reply to post by Matyas
Wouldn't it be wiser to sell the power back? Then others could benefit from the surplus?
Well, shooting the lines down would be a last resort if I were being sued for stealing power and the utility refused to take the lines down
themselves. But I would prefer to keep the grid attached through an emergency relay. Everything breaks down eventually.
I'm not really interested in selling power back. In the first place, I can build a system quicker and easier if I limit the power output to what I
need. Secondly, you do not get the full cost of the power back if you sell it to the utility. let me explain that:
It is now a law in the US that if you manage to produce enough power to feed some back into the grid, the utility has to pay you for that excess
power. However, all power is not priced the same. Large producers sell based on different rates for different peak times; power at midnight is cheaper
than power at 8:00PM, for instance. In order to get those prices, the generating utility must be able to show when power was sold and at what rate.
Equipment to log this is very expensive. Without it, you will receive the lowest rate the utility paid for that month.
A generator will only feed power back into the grid if the voltage on the generator exceeds the voltage of the grid. That condition only happens when
there is a high demand for electricity, causing the voltage to drop a bit. Thus, you are selling electricity at the lowest rate, when in reality you
are supplying it at the peak rate times. On the other hand, if your system has a slight problem keeping up with your personal needs, it will draw
power in from the grid automatically, negating what you may have produced.
Now, consider that any tie in must be aligned with the phase of the power coming in from the grid. Depending on how in- or out-of-phase your signal
is, you will experience either a perfect connection or a dead short that could destroy your system (and pop breakers all over the place). It is much
cheaper and easier to simply set up your own phase and keep the two systems separate.
No, my dream is to sell generators
instead of power. That empowers people, and it keeps all the technical problems at bay.
And yes, I am a redneck! Duh...