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Posted: 8/30/2004 5:47:43 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/30/2004 5:48:07 AM EST by SIGNAL4L]
My power went out yesterday for about 18 hours. I lost everything in my freezer/fridge. I am thinking about getting a solar panel installed on the roof. I am just starting to research this and would appreciate any input from someone who has tried this.

I live near Chicago. My main concern is hail damage cracking the panels and wether or not hit would be a cost effective experiment.

Let me know what you think....
Link Posted: 8/30/2004 5:48:17 AM EST
got to the store and buy dry ice- cheaper
Link Posted: 8/30/2004 5:50:04 AM EST
No, it wouldn't.

You'd be better off with a battery bank and inverter system or a generator.


Solar is very expensive.
Link Posted: 8/30/2004 5:50:35 AM EST
The stuff in the freezer should have been OK for that length of time if you kept the door closed.
Link Posted: 8/30/2004 5:52:29 AM EST
To power radios and flourescet lights, okee dokee. To power things that create heat or have motors, no way... Don't be fooled about how much power is coming to your fuse box or breaker panel. A lot of power is there, and occasionally you use a sizeable percentage of whats available. The comfort we all have with this power sorce tends to make us forget just how much energy is there...
Link Posted: 8/30/2004 6:23:06 AM EST
Of course the wife had to open the freezer. Everything is garbage.

I did some googling. Holy crap!! Solar aint cheap. The state of IL offers a rebate of up to 50%. I would still have to fork over several grand and live to the age of 150 for this to be cost effective.

Link Posted: 8/30/2004 6:28:03 AM EST
Solar power is crap. It would take more roof space than you could ever possibly have to generate enough power for your house.
Link Posted: 8/30/2004 3:24:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By wedge1082:
Solar power is crap. It would take more roof space than you could ever possibly have to generate enough power for your house.



riiiiiiight!

first step is to reduce the consumption. EnergyStar appliances, compact flourescent lighting, flat screen monitors and TVs, etc. it's cheaper to save it than to make it.

my PV system will eventually have 12 or more 75W pannels and cover all my electrical needs 9 months out of the year. unfortunately, in the summer, my under insulated house heats up and the sawmp or AC suck a bunch of juice, so the solar will still cover the baseline ether, but not the cooling.

www.homepower.com
Link Posted: 8/30/2004 3:30:23 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/30/2004 3:30:53 PM EST by California_Kid]
Probably nowhere near worth it yet.

I did a cost analysis for a solar system for my house in sunny San Diego a couple of years ago.

Even with Californistan's inflated electric power prices, abundant sunshine, and a state tax rebate (which has expired since then) the expected break-even point was somewhere in the 20-30 year range. That doesn't account for roof repairs that I will probably need to make in about 20.

Eventually the price of the cells will come down and their efficiency will go up to the point where it's worth doing for a single-family home.

SIGNAL4L - Get yourself a backup generator.
Link Posted: 8/30/2004 3:31:29 PM EST
Then you need to line the floor or basement of your house with batteries............ solar sucks.

Bird shit dust on the panel, needs cleaned often, I can not go into how many ways solar sucks --- get a wind mill.
Link Posted: 8/30/2004 3:37:55 PM EST
I've toyed with solar for an unpowered camp in Maine- if you search you can find some reasonably
priced systems that can supply flourescent light and radio all night with a days sun, but as others
said, not enough juice for a real home unless you sink alot of dough into it.

Link Posted: 8/30/2004 3:39:33 PM EST
The cheapest solution is a natural gas fired whole-house generator. About $5000 installed with automatic cut over.

Solar costs $10 to $20 per watt installed with controls. A typical house might need 5 to 10KWH average per day if you heat with some other fuel. A solar system that could support that would set you back $50,000 to $200,000. No way does the math work.

Solar costs are, at best, on par with residential energy costs. Their life is about 20 years, which is about the best case payback. Sadly, at best, solar works only when other sources are not practical (unless utility rebates help pay it down).

In Chicago, the number of clear days, the amount of snow that would block the panels, and the high latitude would all conspire against you too.

PS: Little known solar fact...if something partially shades your panel, say a shadow of a tree limb, that panel will quit producing, or will fall off way out of proportion with the % of shadow.
Link Posted: 8/30/2004 3:41:01 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/30/2004 3:52:55 PM EST
Sunelco

This is the place to start.

MT

Link Posted: 8/30/2004 3:54:21 PM EST
from what i've heard on the news of home owners who has enough solar panels to generate enough power for their homes still have a pay up monthly some kind of dumb fee to the electric companies too, even though no power is used from the electric companies

I don't believe that CRAP...you try to get away from paying for the electric bill and yet they still bill you for using the energy we all get for free
Link Posted: 8/30/2004 4:02:44 PM EST

Originally Posted By cyanide:
Then you need to line the floor or basement of your house with batteries............ solar sucks.

Bird shit dust on the panel, needs cleaned often, I can not go into how many ways solar sucks --- get a wind mill.



I CANT BELIVE IT but I am going to have to agree with cyanide

I have know idea how much solar or wind mill ( buying/instalation etc.) cost
but I do know that a guy down the road from me makes a prety penny selling power from his
wind mill back to the electric company.
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