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Why not have devices with a solar mode?

 
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jema
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 27483
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 22 1:12 pm    Post subject: Why not have devices with a solar mode? Reply with quote
    

It has occurred to me that I don't have a single appliance that heats that has anticipated or more to the point caters for solar panels.
Panels have been around for ages now, but every damn appliance throws 2 to 3Kws of power into heating, rather than having a mode that's more like 1.5Kw.
This means that unless you are having a good solar day, the solar can't cover the energy.
It's basically a pretty obvious step that wouldn't cost a dime, but does any appliance actually do it?

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 42094
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 22 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

that wouldn't cost a dime

spotted the problem in one

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 42094
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 22 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

can the change be monetised?

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 27483
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 22 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Well basically yes, people would buy for that feature.
I certainly would look for it, if I had to replace any white goods.
Something that was able to use less peak energy would save 40p an hour on running costs a lot of the time.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 42094
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 22 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

perhaps what is needed is energy storage that concentrates energy, some call them batteries, but batteries can have many forms, and appliances that have lower peak loads and are more efficient

the details should be fairly simple, there never was such a thing as cheap energy, there are ways to get the most from the inevitable costs

watching folk trying to use fire demonstrates that basic truth and the ways to think for the best

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 42094
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 22 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

another way to look at it is
do i need that kettle to boil in 2 mins or would 6 mins be just as good?

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 6211
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 22 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

I take it your system isn't net metered? That's the easiest fix. It doesn't matter when you use power, your production is counted against your usage. UPS and downs across the grid are managed at scale.

There are schemes to have your usage better match your production, and it works best with American style hot water tanks where you essentially have a giant thermal battery: https://www.popsci.com/need-high-power-home-battery-use-your-water-heater/

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 6211
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 22 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Have a look around, there's more than one way to skin a cat
https://fullycharged.show/a-z/sunamp-2/
These folks appear to be working on software to get smart appliances to talk to solar: https://fullycharged.show/a-z/eo-charging/
Also back to hot water: https://fullycharged.show/episodes/mixergy-hot-water-tank/

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 13908

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 22 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

It is possible to get tanks that take a solar heater as well as conventional ones; we were looking at it some years ago, and is is certainly a good way to get hot water.

The problem remains about electricity for devices such as kettles, cooking, lighting etc. I am not sure what the situation is here at present about selling to the grid. It is possible, but not sure about the financial side of it. I have a feeling they don't pay as much as they charge for getting it at off solar peak times.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 42094
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 22 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

2 coil and electric immersion heater element in the tank+valves, pipes, energy things and control gear is very plausible as it is well tested as a system

thermal solar for water is pretty good even in uk weather, over time it is the fastest pay back at the mo for small scale

the 3 option rig gives the opportunity to use the cheapest/ "greenest" available at any time, and then to use that as required

from solar thermal, from solar pv or from a fuel boiler into a single and fairly simple system works

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 6211
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 22 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

I wasn't thinking of direct solar thermal, but thermal energy as a store of pv energy.
Over here, the economics of direct solar thermal vs additional pv to power a more efficient heat pump water heater have suggested it's better to just squeeze in an extra solar panel somewhere then to go through the rigamarole of trying to plumb in solar thermal, etc. This was explained to me by my engineer cousin as he was asking me to house sit for his house that had evacuated tubes for incredibly efficient solar thermal for hot water. His system put out too much hot water to leave the house unattended in the summer, but it was already clear back then, over ten years ago that swapping to a heat pump water heater and adding another solar panel (at least with our net metering laws) was going to provide a better financial return on investment, and be more flexible (those impressive solar thermal rigs are not necessarily user friendly for the general population, panels and heat pump water heaters can largely be forgotten about).

The economics of $/watt power potential of solar panels have only further pushed this in the decade that has followed. Evacuated tubes aren't getting much cheaper, but panels sure have been, and they've much more generating potential per area than they had ten years ago.

Seems to me, folks should be pushing for net metering laws over there. Grid as battery is quite convenient except in power outages

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 13908

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 22 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Certainly in the past the solar water heating was a very good idea. As you say Slim, solar energy production has come on very fast and now may be a better bet. Have not looked at the economics of it lately, but if certain problems can be overcome, we have a very suitable roof for solar cells.

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