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Enphase Energy, Inc. (ENPH) Message Board

jmcvicker 1360 posts  |  Last Activity: 4 hours ago Member since: Nov 18, 1999
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  • Reply to

    No Utility-scale storage - at least in CA

    by jmcvicker Apr 25, 2015 7:10 AM
    jmcvicker jmcvicker 4 hours ago Flag

    Keef, you don't buy a 500Ah at 12V to get 6kWh, you would buy four 200Ah in series at 48V to get close to 10 kWh and just under $9500.

  • jmcvicker jmcvicker 7 hours ago Flag

    Typo - 343 are cancelled currently (not 353).

  • jmcvicker jmcvicker 7 hours ago Flag

    Have you read some of the SGIP program data? Tesla's largest system reserved-monies for is in Hawthorne, CA. 3000KW (3MW) system. Also, a 500KW system in the same city. Is it possible that system is at SpaceX or the Tesla Hawthorne Design Center? If SpaceX, is that a nepitism-based kick-start their claim of utility-scale storage? That system was booked into the program in 2012 but apparently is not built yet.

    The way the program appears to work - you book for a project but then you can later cancel it. Of the 954 line items, 353 are already marked as Cancelled. it appears they wanted to get into commercial storage with their project bookings in 2011 and 2012. Most small sized but then they started booking larger ones.

  • Reply to

    No Utility-scale storage - at least in CA

    by jmcvicker Apr 25, 2015 7:10 AM
    jmcvicker jmcvicker 7 hours ago Flag

    Anything "could" happen. That is the risk that gambling, I mean, investing is all about. Tesla has a history of generally putting out a story and then coming in below the expectation. See 2014 and 35,000 cars to be sold (31655 actually). The industry of the large-battery EV is very small. Tesla is the only vendor. The industry of battery storage connected to the grid is full of dozens of existing firms already established. You judge if they are going to dominate in any other state than in California.

    CA's SGIP program does one interesting thing. They give a 20% increased incentive if the vendor of the product being installed is based in California. Repacking Japanese cells into a box and using possibly Chinese circuit boards and Inverters (to be determined where they are made) ends up paying Tesla 20% more for assembling these imported parts into a box and installing it there in CA.

    $240M in probable projects in CA is one thing - that is visible and on the books, recently projects are being waitlisted. But will they realize all that money (equal to 2100 cars sold) in one year? They need to give word on projects outside of CA and definitive backlog of orders, projects-on-reserve if you will. Otherwise, CA is the target market and is easily trackable via the public SGIP program data.

    How many new homeowner and commercial systems will be waitlisted for incentives in 2015 causing a delay in their installation until 2016? The incentives are the key to getting projects with some level of gross margin.

  • jmcvicker jmcvicker 8 hours ago Flag

    No - but it sure was a poorly run company - they had a lot of potential, too. Maybe their Chinese owners will revive them and not manage them into the ground like the prior execs.

  • jmcvicker jmcvicker 8 hours ago Flag

    I doubt any other Li-Ion battery on the planet can claim 8000 cycles with 1C cycling and be at 80% DOD.

  • jmcvicker jmcvicker 8 hours ago Flag

    Check out the paper - google this: A123’s Advanced Grid Storage, Extending Our Experience to Distributed Resource Applications and Microgrids

    (notice that they say by 2010, they had 36MW already connected to the grid)

  • jmcvicker jmcvicker 8 hours ago Flag

    For # of full recharges, nothing really beats Li-Ion right now. Back a few years ago, A123 Systems, makers of a LiFEPO4 blend battery (Li-Ion using different material) had a 1C cycle charge/discharge going on their cells and it reached 8000 cycles with 80% capacity after those cycles.

    Even deep discharge AGM/Gel type batteries cannot do that. In 10 years, if the Aquion or other salt-water batteries actually do work and take-off, they may become a better deal than Li-Ion. Safer, 3000+ cycles and perhaps at-scale, down to the $100/kWh that Li-Ion wants to become. I would easily put a single-box Aquion battery cell (24 kWh) in my house over a Li-Ion or LiFEPO4. The price is not attractive today. But at scale, and if it really works, it can beat Li-Ion.

  • Reply to

    No Utility-scale storage - at least in CA

    by jmcvicker Apr 25, 2015 7:10 AM
    jmcvicker jmcvicker 8 hours ago Flag

    My garage fridge is the same size as the one in the house. I have run our 900W coffee maker off the same inverter. Gotta have coffee during a power failure. I do want to get a 1000W/2000W sine wave inverter as the 12V in the car can easily push that from the 1500W DC/DC inverter that recharges the 12V.

    Our home uses about 1300-1400 kWh a month and that is without a lot of effort to do so. Primary use is heat-pump, computers and tv and DVR. Two refrigerators. With those numbers, 46kWh a day (includes Volt charging - not every day). This is the type of situation that most people don't realize. As a standby battery, you cannot power your house and charge your car with a 10kWh standby battery in a grid outage. You may need up to 100kWh in a very large suburban home and it needs to be islanding-capable. We do not know if these 10kWh systems are island capable and if so, they are too small to run a house. For proper hybrid standby systems to work, they need to island, have enough power for 3-5 cloudy days and be supported by a large enough Solar PV system.

    Or, get a generator, which most people don't even have. If standby power itself was a primary concern of homeowners, generator sales and company stocks would be through the roof.

  • Reply to

    No Utility-scale storage - at least in CA

    by jmcvicker Apr 25, 2015 7:10 AM
    jmcvicker jmcvicker 8 hours ago Flag

    Doing a bit of internet review, I priced out what it would take to do a LiFEPO4 based 10kWh system. Roughly $12,000 if you include buying parts from distributors as a retail customer and utilize existing breaker panels and limited wiring. I found 200Ah LiFEPO4 packs (remember, no venting with flame). That price could be lowered through volume purchase and/or other factors.

    The primary issue is small solar installers cannot buy in volume but do things piece-meal. The one aspect of the Tesla/Solar City relationship seems to be implicit to their single factory, volume installer distribution chain. Money still has to be made so I can see that they will price the system high enough to take advantage of all government incentives available and they can lower prices over time.

    The discussion is "how much does the 5KW/10kWh home system cost for the box". The real issue is "how much does the system cost turn-key." It (the turnkey system) is not cheap and for what it does, it needs to be either a high-cost standby system for people who don't want their frozen porterhouse steaks to thaw - or for a peak load shaving device to both cut a rate-payer's electric bill and to help "smooth the demand curve" of the grid.

  • Reply to

    No Utility-scale storage - at least in CA

    by jmcvicker Apr 25, 2015 7:10 AM
    jmcvicker jmcvicker 8 hours ago Flag

    Actually, it could run the refrigerator. I have run my garage refrigerator off my Volt for an hour using a 700W 120V inverter. The refrigerator does have a small startup pulse and then runs about 70W while the compressor is spinning. It is the duty cycle that is important (how many W over time). 10 kWh could run a refrigerator for maybe 20 hours or more. I am thinking about doing a battery system at my house for certain circuits but am looking for the next-gen AGM to come out from MK Solar(Deka). Using a Schneider Conext XW+ I could also use Li-Ion cells, such as LiFEPO4. At a reasonable price. The only problem is that there are no commercial kits selling at-volume for LiFEPO4 and BMS circuits that come as a simple package. You need to engineer it via your solar installer or other competent electrician.

  • Reply to

    No Utility-scale storage - at least in CA

    by jmcvicker Apr 25, 2015 7:10 AM
    jmcvicker jmcvicker 9 hours ago Flag

    The SGIP program says that the battery systems need to output for two hours to be eligible.
    Aren't the home systems 10kWh? Aren't they 5KW rating? Getting full 5KW in incentives?

    If they do not output for 2 hours at their rated power value, they are not in conformance. Basically - it is the rules of the incentive. I hope they are not found to not be following the rules.

  • Reply to

    No Utility-scale storage - at least in CA

    by jmcvicker Apr 25, 2015 7:10 AM
    jmcvicker jmcvicker 9 hours ago Flag

    Interesting statistic:
    Of the 171 systems that are marked as Interconnected, which is what they need to receive the incentive, the average number of days from when the request to the SGIP was received to the date of interconnect is an average of 550 days. Shorter periods in the past year, under 200 in many cases.

    CA has a public SGIP web site showing projects - which is important to show what is going in in their system. Will there be public listings in other states as well, such as NYSERDA in NY or JTF's notion that Texas is a market? And will states all have similar limits to CA with 40% of program bonus is the limit one vendor can take?

    There is a market for storage. Much of it caused by the intermittancy of renewable power production and its inability to support 24 hour base load needs. That is a failing of solar/wind projects and our "desire" to have such technologies be larger aspects of our power programs while not working to get everyone in the demand downstream to install products according to LEED to lower their demand in the first place. Companies shouldn't install batteries to skirt their peak power bills - they should be working to install products and change peoples' mindsets to conserve the demand first. Just like reducing your demands first before sizing and installing your own Solar PV system.

  • Reply to

    No Utility-scale storage - at least in CA

    by jmcvicker Apr 25, 2015 7:10 AM
    jmcvicker jmcvicker 9 hours ago Flag

    Can you also explain why the government should give monies at a price of $8760 per 5KW/10 kWh of batteries which will decline in capacity each year as they are cycled daily - it is like doing a daily range-charge in a Tesla car and driving it down to near zero miles. 95% capacity after a year may be expected, 90% after two years and so on. And as such, looking over the AES program, many of the larger systems are coming in at a project price of 1/2 or lower than smaller systems. I would like to find out how these new 2015 items coming in with $100K system price and 100KW in size are going to support the requirement of at least 2 times the battery capacity (200kWh). Are they really doing 200kWh systems for $100K system price? that is a drastic drop from the prior line items and are the prior reserved system capacities and prices going to drop due to this "new revelation"? Going from $1500-2000 per kWH down to $500 per kWh is a massive drop in scale. If they are trying to do systems with 1:1 ratio of KW:kWh then the SGIP handbook needs to be updated since they require 1:2.

    The size of system should be graduated as it gets larger and more manageable through telemetrics by the local power companies.

    The biggest failure of the CA SGIP is not thinking about the outliers. I am sure they thought that they would be giving money to larger-scale systems which could act in supporting local substations or grid locales and not 5KW home systems. Now, if they get thousands of home systems out there, the aggregate is about the same - however, there is no power company oversight into the value and yet the monies can be eaten up by many small systems.

  • jmcvicker jmcvicker 9 hours ago Flag

    Why sell cars when government incentive programs can be gamed for even more ill-gotten gains?

  • Reply to

    No Utility-scale storage - at least in CA

    by jmcvicker Apr 25, 2015 7:10 AM
    jmcvicker jmcvicker 9 hours ago Flag

    One thing to point out is not all projects will be complete. Even some 2015 line items are already marked Cancelled. However, many more will be added as pricing of products becomes clearer.

    However I cannot get over the continued rating of systems of home battery system items of $23,000 and higher. What if a buyer wants to own the battery and not do the 10-year lease? What is their price delivered? I suppose that discussion will not happen in incentive-rich California. Also, pricing it at $23,000 who is paying that - the lease financier Deutche Bank with their $1B financing vehicle? If so, that is one scheme that doesn't work out well for the bank unless these folks package and resell the lease on the proposition like with the Solar PV arrays that "people will renew their leases after the lease is up..."

    Can you explain clearly how the project at $23,000 works? Do you think that is a fair price for a $10K load shaving device that will possibly take less than 10 kWh of demand off the local neighborhood grid? If the public utility bought LED lighting and installed it for free in all the homes of the neighborhood for free - that would be more than 10 kWh in aggregate and cost an aggregate less value than $23,000.

  • Reply to

    No Utility-scale storage - at least in CA

    by jmcvicker Apr 25, 2015 7:10 AM
    jmcvicker jmcvicker 9 hours ago Flag

    I corrected it in a reply lower in this thread. It is $243M. I know it wouldn't be proper but Yahoo message boards need an edit feature.

  • Reply to

    No Utility-scale storage - at least in CA

    by jmcvicker Apr 25, 2015 7:10 AM
    jmcvicker jmcvicker 21 hours ago Flag

    Batteries cannot fix California.

  • Reply to

    No Utility-scale storage - at least in CA

    by jmcvicker Apr 25, 2015 7:10 AM
    jmcvicker jmcvicker 23 hours ago Flag

    I am surprised nobody here besides myself and nomo are looking at this spreadsheet and reviewing projects that have been completed, in the planning stages and the competition. Do you guys know how to digest such data.

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