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

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posted on Oct, 30 2012 @ 06:03 PM

Yes, I have considered all those costs. I figure 3000 for the panels, ( and thats the high end of a dollar a watt (this from a 3k watt solar kit)) 700 to 1000 for inverter, 500 for charge controller, breakers, switches, wiring etc possibly another 1000, and 1000 for batteries then I'll add another 1000 to that for misc stuff. 7 grand isn't bad. If i can get the panels for 50 cents a watt, I may go to 4000 or 5000 watts per day

I'm on the grid now but live in a condo.. no way i could have solar here.

I pay 3600 a year now in condo fees and utilities. 36.000 over the last 10 years, not including buying the condo for 20,000. I plan to buy the land, buy or build a prefab house or other cheap type of house for under 15,000. I'm lookinbg in places that are not incorporated where people want to get rid of a few acres of land for less than 2000 an acre. There are tons of these places if you look hard enough. I'm getting at least 50,000 to 100,000 for a land deal I'm doing now. I want to spend only about 25K total for a place i won't have to spend a lot of money on in the future. Of course I include a well and septic system too.
edit on 30-10-2012 by JohnPhoenix because: sp

posted on Oct, 30 2012 @ 06:21 PM
For better efficiency, you should probably look into a solar tracking system. Either buying or building one. That way your panels will follow the progression of the sun and absorb the maximum amount of sunlight they can.

Now a good deep cell battery should last anywhere from 5-10 years. It varies greatly.

Good solar cells should last around 30 years before they begin to degrade noticeably. However, if your cells get damaged, they aren't going to be producing electricity efficiently. In some cases, not at all.

One way to reduce the cost of solar panels is to build your own from individual cells. It does take a minor amount of know-how, but a box of cells can be purchased much cheaper than a prefabricated panel. Plus, you can make your own panels any size you want.

posted on Nov, 2 2012 @ 07:04 AM
reply to post by JohnPhoenix

Last I checked city power costs 1 penny to run a 100 watt light bulb for 1 hour. That's cheap!

posted on Nov, 2 2012 @ 07:24 AM
reply to post by JohnPhoenix


I wish I could be more helpful with your questions, alas, I do not have a solar system. What I can tell you is that two relatives of mine owned a cabin on a very peaceful lake in New England. They had a solar system (back from the 80's) that they were able to run a pump for water, fridge, lights, tv/vcr/dvd, outdoor flood lights, and a few other small appliances and from what I remember they said that it was far cheaper (even back in the 80's) to have that solar system up than to have to hook to the local town's grid. They were able to store up about 36 hours of power on one complete charge (in the case of a cloudy day), with no service interruptions. All I remember is that they had built a shed to house all the batteries, and that shed was FULL.

The thing that you want to be very careful of, however, is to have a VERY tall lightning rod for your system. My relatives' system was destroyed by a bad thunderstorm. It fried the batteries, solar panels, etc. They ended up switching to the grid system the following spring because the start up costs to rebuild their system would have been astronomical.

I know it's not much help, but from what I remember, it was cheaper for them to run their three bedroom cabin off of solar than it would have been to hook up to the grid, in the long run.


posted on Nov, 2 2012 @ 07:38 AM
Solar is fragile and not efficient enough to sustain the amount of power one is used to using from the grid.

Solar can be scaled up,but if you want to run all of your stuff like your neighbors,it will cost you tens of thousands of dollars to get set up.

The newer storage batteries make it more efficient,but once again are prohibitively expensive.

And you can't get completely off the grid anyway,yet.

Once the people that control your little slice of the grid figure out how to make you think you're off it,but really aren't,they will let you think you are off the grid.

Slaves do not like watching other slaves free themselves.

I used solar for years,but it would only provide for lighting and radio and a fan.

That was enough for me,probably not most others though.

posted on Nov, 2 2012 @ 07:48 AM
I can buy everything I need on ebay to build a 12V high output cree HI LED emitter lighting system that will run off of a 5000 milliamp-hour nickel metal hydrite battery pack.With a runtime of over 48 hours on a single charge.

I built the lighting system to marry to a solar collection system.

Then I put the lighting system on my bicycle and have been riding around the country since 2010.

The problem with the current solar systems is the hydrogen produced by lead acid batteries when they are charged,but lead acid is about the only thing out there that can store enough power.

Yeah,people's houses have blown up from improperly vented battery storage areas.

posted on Nov, 2 2012 @ 08:09 AM
currently the cost to build a solid solar system that delivers the needs of an entire home is a wash, but that doesn't mean it's not worth while to do. it will take you 20-25 years to recoup your investment, another but here, what's it worth for you to have power when the lights go out, that's what you have to weigh.

for those interested i would definitely recommend NiFe batteries over any other. the cost up front is a little higher but the batteries can last a life time with proper maintenance.

i'm currently in the research stage of putting a system together for my home and for now i am starting at the temporary storage area of the system. charger controller, batteries and an inverter is what i will be putting together for now.
i can charge my batteries during the day with my generator and run the house off batteries at night and since my generator runs during the day anyway, it should be a plus for me.

down the road i would like to add solar but for now the funds are limited so just getting this part together will help me greatly during power outages.

posted on Nov, 2 2012 @ 08:19 AM
if you are prepared to learn new skills , then it can be quite cheap. Also, keep in mind electricity gets more expensive every year, above the normal inflation rate - therefore you solar can be a goldmine in 4-5 years.

posted on Nov, 2 2012 @ 08:38 AM

Originally posted by truthseeker1984
reply to post by JohnPhoenix

......what I remember they said that it was far cheaper (even back in the 80's) to have that solar system up than to have to hook to the local town's grid. ....

A lot of areas charge thousands per pole to run power to an off grid location. The costs can sky rocket. It's why some places like the Big Island of Hawaii, so many people live off the grid. They simply can't afford to pay for a electrical hookup.

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