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Lowe’s wants to turn solar installation into a weekend project

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posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 10:46 AM
Lowe’s hardware stores are turning solar panel installation into a household project. Aiming to improve the user-friendliness of solar panels, all its new products require is a ladder, cordless drill and some sealing caulk. For about $350 you can have your own 50-watt solar array.
Lowe's web site

But, just to be clear, 50 watts isn’t going to power much. The compact fluorescent light bulb in my floor lamp needs 23 watts to stay on. My laptop, when it’s plugged in, draws 160 watts. So for $331 plus tax, you’re getting a solar panel that will keep two light bulbs shining — while it’s sunny out. For about $1,000, you can power a PC laptop. But it’s a start.

Even without taxes and installation costs, it would take 30,000 hours of peak operation and zero maintenance costs to bring the cost down to current power-company rates. That means that you would have to wait three years of direct sunlight before the panels pay for themselves. Personally, I’d wait for prices to come down as predicted. But it’s good that Lowe’s is doing this now to warm the market up to the idea.

That's not all. Coming soon, Lowe's said it will offer utility-connected wind turbines by special order.
Full Story here

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 10:49 AM
This is the kind of thing we need! Good for Lowe's! Yes, it's expensive now, but I'm sure the prices will be coming down. I have never regretted spending the money for our solar improvements! I LOVE it!

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 10:51 AM
I've attempted over and over to get my hands on these incentives and rebate myths the federal and state govs keep touting. Getting anything is nigh impossible unless your some politicians buddy or so wealthy you dont need the money in the first place. Like getting a NYC pistol permit.

Anyway, more power to Lowe's and I hope their sales do well.

The more ricky-rich's and upper-class enviro-yuppies that buy now the sooner the tech will reach realistic consumer affordability.

GE is supposed to offer solar roofing shingles sometime next year. They claim "affordable" and "durable" but I'll wiat and see how GE defines "affordable" before I get too excited.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 10:53 AM
When they have about a 5000 watt system that I can install myself, I'm in.

I built my own house and am fully capable of installing a system but I'd just as soon have someone else do the work of picking out the transfer switch and working out the details with my power company.

Then, I'd go for it.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 10:57 AM
reply to post by Wildbob77

There are small companies that do that now...
but you do have to admit this is a good (if Small) first step in taking Solar power mainstream

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 11:11 AM
reply to post by Wildbob77

I hear ya, Wildbob. I'm installing a 1200W PV system in our house right now. I've been at it for more than two weeks.

Problem #1: New edicts coming down from the local PTB make licensed electricians have to undergo $3500 more in licensing AND pass a board on de big island. The upshot of that is none of the three who would have helped me are willing. Thus, I have had to install auxiliary outlets in our house due to the necessity of not connecting to the main panel. I have to keep it completely independent of conventional power, or I invite the vampires into my house.

Problem #2: I'm not an electrician. I am a licensed contractor and posess more than 19 brain cells, so I'm getting through it. My tactic is to bump up recommended wire thickness at least one size to allow for future expansion and minimal voltage drop.

Problem #3: there are 1200 people here and three hardware stores. I have to fabricate everything, and my primary shopping place is the dump.

Problem #4: It's freakin' HOT! Where are our three days of winter??

Problem #5: I'm spending too much time on the internet.

Problem #6: When it's not freakin' hot, it is raining. Rain + electrical wiring = happy dance. Happy dance is not good.

Aside from the above, I'm coming along just great. I hope to be flipping the main switch on the main panel (conventional power) to OFF by Christmas. raas claat, this is WORK. But that's okay. It won't kill me, so it'll only make me stronger. We have no "incentives" here. Heavy salt environment, so I've had to construct exterior hurricane-proof, weather-proof, fire-resistant lockers. I've spent about $12,000 so far, including 24VCD fridge and 24VDC freezer. I've had to make the roof array adjustable to change the presentation to the sun as the sun's eliptic changes, and make everything a quick-connect so we can take it down when hurricanes threaten.

Oh yeah, and problem #7........ I tore one forearm flexor and separated another last year when I dug a 210' ditch 24" deep through rock and coconut roots to put our power underground after hurricane Paloma kicked out butts. I feel old. I feel happy.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 11:15 AM
This is cool...finally!

However, I would recommend that anyone interested in installing this to check with your Home Owners Association or City Housing regulations. Many of those ban "unsightly" solar panels.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 11:17 AM
reply to post by argentus

Thanks for the good laugh. I have to tell you I've done the happy dance on a number of occasions. It just seems to catch me by surprise.

Currently I'm building a small house on the coast of Washington. I was going to drive up to work on it last week till we got the weather updates. It was in the thirties but felt like the twenties. I don't have any heat yet so I won't be working on it till the spring. My wife pointed out that I wouldn't be able to move my fingers and I had to concede that she had a point .

It's all closed in with a roof on so now we just wait.

I won't be doing solar up there since you don't see the sun all that often.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 11:26 AM
reply to post by Wildbob77

Yeah, nowadays I suppose if a person observed you or I doing the happy dance, they'd be impressed with how good we were at "krumping".

Well, you've got your place dried in, and that's the critical part. Goodonya for doing it your way.

I'm less than impressed with wind generators. Most of their have bold claims about wattage until you read the specs and they require a sustained 22 mph wind for minimal charging. There ARE some things you can make yourself based on older moldel auto alternators that will charge to some degree regardless of the kts. of wind. I may build one next month whilst I'm "resting". ha!

Did I mention that it took me TWO @#@#%in' days to "dig" a 15' ditch from the array combiner to the lockers? Yep. Mostly rock, and some sand. I've actually bent my 1 1/4" spring steel 6' pry bar.

I couldn't wait to show my wife. I think I strutted for two days after that.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 12:12 PM
reply to post by DaddyBare

I am sitting at the puter enjoying a bath of 90 degree air blowing through my living room. It's about 30 degrees outside and sunny.
I built two semi passive heaters last fall, They have worked like gems.
This is air not electricity. I put a twist on the usual collector box with a fan that sucks the hot air from the top 8" vent and blows it out the bottom 8' vent. The collector is 4' x 7' and 3.5" deep. (old sliding door panel from the curb during clean up days) and a pine 2 x 6 frame. The wall opposite the glass is cheap roofing metal painted flat black. I have a 90-120 degree thermostat mounted at the highest center point.
I should get a solar panel to operate the fan.
I build my house intentionally with an side on the southern exposure. (two story) I have one heater for each floor and am thinking about more.
The angle of the sun in the spring moves more vertical and keeps the collectors cool for the summer.
In the fall the arch of the sun returns to lower degrees and the rays again strike the collectors.
I use a wood stove for cold nights and real overcast days.

Solar stocks have had the crap shorted out of them so JP and Goldman Suck can corner the market on ther grids being built in the deserts.
Solar and wind are political footballs. Just more broken promises from the government. Add nuclear to the pot as well.
We ain't attacking Iraq and Afganistan for sunshine and wind.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 03:09 PM
reply to post by Donny 4 million

This will be a bit off-topic from the Lowe's story in the OP, however somewhat related.......... hopefully you all and mods will forgive the transgression. If not, no great loss. Once we've commented on how Lowe's is doing a seemingly good thing, what else to say.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 03:24 PM
reply to post by thisguyrighthere

In regard to incentives/rebates -- check out this link from BP Solar. Just click on your area and after that look to the left for "rebates and incentives". Pretty much everywhere has some. New York state in particular has GREAT incentives. If a person lives there and can afford or finance the front money, they can realize almost a 90% rebate.

I waited a long time to go solar, thinking that it was a lot like computers -- just as soon as you buy one, a more efficient/better model comes down the pike. We just had to take the plunge.

We acquired BPsolar panels because of their 25 year guarantee. I don't have any [de]illusions that they will still be in business 25 years from now, but the strength of their guarantee does indicate (I hope) a better quality panel.

Storage of the power generated is the weak link. We got Surette batteries, because they were the best that we could afford. Will they survive as long as the PV panels? Extremely doubtful, but even if TSHTF and we can't get new batteries 10 years from now, we can at least run some things directly from the panels.

Check out the incentives. The website above is a very good resource for global incentives.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 03:30 PM
reply to post by DaddyBare

Thanks for bringing this story to us, DaddyBare. [do I want to know the story behind your screenname? I'm not sure...............]

Lower wattage solar systems are basically plug-n-play. Our first was a 60-watt Sunforce system, complete with charge controller. It all set up in less than an hour. More elaborate systems involve a lot of electrical knowledge, but still not something that the average bear can't eventually get through.

This average bear is working it out, very slowly, making what I feel are elegant electrical connections, and being very CAUTIOUS! as the paperwork indicates.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 03:36 PM
thats nice but still way to expensive to invest in unless your filthy rich

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 03:39 PM
reply to post by OpTiMuS_PrImE

Me? or the OP?

I'm not filthy rich. I'm not rich. I'm filthy every day. I got a loan for $USD 12,000 from our credit union. Check out the incentives and rebates in my earlier post. If a person can get the scratch for the up-front costs, chances are your state/country/providence or a combination of all will pony up a lot of rebate duckets.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 03:46 PM
reply to post by argentus

the OP solar just to me seems way to pricey for those who cant get financing and who are disabled on limited budget and so on, i know i seen a while back that there was a breakthrough in the solar film and would be very low cost but have not seen anything else on it

heres the info from that website! no state rebate and $15,016 over 25 years to the estimated $32,000 cost is just rediculous

Benefits of your BP Solar system
Estimated System Cost $32,000
Federal / State Tax Credit * $9,600
State / Utility Rebate $0
Net Cost $22,400
Cumulative Lifetime Savings $15,016 over 25 years
Investment Return 0.7%

[edit on 16-12-2009 by OpTiMuS_PrImE]

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 03:49 PM
reply to post by argentus

Thanks for bringing this story to us, DaddyBare. [do I want to know the story behind your screenname? I'm not sure...............]

in all these years your the first to ask and since you were daring enough... I'll tell ya...

I'm Native American and my Nickname in Apache loosely translates to Daddy Bare... I got that name on the night on my first child's birth... when my wife said, "Honey its time" I raced buck naked out into a blizzard to get the car started yelling "It's time! Its time"! ever since I've been DaddyBare to those who know me...

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 03:52 PM
reply to post by OpTiMuS_PrImE

I'm with you on that ... it is something I've been wanting to do for a long time but...

As I said I'm waiting for the prices to come down but I do wish Obama had made some kind of grant available to homeowners as part of his jobs creations program

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 03:57 PM
reply to post by DaddyBare

yeah at $8 a watt thats just ridiculous stuff it would cost me a $8000 solar system just to run my pc

now when or if it gets down to $.50 or a $1 a watt then were talking but with the money hungry rich it probably won't happen

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 04:25 PM

Originally posted by DaddyBare
Lowe’s hardware stores are turning solar panel installation into a household project. Aiming to improve the user-friendliness of solar panels, all its new products require is a ladder, cordless drill and some sealing caulk. For about $350 you can have your own 50-watt solar array.

Actually with the energy efficency credits around you can take 30% of the cost as a tax credit. The array would only cost you $245 and other credits can apply from your utility company and State programs to lower it even more. Still expensive as it would cost only about $36 to run a 60watt bulb 24/7 for 365 days.

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