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Old 07-14-2007, 07:37 PM   #1
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solar powered electricity

Which is more affordable, solar panels or wind turbines?


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Old 07-14-2007, 08:46 PM   #2
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Where are you and how much wind and sun do you have?

Some areas do not have enough sun, while others may not have enough wind, so there may be no choice on your alternate energy source.

Solar powered equipment and wind powered equipment sellers can tell you about the viabilty based on weather records.

Can you build a tower where you are? Some areas only allow solar collectors on a "non-street" side.

Wind can be a 24 hour possibility and you may be able to sell power back to your utility.


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Old 07-15-2007, 08:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by specialk View Post
Which is more affordable, solar panels or wind turbines?
'Affordability' is a very subjective thing. Payback should be looked at instead of installation cost.

The payback time for solar electrical generation is longer than wind driven generation.

See; This article

However, if you search for payback periods for either technology you'll find the estimates to be all over the place. But the general consensus is; Solar is more expensive in terms of payback, not to mention some solar system components do have a 'lifetime'; i.e. storage batteries and the solar cells themselves.

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Old 07-15-2007, 08:53 AM   #4
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You can't forget about maintenence as well. I would imagine that a turbine would require a lot more maintenence than solar panels. That would add time to your ROI.
Do you have a lot of wind in your area. If I were to put turbines up in my backyard, not only would my neighbors think I'm crazy (and they would be right) but it would probably only work a few times a year. In Seattle, they don't have as many sunny days so maybe wind would work better.
So which is more affordable is dependant on you location.
I tear things down and build them up.
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