Solar Panels

Discussion in 'Survival & Sustenance Living Forum' started by notdku, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. notdku

    notdku Administrator Staff Member

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    Is anyone running solar panels in a significant way like running a well or generating pretty substantial energy?

    If so where did you get your panels? How much?
     
  2. fireguy

    fireguy New Member

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    I'm interested in this thread. I've been online looking at systems and what I would like is awfully high.
     

  3. notdku

    notdku Administrator Staff Member

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    Yea I have yet to meet anyone running a decent solar array. It's like running it for a gate. Haven't even seen someone using it for a solar pump.
     
  4. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
  5. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    The DNR have a solar powered water well for wildlife a few miles from my home. No batteries but about 50 square feet of solar panels. Seems to work fine. From the spot its in I would guess it is not a deep well. A very large storage tank feeding a 4 foot by 4 foot in-ground shallow cement water trough.
     
  6. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    Cement water trough = "natural resource" ? That sounds like some mission creep to me.
     
  7. dog2000tj

    dog2000tj New Member

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    It all depends on how much you want to run on them. In some cases they are use to supplement, only providing 20% or so of needed power. In other cases they can provide more power than needed - this may result in the local utility company installing a 2nd meter to credit the owner (think of it like being your own mini power plant).

    In a really ideal set up someone would use multiple methods of self sustainable energy production - solar water heater, solar panels, geothermal, passive solar, etc. Relying on just solar one would have to install a battery bank that would cover any possible shortages of sun for whatever reason.

    As for particular manufacturers I don't know any off hand but here's a start for some research,

    Solar Energy Companies
    USGBC: U.S. Green Building Council

    I would talk to a few local Architects and Engineers as well, might be someone can point you in a good direction.
     
  8. Ruger44

    Ruger44 New Member

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    I've had a couple of solar panels for years and they work great for the minor electricity I use. TV, computer, lights etc. is all I am using them for. My neighbor has a much larger set up, but is not really using it for anything more than I am. I've seen lot's of advances in the last 5 years or so. They'ce got some panels that are set in tubes and vacum sealed. They were producing power in the shade! Of course the larger house systems will up the ante on providing power. How much money do you got to spend? Ten or fifteen grand should get you some decent power.
     
  9. Caoimhin

    Caoimhin New Member

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  10. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

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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! :eek:

    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!
     
  11. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  12. orangello

    orangello New Member

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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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
  13. Caoimhin

    Caoimhin New Member

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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. )
     
  14. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  15. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.
     
  16. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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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.
     
  17. PowerViolence

    PowerViolence New Member

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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.
     
  18. Jimmy

    Jimmy New Member

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