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Old 08-30-2007, 07:57 PM
Location: Texas
8,062 posts, read 13,716,245 times
Reputation: 3601


I live in a mobile home and I think solar is do-able. I've read about a whole mobile home community using solar power and would LOVE to convert my home. I'm looking into wind, too, since we have big wind farms near us in Abilene but buying electricity from providers who use the wind power supply is EXPENSIVE!

I never thought about hail damage, though -- good point!
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:08 PM
Location: Buffalo, Wyoming
264 posts, read 863,229 times
Reputation: 105
Another thing to think about is a geothermal exchange system, also known as a geothermal heat pump or a geoexchange system. Use the natural cooling/heating of the earth to transfer the warm/cold air of your house - very similar to the way your refrigerator works. Very interesting stuff...check it out: Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium, Inc. (broken link)
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:53 PM
17,176 posts, read 35,474,621 times
Reputation: 7022
geothermal is expensive investment and would take long term to make it pay out--for someone in mobil home best bet would be super insulation on top and bottom--put a separate roof over the home to shield it from the sun and use foam insulation underneath and maybe even add sheathing/siding to exterior...
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Old 08-31-2007, 05:54 PM
Location: Texas
8,062 posts, read 13,716,245 times
Reputation: 3601
My mobile home is tight, no drafts or gaps. I have a pitched shingle roof and an attic fan system. I installed tinted film on the windows and, of course, added more weather stripping around the doors and sealant foam around the windows. I can't really complain about losing heat or cooling.

BUT central air uses a lot of electricity just to start up! I've got a good system -- Trane -- but it's the nature of the beast. In searching the Net, I found a solar powered AC system! Wow, that would do the trick! It's a few thousand dollars but I think it would be a really smart purchase that would pay for itself in no time. So, I'm going to save up for it!

From the articles I've read, most companies recommend doing solar a bit at a time, a gradual conversion. This makes it versatile and you can just do what you need. That makes sense.

I've replaced my light bulbs with the energy-efficient ones and I installed an outdoor clothes dryer which is really neat! Plus, I bought an Energy Star front loading washing machine which is very efficient. In those glorious months when I don't need central air, my electricity consumption is quite low. So, solar-powered air conditioning and then maybe a 600 watt solar system would be a big help.
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Old 09-03-2007, 04:22 AM
79 posts, read 295,102 times
Reputation: 28
Originally Posted by teatime View Post
I live in a mobile home and I think solar is do-able. I've read about a whole mobile home community using solar power and would LOVE to convert my home. I'm looking into wind, too, since we have big wind farms near us in Abilene but buying electricity from providers who use the wind power supply is EXPENSIVE!

I never thought about hail damage, though -- good point!

I thought you might enjoy this

Family uses windmill to power home (http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/myfox/pages/Home/Detail;jsessionid=79A4FB412138064D9928C128C2562D9F ?contentId=4053427&version=6&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=1.1.1&sflg=1 - broken link)

Note: I have no financial interest in the manufacture of the Skystream wind turbine or Fox News. Do your own due diligence.
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Old 05-01-2008, 11:00 PM
1 posts, read 3,584 times
Reputation: 10
Thumbs up Solar Energy in Texas etc.

Solar PV has become much more affordable and can eliminate your electic bill. You are still tied into the grid system, but with net metering rules passed in Texas, your utility co. must buy your excess power production. You sell your excess electricity during the day while you are at work. The Bi directional meter actually spins backwards. You use the electric company's power at night and the meter spins forward. The idea is to size your Solar PV system so that your bill is $0 at the end of the billing cycle. Some may want to size even greater and sell their excess juice back and make a bit of money but most electric companies buy power at a cost basis price and it is lower than the price you buy it from them. So again the idea is to have a zero balance at the end of the month.

Moderator cut: advertising
Originally Posted by killer2021 View Post
I was just reading the post about how expensive electricity is in Texas. Also I was reading another article about how Texas is a prime location for solar power generation. I was curious if anyone had looked into this or currently has solar panels generating electricity for their home?

Last edited by Trainwreck20; 05-02-2008 at 06:47 AM..
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:02 AM
586 posts, read 1,489,232 times
Reputation: 1819
boy there is a lot of ignorance and shear stupidity in this thread.....here is an idea people before you start to solve the worlds problems for the rest of us try having a clue what you are talking about instead of coming to the internet and making yourself sound like a halfwit

1. I loved the guy that calculated an 8 year payoff for solar......way to save the earth there pal with your 400+ dollar a month electric usage ....not to mention no "cost of money" factored in on that up front 40K, no cost of maintenance and operation of the system....just foolishness

2. as for net metering.....it does not apply if you are getting your electricity through a coop or through a city owned utility which excludes much or rural Texas and at least a couple of larger metro areas as well......though some coops and city owned utilities will still allow you to net meter

3. how about the guy that said "just put the excess power on the grid".......hey smart guy what if the excess power is being generated at night by wind (the wind in west Texas blows more at night than in the day).....I guess you just do like they do now and put that power onto the grid and then actually PAY someone to take it and use it instead of taking power from one of the conventional power plants THAT HAVE TO STAY ONLINE TO PROVIDE RELIABLE POWER FOR WHEN THE WIND SUDDENLY DIES OFF which has been know to happen and nearly shut down the Texas grid one day in the past year or so......currently wind farms in Texas often PAY to have their power used so they can continue to get the tax credits for that power generated.....this means that conventional power plants that HAVE TO RUN to supply RELIABLE power need to be throttled up and down which makes their operation less efficient and any excess power they produce that can't be used is sent down the grid to be dissipated into nothing

4. to the person that brought up the cost of "defending cheap oil".......add up the cost of the entire yearly defense budget......then do the math on the numbers of imported barrels of oil......then do the math on defense spending per barrel of oil...it comes out to something like a penny per barrel or less.......and that is if you are too stupid to know that the USA only gets a small fraction of their imported oil from unstable regions of the world the majority comes from Canada and South America......and that is if you are the type of moron that thinks conflict in the middle east is only about oil......get a clue you are so clueless it is almost dangerous.....if people like you were not so easy to ignore.....even though you babble the same easy to refute stupidity all over the world wide web

P.S. smart one....coal and natural gas is what powers most traditional energy in the USA and the vast majority of coal and natural gas is domestically produced......most imported oil goes towards transportation needs not electric needs......but yea other than that I think you were really on to something there with the "real cost of oil" thing........if only you could get past all the common sense and facts that get in the way of such a stupid position....and here is a real kicker.....what is wrong with natural gas.....even princess pelosi knows it is "not a fossil fuel"

5. the reason that alternative energy is not expanding further in Texas is 3 fold

A. we have a shortage of grid capacity to move alternative power from areas where it can be generated to places where it is in demand

B. power can't be cheaply stored for long periods of time right now......so "sending it down the grid" as one future electrical engineering dropout suggested means you are sending power down the grid to be dissipated off to produce nothing

C. solar particularly requires resources that are in short supply in places that have high solar availability, cheap land, and the transmission lines to get the power somewhere

what most people think of as solar which is photovoltaic still requires water to wash the panels frequently so that they are generating the most efficiently and photovoltaic is still very expensive VS traditional power (yes princess even with defense spending calculated), it is not that reliable, and it offers the least availability to store any of the generated energy

solar thermal production where solar is concentrated to super heat some fluid like molten salt requires an even greater supply of water.....again you have to frequently wash the collector panels or the reflective mirrors and most importantly you have to have a method to turn HEAT which is what solar generates into ENERGY which is what is sent down an electrical grid.....the main method to do this is STEAM.....for those that make "arguments" like many of those in this thread I probably need to now inform you that STEAM comes from WATER!......so if you are collecting a massive amount of solar heat.....and hoping to pass that heat through some fluid so that that fluid will vaporize and expand and you can mechanically capture that expansion and use it to turn a generator that will create electricity......you need a hell of a lot of WATER!....and water is in short supply in many areas of Texas, the USA, and the WORLD where there is cheap land and high concentrations of solar radiation

there is a method to reduce by a great deal the amount of water consumed by solar and that is to build a LARGE cooling tower that looks almost exactly like the massive cooling towers that are most often associated with nuclear plants.....the problem is that this adds a great deal more expense to the project.....and it makes the project that much less attractive to the all too common NIMBY that exist all over the world

so now that have given some of you unwashed, sandal footed, wearers of flannel a brief lesson in what you thought you knew....lets start looking at possible solutions....because while I and many others with even an ounce of common sense see through the tragic errors of your thoughts, methods, and ideas that does not entirely mean that non-traditional energy is a bad choice or that efforts should not be made to increase it or to generate it more cost effectively

what needs to happen

I. there will need to be more transmission lines built......this means fighting NIMBYS over "visual pollution", bulldozing blind salamander habitat, and cutting down golden cheeked warbler trees.....microbes be damned!

In Texas most energy is carried on the electrical grid controlled by ERCOT (The Electricity Reliability Council of Texas.......some areas of Texas......far East, south plains and panhandle are on a different grid on the SPP (South West Power Pool), El Paso is on the WPP (Western Power Pool)

Further more ERCOT WPP and SPP are all three different "interconnects".....ERCOT being it's own interconnect and SPP being on the Eastern Interconnect and WPP being on the Western Interconnect

Interconnects basically don't share power ever the various pools on interconnects obviously share power amongst their own pool and the generators and users on their part of the grid and they also share energy amongst the various pools on their own interconnect, but currently they do not share power between interconnects

west Texas where the vast majority of wind is generated is partially on the ERCOT and partially on the SPP......so a large part of west Texas is shut out from selling wind power (or solar or any other power) from their region to the rest of Texas.....and the areas of Texas where wind can be generated reliability and sent right onto the ERCOT grid is currently running out of transmission capacity......Texas has a plan DEVELOPED UNDER RICK PERRY to build more transmission capacity and it will be two fold......expansion of the grid already tied to ERCOT and also running a new transmission backbone through the major regions of wind in west Texas that are not on the ERCOT grid that will be tied directly to the ERCOT grid...it will not share power between the two interconnects I don't believe at first....it will just be a backbone that can be tied into to go right to ERCOT

II. there needs to be more methods of large scale energy storage developed....THIS is the area that Texas needs to most concentrate on that offers the most opportunity for new jobs and investment....be it chilled or super cooled liquids taken to temp during period of lower power use and then available to chill buildings during periods of high heat and high demand

Stored molten salt or other similar "fluids"......this is the reason that solar collection VS photovoltaic is more popular now......because that stream of super heated media can be kept hot long enough and store enough energy to continue to generate through the night......but again you need the water for the steam or you need the massive cooling tower to reuse the water

Large Scale batteries like the one built in Presidio, Texas (while evil Rick Perry was in office GASP!)

Large Scale compressed air that is stored in massive underground formations during times of low energy use and then released released and combined with natural gas to turn a turbine during periods of high demand and many other current methods

There are many more methods out there.....several that would work well in Texas if properly planned out and developed

Texas also needs to work on methods to better control the demand of energy and to shift demand from peak to off peak times.....that would really cut down on the need for new energy generation of any type and it would also cut down on the amount of power that is just "sent down the grid" until it is dissipated and produces nothing

This could involve mini-mills and foundries that are able to more efficiently come on and off the grid while still producing product on a consistent basis, it could involve the shift of some workforces to different hours, and it may well consist of being able to control a large number of small scale non-critical users that can be grouped and controlled like a single large user

all of these methods will require new technologies, grid improvements, and for some a shift in human activities

none of them are going to happen over night

thank you for allowing me to educate so many of you on something you seem to care so greatly about yet have taken such little effort to actually avail yourself of the knowledge and education required to even have a remote chance of discussing the issue while sounding like you have a clue about any of it......much less most of it
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:57 PM
1,150 posts, read 1,907,836 times
Reputation: 625
Theres all kinds of innovations coming down the pipe. Dessicant evaporative cooling is coming and will be a big power saver.
Solar technology is moving forward and will be cost effective sooner rather than later especially in a state like Texas and especially in high cost deregulated electricity areas.

Texas also needs to work on methods to better control the demand of energy and to shift demand from peak to off peak times.....that would really cut down on the need for new energy generation of any type and it would also cut down on the amount of power that is just "sent down the grid" until it is dissipated and produces nothing
So when all these new power plants are built. Energy costs will go down in Texas right like deregulation promised? Afterall Texas will be producing huge surpluses of power. Surely the free market deregulation promised will drastically drive down the cost of energy for average Texans correct? If it doesnt surely Rick Perry and his political friends will be ready to call deregulation a failure and restore fairly priced electricity to the good people of Texas?

Last edited by orbius; 01-09-2011 at 02:08 PM..
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:19 PM
Location: Austin, TX
15,983 posts, read 30,236,965 times
Reputation: 7892
We included a large amount of solar collectors on the new City Hall in Austin, TX because the City wanted to demonstrate its commitment to alternative energies. However, all of our consultants and engineers agreed that Solor was the most expensive way to generate electricity on site, of all that was available. It was also the least polluting. If you have an electric grid available to your location, it will be cheaper to use it. If there is no electric grid available, then yes, it is feasible to install your own solar and wind collection facilities to provide a limited amount of power to your residence.
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:17 PM
2 posts, read 2,999 times
Reputation: 10
If you check this out, [url=http://www.sunpowerport.com]www.sunpowerport.com[/url]. I think you would love it too.
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