Solar Power for Homes
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Solar Power for Homes
Posted by Geauxtiga on 3/30 at 3:26 pm
Any of you utilize this means of energy? I'm surprised we don't see more on new homes- ESPECIALLY with those "smart meters".

What are the pro's & con's?

EDIT:Dammit. Sorry, I could've sworn I hit O-T lounge. Meant to post it there.


This post was edited on 3/30 at 3:28 pm

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Posted by Hammertime on 3/30 at 3:35 pm to Geauxtiga
There aren't any state subsidies anymore, and barely and federal. Not cost effective at all considering the panels have a life span of ~10yrs I think


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Posted by brass2mouth on 3/30 at 3:38 pm to Geauxtiga
I was told by one those road home people or w/e that do all the paperwork for the projects in NOLA so it doesn't cost them anything, but he said in order for you to be truly off the grid you need the batteries for the system, which cost almost as much as the system.

Dunno if he was just bullshitetin me or if its true though.



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Posted by Hammertime on 3/30 at 4:06 pm to brass2mouth
Yeah, the solar panels charge batteries sometimes. From what I've heard, the only thing worth it is solar water heating. Electric is just ungodly expensive


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Posted by wiltznucs on 3/30 at 4:13 pm to Geauxtiga
The technology is just not ready yet to compete with electric and gas. The return on investment period is long and batteries are expensive and consume lots of space.

The technology is progressing and it's best to wait it out at this point.



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Posted by CoastieGM on 3/30 at 4:25 pm to Geauxtiga
I have. Though not for electricity.

I did a solar water heater for my place in New Mexico. It reduced my overall energy bill +25% (electricity & propane).

Much energy goes into heating water, since we're such pussies these days and can't take a cold shower.

Unlike trying to create electricity, a water heating system is low cost (relatively), easy to build, pays for itself quickly, and lasts forever.



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Posted by wiltznucs on 3/30 at 4:26 pm to CoastieGM
quote:

New Mexico


The desert SW seems like the place where solar could really take off. Plenty of sun unlike other areas of the country...


This post was edited on 3/30 at 4:27 pm

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Posted by CoastieGM on 3/30 at 4:43 pm to wiltznucs
quote:

The desert SW seems like the place where solar could really take off. Plenty of sun unlike other areas of the country...


My place in NM is at 6,500 ft elevation and got down to -20 degrees last winter. Only part of NM is desert; much of NM is forested.

Solar water heating works just as well in SE Texas and Florida...I copied a system I saw in Tampa and was going to do the same for my place in TX (though recently decided to sell it).

While one of my friends was away on extended travel, a bum took up living in my friend's barn. The bum kept himself and his clothes clean with plenty of warm water. The bum simply connected all the garden hoses and left it out in the sun. More than enough hot water for daily showers, etc.




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Posted by hogdaddy on 3/30 at 4:44 pm to Geauxtiga
Not at my house, but at the camp me and dad installed 10 200 watts solar panels with batteries. We split the main breaker box up in to two. We put the light, fans and frige on solar breaker box. On the other box we left the electric water heater, washer & dryer, A/C and stove.


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Posted by StinkDog12 on 3/30 at 5:00 pm to hogdaddy
2 different types of "solar" for homes

Solar Thermal - Uses the sun to heater water
photovoltaic Solar - Uses the sun to make electricity

Solar water heating will cost you about $5,000 to replace your 4.5KW water heater with a solar system that will heat 95% of your hot water

If you wanted to make 4.5KW using photovoltaic technology...it would cost you about $40,000

Obviously...NO ONE SHOULD EVERY CONSIDER installing photovoltaic before a solar thermal water heater is installed.

If you install the water heater and then want to go for more "green energy" then you can make the big leap on a photovoltaic system.

Keep in mind that the water heater is the #2 energy using device in your house 2nd to only you heating and air conditioning.

Rough annual operating cost of operating a standard electric water is about $500...so you can see that it would take about 10 years for you to get your ROI on your system....thats why state and federal incentives are so important! Back 2-3 years ago you could get 70% of the $5,000 back from both the federal and state government through incentives....so your return on investment was only a couple of years.



This post was edited on 3/30 at 5:04 pm

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Posted by hogdaddy on 3/30 at 5:12 pm to StinkDog12
quote:

If you wanted to make 4.5KW using photovoltaic technology...it would cost you about $40,000


The prices have drop, you can get a 5 Kw system installed for $22,000.



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Posted by CoastieGM on 3/30 at 5:18 pm to StinkDog12
I spent less that $1,000 (maybe less than $700) on my solar thermal water heating system (built it myself). Paid for itself in less than 2 years. (propane is pretty expensive in NM)


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Posted by StinkDog12 on 3/30 at 5:19 pm to hogdaddy
quote:

5 Kw system installed for $22,000.


Wow that is a big drop from 2-3 years ago! I know that they had a couple of companies that where just coming into the US with some cheaper stuff but at the time (a few years ago) they hadnt received all of their US certifications...windload testing, SRCC efficiency ratings, US product safety requirements...etc But I remember the talk that it would approx cut the cost of solar in half if their products could pass the US requirements and standards.

By the $ amount that you are talking about, it sounds like some of those foreign companies might have made it into the market.



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Posted by brass2mouth on 3/30 at 5:23 pm to CoastieGM
quote:

The bum kept himself and his clothes clean with plenty of warm water. The bum simply connected all the garden hoses and left it out in the sun. More than enough hot water for daily showers, etc.


In Iraq the water tanks for showers and all were outside, uncovered or anything, always had hot water.

Actually used to pissed me off sometimes bc I wanted to take a cold shower bc it was so hot, but the cold water was hot and the hot water was capable of boiling things.



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Posted by StinkDog12 on 3/30 at 5:24 pm to CoastieGM
ahhh... shite yeh. You can build a "solar thermal" system for hardly nothing. Really all you need is black tanks installed on your roof or a black hose coiled up on your roof. Obviously there are some other devices you need such as devices to control thermal expansion and a tempering device of some kind....but yeh..you can make a home made solar system for hardly nothing.

I was referring to product that is actually produced by a reputable manufacture and that doesnt look like a red-necked/presidential engineered piece crap on your house.



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Posted by hogdaddy on 3/30 at 5:27 pm to StinkDog12
One I quoted is a USA company. Solar Leading

LINK



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Posted by StinkDog12 on 3/30 at 5:29 pm to hogdaddy
Thats pretty cool.


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Posted by Geauxtiga on 3/30 at 7:20 pm to Geauxtiga
Appreciate the info guys.


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Posted by Jester on 3/30 at 7:24 pm to Hammertime
quote:

There aren't any state subsidies anymore, and barely and federal.


This is very false. The state still has a 50% refundable tax credit (limits apply) on top of 30% from the feds.



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Posted by StinkDog12 on 3/30 at 7:24 pm to Geauxtiga
The OB's combined girth of knowledge digs deep again!


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