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Solar Anyone ?


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#1 petrj6 ONLINE  

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Posted May 09, 2014 - 07:49 PM

    I just spent the better part of an hour on the phone with sungevity, talked to them about putting a large solar array on the roof of the house, seems like a good idea but the money is not really there for me.  It would be a lease for me, pay them for 20 years then the panels are mine, still have to pay for some power thru the grid.

   What are your thought's?  who has solar? who did you use?  any advise would be great



#2 DH1 ONLINE  

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Posted May 09, 2014 - 07:54 PM

Best info site for anything Solar that I know of is here.

 

http://www.builditsolar.com/


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#3 toomanytoys84 ONLINE  

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Posted May 09, 2014 - 08:20 PM

it is a neat concept if you could get off the grid completely. 

 

Would the savings equal out to being less than your electric bill?



#4 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted May 09, 2014 - 10:40 PM

The questions I would want to know , Is there any degrading of  the panels  after 20 years ?   How about if the house needs roof repairs ?



#5 petrj6 ONLINE  

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Posted May 10, 2014 - 05:27 AM

   I cannot get of the grid completely, if I get one side of the roof covered completely then I could at best supply half my electric from the solar.  After 20 years the panels will still be at 98% efficiency, the big cost would be the power inverter if that ever fails.  My roof is brand new tin, less than 4 years and has a 50 year warrenty so roof repairs are not an issue for me.

                                                                  Pete


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#6 Appalachian OFFLINE  

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Posted May 10, 2014 - 05:40 AM

Do you use electric heat at all? If I could cut the cost of electric heat in half and be less reliant on propane there would be a huge savings for me.

#7 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted May 10, 2014 - 06:15 AM

With my questions answered ,and the numbers added up to savings at today's electric prices . I think electric rates will be going up in the future . It might be a good deal for you ,   :thumbs:


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#8 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted May 10, 2014 - 06:46 AM

I don't believe the life expectancy claims they make now! Five years ago, The life expectancy was 8 to 12 years. Now, they are all of a sudden claiming over 20. I've seen this before where companies make false claims for a product and count on nobody remembering the claims in five to ten years. Kinda like politicians. There is also the factor that most people only own their house for 8 years on average.

 

I built my house passive solar heating. I designed it so that it did not cost any extra over standard construction. It saves me atleast half on my heating costs. I've looked at solar, wind and water to produce electricity. They still don't seem a reliable investment unless you are in a remote location where the cost of bringing in power would be prohibitive.

 

Take your time and do a lot of research. I'm an engineer and it took me years of research, designing and calculations to realize that the simplest was also the most economical. You also need to do an objective analysis of your site. If they are charging you for the PV array, they don't care how much you get out of it. You have to be the one that assures that it will get enough sun. A guy up the road from me has a PV array that is shaded a good part of the day. It can't be making much electricity for him.

 

The old Mother Earth News Magazines had some good info in them. Check out their web site. Good Luck, Rick


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#9 jabelman OFFLINE  

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Posted May 10, 2014 - 07:04 AM

I had a rep come out. After about 15 min. We saw zero reason to go solar. It was very minimal the amount we would save. Your production goes down each year on the panels. Plus who knows what the credits will be from the power grid in the future. Its a good idea but not for us
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#10 marlboro180 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2014 - 05:30 AM

I've got solar, but the kind for heating water!  200 sf of flat panels on the roof, and darn it makes nice hot water for our domestic hot and radiant floor heating.   I reconstructed the home to have thermal breaks in the roof and wall systems, daylighting ,  and super- duper windows and insulation as well. Which brings be to the next point in my head-    Conservation...!
 

 

Boyscout made some great moves by going passive, not everyone has that option. If I could have re- sited our home, I would have so I did the best I could with what I have.

Making ones usage as low as possible, br it electrical demand or heating demands comes first. Dead first... Get an energy audit done on a home before diving into the waters of solar power or heat.  :thumbs:   Either way it is spendy, and the monetary " payback " timeframe varys by site , insolation, and the craziest  variable of all- the inhabitants :)

 

Someone broiught up builditsolar, which is a great site full of ideas.   Another resource is The Midwest Renewable Energy Association,(  www. the-mrea.org   ) ..... Their energy fair is coming up here in WI yet again and is well worth attending. People fly in from all around the world to share ideas, technology, great ideas and some half- baked ones too LOL.

 

As far as PV panels, their effeciency has been going up and their cost has been coming way down as far as I have been pricing them, which is about 15 + years. Another great improvement is the cost of the inverters and grid intertie gear. Costs have plummeted through the years :)   Batteries, well, lead is still expensive as anyone can relate to when ya gotta replace the battery in the GT or car at home. Now multiply the bejeezus outta that sticker shock for a battery backup system .

 

Look around your municipality for bulk buys of panels, get involved with groups that are into solar, and when the time is right, go ahead and make the investment if you see fit.


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