Have leased solar and want to expand go off grid or stay grid tied?

Hutch

New Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2022
Messages
2
Hi all thanks in advance for any info it’s much appreciated! Long story short we bought a house with an existing uleased 8kw solar system from Tesla. We have 10 more yrs before lease is up. Our new house has propane for water, heat and oven and a swamp cooler for ac. Want to go all electric and install a heat pump for central heat and air, electric water heater etc. We also just bought an EV that we average about 20-25kwh per day. If I add a system to the grid I will need to replace the service panel (only 100 amp) plus pay pge for adding to the system and would also want battery backup for outages. If I go off grid i could charge my ev off of the grid tied system(the system produces about what we drive per year). I could also use the 30 amp grid tied plug to charge my batteries through the backup generator plug right? Seems like a no brainer but not sure if I’m missing something that would make grid tied system better. Thank you!
 

BentleyJ

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Jan 13, 2022
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1,189
Location
Riverside County, CA
Based on the 120% rule, which would normally limit the grid-tie system to a 20A breaker installed in a 100A main panel. It seems like the 8K Tesla system must be on a 30A breaker?? so is already overloaded by current standards. Probably not much can be done to the existing to make it better. If you don't wish to upgrade the main panel then putting everything except the EV on an off-grid system seems to make sense. BTW, if you are going all electric then a heat pump water heater would be a good choice also. If at all possible its better to spend a little more up front for super high efficiency appliances that will save electricity in the long run and offset the cost of the new off-grid solar system since it can be downsized due to the lower peak demand. Lastly, speaking of peak demand, variable speed heat pumps are ideal for off-grid because of their inherent low start up surge currents.
 

WYtreasure

It's not happy hour, I'm just like this.
Joined
Nov 23, 2021
Messages
1,702
Location
Thunder Basin Wyoming
Welcome to the party Hutch.

Hybrid water heaters are worth a look. I don't know how to advise on EV charging and the grid tied subject.
Connect to the grid or not? A big NO. PG&E will not be your friend. Will they let you use your power when the grid is down?
A completely separate system powering your essentials will ensure your security, especially if you can charge the EV.

How much of a "space for panels" and "shade" issue will you have with another array?

Enjoy the show.
 

Hutch

New Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2022
Messages
2
Hi WY thank you for your reply! Space isn’t an issue have a good spot with great exposure if I lose one tree. Would be ground mount since leased solar takes up most of roof. I’m definitely inclined to do away with pge if possible (besides the leased solar that’s grid tied). The lease is $100/month so basically driving 2400 miles for that $100. Great with today’s gas prices lol. A pure heat pump water heater (no heating elements) that’s runs on 110 is supposed to be out by this summer crossing my fingers on that one. Going to be a lot of time and money invested just want to make sure it’s right. Thanks again!
 

WYtreasure

It's not happy hour, I'm just like this.
Joined
Nov 23, 2021
Messages
1,702
Location
Thunder Basin Wyoming
Hi WY thank you for your reply! Space isn’t an issue have a good spot with great exposure if I lose one tree. Would be ground mount since leased solar takes up most of roof. I’m definitely inclined to do away with pge if possible (besides the leased solar that’s grid tied). The lease is $100/month so basically driving 2400 miles for that $100. Great with today’s gas prices lol. A pure heat pump water heater (no heating elements) that’s runs on 110 is supposed to be out by this summer crossing my fingers on that one. Going to be a lot of time and money invested just want to make sure it’s right. Thanks again!
Happy to share, here is more input.

Everywhere PG&E serves uses 120 volts, 60Hz & 240 volts. Those are the specs you should look for in your purchases.
There is no 110 or 220 intentionally served to their customers. Watch for 230 volts and 50Hz products too, if you are shopping worldwide.

Design your entire system prior to purchasing anything. The first purchase will limit the rest of your choices and your entire system.
 
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