Solar power

Having welding, machining, and ceramic equipment, our power bill was getting out of hand. (> than $200/mo) We recently installed 30- 230w solar panels
and now have watched our power meter go backwards at rates up to 6sec/rev. In just a few days our panels generated more than 200kwh and one of those days had cloud cover. Oh and we used the solar installation to also create a car port. It may take a few years to recover the cost, but just watching that meter go backwards was worth quite a bit.
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Can you tell us some more, like how large are your panels, where approximately are you, what was the cost etc. I am very interested.
i
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On Thu, 15 Jul 2010 08:45:47 -0500, Ignoramus12838

PV is currently available at the lowest prices ever. http://www.sunelec.com/ (not working when I checked it) As little as <$2 per watt. You should be able to make good use of this. http://www.solar-estimate.org/index.php?page=solar-calculator Customize the entries to reflect however much DIY reduction is appropriate. The payout will still be long. If you shop well and keep costs as low as possible, you should be able to get it down to ~10 years. Less if subsidies are available, although then you might be limited to using approved contractors etc.
Maintenance costs are virtually zero. PV tends to be warrantied for 25 years, which tells us something about its reliability. Grid-tie inverter life is less easy to be confident of, my own are 15 years old.
Bottom line: anybody who wants to do it can, most would rather spend their money on other stuff.
Wayne
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wrote:

Well we are probably in the Sun Capital of the World. Inyokern California. The panel array is 30 panels that occupy a 12X40 space starting 7' off the ground and going up at a 20Ί angle. They form the roof of a car port. It is snaggle toothed with two panels missing to allow light into existing skylight panels. The cost before rebates and tax advantage was $46K which included the steel structure for the carport. Out of pocket costs are expected to be approx $26k. Panels have a relatively long warranty and are expected to still be producing useable power in 25yrs. These are Sunpower panels and as early as 0600 this morning I was seeing some 60w being generated. Now at 0800 it is reading 1.9kw. Cleaning maybe accomplished by the wind that we get around here. If it only blows 45mph, no one thinks much of it. Probably a good wind generator area also, but I don't like whirling things above my head unless I'm in my helicopter. We are grid dependent and have no batteries. The future battery development will probably let us change that and reduce our dependency on the grid. As it stands now if the grid goes down, so does our solar power. Another thing is the availability of what amounts to a zero interest loan for one year. We are going to take advantage of that and keep our $26k drawing interest until such time as the payment is due. To date we are out $1k and making power.
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Isn't Inyokern near China Lake? I remember going through Inyokern on a return trip from LA on hwy 395.
Did you put the array on you insurance policy? You probably don't get many thunderstorms with hail, but most of the rest of the country does. I wonder what the insurance cost is for such an array?
One of my customers builds computer driven mounts for large solar arrays in array farms. They claim up to 40% increase by being able to continually adjust the array to follow the sun from sunrise to sunset, 365 days of the year. Earlier this week one of their staff brought in a circuit board prototype kit. I asked him if the company had ever considered a similar product for the home type installation. Said he asked the same question when he started with the company. Answer was the support costs were deemed too much for the price they would get. Too bad. A similar 40% increase would really boost the return for your installation.
Paul
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On Thu, 15 Jul 2010 10:25:28 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@coinet.com"
I mentioned it to my insurance company, no extra premium.

The glass is rated for some pretty big hail. Very low risk of damage. If any insurance company charged somehing extra, it shouldn't be much.

Trackers are harder to justify these days now that PV costs so much less. http://www.wattsun.com/ I have 3 arrays here, all on trackers. An additional benefit for my battery-based setup is that production starts earlier and ends later, which means that less of my total consumption has to make a trip through the batteries. I get a similar benefit from having a wind turbine to supplement the solar. Since the wind frequently blows overnight, the batteries don't get as much cycling. Those batteries are already 15 years old. Without the trackers and the wind power I might have needed to replace the batteries years ago.
Grid-tied systems that don't need batteries will gain less advantage from tracking.
Wayne
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wrote:

Isn't Inyokern near China Lake? I remember going through Inyokern on a return trip from LA on hwy 395.
Did you put the array on you insurance policy? You probably don't get many thunderstorms with hail, but most of the rest of the country does. I wonder what the insurance cost is for such an array? One of my customers builds computer driven mounts for large solar arrays in array farms. They claim up to 40% increase by being able to continually adjust the array to follow the sun from sunrise to sunset, 365 days of the year. Earlier this week one of their staff brought in a circuit board prototype kit. I asked him if the company had ever considered a similar product for the home type installation. Said he asked the same question when he started with the company. Answer was the support costs were deemed too much for the price they would get. Too bad. A similar 40% increase would really boost the return for your installation.
Paul
Yep we're about 15miles west of China Lake. We do not have any homeowners insurance and haven't had since about 86. Of course we never had a mortgage. It was handbuilt over 1yr.
I used to work on computer driven radar mounts and can see where it would be possible to build a tracking system, however, the time and cost would certainly eat into the benefit of the 40% gain. I would rather finish my kit helicopter and go flying.
stu
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Out of curiosity, why no battery bank? In your location..it would appear to me that batteries would be nearly a requirement.
Gunner
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wrote:

Hello Gunner. The cost of the batteries, the maintenance costs to go completely off the grid aren't in our play book yet. However we are tracking some solid sodium battery technology that could change our system.
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Thats pretty new stuff, isnt it?
Gunner
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wrote:

Gunner: It is new stuff coming from Coors!! Evidently Coors has a ceramics lab that is more exciting than their beer. Initial data seems to have a 15kw battery the size of a small refrigerator that can be discharged and charged every day for 10yrs. Estimated price: $2,000. This is some technology that we are following. With development, in both the battery and impoved solar cell efficiencies, apartments living off the grid may be possible.
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No shit?!!!
Thats a hell of a battery and if it has the life span...we are indeed living in the beginning of a new age.
Got any links??
This is indeed interesting!!
Gunner
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wrote:

Yep I had links and now can't remember where I put them. Damn it is inconvenient to get older. If I can find the link I'll stick it in here. Stu
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On Fri, 16 Jul 2010 21:35:08 -0700
<snip>

The first four hits or so look like what you want:
http://www.google.com/search?q=coors+battery+refrigerator&btnG=Search&hl=en
or
http://www.gizmag.com/solar-battery-cheap-power/12676 /
http://heraldextra.com/news/article_b0372fd8-3f3c-11de-ac77-001cc4c002e0.html
http://seekingalpha.com/article/159191-beer-batteries-and-a-solar-power-game-changer
http://classicalvalues.com/archives/2009/08/warm_sodium_bat.html
Interesting stuff...
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
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wrote:

http://seekingalpha.com/article/159191-beer-batteries-and-a-solar-power-game-changer
Bingo Leon.
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I'm not buying into all this global warming stuff but if we devise a decent battery and go solar, it would seem that it would have less impact on our enviroment.
Not that I'm worried we are ruining it burning oil and gas. Coal has some issues, undermining property, heavy metals, and the danger to those that go underground to mine it.
Now if we could find a battery with the energy density of gasoline with a long life and isn't made of toxic chemicals, a lot of changes would take place.
The next 20+ years may be interesting.
Wes -- "Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller
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in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

I mentioned that to a friend, he sent me the following link.
http://heraldextra.com/news/article_b0372fd8-3f3c-11de-ac77-001cc4c002e0.html
Really cool. Not just for Solar power, but for storing hydropower from irrigation dams.
Neat
--
pyotr filipivich
We will drink no whiskey before its nine.
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That article is from April 2009 and talks about a full scale prototype in 6 months. Their website news page http://www.ceramatec.com/news/index.php is pretty sparse on news and I could barely find a mention of the sodium sulfur battery on their battery page. Wonder what's up?
----- Regards, Carl Ijames
wrote:

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in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    This is one of those questions I have, why does a wind turbine _have_ to look like a airplane propeller?     I keep thinking of the roof top 'turbines' used to draw hot air out of an attic space. So it seems to me that it would not be that difficult to build a "squirrel cage" fan on it's side so that the axis is vertical. If you want, you could make a pivoting shroud to open into the wind. Might want to make the intake 'larger' than the exit, get a little boost ...
--
pyotr filipivich
We will drink no whiskey before its nine.
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on Thu, 15 Jul 2010 08:17:58 -0700 typed

There are several types of vertical-shaft turbines, including some that draw air in at the bottom of a column and exhaust it at the top. One type uses solar energy to heat the column and force the draft.
But more common vertical-shaft types are the Darrieus and Savonius rotors. The latter is a simple drag rotor, like an anemometer, and designs are available that have an efficiency of 16%. A conventional, horizontal-shaft turbine averages around 35% at best. This is disregarding a lot of physics, including the Betz limit, which the technoids will now jump on and use to complicate the issue beyond all recognition. <g>
Savonius rotors are fun to build and make a nice hobby project, including a rare-earth-magnet alternator you can make from junk, and use to generate 20W - 50W in modest sizes. (Don't put cores in the alternator poles or you'll get a nasty cogging effect that makes them hard to start.) They're good in gusty conditions, compared to other types.
--
Ed Huntress



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