Solar power



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.
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wrote:

Stu lives someplace VERY similar to Aridzona in climate and sun availability.
Gunner
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On Fri, 16 Jul 2010 01:03:18 -0400, "Existential Angst"

He's an astute fellow in the same way that GW was the environmental president. "Nowadays, standard monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels both have established proven track records with life expectancies that exceed 40 years. Manufacturers of these proven technologies are now comfortable offering warranties of 25 years or more" http://partsonsale.com/gridtiequestions.html

Go here http://www.solar-estimate.org/index.php?verifycookie=1&page=solar-calculator&subpage=&external_estimator =. Enter your info. Change the cost per W to reflect your ability to pay less than full-boat retail. This article http://www.kingmandailyminer.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID9089&TM7926.71 indicates that the average retail in my area is $5.
Wayne
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Stu Fields wrote:

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
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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
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wrote:

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
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Sunworshipper wrote:

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.
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wrote:

Marketing research, love it. So a thumbs down. From the picture(s) you could put them on one mount. BTW, was that around 8,000kb per picture? Seemed to load awfully slow. Have you really been to Spain or are ya taking a jab about the billion $ to Spain instead of a US company? Thanks for the input.
SW
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Sunworshipper wrote:

they were a 1mb picture when i uploaded them, i have no idea what picturetrail did to them. i assumed that they did some sort of compression on them.
44 panels on one mount? that would be pretty big and tall, if it had to track both dawn and sunset. furthermore, since my house faces sw, it would have to be in the front yard. that would definitely be a nogo by swmbo.
yes, i recently spent 1.5 weeks driving around the south of spain. they are going big into solar cells. i saw acres of panel installations. few were trackers; pedestal mounted for the most part. most though were fixed inclination, looked around 25 degrees or so.
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is 4.6kw and 9.0kwh so far today. Life time production to date: 265kwh. We are at 5.5 days for an average of 48kwh/day which is more than our avg. consumption. Look out Utilities commission there is a new power generation plant in existence. We might be able to sell an average of 2kwh/day. At our rates that would be $0.48/day except they ain't going to buy at the same rate that they sell. I'm the only one that uses that business model.
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wrote:

Static PV concentrator?
Your not serious? Half mirrored spheres with suspended small costly PV cells... Sounds like them.
SW
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is 4.6kw and 9.0kwh so far today. Life time production to date:

There was no detail only a teaser that DOE was interested in getting their SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research) money out there and spent before they lose it. I can remember having to come up with something to spend the SBIR money so that we could get some next year. GEESH..I sure hope we get more and bigger government to take care of me...
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Request research funds to devise a method to tax the electricity individuals make with solar power at home for thier own use. Off grid people are of course not paying thier fair share of taxes.
Best Regards Tom.
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azotic wrote:

Off grid people of course dont get the benefits the on grid tax payers get. So its seems fair to me that we( off grid folk) dont pay the tax to which you refer. . Afterall (correct me if im wrong) you dont pay for services you dont get. Ie you dont pay your plumber or whatever if hes not doing anything for you. Off grid electricity cost more per watt than on grid. It does have its compensations tho. If anyone is interested , weve been off grid for some 40 yrs, and our setup uses the following. Ex British rail standby signalling alkaline batteries, I bought them at 10 yrs old at 30.00 a ton, had 3 tons. Have a useful life in excess of 50 yrs. We used from the 70 crates, there in 316 stainless steel in hard wood boxes, some 20 at present, powering a 3kw outback system. We charge them with a 6kva Lister diesel generator controlled by an Outback mate. Recently, we came by 1000 galls of diesel fuel at 1.00 a gallon. so weve plenty put by. The proper pump price of this tax free tractor fuel here in the UK is 2.50 a gallon. we plan to cut this generating cost by building a 48v. DC generator powered by a 650 rpm Lister 6/1 single on waste vegetable oil.Weve 3 of these engines put by. Currently we get this WVO from a local hotel for free. So were stock piling it for future use. We think that this way of providing electricity is the cheapest way, much more efficient that solar power. We will add another 3kw outback in due course to give us a steady 6kw power supply. Our main power usage is our fridge freezer. hope this is of interest. Ted in rural wilderness Dorset UK.
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Ted: Having driven around in the UK, I can believe that solar might not be the most efficient way to generate power. Only saw the sun a couple of times in two weeks. However, have you ever logged your time collecting WVO, diesel, and maintenance? I'd be interested in knowing the cost interms of amount of labor req'd. It does sound like you've been pretty inventive in taking care of your power needs. We have people living not to far away in the mountains that have come up with combinations of solar and diesel to answer their forced off grid lifestyle. I really like the no moving parts and minimal maintenance of the solar and we live in the desert where we are truly wasting sunshine. With two helicopters, my wrench twisting time is already more than I like.
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Stu Fields wrote:

Time spent doing the above,? well, the WVO is collected about every 3 weeks when I take a trip into town to do my chores, at the same time I collect the thick worktop off cuts from a kitchen maker . these are also free,and are the best and most consistent fuel supply for our wood burner/water heater/ cooker/ house heater.Cut with a tractor driven saw bench and tungsten tipped blade. Diesel maintenance is minimal. oil change 2 times a year, fuel injector service every 4 yrs. will do 50,000hrs before it needs a ring and bore set. However I was trained as a flight engineer, still have all my foot launced flying kit, Earn my living as an applied art metal smith. forge bronze, silver ,titanium etc. also mint all sorts of products. do have plenty of space, storage and fun!!. A fully equipped engineering workshop is here as well. Have lots of projects on the go. Been very lucky really. Our weather is capricious, weve had 8 weeks of high pressure with only 3 or 4 days of cloud cover. need the rain badly . Just the way it is!!. Thanks for your interest. allways enjoy rec. crafts, metalworking. Ted.
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wrote:

oooh, that sounds like fun ! That's what I need to find, a Lister. I found them on the Internet while looking up a cast iron gas tank I found in the woods for a hit and miss named a Monitor. They don't make gas tanks like they use to. I need a 220V generator I can run for long periods just in case the power goes out while its 30 below. Almost landed a VW diesel pickup for $75 and was about to start collecting oily stuff cause I can get as many of those fuel oil tanks that I could possibly need for free. Was not happy, thought the VW was in the bag after about 1.5 years of negotiating of who really had the title.
See if you had sun I could show you how to cure that reefer problem. Solar thermal is my favorite. Run it off the exhaust heat!
What I don't and never have understood is how one controls the timing when the fuel is ignited by pressure alone. Why won't it light off on the way up? Maybe it does and won't work till the ratio is just right... Lots of backfires till ya get it right?
SW
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Sunworshipper wrote:

If I read you right, you might need to read up how a diesel engine works. To put it simply the fuel is sprayed at over 100 bar into the hot compressed air as a very fine mist just before top dead center on the compression stroke, whereapon it catches fire by itself. As to finding a 6/1 lister diesel, theres a few here in the UK at engine rallies and steam fairs. We find it easier to heat the house, the water and do the cooking on a large cast iron cooking stove . A Rayburn no1. Made in the 1950/60's. As with everything else we have a spare put by.But then we have always planned on the long term.
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wrote:

Well, it looks like I need to find a great book now. Didn't know ole Rudolf killed himself over trying to figure the engine out. Looks like it took between 30 to 40 years to get the injector right.
I had assumed it was accomplished without injectors and maybe right...? Also assumed they had to wait for someone to come up with the injector to make it useful, which might be right...?
But, thanks, I had no idea they where doing such things from close to the get go. I've been trying to get some good old books through the library system, now it seems that the copy writes expire they don't want to let you check out the old cool books cause they are old and rare. Getting a hold of that good information has always been a pet peeve, so I best drop it before I go off on a rant.
I've never seen an injector apart and was hoping to get that diesel VW to force myself to learn. Plus I have a friend who lives close that knows diesels very well, he even has a Simi that you can't reach the $100 bill taped to the dash from the acceleration between gears.
Not long ago I found out what they mean by a hit and miss engine, I assumed it was like a 6 - 8 cycle engine of some sort. Never thought it was possible to let it turn until more power/speed was needed. Must have huge valves and opened far to make it work.
I think I might have lost you on the heat thing, not your stove. Use the heat from your generators for an evaporative cooler for your refrigerator.
Flight engineer. Isn't that the person the pilot and co-pilot look to, to see if they look scared ?
SW
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Lots of old engine books on archive.org, just none showing current Diesel practice. There's at least a couple of dozen ways of getting fuel into a Diesel cylinder, the one Rudolf invented isn't used much anymore, which was blasting the charge in there with compressed air. 100RPM was fast for the engines he first built, though, were meant to replace stationary steam power. The current crop of car Diesels use direct injection and electrically operated and computer controlled injectors. Benz used, for many years, indirect injection and a mechanically operated and timed plunger pump set, look up "Bosch pump". VW's diesels were off on their own, didn't use anything like current practice or Bosch, either. Hopefully the newer low-sulfur fuels haven't killed the injector/distributor pump, that was happening when I left CA 15 years back and guys were haunting the VW scrapyard looking for injection system parts. Weren't factory available.
Stan
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