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Old 01-25-2007, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach. VA
12 posts, read 47,488 times
Reputation: 12

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My hubby just brought it to my attention, and I thought it an interesting topic....

Here in VA is The Citizen REnU program
http://renu.citizenre.com/index.php
Just thinking what others think? If cost effective, who might have already...

Thanks for any infor & thoughts....


Gerry
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Old 01-25-2007, 09:32 PM
 
279 posts, read 1,736,162 times
Reputation: 218
My friend got solar panel here in CA. And I didn't think it was that great of a deal. They were $10,000 and they say if you finance the payment is about what your ele. bill would have been anyway. And you still have to be hooked up to Edison. Some places I heard will buy your electricity from you, but here in CA the most you can do is break even at the end of the year. That's just cost wise, the use of them for the planet and all that stuff,great more power to you. (No pun intended)
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Old 01-25-2007, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Marion, IN
8,191 posts, read 28,496,481 times
Reputation: 7148
I would love to have a solar home. It is more cost effective to have it done during the construction phase rather than trying to retro fit your house.
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Old 01-25-2007, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Heartland Florida
9,324 posts, read 24,120,281 times
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I experimented with solar, it's expensive, energy intensive to manufacture, and deterriorates over time. Batteries are environmentally unfriendly and costly to replace. The current technology does not make sense, we need to come up with something as efficient as plant life, then we will have something to look forward to!

I prefer to use bio-energy and an engine which can produce heat, refrigeration and electricity from waste materials. Wind can be good too, but solar is just not ready for prime time.
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Old 01-26-2007, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
13,121 posts, read 29,455,603 times
Reputation: 6740
Many years ago (during the Reagan era) we installed three solar panels on the roof that heated our water for inside and outside (heated pool/hot tub). In this regard, it worked wonderfully, but in this application it was really limited to direct heat transfer (not power generation). Right now, this would probably be an economical use of solar power, but no one wants the ugly things on their roof
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Old 01-26-2007, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Near Charlotte, NC
405 posts, read 1,157,836 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trainwreck20 View Post
Many years ago (during the Reagan era) we installed three solar panels on the roof that heated our water for inside and outside (heated pool/hot tub). In this regard, it worked wonderfully, but in this application it was really limited to direct heat transfer (not power generation). Right now, this would probably be an economical use of solar power, but no one wants the ugly things on their roof
My father did the same thing during that time. He was a general contractor, so he built the panels himself. He used copper tubing laid on top of tar paper, with a plexiglass cover. It worked very well for heating the pool.
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Old 01-26-2007, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,765 posts, read 68,446,748 times
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Are there any "insiders" out there would could possibly "shed some light" (pun intended) on the possibility of technological advances in solar panels in the upcoming years? As many on the PA forum know, I wish to raise my family in one of Scranton's stately Hill Section Victorians. However, I've heard that these 100+ year-old homes are quite drafty and energy-inefficient, which would likely lead to an astronomical heating bill using natural gas or oil, which is commonplace in NEPA. I'd love to utilize solar energy in the future, but the dicey cost-benefit analysis, along with the possibility of the panels not assimilating well with the historic character of the neighborhood are both issues for me. I'd only consider installing solar panels if upgrades are released that make them more cost-effective as well as aesthetically-compliant with older architecture. What do others think? Yea or Nay on the possibility of solar panels on a Victorian home that would receive plentiful sunlight from its hillside location?
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Old 01-26-2007, 01:47 PM
 
112 posts, read 735,151 times
Reputation: 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chench53 View Post
My hubby just brought it to my attention, and I thought it an interesting topic....

Here in VA is The Citizen REnU program
http://renu.citizenre.com/index.php
Just thinking what others think? If cost effective, who might have already...

Thanks for any infor & thoughts....

Gerry
Thank you for bringing the Citizen Renu website to our attn. I took a look and it's absolutely fascinating. I'm also in Virginia and would seriously consider one of these arrangements. If you have the time and inclination, please post more about your thoughts on this.

On the down side, I know its a fact that due to pollution and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, there are fewer clear and sunny days in N America than just a couple of decades ago. This has to have negative implications on solar energy practicality.
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Old 01-26-2007, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Tucson AZ & Leipzig, Germany
2,678 posts, read 7,978,684 times
Reputation: 4467
Solar energy can be used in several ways by homeowners to reduce fossil fuel use. The solar roof panels to produce electricity are the most obvious. As several others mentioned, the long payback on these to recover the upfront installation costs still keeps them from "critical mass" adoption by lots and lots of people. If there were a simple to install solar power kit for less than about $2K along with a few energy bill rebates or tax incentives, these things would start flying out of Home Depot or Lowes.
The easiest way to take advantage of solar energy is the home design. A passive solar design for a new build home is simply one that aligns the "long side" of the house facing directly south with a large percentage of window area facing direct south also. A large roof overhang can provide shade in mid summer to prevent those south facing windows from overheating the home. A home designed with passive solar features doesn't have to cost more than any other traditional home design. One other thing that goes along with passive solar design is to avoid home designs that are far larger than needed for a basic comfortable home. Excessively large homes are that much harder to heat and cool and all the energy that one might save with electric solar panels would be gobbled back up in a giant McMansion.
Last, solar energy can be used to heat water for domestic use. A simple passive batch solar heater on the intake side of a water heater can reduce the amount of gas or electricity needed to heat water for the home. During the warm months a batch solar heater can provide almost all of a homes hot water needs, and a passive batch solar water heater can be fairly cheap compared to other complicated solar water heat systems. A batch solar water pre-heater can cost less than $1K.
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Old 01-28-2007, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Virginia Beach. VA
12 posts, read 47,488 times
Reputation: 12
Thanks all for the replies.
Quote:
Originally Posted by theburro View Post
Thank you for bringing the Citizen Renu website to our attn. I took a look and it's absolutely fascinating. I'm also in Virginia and would seriously consider one of these arrangements. If you have the time and inclination, please post more about your thoughts on this....
I am only starting to look at it a bit. My husband and I are planning a house move next year, dont' know if to an existing home, or perhaps building, and if we build we're also looking at more energy efficient homes as suggested by others here, one being round homes. (see the ROUND HOMES thread here:
http://www.city-data.com/forum/other...ht=round+homes

I guess a lot needs to be considered, especially how long you'd be in the home, for it to be cost efficient in addition to being energy & environmentally efficient/beneficial.

Gerry

PS How do you make an active link that's clickable? I tried
how to make clickable (broken link) (and leave out extra spaces)
but that doesn't seem to work here....
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