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Solar and Wind Power for Home, Farm & Industry Windmills, solar panels and inverters for standby power.

Solar and Wind Power for Home, Farm & Industry

Looking at Solar Power


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  #1  
Old 04-11-2011, 11:45:31 PM
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Harry Harry is offline
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Default Looking at Solar Power

Not because I'm a greenie, but at least you don't have to feed these things Diesel or propane. You do have to get past a huge initial investment although, uncle helps out with some tax credits. I have a large second story roof sloping south and room in the garage for some junk.

Just on a learning expedition.

http://www.solarbyharrimans.com/solarelectric.php

http://www.solarbyharrimans.com/gall...arelectric.php

http://www.solarbyharrimans.com/incentives.php
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:45:46 AM
Matt Montague Matt Montague is offline
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Default Re: Looking at Solar Power

Harry,
try these links for info;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BP_Solar

http://www.bp.com/modularhome.do?categoryId=8050

It is my understanding that BP is one of the largest producers of pv cells. However I do not know this for certain.
I do know that location is everything and I think that you are in a good location.
The batteries are the key to everything, having a large bank gives you many options.
Thanks for all you do to help us.
Matt
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:10:17 AM
Old Style Old Style is offline
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Default Re: Looking at Solar Power

Very much a nu-bee to solar but I have been looking at this for $$$ reference. I guess the technology is improving & tax breaks are declining or so I have heard. Solar is the way to go but very expensive yet.

Looking forward to reading this more on this topic, Thanks Harry!

http://ebay.com/240v-Fulltime-Cabin-Solar-Pkg-Panels-Inverter-Battery-/160345247970
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:58:07 AM
Kevin K Kevin K is offline
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Default Re: Looking at Solar Power

Just a few thoughts about solar.

1) Batteries are expensive to buy, have a limited number of charge-discharge cycles, may need periodic maintenance depending on the type of battery, and are expensive to replace. You're not trying to live off grid. Forget the batteries and go with a grid tie only system. If the power fails, run a generator.

2) I would not even consider putting solar panels on a asphalt shingle roof. No matter how you try and seal it, water always seems to find a way, and sooner or later it will leak. Eventually, the roof will need replacement. Roofers have no idea how to deal with solar panels, so you have to call in the solar guys, let them remove the panels, then the roofers replace the roof, and finally the solar guys re-install the panels. Think big $$$$$$. I would use treated wood to make an open support for the panels. Use it as a cover for a deck, put a picnic table under it, screen it in, or whatever. The panels will never need to be moved, and are easily accessible for service if needed.

3) Take a careful look at the rebates available. Here in NYS, the panels must be installed by a NYSERTA certified contractor, and then be inspected and approved by NYSERTA before the NYS rebate is available. If you look at the contracts the installers want you to sign, they almost always contain a clause stating that if NYSERTA for some reason does NOT approve the installation, you the homeowner are responsible for the full shot. In other words, they intend to get paid whatever the outcome. You might be able to do as well or better by buying the panels at a good price and installing them yourself.
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:26:45 PM
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Talking Re: Looking at Solar Power

Just a couple of NOTES, here: If Battery, expense is your issue, then just use a very modest Battery Bank, and let the Grid be your Primary Energy Source. If you think of your Inverter Battery as a UPS, that just keeps things going for the 15 minutes, it takes you to fire up the Backup Genset, when the Grid goes down. This way you can still have Grid-Tie, feed excess PV Solar back into the Grid, have a very modest expense invested in Batteries, and enjoy all the benefits of PV Solar. Next, make VERY sure that your PV Panels are High Wind Rated as installed. Think Hurricane, or Tornado, Wind Speed rated in the installation. You will have a very high dollar investment and you do NOT want it to blow away, every time a Weather Event, happens in your area. MANY "Fly by Night" PV Solar Installers are out there, and have NO CLUE, that PV Panels make GREAT Wings, and tend to FLY much easier than the birds that sit on your roof, if the wind picks up.... and finally understand, that the higher the Ambient Temp, the less power you are going to generate with your PV Panels. I have often wondered if the PV Solar World has missed the Engineering Boat, by not building Liquid Cooled PV Panels that not only provide electrical Power by use Liquid Cooling on the PV Area and make Hot Water as well. I mean, the absolute BEST PV system is less than 20% efficient in converting Photons into Electrical Energy. That means 80% of the energy falling on the Panels, is converted into HEAT, that reduces the efficiency of the PV Panels, as the temps go up. If one were to move those excess BTUs to a Hot Water Storage Sink, it provides Hot Water, AND cools the PV Panels at the same time. Co-Generation, Yea, that is the ticket. Just say'en, YMMV....
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:01:58 AM
dalmatiangirl61 dalmatiangirl61 is offline
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Default Re: Looking at Solar Power

I'm still waiting to see these, supposedly they are in production, but where is the product? A year or so ago they were touting the fact that these would cost a fraction of typical panels, I wonder if that will hold true when they hit the shelf.

http://www.nanosolar.com/
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:15:53 PM
DLeach DLeach is offline
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Default Re: Looking at Solar Power

As far as nanosolar is concerned forget it. They are more interested in selling their panels overseas. Apparently they have no interest in selling them here in this country. As far as solar panels go, I am using Kyocera 24 volt 205 watt panels and am very happy with them. It gets very hot in Arizona during the summer but they continue to put out rated power through an mppt controller. And yes I'm off grid so depend on them to do their job. I also have a homebuilt generator for backup charging of the battery bank. I use a 6 and 1/2 hp Briggs engine to drive a 24 volt 70 amp Mastervolt alternator. Yes it was very expensive but is rated for continuous duty at that output. The only time I have to run this is when the wife is doing laundry or using her pump for pouring her ceramics. Runs about four hours on one gallon of gas. I do have a 20 kw diesel generator to run her kilns for firing the ceramics. I am thinking about installing a windmill as well, but am not going to build one. Off the shelf so all I have to do in install it.
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Old 06-02-2011, 07:55:20 PM
dalmatiangirl61 dalmatiangirl61 is offline
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Default Re: Looking at Solar Power

It does not make sense, a few years ago they were saying they'd be able to print solar panels like newspaper and for pennys a watt, now they only sell to europe, even though they have a factory in Ca?
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:29:56 PM
DLeach DLeach is offline
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Default Re: Looking at Solar Power

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
It does not make sense, a few years ago they were saying they'd be able to print solar panels like newspaper and for pennys a watt, now they only sell to europe, even though they have a factory in Ca?
And with seed money from our government to get started. Their site was very imformative at first, but now next to nothing.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:04:57 AM
Thompson53 Thompson53 is offline
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Default Re: Looking at Solar Power

Just a note, now there are several companies make special roof flashing mounts for PV installs on roofs, they work great - no leaks. check http://www.quickmountpv.com/
Prices have dropped a lot the last year on panels.
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:25:45 AM
DLeach DLeach is offline
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Default Re: Looking at Solar Power

Solar is the way of the future. There are a lot of crepe hangers out there that maybe believe what they see and hear on biased news reports. People have looked at my setup and now ask me to set them up the same way. Kinda got myself a new job...so much for being retired. Battery and panel prices have also come down depending on who you get them from ( there are a lot of gougers out there) and are a lot more reliable these days. I will be adding four more panels which will take care of the wifes laundry and other heavy usage.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:14:36 AM
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Default Re: Looking at Solar Power

We are all eyes and ears
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:53:05 AM
swebre swebre is offline
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Default Re: Looking at Solar Power

Two years ago spent a week helping a friend install a 12 KW solar system at his home (three panel banks, three inverters). No batteries, directly feeds the house w/ surplus going into the grid via a bi-directional meter. He has acreage so it was installed on a 20' x 40' x 4" slab @ ground level. Still quite a job even at ground level.

His all electric house bill went from ~$300/month to $0. ~$50K total cost with the new slab included but w/o panel installation and wiring (we did that). Expensive but w/ Federal and State tax breaks, system has a simple payout of under 5 years. It's an excellent home investment but only because of tax breaks.

Learned a few things.

1) Roof mounting would be a last resort for me. Installation, potential leak points, and maintenance (2 panels replaced (hail) and they should be cleaned from time to time) are issues long term. Not insurmountable, just be aware.

2) As someone pointed out, roof replacement later just got seriously expensive if it involves paying someone to remove and re-install a decent size system.

3)Unless living off the grid, I'd forego batteries also. Much simpler system. If needed later, an easy addition.

All that said, if I had the acreage and it made economic sense for us, I'd have a system now. It's coming...
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:14:05 PM
sdowney717 sdowney717 is offline
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Default Re: Looking at Solar Power

Any chance some day, the solar panels will be the roof itself with no shingles needed?
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:01:25 PM
Jeff Miley Jeff Miley is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Looking at Solar Power

There have been advances in Solar power but they have been slow due to relatively low funding. The government is still giving tax breaks to companies like Exxon Mobil who's corporate profits are measured in billions per month. Eventually photovoltaic solar panels will serve as complete roof systems I believe. Technology through investment will yield more cost effective systems. One of the new systems being investigated is new ink based photo cells using nanocrystals made of a material called copper zinc tin sulfide CZTS which was developed by Perdue University.
Locally there are several mid size commercial solar installations installed by unrelated businesses. They claim with the business tax breaks the payoff is under three years with a life span of 25 years. If true there would be no reason not to invest in such systems. Residential systems provide a lower return on investment but still far better than the 1% banks are paying. I have been learning what I can but have not yet made the investment. Keep us posted as to your progess and thanks for all you do Harry.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:02:12 PM
johnk907 johnk907 is offline
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Default Re: Looking at Solar Power

What is the "shading effect" for solar panels on a roof? Is there a per cent reduction in required air conditioning expense because of the additional shading on a roof?

John
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:19:51 AM
Neilc42 Neilc42 is offline
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Default Re: Looking at Solar Power

I had a 5040 watt system installed last november on metal roof of our barn, about 8 inches from the roof. The incentives are the only way it can pay itself off up here in Seattle area. No batteries, excess goes back onto the grid for credit. Wa st pays us .54 per Kwh from now till yr 2020 in Addition to the fed tax credit. I can watch the heat roll off that roof so I don't think the shade would save you much on air conditioning unless you have a greater distance from the roof, but I can't say for sure what your results will be.
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Old 10-18-2013, 07:01:48 PM
kevin mccune kevin mccune is offline
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Default Re: Looking at Solar Power

Great ideas,I like your mindset,always been the kind that likes "twofurs"
Solar works very well for hot water and heating water consumes a lot of electricity.I believe some Folks need to sit down and step by step prioritize energy usage,Keep up the good work-Kevin M

---------- Post added at 07:01 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:56 PM ----------

Thanks BT post,our current energy usage and priorties are pretty much unsustainable,due to the dwindling supply of hydrocarbon fuels our gov't needs to make an honest effort toward helping us right thinking people out(no offense intended-wake up people,we can have our cake and eat it too)-Kevin M
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