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General Automotive General automotive discussion. This is intended to be a discussion about other not VW and Diesel cars you may have or interested in.

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Old May 23rd, 2017, 14:13   #2401
turbobrick240
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I'm preparing to add a 10kw ground mount array this summer as well. Right now I'm leaning toward some canadian solar 345 watt monocrystaline panels at $.64/watt. With the inverter, mounting structure , and panels the total cost should be about $1.20/ watt. That's a completely self installed estimate though. Monocrystalline panels are more efficient than polycrystalline, but that isn't a big issue when you have lots of space for ground mounts. They are also more expensive. The cheapest monocrystalline panels I've found so far are some Trina panels at $.54/watt. I believe solarworld panels have a good reputation. The highest quality I've seen are LG NeOn. I'm looking at fronius and sunny boy inverters.
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Old May 23rd, 2017, 16:04   #2402
nwdiver
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Originally Posted by turbobrick240 View Post
The cheapest monocrystalline panels I've found so far are some Trina panels at $.54/watt. I believe solarworld panels have a good reputation. The highest quality I've seen are LG NeOn. I'm looking at fronius and sunny boy inverters.
Have you seen these guys? They've got ridiculously cheap panels. The customer service sucks but it's worth the savings.

I'm really impressed with the new Sunny Boy inverters. The 'Secure Power Supply' feature is a nice perk.
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Old May 23rd, 2017, 16:22   #2403
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Wow, those are extremely cheap! Thanks!
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Old May 24th, 2017, 22:35   #2404
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Originally Posted by VeeDubTDI View Post
it sounds to me like they're using current high quality components. 325 watt panels are the current standard and I think their recommendation to do a ground mount system is a good one.
Which is good news to me. Like I said, I haven't really researched any of those components, as I've been preoccupied with other things this week (like commencement for my MA this past weekend).

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Without analyzing your historical energy consumption, I can't really make a comment on their recommendation of a 7kW system. I know that in my 1,200 square foot house, we were using about 10,000 kWh per year before we got the electric cars. I would think that in your situation, with two houses, outbuildings, and more air conditioning load, you'd want a larger system. But like I said, without seeing the numbers, I can't really provide any more feedback.
I don't have the PDF they sent on this laptop handy, but I'd think a larger system would make more sense as well. I do remember on the report that a 7kWh system would reduce energy usage by roughly $100 a month, which I assume factors in the current billing rate (where I don't think we're being billed by time-of-day usage).

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One thing you might want to consider is designing the system with battery backup in mind for the future. Build it so that you can add a Tesla Powerwall or similar battery backup device down the road without having to reconfigure anything. I expect utilities to offer good incentives for battery backup equipment in the future as they work to make their grids smarter with dispatchable battery backup systems for peak shaving.
The thing I'm concerned about, as jkclow mentioned, is how long said batteries would last. I'm not wild about batteries being the consumable items they are, and we all know that batteries are expensive.
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Old May 25th, 2017, 06:34   #2405
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...like commencement for my MA this past weekend...
Congratulations!
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Old May 25th, 2017, 08:18   #2406
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The thing I'm concerned about, as jkclow mentioned, is how long said batteries would last. I'm not wild about batteries being the consumable items they are, and we all know that batteries are expensive.
Battery longevity is definitely something to keep an eye on in the coming years. It has greatly improved recently, especially with good battery management systems.

My recommendation is to make sure you leave your options available and set your system up to accept a battery backup system if you decide it's something you want to add down the road.

Congrats on the MA!
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Old May 25th, 2017, 18:34   #2407
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Congrats on furthering your edumacation! 18650s are holding up fine on teslas with 200K+ miles and high amperage charge rates. But do you really want to solder a few thousand cells and individually fuse them all properly? iron phosphate is becoming really popular, there are some companies like rimac that're doing very well with them. 500KW discharge from a 4.5KWHR pack on the regera. Keep the cells in the 20-80% range with low C rates (both charging and discharging) and they should last at least a decade easily. It'll be nice to see 18650 prices come down as 2170 cell production booms and manufacturers become more open with their 18650 cell tech.

Mileage vs range remaining on the model S for anyone who hasn't seen it. Have gone into depth with the articles, there are some outliers which are primarily down to excessive full throttle and supercharging use.
https://i2.wp.com/electrek.files.wor...trip=all&ssl=1
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Old May 25th, 2017, 20:09   #2408
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Calculating battery capacity is still a little mysterious. Most Tesla drivers rarely charge >90%. I rarely charge >60%. This decreases battery degradation but increases imbalance between the cells. Since my cells are more imbalanced my car shows increased 'degradation'... until I go on a road trip and I do multiple full charges of the battery... with my battery back in balance the 'invisible' capacity slowly comes back. My capacity usually increases ~4 miles every ~2k mile trip. That bump will usually last about a month. I've always wondered how much capacity is 'hidden'...

An odd phenomenon was noted with Tesla loaner cars. Since they regularly driven by people that don't own them so they're pushed mercilessly. Supercharged often and experience regular hard acceleration. Everything we understand about batteries tells us this should be bad (and no doubt it is) but these cars have a higher remaining 'capacity' than other cars with softer lives. Likely because the hard cycling of the battery keeps the cells in balance.

My pack is 4.5 years old with 109k miles. ~5% degradation. If recent reports are accurate then the battery in a new car should last ~20 years or more...
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Old Yesterday, 16:16   #2409
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There is also a correlation between smaller battery packs and higher degradation rates, which backs up the findings of higher amperage rates causing gradual damage. Definitely need to run them through their paces now and again to keep everything in check though. You'd be surprised how well 18650s stay charged without battery management systems as well. I've been playing around with a few; after having to replace my 5 year old 9 cell dell battery last year only to find ALL of the cells work fine and hold ~16-1900mahr, and have similar amounts of sag under load, I started reading extensively and tinkering. All lithium has gotten a really bad rap from Lipos blowing up, when in reality iron phosphate and ion batteries are far more safe. Same deal as the anti-nuclear crowd...

EVwest doesn't use BMSs in any of their builds, Jehu garcia works with them now and has an electric samba with a combination of iron phosphate and 18650 packs. All cells are individually fused, similar to what tesla does on their packs but without BMS backup https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raBWFsPlx7w&t=490s
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