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 2011-12-16, 11:23 #1 fivemack (loop (#_fork))     Feb 2006 Cambridge, England 6,379 Posts Pesky electricity At the moment, I'm using about 1250 watts 24/7, almost all consumed by computers. I just got the bill for September 1 - November 30; £380. Which is getting to be really quite a lot of money; the price of the big compute server over three years (though nothing like as much as anywhere local will charge me to co-locate the big compute server ... they seem to want to charge quite a lot per hundred milliamps of power, and it uses 2.5A or so)
 2011-12-16, 13:19 #2 em99010pepe     Sep 2004 283010 Posts Electricity is expensive for home users. If you know someone that can host your machine in an industry or university that would be perfect. I'm considering that....
 2011-12-16, 13:22 #3 Dubslow Basketry That Evening!     "Bunslow the Bold" Jun 2011 40
 2011-12-16, 13:27 #4 nucleon     Mar 2003 Melbourne 5×103 Posts I'm at the point where it's financially viable to pay for solar. Except, I'm in a high rise unit so no access to roof space. :( -- Craig
2011-12-16, 13:35   #5
em99010pepe

Sep 2004

2·5·283 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by nucleon I'm at the point where it's financially viable to pay for solar.
Are you sure? I don't think so. Did you make ROI calculations?
Anyway, by looking at a Portuguese electricity bill more than 60 % of the energy comes from renewable sources ( wind power, hydro power, solar, PV) but energy price just keeps rising...that's something to think off.

Last fiddled with by em99010pepe on 2011-12-16 at 13:36

 2011-12-16, 13:47 #6 Christenson     Dec 2010 Monticello 5×359 Posts em, remember that what you pay for electricity is really a tax...the total system cost has to be paid for, including all installed sources, and all the resources they use, including transmission...there's quite a build-out going on right now, so that the excess from the renewables can be moved all the way across europe... And at 400 pounds per month, solar PV collectors at the current price of about $2 per installed watt start looking like very attractive investments...particularly if you can get the computer to use exactly what the PV array puts out at any given time, so don't have to invest in storage, long-distance transport, etc. Looks like a good hacking project for a UPS....build a 1KW computer supply which blends line, solar, and battery power to supply regulated 12V to the ATX and PCI power connectors. Or hook into the "line interactive" or double-conversion UPS with solar power. 2011-12-16, 13:57 #7 em99010pepe Sep 2004 54168 Posts Quote:  Originally Posted by Christenson em, remember that what you pay for electricity is really a tax...the total system cost has to be paid for, including all installed sources, and all the resources they use, including transmission...there's quite a build-out going on right now, so that the excess from the renewables can be moved all the way across europe... I know but in Portugal those renewable resources are still funded by government (in % I can't recall) so now with Troika those funds will be cut off. For industry electricity cost rised 20 % this year, next year more 5 %... Quote:  Originally Posted by Christenson And at 400 pounds per month, solar PV collectors at the current price of about$2 per installed watt start looking like very attractive investments...particularly if you can get the computer to use exactly what the PV array puts out at any given time, so don't have to invest in storage, long-distance transport, etc. Looks like a good hacking project for a UPS....build a 1KW computer supply which blends line, solar, and battery power to supply regulated 12V to the ATX and PCI power connectors. Or hook into the "line interactive" or double-conversion UPS with solar power.
I don't discuss your price because it depends on the region you are. "Googling" I got your number but don't forget that you need a brutal area for your PV system, do you have it at home? What about solar orientation, panels inclination, etc...?
If solar was viable more systems would be available more cheaper and don't forget that they have very low efficiencies.
Finally, it is not as simple as you say to connect the PV system to the grid...it is just as complicated as a wind generator. Electricity produced by those means have bad quality energy full of harmonics, etc...it's like introducing a frequency regulator to a motor where although you reduce consumption you need to install a set of capacity batteries to reduce reactive energy.

Last fiddled with by em99010pepe on 2011-12-16 at 14:04

 2011-12-16, 14:02 #8 fivemack (loop (#_fork))     Feb 2006 Cambridge, England 6,379 Posts It's 400 a quarter rather than 400 a month; at 400 a month solar is undeniably a good idea. The first supplier I found in the UK charges £5 per installed watt, raw panels are a bit over £2 per installed watt ... so 1250W would be about £6250 and (assuming a load-factor of 0.3 and that I feed all the electricity it produces to the compute farm) pay for itself in about a decade at current prices, which isn't unreasonable. The main reason I haven't done something in that direction is that I don't own my house. (for comparison, I'd need something like £25,000 invested in one of the higher-dividend-paying blue-chip shares - Glaxo, Vodafone, Unilever - to pay the electricity bill out of dividends) I have switched to a 'green energy' company which spends its profits on building wind parks; the financial result is, I think, simulating what the world would be like with a plausibly-sized carbon tax ... not unendurable, but making me think a bit more about energy efficiency, and contemplate replacing inefficient machinery (for values of inefficiency measured in factors per watt-hour) before it breaks. Last fiddled with by fivemack on 2011-12-16 at 14:43
2011-12-16, 14:08   #9
em99010pepe

Sep 2004

2·5·283 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by fivemack It's 400 a quarter rather than 400 a month; at 400 a month solar is undeniably a good idea. The first supplier I found in the UK charges £5 per installed watt, raw panels are a bit over £2 per installed watt ... so 1250W would be about £6250 and (assuming a load-factor of 0.3 and that I feed all the electricity it produces to the compute farm) pay for itself in about a decade at current prices, which isn't unreasonable. The main reason I haven't done something in that direction is that I don't own my house.
Ask them about life expectation of the raw panels? Your price is only for the panels, don't forget the rest like installation, wire connection, etc. Your ROI (return of investment) will go up to 20 years.

Last fiddled with by em99010pepe on 2011-12-16 at 14:09

 2011-12-16, 14:12 #10 em99010pepe     Sep 2004 2×5×283 Posts If you want a better solution look for mini-cogeneration plants with organic rankine cycle. If you live in a village it's a great idea.
2011-12-16, 14:31   #11
fivemack
(loop (#_fork))

Feb 2006
Cambridge, England

143538 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by em99010pepe Ask them about life expectation of the raw panels? Your price is only for the panels, don't forget the rest like installation, wire connection, etc. Your ROI (return of investment) will go up to 20 years.
Life expectation of raw panels is 25 years, and I was using the £5 figure which includes installation, connection and warranty rather than the £2 figure for the panels alone.

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