid here is actually straining for capacity here, plus adding generating stations is costly (and often not possible at all because of NIMBYism). The utilities for the most part actually want people to add solar to take some of the peak load off them.

Another thought occurred to me. Nowadays many electronic devices, indeed probably just about all of them, using a switching power supply. The 120VAC comes in, gets rectified, then gets chopped and sent to a transformer to get stepped down to lower voltage DC. These devices will happily work off 120VDC in most cases. So will anything which is purely resistive, like a space heater or toaster. I'm wondering if I could just ditch an inverter altogether and send 120VDC from a solar-charged battery right to my wall sockets. Probably most of what I have will work just fine. That could be a viable scenario if I want to disconnect from the grid entirely but want to avoid the expense and efficiency hit of an inverter.
 
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snowhiker

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#27
It seems the regulations in NYC aren't that onerous.
I ended up listing all the possible restrictions I've heard about, when I should have said you could be hit by some of them and not necessarily all of them. Seems from what you said that NYC isn't too bad as far as regulations go. Better build soon before somebody starts creating more laws/regulations/restrictions.

Edit: dd please fix/replace your keyboard. My eyes kept crossing while trying to read the message. It was painful.
 

LunarMist

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#28
It sounds like you have more restrictions than we do. For what it's worth, NYC is also a free-for-all. I have little doubt as the economics make it viable we'll have all sorts of DIY systems here which they'll be powerless to do anything about. It's worth noting the grid here is actually straining for capacity here, plus adding generating stations is costly (and often not possible at all because of NIMBYism). The utilities for the most part actually want people to add solar to take some of the peak load off them.

Another thought occurred to me. Nowadays many electronic devices, indeed probably just about all of them, using a switching power supply. The 120VAC comes in, gets rectified, then gets chopped and sent to a transformer to get stepped down to lower voltage DC. These devices will happily work off 120VDC in most cases. So will anything which is purely resistive, like a space heater or toaster. I'm wondering if I could just ditch an inverter altogether and send 120VDC from a solar-charged battery right to my wall sockets. Probably most of what I have will work just fine. That could be a viable scenario if I want to disconnect from the grid entirely but want to avoid the expense and efficiency hit of an inverter.
What about major appliances and HVAC, not to mention many clocks?
 

snowhiker

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#32
It sounds like you have more restrictions than we do. For what it's worth, NYC is also a free-for-all. I have little doubt as the economics make it viable we'll have all sorts of DIY systems here which they'll be powerless to do anything about. It's worth noting the grid here is actually straining for capacity here, plus adding generating stations is costly (and often not possible at all because of NIMBYism). The utilities for the most part actually want people to add solar to take some of the peak load off them.

Another thought occurred to me. Nowadays many electronic devices, indeed probably just about all of them, using a switching power supply. The 120VAC comes in, gets rectified, then gets chopped and sent to a transformer to get stepped down to lower voltage DC. These devices will happily work off 120VDC in most cases. So will anything which is purely resistive, like a space heater or toaster. I'm wondering if I could just ditch an inverter altogether and send 120VDC from a solar-charged battery right to my wall sockets. Probably most of what I have will work just fine. That could be a viable scenario if I want to disconnect from the grid entirely but want to avoid the expense and efficiency hit of an inverter.
I hope you are right about DIY systems in the future. But you know some hillbilly will fry their kid with some home grown solar setup and "Oh my gawd, think of the children" syndrome will begin with the associated laws, regulations, permitting nightmares, etc, etc.

And yes the power companies want to reduce demand just a bit so they don't have to build new power plants and milk what they currently have. But they are also terrified because with better battery technology they are going to see their revenue (in the future, 20-40 years) take a huge drop.

The grid is strained everywhere, but mostly in the NE like you mentioned. I seem to remember seeing power grid numbers being like 92-99% of current peak capacity. Meaning it won't take much to cause a major disruption.

Interesting that devices that expect 120VAC will run just fine with 120VDC. Surely someone on the internet has tested this and/or has a list of devices that work fine. I would guess that batteries and the installation* charge would be the biggest cost of a system, followed by the panels then the switches and inverter. No way would running 120 VDC thru your house would pass city/county inspection?


*I have no doubt you could install your own solar system jtr, and maybe NYC is different, but some regulations insist that you have a licensed, state, and power company approved company install your system. I remember reading on another forum of an electrician in CA with 29 years of experience and a PhD to boot who wasn't allowed to install his own system.

Paperwork with the power company was by far the limiting factor. Mainly that they didn't want me producing more than a tiny percentage of what I could receive. Solar City managed to put together an argument based on sub-optimal angles of the panels and weather conditions in my area to allow for more panels than the stated rating would have otherwise allowed. I also had them install a fancier cut-over switch that will allow me to run on local power once I get batteries installed.
I deleted the '7's because my eyes kept switching focus while reading your message. ;)

The initial reaction of anybody reading what you wrote dd would probably be, "WHAT THE F*CK right does the power company have any F*CKING SAY as to what I put on my F*CKING roof." But of course, your solar panels "touch" the god-all-mighty grid, so F-YOU citizen, you will have a power/utility bill whether you like it or not.

Do you need to file paperwork with Caltrans when you buy a car to make sure it's suitable for their roads? Do you need a permit from PG&E if you install a gas BBQ grill? I guess if you want the privilege of generating 8% (or whatever the number is) of your power needs and selling it back to the power company for 25-40% they charge you, you need to jump thru a bunch of hoops. /endrant

dd does Solar City have any "special relationship" with the power company and/or state of CA or is any company allowed to install a solar system? If you generate too much power does the rate the power company credits you go down? or does it simply disappear?

If you use your "surplus" solar capacity to charge batteries for night time power the power company would not even know you are generating "excess" capacity.

Have you looked into buying used indoor fork lift/reach truck batteries? As you are in that industry you might be able to get a deal? Buy one or two, and pick up more as they become available. Of course they are multiple thousands of pounds each so you'd have to position them on your property in such a way that the delivery person could move them into place. Perhaps those industrial truck batteries are not suitable for "home" use as they are generally not sealed, require water, etc.

"What happens during a power outage?

If a power outage occurs, your solar energy system is designed to immediately shutdown for safety reasons. A grid-tied solar electric system does not provide power during outages unless it includes a battery storage system. Your power will be reinstated moments after grid power is restored; however, you may need to manually reset your solar system’s inverter back to service after your power is reinstated (most auto reset after power is restored).
"

/tinfoilhat ON
In 5-30 years laws are going to be passed that if you house CAN be hooked up to the grid, it MUST, be hooked up to the grid. With a smart meter that will disconnect power if you use too much power, too little power, watch the "wrong" TV channel, don't vote "correctly," download too much pRon, buy a gun, late paying a bill, any bill, etc, etc.
Carrington Event.
/tinfoilhat OFF
 

Bozo

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#35
Solar panel efficiency drops considerably when there is more than 0.1" of snow on them. Enough battery capacity to keep space heaters running for a couple days would be insane. Running combustion-based heaters in a living space also isn't recommended. Might I suggest a generator in the basement/garage (someplace ventilated) powering electric heaters in the house? More expensive and less efficient, but way less likely to cause brain damage.
Most generators can be set up to run on natural gas too. No need to keep cans of gas available.
 

Bozo

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The reason power lines are not buried is heat. When loaded the wires get hot and the heat must be displaced. In the cities, the wires are in tunnels or large pipes where heat can be dissipated.
Years ago during a heat wave, we had a 125KV lines droop from the heat. They touched a set of power lines that ran under them and put a large portion of the area in the dark. This had a ripple effect and put a large chunk of the North East in the dark. I believe this was in the 1960's.
 

jtr1962

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First I'm hearing about this. Any more info?
This is based on my knowledge of electronics but I googled it, and it turns out I'm not the first one to think of this. Basically, if it doesn't have an induction motor or a 60Hz transformer it'll probably work just as well on 120VDC as on 120VAC. I was concerned about my fluorescent lights, but almost 100% of them use electronic ballasts. These rectify and filter the incoming 120VAC to ~165VDC, then chop that into a high-frequency wave which is sent to a small transformer which in turn powers the fluorescent tubes. I've noted most of these ballasts (and also most electronic switching power supplies) are specified to work down to at least 85 VAC. 85 VAC rectified and filtered is about 120VDC. In a nutshell, it seems just about everything then will work fine, except those appliances having an induction motor, or power supplies using a 60 Hz transformer. The most modern refrigerators, ACs, and other things with motors tend to use 3-phase motors where the power fed to them is electronically generated from a DC supply. This means those would work just fine on 120VDC. From an electronics standpoint, the nice thing about 120VDC is you don't get an 60Hz hum when you're working on sensitive circuits.
 

jtr1962

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I hope you are right about DIY systems in the future. But you know some hillbilly will fry their kid with some home grown solar setup and "Oh my gawd, think of the children" syndrome will begin with the associated laws, regulations, permitting nightmares, etc, etc.
That would be more a case where they would rigorously enforce existing laws rather than pass new ones. Plenty of people do their own wiring or plumbing, even in places which tell you this work must be done by a licensed person. If you're competent it's generally not a problem. I suspect most people who attempt a DIY solar system will be fairly competent. They have to be or it wouldn't work at all.

And yes the power companies want to reduce demand just a bit so they don't have to build new power plants and milk what they currently have. But they are also terrified because with better battery technology they are going to see their revenue (in the future, 20-40 years) take a huge drop.

The grid is strained everywhere, but mostly in the NE like you mentioned. I seem to remember seeing power grid numbers being like 92-99% of current peak capacity. Meaning it won't take much to cause a major disruption.
If the power companies were smart they would invest in making and selling solar panels and batteries since it's almost inevitable their core business will decline somewhat. On another note though this might not be all than onerous. Once a neighborhood goes 100% solar and off-grid, the power company no longer has to build or maintain lines there. The problem exists in between what we have now versus everyone off the grid. As more people, but not everyone, goes off grid, the cost per user of maintaining the grid goes up. That means electric companies must raise their rates, which in turn drives more people off grid. That's a classic death spiral. It's probably almost inevitable that power companies will no longer be profitable just generating and distributing electricity. However, solar panels and batteries both wear out. That points to an ongoing market with great potential. It's also worth noting that the US is becoming more urban. While it's feasible for people in cities living in private homes to go off-grid, it's not possible for apartment dwellers to do the same. Maybe you can generate enough power to cover your needs with solar if you have a 3 or 4 story apartment building. Forget it if you have a 50-story building. You can cover part of your needs with panels on the roof and walls, but not 100%. That gives the power companies a long-term captive market, albeit one which is somewhat smaller than the existing market. Then again, their costs would go way down. They don't have to have miles of power lines in rural or suburban areas which are costly to maintain and serve relatively few people. In fact, I've heard in rural areas especially power companies actually lose money but they legally must provide service to everyone.

Interesting that devices that expect 120VAC will run just fine with 120VDC. Surely someone on the internet has tested this and/or has a list of devices that work fine. I would guess that batteries and the installation* charge would be the biggest cost of a system, followed by the panels then the switches and inverter. No way would running 120 VDC thru your house would pass city/county inspection?

*I have no doubt you could install your own solar system jtr, and maybe NYC is different, but some regulations insist that you have a licensed, state, and power company approved company install your system. I remember reading on another forum of an electrician in CA with 29 years of experience and a PhD to boot who wasn't allowed to install his own system.
I'm talking here about putting in a DIY system where I don't get the city or contractors involved at all. There is no inspection. When the house is sold, I would just reconnect the main breaker box. That said, I feel the concept of converting at least some of the outlets in a house to 120VDC might gain traction. Remember I could select which circuits to make DC, and which to leave AC. Most of my air conditioners are on their own breaker. I would leave those alone. And if this idea sees the light of day, there would undoubtedly be standardized 120VDC outlets so you couldn't accidentally plug an AC device into a DC outlet.

I probably wouldn't attempt to install 100% of a solar system myself. For one thing, I don't want to have to go up on the roof. ;) For another, I'd need to go through the permitting process in order to have the power company install net metering.

The initial reaction of anybody reading what you wrote dd would probably be, "WHAT THE F*CK right does the power company have any F*CKING SAY as to what I put on my F*CKING roof." But of course, your solar panels "touch" the god-all-mighty grid, so F-YOU citizen, you will have a power/utility bill whether you like it or not.
Remember this only applies if you want to remain connected to the grid. You can install panels and batteries, disconnect from the grid, and give the power company the proverbial middle finger. This is something I'd love to do in time given that Con Ed is talking about $1 and up per kW-hr rates in the not too distant future (right now it's about 30 cents between the supply and delivery charges).

/tinfoilhat ON
In 5-30 years laws are going to be passed that if you house CAN be hooked up to the grid, it MUST, be hooked up to the grid. With a smart meter that will disconnect power if you use too much power, too little power, watch the "wrong" TV channel, don't vote "correctly," download too much pRon, buy a gun, late paying a bill, any bill, etc, etc.
Carrington Event.
/tinfoilhat OFF
I doubt it. They can't force you to remain connected to the grid the same way the government can't force citizens to buy anything else. At least in the US, that wouldn't pass constitutional muster. Note that we may have mandatory auto insurance, but you only have to pay it if you own a car. Technically even though the ACA says you have to buy health insurance just by virtue of being alive, you get subsidies if you can't afford it, you get waivers if you don't qualify for subsidies and the cheapest insurance is too costly, or you can pay penalties if neither of those apply. I might imagine something similar might apply here. At worst (and I'm doubtful even this would pass constitutional muster) you might have to pay the power companies a penalty amounting to a fraction of a typical electric bill for not being connected to the grid. This might be perhaps $25 a month. They can't force you to connect to the grid and buy electricity. What happens if you just refuse to pay the bill? What happens now? Their only remedy is to just turn off the power, which ironically is exactly what you would want anyway. I liken the situation to that with electric cars. When most of the fleet goes EV, what will the gas companies do, force the American public to buy gas and gas cars? Make EVs illegal? All these things amount to protectionism from obsolescence. They have no place in a free market.
 
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#39
(keyboard rebuilt)

Making all my appliances electric is the start of figuring out how to go completely off-grid. I've done the math, but this will be a practical test of how many panels it takes to run an efficient house in a very inefficient manner. Once that is confirmed I can start worrying about batteries, then disconnect PG&E. From when we were living away from town previously I'm already familiar with septic tank/leech field design and construction. Well drilling is something I'll work with a pro on, but well testing, treatment, and maintenance is something I have experience with as well. The end goal is to have a small house on a hill somewhere with nothing but a massive wireless up-link to the internet. I'm even already building solar powered wireless relay stations if that turns out to be necessary.

I think this is just about as far from what JTR wants as possible. Sorry for the de-rail.
 

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
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3,694
Location
Flushing, New York
#40
I think this is just about as far from what JTR wants as possible.
Other than being in a place where you're car dependent, what you're aiming for isn't that far from what I'm aiming for. Probably no sense digging a well here or using a septic tank given that the city water and sewer system is still reasonably cost effective but I'd like to be independent of the grid for power, and possibly for connectivity. I'd like to also grow as much of my own food as possible. That's not as far fetched as it sounds, even with the small amount of land we have. We would probably have to devote every square foot of outside space, including the driveway, to growing stuff to make that remotely possible, but being at least semi-independent of the outside world for food is a goal I'd strive for.

I value car independence for three reasons. One, you're not dependent upon gasoline being available. Nor are you dependent upon parts to service your car (an issue even if you go electric so you can generate your own "fuel" via solar panels). Two, you're not as dependent upon roads being clear or maintained. A bike or walking still requires a path of some sort, but one of far lesser standards than what you need for driving is sufficient. Three, life is easier when you can literally step out your door and walk a few blocks to get what you need. Or barter with neighbors for it in a disaster scenario.
 
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