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Who has solar panels?

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by johnElarue, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. Dec 29, 2009
    ScottSD

    ScottSD Lovin' The Homestead

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    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.
     
  2. Dec 29, 2009
    dacjohns

    dacjohns Our Frustrated Curmudgeon

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    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.
     
  3. Dec 29, 2009
    Farmfresh

    Farmfresh City Biddy

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    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?
     
  4. Dec 31, 2009
    johnElarue

    johnElarue Lovin' The Homestead

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    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.

    Catchy title ;) I definately need that.
     
  5. Dec 31, 2009
    johnElarue

    johnElarue Lovin' The Homestead

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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...
     
  6. Dec 31, 2009
    Farmfresh

    Farmfresh City Biddy

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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.
     
  7. Dec 31, 2009
    ScottSD

    ScottSD Lovin' The Homestead

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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.
     
  8. Dec 31, 2009
    Diavolicchio

    Diavolicchio Contemplation Leave

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    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
     
  9. Dec 31, 2009
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Almost Self-Reliant

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  10. Dec 31, 2009
    ScottSD

    ScottSD Lovin' The Homestead

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    What do you mean?
     

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