Cost of power connection over long distance

Discussion in 'Electronics & Electrics' started by andrew_bg, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. andrew_bg

    andrew_bg Member

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    Hi all,

    I have a question for the sparkies of the group.
    I know that i cant get accurate answers without a plethora of data, but I am not after a quote, just a ballpark figure.

    I am interested in a bush property in Collinsvale Tasmania, but it doesnt have grid power connected.
    I am not sure of the closest power, however the agent says that it is 'Close' rofl, but i think that my interpretation and his is very different.

    If I got straight line to the nearest property I get about 700m, or if I go along the access road I get about 1300m.

    Aurora Energy need to know the pole number of the closest pole before they can give a ballpark, but my question is, ballpark numbers, what is the accepted costs involved in a 1300m power delivery?

    I can only assume that it would be pole mounted power, and I guess that all things equal there might be a transformer involved in there somewhere.

    My gut feel is somewhere between $30k - $50k, is that fair?

    i am thinking that if that is the case then it would really make sense to go PV Solar and Wind and off grid system with batteries, which, again, my ballpark back of the coaster says $25k - $30k.

    We will be building as an energy efficient house as possible, and if we do go off grid it would be exclusively as energy efficient lighting as possible, maybe even 12v throughout.

    We will go with gas most likely for heating and cooking and solar hot water with gas backup.
    Cooling wont be involved necessarily, but maybe later on.
    I would be looking to utilize any excess energy production in either / both water heating or pumping water so that I can get the absolute most bang for buck out of what we generate.
    Use a tank much higher than the house for water pressure so that it wouldnt be necessary to run a pressure pump all the time.

    Am I smoking something or can anyone confirm my thoughts?

    cheers
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2009
  2. Dezza Bot

    Dezza Bot Member

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    If you need one pole put in then solar should be considered a serious alternative if your power requirements are low. If you need two power poles then I wouldn't even bother connecting to the grid. If it's 700m as the crow flies, that's going to be more than two poles. My reasoning around this is based on some very old quotes, so I'd get em out to do a real quote.
     
  3. andrew_bg

    andrew_bg Member

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    Thanks for that, that was pretty much what I was thinking.
    The 700m run would be practically impossible though as it would have to go through rugged uncleared bush that someone else owns. :pirate:

    Either way it will be expensive, however the 35 acres that I am looking at is listed as $80k when another block that is 50 acres <1km away with a similar outlook is $295k.

    Granted one is cleared and the other is 100% bush, but it is quite a saving.

    cheers

    Andrew
     
  4. HeXa

    HeXa Member

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    afaik there is a recommended distance because lines on poles too far apart in rural areas get pulled down by harvesters and the like. Everything looks different to when I was a kid.. but iirc, about 70-100m apart.

    EDIT: oh... and iirc :)p) you could have private power poles as well if you wanted to save some $$$s on install
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2009
  5. Symon

    Symon (Plugging your Socket)

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    Just go and get a quote from Auroa. There are soooo many variables it is impossible to give you even a ball park figure. A friend of mine up here in QLD got a 1000m SWER line put in for about $10k, but his situation is probably totally different to yours.
     
  6. Odje

    Odje Member

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    Just out of curiosity, did the SWER line have transformers at each end? If so, what voltage was the transmission at?
     
  7. Symon

    Symon (Plugging your Socket)

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    All the SWER systems I've dealt with are just one phase off a 33kV line, so they run at about 19kV, which means you'll only have a transformer at the consumers end, which will give you 240/480V supply.
     
  8. andrew_bg

    andrew_bg Member

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    I would if I could, but at this point I cant. :paranoid:

    I am in Sydney, the land is in Tasmania, and I would need to find out pole numbers, which I have no idea what is the closest.

    What I am trying to do is figure out if it is worth buying the block.
    ie does the cost of adding power to it make it still substantially cheaper than what else is around.
     
  9. bergerac

    bergerac Member

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    Get the agent to get the pole number for you, make them earn their money dammit!
     
  10. andrew_bg

    andrew_bg Member

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    That is a nice thought.
     
  11. andrew_bg

    andrew_bg Member

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    OK to answer my own question in case it helps others :D

    I got the quote for the grid connection and it was pretty much what I expected.

    $34,000 for 1.5km run on poles next to access road
    $15,000 if this isnt dead flat
    $25,000 if there needs to be any tree removal
    $74,000 total (as all these things were present)

    $74,000 for the 600m run due to it being heavily treed and rough terrain.

    So there you go, that is what it costs.

    FWIW I will be going with an off-grid solar/wind system that will cost approx $90,000 but considering the above quote I am eligible for the 50% discount so it will be about $45,000 out of pocket.

    Not too bad considering the grid quote and I wont ever have a power bill again
     
  12. mhgarage

    mhgarage Member

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    Can I ask what stuff you will have? I.e. how many wind generators of what rating, how many kW of solar etc, what battery bank?
     
  13. andrew_bg

    andrew_bg Member

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    I dont know the exact specifics yet, will post them when I have them, but that is basically 32 solar panels, 24 batteries and 1x 600w wind turbine.

    That setup was rated something like about 17kWh a day usage with 5 days buffer to 50% battery usage.
     
  14. mhgarage

    mhgarage Member

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    Thanks - please let us know. I for one am v interested
     
  15. Odje

    Odje Member

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    Not quite. You will have to replace your batteries every few years (depending on usage). And batteries are not cheap.
     
  16. andrew_bg

    andrew_bg Member

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    A battery just doesnt suddenly stop functioning, it just doesnt take as much charge or takes less to discharge.
    The batteries will last somewhere from 10-20 years depending on the type and nearly all have 5 year warranty.

    I am not worried about their replacement as in 5 years they will be half the price.
     
  17. dakiller

    dakiller (Oscillating & Impeding)

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    You got a time machine then? Wanna go check out what the lotto numbers are also going to be, PM me ;)

    The price of lead will go up and so will the price of the batteries it goes in, so unless there is a massive new technological breakthrough in energy storage that can do it for much cheaper, I don't see how it can really go down much at all
     
  18. andrew_bg

    andrew_bg Member

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    So batteries are made from lead still?

    edit: well most of the solar storage ones are, but look at electric car technology, they dont use lead.
    besides, lead is easily recyclable.

    BTW, it isnt the cost of the materials that make batteries expensive, but you know that right?

    rofl, 2v 3500 amp hour battery, $3,550 :-O
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  19. LINUX

    LINUX Member

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    Well, do the "back of an envelope" calculation:

    Assuming ~$200/quarter for grid connect electricity, over 10 years that would cost $8000. After 10 years I would guestimate that a "5 days standby" system would still have 2-3days standby in it, depending on how over-engineered the solar/wind collection is this could be perfectly adequate.

    I don't know of any reasonably priced suppliers of deep cycle batteries, so I'll take the price of $109 for a 12V 26AH battery from Jaycar, obviously this would be hideously overpriced. The price drops to $86.95 for 12+.

    With $8000 you could buy 92 of these batteries. A capacity of 12V 2392AH, or 24V 1196AH. Or, 103MJ.

    17kWh is 61.2MJ, so at 17kWh/day you'll run out of power halfway through the 2nd day.

    So it looks like the power savings don't pay for the batteries by a factor
    of 5.

    This seems a bit weird though, as 92 of those batteries would be pretty chunky, does the original quote actually imply that you can draw 17kWh/day for 5 days with zero sun or wind input? Obviously even on an overcast day there will be some input from the panels, it just won't be all that much.

    Anyway, hopefully these calculations give you a rough idea of what's possible with the system you're looking at.
     
  20. Fred Nurk

    Fred Nurk Member

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    The best battery for such an installation is still lead acid, whether it be the older style 'wet' cell or newer gel types.

    They're still large, require significant storage space for an decent sort of energy storage capacity, require periodic maintenance, can be a corrosion hazard as well as a potential source of explosive gases and aren't that cheap for the capacity you'd be looking at.

    Grid connect instead of off grid still makes so much more sense if you have the option, though in your case its likely to get very expensive either way.
     

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