Who has solar panels?

ScottSD

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FarmerChick said:
working on buying a solar panel for my water heater.
neighbor will install it since he does that kind of work, but I have to save up the money first..LOL

can't help on brand, style or anything yet for you.
If you're going to use them for a water heater, it is quite possible that you could get away with using a DC water heater instead of an AC one....then you wouldn't have to convert the power you get from the solar panel to AC....

I did a quick google and there are a number of possibilities for DC water heaters from complete units to DC elements.
 

dacjohns

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ScottSD said:
As an engineer I have done some research on this subject, but not as much as I probably should do.

Until they come up with a technology that makes it feasible (because of the cost) I doubt that I will purchase any solar panels.

And, yes, as far as I know you have to have batteries with an inverter for conversion to AC...that is also a problem as most inverters are not very efficient.
I think it also depends on where you live. Where I lived in New Mexico it was about equal for installation of solar compared to hooking up to the grid. If I would have lived farther away from the grid it would have been cheaper to go with solar.
 

Farmfresh

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ScottSD said:
FarmerChick said:
working on buying a solar panel for my water heater.
neighbor will install it since he does that kind of work, but I have to save up the money first..LOL

can't help on brand, style or anything yet for you.
If you're going to use them for a water heater, it is quite possible that you could get away with using a DC water heater instead of an AC one....then you wouldn't have to convert the power you get from the solar panel to AC....

I did a quick google and there are a number of possibilities for DC water heaters from complete units to DC elements.
I would probably use passive solar to heat my water. Let the sun heat it directly! Why bother with converting the sun to electricity and then using the electricity to heat the water?
 

johnElarue

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Farmfresh said:
My mistake... they are 10 watts each and by SunForce.

I know people CAN run their solar panels in such a way as to direct wire them into the house current. I know it takes inverters and special breaker boxes etc... but they can be wired to actually "turn the meters backwards" when solar supplies exceed usage.

This may be improbable for my small set up and the amount I am willing to spend, but I would still like to understand how it is accomplished. ;)
Hi Farmfresh,

I found this really neat channel on YouTube that describes just what you are talking about. It looks like the key is the grid-tie inverter. This guy is running a single panel into his outlet using the grid-tie inverter. It looks pretty simple.

http://www.youtube.com/user/GREENPOWERSCIENCE#p/u/1/rpafn-urjrg

Would like to hear some opinions from you other tech-guys on this setup.

Diavolicchio said:
Although the title is a bit insulting, the book is actually a pretty decent primer on the subject:
Catchy title ;) I definately need that.
 

johnElarue

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Kinda answering my own question, but not quite..

http://www.wind-sun.com/ForumVB/showthread.php?t=4598

seems like doing anything small scale like this brings you into the "guerilla solar" catagory. Liability and code hammers would swing hard and fast I imagine.

Now where to find a small cheap grid tie inverter...
 

Farmfresh

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Thanks I definitely bookmarked that one to watch again. :D

I think I need to stop being so shy and just jump on in with some of this stuff.
 

ScottSD

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I would calculate the return on investment (worst case) to see if it it is worth it.

Some of the reading I've done on this, says that it could be 20 years before the panels come close to paying for themselves.

Given that the life of the panels (some of them) is about 25 years........makes me wonder if they are worth it.


When I put in geo-thermal, it was something like 6 years before it started paying for itself.
 

Diavolicchio

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ScottSD said:
I would calculate the return on investment (worst case) to see if it it is worth it.

Some of the reading I've done on this, says that it could be 20 years before the panels come close to paying for themselves.

Given that the life of the panels (some of them) is about 25 years........makes me wonder if they are worth it.


When I put in geo-thermal, it was something like 6 years before it started paying for itself.
There's another factor you need to take into account when calculating ROI on your solar panels. And that's the fact that going with a sustainable solution is just the right thing to do.


John
 

ScottSD

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Diavolicchio said:
ScottSD said:
I would calculate the return on investment (worst case) to see if it it is worth it.

Some of the reading I've done on this, says that it could be 20 years before the panels come close to paying for themselves.

Given that the life of the panels (some of them) is about 25 years........makes me wonder if they are worth it.


When I put in geo-thermal, it was something like 6 years before it started paying for itself.
There's another factor you need to take into account when calculating ROI on your solar panels. And that's the fact that going with a sustainable solution is just the right thing to do.


John
What do you mean?
 
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