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Old 08-10-2011, 07:21 PM   #11
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I would love to be running a solar aray and battery system but the wife says they are ugly and doesn't want to spend $65,000!

There are many solar sites and companies out there. Most States require a State approved system as do many local utilities that offer power buyback and incentives. State and the local utility incentives in Oregon suck!
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:33 PM   #12
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local utility incentives for others cost me 10% of my electric bill here(that sucks). My federal tax money and my electric bill fees are sitting on top of other peoples houses. I resent the fact I have to pay for someone else's electric.
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:38 PM   #13
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http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f5695.pdf
Don't forget you can get a tax credit for part of the solar panel cost (don't think that includes installation though). Check it out with your tax preparer for the details. IRS has made changes from year to year lately, but some level of credit should be on this next return.
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:44 PM   #14
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Here is an 1800W system:

NPower Complete 1800 Watt Solar Package — Solar Panels, Batteries and PowerHub — A Northern Exclusive! | Battery Backup Packages | Northern Tool + Equipment

You would need two of these to even run your AC.
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:18 PM   #15
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It sure looks good but it would take 2 of them to run my RV with the AC on. I don't know if it will power a water pump 900 to 2000 feet down. (New Mexico Mts. )
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:52 PM   #16
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"Here is an 1800W system:"
In that 1800 watt system the solar panels produce 200 peak watts. You can not run much on the 200 watts(and most of the timme they would produce MUCH less). The 1800 watts are from the batteries which would run out fast if on something like an ac unit. A pump that seldom runs might be OK. Or to run lights at night and recharge the batteries by day.
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:17 PM   #17
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I have a 5kw system on my house. Cost $40k but incentives brought the price down to $21k out of pocket. $6k fed tax credit and $1k state tax credit brings it down even more. Estimated 10 years to recoup investment is now looking more like 8 years. Interest rates suck so I crunched some numbers and went for it. Current return on investment is about 8.5% not counting the tax credits. More like 12% with the tax credits. My last 8 bills have been an $8.73 service fee and showing an energy credit. I used more power than I produced over part of the summer but credits covered it. I still have 1.5mw credit. Yes it is ugly to look at.
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:25 PM   #18
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Have you ever thought about wind power? A small winery here in my town put a wind turbine up. They come in many different sizes. They run their whole place on their wind power and actually sell some power back to the electric company every month. Much more affordable and really quite efficient.
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:19 PM   #19
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When I Lived in NC my neighbor powered her whole house off solar panels. They couldn't have been any bigger than 10x20 either. It was a small house, built with energy efficiency in mind. Brilliant cross breezes when you opened the windows.

She was able to generate so much electricity that she would sell her extra to the power company!

Short of that, i know nothing.
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:52 PM   #20
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Here is one of the better DYI setups I've seen.

Build your own solar-powered water pumping station by Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #91

Most folks are not ready for solar power. It requires a life-style change, unless you are very bucks-up and can afford a BIG system. Solar water pumping is not quite like normal water pumping.

Jimmy
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