Author Topic: Help Please: Solar power "off the grid" questions for commercial use.  (Read 4383 times)

trailrated

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I have been tasked by my boss to get some quotes, I know nothing about solar power other than what I have googled in the last half hour. Please read the following and let me know if what I want is actually a thing, and what to have prepared to get a quote rather than sitting around saying "I don't know" like an idiot.

1. We currently use PG&E
2. He does not want to rent/lease the solar panels, he wants to own them outright
3. He wants portions of the business "off the grid" Two batching plants, and the mechanic warehouse will all still be on PG&E power
4. Finance office, and dispatch office are what he wants run entirely off solar (also potential interest in the new tesla battery stuff).
5. We have two separate PG&E bills currently for our location... I have copies of them but don't know what power sources each go to or why we even have two currently.
6. I have no idea how much power we currently use in the areas he wants to "go solar".
7. Our location creates a shitload of dust... would that be a problem?

Does this make sense, what info do I need to get an informed quote, any additional suggestions would be great.

 
 

forummm

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3) Why?
4) You'll have to get on the huge (1 year) wait list for a Tesla PowerWall. But could use lead acid or some other solution in the meantime.
6) Find out.

How much roof space do you have? Is it flat or angled? If angled, which way does it point?

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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You probably have an air quality permit that limits the quantity of dust you produce.

trailrated

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You probably have an air quality permit that limits the quantity of dust you produce.

It is a combination of our company, a large development being built in somewhat close proximity, a train track, and an aggregate quarry. Only thing I see changing in the next 5 years is the development being completed.

trailrated

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3) Why?
4) You'll have to get on the huge (1 year) wait list for a Tesla PowerWall. But could use lead acid or some other solution in the meantime.
6) Find out.

How much roof space do you have? Is it flat or angled? If angled, which way does it point?

3) We have had a few issues in the last year or so of power spikes and/or line failures that have caused major issues with the computer systems. We have a backup generator and another power source that kicks on pretty much right away but basically it is to avoid those issues.
4) Thank you for the info
6) Working on it

Thank you for the feedback

forummm

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Since you're in the Bay Area, there are a lot of great solar installers there that would love to take your job and give you an off-grid system for the part you are looking for and a grid-tie for the rest. Having utility bills will be very helpful for them to help you. A year's worth if possible. Give one a call and they'll probably have more questions for you, and come out and give you a quote.

http://www.nabcep.org/certified-installer-locator

trailrated

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Since you're in the Bay Area, there are a lot of great solar installers there that would love to take your job and give you an off-grid system for the part you are looking for and a grid-tie for the rest. Having utility bills will be very helpful for them to help you. A year's worth if possible. Give one a call and they'll probably have more questions for you, and come out and give you a quote.

http://www.nabcep.org/certified-installer-locator

Much appreciated.

waffle

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Google solar installers in your area and ask them what information is needed to get a quote. At a minimum to start with you'll want to know the average energy consumption and roof structure/orientation. I'm sure that most solar companies would be more than happy to send someone out to work with you on the quotes.

electriceagle

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You probably have an air quality permit that limits the quantity of dust you produce.

It is a combination of our company, a large development being built in somewhat close proximity, a train track, and an aggregate quarry. Only thing I see changing in the next 5 years is the development being completed.

Who is going to end up living next to your dusty company, a train track and an aggregate quarry?

Bakari

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I installed a system like you are describing on my RV house - some parts ran directly off the power grid, other parts were pure solar, with no connection between the two systems.
I wrote it up in a detailed instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/NON-grid-intertie-independant-solar-photovoltic-/


You would obviously have to scale everything up by a lot, but it will give you a good primer on the principals involved.


Most installers focus on intertie systems, but on the plus side, a stand-alone system is a lot easier to actually do, so you stand a better chance of doing it w/o professional specialist help.

FarmerPete

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Re: Help Please: Solar power "off the grid" questions for commercial use.
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2015, 08:46:58 AM »
Are these 24hr operations?  Solar for commercial can work well if your business only runs during the day, but storing enough power to run at night is VERY cost prohibitive.  You'll have to keep that generator for if the sun doesn't come out.

trailrated

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Re: Help Please: Solar power "off the grid" questions for commercial use.
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2015, 01:09:05 PM »
You probably have an air quality permit that limits the quantity of dust you produce.

It is a combination of our company, a large development being built in somewhat close proximity, a train track, and an aggregate quarry. Only thing I see changing in the next 5 years is the development being completed.

Who is going to end up living next to your dusty company, a train track and an aggregate quarry?

Currently... about 50 homeless folk in an encampment.

trailrated

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Re: Help Please: Solar power "off the grid" questions for commercial use.
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2015, 01:11:04 PM »
I installed a system like you are describing on my RV house - some parts ran directly off the power grid, other parts were pure solar, with no connection between the two systems.
I wrote it up in a detailed instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/NON-grid-intertie-independant-solar-photovoltic-/


You would obviously have to scale everything up by a lot, but it will give you a good primer on the principals involved.


Most installers focus on intertie systems, but on the plus side, a stand-alone system is a lot easier to actually do, so you stand a better chance of doing it w/o professional specialist help.

This is beyond awesome, thank you for the info.

trailrated

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Re: Help Please: Solar power "off the grid" questions for commercial use.
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2015, 01:14:47 PM »
Are these 24hr operations?  Solar for commercial can work well if your business only runs during the day, but storing enough power to run at night is VERY cost prohibitive.  You'll have to keep that generator for if the sun doesn't come out.

Usually we operate from about 5am - 5pm

Goldielocks

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Re: Help Please: Solar power "off the grid" questions for commercial use.
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2015, 01:16:04 PM »
Are these 24hr operations?  Solar for commercial can work well if your business only runs during the day, but storing enough power to run at night is VERY cost prohibitive.  You'll have to keep that generator for if the sun doesn't come out.

Alternatively. Some industrial users look to up size the battery system such that you have 2 days emergency power for the whole site. And you don't need a generator.

A me generator is very expensive so this is a cost offset, as you Lready have one it may not apply.