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Ontario Energy & Electricity Production

kEiThZ

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I have a question to no one in particular. I live in a 1825sf 2-bedroom bungalow. Non-urban, so large lot, lots of trees. The sun is below the trees all winter. How many sf of solar panels would I need to leave the hydro and gas grid (sorry, I don't know the total roof area, which is currently covered in 2' of snow)? Not to live like an off-griding monk, but to live like we do now, heat, a/c, showers, lights, etc. D

Not sure about gas, but getting your electricity needs should be entirely possible.

Some very rough math....I can do more if you give me details.

I'm going to assume you use 30 kWh/day on average. And I'm going to assume 150 W/m2 from your shaded panels. 6 hr average sunshine per day through the year. You need 34 square meters of panels. Panels are generally 2 m2. So you need 17 panels. This is a somewhat conservative estimate. Better panels. Better placement. Etc. You could do less.

Do I get to choose which room I have to sacrifice and turn into a 'battery room' (please don't say in the attic - it's unheated, difficult to access, not engineered for load and no doubt there are safety/regulatory issues putting large capacity energy storage up there). I can provide annual electricity and NG consumption.

They battery packs aren't huge. Usually just wall mounted in a garage or a furnace sized stack in a utility closet.

Theres rules and codes. But not as tough as people imagine.

On the gas side, if you really wanted to do it, you could get your house updated to Passive House standard. Some of them can get through a Prairie winter with a heater that is a glorified hair dryer.
 
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kEiThZ

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Personally, I would pretty much always be more comfortable having a gas fireplace in a home for emergency heating.

Gas will be going away eventually. It's the only way to solve climate change. Quebec already has substantial electric HVAC in a lot of places. And many cities around the world are requiring all new buildings to be all-electric.
 

afransen

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Gas will be going away eventually. It's the only way to solve climate change. Quebec already has substantial electric HVAC in a lot of places. And many cities around the world are requiring all new buildings to be all-electric.
Methane will always be with us as it is an essential chemical feedstock. Whether we extract that methane from the ground or synthesize it electrochemically or from biowaste is a different story. I kind of doubt that the gas network is going anywhere for some time. I think it is possible to heat a home with electricity (heat pump, preferably) but I am uncomfortable with the idea of not having an emergency heat source. If you have solar and batteries, you can probably limp along in the event of a grid outage, but it is much more reassuring to know you have an independent system like natural gas that could heat your home. Even if it is just having a wood stove and a reserve of firewood (not practical in cities).
 

kEiThZ

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People may be uncomfortable with the idea. But it's the way the world is going with all-electric buildings. Retrofitting existing buildings is a long ways off though. Most of the effort is focused right now on not installing new gas lines to begin with. Canada is planning on banning all new gas hookups beyond 2030. Quebec already does a ton of electric heating with baseboards, radiant floor, heat pumps and electric forced air. It's time the rest of the country caught up. Electric heating is a lot more efficient anyway. And a lot less dangerous. No risk of carbon monoxide.

It's not just heating. Gas cooking is going away too. A lot of high end restaurants are going to all or mostly electric kitchens with induction cooking. All that's left is a fireplace to grill or roast something. They've found induction to be safer and easier to clean.

 
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afransen

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Is electric safer? It's only safer if the grid has very, very high reliability. Quebec found out what happens when you depend on solely electricity for heat and you have a catastrophic grid failure.
 

Northern Light

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A Globe and Mail article is sounding the alarm over the Pickering Nuclear Plant.

The suggestion in the article is that the license for operation was renewed without properly considering that quality data on pressure tubes was absent.

Apparently testing of a select number of tubes to assess their lifespan resulted in data understood to be impossible by the laws of physics.

Meaning there was no evidence to support whether a key piece of infrastructure was/is 'fit for service'.

The implied risk of erroneous renewal was high.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/can...ulator-overlooked-dubious-data-when-renewing/
 

44 North

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I think this is more part of Toronto Hydro or a joint venture with the province, but couldn't find a thread that fits. Battery Energy Storage Systems. Down in the Port Lands last month something caught my eye near Logan and Commissioners, looked like a Bitcoin mining operation. Not much info on it, but turns out it's called Basin 1 and 2 built by Deltro. Uses lithium batteries to produce 6 + 2 MW. It opened a few years ago and billed itself as the first utility scale energy storage project in Canada.

Just looks like a few trailers, but neat nonetheless. More info: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/batteries-canada-technology-1.4455998 and https://deltro.ca/portfolio_item/23904/

deltro-energy-giant-batteries-toronto-commissioners-and-logan.jpg

from CBC article
 

TRONto

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I have a question to no one in particular. I live in a 1825sf 2-bedroom bungalow. Non-urban, so large lot, lots of trees. The sun is below the trees all winter. How many sf of solar panels would I need to leave the hydro and gas grid (sorry, I don't know the total roof area, which is currently covered in 2' of snow)? Not to live like an off-griding monk, but to live like we do now, heat, a/c, showers, lights, etc. Do I get to choose which room I have to sacrifice and turn into a 'battery room' (please don't say in the attic - it's unheated, difficult to access, not engineered for load and no doubt there are safety/regulatory issues putting large capacity energy storage up there). I can provide annual electricity and NG consumption.

These are some of the questions industry, and the government, have to answer before off-gridding becomes commonplace. The same questions might be asked by a resident of an apartment or condo. There's only so much roof. Elevators and water pumping alone draw a lot of power.
This guy pretty much described your situation. Non-urban, lots of trees, roof facing the wrong directions. Did 70% of energy needs with solar and had a decent payback with installation in 2018 in the Boston area.



"In the grand scheme of things, that’s a drop in the bucket for the total savings of the system over 30 years … which should be over $30,000."

That's solar with no battery
 

lenaitch

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This guy pretty much described your situation. Non-urban, lots of trees, roof facing the wrong directions. Did 70% of energy needs with solar and had a decent payback with installation in 2018 in the Boston area.



"In the grand scheme of things, that’s a drop in the bucket for the total savings of the system over 30 years … which should be over $30,000."

That's solar with no battery

Thanks for the link. It's encouraging that it is working out for him and that the numbers are aligning with what his research and his contractor projected.
A couple of observations:
- One brief clip showed direct sun on his roof. He did note that his exposure is limited. In our case, we see no direct sunlight all winter. The sun never rises above the tree line and is always filtered through the bush. Obviously, some energy will get through.
- He mentions snow cover, but the video only shows a skiff of snow on the roof. I think he said he is around Boston which, according to the Internet, gets about 48" per year. It makes sense that the darker surfaces of the panels will encourage melting, but we average ~100" of snowfall per year. Obviously there are melts involved but it is not unusual to have 2'-3' on the roof, and several inches can accumulate during a single storm. Once covered, it is like that until Spring.

He did raise a point that got my curiosity that I plan to research. With net metering, he can feed power back into the grid. Traditionally, generation was managed on the transmission network, not the distribution network. When part of the grid suffered an outage, working on a 'safe line' was reasonable straight forward for the crews. Now, with potentially multiple points of generation, like net metering and feed-in tariffs, I'm wondering how they isolate the line. Time to dig!
 

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