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What do you think of this idea.

Jack Member Posts: 1,047
We have done a total re-model of the 2200 sq ft house here in the foothills of the Sierra. I used to have money. Now I have house. New insulation throughout. New hi eff windows, LED lights throughout (which have been great, btw). Heating and cooling is Rinnai Energysaver, two Fujitsu singles downstairs and a dual for the upstairs bedrooms. The upstairs units have never run in heat as the upstairs is heated by the air coming up the staircase from the Rinnai. Hot water is a Rinnai RL-75. Fuel bills peak summer and winter are $85 for electric, $40 in shoulder season. Total LP for the year has settled in at 275 gallons for heat, hot water and cooking.
THE PROBLEM: We loose power regularly due to tree fall. The year before we moved west my daughter lived in the house and was out of elec for 23 days through the course of the last severe winter we had. The drought seems to have taken care of severe winters. During the remodel I had a Generac switch panel installed but have not yet bought the generator and I'd prefer at this point to not buy a generator and power it with propane.
My idea is to install one of these new Tesla 10kw Powerwall batteries (watch the you tube intro on it), which I ordered a couple months ago. Even without the solar to drive it, I could charge it at night on off peak rates and run it during the day. I figure I could last about 3 days on a single charge with no PV back-up. Refrigerator takes 1.25 kw/d, The Rinnai DV takes 33- 54 watts. I wouldn't run the 220v Fujitsu's during outages. Obviously, I wouldn't run everything, but that is okay with us. The generator will be around $2500 and then to feed it "in-season priced lp" will get out of hand quickly & annually. The 10w Powerwall is $3500. 10 year warranty. An inverter is 500-700(?) I can then add solar as I decide. I have one roof pitch 20x30 perfectly set for it. The well is a problem but I'm looking into the Grundfos SQFlex DC well pumps for that. They are a pretty neat product. I can do any labor necessary to install any of this.
Please feel free to tell me I'm out of my mind. Suggestions gratefully received!


  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,443
    My first thought is what is up w/ the power lines? Here in NH there were some issues a couple years back where they had fallen behind w/ tree trimming and during heavy snows they would lose a number of lines.... they have made a concerted effort to fix that w/ a lot of trimming. Sounds like that needs to happen in Calif.
    I am a keep it simple type of guy.... I would just get a good LP gas generator and hook it in. If you can buy the LP tank, you should be able to get a better price on the LP.
  • Brewbeer
    Brewbeer Member Posts: 616
    You need to have enough power to run the well pump. What is the benefit of switching to a DC well pump? The amount of work needed to pump the water out of the ground and through the house is the same using either a DC or AC pump.

    I'm also confused about your comment regarding the cost of propane to run the generator. The generator would be back-up, running only when your grid connection was down, correct? How big is the generator?
    Hydronics inspired homeowner with self-designed high efficiency low temperature baseboard system and professionally installed mod-con boiler with indirect DHW. My system design thread: http://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/154385
    System Photo: https://us.v-cdn.net/5021738/uploads/FileUpload/79/451e1f19a1e5b345e0951fbe1ff6ca.jpg
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,479
    I have not gone into the Tesla powerwall with both feet so I may not fully understand it's ins and outs But I would read this before jumping in with both feet -


    A generator just might be more practical.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge