Connecticut Backup Power

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by xSpecBx, Nov 21, 2021.

  1. xSpecBx

    xSpecBx New Member

    Live in SE CT and had a GSHP system installed in May. We don’t lose power often, and when we do it’s usually only been for a few hours, but it’s not out the question that we lose power for multiple days in rare cases.

    I currently have a portable generator with a manual transfer switch that was able to power my house, including my oil boiler and air handlers. With the GSHP, I’m going to need something with a little more power to keep up.

    I already have solar panels and was weighing installing battery backups versus a propane standby generator. The thought of propane tanks isn’t very appealing having just ditched the oil tank, but also worried about the number of batteries required to cover the heating needs and the associated cost of those batteries.

    Anyone gone through this? What did you end up with and why?

    appreciate any thoughts.
  2. Teddyo1971

    Teddyo1971 New Member

    I live in Orange County NY and also recently had a GSHP system installed. I have (2) Tesla Powerwalls installed prior that would be more than enough to support my system. When the system is running it draws 5KwH at most. Each power wall can handle 10Kwh Max. Make certain that you have a soft start option installed on your system in order to avoid spikes at system startup. I hope this helps.
  3. xSpecBx

    xSpecBx New Member

    thanks for the reply. I do have a soft start already and my system on full blast draws about what you mention. My concern is certainly a bit on the extreme condition where I lose power after a snow storm, my panels are covered and I’m out of power for a couple days during a relatively cold spell.

    Between the usage data from my solar and the run time numbers from my thermostats I’m guessing my usage solely for the heat pump and hot water heater is in the 20-30 kWh range per day on a cold day. With that kind of usage, I will dump the batteries in a day.

    I would plan to have the battery’s charged up before a storm, lower the temp in the house and shut basically everything down besides the GSHP, but I don’t see how two power walls will cut it for any extended outage and the price for the battery is insane. I was quoted $28k before tax credits and rebates for two powerwalls. The more I think about it the more I lean towards a standby generator.

    Our weather is probably similar, have you had any extended outages with the GSHP installed?
  4. Teddyo1971

    Teddyo1971 New Member

    The soft start component is an option that you should be able to install post system installation. I have solar panels as well (9Kw) that are covered by snow during harsh storms but the powerwalls have a great feature that monitors the weather and charges the powerwalls from the Grid in anticipation of a potential outage. I also have a transfer switch on critical circuits in my electrical panel that I can use with a portable gas generator when there is no sun available to replenish the batteries. I don't have natural gas available in my area so a standby generator was not an option. I agree that the price of a powerwall is too high now . When I had mine installed it was $17K before rebates for both units (installed in 2018)

    I had an extended outage this summer (2 days) but with full sun the batteries were a life saver. Let me know if you have additional questions.
  5. xSpecBx

    xSpecBx New Member

    I do have the soft start so that’s not an issue.

    my panels are 7.35kW but that was out in prior to installation of the GSHP. The summer wouldn’t be a concern because the summer usage is laughable and would probably go multiple days without issue.

    For the batteries, everything I read said you couldn’t recharge the batteries with a portable unit, but could be done with a standby unit.

    I have my solar installer coming next week to talk about the batteries and adding some additional panels, so we’ll see how that goes.

    I don’t have natural gas available either so we would be going with propane. The cost for the generator will be about half that of the batteries, but I’ll have to deal with the inconvenience of dealing with that.
  6. Teddyo1971

    Teddyo1971 New Member

    I do not use the generator to replenish the batteries. The generator is connected to a transfer switch that is associated with various circuits in me electrical panel (e.g. refrigerator, lights, etc) one of the circuits is for my GSHP system. It is only used if my panels do not generate enough power to recharge the batteries.

    The transfer switch was installed prior to owning batteries or solar panels but it's still a less expensive option for me than propane. This is especially the case considering that it is a backup to the solar/battery backup system
  7. xSpecBx

    xSpecBx New Member

    Got it, I misunderstood what you wrote about the generator.

    We have a manual interlock so we can backfeed our entire panel with a portable unit, but I didn’t think it could handle the amperage draw when the compressor starts up given it’s only a 30 amp line. Can’t say I’ve done my homework on it to see if that is true.

    For me, the trade off is going to be batteries vs standby generator so we’ll see what my solar company has to offer when I meet with them tomorrow. So far, standby unit is in the lead at half the cost even if I’m not wild about the idea of having to manage propane. First world problems though.

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