Spend money on the roof installing solar panels?

Spend money on the roof installing solar panels?

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:19 am

Adamiscold, you asked why not start spending money by installing solar panels on the roof. We were talking about the cost of electric power so I assume you were talking solar panels to produce electricity. This is my opinion about solar:

Solar for hot air, good idea, solar for hot water, good idea, solar to produce electricity, dumb idea. If electric solar made economic sense you'd see the power companies doing it. You see them doing wind turbines now, but how come none do solar electric? Becasue it does not pay for the investment. If big companies see it's not a wise investment, you can be most assured that a smaller scale would only cost more. I hear tell Google is putting up solar panels to help run their computers. Good for them. They obviously have the money to waste so they can make whatever statement they're hoping to make.
There's a compnay called Nanosolar that claims to be producing at full speed cheap printed electric solar, but, and I find this funny, and this is near a quote "All panels produced so far and all panels built through 2009 are being sold to compnaies that are erecting them behind walls so they cannot be seen by the public". Ya, right, and I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale. Nuf said about them.
Anyone remember when an electric solar panel was made from perfectly round black discs? Then about 20 years ago they invented a new way, they now look like crushed wafer pieces. The wafers are cheaper to make and give more watts per sw foot. Well, the round solid ones last about forever. They are just now finding that wafer ones start putting out less and less power as time goes on. It's quite possible they will be dead before they generate their own cost. At leat the old solid ones would eventualy pay off, even if it were 40 years.

If you live off the grid then you may be willing to pay the extra cost of solar, but for the general public we'd be better off looking at other ways to make our own electricity. Wind....biodiesel....coal? I'm not opposed to producing my own power. My windmill attests to that, but even that is not paying for itself yet. The wind study I had done gave me poor info. Now I'm trying to get inventive to make it work better. I'd like it to start paying for itself! I have plans to go higher, to make different blades, yaw bearing &tail, and possibly to do some electrical trickery so in low winds it will produce half power rather than no power.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Spend money on the roof installing solar panels?

PostBy: Blackdiamonddoug On: Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:18 pm

freddy
your right about solar pannels are useless to generate unless your in Arzonia.
I looked at adding a desiel to make power and capturing the cooling water and exhaust heat.
Still not a good deal.
They I found ACF & bought 24 ton of coal an a refurbished AA260 from Matt and now I am saving money.
BBD
Blackdiamonddoug
 
Stove/Furnace Make: axemen 260 rebuilt by Matt
Stove/Furnace Model: stoker AA 260

Re: Spend money on the roof installing solar panels?

PostBy: sterling40man On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:59 am

william77 wrote:I will suggest you to put your solar panel in a location where sun light fell down maximum. Call your solar panel installer they will do it for you and see if your solar panel is located at 30 degree angle.


He already did it! See the links below. :)


Coffee 7-2-11

Coffee 7-16-11

Coffee 9-10-11
sterling40man
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker K6
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6


Re: Spend money on the roof installing solar panels?

PostBy: theo On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:09 am

How about a update on these Freddy, Did they pay for there selves yet ?
theo
 
Stove/Furnace Make: LL
Stove/Furnace Model: Hyfire 2

Re: Spend money on the roof installing solar panels?

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:13 pm

It's amazing the difference three years make. When I wrote that post in 2008 a system similar to the one that I have now installed would have had a 50ish year payback. Last year at "The Home Show" at the Bangor auditorium I got the surprise of my life. Solar panels had dropped in price a HUGE amount in the last two years. I determined that even though there was some risk, to me it was worth it. Electricity here in Maine cost near the highest in the nation. (Almost exactly double the rates in Florida). I invested in a 7K solar array of PB panels and saved a bunch by installing it myself. The Feds kick back 30% of cost. The state screwed me out of a $2,000 rebate because I installed it myself. I am looking at a 11 1/2 year payback and at this point am slightly ahead of that calculation. Since last August my electric bill has been the minimum of $6.82 rather than the usual average of $145. Since last August I have generated just over 5,000 KWHs.

Here's a link if anyone wants to see my actual output in real time. (It lags by about half an hour)

https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/pub ... /hg3n22712
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Spend money on the roof installing solar panels?

PostBy: theo On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:22 pm

Freddy, Thats good! You really dropped your electric bill that much ? Whats your highest electric bill last year for a month ? Would you recomend for others to do this? I know it would take some time for pay-back ( and i might not even live long enough for it ) but if i did something like this it seems to me that it wouldnt take long for payback time,,, I could even sell my house and ask more for it just because of the lower electric bill :idea: Are you up for hire on installing these ??? :D
theo
 
Stove/Furnace Make: LL
Stove/Furnace Model: Hyfire 2

Re: Spend money on the roof installing solar panels?

PostBy: samhill On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:59 pm

Ran across this article in the Pittsburgh paper.
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12057/12 ... EMAILEDBOX
samhill
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: keystoker 160
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 75 in garage
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker/hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: koker 160/ hitzer 75

Re: Spend money on the roof installing solar panels?

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:09 pm

theo wrote:You really dropped your electric bill that much ?


Here's a copy of this months bill. Look at where the red arrow points. Last year in 28 days we used 642 KWHs. This year in 28 days we used....ahhhh... zero. It also shows we used zero last month. I see I slipped up last month & shorted them fourteen cents so that got added to the minimum of $6.82. Under "Message from your supplier" it says the cost of power is 8 1/4 cents per KWH. That is true. What it doesn't mention on this page is that the "delivery charge" is near the same. Actual power cost here is $17.2 a KWH this time of year. ( I hear rumor we are looking at a just over 10% increase this summer) As I've mentioned, it all depends on your rates. In Florida power is about nine cents a KWH delivered! In New Jersey, all bets are off. Those poor people pay more than Maine. And....While I may give tips & encouragement on installing yourself, but I won't be coming to do yours! When I did mine I did have a licensed electrician "in my back pocket" just to make sure I did everything correctly. You run into little oddities like when I had to change my main breaker from a 100 amp to a 90 amp.

Research it if you are serious. The first two phone calls you make are to your code enforcement and tax assessor (some towns do not charge property tax on solar arrays). Then call the power company & make sure they do "net metering" and how it works in your state. The feds mandate that they do it, but some places have different rules that make it better or worse. Here they trade 100% even and credits disappear after they are 12 months old.
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Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Spend money on the roof installing solar panels?

PostBy: theo On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:16 pm

Very good Freddy, you have me thinking ( Even the wife gave up on me about that ! ) Thank you for replying about this. It's really something to check into. One other question i have, Would you do it over again if you had to? I know that they still hit you up for transmission charges and all the BS, is it really a worthwhile thing to do? Do you have batteries for storage, is there much maintiance to the system, could you ever make enough power to sell back ? I know i'am asking alot of dumb stuff but right now i'am more less thinking out loud to myself ! :confused:
theo
 
Stove/Furnace Make: LL
Stove/Furnace Model: Hyfire 2

Re: Spend money on the roof installing solar panels?

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:19 pm

I believe that in an "on grid" system where you are selling excess power back to the electric company there is no real need for storage batteries. Batteries would be required in an "off grid" system.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (It has been fixed!)

Re: Spend money on the roof installing solar panels?

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:25 pm

Freddy wrote: I see I slipped up last month & shorted them fourteen cents so that got added to the minimum of $6.82.


Really "stickin' it to 'em" Freddy. :lol:
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Spend money on the roof installing solar panels?

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:20 pm

theo wrote: I know that they still hit you up for transmission charges


Actually, they don't. Any extra KWH's go out to the grid and they give me 100% credit. I do not pay the power cost OR the delivery charge on any KWH's traded. As long as I bank enough credits the ONLY cost to me is the $6.82 a month. I have no batteries. All extra power goes out to the grid. If the grid goes down, I go down with it. The power compnay will never write me a check. It is technically possible for me to lose credits. Credits are lost if they become 13 months old. Near impossible to lose credits though. I know how many I have "in the bank". If I see I am going to lose credits I turn on an electric heater & burn them off (saving coal). As I said, check with your utility. Some places are different. Some places you sell all power at wholesale & buy it back at retail, but I think other places you sell it at a premium because "it's green", then buy it back at retail. If there is extra, they send you a check!

The think with batteries... not only are they expensive and need to be kept charged, they can ,and do, cause you to lose power. Think about this scenario: Let's say I have a battery system. Today the sun shines. When the sun goes down, the batteries are fully charged. Tonight I watch some TV, surf the Internet, and my boiler runs pumps and fans. In the morning my batteries are 45% discharged. The sun comes up. It is a bright sunny day. By 11AM my batteries are fully charged. Now....what happens to ALL the power that is made the rest of the day? The answer is: It is used as it is produced, or it is lost. So, you have the wife do the laundry, you pump water to fill a tank, you water the lawn, you have the teenagers take a shower & let them use a hair dryer. Still sunny? The power is lost. Buy more batteries? No & this is why: Reverse the scenario.... go three days with no sun. The batteries run down. You WILL start a generator and charge them. It ruins batteries to sit uncharged. If you have too many batteries you will be wasting fuel for the generator. So, at least in my opinion, and I think I present a good case, if you are on the grid it makes sense to be grid tied even though you go down when the grid goes down. It just doesn't matter. If you want power all the time you will own a generator, but, with a grid tie system the generator gets used a lot less.

Do it again? Yes! I guess one comment.I don't think you put this sort of thing on a credit card. Everyone wants to know how we had all the money. You gotta do what my wife & I did, and that's rarely go to the movies and rarely eat at restaurants. Then after years of driving clunker cars, you get lucky with a 91 Ford Taurus. After four years when you make the last payment, you keep making the same payment & putting it in a separate bank account. The luck comes in when the Taurus actually lasts five more years and you can now pay cash for a new car. Now, keep making those payments & now that you have a four year old car that will surely last another 5 years, you pay cash for solar panels. The solar array is warrantied for 25 years, and should last 40. Time will tell!

Gad zooks.... I'm rambling!
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Spend money on the roof installing solar panels?

PostBy: samhill On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:25 pm

Just a quick question Freddy, when the grid goes dow can you still basically shut off the feed to the grid & run your own house if the sun is out?
samhill
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: keystoker 160
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 75 in garage
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker/hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: koker 160/ hitzer 75

Re: Spend money on the roof installing solar panels?

PostBy: tsb On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:49 pm

Fred,
My Dad always said " the harder you work, the luckier you get "
tsb
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Binford 2000
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Pioneer top vent
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Saey Hanover II

Re: Spend money on the roof installing solar panels?

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:03 pm

I believe the inverter uses the grid frequency to function...
So if the grid is gone the inverter goes down...
Maybe you could have an auto transfer switch at the DC side...
But then you would be dealing with batteries...
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove