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.
Reply to
Stu Fields
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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
Reply to
Ignoramus12838
Are you factoring in the maintenance of the panels such as cleaning, replacement as needed, etc.
How about battery (presuming you have them) replacement, etc?
If you are still ahead of the game in 10 years, then you must live somewhere very sunny and very flat...
Here in NJ, it has been proven that until the cost of the components and the maintenance come down a bit further, there is no savings to the end user and probably not to the environment either. Basically, the end user is fortifying the power company's infrastructure with their own investment of funds. ...And that's why the power companies give some $ to home owners and businesses to make such changes. They know the curve and know where the money-making is for them.
...They can't very well build more power generation plants around here so it's also their only hope to keep up as the older sites shut down, etc.
Places like AZ and NM, etc. can be worthwhile for the end user as long as they keep the panels clean, the system maintained, etc.
Regards, Joe Agro, Jr. (800) 871-5022 01.908.542.0244 Automatic / Pneumatic Drills:
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V8013-R
Reply to
Joe AutoDrill
Are you factoring in the maintenance of the panels such as cleaning, replacement as needed, etc.
How about battery (presuming you have them) replacement, etc?
If you are still ahead of the game in 10 years, then you must live somewhere very sunny and very flat...
Here in NJ, it has been proven that until the cost of the components and the maintenance come down a bit further, there is no savings to the end user and probably not to the environment either. Basically, the end user is fortifying the power company's infrastructure with their own investment of funds. ...And that's why the power companies give some $ to home owners and businesses to make such changes. They know the curve and know where the money-making is for them.
...They can't very well build more power generation plants around here so it's also their only hope to keep up as the older sites shut down, etc.
Places like AZ and NM, etc. can be worthwhile for the end user as long as they keep the panels clean, the system maintained, etc.
Regards, Joe Agro, Jr. (800) 871-5022 01.908.542.0244 Automatic / Pneumatic Drills:
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V8013-R
Reply to
Joe AutoDrill
PV is currently available at the lowest prices ever.
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(not working when I checked it) As little as
Reply to
wmbjkREMOVE
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 20º 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.
Reply to
Stu Fields
in may i put in a 7.5kw solar installation, just in time for the main summer a/c season. last month's bill was $40, whereas same month last year was $200.
the rebates covered 80%, payback is estimated at 4.5 years. panels are guaranteed for 25 years. converter is guaranteed for 10 years.
you'll want to rinse them off occasionally. i do so about ever 3-4 weeks, as the dust builds up. cleaning will get me a 3-5% gain.
regards, charlie phx, az
Reply to
chaniarts
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
Reply to
co_farmer
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.
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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
Reply to
wmbjkREMOVE
A losing deal anyway I figure it around here. PPL just raised their rates 45% and it's still cheaper to buy it than to make it.
A school district here just spent $2.4 million on solar power, with a 900K grant from the state of PA. That leaves them 1.5M out of pocket, they say they will make/save 85,000 bucks a year. That gives them a break even at 17.6 years IF nothing ever needs repair or maintanance on the whole system. Morons.
I can't find that article, but here's an even better one......on a planned system.
from
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questionable or downright stupid use of tax dollars by area school districts continues unabated during a period of stretched budgets and increasing tax rates. The latest is the possible installation of solar panels by the Nazareth Area School District.
The district proposes spending approximately $5.1 million, including, according to a Morning Call report, approximately $3.2 million of local taxpayer dollars, to build two solar plants projected to have a 27-year break-even period. This does not account for maintenance and repair costs. Given that solar panels lose generating capacity over time, it is highly likely that there really is no payback at all. If there is an educational benefit to this project in line with the mission of the school district, it is hard to understand.
This represents an exorbitant waste of taxpayer money on the state and local levels. If we wish to strive toward energy efficiency, that is fine. Let's not do so by expending resources on such an obvious boondoggle.
Thank You, Randy
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Reply to
Randy
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
Reply to
Stu Fields
Charlie: Thanks for the info. We'll be watching closely the panel production and checking for dust. Usually, we get an evening wind that will probably keep it pretty clean. At least the wind brings most of the loose dust around and in my garage door.
Stu
Reply to
Stu Fields
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The questionable or downright stupid use of tax dollars by area school
Well Randy, you know that if you are spending someone elses money, the fine print can get ignored. Just think how "Green" they can feel. In our case we spent our own $ and with a ceramic kiln cooking some 50amps @220v over night several times out of the year?? We are thinking about using the excess power to go back to a heat pump and get away from the swamp cooler and the disgusting pads. $ value? Value of better, more enjoyable use of my time?? Also the battery technology is gaining ground to the point we may get off the grid completely. $ value??
Stu
Reply to
Stu Fields
...Adn how much did his system cost? How much is maintenance per year on average? Multiply the maintenance by two since everyone minimizes the negatives of something they like... And now ask him what his bills were before the install.
Calculate the amount of manufacturing effort that went into it all and the effect on the environment the manufacturing had as compared to the same from the power plant...
Most people find the net gain is not there unless they live in a very sunny place.
Someone actually posted a map of the USA where it was profitable and where it wasn't a few years ago. Wish I could find that now.
I hope your friend is ahead of the game, but if he is, I also bet he is in open prarie country or the south / dessert and not a metro area like I am.
Regards, Joe Agro, Jr. (800) 871-5022 01.908.542.0244 Automatic /
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Reply to
Joe AutoDrill
Can I put those panels on the roof of my house, is that usually permitted? Half of my slanted roof is facing south.
I also do not care about batteries, if I can reduce my electric bill, I will be happy.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus12838
Out of curiosity, why no battery bank? In your location..it would appear to me that batteries would be nearly a requirement.
Gunner
One could not be a successful Leftwinger without realizing that, in contrast to the popular conception supported by newspapers and mothers of Leftwingers, a goodly number of Leftwingers are not only narrow-minded and dull, but also just stupid. Gunner Asch
Reply to
Gunner Asch
Stu lives someplace VERY similar to Aridzona in climate and sun availability.
Gunner
One could not be a successful Leftwinger without realizing that, in contrast to the popular conception supported by newspapers and mothers of Leftwingers, a goodly number of Leftwingers are not only narrow-minded and dull, but also just stupid. Gunner Asch
Reply to
Gunner Asch
yes. they have to be south facing (in the northern hemisphere). i have a flat roof southwest facing, and they are tipped up about 15 degrees. optimum tilt is different depending upon your latitude. they can't be shaded by anything (parts of the roof, chimney, trees, etc).
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most common sold now for residential is grid-tie. it uses the grid for a reference voltage (when the converter detects the grid not there, it shuts off), and backfeeds through a 50a double breaker in my main panel. my install has 2 seperate cutoffs so i can work on the panel, a large knife switch installed between the panel meter and the solar meter, and a rotary switch on the converter.
i'm on time of day metering, so sell to the power company at high day rate, and most use is at the low night rate. i should get a check at the end of the year for excess power generation unless i fire my 8kw kiln a lot more than usual.
Reply to
chaniarts
Question for both of you. If you had the option of putting those on a tracker and having that in your yard and getting 40% more energy or leave them static on the roof so that they are out of sight?
Looks like some states are coming around. Back when I was into solar they charged you $5,000 for the phase synchro and paid you back $ 0.01 per KWH and charged you $0.12 and much more interested in wheeling and dealing power across state lines, hmmm maybe Enron was a good thing.
BTW cooling them will make them more efficient and last longer. They don't like to be over 100 F, good luck with that, I shudder, must get up to 160F.
Someone was saying something about where the best areas are. Look under isolation and radiation charts. Best in the US is Daget Ca. Part of the reason I went to vegas was to do experiments, but found out it is political not technological. I wouldn't believe a chart that says it won't pay off in that location, too many factors involved.
SW
Reply to
Sunworshipper
one of our design requirements was invisiblity from the street. if they pivot, they'd have to be a lot higher and not shade any of the neighboring panels as they moved. i've seen large fields of panels in spain that self track, but they're ground mounted.
Reply to
chaniarts

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