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Old Yesterday, 04:08 PM   #161
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Join Date: Mar 2014
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This whole discussion has prompted me to actually look into some real plans for my own home. Unfortunately, in NY, due to our taxes and the way our neighborhoods tend to develop wealth, I'm not in a position where I can expect any kind of ROI on major investments in my home. What I do is fix what's broken, or add efficiency. Beautification and luxury do not compute for my neighborhood and price point.

WTBS, Solar does seem like a great investment for me. I have a prime lot, minimal shading and great summer potential. Winter here by the numbers are worse than other areas I've looked at in terms of sun exposure. I don't know my roof pitch as I've never measured it, but I'd guess it's between 15-18 deg. I won't be able to brush it, it's 20' up. Usually our snow is light and when we have big dumps it thaws relatively quickly. Rare we get years it stays cold and snowy. I know this for certain because I pay close attention because of my skiing hobby. I need to look and see what these new 22% panels are going to run because I only have a small area. For 13 panels I want as much horsepower as I can generate.

No way I can net zero, but I will certainly pay them back in half their expected life and be in the black from there.

I want to evaluate air-sourced heat pump water heaters. I looked at some quick data and I believe they would be more efficient, and cheaper to operate than NG. I just replaced mine and never thought of anything else because the gas line is there, but that may be a worthwhile upgrade when that needs to go.

For AC, I'm using window units, and over 24,000 Btu/h for 1300 sq. ft. And it's still not completely effective at distributing the temp. I did a calculation of the COP and energy usage for all of them, and surely even a modestly efficient 2-ton AC would be much better. They are hugely expensive though. But I must say, it's a different game here than in the mountains. We get about a month of temps where you can open the windows but you might be running the heat at night, then it's hot and humid. And it doesn't let up until the end of September. I'm using about 2400 kWh a year on electric for AC. I think I could reduce that a lot.

I'm not sure about the future for heat here. It's going to be hard to give up that NG binky. I could add an air-sourced heat pump, but that's not going to work all the time - maybe 90% of heating needs could be met, and I'd still need a backup. Keep my NG online as the backup? Seems like a lot of expense for a backup and boost source. Maybe I'll get good mileage out of my furnace if I switch sooner. I feel the state and/or power companies are going to have to make this an easier decision...
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Old Yesterday, 11:05 PM   #162
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Join Date: Mar 2014
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So per moorgm's comments, I went back and looked at off-grid with a few concessions:

- Wood primary heat + propane backup
- propane hot water
- propane stove

I adjusted my monthly electric to 325kW hours removing 90kWh for the electric stove (3kWh/day X 30days ave).

November is the worst month per average data with heat out of the equation but 11kW (33 panels ~$8k) gives you a 2X factor (650kWh). This works out to around 11kWh per day, so (2) 24kWh batteries ($20k) will give you 4 days of storage. Beyond that, it's candles. You could probably survive this.

I'm almost sure a generator would be cheaper, but... and you'd probably want at least a small one as a backup.

Might just be cheaper to do a system half as big with one battery and go to Florida for the winter...
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