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auspot4

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How many people are using solar or wind to power their house or shop?

What are you using?

For now I have 9 250 watt solar panels and a 1600 watt wind generator

The price of solar panels are really dropping as the influx of chinese made panels

I perfer u.s.a. made panels myself

 

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Battery storage capacity is a huge part of the equation as Musk has some amazing technology in the TESLA line of industrial units, home also. They have even installed the massive ones in Kauai to help cut utility costs which are huge there. You sure sound like you have a plethora of power. Color me green with envy as my HOA says no not never :2mo5pow: John

Edited by Hoser John
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   Solar power's just not there yet.  With only a panel life of 15-20 some years you may just get back your money.  Stuff happens.  Over that time  Converters and switching gear like going dead bug more then a few times every few years.  Panels , Batteries and Connectivity need maintained, cleaned , re terminated over the systems life time.  Current Battery Technology pretty much sucks.  In that 15 -20 years your going to expect to replace batteries at least every 5 years.  Even LiPo batteries at a higher cost have limited life.

   I can see maybe having a 1000W system to play with and fall back on if needed or even live on if totally mobile in which case everything used would be 12 or 24 VDC but commercial power sure is cheaper in the long run. 

  Our current electric cost at this time with a family of three is like $100.00 a month average.  A solar system to meet our needs would be more a Pain in the butt then beneficial. We have a small 3000Kw Gen to meet emergency or longer term outages.  If I was Mobile it would defiantly have a bank on the roof top top or placeable when stationary.

 

Just my thinking. 

Homefire

 

 

 

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I agree Homefire
But Ive read about a company that is making solar roof tiles and that may change a lot of things and issues with solar panels. AzNuggetBob

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Yes it's coming for sure.  Just not here yet.  They even have a working system you can Paint on Solar Panels . Paint on the Substrate, Paint over that the Solar Active Semi Conductive layer. Paint on that the Conductive elements.  Paint over that the UV protective and Sealing layer.    That I want to see. 

Not sure what that hold up is .  Cost ?  Materials?  Longevity?  Something.  Power Companies Fighting it's existence is my bet.

 

Homefire

 

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This is not paint! these are solid and very durable thin roof panels. I'll give you more later. AzNuggetBob

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When we lived in the LA area we installed solar atop our flat roof.  Very happy with the return on investment and definitely added to the home's resale value because we owned it rather than leasing.  Now that we live in Yucca Valley we decided to install solar employing a ground mount frame (MUCH easier to keep clean and no tile roof leakage risk problems if we had mounted there).  The system immediately dropped our monthly power bill to nothing (from between $250 and $450 per month depending on the time of year) plus it accumulates a growing credit surplus.  We feel it was a relatively prudent investment with a return that far exceeds what we could expect by parking our money in a bank instead.

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Yep it works for some people. It just happens the cost of living here is fractions of what you had in L.A. like I stated our Electricity is only around $100.00 a month average. And ANY thing is better for your money then a Bank. LOL

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Homefire

you have no idea.

These are roof tiles, I cant say who is making them. AzNuggetBob

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I just found out that a company as soon as they get funding are going to make batteries

that last a like time just need to add distilled water and the sun can do that for you

for free.  approx cost per 1000 watt $500

Bill

I have 6 batteries deep cycle 684 amp hours

its cloudy and rainny here solar panels producing 90 to 95 volts and when its sunny 100 to 109

I do my cooking by solar and heat the house by solara

we used to have high electric bills; as we are total electric

we are saving over $100 to 200 a month 2 years payback

Edited by auspot4
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I know at least a dozen or so who use solar and wind and making $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ within 5 years as up here in N Calif rates gone up 2-3-4 times a year. I haven't seen a $100 bill in at least 10 years. My last one was over $340 :2mo5pow:. GREAT effective units out as technology has advanced to new heights. Get off that burro and buy a truck...Toyota preferably...John

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Yea those bills come with what they call PROGRESS !   LOL   California shot them selves in the foot some years back locked into some wonder deal with Arizona to purchase power at some questionable rates back then and months later the bottom dropped out of the market and Cali got cought holding the bag at the locked in price.  OOOps. 

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I've been a full time RV'er for 13 years and rely on solar power for all my electricity except the microwave and pizza ovens. My refrigerator runs on propane as does the stove/oven. If I need heat I use a Mr. Heater. If I want to cool off I use a portable swamp cooler. If it gets too cold I head south. If it gets too warm I head north. 
I have 500 watts (2 x 250) on the roof, a 4 stage charge controller and use six 6v golf cart batteries. I also put in an automatic battery watering system that was well worth the small investment. My batteries should last about 7 years. 

Edited by Dakota Slim
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29 minutes ago, Dakota Slim said:

I've been a full time RV'er for 13 years and rely on solar power for all my electricity except the microwave and pizza ovens. My refrigerator runs on propane as does the stove/oven. If I need heat I use a Mr. Heater. If I want to cool off I use a portable swamp cooler. If it gets too cold I head south. If it gets too warm I head north. 
I have 500 watts (2 x 250) on the roof, a 4 stage charge controller and use six 6v golf cart batteries. I also put in an automatic battery watering system that was well worth the small investment. My batteries should last about 7 years. 

Just Curious.  How are the battery terminals holding out.  Had any serious issues ?  Do you hold to a Maintenance  regime ??? .  Just out right replace them every few years ?

 

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Hi homefire. The battery terminals and cable connectors are all still like new. I coated them with Vaseline after I hooked them up. I just make sure the batteries are full of water. About once a month I add distilled water using the "Pro Fill" (https://flow-rite.com/battery-watering/pro-fill) watering system which has one feeder tube that has smaller tubes going to each battery.  
The charge controller controls the voltage and there is very little gassing. It bulk charges them to 14.4 and then drops off and floats at like 13.8. It also equalizes them if it somehow senses they need it. I seldom drain them under 12.3 volts and they last a long time. When they get old and weak you replace them all at once -- hoping that one doesn't go bad before the rest.  

Sam's Club usually has the best deal on 6v golf cart batteries. 

Edited by Dakota Slim
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the batteries have the bolt and nut to attached the cables to and never had a problem

with them and no maintence and will probable have to replace in 6 or 7 years as

marine deep cycle batteries 845 amps.  Originally lived in Wisconsin and always

purchased the battery with the most amps as when the temp goes 30 to 40 below

zero amps almost get cut in half at them temps.  I plan on replacing them in about

6 or 8 months when the life time batteries are up for sale.  Just need to add distilled 

water to them.

Bill

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I believe that Solar Power is the first type of renewable energy every invented by man, and since its invention, we have never been able to find a more expensive way to produce energy.  Its so much more than the panels on the roof.  It's regulating the power and storing the power, and if you decide to go with the DC appliances, all of a sudden you have to get new appliances. 

 

When I started looking at solar energy, I was shocked at how much it costs and then realized how cheap power from the power company was.  I hear solar costs from about half the cost of energy in Hawaii to as much as 25 times what it costs to produce energy from a coal burning plant.  About 10% of the houses in a middle class area of central AZ will have leased solar, but if you take it to lower class areas, it's less than 1%, which leads me to believe it's much cheaper just to stay on the grid.

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59 minutes ago, chrisski said:

I believe that Solar Power is the first type of renewable energy every invented by man, and since its invention, we have never been able to find a more expensive way to produce energy.  Its so much more than the panels on the roof.  It's regulating the power and storing the power, and if you decide to go with the DC appliances, all of a sudden you have to get new appliances. 

 

When I started looking at solar energy, I was shocked at how much it costs and then realized how cheap power from the power company was.  I hear solar costs from about half the cost of energy in Hawaii to as much as 25 times what it costs to produce energy from a coal burning plant.  About 10% of the houses in a middle class area of central AZ will have leased solar, but if you take it to lower class areas, it's less than 1%, which leads me to believe it's much cheaper just to stay on the grid.

There is a big difference between being off the grid and tied to the grid.

Off grid has it's challenges with batteries and DC appliances (but appliances do not need to be DC). Grid tied systems are cost effective. Price for panels has dropped substantially and continues to get cheaper. Micro inverters improve efficiency per panel in lieu of strings of panels. It is basically plug and play these days. There are so many reasons to go solar. I can buy 235 watt panels for $90 each new. 325 watt panels for $135! I can install my own system for way under $10k and produce enough electricity to zero out my energy bill. For me, that means my system is payed for itself in under 7 years. After that, my power is free and the panels should produce at that rate for 25+ years.

Read Home Power Magazine and you can learn a lot about the benefits for yourself.

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Good point Matt. I'm off the grid and know very little about being tied to the grid.
DC to AC inverters are real inexpensive these days. I wouldn't even think of getting DC appliances because you need an inverter anyway. 
Keep in mind that you don't need a 5,000 watt inverter to run a TV or a computer. The bigger the inverter, the more power it wastes. For someone off the grid, a 400 to 750 watt will probably run everything you want it to run. Know what you want to run (and the amps/watts it uses) with your solar power before you start buying equipment and remember that AC watts do not equal DC watts. There is a formula for converting but I'm not sure what it is.  

*Be aware that some AC appliances need a pure sine wave inverter and those are generally more expensive than modified sine wave inverters. 

Edited by Dakota Slim
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  • 1 month later...

Slim

Here is some new battery tech. I used to live off the grid when I was prospecting full time, batteries,propane and solar in my camper van. I think this may change a lot about batteries.

 

 

http://video.azpbs.org/video/2365944914/

Edited by AzNuggetBob
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There's another emerging technology called perovskite which offers some fantastic possibilities for solar panels. From what I read, some products are coming out this year based on it.

When I was a kid many years ago, I never would have dreamed about some of the technologies we use today. (that we take for granted) Same applies to solar tech. In short... You ain't seen nothing yet.

 

 

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I agree Morlock.

AzNuggetbob

 

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