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Old 04-10-2010, 01:21 PM
 
1,278 posts, read 1,057,774 times
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Solar electric panels, there is degradation in silicon, but it is relatively stable. Most panel manufacturers are now offering warranties that have them producing 80% of the name plate rating in 25 years! That means that in 25 years from now, a 100 watt panel will still be producing 80 watts of power at worst! That is a .8% degradation per year WORST CASE! Would you warranty a best case scenario?

Literature Downloads | Solar Panel Efficiency | Solar | SHARP

Some people have seen very little to no degradation, probably because of the way they measure performance, they argue infinite life... I see a degradation around .25% per year. I do not know if this degradation will be linear for the time period stated, we know that crystalline cell degradation is caused by UV causing oxygen contamination in the cell (Oxidation). (Reference below.)

http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy02osti/31455.pdf

The 30 year life cycle you see stems from a systems leasing financial business model. Called a PPA, the financial arrangement is based on 30 years of energy production, a safe investment since warranties are for 25 years, and the energy output can be predicted.
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:14 AM
 
39,171 posts, read 40,553,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Werone View Post
You would not want to heat your home with solar electricity,
Yes I realize that, I figured it out just on a whim. Obviously there is better systems such as geo thermal, unfortunately for geothermal you need a lot of space so it's not an option for many people. We're getting ready to build a new house and will have the room for geo thermal system and are seriously looking at it. We'll still have coal as back up though.
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:32 AM
 
29,988 posts, read 37,087,068 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
Yes I realize that, I figured it out just on a whim. Obviously there is better systems such as geo thermal, unfortunately for geothermal you need a lot of space so it's not an option for many people. We're getting ready to build a new house and will have the room for geo thermal system and are seriously looking at it. We'll still have coal as back up though.
Geothermal does not necessarily require alot of space. When mine was installed I had the choice of lateral lines for the coils or a vertical "well-like" installation. I had the room so opted for lateral because it too about $1K off the installation. However, if you live in an area where the likelihood of hitting rock is uncommon, you might take another look and opt for vertical installation.

The federal government is giving a 30% tax credit incentive for geothermal which was frankly another deciding factor for me.

Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency : ENERGY STAR

Oh, this winter my electric geothermal units (Carrier) cost 2/3rds less to operate than an older inefficient propane forced gas furnace this winter. I'll be interest to see how it does for AC this summer. Of course significant insulation was added to the house walls & attice so that made a positive impact as well. It was however one of the coldest winters in a very long time (snow on the ground nearly continuously from Christmas to March 1st).

If you will be seeking mortgage for your new construction it may be worth the effort to check into "energy star" construction or one of the energy efficiency mortgages.

What is an Energy Efficient Mortgage? : ENERGY STAR

New Homes : ENERGY STAR

Good luck with your new home project!

Last edited by lifelongMOgal; 04-11-2010 at 10:43 AM..
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Old 04-11-2010, 02:51 PM
 
39,171 posts, read 40,553,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifelongMOgal View Post
If you will be seeking mortgage for your new construction it may be worth the effort to check into "energy star" construction or one of the energy efficiency mortgages.
Old house burned due to electric fire, this picture was taken after fire. It was demolished about 1 week ago as it was complete loss and unfixable. The major part of the fire was in the back which you can't see. Fortunately fully insured and paid in full about 60 years ago when my Grandparents first purchased it so it won't be mortgage.





Quote:
Geothermal does not necessarily require alot of space. When mine was installed I had the choice of lateral lines for the coils or a vertical "well-like" installation.
As you can see no room for it here, average lot in this area is probably 100 by 75 feet. When I said you need room I meant you need a home at least in semi rural setting.

FYI this house was heated with coal, nearly 4000 square foot excluding the attic and basement. $1500 a year including domestic hot water and a "comfortable" cellar. I've often commented how close the other houses were and how suitable anthracite is in a close urban environment. As you can see the housing here is very close. Actually a very good choice environmentally compared to electric or oil heat.

Last edited by thecoalman; 04-11-2010 at 03:02 PM..
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Old 04-11-2010, 04:51 PM
 
29,988 posts, read 37,087,068 times
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Sorry for your fire loss. Bummer. Nothing like having full replacement insurance when a house fire happens!

I see it is a small lot but there seems to be a little room in front and in back yards for the vertical drilling needed for geothermal. I know it is being done in other cities like the one I am leaving soon. Similar lot sizes too.

The farm home I had converted to geothermal this past winter had run the gambit furnace energy sources since built by my grandfather in late 1930's. Originally a coal burner, then oil, converted to propane during the 1970's energy crisis, and now electric geothermal.
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Old 04-11-2010, 05:14 PM
 
8,415 posts, read 35,212,326 times
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I think piezoelectricity is something people don't talk enough about as far as energy goes.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/24/wo...pagewanted=all


YouTube - Informative Speech: "Piezoelectricity"

Its pretty awesome.

Nokia patents ‘Piezoelectric Kinetic Energy Harvester,’ or a self-charging phone | EMOIZ.COM

"Strips of piezoelectric crystals sit at the end of each rail and generate a current when compressed by the frame. So as the user walks, or otherwise moves the phone, the motion generates electricity. This charges a capacitor which in turn trickles charge into the battery, keeping it topped up."
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Minnysoda
8,574 posts, read 8,490,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chi-town Native View Post
I really don't think anyone thinks that current power plants are going to be torn down (with a few exceptions, here in Chicago we have some of the dirtiest plants on earth that were grandfathered-in and apparently have no scrubbers, etc).

But energy usage keeps growing, so as fossil fuel plants get old and need to be replaced yes, the bulk of this new growth is going to have to be with renewables.

There's long range as in 20 -40 years, and then there's long range as in 200 - 400 years +.

Here in IL (and I believe in most states) we have a mandate in our constitution which now states that we have to have 25% of our energy from renewables by 2025. That's just the beginning.

You do know the Ill has a huge investment in coal? Includeing some of the newest coal plants to go online in the US?
http://www.commerce.state.il.us/NR/r...nualReport.pdf
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Nort Seid
5,288 posts, read 7,585,307 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifelongMOgal View Post
I see it is a small lot but there seems to be a little room in front and in back yards for the vertical drilling needed for geothermal. I know it is being done in other cities like the one I am leaving soon. Similar lot sizes too.
I was also skeptical of geothermal for smaller lots, but I met a fellow who worked for a geothermal company who explained that drilling techniques have indeed improved to the point that they can install systems in tight areas, as they literally go down 200+ feet for the pipes.

for my54ford:

Illinois will clearly be relying on coal and nuclear for quite some time. It's still smart to plan further out.
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:25 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,368 posts, read 39,687,035 times
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Why not use 'annualized solar gain' (storing summer heat for winter use) with your 'ground source heat pump' (I.e., some call this 'geo-thermal', which makes little sense to me, ... Real geothermal = "Hot Springs" to me... ex -Wy dweller).

I'm fully electric w/ solar gain (minimal w/ 285 days / yr of rain) + some wood backup. $70 / month elect for over 3500sf in a HIGH wind area (80 mph).

I feel fairly 'responsible' getting 50 mpg in my $35.00 VW Diesel
"50 mpg since 1976, Where have you been? No dinosaurs or OPEC required"

One friend uses his 'waste grease burning' genset 4 hrs / day to heat floors, and feed power back to grid. He gets a check every month from utility rather than a bill. Unfortunately most of our (USA) waste veggie oil has to go to China and be shipped back as Lipstick and cosmetics, we are on the wrong end of the value chain in this process...

Distributed power with community owned wind / nuke / bio-mass / micro hydro is my vision. I HATE that most our newer renewable power is owned by foreign entities, this is very BAD for long term economic stability.
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:45 PM
 
1,278 posts, read 1,057,774 times
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[quote=StealthRabbit;13710741]Why not use 'annualized solar gain' (storing summer heat for winter use) with your 'ground source heat pump' (I.e., some call this 'geo-thermal', which makes little sense to me, ... Real geothermal = "Hot Springs" to me... ex -Wy dweller).
quote]


Geothermal in this sense means the earth is a source or sink of energy. With a Geothermal loop, you can run water in a loop either deep in the ground or horizontally. You can then use a heat pump that can cool a house by "Dumping" heat into the earth or heat a house by "Sourcing" heat from the earth. (68 degrees has plenty of heat in the heat pump world.) The water in the ground loop always return to the heat exchanger in the heat pump at the same temperature, say 68 degrees, and engineers can design the heat pump with a high efficiency since they don't have to worry about ambient temperatures (Normally a heat pump would dump/source heat from the air) having a wide range.... The mechanical gain (From the refrigeration cycle) is that you source/dump heat usually 4-5 times for each unit of electrical power you put in.....
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