Solar Power

#1
Anyone knowledgeable on this? I know nothing but am interested in learning to include powering an entire house-- Lighting, HVAC,Water Heater, Refrigerator-- you get the picture. Any ideas or links appreciated. Thank You
I did use the search function but everything was 10 years old from what I saw.
 
#2
You're better off contacting your local installer. They can walk you through it. we're just a bunch of know-it-alls typing on the interwebsz

All I can tell you is, if you've got a big section of roof that's facing south with no trees, it can work.

To go 100% solar, you also need a storage device like a Tesla Powerwall (there are others, local installer will know) to sock away energy for use overnight and provide a buffer for when you fire off something that the panels can't power on their own. Inrush current on an A/C compressor can be 40+ amps. It doesn't happen long enough to trip the breaker, but if your solar array can't supply the current for that instant, the compressor doesn't start.
 

cruzn57

Still plays with cars!
#3
currently installing 8800 w , ground mount, grid tie, ( means no batteries to mess with)
doing it myself,
do your self a favor, buy ONLY an SMA (sunny boy) inverter, all the others are junk, and will fail,
my kids have solar and have had to replace the inverter twice, (off brand)
same with our friends in so cal, inverter died, took 2 weeks for maint guy to replace,
our system is over size for our use, but better over then under.
 
#4
currently installing 8800 w , ground mount, grid tie, ( means no batteries to mess with)
The only issue I see with the grid tie without a battery is that in most places (and more coming as the utilities get laws changed nationwide) you're selling your excess power back to the utility at wholesale and then buying power at retail overnight. With a battery, you keep your power and only sell to the grid when your storage device is full.

More up-front investment, but gives you more control. Depending on where you live, a battery may never pay for itself or it might in ten years. You have to figure out your consumption patterns and run the numbers.
 

Pronto

You're very kind. Some day it will get you killed.
#5
Just got a letter from Xfinity the other day. They have teamed up with sunrun. No nothing about this. Anyone know how that would work?
 

TType85

Well-Known Member
#6
I have a 10,000W system on my house. 29 Panels, no battery. I love it so far. It covers between 95-105% of our usage but as was said before, you sell back at wholesale and buy back at retail at night. Even with that I currently have a $178 credit with the electric company. I would have like a battery but when we put the system in it was not quite there yet.
 
#7
Small town, no local installers. I am looking at total solar power, no power company at all. I asked about selling the company excess power and got a "What?" as a reply. Small town, Curious as to solar water heater, DC Appliances, et cetera. May not be feasible but I am interested in any possibilities. Thanks for all replies
 

earlbrown

runs with scissors
#8
Solar electric just isn't there yet. Grid electricity is just too cheap.

Now solar heat on the other hand is great. When you use the sun for space heating and hot water, it's basically free and during the winter, gets rid of the two largest costs.

The upside is that it can be 100% DIY (like I've done), the downside is there's no big government taxpayer handouts for DIY stuff.


www.builditsolar.com
 
#9
Thanks Earl. That is very helpful. The local electrical company charges $42 a month whether you use electricity or not plus they have high rates. Trying to minimize what they take out of my pockets.
Not worried about the govt helping me. They help those who feel like they dont need to or want to work for whatever lame excuse they can get away with.
 

earlbrown

runs with scissors
#10
The gobment help is the only thing that makes solar electric remotely cost effective (or at least cost effective looking). The lifespan, maintence, and PIA factor just isn't worth it at this point in time.

Jimmy Carter really set the US way back in the 70's when he overdid the free money for solar. All he did was cause a bunch of startups to jack up the price (sound familier?... cash for clunkers, solendrya, etc...), install crap, then go under. Next thing you know homeowners have broken stuff that doesn't work right and nobody to fix them.

Here's a shot of my hottub/water/house air I built out of sliding glass doors and black irrigation pipe on my roof...




I think the 'break even point' on that build was about a week and a half.