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Old 07-12-2007, 10:43 PM
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
17 posts, read 63,438 times
Reputation: 12



I'm wildly delighted with the solar I got a couple weeks ago.

I took pictures... maybe you'd like to see how it looked going in.

Moderator cut: advertising

When my friend who lives near Canyon Road came to see it, she said, "Oh, I think I could hide it on my property."

So, that makes me think that the person who was writing about their Victorian house could get it and make it work inconspicuously.

Oh dear... I have a tad of brain damage and I can't work out the html for urls...

The nerve damage is from a few things... but in the beginning it was from low vitamin B12...

the worst thing about it is that sometimes I just cannot stop saying the same thing... like "okay," once I say that it's hopeless and I usually say it many many times...

I didn't see a place for signatures when I did my profile, but what I have on my emails is this:
Moderator cut: advertising
That's because if you have ridges on your fingernails, which is likely if you are under a lot of stress... then it's pretty likely that you are low on B12....

I sooooooooooo wish I'd known....

Last edited by Trainwreck20; 08-02-2007 at 08:46 AM..
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:59 AM
Location: South Central PA
1,565 posts, read 4,309,432 times
Reputation: 378
I did some calculation and using the maximum of tax rebates it would take roughly 20 years to break even on capital investment to put in solar to sell to power company.
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:36 PM
Location: Abu Al-Qurq
3,689 posts, read 9,180,690 times
Reputation: 2991
Beware CitizenRe. They originally claimed to start installs in Sep 07.
In the next month, they'll need to:
*Decide where to build their factory
*Design their solar panels
*Account for all that money

Regarding Payoff Time for PV, it really varies by state.. at $7/W installed, I broke it down by state, though every different utility co. varies:

Arizona: 30 years (power is too cheap)
Colorado: 13-20 years
Connecticut: 3 years
New Jersey: 13 years
New Mexico: 8 years
New York: 8-10 years
Texas: 29 years (power is too cheap)
Washington: 9 years
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Old 01-20-2022, 02:04 PM
305 posts, read 294,442 times
Reputation: 244
Combine solar tech with wind tech.
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Old 01-22-2022, 03:55 PM
Location: West coast
5,281 posts, read 3,071,084 times
Reputation: 12270
We have a perfect large southern facing roof for it.
I think adding a few repurposed EV batteries to the side of our house would keep us up and work for power storage.
A simple EV for running to town and I am golden.

Our current roof only has a few years left so this is the plan when we replace the roof.
Once we get solar we will have a complete off grid large house system.
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Old 01-23-2022, 02:32 PM
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
20,292 posts, read 37,164,114 times
Reputation: 16397
Originally Posted by MechAndy View Post
We have a perfect large southern facing roof for it.
I think adding a few repurposed EV batteries to the side of our house would keep us up and work for power storage.
A simple EV for running to town and I am golden.

Our current roof only has a few years left so this is the plan when we replace the roof.
Once we get solar we will have a complete off grid large house system.
Well, if you still would need over 560 kWh of electricity per month, which is not easy to do with solar panels alone. Appliances such as stoves/ovens, clothes dryers, and so on consume a lot of electricity. It means that you still have to buy commercial electrical power. You will also need a lot of money to buy "used" EV batteries, but if you have lots of money to spare, go for it. You may be able to break even 20 years later, but by the time you may have to replace most of the formerly used batteries.

This is the way things are at the moment: if you have lots of money and want to feel green, it should not be any problem for you to live your dream. If solar energy would be the most economical, there would not be a need for commercial power production from natural gas, nuclear, and petroleum-base in your city, since the great majority of homes, including multi-apartment buildings would have solar-generated electricity.
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Old 01-23-2022, 03:28 PM
1 posts, read 504 times
Reputation: 15
Default solar professional

Good afternoon everybody, I have done hundreds of solar reports for residents in Idaho, specifically the Boise area, and after reading through quite a few posts on this thread I thought I might clear some things up on the benefits of solar.

first off, 99% of the time solar is absolutely the cheaper option when it comes to paying for power. I see a lot of posts asking about the ROI or return on investment of solar not being "worth it" and would like to just shed some light on the fact that there is NO ROI when renting power from the power company. you are paying monthly for your power forever, and not only are you paying forever but your also subject to inflation. what your paying today is much higher than what you were paying 5 years ago. in fact by Idaho powers own admission you are paying 30% more today than you did 5 years ago.

solar will save you up to 30% per month on your bill. the lowest savings I've seen has still been over 10%
solar costs nothing to have installed, and by nothing I don't mean a small amount, I mean $0.00
when you install solar in Idaho the first 18 months are completely paid for, so on top of lowering your monthly bill by 30% you also get 18 months with no payments at all. that's free power.
if all of that wasn't enough to spark an interest in at least looking into making the switch, anyone that switches in 2022 gets an environmental tax credit of 26% of the total cost. that tax credit can be used anyway you like, and is often between $5,000 and $7,000 dollars. your panels can also be used as a tax write off of 40% the first year and 20% after that.

as far as the technology not being "there yet" Solar companies like Blue raven have thousands of 5 star reviews that would say other wise.

I also came across a few posts about panels being fragile or damaging to your roof.
both claims are completely false, I have personally witnessed tests where semi trucks have been driven over them causing no damage.
as far as the roof goes, the panels act like a shield for your roof protecting it from weather, and are fully covered for 25 years.

the reason you are kept on the power grid, is to lend extra power you produce to the power company so Idaho can get back to where it was 10 years ago which was mostly green energy produced by our rivers. as we stand right now only 40% of our energy used is being produced by our waterways. and 40% is now fissile fuels.

at the end of the day if you could have the same energy you have now, for less money out of your pocket, and help the states environmental crisis , why wouldn't you ?

[Mod cut: soliciting]

Last edited by elnina; 01-25-2022 at 03:23 PM..
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Old 01-25-2022, 03:59 AM
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
7,246 posts, read 5,117,125 times
Reputation: 17737

No ROI on grid power, but you forget the lost investment potential of tying up so much capital on the solar installation & the expense of interest if you don't pay cash up front for the installation...and the maintrnance/repair costs & inconveninence of your own installation.

Most areas of the country don't have enough sun to make the switch to solar worth it. You're in ID on the lee side of the mountains-- plenty of sun. Here in WI, for instance we average only 4 hrs of useable sun per day over the course of a year.. ..Snow & ice accummulation in winter is an inconvenience and possibley a hazard...Then there's the added cost of routine roof repair/replacement AND-- you gotta replace your entirie installation every 20-25 yrs-- more capital expemse.

Unreliables will always remain a niche application for most people in this country.
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Old 01-25-2022, 07:11 AM
Location: Western PA
10,828 posts, read 4,513,691 times
Reputation: 6676
I have been working on this for over a decade now, but I started small. I have been trying to make it work for my RV as we boon dock a lot (no campground services - use what ya brung) and while I can get systems REASONABLE to charge the coach batterIES (note the plural) 12v system, there is no viable alternative for the 120v system.

IF they came up with absorption cooling systems that are (once again) REASONABLE for the AC, this would be more doable.

some of the examples:

1) to park in full sunlight means *a lot* more daily heating, making the AC demand higher
2) to park in the shade to lower heating of the coach, means the solar effectiveness drops by an even larger percentage.

*extrapolate both of those data points for a home - shade trees or full baking sunlight?*

3) solar does not work sunup to sundown cuz we dont aim the panels - and realistically wont for any application
4) battery storage must be adequate. In a rv application where an inverter is needed for nighttime AC use - anyone who owns one can testify how miserable they can be at night using just windows - a small AC would need around 6-8 large size golf cart batteries and when you do that the battery wiring is UBER complicated (just ask if curious). This many batteries can put an rv quickly over tongue or axle weight and if enclosed...that is a lot of hydrogen off-gassing. Given the current state of LiPO3, I dont wanna sleep over top fire bombs that have shown adept ability to just go up in smoke with no warning - while OFF

*for a house tongue and axle weights are not a consideration but you will need a detached, vented structure with flood fire suppression in the case of lithium storage.

5) for an rv with a majority 12v system, standard panels from anyone work and the el-fake-o luggage rack on top is a great place to mount them. You can use 12v panels at all times and the total size will be generally under 5-600W which means an inverter for 120V for tvs - not appliances - will suffice.
6) for a house, the inverter has to be robust and with the panels required to duplicate what you have now, you need 44000 watts base load, but in the modern age, save any dryer and any resistive heating we can drop this - the bottom line will be the starting and running watts of AC and fridges, dehumidifiers, washers. Figure 10000W to cover the AC (since once again, absorption cooling is not REASONABLE) In this case the inverters have to be beefy and perhaps in the 36-48v DC input voltage. This is not rocket science, higher voltage controllers and multi voltage selectable panels are available everywhere.

so we are back to how much juice and how do you get it.

1) half the day you get none
2) some of the day you only get some. hazy sunlight is better than clouds - you may need to opt for an array whose base 'cell' voltage is in the 20-24 range. unlike batteries, the base solar cells that make up a 'cell' or grid can be destroyed if the input voltage is too high. when you place a ton of .5-.6v cells in series, at some point the potential of the previous cell to the next cell is over the destruction voltage. so by using 20v panels - we have a 15v target in order to be called 12 (meaning a 36v 'panel' - 3 12v sub sections in series - is really 45vs for the controller and 60v at max. This voltage spread enables the panel array to stay above the quiescent voltage of the inverter as a cloud passes over or its not so sunny.
3) there really is no way to cheat #2 - I have tried.
4) not only does the panel array have to provide base load for the day, it has to provide charging for at night, you cannot have both from the same watt, so this has a near doubling effect on the panels - in order to get *some* charging on a rainy day.
5) snow. I live in pittsburgh. my experiences are going to be representative of *at lease* every location at the same latitude and all of canada. Elsewhere we conducted a little experiment. our 'snowmaggedon' on MLK weekend (the MSMSs words, not mine) shut off my theoretical panel array on my garage on sunday at 4pm MLK weekend. 9 days later its STILL off. Unless this old man (me) climbs up a number of times with a really long handled push broom. The snow is STILL on the roof. We call it winter. In pittsbugh, roughly 44% of the days are overcast all day - we have more cloudy days than seattle (yet they take to ledges and bridges at a much higher rate to off themselves - go figure. Musta been the coffee.) And even in the summer my declination is much greater than say Phoenix. Actual life giving sunlight is much less, when amorphic crystalline technology is in use.

so, if you live similar to me, solar - at current technology - is an assist at best. and expensive to boot. prone to failure, a maintenance *****, and we have not even talked roof rot yet.

Is short, Id LIKE to be off grid, but it aint happening at present. The boys in R&D need to keep working.
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Old 01-25-2022, 09:25 AM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
44,550 posts, read 81,103,317 times
Reputation: 57750
We have several solar devices, such as patio cover lighting and path lights, and a 100 Watt panel for the travel trailer. As for the home, it would not be cost effective for us. We haven't seen the sun in a week, with overcast and/or fog every day all day, and generally get rain most of October-June.
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