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Re: [RFI] Solar and RFI issues

To: RFI@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [RFI] Solar and RFI issues
From: Grant Saviers <grants2@pacbell.net>
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 2019 17:16:51 +0000
List-post: <mailto:rfi@contesting.com>
A bit of experience re "solar is not a good investment". It depends on the price per KWH. When living in the Bay Area circa 2005, and a victim of PG&E and the Sacramento Bozos, peak rate could exceed $0.45 per KWH. I understand it is now as high as $0.85/KWH.

So I had upgraded to all CFL's and cut my power load. Ah, but then PG&E "revised my base load" and reset me to my new lower average, so that wiped out the CFL benefit. PG&E bill up 50%.

Liking to "buy American" I decided to go with TJ Roger's SunPower panels, the most efficient at the time. I found a good installer, they measured sun clearance angles and used their PC to find the optimal panel KW ROI. 10KW pole mounted for my back yard. Result, cut PG&E bill 50%. ROI pre tax credits 15%. Then the Feds gave an unexpected rebate, ROI now 23%. Essentially zero risk return, and the new owner is thanking me at the now higher rates. It is another story about getting a building permit from Santa Clara County Planning cretins.

btw, I had two installations for a total of 17.5KW. One ran the meter backwards. PGE rebate $0.04/KWH. Buy at $.04 sell at $.45 - what a racket!

btw no RFI, but I had an excellent inverter without MPP regulators per panel, which seem to be the major source.

Now that I'm living in WWA, solar would make no sense at $0.11/KWH peak rate and limited sun.

Grant KZ1W

On 12/16/2019 15:24, k5hab@arrl.net wrote:
Let’s review Solar. Solar is not a good investment.  The only thing that can 
make it palatable are tax benefits.  There is a 30% federal tax credit available.  
Even with this credit in most cases it will take ten years or more to amortize your 
costs.  There are exceptions and more local tax incentives available.
Most “high efficiency” solar controls cannot be made RFI quiet.  If you are 
purchasing a solar system ask to see previous installations and make sure they are RFI quiet. 
 Write in the contract (this goes for any electrical thing you are purchasing) a clause that 
says it will not interfere with your radios and will be as quiet as the systems you have 
I have had a terrible time with a high efficiency America Standard HVAC 
systems. I have just finished two solar systems that are RFI quiet.
Light bulbs:  Some make noise and some do not.  The problem is you go to a big 
box store and purchase bulbs that you test at the store and they are quiet.  
You go back to the same store and buy the same bulbs and they are noisy.
I recently purchased forty plus LED fixtures to replace noisy florescence 
fixtures  from Super Bright LED and they assured me they would be quiet and I 
wrote it in the order with the man's name that they would be RFI quiet and they 
were quiet.
You need to shop with your RFI detector and a bulb adapter plug.
How do you deal with RFI.  Hopefully someone in your area has a relationship 
with the local electric company and has been working through problems. It might 
be your ARRL Technical Specialist but someone at your local club knows who is 
the go to person. This is where you start.  Do as much work as you are able to 
do yourself in identifying the problem. Poll numbers, addresses, Screen, shots 
whatever you can do. If this does not work call your ARRL Technical Coordinator 
or Section Manager for help. If they cannot help they will refer you to the 
ARRL Newington.
Peter Naumburg
Technical Coordinator South Texas Section ARRL

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