Wow! Larry Hagman's House

clg7067September 11, 2007

Larry Hagman's house was featured on "Living with Ed" this week. Very impressive, not only for it's 25,000 sq feet of opulence, but the PV array he uses to supply electricity. I believe he said it cost him about $700,000 to install, but he got around $300,000 back from the electric company's energy program(?). Plus, his annual electric bill before the PV array was $38,000, afterwards, $13. Yes, $13 per year. In addition, he provided some local low income folks with their own systems. So, Ed brought some wind turbine samples up to Larry's house in case he needs any power during storms. :)

(I hope I remembered all those numbers correctly. I definitely remembered the $13!)

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I was very impressed with system!

Is it REALLY true that those wind turbines only are about $4k for 3-4 KW?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 8:21PM
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Keep in mind that a system rated at 3KW will only produce that much power when the winds are strong. Most of the time, you'll get MUCH less.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 1:49PM
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ah good point, good point!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 8:14PM
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Sounds like quite the investment and system. I have a much smaller ( 2800 w PV array ) system; and here in New York state there are incentives; along with state and federal tax credits as well. In my case, they paid about half the installed cost of the system.

As far as being grid-tied; I think you're insane NOT to do it; unless it's simply too far away. I produce max power on some of the hottest days here . . when MY needs are quite small. Peak demand times are when I'm putting OUT the most, after meeting my own needs. Lots of people doing the same could help prevent need of another power plant somewhere. I get to use the grid as a bank => put it in when I can, take it back when I need to. As far as no power in a grid-tied system when the grid is down; bolderdash. I have power always; grid up or not. While having the batteries adds cost; it also allows you to have power all the time. Also, by being tied to the grid; my batteries do NOT get cycled every night; which adds greatly to their lifetimes. Being off-grid forces them to get used each night. Every "cycle" on them, even shallow discharge; is one less that you've got for the future.

In my opinion, grid-tied WITH batteries; gives both you and the grid; the best situation. You will always have power, you will produce and put out to the grid during peak demands, you get "back" any juice you produced and need later at no cost ( net metering ), and you will maximize battery life by not using them every night.

Wind turbines are subject to the wind; and in lots of places; zoning and other types of restrictions. You also need to do careful analysis for suitability of the site to see what your actual production from them might be. I'm not knocking them at all; but I think they're much harder to justify smaller wind systems for many people, than it is for smaller PV systems.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 6:55AM
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Grid-tied, and grid-tied with batteries are, of course, two different types of systems. Being grid-tied with batteries does indeed give you the best of both worlds, but at a cost. Some of us don't have the $$$ required for a substantial system, and choose to start off small, and therefore off-grid. That doesn't make us insane! And, we too are helping the environment to the extent we can. However, you do make a good point in saying that you'll extend the life of your batteries by using them as you do. I hope to have a system like yours eventually.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 5:12PM
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