Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
September 19, 2014, 01:04:28 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Beemaster's official FACEBOOK page
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: 1 2 3 [All]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Solar Power  (Read 7592 times)
Hi-Tech
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 415


Location: South Alabama (near Greenville)


WWW
« on: July 26, 2006, 11:54:33 PM »

Does anyone utilize solar power here? I am interested in looking into it...
Logged

Beekeeping and hunting.... Is there anything else?
talkhunting.com
TwT
Senior Forum
Global Moderator
Galactic Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3384


Location: Walker, La.

Ted


« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2006, 09:49:57 AM »

you know I would like to hear about this also....
Logged

THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

Never be afraid to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
Professionals built the Titanic
Hi-Tech
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 415


Location: South Alabama (near Greenville)


WWW
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2006, 09:53:15 AM »

I saw on a post somewhere that Summerbee has something. As many hurricanes as we get and as much as we lose power, It would be nice to have an alternate source of power...
Logged

Beekeeping and hunting.... Is there anything else?
talkhunting.com
TwT
Senior Forum
Global Moderator
Galactic Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3384


Location: Walker, La.

Ted


« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2006, 10:16:56 AM »

all my family lives between New Orleans and Baton Rouge (where im from Wink ) and they all have bought these generators that run on natural gas or LP gas (except for my brother he bought a 20,000 W),,,, they are ready for the next 2-4 without power...  GASOLINE WAS HARD TO COME BY....... they had gas generators but some not big enough, I had to bring gas to them and think god I still could find deisel to get there, if I had a gasoline burning truck I would not have made it or could have gotten stuck there for awhile......

Guardian
15,000/13,000 W LP/Natural Gas Home Standby Generator

Model 04390

Price: $2,995.00/ea

Logged

THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

Never be afraid to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
Professionals built the Titanic
Understudy
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4640


Location: West Palm Beach, Fl


WWW
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2006, 05:51:51 PM »

I am slowly working toward removing myself from "the grid". Solar panels can be quite expensive. You can make yourown solar water heater. betwwen that and a time clock and you will see a significant drop if you have an electric water heater.

Solar panels in order to compensate for you whole house may not pay themselves off for years even if your electric utlity has a good program. FP&L (my electric utlity) is awful.

However there is nothing nicer than seeing a electric meter stop or even spin backwards when the solar panels are going well and household usage is low.

If you can get tracking panels that follow the sun you efficency will be almost 4x better than with still panels but of course they cost more.

Start small and work your way up.

If you have a barn or small cottage convert those first. then work toward the main house.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
Logged

The status is not quo. The world is a mess and I just need to rule it. Dr. Horrible
randydrivesabus
Queen Bee
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1072

Location: Indian Valley, VA


« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2006, 08:20:28 PM »

many people who rely on solar power have to have gas or diesel generators to charge their batteries on cloudy days. with the price of fuel being what it is i think power from the grid is way cheaper.
Logged
TwT
Senior Forum
Global Moderator
Galactic Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3384


Location: Walker, La.

Ted


« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2006, 08:35:47 PM »

well my family thought about it and the only thing they didn't lose during hurricanes was natural gas, but their new generators burn natural gas and LP gas so if they lose natural gas they still have LP to keep things going...... refrigerator and freezers are the most important plus the A/C UNIT, they also bought small 110volt window units to at lest keep a couple rooms cool during the heat and these generators even run some small central units,,, depends on the draw!!!!   and the question about solar is how many years will it take to make your investment back?Huh
Logged

THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

Never be afraid to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
Professionals built the Titanic
kathyp
Universal Bee
*******
Online Online

Gender: Female
Posts: 15145


Location: boring, oregon


« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2006, 01:52:07 PM »

i have always been interested in solar.  i figure the less dependent on the  system i am, the better.........however........i live in oregon.

anyone in a cloudy, rainy, state have any luck with solar?  i hear that it is more efficient than it used to be?
Logged

.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Summerbee
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 144


Location: Florida


WWW
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2006, 04:32:13 PM »

Right now our house is supplied really only a tiny portion by solar power... We have a panel we set up to run an electric gate, this is very nice, you don't have to get out in the rain to open a big ol' farm gate Smiley  It came as a package, the Mighty Mule brand.  It came with a dinky little battery to store power in for cloudy days that would only hold 48 hours charge, bad in hurricanes.  Eventually we replaced it with a marine battery and that monster hasn't gone out yet!  The panel for this is only 1 foot by 3 feet.

The best thing ever was our solar hot water heater we had for 12 years.  It took up half of the roof.  That water got scalding hot.  We had a little panel for the fridge too.  Eventually they were blew into smithereens during a hurricane (remind me again why I am living in Florida??...)

The most popular type of solar panels for home energy is the photovoltaic (PV) type.  This is used in everything from calculators to home power. It's really quite simple, no moving parts or anything.  When light strikes the semiconductor material on the  solar panel, it is converted directly into energy.  Solar panels are made primarily of silicon and will last around 25 years.  THey are silent, and basically the only maintenance is making sure they don't get shaded or covered with any dirt.

PV's would be useful to power several appliances in your home, maybe the fridge and a TV.  It really depends how much power you use.  It also depends on how much of your roof you want covered in solar panels Smiley   Of course, if your house is in the shade you must set them up elsewhere where they will get direct sunlight the majority of the day.  Ideally they should face south, unless you want more power in the morning or afternoon, in which you would face them accordingly.

If you are going to try and run important items off of your PV, you should have a battery source for cloudy days.   This can get expensive, but there are alternatives.  In some areas, you can set up a deal with your local power company where you only use their energy when you need it (at night, cloudy days) and - get this - when you have a SURPLUS, you are wired so that they will BUY IT from you! In this manner you might break even between sunny days when they are crediting you and cloudy days when you are crediting them.

In short, very few people live eculsively off of solar.  But it is a great means to lower your bills, and offer reliability so you may have power when your neighbors whine about the downed power line down the street...
Logged

People will accept your ideas much more readily if you tell them Benjamin Franklin said it first.
- David H. Comins

http://imabkpr.blogspot.com
Brian D. Bray
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 7369


Location: Anacortes, WA 98221

I really look like this, just ask Cindi.


WWW
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2006, 04:10:01 AM »

If you decide to get a generator don't stack half your househo;d goods in front of it so you can't get to when you need it like my wife did.  I lost a clutch of eggs in my incubator that way.

My brother uses solar power for his electric fences and runs a generator when needed but never during daylight hours.  His back up is kerosine lanterns just like back in the good old days.
Logged

Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Hi-Tech
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 415


Location: South Alabama (near Greenville)


WWW
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2006, 02:20:47 PM »

I live way out in the country and my power is through an electric cooperative instead of a standard power company. This means my bills are sky high. I have an electric hot water heater (on a timer), an electric stove and central air (also on a timer) and we keep the thermostat on about 78 degrees. My lowest power bill in 2 1/2 years is $350. Last month it was $500+.

I am not looking to get completely off of the system but i would love yo reduce my bills...

Where can I get some good info about this?
Logged

Beekeeping and hunting.... Is there anything else?
talkhunting.com
Understudy
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4640


Location: West Palm Beach, Fl


WWW
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2006, 06:57:30 PM »

http://www.homepower.com/

Sincerely,
Brendhan
Logged

The status is not quo. The world is a mess and I just need to rule it. Dr. Horrible
Brian D. Bray
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 7369


Location: Anacortes, WA 98221

I really look like this, just ask Cindi.


WWW
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2006, 11:08:35 PM »

If you're near the gulf maybe you should consider wind generators--the dutch have been using it for centuries.
Logged

Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
jill
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 12


Location: MN


WWW
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2006, 10:57:55 AM »

we looked into solar and wind and found it to be very costly. It would be really cool to see any ideas/plans on systems one could make themselves. Mother Earth News does have some, but mostly they are small solar.
Logged

Kirk-o
Queen Bee
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1059


Location: Los Angeles california


« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2007, 10:17:51 PM »

Good luck on getting of the grid
kirk-o
Logged

"It's not about Honey it's not about Money It's about SURVIVAL" Charles Martin Simmon
wouldee
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8

Location: Hopelessly Lost


« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2007, 12:00:44 AM »

Ive done alot of research on living off the grid...

As far as i can figure the best set up is..

Run 1 large generator to charge batteries and run power for the house for approx. 3 to 4 hours...10kw
Then run a small generator to run the house for another 3 to 4 hours....3kw
Then you can run on just the batteries for the evening and morning...
Solar panels can be used to do the final top up of the batteries...deep cycle batteries require 3 stage charging systems...solar could do the last 2 stages which use the least power but take the most time...
Having 2 generators is important in that you always have a backup....
I have started building this system as time and money will let me...
I have purchased a 12 hp Listeriod engine that runs on used vegetable oil...and will be installing the generator head in the spring...
Running your generators using fossil fuels will make your hydro bill look cheap...the only way to even compete is to use free fuel....Listeriods run on alot of waste products...even used engine and hydrolic oils...
But the price to set up this system is very costly even for a scrounger like myself...and requires alot of attention....
The engine also gives off alot of heat,hot water from the cooling system and exhaust system which can be recover and makes it even more efficient..

Logged
lively Bee's
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 137

Location: East Tennessee


« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2007, 09:52:42 AM »

We are building a new 2400sq home and decided on the 208w sharp solar panels.  we are looking at adding 8 - 10 a year.  We are also building a 32 x 64 barn that we are looking at placeing solar on also.  A good battery backup is needed.  We looked hard and long at wind power and we still are looking at adding wind power also.  Work with the solar companys and they can tell you the best inverter for your needs. 
It is always better to start small and grow big.

Other ways to save on your power bill
Geothermo heating and cooling
LED home lighting
Compact Fluorescent lighting
If you have a central HVAC look at a seer rating of 16 or up in are old house we went from a 12 seer to a 16 seer ac unit and the power bill droped over $100 a month.
Out door wood boilers some can also burn used oils corn etc you can heat your house, water, pool

Going green is not cheap but the earth needs help.
Logged
KONASDAD
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 2011


Location: Cherry Hill, N.J.


« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2007, 10:28:41 AM »

I did a huge amount of research on this issue for my state. NJ has a rebate of 38% for solar. (This reabte is being reduced March 1, 2007)Additionally, they are required to buy back surplus electricicty AND you sell your green credits. Green credits are sold to utilities so they can make more energy and more pollution that you didn't make by producing an equal amount of power. For a 5KW system, it would still be $30,000 out of my pocket and another 3-4 thousand b/c I cant roof mount b/c of doggy dormers on roof. Many states offer these reabtes, check into it and see if it helps. Good Luck
Logged

"The more complex the Mind, the Greater the need for the simplicity of Play".
Kev
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 244


Location: Hoosick Falls, NY


« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2007, 10:42:53 AM »

I am not looking to get completely off of the system but i would love yo reduce my bills...

Where can I get some good info about this?

You got a lot of good suggestions. I have a couple of things to add.

Many states require the power companies offer a grid intertie. It's sort of the best of both worlds. You install a photovoltaic (PV) system, but you don't get rid of your grid connection. This way you don't need batteries. When the sun shines brightly and you're not running an electric oven, your power meter will turn backwards, giving you credit for sending power from your PV system into the grid. At night, on cloudy days, etc, you can draw from the grid as normal. Now, this doesn't help you if the grid goes down and it's cloudy.

To run A/C and electric hot water you would need a HUGE PV system. Most people who put in PV also go with super-low use appliances. They heat and cook with gas or wood.

We looked into a PV system in 2002 when we built. At that time, the systems cost so much that we would never get a return on our investment. I wish, though, we had put in solar hot water. I live in upstate NY and a friend in nearby Massachusetts has a solar system that's 30 years old. On a sunny but subzero day the fluid coming out of the system is at 190-degrees F.

You might also look very hard at your electric use. For example:
Do you use an electric clothes
  • dryer? They typically draw an amazing amout of current. Line drying cut our bill in 1/2.
    Go around and turn off everything you can find. Then look at your meter. If it's still turning you have what conservationists call "phantom load." The LEDs on your VCR, clocks,  all draw current. It may just be a little, but it adds up.
    What kind of light bulbs do you use. Compact fluorescents will give more light for much less electricity use. Switching to all fluorescents could also potentially save you a bundle.
  • you might also save a bundle just by switching to LP for cooking and hot water. You can get hot water heaters that are 96+% efficient from the American Water Heater company.


Outdoor boilers can save you money, but if you're concerned about pollution, don't use them. They are exempt from EPA regulations and emit lots of pollution as a result.

Lastly, Countryside Magazine has tons of articles on designing, sizing and using PV systems, as well as wind and water power systems for homeowners. Check out their back issues. I like their magazine more than Mother Earth. You never see articles in it about big-shot hollywood types who have spent $14 million on a "green" second home.

It's nice to see so many other people thinking about reducing their footprint on the earth.

Kev
Logged

One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.
Mici
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1502


Location: Zagradec, Grosuple, Lower Carniola, Slovenia

tougher than rock


WWW
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2007, 03:15:39 PM »

the deep freeze!!! of course if you own one, or more. the older, the worse, our two freezers added more than half of our electricity bill, so we got rid of one and bought the A+ one...one of the most electricity consuming machines!
Logged
Kev
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 244


Location: Hoosick Falls, NY


« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2007, 04:38:50 PM »

the deep freeze!!! of course if you own one, or more. the older, the worse, our two freezers added more than half of our electricity bill, so we got rid of one and bought the A+ one...one of the most electricity consuming machines!

You are right ON! I forgot about that one. Did you get a SunFrost?
kev
Logged

One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.
reinbeau
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 2502


Location: Hanson, MA and Lebanon, ME


« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2007, 08:11:16 AM »

the deep freeze!!! of course if you own one, or more. the older, the worse, our two freezers added more than half of our electricity bill, so we got rid of one and bought the A+ one...one of the most electricity consuming machines!

You are right ON! I forgot about that one. Did you get a SunFrost?
kev
Get a chest freezer, too.  The uprights lose the cold every time you open it - it falls out the bottom!  Seriously!  shocked
Logged


- Ann, A Gardening Beek -  ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

Click for Hanson, Massachusetts Forecast" border="0" height="150" width="256
we BEE crawson
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 20

Location: northern vt


« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2008, 09:18:46 AM »

I am building a house in northern VT and we are off grid.  I am over a mile from the power lines and bringing the lines to us was the more costly route.  I have 540 watts of pv pannels and a battery bank, in the summer it powers the house with no troubles in the winter with less light we have to run the genny a couple times a week for a few hours each time.  We use a 4000 watt inverter and have had no troubles.   We run 220 for the well pump.  we have a washer& dryer  (gas)  dish washer etc.  If you have specific questions ask me it will bee better than me running on about our system which is 48 volts...  8  6 volt batteries in a series to give 48 volts.  each one is  250amphrs.  and like i said the system runs all that we need with out any troubles.  we have about 7k into the system which way cheeper than the 100k the power company wanted to bring the power lines to our site!!  please ask any questions  i will answer the best i can  this post seems a bit scattered  just trying to give a general idea of what we have
Logged
HAB
HEAVENLY BEEKEEPER
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 622


Location: S. Alabama, USA USDA Temp Zone 8A


« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2008, 10:50:57 AM »

Well, until the now in development thin film high out put solar power panels are available to the public, I don't think solar is the best way to go.  Unless you've got assistance with the initial start up costs (I believe California has cost share) the break even period is at least 30 years, longer here because we have some of the lowest rates in the nation. 

However, with that said, I am in the process of acquiring bids for a natural gas/lp whole house generator.  The first contractor is to be by first of next week. 

Solar hot water is a proven winner. The pay back on it can be as little as (for a professional installation) two years and almost over night for a DIY version.  Plans are available on the web at several sites.   Smiley
Logged
Understudy
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4640


Location: West Palm Beach, Fl


WWW
« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2008, 04:42:03 PM »

Well yesterday it happened. My wife and I signed the papers to do a solar system for the house. It will for the first time in years put us back into debt. However between that and the mortgage we should be paid off in 5 years.  The solar panels are abut 5kw more than our average monthly use and we can add 6 more panels without having to change the inverter.  The system also includes a solar water heater which will reduce our monthly KW usage by about 300kw.

This will just about have me completely off the grid. The system does not have a battery storage system. However FP&L and the Florida government recently change the laws and policies on how much they will pay for buying extra wattage. So with the law change it bacame advantageous to put the system in.

The system requires permits and paperwork for the rebate program and the buy backs. The system will take about 60 days for the paperwork and install. I will let you know how it goes.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

Logged

The status is not quo. The world is a mess and I just need to rule it. Dr. Horrible
johnnybigfish
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 2038


Location: Wichita Falls Tx


WWW
« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2008, 10:39:22 PM »

hey Brendhan,
this sounds GREAT!
 When I looked into this a few years ago, it was the cost of batteries that stopped me mostly.
 I hope this works really good for you! I'm looking forward to hearing how it goes!!
your friend,
john
Logged

Cindi
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 9827

Location: Grindrod, B.C. Canada


« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2008, 10:41:37 PM »

Brendhan, that is just downright cool, wow!!  Good for you, have a most wonderful and great day, Cindi
Logged

There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Kev
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 244


Location: Hoosick Falls, NY


« Reply #27 on: May 03, 2008, 07:33:59 PM »

I'm jealous. Very cool. Good luck with it.

Kev
Logged

One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.
Understudy
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4640


Location: West Palm Beach, Fl


WWW
« Reply #28 on: May 05, 2008, 09:50:28 PM »

This week they are suppose to install the solar water heater.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

Logged

The status is not quo. The world is a mess and I just need to rule it. Dr. Horrible
Brian D. Bray
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 7369


Location: Anacortes, WA 98221

I really look like this, just ask Cindi.


WWW
« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2008, 11:57:11 PM »

This week they are suppose to install the solar water heater.

Sincerely,
Brendhan



What a rain barrel on the roof?  =)   =)
Logged

Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
WV Hillbilly
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 13

Location: Hopelessly Lost


« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2008, 01:48:25 AM »

    Solar is only a economic benefit for a few people , such as the person who
lived a mile from the grid . Exception being solar water heaters especially if
you build it yourself . It is very expensive to install a solar system that will
generate the amount of electricity an average home uses . By the time it pays
for itself , if it ever does , it's useful lifespan is over & you're right back where
you started . Maybe someday when much more efficent panels are made , it
might be worthwhile . Storage batteries have to be replaced along the way &
they aren't inexpensive either .
Logged
Understudy
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4640


Location: West Palm Beach, Fl


WWW
« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2008, 09:30:35 AM »

Update on my solar system.

About a week ago they installed the solar water panel that replaces my water heater.
Being the nosy person I am. I helped.  Smiley

I pretty much knew what they had to do but the devil for me was in the details as to which end gets the input line and which end gets the output line. How we are going to secure this to the roof.

One of the more interesting aspects of this was the small 24 volt solar power panel that was also installed that operates the circulating pump. This pump makes it an active solar water heater as it mixes the water in the heater that I actually use. A passive system would use separate water that would heat the water in the heater and the two would never mix.

The heater is an 80 gallon unit. Quite large and heavy due to a ceramic insulation layer. The unit empty weighs 200 lbs./91kg. Full it's double that. The circulation pump runs the water into the solar panel which of course heats up the water as it flows through. That part was pretty obvious even to me. Leave your garden hose on the roof for a few hours you get the same thing.

Now the idea behind the pump working off the solar panel is that the water is only circulating when it's hot. Because if it ran 24/7 the water at night is not heated and would cause the tank to be filled with cold water. not something you want to wake up to in the shower in the morning.

Now there is a heating element in the tank but it is set at 120F/49C. However that is suppose to only have to work as a backup since the ceramic layer insulates the tank very well. After the first day of the install I was pleased we weren't using the electric for the water heater or so I thought. Well 80 gallons is a lot of water. And it took about two days to cycle through and I was at the end of day one kinda disappointed with the water it wasn't very hot, more in the warm area. I had always heard people say how hot solar water can get. At the end of day two I was considering weather or not to report to the hospital after filling the sink with hot water to wash the dishes and I stuck my hand in it.

Surprise Surprise Surprise.

Scalding is the best way to describe the warmth factor of the water. Note to self also after running the hot water run cold for a few moments so that the water left in the faucet doesn't surprise you.

I turned off the breaker to the element on the water heater on day three just to be sure.

If you have a solar panel be prepared for some really hot water.

In regards to the previous post as to who benefits from solar power. I understand the statement however the reason my wife and I who live in the burbs got them is that in January, the state passed a law that says the utility must buy back power from us now at 12 cents per watt. The system we bought is over sized compared to the amount of power we consume. We also spent some time working on dropping our monthly usage to a much lower level. When we first moved in our house we had a $200 a month electric bill. It now hovers around $80 a month. Our KW usage was cut almost 60% compared to when we first moved in.
Both the state and the feds now offer rebates for solar systems which our wife and I will put back into the money we spent on the system. Between that and the rebates we will have the system paid off in 5 years.  The system will on a conservative size generate about $200 cash back each year. And the our electric bill will be non existent, which at $80 a month is another $960 that we are not spending. I can also add a few extra panels to the system since I went for a slightly larger inverter.  Now if you want to split the hairs it would take the system about 20 years to pay for itself after state and federal rebates. So I can understand you point about the length of time. However the state will be increasing the buy back rate over the next ten years so that amount of time will actually be shorter.

One other item, we did not do a battery backup with this system. The batteries would have been prohibitively expensive. So in that aspect the previous post is correct. Now one of the fortunate aspects of my being an electrician is that I have access to a very nice 7.5kw battery system. Which I will put in at a later date. But the solar system will work very nicely at killing our electric bill without it. The amount of electricity our wife and I use at night is higher than during the day because well no one is watching tv or cooking during the day. However the amount of power the panel generate will cover that and some. Now  it would be nice to be completely off the grid. The idea of FP&L having to send me a check just has a wonderful sound to it. Because lord knows they have been sticking it to me for enough years.
 
No doubt a solar system is a big decision. My wife and I discussed this one for a long time. Not that we both didn't like the idea. But the cost was certainly a factor. However we both believe in the long run the benefit out weighs the cost.

The solar pv panels are coming in about a month. Once that install is done. I will let you know some more. Currently permits and applications and paperwork have to be done first.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

Logged

The status is not quo. The world is a mess and I just need to rule it. Dr. Horrible
ooptec
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 196


Location: Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada


WWW
« Reply #32 on: May 14, 2008, 06:57:46 PM »

Hey,

Neighbor down the road is on exclusive solar as was $13K to get a regular service in. They have now spent $20K on solar and can't even run a fridge. They say now if were to do again would use solar to run meter of regular power backwards.

The only system that looked to me as remotely feasible as them darn batteries are the seeming weak point, was using solar to make hydrogen gas which the guy stored in old propane 'pigs' and then used hydrogen fuel cell to power house and also their hydrogen car.

Another interesting not much heard of supplement to the internal combustion engine google 'brown's gas'

good luck    lol

cheers

peter
« Last Edit: May 14, 2008, 08:25:21 PM by ooptec » Logged

Understudy
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4640


Location: West Palm Beach, Fl


WWW
« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2008, 08:20:49 PM »

Quote
Neighbor down the road is on exclusive solar as was $13K to get a regular service in. They have now spent $20K on solar and can't even run a fridge. They say now if were to do again would use solar to run meter of regular power backwards.

Basically that is what is happening here.  They have to replace the meter to have a backward calculation meter.

Sincerely,
Brendhan


Logged

The status is not quo. The world is a mess and I just need to rule it. Dr. Horrible
Frantz
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 505

Location: whitehouse station, NJ


« Reply #34 on: May 28, 2008, 12:24:24 PM »

Brendan,
Hey do you mind if I copy your explanation of the solar stuff you have done into my green building section of my new construction forum?? www.homecoachforum.com (hint, hint, wink, wink) Lots of good info in this thread.
Let me know
F
Logged

Don't be yourself, "Be the man you would want your daughters to marry!!"
Vetch
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 184

Location: NE Florida


« Reply #35 on: May 28, 2008, 02:12:57 PM »

many people who rely on solar power have to have gas or diesel generators to charge their batteries on cloudy days. with the price of fuel being what it is i think power from the grid is way cheaper.

In general, I agree.  Alternatives require a large investment up-front, with amortization and depreciation it may be possible to break even after a period of years. But it depends on the site.

When I was a stamp collector, I had one US stamp that celebrated the rural electrification administration. I have heard that 20-30 years ago, it was cost effective to string 5 or 10 miles of electrical line to a new farm, but that has steadily shrunk. Today, if it is more than 2 or 3 miles of line needed to connect, it may be cheaper to go with alternatives. In the future ...

I guess the real question is why go with something other than the grid. If you absolutely need a backup source of power (for medical or other reasons), then something is needed. If you want to become independent, you can't do that by depending on the local utility. If you are concerned about global warming, then you want to use wind or solar. If you think society is going to fall apart, then you wouldn't want to count on the utility company long-term. Here, hurricanes are the big recognized threat, but for my budget, alternatives mean rechargeable batteries, extra propane cylinders and firewood, and a tank of gasoline so I don't forget what air-conditioning is.   
Logged
Frantz
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 505

Location: whitehouse station, NJ


« Reply #36 on: May 28, 2008, 07:11:13 PM »

Based off of Brendan's post I did some checking here in the state of UT. They sell us power at .09 and only buy it back at .03 Our reverse metering is called "Monthly Net Metering" If you have a surplus at the end of the month it does not carry over??? What in the world is that. And they buy it back at a 1/3rd of the cost that they sell it to you. Wow that was a bit of an eye opener. Little bummed about that.
Just talked with one of my guys here in my design center about a few things and he says here (utah) or close by anyway, count on about $12 per watt, with an average house using about 2-3kilowatts. so that means an average house will need about $24K-$36 for a good system. With that cost being evenly split into labor and materials. That includes batteries etc. That is for power. He also mentions that a good solar water heat system for heat and water will run about $12-$14k. Take off about $4k in government grants and tax breaks per system and that is where you end up.
Is that what you all are hearing? Let me know
F
Logged

Don't be yourself, "Be the man you would want your daughters to marry!!"
Understudy
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4640


Location: West Palm Beach, Fl


WWW
« Reply #37 on: May 29, 2008, 06:57:15 AM »

Brendan,
Hey do you mind if I copy your explanation of the solar stuff you have done into my green building section of my new construction forum?? www.homecoachforum.com (hint, hint, wink, wink) Lots of good info in this thread.
Let me know
F

Go for it have a ball.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

Logged

The status is not quo. The world is a mess and I just need to rule it. Dr. Horrible
Frantz
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 505

Location: whitehouse station, NJ


« Reply #38 on: May 29, 2008, 11:30:06 AM »

Thanks Brendan,
Talk to you more about the solar stuff later!!
Can you believe that they buy it back from us here at .03??
F
Logged

Don't be yourself, "Be the man you would want your daughters to marry!!"
JoelinGA
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 66


Location: Fayetteville, GA


« Reply #39 on: June 03, 2008, 02:03:45 PM »

We're looking into solar power or even wind is a possibility where I'm at. Just about every time I go outside I see my daughters pin wheels spinning in her garden. Makes me wish I had a little generator on them lol. Our goal is to try and be off the grid by the end of the year.
Logged
Jerrymac
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6047


Location: Wolfforth Texas


« Reply #40 on: June 03, 2008, 03:34:38 PM »

My son planned in getting some wind generator that was to cut his electric use by 80%. I pointed out that if he didn't spend anymore on electricity from the grid, didn't ever have to do maintenance  to the machine he would show a savings in about 104 years.
Logged

rainbow sunflower  Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.   rainbow sunflower

 Jerry

My pictures.Type in password;  youview
     http://photobucket.com/albums/v225/Jerry-mac/
Vetch
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 184

Location: NE Florida


« Reply #41 on: June 03, 2008, 04:21:46 PM »

I have an array of solar powered plants that the bees gather nectar from.  Also burn a bit of firewood - the chemical battery in the log unwinds, and it releases the solar energy stored over the past 20 years.
Logged
Understudy
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4640


Location: West Palm Beach, Fl


WWW
« Reply #42 on: October 03, 2008, 02:26:46 PM »

Well, I need to update. Because things just got ugly. And it is not just one person to blame on this. There is a whole mass of stupid in this.

I called and canceled the contract to install the solar panels.
Must breath Must breath

There had been some delays from the manufacture. I expected that demand for installs has shot through the roof. There were delays with permits. Having personally dealt with the county I expected that. The government is slow in sending the refunds I expected that.

However it has been many months and many phone calls to the company and nothing has happened. Now here is the kicker. There is a interest free period with the loan that you can pay it off in with no interest. That is one year. Well that time started when they put the water heater in. Back in April or May. Now it is October and I have no solar power panels, no permit, and no net metering. And it is seems very likely that I will be waiting a few more months before the install actually started. And I don't get the refunds from the government until the installation is complete.

So if I had gone ahead with it, it would have meant $30,000 at 13%. That ain't gonna happen. The refunds would have knocked it down to $17,000 and we would have paid that off before the interest kicked in.

So my wife and I called today and put the kabosh on the install. I am very bummed about it. No solar panels, no rebate from FP&L. And basically I have to start over again.

Now for the kicker. One more reason my wife wanted the thing killed is the Draft EIS from the Palm Beach International Airport regarding the expansion. In the draft EIS was included the possibility that they may buy out our neighborhood. In order to deal with the noise issue. If that happens it will happen in 5-8 years. So my wife does not want them installed only to have to look at a new install in five years.

It's like a soap opera with all the bad actors.

In November is the public hearing but they won't say anything for definite until the Final EIS comes out some time next year.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

Logged

The status is not quo. The world is a mess and I just need to rule it. Dr. Horrible
Frantz
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 505

Location: whitehouse station, NJ


« Reply #43 on: October 03, 2008, 03:44:40 PM »

Oh, man!!! That is just not cool. All to common though. I deal with cities, counties etc on a regular basis. It is just no fun. Too many $12.00 per hr folks with nothing to do but make your life difficult. Logic never prevails. I had a meeting with the RDA dept of SLC yesterday, letting them know that the project that we are doing for them will now be quicker, and less expensive.... They of course said no!!!
Go figure.
Labor has gone down, materials have gone down, we are constant using better and more efficient methods etc.
F
Logged

Don't be yourself, "Be the man you would want your daughters to marry!!"
Pages: 1 2 3 [All]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.876 seconds with 21 queries.

Google visited last this page September 13, 2014, 11:18:04 PM
anything