Does using Off the Grid Solar cost 10 times more than using a cities grid power?

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posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 05:46 PM
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Does using Off the Grid Solar cost 10 times more than using a cities grid power? I want to hear from the folks who have had solar at least a few years to tell me what your experience is with this.

I ask because I joined a forum called SolarPanelTalk and a frequent poster there called SunKing, ( who claims he is an electrical engineer which means he makes his living because of electricity coming from the grid) kept claiming that off the grid solar power would cost you 10 times more money than using on the grid power.

I asked him why he believes this and he replied with cost of grid power vs cost of buying the solar system, having it installed, replacing batteries. I didn't buy his argument so I asked him for more details and to consider my proposed solar system would not run everything, because I have alternate ways to do many things like cooking, heating the house, heating water etc.

I told him solar can be found now for 50 cents a panel. I can buy the materials for under 5000 and install the solar myself in my small 1500 sq foot house. I would only use the soalr for a few things, like running a small ac window unit just to cool one room or swamp cooler and perhaps lights at night. I told him i could buy a 10 pack of marine batteries for 1000 dollars. I'd only have to spend 1000 dollars to replace them every so many years. ( or cheaper by using lead acid and rebuilding and recharging them) My thinking is that I'd buy the stuff, do the work myself and then, sit on my butt and save a ton of money except for any maintenance I had to do which would be cheaper than continuing to run off a cities grid power. I told SunKing this.

Ironically, I was never able to get a reply from this SunKing fellow because the site banned me simply it seems for disagreeing with their resident expert. Not only was I banned but that thread and two other threads made by me were deleted. Those two threads were threads similar to these threads that showed alternate ways to do things without having to use your solar power all the time. www.abovetopsecret.com... - Off the Grid heating and cooking for cheap/free so you have more Power left over
and
www.abovetopsecret.com... - ATS Science Challange: Air Condition a House in high humidity without standard AC/Refrigeration

Apparently the operator of the site did not like this info being in his "off the grid" section. I was in compliance with their T&C the entire time I was on the site. The official reason for my ban was: " too many links. too much bullsh|t." Yes, those threads did have a lot of links just like in my posts here but that isn't against the T&C of that site nor is anything I said Bullsh|t - all these technologies really do work. I only offered them as ways people could cut down further on their solar usage.

I find this all very suspicious and believe that this site is really an anti solar site in disguise. The member SunKing seems to be respected by the site operator as this member has several stickies on the site. Unless I find any evidence to the contrary, I'd suggest people stay well clear of SolarPanelTalk

Still I need answers. I look forward to your thoughts in these matters.
Thank You
edit on 29-10-2012 by JohnPhoenix because: sp




posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 06:11 PM
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Hold on a second. You get kicked off of a website dedicated to Solar Power by asking questions and not agreeing with the answer and then you come to ATS, a conspiracy website, to find an answer you already have?

What is the purpose of a thread that you already seem to have the answer to?

Why do you need someone else's opinion if you have the ability and resources to do this?

Go for it already!

edit on 29-10-2012 by redbarron626 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 06:16 PM
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Originally posted by redbarron626
Hold on a second. You get kicked off of a website dedicated to Solar Power by asking questions and not agreeing with the answer and then you come to ATS, a conspiracy website, to find an answer you already have?

What is the purpose of a thread that you already seem to have the answer to?

Why do you need someone else's opinion if you have the ability and resources to do this?

Go for it already!

edit on 29-10-2012 by redbarron626 because: (no reason given)


I didn't get a complete answer from this guy Sunking and what little I did get to me doesn't justify his claims. So, I came here to explain the situation and ask people who actually use solar to give me thier experiance with solar costs.

Is the guy right, or is he a shill working for the electric companies? I found it very odd a top poster on a solar forum is actually encouraging people to use grid power over solar.

Oh, i'm still going to do it soon as the money is in order. This argument didn't sway me, I just want more facts from the people who use solar.
edit on 29-10-2012 by JohnPhoenix because: sp



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 06:22 PM
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In that case, you probably called the guy out and he is a sham or a shill!

At my dad's place we installed 2 Panels around 10 years ago to provide power for a Pole Light near the barn. In that time he has replaced the battery twice for a total cost of around $800.00(panels plus batteries)

What the savings have been over 10 years is probably nominal compared to being on the grid,but he wrote the whole thing off on taxes so literally he has had FREE light for 9 years.



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 06:46 PM
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nanu nanu

You could use a 12v LED low watt light system in your home with solar panel rather the modern one with high watt usage.

with solar panel, charging controller and a 12v battery with 150ah+ capacity (depends how good you are at turning the light off after leaving the room)

the math is simple i guess

(12v led 4w) | 12/4=0.333

0.3amp multiply by how many lights you need for you household maybe 30? I dunno.

30x0.3=9

9amp when all the 30 lights are on | 9/150=16.666 (but who would have all their 30lights on at the same time o0)

16hours roughly and when the solar panels charges the battery at daytime you don't need your lights on.

that's one of many things you could change out or modify hope for a second pair of eyes on my math rant.(it may be totally wrong)

tired kay-o



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 07:10 PM
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have been running solar several years now ... initially it cost me a bit to set up - mostly for the panels and to transport them upriver out here to the boonies where Im at ... costs on panels have dropped alot and they have improved alot over the early ones that had ... upgraded last year to new ones from mitsubishi electric that could power a small village ... well worth it to go solar ...
edit on 29/10/12 by Expat888 because: drunken tengu playing...



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 07:32 PM
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i am constantling learning....
here's a remarkable solar power generating cone... that out performs any inherently inefficient solar panel or solar film (the heat is the problem)
inhabitat.com...


so i am still considering what system to install on my residential house, attached to the grid with a system that will produce excess power which the utility must buy back from me

i want a backup battery storage component but a use as-you-go operation also... LED lighting & refrigeration being the primary circuts....with auxillary use of low volume HVAC units assigned to certain rooms/areas


a seperate solar driven well pump for the waste water system is another issue


my time frame is next summer for the solar system--- i hope by then the cones will be sold commercially for a good price


if you want to get details on a off grid solar array system the George Ure guy on Urban Survival.com has a system that can be reviewed from his Archives,,, it's about $10k
'but this is old & mostly 4 YO technology
edit on 29-10-2012 by St Udio because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 07:40 PM
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Originally posted by Expat888
have been running solar several years now ... initially it cost me a bit to set up - mostly for the panels and to transport them upriver out here to the boonies where Im at ... costs on panels have dropped alot and they have improved alot over the early ones that had ... upgraded last year to new ones from mitsubishi electric that could power a small village ... well worth it to go solar ...


Can you see a difference in cost at all yet. or have data for a projected cost difference?

There are things I want to know.. details that i cant find for the average household on Solar power. If everyone would also answer these, it would help get an overall idea on the costs involved as opposed to running from a grid.

Whats the size of your system? What appliances do you run daily and which ones drain your system the most before your batteries are depleted? Can you use straight power from the inverter without touching the charge in your batteries?
edit on 29-10-2012 by JohnPhoenix because: sp



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 07:57 PM
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I spent just $1500 and Can run lights, computer, Cable box, router. Freezer in emergencies. I'm running off it right now.

I could have spent $1,000, but went with a very high end charge controller so I could expand later.


And don't use marine batteries. 6 volt golf cart batteries work great. For real efficiency and power, use 2 volt batteries. Use enough to wire them for 48 volts to a 48 volt inverter. Very effeciant.

As mine sits, I generate 1,300 watts a day. I use about 800 watts a day. The excess goes to the batteries for cloudy days and night time use. With another $1,500 I could massively increase my power and capacity.

Crappy quality, but this gives you an idea of my system. I'll do another video later that you can actually see....



www.youtube.com...



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 08:01 PM
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reply to post by JohnPhoenix
 


look at ebay shouldn't cost much only battery is the expensive part



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 08:30 PM
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Originally posted by davjan4
I spent just $1500 and Can run lights, computer, Cable box, router. Freezer in emergencies. I'm running off it right now.

I could have spent $1,000, but went with a very high end charge controller so I could expand later.


And don't use marine batteries. 6 volt golf cart batteries work great. For real efficiency and power, use 2 volt batteries. Use enough to wire them for 48 volts to a 48 volt inverter. Very effeciant.

As mine sits, I generate 1,300 watts a day. I use about 800 watts a day. The excess goes to the batteries for cloudy days and night time use. With another $1,500 I could massively increase my power and capacity.


www.youtube.com...


Why does using 2 volt batteries make the system more efficient and powerful? Do you mean batteries like these? www.solarelectricsupply.com... The smallest they have weighs 73 lbs.. i cant imagine the price of these.

Thanks for the vid. I plan on having at least 3000 watts a day.



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 08:39 PM
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Partially because you get massive amounts of amps per battery.

Batteries don't have to be expensive. I looked on Craigslist and found a guy who builds custom high end golf carts. He buys a pallet of 6 volt batteries a week for work and sells a few. I bought "US Battery" brand. High quality, better than the usual "Trojan" brand most solar builders get. I only paid $100 each, and the guy was just 10 miles from my home, so no paying for shipping for 350 lbs of batteries.



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 08:46 PM
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reply to post by JohnPhoenix
 


when I first set up years ago it ran me about 35,000 u.s ( roughly as the exchange rate on currency between ¥ and dollar was different back then ) for panels , batteries and transport upriver as no roads out here.... last year when upgraded my cost

was about 10,000 u.s at the exchange rate then ... ordered direct from factory in japan not sure if you guys can do that there... the system Ive got now came out two years ago and is being used in indonesia to provide power to a couple villages of approx 800 people it covers light and small appliances for them quite well.. mostly I run my light for my house.. clinic ( regular and surgical lamps, refrigerator , autoclave etc in clinic ) in house I just run lights and keep my mobile charged up.. am able to store up roughly a two week supply of power with the setup I have currently ... costs have dropped greatly and efficiency much improved over the old system that had the tech is improving all the time also several of the governments here in asia are encouraging development of alternative renewable sources of energy and give incentives to the developers .. not sure what on grid power runs havent been on a power grid in over 20 years so cant help much with that.. its well worth it to set up a system and make the investment..



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 09:07 PM
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reply to post by davjan4
 


I am wanting to have a small cabin built and I want it off the grid.
I will have a wood burning cook stove and maybe a boiler for the
water.I am trying to find out what kind of solar system would I need?
I am wanting to run a small fridge,lights,tv/dvd and a washer.I thought
about a fridge that ran on propane or electric.I know the washer I want
uses 115 volts,it's a wringer washer.Also, I will have a well pump,I am
looking into a hand crank type.
I have been looking into solar and wind turbines.Any suggestions would
be appreciated.



posted on Oct, 30 2012 @ 07:39 AM
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nanu nanu

there is so much information on YouTube people who talks about this subject how to connect solar panels what type of solar charger controller they use and batteries


more watt the solar panels has the faster it will generate charge to the batteries, more ah (Ampere-hour) you have on your batteries more usage you got. (capacity)

and you got power inverters that you connect to the batteries and it will generate AC power (110v-240v the same voltage you have in your sockets in your home) from DC power from your batteries, it will drain your batteries fast if you have a small battery bank (low AH on the batteries)

power inverter comes in pure sine wave and modified sine wave, (copy%past description

- The simple answer

This can get complicated but the easiest way to compare waveforms is like comparing them to petrol - a pure sine wave is like Optimax and a modified sinewave is like regular unleaded. Use a pure sine wave UPS on your expensive equipment (i.e. servers) and save the modified sinewave for cheap equipment (i.e. PC Workstations).

modified sine wave power inverter are cheaper than pure sine wave.

and a grid-tie inverter is something different again from ordinary power inverters

source wikipedia

A grid-tie inverter (GTI) or synchronous inverter is a special type of power inverter that converts direct current (DC) electricity into alternating current (AC) and feeds it into an existing electrical grid.

so if your GTI feeds more watt into the grid than you use in your home you will be your own "power plant"

I hope I have been of some help.



posted on Oct, 30 2012 @ 01:58 PM
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reply to post by JohnPhoenix
 


Does using Off the Grid Solar cost 10 times more than using a cities grid power? NO

kay-o



posted on Oct, 30 2012 @ 03:42 PM
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I asked about this on another forum, called off-grid.net ( an excellent off grid resource) and was told this forum SolarPanelTalk is made up of salesman and installers.

Seems I can't find anyone who uses solar to say this has cost them more than they bargained for or even double much less 10 times what they were paying on the grid. Everyone says it paid for itself and is cheap to maintain.

Seems this guy SunKing might really be working with the electric companies as a disinfo agent. Too bad he's not a member of ATS, I'd like to see the ensuing discussions.

Mork&Mindy

I have a 3000 watt full sine wave invetor bookmarked that cost 700 dollars. I think thats a good deal. I have seen the videos of the inverter comparisons - the modified sine wave units can cause a hum in certain appliances and is less effeicient where as the full sine wave models supply a truer energy signature more like grid power. I am planning for at least 3000 watts a day. I plan to spend at least but not much more than 1000 dollars on batteries.

I only need 120 volts.. unlike folks in Austraila - their houses run on 240 volts. We Americans get to get away with using less power where the Austrailians have to have everything doubled.. more panels, more batteries, heavier charger and inverter. I feel for those folks. I suppose if going off the grid they can choose DC appliances from RV's just like many folks here do.
edit on 30-10-2012 by JohnPhoenix because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 30 2012 @ 04:01 PM
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OP,a big part of the philosophy of going solar is well, the philosophy behind it. Even if you only break even and there is more work involved, you are promoting it and adding to the demand for solar which will help to bring prices down and encourage development. You can't look at the dollar value alone just like you don't purchase a vehicle to save money.

When you budget to go solar my advice from experience and from sitting in on many solar power conferences is to be aware of all the little extra costs. You haven't mentioned an inverter, service switch, charge controller, breakers, panel mounting system, battery shelf/containment, heavy cables and connectors for connecting all of the batteries and runs to the panels, house wiring for sepearating circuits run by solar, nuts, bolts, drill bits, calking, LED lights, etc. Some people have most of this on hand and don't add it to their pronounced cost. If you don't have this stuff around, the added cost will be substantial.

Also, you are probably aware of this but you have to calculate your panels output for your location based on latitude and annual cloud cover. Panels are rated by the manufacture under ideal conditions. Where I am I have to rate panels at about 56%.

Good luck setting up your system. I'm sure you will learn a lot and you will certainly appreciate sitting under lights that are powered by an independent system that you built.



posted on Oct, 30 2012 @ 04:25 PM
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reply to post by JohnPhoenix
 


Are you on the grid now? If so, you can have a grid tie system installed, and slowly build up you generating capability while selling your excess to the power company. Eventually you will be even, or receiving a yearly or bi-yearly check from the power company. Yes, going off grid is a great way to stick it to the man, but why not let the man write you a check every year for going green, and forcing him to do so as well.



posted on Oct, 30 2012 @ 04:56 PM
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Originally posted by botay
reply to post by JohnPhoenix
 


Are you on the grid now? If so, you can have a grid tie system installed, and slowly build up you generating capability while selling your excess to the power company. Eventually you will be even, or receiving a yearly or bi-yearly check from the power company. Yes, going off grid is a great way to stick it to the man, but why not let the man write you a check every year for going green, and forcing him to do so as well.




i think one factor anyone must consider when wiring up the excess to the grid is the costings involved in a qualified electrician attending the array to write a compliance certificate either annually like a pat test or perhaps bi-anually. i'm fuzzy on the correct legislation (uk) and elsewhere (worldwide) may have similar regulations.
for example, a tie-in situated in the uk may yield £350.00 in excess generation per year, yet it may cost £150.00
to have the unit checked yearly. i'd say it is worth studying local regs before signing up to a salesman pitch.
shiney days solar panelists.
f.





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