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Author: Subject: Off Grid Construction: Advice Needed
RFClark
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[*] posted on 7-19-2021 at 07:03 PM


What you shouldn't do with “Li batteries” is mix different types of Li chemistry. 48V is a relative value and the actual voltage can vary depending on the battery you buy. Li batteries don't like to be overcharged. The best Li batteries have battery monitoring systems to prevent over charging and over discharging.

A major difference and advantage is Li batteries reach full charge much faster than Lead acid batteries. They also are far less effected by Baja temperatures.
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4x4abc
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[*] posted on 7-19-2021 at 11:05 PM


now that you mention Baja temperatures
the winters are cold
I knew that long before i built the house
so I got myself heated floors
with solar hot water
so comfy in the winter




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JDCanuck
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[*] posted on 7-20-2021 at 07:21 AM
Mean Baja Temperatures


We found the temperature range where we are building (Pacific coast north of Punta Marquez) almost perfect for our tastes, along with about the best solar gain available anyplace in North America. Temp ranges from a low of 53 in winter to highs right around 95. I can live with a 72-74 degree interior temperature quite comfortably. We have chosen 1/3 heating capable heat pump minis along with cooling only in 2/3 of the minis installed. Total AC for a 2600 sq ft area would produce 5.5 tons cooling if every area was fully air conditioned at the same time, which we expect will never be the case. Expectations are a maximum of 3 tons cooling at any one time.
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JDCanuck
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[*] posted on 7-20-2021 at 07:36 AM
Passive cooling home design


If anyone out there has some info on newer cost effective passive cooling designs for the Baja, I'd be interested in seeing them. This is one area we were unable to research before building and I suspect could have reduced our power needs significantly.
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Udo
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[*] posted on 7-20-2021 at 09:18 AM


In Ensenada, 450-watt panels for $185.00 USD.



Quote: Originally posted by RFClark  
Hi All,

I have 12 330W new Solar Panels sitting at my place south of San Felipe l will sell all or part for $2 per watt. Contact me at rclark@intervideo24.com for details.

We’re there now.

Richard




Udo

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JDCanuck
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[*] posted on 7-20-2021 at 09:53 AM
Solar Batteries


Attempting to add picture of batteries and inverters. We found the cost of Pylontech US3000C batteries for the storage the best value compared to Tesla Power Wall or BYD banks when we looked this spring despite that pricing bump that occurred just then.

IMG-20210625-WA0005.jpg - 90kB
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JDCanuck
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[*] posted on 7-20-2021 at 10:00 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Udo  
In Ensenada, 450-watt panels for $185.00 USD.



Thats an exceptionally good price! Perhaps you could provide the supplier for others on the thread?
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JDCanuck
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[*] posted on 7-20-2021 at 01:02 PM


Quote: Originally posted by lencho  
Quote: Originally posted by Udo  
In Ensenada, 450-watt panels for $185.00 USD.

Exciting to see how prices have dropped.

Anyone have opinions on the Chinese-made panels vs others ( assuming there are panels made anywhere else :O ).




From my investigations almost all solar panels are made in China or other Asian countries where labor is even cheaper. I think the major concern would be the supplier and how well they back up warranties. Same applies to the installer, does he have a history of backing up his installations, how quickly would he respond to failures, etc.

My personal preference would be Canadian Solar as they have a long history of backing up and pretty much all their panels are manufactured in China. US buyers would be subject to very large tariffs on Canadian Solar panels, while anyone buying them outside the US would find their prices very competitive.
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SFandH
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[*] posted on 7-20-2021 at 01:17 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Udo  

Quote: Originally posted by RFClark  
Hi All,

I have 12 330W new Solar Panels sitting at my place south of San Felipe l will sell all or part for $2 per watt. Contact me at rclark@intervideo24.com for details.

We’re there now.

Richard


In Ensenada, 450-watt panels for $185.00 USD.



Here's a TJ store that sells 100w panels for $99.

https://solshop.solenergy.mx/3-paneles-solares-tijuana-ensen...

[Edited on 7-20-2021 by SFandH]




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JDCanuck
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[*] posted on 8-18-2021 at 11:09 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Terry28  
If my math is close.....you spent over 40K just for solar...wow


Yes, I know it seems to be a lot. The plan was to get to zero hydrocarbon use if possible. We may be there and at present it's cost about 13 percent of the total building costs. Payback in investment terms will take about 10 to 12 years, no subsidies.
Another way of looking at it is we get a return on invested monies at a rate of 6 to 7 percent averaged throughout the payback period. Beats putting the cash in a bank account realizing 1 percent.
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RFClark
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[*] posted on 8-20-2021 at 05:02 PM


My experience has been that the price of solar panels has gone down from a few dollars a watt to a few cents per watt in 15 years! That added to the availability of Li batteries has made solar cheaper than Edison and way cheaper than CFE!
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[*] posted on 8-21-2021 at 05:59 AM


Thats the same as I've found. Baja especially and Mexico and the lower US States now have an opportunity to drastically improve the environment by capitalizing on this ongoing resource with or without subsidies. Power Utilities are moving at an increasingly rapid direction to accomplish this. But it's not free. And in our case the big challenge is how to use all this excess while the demand is not there. I am hoping for increased storage over long periods at a much lower cost to resolve that issue in the future.

[Edited on 8-21-2021 by JDCanuck]
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JDCanuck
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[*] posted on 8-21-2021 at 07:41 AM


Quote: Originally posted by lencho  
Quote: Originally posted by RFClark  
...cheaper than Edison and way cheaper than CFE!

Cheaper? Depends on your lifestyle.

With subsidized lower tier rates, I've rarely paid over US$30/month in CFE bills, at which rate it would take quite a while to pay off a solar installation; if a grid connection is easily available, not much economic incentive to go solar.


I'm curious, how much gas do you use per month, and how many air conditioning units do you have installed? I had heard the lowest tier on electricity in Mexico was quite low, but once that was passed it ramped up in cost very quickly. Our home is designed for maximum occupancy of 10 people, no gas use and some additional power to charge electric vehicle(s). As we have no available supplied power, CFE was not an option.

[Edited on 8-21-2021 by JDCanuck]
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mtgoat666
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[*] posted on 8-21-2021 at 08:15 AM


Quote: Originally posted by lencho  
[
With subsidized lower tier rates, I've rarely paid over US$30/month in CFE bills,


Subsidized?
So who is paying cost of what you consume?




Woke!

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[*] posted on 8-21-2021 at 10:32 AM


The most difficulty I had equipping my home was locating an induction top/convection oven electric stove. Induction is becoming the big thing up here for it's efficiency, although somewhat more expensive and has issues with maintaining a slow boil. In order to get one out of Cabo I had to have it imported at close to 50% higher cost than it was available for up here.
All the other appliances were either equivalent or cheaper in La Paz than up here.
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[*] posted on 8-21-2021 at 10:33 AM


like in all socially oriented countries - the government (your taxes)




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[*] posted on 8-21-2021 at 10:43 AM


Quote: Originally posted by JDCanuck  
If anyone out there has some info on newer cost effective passive cooling designs for the Baja, I'd be interested in seeing them. This is one area we were unable to research before building and I suspect could have reduced our power needs significantly.


A hillside home can have a passive cooling vault and tunnel under the home.
The longer the tunnel the cooler the air. House on one side of hilltop with tunnel thru hilltop facing prevailing wind. whole house fan to create negative pressure to draw from below thru floor vents. Common desert design in times of past.




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RFClark
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[*] posted on 8-21-2021 at 10:59 AM


Our home in the states has passive geothermal, it’s built into a south facing hillside. The entire ground floor is dug into the hill. It has south facing windows that let in the sun in the Winter with an overhang that shades it in the Summer. We are at 4200’, so it gets cold and snows. I feel that the geothermal saves about 40% on energy as we use about 300 gal of propane for heat and hot water plus a cord of wood. We have about 1/2 the Heat pump tonnage that would be normally required for our Sq Footage!
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RFClark
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[*] posted on 8-21-2021 at 11:04 AM
Hillside home




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JDCanuck
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[*] posted on 8-21-2021 at 11:06 AM


Quote: Originally posted by BajaTed  
Quote: Originally posted by JDCanuck  
If anyone out there has some info on newer cost effective passive cooling designs for the Baja, I'd be interested in seeing them. This is one area we were unable to research before building and I suspect could have reduced our power needs significantly.


A hillside home can have a passive cooling vault and tunnel under the home.
The longer the tunnel the cooler the air. House on one side of hilltop with tunnel thru hilltop facing prevailing wind. whole house fan to create negative pressure to draw from below thru floor vents. Common desert design in times of past.


Thanks Ted: That seems to be an excellent idea. Retrospectively, I had looked at something similar using buried conduits, the negative seemed to be controlling the biological growth in the supply air channels due to high humidity. As it is, I have induced air flows using high volume low power rooftop ventilators and hope to draw cool air through bedrooms when possible to avoid some AC use. Will not know how this works out til we can spend sufficient time there. If it's worthwhile I intend to install automated controls to control them.
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