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Solar viability (DEC 2011)

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posted on Dec, 16 2011 @ 03:24 AM
First and foremost, if this is in the wrong are please move it.

Second I searched for solar and alternative energy and I guess it went out of style back in 05 and 06 and I didn't really see anything comparative to this.

I have been doing some research (probably nowhere near what some of you guys do) for alternative energy for electricity.

I am in an area where the solar insolation is something like 4.4 hours per day on average I don't have the link off hand but all the maps I looked at for my area were pretty much the same). It also gets pretty windy here sometimes (we have lots of windmills up already). This article caught my eye it talks about manufacturing costs are down to $1/watt for the specific tech they have (Photo voltaic cells aka solar). I understand this is a good thing, it means cheaper product for us and we can afford to do more of it.

I also find that I want a 25k generator kit. My question is, with the cost lowering, is it worth it in an economical sense (for sake of argument, I asked around and got the lowest quote of $2.75/watt to install), I didn't ask for more details as to what was all included as that is about half the cost of my house. Please save the "its worth it to save the environment" I can't really afford the full system now, so it would be a much smaller system to start with and added onto as time goes on. Another factor is it would be a grid tie in without batteries to start.

I am really interested in alternative energy. I like the fact that you lock in the rate per watt for the lifetime of the panels.

I'm not good with the math, so that is why I'm asking. Also the contractor I spoke to had that $2.75/watt for any system of 5kwh. So if someone can explain how to do the math, not necessarily the answer, that would be awesome.

Also, I'm not too interested in wind as its noisy. A neighbor bought a small generator and after a petition from all her neighbors it was taken down for the sound (this was before I moved in 2 years ago, shes one of those save the planet types and wanted to reduce her footprint). If there are some quiet ones that are relatively the same price, I wouldn't mind doing a hybrid system. Ive got roughly 1/3 acre from my nearest neighbor and it would have to be roof mounted for maximum distance.

I really appreciate the community here (- trolls of course
) and that is why I am asking.

posted on Dec, 16 2011 @ 03:46 AM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Dec, 16 2011 @ 03:50 AM
What is your primary energy use?

If its mainly for heating then a heat exchange system (seeing that you have 1/3rd acre) may be a better option.

The further North you are the less efficient solar will become, you also need to see if there are any feed in tariff schemes running. (I assume your in the US or Canada with you using $)

For people in the UK the feed in tariff scheme that the government guarantees for 25 years makes a 4kw solar system extremely viable, I've just put a 4kw system up at a cost of £11.5k but that money imo is better sitting on my roof earning rather than in a bank.

Another thing to bear in mind is that it also makes your property more sell-able in the future as the buyer will have their energy bills off-set.
edit on 16-12-2011 by Jamjar because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 16 2011 @ 05:09 AM
Thanks for your input guys.

I also forgot to mention. Right now anyway, I only pay $0.0649 per kwh, so its not horrible (compared to my mom who lives in the "liberal" part of the state) where she pays more. I'm not sure what her rate is, she is on Puget Power.

The primary use is heat and computers (I work from home so I can't really lessen that).

I have the heat at 68 deg as that is the most comfortable for me and the rest of the family. the heater was installed in 1963 but works like a champ still.

edit on 16-12-2011 by calnorak because: (no reason given)

I have also been looking into passive solar systems, I can create at least one of them, only problem is, when its sunny out I either have the heater off or on a/c. (it can get triple digits, and btw I'm US)
edit on 16-12-2011 by calnorak because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 16 2011 @ 05:19 AM
I wish I had 11.k pounds,
I'd get me a nice set up too.

Most of my extra jingle goes to debts I currently have. We put new energy efficient windows in and the heating system definitely runs less often. The bills have definitely been lower too. Also, plants can't survive inside anymore.

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