Just looking through older posts and read this one about solar electricity. Lots of misunderstanding of solar expressed--our first solar electric panels (photovoltaics or PVs) were about $8 a watt, or more, in 1981. Our latest ones were under a dollar a watt, in 2012. $8 in 1981 is about $20 in 2012 when adjusted for inflation, so prices have dropped tremendously. My panels that were new in 1981 are still working like they did 35 years ago--and they had a 5 year warranty. Most new panels have a 20 or 25 year warranty and are expected to function at least twice that long. If you are interested in solar at your home or shop, check with a local NABCEP certified installer/dealer for an honest appraisal and estimate. Our solar electric system provides our home and shop power, charges our Nissan Leaf electric car (and a number of electric conversion cars in the past), and my GE Elec-trak tractors. This includes the power needed to run the heat pumps that provide all of our air conditioning and much of our heat in our home.
Welcome to GTT. Thanks for the info. One thing to remember is that the panels that you bought 35 years ago were probably made in the USA, Most everything now is made in China. The quality now is at best questionable.
I built my house passive solar and super insulated 20 years ago(still not finished) so, I have an 1800 square foot section of 7/12 roof facing true south. I would love to have good solar panels rigged up with a fuel cell storage system. Around here, the components and the contractors don't have good enough reputations. Three friends have put them up and are generally content with them but all had problems.
I've talked to many of the companies and one of the engineers admitted to me that their panels degrade as much as 50% in 10 years. I'm waiting to learn more before I spend the money. Good Luck, Rick
Edited by boyscout862, August 30, 2016 - 08:37 AM.