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miketrupower 05-27-2009 03:34 PM

Solar systems
is anybody installing any solar power? do you think it's worth the money?

Speedy Petey 05-27-2009 04:27 PM


Originally Posted by miketrupower (Post 279365)
is anybody installing any solar power? do you think it's worth the money?

Why not start a new thread with this? It is completely unrelated to the original post.

Termite 05-27-2009 10:45 PM

I moved your post from the thread it was hijacking and started you a new thread here in the appropriate forum. :thumbup:

Scuba_Dave 05-28-2009 01:32 PM

This may depend upon how long you are staying in the house
It is much easier to REDUCE power usage then to produce power
Depending upon your area its also mush easier to produce solar heat then solar electric power
I built a 7x10 greenhouse 6' tall & it wa sheating up to 110 on a suung 55 degree day. Making a smaller enclosure I can heat water for house use, Sunny winter days possibly enough to provide some heat for the house

Payoff on voltaic system can be 10+ years depending upon state & local incentives

Yoyizit 07-01-2009 11:19 AM


Originally Posted by miketrupower (Post 279365)
do you think it's worth the money?

First, check your insolation

Scuba_Dave 07-01-2009 12:15 PM


Originally Posted by mboxwell (Post 295656)
Quite frankly, the environmental benefits of building solar into a grid-connected home is questionable as well, as you're generating electricity at a time when the grid has more than enough electricity available.

Say WHAT??
Peak usage occurs during the middle of the day
Not the middle of the night
If enough solar/wind systems are installed then we won't need more coal & nuclear power plants

Ever hear of CA brown outs?

Clutchcargo 07-01-2009 12:51 PM

63 Attachment(s)
I love the idea of solar and wind but there's still too much oil left in the world for alternative energy to become main stream.
Once the world starts running out of oil and prices start to escalate based on real diminishing supply (as opposed to Opec constraints), then alternative energy will become more of a reality. Most people are self-declared green only when it's more expensive to be otherwise.
For me, it doesn’t make financial sense. If I installed PV panels, it would be for the next home owner because the ROI is 10-12 years. As ScubaDave said, it’s easier and cheaper to reduce consumption.
Now, if we can just figure out how to control the weather. My building schedule is shot this year because of all the crap weather we've been getting.

Scuba_Dave 07-01-2009 01:42 PM

Yeah, I'm still trying to get my roof on :(
Should be good Fri-Sun
So I am hoping to have 20' completed out of 30'
We do plan on buying a solar PV system as we do not plan on moving
But 1st I am doing the far less expensive fixes
Solar hot water & heating will come 1st

Scuba_Dave 07-01-2009 04:20 PM

Actually it seems to vary across the US
Depending upon the time of year & if you are in heating or AC area
Summer is the biggest with AC use
Many areas receive warnings not to use the AC or to turn the Temp up on the AC so it will not work as hard
Highest use seems to be between 1p-7p (usually starting at 2-3p)
All homes are going + business still open
My pool pump runs during the day + solar water heater for pool
Some utitilies have computer generated data which will tell you peak times of use for your house
My utility does not

In the summer we have daylight pretty much until 7-8p most of the time
I'm pretty sure its the very low point of PV output at that time

I could supply most of my power by solar & wind
As could the vast majority of people
Are you saying other factors besides power stations contribute more CO2?
I think reducing power draw by 50-75% would have a huge effect on current plants
And eleiminate the need for more plants
Costa Rica has 80%+ of their power from wind

Yoyizit 07-01-2009 04:27 PM


Originally Posted by mboxwell (Post 295784)
an awful program on the telly called Eastenders

The entire repetitive theme is on YouTube, but the whistling at the end is pretty good.

Sunlight puts 1 kw per square meter on the earth, so this should be plenty enough energy.

CNM Design 07-07-2009 04:20 PM

This will be the way to go, long before solar. If you can get one to run on NG.

Yoyizit 07-08-2009 08:05 AM


Originally Posted by mboxwell (Post 298862)
When solar panels are available for less than $1 a watt (and trade price is not far from that already for some amorphous panels) we're going to see a huge takeup of solar for these sorts of applications.

If the avg. US elec bill/yr = $1000 give or take and the avg. US elec used/yr = 8000 kwh give or take this thing pays for itself in one year.
Where do we all sign up?
One problem may be that the peak usage = 20x to 50x the average, for a single house.

Scuba_Dave 07-08-2009 10:42 AM


Originally Posted by mboxwell (Post 298862)
My personal belief is that the future of solar is not for powering big homes in California or the like - I suspect that this will never be a cost effective solution at any time in the future

Yes, there is an unlimited supply of coal, wood & oil in/on the Earth :whistling2:

Once the Earth is sucked dry of resources there really won't be an alternative
The problem will be if the resources are sucked dry before enough solar, wind, water & tidal power are out in place

Mr Chips 08-09-2009 01:59 PM


Originally Posted by mboxwell (Post 295656)
Let's assume you have a shed at the bottom of the garden and you'd like to fit a security alarm and some lighting. The cost of running a power cable down the garden is likely to cost you $100 by the time you've included circuit breakers, fittings and so on. A solar electric system is likely to cost you a similar amount, and of course you're keeping away from high voltage electricity, which makes it simpler and easier to install.

i am doing this exact thing, and I think you have GREATLY under-estimated the cost of running AC electric to a shed. For my application, as in your example, going solar will show an immediate return on investment. The downside is I won't be able to run an aircompressor, or a beer fridge out there, but I will have lights inside and out, and i'll be able to keep a charger for my cordless tools out there as well. i have a charger that plugs into a 12vdc cig lighter, and am going to use 12v LED lighting, so i don't even need an inverter

Scuba_Dave 08-09-2009 02:48 PM

A breaker is $6, a roll of 250' 12-2 is $50, 12-3 for 2 circuits might be $75
Boxes are .30 each, outlets $2 each
So you could run (2) 20a circuits for under $100
Burying it will cost maybe another $20 depending upon distance

I have a small dorm fridge out by the pool that runs in the summer
An older 18 cu ft fridge is turned on for parties
Plus multiple fans + lights
The problem with solar is storage for night-time use
With grid tie its not a problem, but only having solar in a shed really limits your use

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