Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
11/22/2017 10:05:29 PM
Posted: 8/19/2004 6:20:38 PM EST
This Bush-loving, oil-burning, material-recycling, clearheaded-voting, law-abiding, pistol-carrying optimist would like to see your pics/ plans / views/ tips/ suggestions/ links on SOLAR POWER.

Thank you. Thank you.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 6:35:52 PM EST
I need to find them but i got plans for a solor power flashlight
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 8:43:15 PM EST
I have a very large solar panel I got pre Y2-Que...And I have 3 marine batteries and an inverter..

Haven't used either...Panel sits in my storage area in the house..


Guess I should bust it out huh?
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 8:50:50 PM EST
Actually they are a good alternative if you are willing to wait out the payback time. I have a junction box from GE that ties in a portable generator to my house box, and a high end solar power distribution box towards my system so far. With the State and fed tax incentives they become much more affordable, more so if you dont use a battery back-up.

If your buying or building a house it makes much more sense to wrap the cost of the system into the mortage as it on average adds about $30 a month depending on the size of the system but you can save at least that month, often more and be much more self-sufficient and sell back anyexcess power to the grid.

I have bought and read several books, been to dozens of sites and talked to alot of people about setting up a system and will do so on your next house.

S.O.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 8:51:09 PM EST

Originally Posted By furball75:
I need to find them but i got plans for a solor power flashlight

har har



Thought about it for a house in the mountains, couldn't find any setups that were less than $6000. The house is on the grid, but at the fringes of it, and no provisions for selling power back to the utility, so no profit from it the 25 days / mo it sits empty, no offset for the upfront costs. Scrapped the idea.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 8:53:23 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 9:15:18 PM EST

Originally Posted By Troy:
What do you want to know?

Solar-powered radios and battery rechargers (for NiMH AAs and such) are definitely useful.

The cost for a system that would give you a lifestyle even remotely similiar to grid living using solar power would cost upwards of $100,000, and would require at least some ongoing maintenance. Electricity is increadibly cheap, and we've grown used to using GOBS of it. Even a very very basic solar home, using very little power, is gonna cost $40K+. There's a REASON that everyone isn't using solar power for everything.

-Troy



Hardly. Pick up a issue of Home Power, you can have a system capable of powering MOST American homes for about $40k installed. The key is that people are often used to wasting so much power that they dont like being told that they cant leave every light in the house on, run the coffee pot, micro, and 2 or 3 computers with the AC kick'n 24/7 with a strictly solar set-up. Lack of common sense and wastefullness are the biggest enemies to solar power.

We have a gas heat and water and my wife likes to leave every light in the damn house on with me turning them of as I find them. I replaced all but the 6 150 watters in the kitchen with compact flourescents of the same lumens. They cost about $.50 a bulb when bought on sale at Home Depot but use 1/4 the power and last about 7x longer. All the bulbs payed for themselves in 2 months. OUr average monthly electric bill is $35 during the summer and $45 in the winter.

Going solar/partial solar only makes sense if you conserve and use common sense to begin with as every $1 you spend on cosevation methods will be wourth about $6 of spending on a solar power set-up. If you go patial power/grid tie you can sell back your excess during your less than peak usage, such as when no-one is home, or your on vacation ect... This really speeds the payback. Many smart users end up with a surplus at the end of the year and get a check from the power comapny or break even and pay little or nothing. Now, just so people know, the power company does not pay you for your excess what they charge you, so you really have to conserve and size the system right to have this happen.

S.O.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 11:29:01 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 12:18:10 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/20/2004 12:18:43 AM EST by KA3B]
The worst part about solar systems is that a lot of the manufacturers don't stay in busisness too long.

I have a friend who installed solar water heating systems in the Nevada/Yuba/Placer area from 1980 to 1986. He is still working the area as a plumber, but no longer does solar.
It bugs the shit out of him that he can no longer get replacement parts for the systems he installed, and when he tells the home owners that he can't fix the panels, pumps or the storage system (the right way) for under the cost of replacing the system most of them chose to disconnect the system and cap it off.

Another reason why solar is not as big as it once was is that the government tax breaks went away in the mid 80's and didn't come back in a much smaller form until the late 90's.

One of my friends where I live now has a back-up generator, solar water heating and solar electrical panels.
This entire summer he has been selling back power to the electric company, and his gas bill (gas water heating, gas forced air heating) has not been over $12 since May.
He lives the conservation life style to the fullest.



Link Posted: 8/20/2004 12:21:02 AM EST
I expect it would be a good option for me, I use about $30-$50 worth every month. Thats total for house, no gas.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 12:53:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By KA3B:
The worst part about solar systems is that a lot of the manufacturers don't stay in busisness too long.

I have a friend who installed solar water heating systems in the Nevada/Yuba/Placer area from 1980 to 1986. He is still working the area as a plumber, but no longer does solar.
It bugs the shit out of him that he can no longer get replacement parts for the systems he installed, and when he tells the home owners that he can't fix the panels, pumps or the storage system (the right way) for under the cost of replacing the system most of them chose to disconnect the system and cap it off.

Another reason why solar is not as big as it once was is that the government tax breaks went away in the mid 80's and didn't come back in a much smaller form until the late 90's.

One of my friends where I live now has a back-up generator, solar water heating and solar electrical panels.
This entire summer he has been selling back power to the electric company, and his gas bill (gas water heating, gas forced air heating) has not been over $12 since May.
He lives the conservation life style to the fullest.




You have to buy from reputable, long standing companies. BP, Siemens, Shell, Kyocera, sharp etc etc all make panels, Xantrex(formerly Trace), sunnyboy, etc, make inverters, Rolls and some others I am forgeing make great batteries... If you buy such components you will have few problems.

There are still alot of incentives...www.dsireusa.org/, especially for business's.

Then there are these as well...www.solatube.com/ They work well and are basically large fiber optic cable to flood light in.

S.O.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 1:02:18 AM EST
That was 20 years ago, I know none of the parts he used were made by any of those companies you listed. Most of the stuff was local made in California.




Originally Posted By SorryOciffer:

Originally Posted By KA3B:
The worst part about solar systems is that a lot of the manufacturers don't stay in busisness too long.

I have a friend who installed solar water heating systems in the Nevada/Yuba/Placer area from 1980 to 1986. He is still working the area as a plumber, but no longer does solar.
It bugs the shit out of him that he can no longer get replacement parts for the systems he installed, and when he tells the home owners that he can't fix the panels, pumps or the storage system (the right way) for under the cost of replacing the system most of them chose to disconnect the system and cap it off.

Another reason why solar is not as big as it once was is that the government tax breaks went away in the mid 80's and didn't come back in a much smaller form until the late 90's.

One of my friends where I live now has a back-up generator, solar water heating and solar electrical panels.
This entire summer he has been selling back power to the electric company, and his gas bill (gas water heating, gas forced air heating) has not been over $12 since May.
He lives the conservation life style to the fullest.




You have to buy from reputable, long standing companies. BP, Siemens, Shell, Kyocera, sharp etc etc all make panels, Xantrex(formerly Trace), sunnyboy, etc, make inverters, Rolls and some others I am forgeing make great batteries... If you buy such components you will have few problems.

There are still alot of incentives...www.dsireusa.org/, especially for business's.

Then there are these as well...www.solatube.com/ They work well and are basically large fiber optic cable to flood light in.

S.O.

Link Posted: 8/20/2004 1:08:20 AM EST
Soalr is a popular today as ever. People are tired of getting bent over on energy costs and the growing awareness of hte environment has spured it. Some of the Big boys like Shell, BP, etc are realizing that as time goes on this will be a bigger and bigger market are are throwing more R+D to it.

The equipment is much more reliable today as well as more efficient A system that met your requirements 20 years ago would be 25% smaller today but the cost is not 25% smaller.

S.O.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 2:44:48 AM EST
The thoughts going through my head right now are;

If you put solar to a hybrid car does that = free milage since the gas engine would not have to come on as much to charge the batteries etc.

I have wondered this a lot since I am eagerly awaiting the honda hybrid v6 comming out next year.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 4:08:38 AM EST
The hybrids use the gas engine for steady driveing, it also charges the battery. The around town stuff and the accelerating from a stop uses the motor as the accelerating from a stop is the biggest single waste of fuel. In many regenerative braking is also used to charge the battery. So in a sense yes, you get free MPG. The new Ford Escape hybrid got insane MPG when they did a test cycle through the streets of NYC, something like 35 MPG city!

To get your monies worth though, due to the increased cost over regular gas cars though you need to drive quite a few miles.

S.O.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 4:13:32 AM EST
Solar powered porch lights here. After my lightning strike, I replaced the old damaged ones with ones that dont have wires leading into my house.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 5:15:02 AM EST
outside showers are the bomb.


I didnt think they would work as well as they do, chicks dig'em.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 5:26:13 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/20/2004 5:29:24 AM EST by billclo]
What exactly are you wanting to do with solar power, MrPotatohead, and what kind of budget have you got?

I got into solar power pre-Y2k, got 300watts of panels, batteries, a 12/24v well pump, charge controller, and water pressure pump, etc. I run the well pump, household water pressure pump, and some small appliances/lights on this system. When the whole neighborhood is without power (had no power for 2 days last Sept due to hurricane), I still have water, can take a crap, take a shower, run a radio or a couple florescent lights. Makes things a lot easier. This system ran me about $6k; using lead-acid batteries would have knocked probably $1000 off the price.

If the house had been in a better location, I might have built a bigger system. Definitely will build a larger grid-tie system for the next house.

I had to put the system in myself, because there is effectively no demand for solar systems here in PA. I'm fairly handy with tools, and it was a matter of reading up enough to do the work. It was time-consuming, and I did make a few mistakes along the way, naturally.

Unfortunately, the payback time for solar is very long. It just costs too much, so if saving money is your main motivation, then it won't work out for you. In an area with high consistent winds, you'd do alot better with a wind-generation system. At least that way, you'd make payback within 15-20 years.

One consideration that folk don't often take into account is the lowering of pollution, when you use renewable energy. For every 1000 kwh you save, you save spewing about 1500 POUNDS of crap into the air. This means cleaner air. There's a reason asthma is more and more prevalent; air pollution.

Here are some links to companies that I dealt with in setting up my system:

www.mrsolar.com/

www.windsun.com/

Link Posted: 8/20/2004 6:01:55 AM EST

Originally Posted By SorryOciffer:

With the State and fed tax incentives they become much more affordable



For whom? Our tax dollars are helping to pay your electric bill. That doesn't sound very "affordable" to me...


The key is that people are often used to wasting so much power that they dont like being told that they cant leave every light in the house on, run the coffee pot, micro, and 2 or 3 computers with the AC kick'n 24/7 with a strictly solar set-up. Lack of common sense and wastefullness are the biggest enemies to solar power.


And if they learned to conserve, they wouldn't need solar power in the first place. Basically, it's like telling people "Yeah, $20,000 will buy you an adequate solar power system, but only if you're willing to cut back your energy consumption to the point where you would be paying $15 a month to the electric utility..."

Solar power is fine if you live some place where utility power isn't available. Otherwise, your money is probably better spent on energy-conserving appliances, HVAC, lighting, etc.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 6:13:38 AM EST
Solar ovens are cheap to make and work well. Let me see if I can find the link.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 6:21:45 AM EST
Insulation, Insulation, Insulation.

Most new houses are so loose and poorly insulated (at least here in GA) that you ARE providing AC and heat to the outside world. Double the R factor of your home, look into double glazed low-e windows (or just insulate and caulk around them). Depending on what state you are; in if you do AC most of the year, window tinting can reduce solar gain inside your house. Reflective blinds that either reflect heat out or in. A ridge vent in your roof is good. Depending on how long you plan to stay in that house, the type of plants/tree around the house can effect your HVAC bill. Automated programmable thermostat. If you have a fireplace, change out to a fireplace INSERT (do a google on them) they change your fireplace from 10 % efficient to 80% efficient and seal off the house better then a straight flue.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 6:25:27 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/20/2004 6:26:30 AM EST by Backstop]
Guess about a year ago I heard a Canadian company had made a viable solar panel for houses that was flexible - you just rolled the darn thing on the roof and anchored it. Report said it was 1/2 the cost of conventional panels.
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 6:07:50 AM EST

Originally Posted By Skibane:

Originally Posted By SorryOciffer:

With the State and fed tax incentives they become much more affordable



For whom? Our tax dollars are helping to pay your electric bill. That doesn't sound very "affordable" to me...


The key is that people are often used to wasting so much power that they dont like being told that they cant leave every light in the house on, run the coffee pot, micro, and 2 or 3 computers with the AC kick'n 24/7 with a strictly solar set-up. Lack of common sense and wastefullness are the biggest enemies to solar power.


And if they learned to conserve, they wouldn't need solar power in the first place. Basically, it's like telling people "Yeah, $20,000 will buy you an adequate solar power system, but only if you're willing to cut back your energy consumption to the point where you would be paying $15 a month to the electric utility..."

Solar power is fine if you live some place where utility power isn't available. Otherwise, your money is probably better spent on energy-conserving appliances, HVAC, lighting, etc.



Which is why I said it is wiser to spend money on conserving B4 going solar. Every dollar spent on conservation in your home is woth about $6 worht of a solar install.

The states and fed are offering these incentives for a couple of reasons.

1.) states and feds are trying to meet restrictions in pollutants. Cheaper and easier to have the end user do it. Face it, Kali needs all the help in this area it can get.

2.) The need to have people off the antiquated grid. Think how much the black outs cost. Hell, if everyone just installed compact flouresents ALONE the chances of another blackout/brown outs in Kali would likely have been eliminated. Many businesses in Kali have gone to a solar/grid tie system to take strain off the grid, be more reliable, and sell back any un-used power.

Other tax payers aren't getting fleaced like you seem to think, it's just harder to quantify the benefits so that they are obvious. Hell , the funds for these incentives have been put aside for years and have been available, you just didn't know it, and they are limited, an unlimited # of people cannot get them every year.

A better route for many people is to use a mini-hydro system or a couple small wind units if they are in locations that will support them. THe nice thing about these is that you can make power 24/7, not just when the sun is up. Maintaining them can be easier to and are often cheaper.

S.O.
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 7:11:33 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 7:14:27 AM EST
I will only be living here (hopefully) for the next 6 years or so, so I am reluctant to install solar panels on the roof.

Oh yeah, also we're poor.

Anyway, that said, this is an ideal location: a whole 50% of the roof is SOUTH FACING!
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 7:22:58 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 7:35:37 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 7:37:17 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 7:39:40 AM EST
Wait about 2 years. Within the next year or so there are three companies about to roll out panel material that is twice as efficient at about half the cost. I predict that within 20 years most homes will be built to be mostly grid independent. With crude $50/barrel and rising the incentive for business is there. Within 5 years you can probably by shingles for your house that will generate power for you. Nanotechnology is going to radically change this field in the near future.
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 7:52:20 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 8:04:11 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/21/2004 8:05:18 AM EST by Skibane]

Originally Posted By SorryOciffer:
Other tax payers aren't getting fleaced like you seem to think, it's just harder to quantify the benefits so that they are obvious. Hell , the funds for these incentives have been put aside for years and have been available, you just didn't know it, and they are limited, an unlimited # of people cannot get them every year.



Now you're thinking like a Democrat.

Those "incentive funds" either came out of taxpayers' pockets, or could have been used in lieu of money that came out of taxpayers' pockets. It's NEVER "magic money" that simply appears out of thin air.
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 9:48:05 AM EST

Originally Posted By Skibane:

Originally Posted By SorryOciffer:
Other tax payers aren't getting fleaced like you seem to think, it's just harder to quantify the benefits so that they are obvious. Hell , the funds for these incentives have been put aside for years and have been available, you just didn't know it, and they are limited, an unlimited # of people cannot get them every year.



Now you're thinking like a Democrat.

Those "incentive funds" either came out of taxpayers' pockets, or could have been used in lieu of money that came out of taxpayers' pockets. It's NEVER "magic money" that simply appears out of thin air.



You think NYS is going to just give the $$ back that is used for the incentives?? If they did not spend it on this they would on something else. The budget NEVER gets smaller, they NEVER spend less money. Having NYS pass a budget to begin with is a miricle, we just got it passed after being 190 some odd days late.

When you want someone to do something they would not normally do you either threaten them or entise them. The only way to get most people to be willing to spend $, build, and maintain a solar system is to offer incentives to do it. This happens in every state and federally. I bet at one time or another you had/have a job as well as many others here that was from a company that recieved an incentive to stay where they are or to move to where they are. Do you bitch about that money if it makes jobs or keeps jobs in an area?

Tell me what you would rather they be spent on? I would rather see more people be either self suffienct from the grid and lessen pollution as well as take pressure off of the grid and sell back any excess to the grid, also lessening a strained grid and lower pollution. If the money wasn't spent on that God knows what it would be spent on (stricter gun control?), whatever it would be would likely be worse and more wasteful (Stricter gun control?). I would rather my gooberment spend money on that than the reproductive habits of llamas or the flow characteristics of ketsup (Yes, those are actual studies that have been paid for with state and fed money.)

We are using power faster than we can make it. Combine that with an old in-efficient grid system and ther is a need for something privately that needs to be done and the pvt sector can do it better than the gov.

Like many things, sometimes you have to pick the lesser of two evils.

On a side note, when calculating the payback on a solar setup make sure you factor in a rise in regular utility costs, like most things they rarely go down. This speeds up the payback and profit potential of the system.


Paul, do you have a spot that would work for a small windmill without pissing off any neighbors or housing associations? If so try one of these...www.mikeswindmillshop.com/ You can make power 24/7. Combine that with your porch panel set-up idea could be just tits for ya. Personally I would not go battery back up but instead install a generator inter-tie box, less maintence and cost than batteries.

S.O.
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 6:22:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By SorryOciffer:
Tell me what you would rather they be spent on?



Again, there's that Democrat's mindset: Once a taxpayer's money is collected, it can only be spent.

I don't want it to be spent on anything. I want it back – Or better yet, not taken from me in the first place.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 4:45:23 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2004 5:48:32 AM EST by SorryOciffer]

Originally Posted By Skibane:

Originally Posted By SorryOciffer:
Tell me what you would rather they be spent on?



Again, there's that Democrat's mindset: Once a taxpayer's money is collected, it can only be spent.

I don't want it to be spent on anything. I want it back – Or better yet, not taken from me in the first place.



Shit...I make Rush look like a lib. I am a "realistic" Conservative. You wanna win, you gotta do it the same way the libs do, in little bites.

I want it back to! But be friggin realistic....IT AINT GONNA HAPPEN. If it's gonna be spent it might as well not be for some planned parenthood or other liberal social program or spent to keep DOT flag wavers "busy" on the "job"......

S.O.
Top Top