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SOLAR ENERGY

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Lone Wolf View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lone Wolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2009 at 12:05pm

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sean mcnulty View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sean mcnulty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2009 at 9:15pm
Thanks for the reply,
              I hope everything went well with the operation and that the bills aren't too big,
I wish you a better year than last,
              Sean Mcnulty.
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SusanT View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SusanT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 02 2009 at 2:49pm
Just wondering if anyone out there has seen or bought the book from "homemadeenergy.org". It sounds too good to be true: made your own solar panels for under $200? Any thoughts? I thinking about trying it.
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jacksdad View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 02 2009 at 5:43pm
   I did a quick internet search because that sounded like an awesome deal, but a lot of the references don't seem to be very impartial. I found one site where a contributor had bought the book and had this to say about the information given on how to make $200 solar panels;
 "As an example, the way you build a PV system for $200 is to locate damaged panels on e-bay and assemble them on a piece of plywood." Hmmm.
 You can read the whole thing here -
 
"Buy it cheap. Stack it deep"
"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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Jessica View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jessica Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 15 2009 at 11:57pm
Solar energy is harvested from the rays of the sun and captured by sun collectors and modules designed to convert solar energy into heat and electricity. Solar thermal technologies offer heating and cooling systems, and photovoltaic technologies convert light to electricity. Both are considered to be of high potential to the renewable energy industry.
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edprof View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edprof Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 11 2017 at 12:18pm
Hi from someone who did a whole house solar generator setup plus a portable 750 watt "portable" one plus a small 200 watt one.  Spoon got it right.  Let me just add a few experiences.

We bought a 6000 watt, 24 panel system in summer of 2015.  Half (12) of the panels are on a ground mount facing 160 degrees to catch some morning sunshine, half are on a southwestern facing roof.  Any large-scale solar installation is going to have some compromises and our compromise was to have a useful amount of electricity longer during the day instead of having a really large looking number of watts for only a few minutes during solar noon. 

Our installers had some software that helped them arrive at this southeastern/southwestern compromise.  In terms of kilowatts per day on the average, this arrangement will give us about 2 kw hours more electricity per day than a totally south-facing system.

We wanted long-term, quiet, replenishable electric power over a long haul if we ever had a total regional or national grid failure.  So we included a battery bank of eight 12-volt AGM batteries.  This not only gives storage for night times or shady days, it also means that we don't lose our electric backup when the grid goes down.  No batteries and the panels would have nowhere to send the electricity except back into the grid --- which could kill a lineman.

As an overall average high figure for output, we will see around 4500 watts between 11 am and 3 pm.  About 3000 from 10 to 11 and again from 3 to 4 in the afternoon.  Due to no southern facing panels, plus we are 35 degrees north of the equator, we will never see 6,000.  But you can do a lot with 3,000 watts.  It's surprising how much you can do around home with the 2,000 that we usually get from 9 to 10 in the morning and 4 to 5 in the afternoon. 

We extended our generating capacity some more. We bought a Generac 11,000 watt propane-powered generator and a 500 gallon tank.  This generator is set to come on with the batteries fall to 40 percent and will run automatically until the AGMs are back up to 80 percent.  We can manually run the Generac anytime we want to. 

As if that weren't enough, we bought a Troy-Bilt 7000 watt gasoline generator and had a plug-in installed on an outside wall so that we would have another layer of protection against power loss.  Face it, folks, electricity is the coin of the realm  these days, and it is not a good idea to be caught without it.  No, we do not have anyone living at home who has to have a C-pap machine or other life-sustaining equipment.  We had the money ($31,000) at the point of my retirement and had some interest in this as a hobby.   Some people buy sailboats and some of us buy back up power generators.

We didn't buy the solar part with the idea of making or saving lots of money.  But our electric bills have dropped by about 75%.  The Generac and Troy-Bilt, though, are not viable ways of saving money on the electric bill.  They exist to get us through a bind if solar isn't making the grade.

We sometimes get the "break-even question" from the sharp-pencil guys.,  We should break even on the solar part of the investment around 9 years.  Nine years! they scream! And then I ask when, if they just keep paying their light bills, they will own their own power company.  That's usually when the screaming stops.  You can pay the utility company forever and they well never want you to stop sending money.

What if the grid went away and never came back?  We would not have the amount of air conditioning to which we have become accustomed.  But we would have enough power to live on for the rest of our lives.  In careful degrees, we can share with our neighbors (not extension cords).

The 750 watt solar generator is not connected in any way to the 6000 watt house one.  The main unit is on a cart and there are three 255 watt panels, mounted like easils.  We have a bug out location about 40 miles away and this would give us at least some power to take there if we needed to.  750 still beats nothing by a very long shot.  3 panels, charge controller, 4 AGM batteries, 2000 watt inverter.  100 foot long cords from panels to central unit give us a lot of flexibility for placing the panels.

The third solar generator is nearly a toy by comparison.  Two one hundred watt panels, a charge controller, one AGM battery, a 750 watt inverter.  This is for a storm shelter which has a 2 meter hamd radio, CB radio, and some down-to-the-bitter-end emergency supplies. You notice, though, that all three systems have some common kinds of components.



Oftentimes the Lord helps those who help themselves.
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