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Author Topic: SOLAR PANELS: Do you have any on your house? Back to Topics
101Speedster

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Ventura

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Message Posted: Oct 19, 2008 12:12:22 PM

Got solar? Got wind?

Do you think that the government should be subsidizing the cost of solar panels for homeowners that want them on their houses? How about windmills?

If you have them, how many do you have? Do they cover all of your electricity usage?
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oilpan4
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 28, 2014 4:02:14 PM

I don't need to weatherize my home I have no regrets paying $35 to $70 a month for power.

What am I going to do, tear out walls to install hundreds of dollars worth of insolation and then put thousands of dollars worth of windows in to save $5 to $10 a month?
Couple that with the fact that I plan to move in less than a year, no not worth it.

You don't seem to understand what I am saying about the swap cooler and air conditioner thing. This swamp cooler set up does not directly cool your house, it only cools the hot side of your refrigeration based air conditioner.
If you pre cool the air going to your air conditioners condenser coils your refrigeration based A/C will be far more efficient. It doesn't matter what the dew point of the air out side is, as long as the humidity out side is below 100% the swamp cooler will cool the incoming air before it goes over the condenser coils. Your A/C condenser unit doesn't care how humid or what the dew point is. It works off temperature differential.

http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Cooling/ACEvapCool/ACEvapCool.htm

For about every degree of temperature reduced you will see about a 1% efficiency boost. I bet you could drop the temperature of the air going into the condenser by at least 15'F with evaporative cooling.
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Chiefaz
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jul 28, 2014 12:06:06 PM

Oilpan4
I have a swamp cooler installed. It's only good when the dew point is 45 degrees or lower. In monsoon season (now) our humidity gets us up to 70 degrees dew point.
I have covered all the bases, you seem to have not. Weatherize your home to the degree I have and then give me suggestions.
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oilpan4
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 27, 2014 5:02:52 PM

Sounds like you need:
ecorenovator.org

That A/C needs help out there. Maybe you could build a swamp cooler around the condenser coils or swap out the stamped sheet metal condenser fan which is basically a turbulence generator with an actual air foil fan that uses lift, not turbulence to move air through the condenser.
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oilpan4
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 27, 2014 3:35:50 PM

Yeah I know what its like.
Ignore the "Virginia" part. I live in eastern new mexico now, over the last 3 lived I lived in Almogordo, worked in las cruses and worked in elpaso a little bit last summer. I remember one day about this time last year it was only 107, that was a relief.

I have single pane windows and no insolation in most of my NM ranch house. It has a 1 ton A/C and 2 window units that total almost another ton. My secret, it stays off most of the time and we only cool 1 or 2 rooms at a time, because I am cheap.

In Virginia we had central A/C, only a 2.5 ton unit. Same thing, I ran a window unit in the bedroom and living room. When I would get home in the eveing I would turn living room window AC unit and central AC on, just long enough to pull the humidity out of the air. Then it would go back off. If it was really hot and humid I would leave the living room AC on and only cool the living room. The rooms that were not regularly used had the vents blocked off, door shut.
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Chiefaz
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jul 27, 2014 2:46:19 PM

Oilpan4
Your system assumptions are wrong. I changed my hot water system by putting a solar assist system in. I changed out my old A/C out for a better SEER model. I changed my windows out for dual pane low E glass. You don't know what it's like in Arizona. Last week we were around 110 and peaked at 116, Our power company raises the rates in summer to around 12 to 15 cents per KWh. You live in Virginia. I grew up in Glen Burnie Md We did not even have A/C where I lived and I doubt if many have it where you live. Imagine a 5 ton AC running 18 hours a day to maintain a 77 degree temperature in the house. When you do that tell me about a $250.00 a month power bill.



[Edited by: Chiefaz at 7/27/2014 2:49:33 PM EST]
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oilpan4
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 27, 2014 11:53:04 AM

Having a $250 a month power bill isn't smart.
Here is why, according to wind-sun.com guys "90% of people who start out on a solar or off grid setup do not go through with it". Because to have an effective PV system you need to reduce power consumption as much as possible. Most people take steps to reduce power consumption, reevaluate the feasibility of PV after they reduce their consumption and do not go through with it. Guess they didn't realize how much power they could save until they tried.
Looks like chief just skipped the attempting to conserve power part and went straight to install.

I ran natural gas lines in my friends house so he could install a gas hot water heater since his old electric one was leaking and he traded a friend of a friend his electric clothes dryer for a gas one when they moved to a house that didn't have a gas dryer hookup.
He says his power bill has been almost cut in half during the non A/C running months and his gas bill has hardly gone up any.
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flyboyUT
Champion Author Utah

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Message Posted: Jul 26, 2014 6:51:09 PM

Chiefaz have you looked at the opportunity cost of that money you spent for a depreciating resource?

Without running ALL the numbers yo cannot come to a valid conclusion if the 'investment' in solar was smart.
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oilpan4
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 26, 2014 6:13:30 PM

$250 a month???

You don't need solar panels, you need to learn how to conserve power.
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ldheinz
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Jul 26, 2014 6:02:15 PM

"If we had all-electric cars with a solar charging unit that would be a sure-fire saving method."

Except that your car's at work during the day.
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Shockjock1961
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Jul 26, 2014 3:16:33 PM

"I purchased my first system in 2006 for $21,000"

And how much did the taxpayers pony up?
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Chiefaz
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jul 26, 2014 1:54:12 PM

I75at7AM
Your figures are all wrong. A thousand months, not even close. I purchased my first system in 2006 for $21,000. My power bill averaged $250.00 per month. I paid about $25.00 a month after the installation. That system paid for itself in less than 8 years. I enlarged my system with the addition of 9 panels in 2009 for $7,500. My power bill is zero. So the second installation will take longer to pay off since I'm only replacing $25.00 of power but I get a check for Christmas for my excess. The checks average about $250 per year. That make the payoff for my second installation at appro. 14 years. Had I installed the whole system in 2006 it would be paid off next year.
Plus, I and my cohorts are saving Arizona customers money by the power companies not having to start up their high cost emergency generators during the summer months. So it is a win-win for me.

[Edited by: Chiefaz at 7/26/2014 1:55:19 PM EST]
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oilpan4
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 26, 2014 12:25:49 PM

"If we had all-electric cars with a solar charging unit that would be a sure-fire saving method."

I don't think so. It takes about $400 worth of solar capacity to support each mile of electric vehicle driving you want to do each day.

Paying roughly double the price for an electric vehicle then $400 more dollars to buy solar panels and additional capacity for each mile you plan to drive daily, how does that save you money again?
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SE3.5
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Jul 26, 2014 8:36:16 AM

The smartest "solar thing" you can do is orient your house so that most of your windows face south. You get solar heat in the winter when the sun is low. Your roof overhang shades the windows in the summer when the sun is high. Cost = $0.00.
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I75at7AM
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Jul 26, 2014 8:29:49 AM

A Thousand months to recoup the initial investment is a long time - 83 years. The point I was trying to make earlier is that solar electric power can be a supplement, it can reduce your electric bill (maybe), and works better in some locations than others. (Tucson better than Seattle.) A solar system to supplement your electricity can cost much less, but then you still need full grid connection. If we had all-electric cars with a solar charging unit that would be a sure-fire saving method.
Solar passive energy for heat is much easier to capture and doesn't cost much more than conventional building methods.
The Op-Ed piece I linked to earlier got made into a GB News item.
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oilpan4
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 25, 2014 4:02:00 PM

"Off-grid living is largely beyond the reach of most modern families. "

Over on wind-sun.com they are not diluted believers (like chief). The experts say "to go completely off grid" they say "take your highest power bill dollar amount and add three zeros to the end of that number and that should be your budget starting point".
So if your highest power bill during the summer is $125 then to go totally off grid you need to budget for $125,000 and hopefully you should have some left over.
That covers solar panels, batteries, inverts, backup generators, better insolation for your home labor for all that and so on.
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oilpan4
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 25, 2014 3:54:43 PM

"You are talking about large solar farms. We are talking about roof top systems."

When you were crying about having to pay $5 a month and wanting your free entitlements you were talking about roof top.

"None of your dire predictions apply."

Oh really? I want to know how you figure that?

So, how do roof top solar panels get around "sunshine at any spot is always intermittent and often unreliable"?
Or " to be a standalone energy supplier, PV solar needs batteries to cover those times when solar is not producing – about 75% of the time under ideal cloudless skies"
And what do you do about the huge "fluctuations in supply on the reliable and essential parts of the grid."

That is 3 out of 5, a far cry from none.
I guess you don't know very much about solar power generation.
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I75at7AM
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Jul 25, 2014 12:38:02 PM

Chief, the illustration pointed out that a one meter solar panel might power 2 light bulbs, but only for the center of the day when the sun is high. Some days are cloudy. A power system based on solar would necessarily need a back up system.

Today's low-voltage uses, such as computers and LED lights, could make good use of rooftop solar, but still it would be intermittent. Great to have the lights on in the middle of the day. Home-based solar installations might reduce a person's grid-electric use somewhat, but they are going to need to still be on the grid. Off-grid living is largely beyond the reach of most modern families.
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Shockjock1961
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Jul 25, 2014 12:11:32 PM

Actually, most of the issues that 175 addressed applies to local roof top solar...

Most notably the first, second and fourth...
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Chiefaz
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jul 25, 2014 12:03:18 PM

17Sat7AM
You are talking about large solar farms. We are talking about roof top systems. None of your dire predictions apply.
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flyboyUT
Champion Author Utah

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Message Posted: Jul 25, 2014 11:56:34 AM

Yeash I75 - kiss your local Forester - they need lovin too!
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I75at7AM
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Jul 25, 2014 11:52:37 AM

Here is an Op-Ed piece about the Five Fatal Flaws of Solar Energy

"Firstly, sunshine at any spot is always intermittent and often unreliable."

"Secondly, to be a standalone energy supplier, PV solar needs batteries to cover those times when solar is not producing – about 75% of the time under ideal cloudless skies."

"Thirdly, solar energy is very dilute, so huge areas of land are needed to collect industrial quantities of energy. --In the real rotating world, where sunshine reaches usable intensity for only about 25% of the time, the best-located panel (one meter square) would have a capacity factor of about 17%. It would receive 170 watts of energy – not quite 2 light bulbs."

"The fourth fatal flaw of solar energy is the pernicious effect of the dramatic fluctuations in supply on the reliable and essential parts of the grid."

"Fifthly, large-scale solar power will create environmental damage over large areas of land. Solar collectors may manage to convert only about 10% of the sun’s energy into electricity, the rest being reflected or turned into heat. But the whole solar spectrum is blocked, thus robbing 100% of the life-giving sunshine from the ground underneath, creating a man-made solar desert."

It might be easier to use genetic devices (trees and crop plants) to convert solar energy into carbohydrate and cellulose, which Man can collect, process, transport, store, and burn as needed to release the solar energy.
Using native genetic collection devices does not harm the land nor other native species of plants and animals, and in fact enhances the local environment.

Plant trees and prosper. Invest in chainsaw makers.

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oilpan4
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 24, 2014 11:21:23 PM

"Future solar installation will pay $5 a month for the maintenance of the grid. Far cry from what they wanted. "

So now what solar power people are expecting something for nothing.
Ahhh, yes liberals and their entitlement.
Guess what, if you want a power grid that can send power both ways you need a smart grid or we can just go back to only the power company generating power with conventional power plants.
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oilpan4
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 24, 2014 11:10:25 PM

"My electric bill without solar panels is usually under $50/month..."

I don't have solar panels and my yearly average power bill was $44/mo......
Want to know what I used, a little thing called conservation and it doesn't cost thousands of dollars.
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SE3.5
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Jul 24, 2014 7:39:50 PM

"Why did it suck when you had solar panels, SE3.5?"

The yearly maintenance and repairs cost more than my electricity savings. I could never recover my initial investment, because every year I went more in the hole.
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ldheinz
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Jul 24, 2014 5:33:08 PM

ldheinz - "At what cost? Over how much time?"

You still haven't answered the question. You just keep avoiding answering it.
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Shockjock1961
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Jul 24, 2014 11:12:51 AM

"Old story and we won."
Sure, because it's not enough for people with Solar Panels to suck off the taxpayer teat, they have to be allowed to use infrastructure without paying for it...
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Chiefaz
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jul 24, 2014 10:38:29 AM

Buzzlol
Old story and we won. All current solar owners are grandfathered in for 30 years so no extra charge. Future solar installation will pay $5 a month for the maintenance of the grid. Far cry from what they wanted.
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Shockjock1961
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Jul 23, 2014 2:49:03 PM

"My electric bill without solar panels is usually under $50/month..."

Doubtful that you would be able to say the same if you lived in Arizona...

If you DO live in Arizona, and have solar panels, there is a simple solution, get off the grid...
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BuzzLOL
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Jul 23, 2014 2:31:36 PM

.
< "Arizona Public Service Co. is proposing charging customers who install rooftop solar panels $50 to $100 or more a month to cover the cost of maintaining the power grid." >

. My electric bill without solar panels is usually under $50/month...

[Edited by: BuzzLOL at 7/23/2014 2:32:47 PM EST]
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Shockjock1961
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Jul 23, 2014 1:41:14 PM

A better question is how much did it cost the taxpayer...
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Chiefaz
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jul 23, 2014 11:13:20 AM

Shock
You don't seem to know anything about power production. In the summer the power companies use to have to run high cost generators to keep up with the usage. You were billed for this with an addition to your power bill.
While we solar users are saving money so are you because the power companies no longer have to run those systems. This saves you money too.
You can thank me later.
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Shockjock1961
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Jul 22, 2014 1:47:35 PM

"At what cost?"

A better question is how much did it cost the taxpayer...
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Chiefaz
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jul 22, 2014 1:40:21 PM

Idheinz
My system has paid for its self and continues to give me free power. My first system was installed in Oct 2006, increased output in Oct 2009. ( added more panels. The 68,000 KWh was produced since the upgrade. Had to change the size of the inverter. An average of just over 1,500 KWh per month. I get all my power free and get a check for my excess at Christmas. Course its Christmas every month when I get my power bill or lack thereof.
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ldheinz
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Jul 21, 2014 3:46:13 AM

At what cost? Over how much time?

[Edited by: ldheinz at 7/21/2014 3:46:44 AM EST]
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Chiefaz
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jul 18, 2014 1:15:20 PM

Over 68,000 KWh produced with over 1,700 KWh in my bank.
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ldheinz
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Jun 26, 2014 9:17:32 AM

Yes, and that article didn't even mention the class warfare that Germany's energy policy is causing. Only rich land owners can get the huge solar panel subsidies, which the poor pay for in their electric bills.
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Shockjock1961
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Jun 26, 2014 8:41:54 AM

Germany's Green Energy Disaster

Yet further reasons for why we need to get rid of the Federal handouts for "green" energy...

[Edited by: Shockjock1961 at 6/26/2014 8:43:09 AM EST]
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Shockjock1961
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Jun 7, 2014 7:21:42 PM

Probably because it cost hoime far more to apy for solar panels then it did to pay his electric bill...
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101Speedster
Champion Author Ventura

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Message Posted: Jun 7, 2014 12:42:56 PM

Why did it suck when you had solar panels, SE3.5?
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SE3.5
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Jun 5, 2014 5:25:54 PM

"Got solar?"

I did when I lived in Illinois. It sucked. Buyers thought it sucked, too.
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ldheinz
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Jun 5, 2014 4:59:40 PM

The Illinois Democrats have been attempting to bankrupt the state for years, and this is just one more part of it.

BTW, I looked into getting solar panels years ago, and Solar City estimated that my payback time was infinite. They couldn't pay for themselves in their lifetime, and that was an estimate from Solar City.
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Shockjock1961
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Jun 5, 2014 8:49:31 AM

Sure, Illinois liberals have not yet caused a complete financial meltdown, so they push for these new initiatives with money they don't have, then whine about how if they don't make the huge "temporary" income tax increase permanent, then the state will be forced into financial ruin.

Notice, once again, that without huge taxpayer handouts, solar power just would not exist on any kind of scale...
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reb4
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Jun 5, 2014 8:29:17 AM

Illinois is looking to pass legislation to jump start solar panel subsidy

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Tru2psu2
Champion Author Winston-Salem

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Message Posted: Jun 5, 2014 6:33:50 AM

Eventually would like to
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ldheinz
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Jun 5, 2014 4:50:20 AM

I'm curious about how illegals avoid paying sales taxes at stores. Are they issued special tax exemption cards for use at the drive up window? How do they get their withholding back?

And, of course, what this has to do with solar panels...
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Shockjock1961
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Jun 4, 2014 11:39:23 PM

You have to stop listening to those voices in your head speedy, because I never mentioned anything about illegals...

Sorry if I stepped on your liberal toes by pointing out the truth about your socialistic state...
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101Speedster
Champion Author Ventura

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Message Posted: Jun 4, 2014 11:33:42 PM

Let me apologize now, Shock, if there are any ILLEGAL aliens in California that have to spend extra money on taxes so that others can have solar panels on their homes.

Wait, ILLEGALS don't pay taxes. Us taxpayers are forced by our politicians to give handouts to those breaking the laws of this country.
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Shockjock1961
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: May 17, 2014 11:46:21 AM

"Where I live, they just make sense"

Sure, where you live they believe it's OK to take money from one set of people and give it to another....

Without industrial handouts, forced on the industry by the liberals, and the handouts from both state and federal taxpayers, solar panels would not make economic sense...
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101Speedster
Champion Author Ventura

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Message Posted: May 17, 2014 11:20:24 AM

Where I live, they just make sense.
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Shockjock1961
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Mar 27, 2014 1:48:20 PM

Some people claim that Solar can compete with conventional energy sources. If so why is Solar City complaining that it will go out of buisness without taxpayer handouts?

California-based SolarCity, one of the nation’s largest solar system contractors, has admitted in Securities and Exchange Commission filings that any curtailment of tax dollars would spell doom. Nearly a third of the cost of its equipment has been paid for by the taxpayer.
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