Solar Power?

Discussion in 'The Drivers Lounge' started by ABFer, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    funny, no matter the Italian car, i'd always see them in the garage across from mine. same customers, same cars. they had always been a very "finicky" car, any of 'em......
     
  2. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Are you sure that those weren't British Leylands you were eyeing up? Those are what one could call a 'finicky lot'.
     
  3. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    nope, Fiats, Alfa-Romeos, as far as the Brits, I would see the same old MGB's.....

    i worked on an MGB...once.......just ONCE..........then told my customer, Si-yor-nonya......(or good-bye, in English)
     
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  4. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Fiat's were always junk, I know nothing about the Alfa-Romeos.
     
  5. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    Alfa's are really quite nice, more sporty, more fun to drive. but the carbs back then would require too much attention to keep in tune. the mechanic that was the expert in the Italian cars was himself educated in Italy (born there, moved here and became a citizen), said that the cars would even give him headaches.

    he just recently sold his shop and retired at the ripe old age of 75
     
  6. runawaytrain

    runawaytrain Wear their scorn with pride.

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    My concern has always been maintenance and up keep. What type of warranty is there? How long do they last before they are more trouble than they are worth? How long would it take before you break even with the cost?
     
  7. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Warranty is 25 years on panels, 12 and upgradable to 25 on the hardware inside the building. Upkeep none, 9 years to return on investment according to my installer. Immediate return on investment based on predicted energy production if it's accurate, took out a loan, which costs less than the electricity is worth that it should produce. I figure that when they crap out technology will be even better and I should be able to just put new panels on the existing racking system.
     
  8. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Here are some of my thoughts. They produce the most in the months surrounding June 21, longest day of the year. My lead time was about 3 months from thought to installation. 10 weeks lead time after sending in initial deposit (which was only $1,000 for me). It is supposed to save more in electricity than the cost of the loan over the course of the year but I don't see that happening until the days get longer and the sun is higher overhead. But we have passed the shortest day of the year so it should produce more every day. So...if you start now you should be able to be up and running by April, when you'll get the most out of your system. Additionally, up until the end of this year there is a 30% tax credit, which means that Uncle Sam will pay 30% of the cost of the system provided that you pay that much in taxes. They will not give you money above and beyond what you pay in taxes. However, you can carry any excess over to the next tax year up to the amount that you pay in taxes. That 30% really helps with the bottom line.
     
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  9. runawaytrain

    runawaytrain Wear their scorn with pride.

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    I've always been a numbers guy if nothing else. If it's something that wouldn't nickel and dime me with associated cost it would be worth considering. Being relatively new it would be hard to gauge any associated cost. Being from Texas we have plenty of sun. I will do some research. Thank you for your reply.
     
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  10. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    i was watching an episode of This Old House, (or Ask this Old House) and they were in Texas on some ranch, watching a windmill being installed, which produces quite a bit of electricity. it was a windmill which can be lowered in high winds (as an impending tornado), or for regular maintenance.
     
  11. joes bar and grill

    joes bar and grill Well-Known Member

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    Did they come out and do a survey to determine the best place to install them?
     
  12. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Sort of, I said, "There's the 2400 sq ft steel roof facing southwest with no trees in the way", they said, "That will work just fine".
     
  13. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    you could have just as easily have told them you have the sun in your back pocket and only allow others to see it from time to time..........

    that may have "just worked fine", as well..........

    but i am sure, a measurement was taken, so they would know exactly how many panels to sell you.

    jeez, i'm just thinking, you could have had a hot water system hooked into it as well..

    i guess the possibilities are endless, as to what could have been installed or hooked up to your house.
     
  14. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually I guess that they did. To me it was a no brainer and their survey supported that. First I took pics of the building, the inside of the roof, and the electric service and E-mailed them over. They brought the place up on satellite, which showed them roof orientation and potential shade problems. I provided roof dimensions and they were able to estimate pitch based on those. I felt like it was all a nuisance but for them I guess it rules out a lot of potential systems. Then the guy came out, inspected all of the above and measured the roof which, as you said, let them know how may panels it could take. They also had to determine that the roof could take the weight of the system+30 lbs/sq ft of snow. We tried to come up with an estimated electricity usage but this was a foreclosed house and the numbers on record were off the charts like someone had everything running all the time. So...having electric heat and knowing that I do get paid for any excess electricity the decision was made to plaster the southwest facing side of that roof with everything that would fit. I do have room for ground mounted arrays and would have given them consideration if the roof wasn't so easy. I can also mount on the northeast facing side of the roof and they said that there is about 70% efficiency over there.
     
  15. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    i saw a neat system on This Old House, where they actually did the solar panels on the building they work out of. these panels were the type that, if one goes dead, the rest still work, and the software will tell you which one is dead.

    the advances in the few years now, is amazing.

    it was said that there would be "about" a 5-10 year time frame for the system to be paid for and THEN the electricity is free....

    i cannot have any such system on my Victorian. I cannot even have any such system, in my backyard. not even a windmill.

    so i envy those of you that can have them, and enjoy the added benefits.
     
  16. joes bar and grill

    joes bar and grill Well-Known Member

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    Did they come out and do a survey to determine the best place to install them?
    What happens if there is a power outage? Can you use the power you generate?
     
  17. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The system shuts down when the power goes out. To use my own power during a black out I would need to add batteries and more equipment and I don't feel as though it would be cost effective, neither did my installer and we didn't get so far as what it would cost. I would think that there should be some way to do it but it's out of my league. The system shuts down so that the linemen don't get shocked out there when they're working on the grid.
     
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  18. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    one can always get a back up generator.

    i was talking with a contractor, that can install a natural gas one for me. but the location for it in my backyard, may make it prone to vandals, or my crap-head neighbors, who seem to like crashing thru my fence, every so often.

    so we will be in the dark, like the rest of 'em..

    the things i'd like to have, will just have to wait, till i hit the $400 million dollar Power Ball this week......
     
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  19. joes bar and grill

    joes bar and grill Well-Known Member

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    How much do they weigh and how much snow load will they handle?
     
  20. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Here's the ones I got. I got the 270's. Click on download datasheet and you can view the specs. No need to run a download on it it opens another page. Says they weigh 18Kg or just about 40LBs. They walk on them when they're installing them and the weak link for snow capacity seems to be the roof that they're mounted on.
    http://www.peimar.com/en/products/on-grid-solutions/poly-os-standard-line-60-cells-250-270-wp/
     
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