HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Places » U.S. » Arizona (Group) » Anybody here gone solar?

Thu Apr 4, 2013, 01:45 AM

 

Anybody here gone solar?

We just bought a house and one of the first things I am going to do is install solar. Electric, hot water, pool. If anyone has gone there, I would like to hear about it.

13 replies, 2481 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to OffWithTheirHeads (Original post)

Thu Apr 4, 2013, 02:03 AM

1. I'm in S. California and would like to read the answers to your post.

I have neighbors with solar panels on their roofs, but not on my block. I don't know them well enough to ask them about it.

Apparently our electric bill is not high enough to make it worthwhile, but I still wonder about it.

For one thing, I wonder whether, in an emergency (say an earthquake or a wind storm when power lines are down) you can go off the grid and use your solar power. Is that possible or would it take an entirely different, more complex system?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JDPriestly (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 4, 2013, 02:20 AM

4. Oh believe me, I will be following this up! I see no downside to this.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to OffWithTheirHeads (Original post)

Thu Apr 4, 2013, 02:16 AM

2. Yes , just installed . In SoCal. 26 panels , 20 year lease ...selling back to SoCalEdison. Nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to OffWithTheirHeads (Original post)


Response to rightsideout (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 4, 2013, 02:37 AM

5. Are you in Arizona?

Doesn't look like Arizona to me.

If you aren't in Arizona, where are you?

I'm really interested in how this works out.

Glad to hear you like yours. The panels look great.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JDPriestly (Reply #5)

Thu Apr 4, 2013, 03:10 AM

6. I am in Arizona. I wlill follow up on this.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to OffWithTheirHeads (Original post)

Thu Apr 4, 2013, 03:11 AM

7. I'm in NM & I've lived off grid for 10 yrs

However, this past yr, I connected my solar system to the grid because I wanted to be able to use some elec heaters in the winter and I was really getting tired of dealing with batteries (and replacing batteries - very expensive). I have 2000 watts of solar panels and an Aurora inverter. The Aurora is great if you have panels with different wattage as it has duel input. My elec bill was 0 all summer long and only $50 in the cold winter months when I was using 3 elec heaters. I have a separate solar paneled water pump to pump up my well water. It really pays to check the prices of panels and inverters on the net as there is a huge difference in prices.

The whole south side of my house is mostly windows so I am also doing passive solar and I have 6 solar water tubes in the windows to collect heat in winter and cool in summer.

I love it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to OffWithTheirHeads (Original post)

Thu Apr 4, 2013, 03:14 AM

8. I've done the whole thing....

It's the best thing I have done to be economical and energy self sufficient. But my approach has been doing it as cheaply and as DIY as possible. If you like to DIY stuff, solar can be really cheap. If you want to go commercial, it will take some years to recoup the expense considering cost/depreciation/wear over time. The other really big issue is the great differences in storage and inversion. To invert to the grid may have its advantages especially if you live where it's legal AND excepted by your power company. But inversion has a rather large loss of real power in the process. If you convert your house, or part of it, or layer it with a 12VDC system and power lights and other house items by DC, you loose very little comparatively and the need for larger solar units is less necessary. I have a circuit that makes my panels always follow the sun and resets in the morning. This increases the output by a steady 40% over static panels. It's a really cheep way to increase your output.

Storage is a big deal.... what kind of battery units you use to store for night and weather related things. The usual battery used are the large deep charge marine lead acid type. I hate these things because they are so environmentally unsafe; a big polluter. You either have to take them in to a disposal site which are not always great, or you refurbish them yourself to get the most life out of them which is dangerous. I like collecting NiMH batteries and making large units. They charge very well off solar systems with the right circuitry. I have a lot of circuits I have built that work great. If you are interested I'd be glad to share my schematics n/c. Lithium Ion batteries are the best but there are some limitations that can be extremely hazardous if they are not charged properly on a 3 phase method. The safest way though is to only charge them to 70% but that is a waste. Otherwise you can set up a circuit that will charge them on the 3 phase method for a 95 to 100% charge but if something goes wrong, they will start heating up on their own, explode, burst into flames and can be 600 to 1200 degrees F in a minute and you won't be able to put them out. LIon batteries are not to be taken for granted.

Anyway, there are a lot of decisions concerning solar. You just have to find your niche.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to OffWithTheirHeads (Original post)

Thu Apr 4, 2013, 04:03 AM

9. went solar in so cal. great so far....

3.2kw system. on summer days it runs everything in the house except the central air which takes too much power. on average we get a nice rebate from the city owned electric system. rebate would be much better if we had gougers like edison.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to OffWithTheirHeads (Original post)

Thu Apr 4, 2013, 07:22 AM

10. Last night's Drinking Liberally meeting at the Shanty was about solar (Tucson)

I didn't go but got the email about it...

from the email:

Solar and Energy Efficiency Versus the Status Quo

A Presentation by Bruce Plenk, City of Tucson Solar Energy Coordinator, and Russell Lowes, Sierra Club Rincon Group Energy Chair and Research Director for www.SafeEnergyAnalyst.org

This presentation will cover:
What is solar energy?
What is energy efficiency?
What me? Get solar for my house?
First do the energy efficiency thing!
How do I calculate the cost solar energy for my house?
What are the methods beyond buying the system outright?
What if I rent a home?
What are the incentives for solar?
What is my impact when I go all solar, as opposed to all TEP/utility electricity?

How does solar compare with coal, natural gas and nuclear subsidies?
Come see how much your utility bills could be with and without the correct course of renewables and efficiencies. And come see how the environmental impact is being reduced with this massive movement into the solar age.

I hope to see you all at The Shanty @ 6o'clock!
The presentation will start at 7 sharp.
______________________________________

My Dad went solar in 84 or 85. He liked it a lot.
If I owned my own place, I would want to move in that direction also.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to liberalla (Reply #10)

Thu Apr 4, 2013, 01:19 PM

11. I was there. Long but I got some good info.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to OffWithTheirHeads (Original post)

Thu Apr 4, 2013, 01:52 PM

12. I have friends that are off the grid (out of necessity)

but we were beneficiaries back in the day of the REA, my G-Grandfather installed the first phone line in the area, and we have a tap off of a 16 inch natural gas line.

All I am missing is a connection to the half dozen fiberoptic conduits that run less than 300 feet from the house!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to OffWithTheirHeads (Original post)

Sat Apr 6, 2013, 06:04 PM

13. We have a 5.2 watt system

Installed by American Solar - went live 4 years ago.

We average about 40% of our energy from the system ... I think the Pool (I think our pump is too big) plus AC are just to power hungry to give us more (and maybe, as someone above posted, the inversion reduces output). We do sell excess energy back to SRP during the day but without a battery we use energy from SRP at night.

I wanted a larger system but the company recommended against it due to diminishing returns from shade patterns on our roof (how your roof is configured can make a difference) plus Tempe wouldn't give us a permit to install on the flat roof.

pm me if you want more info.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread