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Old 11-03-2015, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Vermont
5,439 posts, read 14,754,391 times
Reputation: 2629

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Your experience is going to vary very much between locations.

Here is roughly what it is for me.

Initial cost: about $14420 after federal 30% rebate (no state govt incentives)

I create 6609 KWH a year. PoCo gives me a 34% incentive for 10 years = 8857 KWH per year. The value of 8857 KWH per year to me is about $0.175 . $1550 per year

$14420 initial / $1550 savings = 9.30 year payback

After that I will save ~$1156 a year on my utility bill (6609 * .175) . Assuming the panels last 10 more years, I'll save $11560 total.

It's not a bad investment but I'm waiting for some more efficient panels I think.

I believe sometime in the near future, newer panels will easily overtake the existing panels over a 20 year period.
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Old 11-03-2015, 03:59 PM
 
9,292 posts, read 6,208,647 times
Reputation: 17497
Quote:
Originally Posted by murph1982 View Post
I have a obvious question, why doesn't everyone have solar electricity? There are so many advantages but obviously it has to be the initial cost start up which makes it difficult to purchase the system.
Because I don't want it. I won't live long enough to recoup any investment

Egg on my face, I'm not very green anyway
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
8,682 posts, read 7,652,489 times
Reputation: 14849
1. Solar equipment and the money is saves is more expensive and not as reliable as buying it. Remember, there's no solar power at night, and not much on cloudy days.
2. In places like Texas, the AC runs all night in summer. Solar is not going to work for that. It may not even supply the power you need to power AC in the middle of the day in summer.
3. Days are very short in winter in the north, and you might go a few weeks and not see the sun. Solar is not going to work in those conditions.
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Old 11-04-2015, 05:46 AM
 
Location: DC
6,510 posts, read 6,436,022 times
Reputation: 3112
Quote:
Originally Posted by augiedogie View Post
1. Solar equipment and the money is saves is more expensive and not as reliable as buying it. Remember, there's no solar power at night, and not much on cloudy days.
2. In places like Texas, the AC runs all night in summer. Solar is not going to work for that. It may not even supply the power you need to power AC in the middle of the day in summer.
3. Days are very short in winter in the north, and you might go a few weeks and not see the sun. Solar is not going to work in those conditions.
One wants a portfolio of renewable resources, not solar alone. Wind blows mainly at night so wind and solar compliment each other nicely. I'm not sure whether you noticed but there is so much hot air in Texas that the wind resource is enormous.
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Old 11-04-2015, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,648 posts, read 49,325,799 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by augiedogie View Post
1. Solar equipment and the money is saves is more expensive and not as reliable as buying it. Remember, there's no solar power at night, and not much on cloudy days.
I agree that buying power from the gird is a lower priced form of electricity.

Photo-Voltaic panels only produce power in sunlight.

But to say they are not reliable, that is where I must disagree.

Obviously solar-power MUST be combined with a battery-bank, to provide you power at night and on dark days.

The only bad part is when you have 3 or 4 dark days in a row, without a chance for the battery-bank to re-charge. That is a rather rare occurrence, and when it is happening it still gives you options. If it is a dark dark I can shut-off my chest freezers and reduce my energy consumption, to milk-out what power I do have. To make it through those dark days.

Which is completely different from the alternative. When the grid goes down you have nothing. Period. No options. On the average month, say your town's grid goes down twice. Once it goes down for 2 hours, and the second time it goes down for 15 hours. You can not predict when it will go down, the only thing you consistently now is that is will go down. Also you can not predict when your grid will come back up. Will it come on in the next hour? Or will this be a 5 day outage? You have no way to know.

With solar-power it is predictable. If the weather report says that I am not going to have clear sunny skies for 2 days, then I can take measures now to reduce my power consumption and milk-out out for those 2 days. Which makes solar-power totally reliable in comparison to grid power.

Solar-power is far more reliable then the grid is.



Quote:
... 2. In places like Texas, the AC runs all night in summer. Solar is not going to work for that. It may not even supply the power you need to power AC in the middle of the day in summer.
I do not have A/C. I chose to settle far away from droughts.

But if you wanted to have A/C in a solar-powered house you could have it.



Quote:
... 3. Days are very short in winter in the north, and you might go a few weeks and not see the sun. Solar is not going to work in those conditions.
We have many homes in my regions that are off-grid. It works for us.
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Old 11-04-2015, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Montgomery County, PA
14,583 posts, read 9,649,620 times
Reputation: 12119
[quote=Nonesuch;41791433
Solar shingles exist, but historically they've been less efficient, less durable, and more expensive than panels, and are almost never the best option for retrofitting onto an existing roof.

When designing a new house where it can be sited so the roof has the perfect angle for the sun, and where aesthetics are important, solar shingles are popular.[/QUOTE]

This all proves that after almost 40 years solar isn’t ready for prime time. Building a roof with a “perfect angle”? This is not the real world. In the real world you buy a parcel of land of irregular shape and build your house facing what the lay of the land allows. I am particularly disappointed at the advance of the technology. It seems to be stuck no matter how much money is poured in it. If other industries were on the same pace as solar we’d be still driving Ford Zephyrs and carrying brick phones.
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Old 11-04-2015, 10:09 AM
 
Location: DC
6,510 posts, read 6,436,022 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyRider View Post
This all proves that after almost 40 years solar isn’t ready for prime time. Building a roof with a “perfect angle”? This is not the real world. In the real world you buy a parcel of land of irregular shape and build your house facing what the lay of the land allows. I am particularly disappointed at the advance of the technology. It seems to be stuck no matter how much money is poured in it. If other industries were on the same pace as solar we’d be still driving Ford Zephyrs and carrying brick phones.
Solar is "stuck"? What would be a high growth industry then?

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Old 11-04-2015, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Montgomery County, PA
14,583 posts, read 9,649,620 times
Reputation: 12119
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
Solar is "stuck"? What would be a high growth industry then?
I am talking residential. I see hundreds of new homes going up, countless developments here and there but do not see any sign of solar power of any kind. I am sure there are plenty of big solar farms but as far as residential installation we are stuck in the 70s. In fact, I used to see them more back then.
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Old 11-04-2015, 01:47 PM
 
Location: DC
6,510 posts, read 6,436,022 times
Reputation: 3112
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyRider View Post
I am talking residential. I see hundreds of new homes going up, countless developments here and there but do not see any sign of solar power of any kind. I am sure there are plenty of big solar farms but as far as residential installation we are stuck in the 70s. In fact, I used to see them more back then.
If you don't see it, it must not be happening. Yeah that's logical.
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Old 11-04-2015, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
2,202 posts, read 1,419,531 times
Reputation: 1363
We have two 15' x20' with a one ton base for each at our rental green home plus a 4x6' on the roof for hot water. Our utilities and Cable ate included. Solar is expensive and takes years to get cost recovery. The landlords built this place for 800 k plus four acres inherited. The Solar panels were 40k.
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