Another Illinois 'stead

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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby DrewInToledo » Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:41 pm

Manny,

May I ask which inverter(s) are you using for grid tie?

I am under the radar with my system and added a home brew xfer switch to move part of my house totally off grid when needed but using the power company as a giant battery doesn't sound like a bad idea. Here's what I did for my manual switch... (You know I'm a you tubbin' goober!) --> Image

When I looked into grid-tie a few years back, there was too much red tape and little incentive me to move forward. Maybe the bureaucrats are easing up.
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby mannytheseacow » Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:36 pm

Hey Drew, I'm using Enphase inverters on my home system. There is a single micro-inverter tied to each panel and it gets converted to 110v right there at the array, then the 110 line goes straight into my meter.

I think the way it has to go to make sense financially is to install it as a new system and take advantage of all the state and federal rebates. I'm not sure what Ohio has available but it's probably worth checking into. You can bet your utility rates are only going to rise.
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby DrewInToledo » Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:40 pm

I'm familiar with the Enphase, but that's when they were fairly new to the market.
I like everything about the topology of having separate units, no single point of failure, discreet panel performance analysis.. but one major turn off for me was that the user had to pay to see his/her own usage via an Enphase service. Has that changed? IF so, maybe I'll revisit my approach and call the utility company.
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby mannytheseacow » Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:57 pm

Unless the price was included with the initial purchase I never paid anything for that service. I get real-time data as well as monthly summary reports and have for as long as the graph shows. I wasn't really interested in this feature when I went with those inverters but I love the track-ability now.
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby mannytheseacow » Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:47 pm

I'm going to have more kids!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4x3kM9KNMOU

Goat kids, that is.

We ran the ultrasound on the does a little while back and there's babies in there. My freezer has been stuffed to the gills for sometime, so stuffed, in fact, that a large group of family here for the holidays hardly put a dent in it... long story short: I haven't butchered my sheep yet because there's no room for them. I'm hoping my boer buck didn't get the sheep preggers too.

So, I've got the kidding pens ready. I've got a short video and pictures and all, but internet connection for uploading is hard to come by. I'm really excited. It's pretty crude but effective. I'm already learning that my building is too small, even for just a couple goats and sheep. Right now the kidding pens are also serving as hay storage.

The solar setup has been flawless, too. I've got a 110v drop cord run out there just to power a heat lamp if needed when the kids come, but hopefully if needed at all it will only be temporary. The solar system is really where the bulk of energy comes from for lighting and such. So simple and efficient. It has really kept the birds laying reliably, too. I've learned that my ducks and geese lay just as much as my chickens, and quite large eggs, too. Although they're messy with their water, I like the ducks probably more than chickens. There's also a better market for their eggs at the higher end restaurants. Everybody is trying to sell chicken eggs, but try and source some duck or goose eggs....

This mild start to winter really has the cold frames being effective, too. Not to mention not burning much wood. Boosting the RMH to an 8" is really great... bigger wood to burn, bigger tubes conducting heat to a slightly smaller mass... it's made a heck of a difference. I estimate I am 1/12 of the way through the wood I have split. Ready 2 years out? Perhaps the dream is realized? :D
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby thickstrings » Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:41 pm

Hey Manny, According to the weather reports we get here, you are going to be able to use a little more of the wood you have.....the real winter is coming! I have to laugh when the weather guy here says "bitter cold" It may get to 24f for a low here tonight.....HA! Stay warm my friend.... Have you ever tried to raise Quail?
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby matt walker » Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:22 pm

Such a good update Manny, great to hear about all of it. Also, Primus/Bassnectar???? LOVE IT! I was playing an event in Jackson Hole a few years ago and so was Bassnectar, and his set blew me away! Cool stuff man.

Really stoked your RMH is so improved, that's just excellent news. And, now you've inspired me right back with your solar set up. I've put a cfl in my coop running off of 120vac for the winter and the chickens are laying well, but that light usage is driving me nuts. Gonna need another small set up I think. If I were you I would wait on the sheep until they've been on spring grass for a month or two. It really makes a difference in the finish in my experience. Sounds like you need to wait anyway, or start eating more! Too much food, it's a great problem to have.
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Postby Myrth » Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:55 pm

I miss my goats sometimes, so I am enjoying your adventure vicariously.
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby mannytheseacow » Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:17 pm

@Thickstrings: Yep, I know that real winter is still coming. But I've got a handle on how this thing burns now and I'm pretty optimistic. We went through some cold temps in November and it did great. We had zero the other night and I had to shut the stove down because the house was too hot for sleeping. I'll be out of town for a while and the house will stay pretty cool naturally... or warm naturally, just depends on how you look at it, I guess.

@ Matt: I've never heard Bassnectar before but that song has been stuck in my head since we saw the little fetuses on the monitor. My one doe is a sweetheart and the other is a stinkpot. The buck is full of the dickens so I can only imagine the little bastards they produce will be nothing but demon hellspawn.

@Myrth: For sure, those goats never cease to make me laugh. No hidden agendas with them. They always brighten my day.
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Re: Another Illinois 'stead

Postby thickstrings » Sat Jan 03, 2015 9:39 pm

That's good to hear that the 8" is doing it....I keep wondering if I need a Batch box in my shop, and I think I may be leaning towards the 8" J after you said that, as it doesn't get that cold for that long here.....
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