Solar Power?

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

  1. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If you have to worry about snow build up on your panels solar might not work for you. They don't do much in the winter but they do put out some power and with snow on them they won't make any. So...unless you can get at them to keep them clear you will want to look hard at what your winters will be like and keep that in mind. A good installer should tell you what you can expect for your area.
     
  2. Stimpy

    Stimpy Wingnut

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    Here's a thought.... the solar panels are black when the Sun hits the solar panel is should heat up the black panel causing heat melting the snow to slide off.... just a thought from a truck driver not a solar panel installer
     
  3. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You are absolutely right and that does help. However, if you live in a an area where it gets cold, like in the teens at night and the snow builds up thick enough that the sun won't make it through it will take some time for them to clear themselves. Much like our roads. I am fortunate enough that the times when they won't clear themselves are few. But, they are slippery, they do sit on an angle the there is no space between the panels on the top to bottom edges so it will slide off in one big sheet when it goes.
     
  4. joes bar and grill

    joes bar and grill Well-Known Member

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    Do they "shed " the snow? You answered both of the questions I had in mind , it looks like you have a pole barn and they usually have engineered trusses that don't leave a lot of room for extra weight.
     
  5. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Right now there's still frost on them, so...if it had snowed it would still be there too. If and when snow happens I'll report how it goes. Engineers cyphered what the roof can handle and the township approved it, it is all part of the permit process. I asked what kind of road blocks they normally encountered with installations and he said that shade was the number 1 killer. He also said that there were a couple of roofs that had to be reinforced but that was it.
     
  6. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    too bad, they couldn't have been installed on the ground. that way, no special roof bracing needed. and easier for you to brush away the snow.


    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Stimpy

    Stimpy Wingnut

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    Good idea. ....less lawn to mow....lol
     
  8. Stimpy

    Stimpy Wingnut

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    I looked at a solar strip for my camper. ...30 feet long peel and stick to the rubber roof....they claim it will charge my batteries with minimal sun...being in the woods peaked my interest. ...I will try to find the link to that product

    http://m.lightharvestsolar.com/catalog/item/8768050/9823961.htm
     
  9. Stimpy

    Stimpy Wingnut

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  10. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Could be a viable source of electricity. My panels are aaaa maybe 1 1/2" thick but most of that is frame. The stuff that does the work is maybe 1/4" thick. However, I'd beware of any business who thinks
    an apostrophe signifies plurality.
    My panels are rated for 270 watts each, those are 128. I like the idea but I'm skeptical about that company. I have a friend who found a wind generator on Craig's list. He rigged a double pole and a hand winch (like a boat crank) to get it up in the air, he likes that.
     
  11. Stimpy

    Stimpy Wingnut

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    What I'm looking at by no means compares to what you have I'm just recharging a 12 volt battery that's it nothing more than that.... it would never generate any 110 ac power
     
  12. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    None of them generate 110V AC, they generate DC and convert it to AC with an inverter. Just one vs the other for output comparison. It's all kind of jibberish to me and I'm trying to understand it.
     
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  13. Apostolic

    Apostolic Super Moderator Staff Member

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  14. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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  15. joes bar and grill

    joes bar and grill Well-Known Member

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    How did the panels do in the little bit of snow we had?
     
  16. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The light layer of snow took a while to melt and dissipate and they barely produced anything while it was on there. If I remember correctly it was cloudy that day and overall production was low for the whole day. The system is supposed to interface with the internet and provide real time data in addition to accumulated data but for some reason it is failing to connect and I am not keeping written records so I cannot provide specifics on it at this point. Heavy frost is also common here for some reason and it takes a while for the frost to melt as well. That also curbs early AM production, which is actually nothing to write home about right now anyway. It is interesting to look at the graphs of production for specific days. The "curve" looks like a dunce cap with peak production in the vicinity of 11kWh at 12:30, which is peak production time. Each day it makes a little more and the 12:30 peak gets higher. On a 100% clear day right now I am making bout $6.00 worth of electricity.
     
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  17. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    And it is looking like I'll be able to tell you what happens when the array gets a heavy snow on it. :wee:
     
  18. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Talked to my installer today and got more information. He says that solar will work fine anywhere in the continental US and up into Canada. Here's a website you can punch in some numbers and get an idea of what you can expect for where you are. You will need to arm yourself with some information like what direction your roof faces in degrees and at what angle. They use default numbers for a lot of that information which looks like average data. You can start with what they have then change it to your numbers if you're interested. Then you can figure the area of your roof and how many panels you can get on there. If you have your annual kWh usage that will guide you on how many panels would satisfy your needs.
    http://pvwatts.nrel.gov/
     
  19. Stimpy

    Stimpy Wingnut

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    I bet you're not making much power today. ....a few inches on the panels?
     
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  20. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe I'll snap a picture for you tomorrow, it's been windy and it has a cliff hanger hanging off of it. I got to get my roof rake out and get what I can before we get rain and it gets too heavy.
     

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