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Thread: Got solar? I do now!

  1. #9
    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    If electricity really continues to go up 3-4% a year as the solar companies say it has been... That should be around 8-10 years. And I have no more solar panel payments at all after 12yrs. through the remaining life of the system (like I said 25yr warranty on panels and 20yr on inverter).
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  2. #10
    Oregoncp's Avatar
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    I am really glad you have put as much research and effort into your system as you have. It all sounds like a pretty good deal. The only concern that I have would be the longevity of those implied warranties. Dedicated solar installation companies are a very new thing here. They might have been around a bit longer in your area. But a company that is two years old, offering a 20-25 year warranty doesn't give me to much confidence in the staying power of those warranties.

    Please don't think I am trying to completely down on solar. I just have had so many companies try to shove it all down my throat, and then many very educated electricians swat most of the grandiose claims right out of the air with simple facts and math.

  3. #11
    Christian James Ambanja's Avatar
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    Also when I was interviewing friends who have solar about their systems, one thing that kept coming up when I asked them "what they would do differently if they could do it all over again," was to have a clear plan, and the space required for adding more panels in the future. They all did the calculations and thought they were going to have plenty excess, but usage patterns change, people put on additions, get new hobbies, buy bigger appliances now that the energy is "free," etc. and almost everyone I know has added to their system.

    And about the "green" thing, all technology needs early adopters, and yes the carbon footprint is still high, but in the end it is encouraging innovation in renewable energy sources. We can't sit idly by and just wait for non-renewable resources to run out. Just in our own system the advancement from our old panels that are 10 years old to the new ones we added last year is fantastic. Panels now are at least half the cost, half the size, and put out double the amount of energy.

  4. #12

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    Thank you for the informative post Oregoncp! I took a class on renewable energy two semesters ago, and a lot of it involved solar. It surprised me that in Europe solar is a lot more developed and common than in the United States. And there are so many issues associated with having too much solar on the grid, since the equipment might not be able to handle it. And if one panel goes down it could potentially cause the voltage on the others to drop a lot.

  5. #13
    pebes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSS View Post
    Mind if I ask during your research what your figured out your break even point would be?



    I wish this was out there more, the "damage' being done to the planet to "save" it is amazing. Interesting article hydrid cars. http://science.howstuffworks.com/sci...d-benefits.htm

    For those that don't want to read the whole thing.

    "But do the environmental impacts of hybrid vehicle production outweigh the long-term benefits of driving a cleaner running automobile? That answer is a resounding "no." If you drive both a conventional and hybrid car for 160,000 miles (257,495 kilometers), the conventional vehicle requires far more energy to operate and emits far more greenhouse gases over its lifetime, significantly canceling out any imbalance during the production stage [source: Burnham et al]."

    and

    "The trouble with plug-in hybrids (and electric cars, too) is that electricity isn't always cleaner than gasoline. More than 45 percent of electricity in the U.S. is generated by coal-powered plants [source: EIA]. According to another Argonne National Laboratory report, if a plug-in hybrid charges from coal-generated electricity, it could be responsible for emitting up to 10 percent more greenhouse gasses than a conventional vehicle and up to 60 percent more than a standard hybrid [source: Elgowainy]."

    Not trying to hijack this thread but a lot of these "green" ideas follow that trend. They are "worse" for the planet than what we are doing now.
    RSS- I'm pretty sure you completely missed the conclusions of the article you linked. "The Argonne National Laboratory ran a side-by-side comparison of hybrid and conventional vehicles over their entire life cycle, which includes vehicle production, vehicle operation and the energy required to produce fuel for both cars. If you assume that both vehicles travel 160,000 miles (257,495 kilometers) over their lifetime, the conventional vehicle requires 6,500 Btu of energy per mile compared to 4,200 Btu per mile for a hybrid. That higher energy input results in far greater lifetime greenhouse gas emissions for conventional vehicles compared to hybrids, more than 1.1 pounds (500 grams) per mile compared to 0.75 pounds (340 grams) per mile [source: Burnham et al]."

    In summary: hybrid cars, despite greater energy inputs during their production, still require much lower energy inputs to operate over their lifetime than comparable conventional cars. in other words- continue to try to save the earth with green tech!!!


    Lifecycle analysis of conventional vs hybrid vs plug-in hybrid. http://www.environment.ucla.edu/medi...012-rh-ptd.pdf

  6. #14

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    Yeah, I was thinking that the first paragraph and the second one seemed contradictory. And don't hybrids charge when you stop, and not from a power source per se?

  7. #15
    pebes's Avatar
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    Also, life-cycle analysis of solar panels shows MUCH lower energy inputs (and lower greenhouse gas production) vs any other fossil fuel derived energy source.

    http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/OIPP/..._lifecycle.pdf

    therefore, go solar ESPECIALLY if you want to reduce your carbon footprint not necessarily because you want to save money.

  8. #16
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanukimo View Post
    Yeah, I was thinking that the first paragraph and the second one seemed contradictory. And don't hybrids charge when you stop, and not from a power source per se?
    While braking in the more sophisticated systems the electric motors become generators and heat generated from the brakes is converted into electricity.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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