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California Turns Off a Lot
More Than Just the Lights

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Posted By: Hazymac, 10/14/2019 1:57:58 PM

Going solar isn’t necessarily any protection from California’s new “planned” power outages, and local residents and business are enduring a lot more than just a few inconveniences. Bloomberg’s Chris Martin has a story on California’s troubles with one of my favorite headlines ever: “Californians Learning That Solar Panels Don't Work in Blackouts.” Apparently, many of California’s would-be Earth-savers had no idea that just putting solar panels on their roofs doesn’t mean they’ll have power when PG&E switches it off. As Martin explains: "Most panels are designed to supply power to the grid -- not directly to houses. During the heat of the day, solar systems can crank out

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Reply 1 - Posted by: earlybird 10/14/2019 2:12:23 PM (No. 207183)
Smart Californians have known for long years that solar was a crock. A developer I worked with, whose projects numbered in the thousands of units in California and Texas, declined to use solar because it really didn’t work as advertised. That was some years back. Now real estate experts here advise that solar detracts from a residence’s market appeal and value. Considered to be a big minus.
8 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: Avanti1 10/14/2019 2:44:11 PM (No. 207208)
The financial and environmental advantages of solar power have been over-hyped for decades. As always. the rendezvous with reality is occurring, and reality wins.
12 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: mean Gene 10/14/2019 2:53:17 PM (No. 207212)
Roofers here in Utah LOVE solar panels. They, or their installers, cause leaks which need repairs.
6 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: Ida Lou Pino 10/14/2019 3:34:35 PM (No. 207256)
Kalifornia needs some real expertise in energy management. Does anyone know Hunter Biden's phone number?
13 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: HotRod 10/14/2019 3:39:36 PM (No. 207265)
The most efficient use of solar, for the homeowner, is not to generate electricity. Rather, solar hot water heaters are the most viable. They can heat water very quickly, even during winter, and the hot water is cheaper and easier to store than maintaining a bank of expensive batteries. Solar hot water for washing, bathing and heating greatly reduces the demand for electricity.
5 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: GOPinTN 10/14/2019 4:03:56 PM (No. 207301)
"Apparently, many of California’s would-be Earth-savers had no idea" That's all that needs to be said.
8 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: DVC 10/14/2019 4:16:04 PM (No. 207307)
They killed at least one person. I read of a man on an oxygen machine who died. Third world caliber electrical system. Solar and wind are a joke. They need to be repairing, upgrading, if that is what is needed, and trimming trees around their power lines. Somehow, the entire rest of the USA manages to get this right, and only California has to shut down their grid. Idiots.
7 people like this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: Omen55 10/14/2019 4:53:30 PM (No. 207347)
LMAO! What a bunch of maroons!
6 people like this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: Tptems 10/14/2019 5:35:22 PM (No. 207375)
Having solar panels and a battery system in your house makes is truly green and independent. This would conceivably make power companies obsolete in sun belt states. The grid has a purpose, but it is outdated technology.
1 person likes this.

Reply 10 - Posted by: caljeepgirl 10/14/2019 5:44:49 PM (No. 207385)
It was pretty awful. Fortunately or not, they screwed it up so badly that I doubt we'll ever see another widespread planned outage like that again!
2 people like this.

Reply 11 - Posted by: JimBob 10/14/2019 7:20:22 PM (No. 207481)
Powering a house completely with solar power would require a heck of a large solar system. It's not the lights that are the problem. It's the electric motors for the AC compressor, refrigerator compressor, well water pump, etc, that require a large amount of current to run, and a VERY large amount of current -just for a second or so- when they are starting up. If the solar-inverter electrical supply cannot furnish the required current, the motors will not start, and instead can sit there 'stalled', overheat and eventually burn up. Also, if the 'line' power is off, the home solar-inverter system has to be disconnected from the 'line' power. One does not want the home solar-inverter system feeding 110/220VAC back to the 'line' transformer, as this transformer will step it up to 14,400VAC or whatever is the 'line' voltage, and shoot it down the power lines. This can kill someone who then touches what they think is a 'dead' disconnected power line. Another factor is the 'fireworks' that would ensue when the 'line' power comes back on, unsynchronized and out-of-phase with the 'solar-inverter' power. It might be practical to have the home lighting (and other, low-current emergency use) circuits powered through the home solar system's inverter unit (similar to a computer powered via an 'uninterruptible power supply') which would, when the 'line' power fails, isolate the lighting circuits from the 'line' power and operate them via the solar-inverter power, then when the line power comes back on, the system would synchronize the solar-inverter power with the line power before reconnecting. This would involve having the inverter power a sub-panel for the 'lighting' circuits, and would best be installed when the house is first being wired. For an add-on solar-inverter system, where the existing home electrical circuits are all powered from one breaker panel, it seems to me that the safe, simple thing to do is just what they are now doing..... automatically disconnect and shut down the solar-inverter system when the 'line' power fails.
2 people like this.

Reply 12 - Posted by: DVC 10/14/2019 7:26:36 PM (No. 207483)
A REAL solar power system has a battery bank large enough to run the house for about 36 to 48 hours with little or no sun, and a power inverter to make 110VAC and 220VAC power from the battery/solar DC power. A large battery bank and a large inverter is large $$$$$. And the batteries require monthly or every other month watering with distilled water, too. THAT is an actual solar system, and you can be fine with the grid power down. But it is very expensive up front, and if you have a grid power connection available (well, in a state where they actually keep the grid up 24/7/365, unlike California) you should ignore the solar deal, it is a ripoff. At my remote cabin in the high mountains of Colorado, the solar system for small loads, lights, water pump, sat dish TV, works. No need for AC, ever, heat is wood and propane cooking and refrigeration. For all the normal home loads, an all solar system is VERY expensive.
1 person likes this.

Reply 13 - Posted by: cor-vet 10/14/2019 9:44:48 PM (No. 207576)
I really love my standby, backup generator. It runs on clean propane, which according to Nasty Nancy, is not fossil fuel. Fortunately, since I had it installed in August of 2015, I've only needed it 4 times, for a grand total of 16 hours. I got it because after Katrina, we had a month of no power, and in South Louisiana in the summer, it's miserable. I'm curious though, about how many 'elites' had their power shut off.
4 people like this.

Reply 14 - Posted by: StormCnter 10/15/2019 5:56:57 AM (No. 207686)
We have two solar well pumps on the ranch and they are great. They only need attention when a strong West Texas breeze damages the panels.
0 people like this.

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