Natural Gas Forum For Landowners

Open Discussion => Natural Gas Leasing => Pennsylvania => Topic started by: Backcountry on July 25, 2013, 09:14:09 AM

Title: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Backcountry on July 25, 2013, 09:14:09 AM
Buying solar panels with your bonus money is a nice way to reduce your tax burden.  There are federal and state incentives.  It is a nice way to lower or eliminate your electricity bill for the rest of the time you own your home.  Big land owners have big barns with big roofs.  Solar energy is a fossil fuel free so it is a truely green energy source.  I cruched the numbers and they are a lot better then I expected.  Here is a nice web site that shows actual KW production in western Pennsyvania which can give you an idea of what to expect depending on how many panels you installed. Get that warm fuzzy feeling that you saved the planet today.                     http://www.adamsolarresources.com/liveinstalls.html (http://www.adamsolarresources.com/liveinstalls.html)
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: bob0usa on July 26, 2013, 04:23:38 AM
 Backcountry, Word to the wise,, I'm running on solar now as I write this, there's lots of things they don't tell ya about  solar!I'm using 6 - 180 watt panels, 60 amp charge controller, 6000 watt inverter, 7 deep cell battery,  non-grid,
nice way to reduce your tax burden.(not)

There are federal and state incentives.(yes, but ........)
I'm sorry, but there's a lot more then most folks understand.....   and a lot more cost and pay back time.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: ghrit on July 26, 2013, 05:38:19 AM
Bc, I have to support Bob's message about things you don't expect with solar.  If you would like, I can point you toward a guy that is totally solar, and actually selling power back to the utility.  Last I knew, he had nearly 50K into the setup doing the work himself, but it is first class.  Let's just say panels are cheap, and the warm fuzzies go away quickly.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: donegal on July 26, 2013, 06:51:59 AM
Bonus money?  Forget that it was long before Solar Panels, why when my place was leased eons ago Feller got about enough bonus money to buy a pound of sliced ring bologna AND TWO loaves of bread.  As for my royalty money from my share of the Unit production on SIX shallow gas wells,....well let's jus' say I barely git enough to buy a pocket calculator with a built-in SOLAR PANEL at WalMarts!  And even THAT'S only if I hitchhike there, or ALL my money would be spent on gas & all I could do would be to walk around the place for exercise.  Hmmm......Never thought about it....maybe them other 'Walkers' I see there is rich Royalty owners too! Need to start a "WaLOWA" chapter  - Walmart LandOwners Walking Association  slaplaugh

When's my ship gonna' come in for them big Marcellus, Utica or Upper Devonian wells in MY HBP neighborhood?  Lessee,......how old will I be in 2050?? Gee, never thought I'd live THAT long!

HBP in Titusville - NWPA
Donegal
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: bob0usa on July 27, 2013, 03:01:50 AM
Don, I hate to break the news to ya old buddy,  but,   you and I were asleep at the time our boats came in!  headpat   they weren't here long, some feller, said something bout the wrong port and off they went!  slaplaugh   Darned, maybe WJ seen they too!  Duff thinks he seen something, but he's been on WJ's back porch too often, sooooo..........
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Backcountry on July 27, 2013, 07:59:58 AM
bob0usa

Thanks for the reply,  I am surprised you went with the battery option.  I would not look into batteries unless I was miles away from a power line.  Maybe in a couple years I might look at them but for right now I will be using net metering and use the power company as my battery.  Of the 6 homeowners in my area that use solar they love it and half of them went back to add even more panels to their homes.  But thanks again for your input.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: bob0usa on July 27, 2013, 07:00:27 PM
 Backcountry,
Want a shock, get a quote for windmill! slaplaugh
$60,000 + from one company I checked with!
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Backcountry on July 28, 2013, 05:35:23 AM
yes,  I understand windmills are not feasible in our area.  And to even make an informed decision on a windmill a year long wind anaylsis should be done first.  A sustained 10 -12 mile an hour wind is needed to make it cost effective.  I have a friend who has one and it does not produce as expected and has had mechanical problems.  At least solar panels have no moving parts so maintenance should be minimal.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: mohawk70 on July 28, 2013, 06:16:50 AM
yes,  I understand windmills are not feasible in our area.  And to even make an informed decision on a windmill a year long wind anaylsis should be done first.  A sustained 10 -12 mile an hour wind is needed to make it cost effective.  I have a friend who has one and it does not produce as expected and has had mechanical problems.  At least solar panels have no moving parts so maintenance should be minimal.


I love to tinker.

Been doing actual engineering since 1960; many of my friends are farmers and engineers.


Here is my ongoing assessment.

With wind, you need an "energy storage device".  The only one that works is batteries.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, they have other kinds, but all of them are gee-whiz devices that don't actually work in real life.   Batteries require maintenance.   And management.  They last ~ three years.  Five years.

With wind, you need a whole control system to regulate the output.

With wind, if the velocity is below 7mph or above some other number, they shut down.

With wind, if the direction changes abruptly, the gearing in the rotor head clashes and eventually, the head will break and/or catch fire.

With wind, you need to put up some kind of tower.   Cost goes up.   Structural strength becomes an issue.   If it blows down, it could kill you.  You need to rent a crane.  If you fall, you will die.

With wind, raptors [endangered species] and bats [also endangered species], get smacked and killed.




With solar, the effective capacity is only about 10% of the nameplate/rated capacity.   Just the way it is.

With solar, the device shades the ground.

With solar, you need to clean the surface frequently.

With solar, you need an "energy storage device".  The only one that works is batteries.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, they have other kinds, but all of them are gee-whiz devices that don't actually work in real life.   Batteries require maintenance.   And "management".   They last ~ three years.

With solar, you need a whole control system to regulate the output.

With solar, if the wind is too strong, the panels may/will break loose and damage the panels and the structure they are / were attached to.



With wind and/or solar, if you are near salt water, they will [not may, will] be "damaged" by flying salt spray in stormy conditions.   "Damaged" = ripped loose and gone.   Flying salt spray is not only corrosive but also causes the effect known as "sand blasting".   Some of the "damage" is so severe that folks don't even have a name for it.   Flying salt spray also causes electrical short circuits.    A LOT of civil structures exposed to flying salt spray are made from your normal steel and concrete; they SHOULD be made from the high grade steel(s) used in ship building.  [Worked on that stuff, too.  The Navy called me at home to go and fix some of their stuff.]


In my "day job", I got asked to install some storage/power conditioning devices in a real/industrial application.   $25,000.   Fully approved.   Two internal computers.   Size of a foot locker.  Everybody loved them.   And then strange things began to happen.   Lightning miles away would cause them to "fluctuate" ... experience "transients" [have you been reading up on the new Boeing 787 lithium ion batteries, huh?].   Then there was corrosion [huh???? what????  ]   Found some company that made monitoring devices.   Great.   Too "high school science projectish" for management.   They said enough.    And then ... a hurricane hit.   Start over.





The best catalog is probably Northern Tool.   

I talked to them the other day and they said to contact the four manufacturers to decide which combination of generators, storage, controllers to buy.  NPower, Sunforce, Xantrex, Maxsa.

Northern Tool no longer publishes a guide book because the "stuff" changes all the time.  They've been selling the stuff for 15 years; they sell packages [that are wayyy too expensive for me].   They whispered:  "there is electricity involved".

Take a subscription to "Home Power" Magazine. "  [ solar, wind, hydro, design, build ]
 www.homepower.com

I've been reading it for five  years.

Too complicated for me.

Too boutique.

Send for two years of back issues of "Home Power Magazine".    Study them.

Just look at the pictures.

How do those pretty new installations work out after five years?

I cannot figure it out.   Maybe YOU can figure it out.    I can't.


My best solution is a made-in-USA generator powered with natural gas [or tanks of propane, if you don't have natural gas].   Use a grounded steel building of generous dimensions.

My current favorite engines are Subaru and Honda.


Visit YouTube and see what other home mechanics/hammer mechanics/shade tree mechanics have cobbled together.




My favorite would be one of those wood-fired steam engines.   

A steam engine is really very tiny.    Seriously.    The engine is small; the boiler is HUGE.

Of course, people do get scalded to death.   Not a pleasant way to go.



Or ... look up a "Minto Wheel" ... really cool.   Invented by Wally Minto.   Seriously.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: DSWIS on July 28, 2013, 07:45:53 AM
With your tinker ability to indulge in new technology. I am surprised to your doubt of corporate ingenuity to develop & surpass the road to improvement for solar energy.

Solar will commence to the hurtles and shortcomings you project in our life time.
http://www.gizmag.com/ibm-solar-collector-reaches-80-percent-efficiency/27256/
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: mohawk70 on July 28, 2013, 08:30:04 AM
With your tinker ability to indulge in new technology. I am surprised to your doubt of corporate ingenuity to develop & surpass the road to improvement for solar energy.

Solar will commence to the hurtles and shortcomings you project in our life time.
http://www.gizmag.com/ibm-solar-collector-reaches-80-percent-efficiency/27256/

Install one  yourself.

This is your chance to show us how it's done.



[LMAO!!!!]

[Did you actually read the article?!!!!!]

[Read the comments, as well.]

LMAO!!!



[their big mistake was in showing us the snapshots]


[oh, i'm sorry; going to get an early start on lunch ... maybe several beers to fortify myself for the afternoon.]


[good one .... tears to my eyes ]
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: mohawk70 on July 28, 2013, 08:57:30 AM
With your tinker ability to indulge in new technology. I am surprised to your doubt of corporate ingenuity to develop & surpass the road to improvement for solar energy.

Solar will commence to the hurtles and shortcomings you project in our life time.
http://www.gizmag.com/ibm-solar-collector-reaches-80-percent-efficiency/27256/

Install one  yourself.

This is your chance to show us how it's done.



[LMAO!!!!]

[Did you actually read the article?!!!!!]

[Read the comments, as well.]

LMAO!!!



[their big mistake was in showing us the snapshots]


[oh, i'm sorry; going to get an early start on lunch ... maybe several beers to fortify myself for the afternoon.]


[good one .... tears to my eyes ]




[ ...    Foster's .... ]




 slaplaugh
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: DSWIS on July 28, 2013, 11:32:40 AM
With your tinker ability to indulge in new technology. I am surprised to your doubt of corporate ingenuity to develop & surpass the road to improvement for solar energy.

Solar will commence to the hurtles and shortcomings you project in our life time.
http://www.gizmag.com/ibm-solar-collector-reaches-80-percent-efficiency/27256/

Install one  yourself.


This is your chance to show us how it's done.


[LMAO!!!!]

[Did you actually read the article?!!!!!]

[Read the comments, as well.]

LMAO!!!



[their big mistake was in showing us the snapshots]


[oh, i'm sorry; going to get an early start on lunch ... maybe several beers to fortify myself for the afternoon.]


[good one .... tears to my eyes ]

Nor did you read my comment! I believe I said "corporate ingenuity". Suggestion was that corporate would overcome the financial disparity in the future, not me as you would put it, Tinkering!
Cheers!  ;D
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Backcountry on July 28, 2013, 12:46:42 PM

Quoted from Mohawk70  ,  my comments are in bold

With solar, the device shades the ground.  The devices will not shade the ground if they are on your roof and shading your roof is actually beneficial to the life off asphalt shingles

With solar, you need to clean the surface frequently. The locals that I have contaced never clear their panels

With solar, you need an "energy storage device".  The only one that works is batteries.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, they have other kinds, but all of them are gee-whiz devices that don't actually work in real life.   Batteries require maintenance.   And "management".   They last ~ three years.The storeage device is called the power company,  you will earn a credit on your bill that can be used in months with less sun

With solar, you need a whole control system to regulate the output.  As with ANY electrical project you need a control system to regulate the output,  I call them breakers

With solar, if the wind is too strong, the panels may/will break loose and damage the panels and the structure they are / were attached to.  Buy good panels from a contractor that know how to attach them to your roof



With wind and/or solar, if you are near salt water, they will [not may, will] be "damaged" by flying salt spray in stormy conditions.   "Damaged" = ripped loose and gone.   Flying salt spray is not only corrosive but also causes the effect known as "sand blasting".   Some of the "damage" is so severe that folks don't even have a name for it.   Flying salt spray also causes electrical short circuits.    A LOT of civil structures exposed to flying salt spray are made from your normal steel and concrete; they SHOULD be made from the high grade steel(s) used in ship building.  [Worked on that stuff, too.  The Navy called me at home to go and fix some of their stuff.]

I don't know if you noticed that I posted my comments on the Pennsylvania forum,  quite a long ways from a salty body of water

I am sure at least the Navy finds your opinions invaluable.





Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Backcountry on July 28, 2013, 12:53:32 PM
DSWIS,

The article was interesting and touches on something I recently learned about the effeciency of a solar panel being reduced with higher temperatures.  I assumed that your highest producing day would be June 21 but actually a cool sunny day in May will out perform a hot sunny day in June.  Thanks for your post.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: mohawk70 on July 28, 2013, 01:13:16 PM
With your tinker ability to indulge in new technology. I am surprised to your doubt of corporate ingenuity to develop & surpass the road to improvement for solar energy.

Solar will commence to the hurtles and shortcomings you project in our life time.
http://www.gizmag.com/ibm-solar-collector-reaches-80-percent-efficiency/27256/

Install one  yourself.


This is your chance to show us how it's done.


[LMAO!!!!]

[Did you actually read the article?!!!!!]

[Read the comments, as well.]

LMAO!!!



[their big mistake was in showing us the snapshots]


[oh, i'm sorry; going to get an early start on lunch ... maybe several beers to fortify myself for the afternoon.]


[good one .... tears to my eyes ]

Nor did you read my comment! I believe I said "corporate ingenuity". Suggestion was that corporate would overcome the financial disparity in the future, not me as you would put it, Tinkering!
Cheers!  ;D


 "corporate ingenuity".

bureaucratic.

self-contradictions

oxymorons.

total fiction.

invented up from nothing.

scientific fiction.


also known as "made up".

LOL

LMAO.

Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: DSWIS on July 28, 2013, 02:19:04 PM
Mo, that sounds just like the bureaucracy over at the local Nuclear facility pulling decommissioning funds from my bill!  slaplaugh
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Berkeley on July 28, 2013, 04:21:14 PM
Thanks Backcountry. Please keep us posted on your experience with them. I understand the costs have come way down in recent years. Another thing i notice is that people who make their own power are much more conservative in how they use it, just like people who grow their own vegetable are much less wasteful.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: mohawk70 on July 29, 2013, 06:53:24 AM

Quoted from Mohawk70  ,  my comments are in bold

With solar, the device shades the ground.  The devices will not shade the ground if they are on your roof and shading your roof is actually beneficial to the life off asphalt shingles

With solar, you need to clean the surface frequently. The locals that I have contaced never clear their panels

With solar, you need an "energy storage device".  The only one that works is batteries.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, they have other kinds, but all of them are gee-whiz devices that don't actually work in real life.   Batteries require maintenance.   And "management".   They last ~ three years.The storeage device is called the power company,  you will earn a credit on your bill that can be used in months with less sun

With solar, you need a whole control system to regulate the output.  As with ANY electrical project you need a control system to regulate the output,  I call them breakers

With solar, if the wind is too strong, the panels may/will break loose and damage the panels and the structure they are / were attached to.  Buy good panels from a contractor that know how to attach them to your roof



With wind and/or solar, if you are near salt water, they will [not may, will] be "damaged" by flying salt spray in stormy conditions.   "Damaged" = ripped loose and gone.   Flying salt spray is not only corrosive but also causes the effect known as "sand blasting".   Some of the "damage" is so severe that folks don't even have a name for it.   Flying salt spray also causes electrical short circuits.    A LOT of civil structures exposed to flying salt spray are made from your normal steel and concrete; they SHOULD be made from the high grade steel(s) used in ship building.  [Worked on that stuff, too.  The Navy called me at home to go and fix some of their stuff.]

I don't know if you noticed that I posted my comments on the Pennsylvania forum,  quite a long ways from a salty body of water

I am sure at least the Navy finds your opinions invaluable.



No, what it is, is that solar and wind installations are a lot more complicated and expensive than most folks think.

But, please, go ahead ... go for it ... show us how it is really done.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Backcountry on July 31, 2013, 01:12:40 PM
Ok, this is how you do it Mohawk,
Go to the Dep website and find a contractor who qualifies for the Sunshine Grant at http://files.dep.state.pa.us/Energy/Office%20of%20Energy%20and%20Technology/OETDPortalFiles/GrantsLoansTaxCredits/Solar/approved_pv_installer_list7_15_13.pdf (http://files.dep.state.pa.us/Energy/Office%20of%20Energy%20and%20Technology/OETDPortalFiles/GrantsLoansTaxCredits/Solar/approved_pv_installer_list7_15_13.pdf)
Pick a couple,  ask for references,  talk to friends and strangers who have panels,  decide on a contractor.
Personally,  I picked a 10kw size to mazimize my sunshine money.

So here are my numbers.  the system will cost me $39,789 but then I will get $11,936 back from the fed on taxes for Federal Renewable Tax Credit,  $7500 back from the Pa sunshine grant for a cost after federal and tax incentives of $20.353.00.  I am expected to save $1073 a year in electric bills and may get about $500 a year in SREC credits. for a ROI of 13 years assuming the cost of electricity does not go up.  Assuming the price of electricity does go up,  my ROI will be shorter.  (This 10k system maybe a little more expensive then many people because of some trenching that will need to be done because of where I want the panels.)

And one nice thing to remember about saving money on your utilities.  If I have to spend $1073 on my electric bill,  what I really have to do is go out and earn at least $1500 and then pay tax on it and then pay the utility company.

So what I was hoping for in this investment is to keep me from having to be a Walmart greeter in my retirement to pay for my electric bill as my gas royalties decrease over the life of the well.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Rockdale on July 31, 2013, 01:38:58 PM
Ok, this is how you do it Mohawk,
Go to the Dep website and find a contractor who qualifies for the Sunshine Grant at http://files.dep.state.pa.us/Energy/Office%20of%20Energy%20and%20Technology/OETDPortalFiles/GrantsLoansTaxCredits/Solar/approved_pv_installer_list7_15_13.pdf (http://files.dep.state.pa.us/Energy/Office%20of%20Energy%20and%20Technology/OETDPortalFiles/GrantsLoansTaxCredits/Solar/approved_pv_installer_list7_15_13.pdf)
Pick a couple,  ask for references,  talk to friends and strangers who have panels,  decide on a contractor.
Personally,  I picked a 10kw size to mazimize my sunshine money.

So here are my numbers.  the system will cost me $39,789 but then I will get $11,936 back from the fed on taxes for Federal Renewable Tax Credit,  $7500 back from the Pa sunshine grant for a cost after federal and tax incentives of $20.353.00.  I am expected to save $1073 a year in electric bills and may get about $500 a year in SREC credits. for a ROI of 13 years assuming the cost of electricity does not go up.  Assuming the price of electricity does go up,  my ROI will be shorter.  (This 10k system maybe a little more expensive then many people because of some trenching that will need to be done because of where I want the panels.)

And one nice thing to remember about saving money on your utilities.  If I have to spend $1073 on my electric bill,  what I really have to do is go out and earn at least $1500 and then pay tax on it and then pay the utility company.

So what I was hoping for in this investment is to keep me from having to be a Walmart greeter in my retirement to pay for my electric bill as my gas royalties decrease over the life of the well.
>>>> Tapping into an inexhaustible source of energy certainly has an appeal to many.  And it is enlightening to see your figures for a system you are contemplating.  From my viewpoint I think it's best to look at the whole cost which is some $40,000 of public/private money for a system which at current electric rates will save a bit less than $1100 a year, which works out to a return on investment of 2.75%  I always have to wonder when people lay out the figures for investment and savings what the cost of maintenance and repairs is likely to be.  Unless somebody is very handy and can do most any repairs them self as well as get parts at a knock down price I think even fairly small repairs could cost a lot, and a major breakdown of any kind would be likely to more than wipe out a years' savings very quickly.  And as in your specific example the public will be making an investment of almost $20,000 for a supplementary source of electricity for one home, as well as having to subsidize the system as it operates over the years.  In these times when governments at all levels are financially strapped for the most part, I think the ability to subsidize private electric power systems is fairly limited.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Backcountry on July 31, 2013, 01:52:47 PM
The maintenance and repairs should be minimal because there are no moving parts and the panels themselves have a 25 year warranty.  As far as spending private/public money on my investment,  have you even heard of global warming?  Maybe the govenment does have to sweeten the pot to make it easier for me to help reduce carbon emmissions.  Do you think I have my hand out trying to grab some of that money?  You bet I am
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Berkeley on July 31, 2013, 02:30:45 PM
It would be nice to have an all electric home and no electric bill. I wonder what that might add to the property's value.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Rockdale on July 31, 2013, 03:27:04 PM
The maintenance and repairs should be minimal because there are no moving parts and the panels themselves have a 25 year warranty.  As far as spending private/public money on my investment,  have you even heard of global warming?  Maybe the govenment does have to sweeten the pot to make it easier for me to help reduce carbon emmissions.  Do you think I have my hand out trying to grab some of that money?  You bet I am
>>>> I would think that given the amount of direct subsidy money involved with each solar installation that the government's help is greatly dependent upon the fact that relatively few people ever actually install such a system for their home.  As to the subject of global warming/climate change, it is rather difficult to avoid the subject these days.  There has definitely been a great deal of progress made since our country is now putting out the same amount of CO2 each year as it did 20 years ago when the population of the United States was about 60 million people fewer than today.  But I believe that the vast bulk of that improvement is due to various changes in our energy supply system, most especially the substitution of natural gas for coal, rather than the use of wind and solar.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Berkeley on July 31, 2013, 05:27:10 PM
The maintenance and repairs should be minimal because there are no moving parts and the panels themselves have a 25 year warranty.  As far as spending private/public money on my investment,  have you even heard of global warming?  Maybe the govenment does have to sweeten the pot to make it easier for me to help reduce carbon emmissions.  Do you think I have my hand out trying to grab some of that money?  You bet I am
>>>> I would think that given the amount of direct subsidy money involved with each solar installation that the government's help is greatly dependent upon the fact that relatively few people ever actually install such a system for their home.  As to the subject of global warming/climate change, it is rather difficult to avoid the subject these days.  There has definitely been a great deal of progress made since our country is now putting out the same amount of CO2 each year as it did 20 years ago when the population of the United States was about 60 million people fewer than today.  But I believe that the vast bulk of that improvement is due to various changes in our energy supply system, most especially the substitution of natural gas for coal, rather than the use of wind and solar.

Yes, that is true looking backward. There is also the option to look forward 100 years. We cant wait til year 99 to do it all.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: bob0usa on August 01, 2013, 04:09:54 AM
DSWIS,

The article was interesting and touches on something I recently learned about the effeciency of a solar panel being reduced with higher temperatures.  I assumed that your highest producing day would be June 21 but actually a cool sunny day in May will out perform a hot sunny day in June.  Thanks for your post.

I also have found that this is true!

Thanks Backcountry. Please keep us posted on your experience with them. I understand the costs have come way down in recent years. Another thing i notice is that people who make their own power are much more conservative in how they use it, just like people who grow their own vegetable are much less wasteful.

At least we ARE trying! Most folks talk about it, and that's about as far as it goes!
Also we learn to be a  lot less wasteful! an all electric home is a waste of engery!

As far as battery back up, this 3 to 5 year guess, is wrong! most of them will last 10+  years because of charge controller (not over charging), and inverter not allowing batterys to drop below 20% discharge(10.5 on a 12 vdc system), which helps maintain the battery life.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: mohawk70 on August 01, 2013, 04:29:10 AM
Ok, this is how you do it Mohawk,
Go to the Dep website and find a contractor who qualifies for the Sunshine Grant at http://files.dep.state.pa.us/Energy/Office%20of%20Energy%20and%20Technology/OETDPortalFiles/GrantsLoansTaxCredits/Solar/approved_pv_installer_list7_15_13.pdf (http://files.dep.state.pa.us/Energy/Office%20of%20Energy%20and%20Technology/OETDPortalFiles/GrantsLoansTaxCredits/Solar/approved_pv_installer_list7_15_13.pdf)
Pick a couple,  ask for references,  talk to friends and strangers who have panels,  decide on a contractor.
Personally,  I picked a 10kw size to mazimize my sunshine money.

So here are my numbers.  the system will cost me $39,789 but then I will get $11,936 back from the fed on taxes for Federal Renewable Tax Credit,  $7500 back from the Pa sunshine grant for a cost after federal and tax incentives of $20.353.00.  I am expected to save $1073 a year in electric bills and may get about $500 a year in SREC credits. for a ROI of 13 years assuming the cost of electricity does not go up.  Assuming the price of electricity does go up,  my ROI will be shorter.  (This 10k system maybe a little more expensive then many people because of some trenching that will need to be done because of where I want the panels.)

And one nice thing to remember about saving money on your utilities.  If I have to spend $1073 on my electric bill,  what I really have to do is go out and earn at least $1500 and then pay tax on it and then pay the utility company.

So what I was hoping for in this investment is to keep me from having to be a Walmart greeter in my retirement to pay for my electric bill as my gas royalties decrease over the life of the well.


FORTY THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!!!!

You gotta be kidding me.



[oh, yeah, right, then there's all those makebelievecredits


I don't think so, Tim.

AND ... plus ...

All that paperwork and space age electronics ... to save $1000.



Oh yes, oh yes, ... but then I get you, my kind generous  fellow citizens, to pay me a subsidy from YOUR taxes.

A HUGE SUBSIDY

So, I subsidize you and you subsidize me.

Right.

Except, the government is now spending twice as much as it is taking in.

The government takes in $5 billion per day and spends $10 billion per day.

No, that doesn't sound right.


YGBSM.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: mohawk70 on August 01, 2013, 04:32:38 AM
Ok, this is how you do it Mohawk,
Go to the Dep website and find a contractor who qualifies for the Sunshine Grant at http://files.dep.state.pa.us/Energy/Office%20of%20Energy%20and%20Technology/OETDPortalFiles/GrantsLoansTaxCredits/Solar/approved_pv_installer_list7_15_13.pdf (http://files.dep.state.pa.us/Energy/Office%20of%20Energy%20and%20Technology/OETDPortalFiles/GrantsLoansTaxCredits/Solar/approved_pv_installer_list7_15_13.pdf)
Pick a couple,  ask for references,  talk to friends and strangers who have panels,  decide on a contractor.
Personally,  I picked a 10kw size to mazimize my sunshine money.

So here are my numbers.  the system will cost me $39,789 but then I will get $11,936 back from the fed on taxes for Federal Renewable Tax Credit,  $7500 back from the Pa sunshine grant for a cost after federal and tax incentives of $20.353.00.  I am expected to save $1073 a year in electric bills and may get about $500 a year in SREC credits. for a ROI of 13 years assuming the cost of electricity does not go up.  Assuming the price of electricity does go up,  my ROI will be shorter.  (This 10k system maybe a little more expensive then many people because of some trenching that will need to be done because of where I want the panels.)

And one nice thing to remember about saving money on your utilities.  If I have to spend $1073 on my electric bill,  what I really have to do is go out and earn at least $1500 and then pay tax on it and then pay the utility company.

So what I was hoping for in this investment is to keep me from having to be a Walmart greeter in my retirement to pay for my electric bill as my gas royalties decrease over the life of the well.


No, no, no, no ... when I say "show us" ... I don't mean ... as in "tell" us .


I mean show up and bolt the whole thing together.   Show us.

Not "tell us".


Plus, ... have you actually read any of those tax rules and regulations?


Plus, I have to have a space age control room to manage the system.

All this to save one thousand dollars.



And ... just to get technical ... the 13 years is not "ROI".

The 13 years is what is known as "the payback period" ...   

[ ... you do not make ANY savings or ANY profit until AFTER the end of the payback period ... ]


 ..... [ and, by the way, 13 years is terrible ... wayyy too long ...  as a payback period.]

[In real life, you want a very short payback period ... because there are WAYYY too many uncertainties ... bad things that pop up.]

[In real life, you want a payback of less than four years.]

And, if your batteries go kerflouey, then major big bucks of expense for replacements ... IF you can get the right matching batteries.    How long will the batteries last?   3 years?   5 years?  10 years?    And even so, regardless, you can't actually use the bottom 20% of the battery capacity ... like having a fuel tank but you can't actually use 20% of the fuel.

If, using your number, the payback period is 13 years and if the batteries start to fail in 3 years or even with luck last for ten years, then you are going to have to start replacing your equipment LONG BEFORE the savings pay off the initial investment.

So a very bad bad bad lonnnng payback period starts to stretch from 13 years to 20+ years or worse.

Basically, with the numbers presented, it will be at absolute best, at least 13 years before you ever get to see even one penny in energy savings.

Most likely, the costs will begin to start to build up ... replacement parts, maintenance expenses and effort, and the thing will just go more and more underwater.   There never will be any savings.

It will be nothing more than a really expensive hobby.   Fun to show off to your friends.   


"ROI" is  "return on investment"  which is utterly totally absolutely different from "the payback period".

ROI is expressed as a percentage.

There are whole books written on stuff like that.

This is a neat book, "Wall Street Words"  by David Scott.

And the classic "Security Analysis Principles and Techniques" also known as Graham & Dodd.   [Graham, Dodd, Cottle, Tatham]


So, but, please, please, please, the first thing is to quit making up new, strange, and unique definitions of words.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Backcountry on August 01, 2013, 05:54:29 AM
Mohawk,

My system will have no batteries.  Not sure how you got on that rant.

I copied the term ROI and the dollars figures in my previous post from my solar proposal.

I don't think some DC/AC converters,  a meter,  and an ethernet card is exactly space age technology.  Did you say the Navy calls you to fix things or was it Nasa?  I can't remember.

Yes,  I will gladly find and use any tax incentive I can to reduce my tax burden,  reduce my utility bills and reduce carbon emmissions.  I would appreciate Mohawk if you would please pay your taxes on time to help facilitate this.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation.


Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: donegal on August 01, 2013, 07:15:45 AM
Mohawk,

Yes,  I will gladly find and use any tax incentive I can to reduce my tax burden,  reduce my utility bills and reduce carbon emmissions.  I would appreciate Mohawk if you would please pay your taxes on time to help facilitate this.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Hmmm....usin' tax incentives to reduce my tax burden.....Me, I jus' use bendin' the rules. Certainly can't speak for the Hawkster, but MY goal is to get to ZERO Emissions from my WALLET and  pay as little taxes as possible. Besides, I can't even afford help for myself, let alone givin' some of it to the Government so's they can skim off 20-100% for their own wages, perks, retirements & then redistribute the leave-overs helpin' others as they see fit.  Still, each to his own. Just WISH  they'd leave me alone when it comes to printin' up some "funny money", but then I don't make the rules. slaplaugh

Rootin' for Green Energy too, jus' wishin' the cost was like the resource....self-sustainin' ;)
Donegal
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: black dog on August 01, 2013, 08:45:11 AM
Sounds like green energy and my money have  lot more in common than just the color.  >:(  Reminds me of helping pay for other folk's clunkers a few years ago. Thanks Uncle O.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Berkeley on August 02, 2013, 09:00:53 AM
Mohawk,

Yes,  I will gladly find and use any tax incentive I can to reduce my tax burden,  reduce my utility bills and reduce carbon emmissions.  I would appreciate Mohawk if you would please pay your taxes on time to help facilitate this.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Hmmm....usin' tax incentives to reduce my tax burden.....Me, I jus' use bendin' the rules. Certainly can't speak for the Hawkster, but MY goal is to get to ZERO Emissions from my WALLET and  pay as little taxes as possible. Besides, I can't even afford help for myself, let alone givin' some of it to the Government so's they can skim off 20-100% for their own wages, perks, retirements & then redistribute the leave-overs helpin' others as they see fit.  Still, each to his own. Just WISH  they'd leave me alone when it comes to printin' up some "funny money", but then I don't make the rules. slaplaugh

Rootin' for Green Energy too, jus' wishin' the cost was like the resource....self-sustainin' ;)
Donegal

Why all the sudden? The US like most developed countries encourages new and old business through the tax code. You know, like the oil depletion allowance? There are a million more like it. Thats how we get innovations. The space program... Railroads, you name it.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: DSWIS on August 02, 2013, 01:37:40 PM
Berk, I also almost made the same comment yesterday when I seen some of the reply's.

This write up gives you some flavor of where those comparable subsidies reside.
http://www.energyandcapital.com/report/the-real-truth-about-energy-subsidies/491

I will say however, many subsidies are creditable on either side of the divide. Except for the Ethanol subsidies. My poor engines choke on & gum up to!

Now for Oil & Gas, this is the one that irks me!  :(  In my take on this one, you see many lease happy agreements that they assess similar cost already from the landowner. Then they turn around and claim it on their own books.  crazy

Intangible drilling costs. Firms engaged in the exploration and development of oil or gas properties may expense (deduct in the year paid or incurred) certain types of drilling expenditures from their taxes. These costs include wages, fuel, repairs, hauling, and supplies related to and necessary for drilling and preparing wells for the production of oil and gas. Other companies incurring similar types of costs must recover this cost over the life of the investment. The administration expects that eliminating this subsidy will produce budget savings of about $7.839 billion over 10 years.

The balance:
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/news/2010/05/13/7756/eliminating-tax-subsidies-for-oil-companies/
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: mohawk70 on August 03, 2013, 01:47:52 AM
Mohawk,

My system will have no batteries.  Not sure how you got on that rant.

I copied the term ROI and the dollars figures in my previous post from my solar proposal.

I don't think some DC/AC converters,  a meter,  and an ethernet card is exactly space age technology.  Did you say the Navy calls you to fix things or was it Nasa?  I can't remember.

Yes,  I will gladly find and use any tax incentive I can to reduce my tax burden,  reduce my utility bills and reduce carbon emmissions.  I would appreciate Mohawk if you would please pay your taxes on time to help facilitate this.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation.


So, you copied the term ROI and the dollar figures and no one checked them for accuracy.

And without batteries, when the grid goes down, then you go down as well.

And you think a 13 year payback is a good deal?


Sorry.


[Hey, how about posting some photographs of your whiz bang installation?]

Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Berkeley on August 03, 2013, 05:39:56 AM


[Hey, how about posting some photographs of your whiz bang installation?]
[/quote]

It would be interesting to see but we would have a hard time finding them buried under the rants of old men who know they will be safely dead by the time the wisdom of his choice is obvious to all.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: mohawk70 on August 03, 2013, 06:30:00 AM


[Hey, how about posting some photographs of your whiz bang installation?]

It would be interesting to see but we would have a hard time finding them buried under the rants of old men who know they will be safely dead by the time the wisdom of his choice is obvious to all.
[/quote]


Advice:   don't anyone, regardless of age, attempt to hold their breath.

Gonna be a loonnnggg  wait to see any kind of payback or return on investment.

Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: ghrit on August 03, 2013, 06:30:42 AM
under the rants of old men who know they will be safely dead by the time the wisdom of his choice is obvious to all.
Watch it, bub.  Some of us got old by knowing how to get there without using other people's money.   slaplaugh

Now, aside the ethical question of subsidies, going solar is an expensive proposition.  One thing I have yet to see is how to wire panels into the house in a fashion that allows synchronizing with the grid absent a buffer like batteries.  I've done enough digging into the idea to determine that it ain't for me, YMMV of course.  And yes, the payback period is longer than my life expectancy.

So far as affect on property value goes, I don't see much of an increase in sales price unless the buyer is a rabid greenie, unconcerned with life cycle cost analysis.  I'd also guess that once bought and the costs of maintenance (snow removal included) and battery replacement (if used) are factored in, the buyer would become un-green in short order or go back to sustainable wood harvesting as a heat source.  (Never mind carbon emissions.  So far as I'm concerned, warm in the winter trumps.)

Backcountry, I fear the appeal of the scheme has overwritten reality for you.  Good luck.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Berkeley on August 03, 2013, 07:12:57 AM
under the rants of old men who know they will be safely dead by the time the wisdom of his choice is obvious to all.
Watch it, bub.  Some of us got old by knowing how to get there without using other people's money.   slaplaugh

Now, aside the ethical question of subsidies, going solar is an expensive proposition.  One thing I have yet to see is how to wire panels into the house in a fashion that allows synchronizing with the grid absent a buffer like batteries.  I've done enough digging into the idea to determine that it ain't for me, YMMV of course.  And yes, the payback period is longer than my life expectancy.

So far as affect on property value goes, I don't see much of an increase in sales price unless the buyer is a rabid greenie, unconcerned with life cycle cost analysis.  I'd also guess that once bought and the costs of maintenance (snow removal included) and battery replacement (if used) are factored in, the buyer would become un-green in short order or go back to sustainable wood harvesting as a heat source.  (Never mind carbon emissions.  So far as I'm concerned, warm in the winter trumps.)

Backcountry, I fear the appeal of the scheme has overwritten reality for you.  Good luck.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Berkeley on August 03, 2013, 07:19:00 AM
under the rants of old men who know they will be safely dead by the time the wisdom of his choice is obvious to all.
Watch it, bub.  Some of us got old by knowing how to get there without using other people's money.   

Hey kiddo, who you think you are talking to? I never had welfare, food stamps, a farm subsidy, an educational loan, a deduction for my charitable donations,  unemployment compensation ....

I did however take a mortgage deduction on my house which is the same thing. You probably wouldn't dream of
Letting other people finance your housing that way. I may be entitled to oil depletion allowance this year for my royalties. I know you would never dream of letting the public support your income in that way.  ::)

Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Rockdale on August 03, 2013, 08:05:47 AM
Under present circumstances there is a long payback period to recoup the initial investment in a solar array even if you don't count the money gotten from Federal and State subsidies.  And I think it is important to keep in mind that solar panels have been priced at an artificially low figure for these last several years.  The Chinese have been determined to dominate that industry and they've used the time tested technique of predatory pricing in order to drive other countries out of the business.  There was a lot of publicity given to the missteps at Solyndra, but it was not only inept management, but also the fact that the Chinese solar industry was going to undersell Solyndra and the rest no matter what the short term cost to themselves.  Once the Chinese have what amounts to a working monopoly in the industry, they are likely to do what every other monopolist has done in the past once they've cornered a market, which is to sharply raise prices.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: aubrey on August 03, 2013, 11:27:33 AM
ghrit.

you and I are old enough to remember the saying, if it looks like a duck, and especially if it quacks like a  duck, it's most likely a 47 percenter ...duck.

remember, this is the internet. it's easy to deny anything, even while promoting an agenda which requires what one is denying.

anonymity, aint it a great thing?

time for spaghetti again at gins' i'm thinkin'.

wj
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: ghrit on August 03, 2013, 12:07:37 PM
ghrit.

you and I are old enough to remember the saying, if it looks like a duck, and especially if it quacks like a  duck, it's most likely a 47 percenter ...duck.
Quack.

time for spaghetti again at gins' i'm thinkin'.
I could be persuaded.

wj
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Backcountry on August 10, 2013, 05:50:04 PM
My solar panel installation will begin on Monday..  I am seriously surprised at the strong and passionate responses to my orginal post.  For me,  I wanted to do something with my bonus money that would reduce my cost of living well into retirement.  I am sure people will spend their bonus money in the way that benefits them the most.  But for me this was a good fit and I posted it because I thought it was an interesting idea. 

FYI,  I won't be posting picture,  my solar panels will be nothing that interesting to look at.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Berkeley on August 10, 2013, 06:39:59 PM
My solar panel installation will begin on Monday..  I am seriously surprised at the strong and passionate responses to my orginal post.  For me,  I wanted to do something with my bonus money that would reduce my cost of living well into retirement.  I am sure people will spend their bonus money in the way that benefits them the most.  But for me this was a good fit and I posted it because I thought it was an interesting idea. 

FYI,  I won't be posting picture,  my solar panels will be nothing that interesting to look at.

Sounds like a good investment to me.

Some of the rants had nothing to do with your post.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: bob0usa on August 11, 2013, 03:16:40 AM
My solar panel installation will begin on Monday..  I am seriously surprised at the strong and passionate responses to my orginal post.  For me,  I wanted to do something with my bonus money that would reduce my cost of living well into retirement.  I am sure people will spend their bonus money in the way that benefits them the most.  But for me this was a good fit and I posted it because I thought it was an interesting idea. 

FYI,  I won't be posting picture,  my solar panels will be nothing that interesting to look at.


I for one , would be very interested in seeing and knowing more about size, set up, and how it works out for you!
I know my system is small, but it does cut off bout 20% of my elect bill!
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: mohawk70 on August 11, 2013, 06:09:51 AM
My solar panel installation will begin on Monday..  I am seriously surprised at the strong and passionate responses to my orginal post.  For me,  I wanted to do something with my bonus money that would reduce my cost of living well into retirement.  I am sure people will spend their bonus money in the way that benefits them the most.  But for me this was a good fit and I posted it because I thought it was an interesting idea. 

FYI,  I won't be posting picture,  my solar panels will be nothing that interesting to look at.

Sounds like a good investment to me.

Some of the rants had nothing to do with your post.


But no batteries/storage device?
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Berkeley on August 11, 2013, 12:01:38 PM
My solar panel installation will begin on Monday..  I am seriously surprised at the strong and passionate responses to my orginal post.  For me,  I wanted to do something with my bonus money that would reduce my cost of living well into retirement.  I am sure people will spend their bonus money in the way that benefits them the most.  But for me this was a good fit and I posted it because I thought it was an interesting idea. 

FYI,  I won't be posting picture,  my solar panels will be nothing that interesting to look at.

Sounds like a good investment to me.

Some of the rants had nothing to do with your post.


But no batteries/storage device?

The appeal for me is  the fact that no storage device is necessary, just sell it to the grid when you have a surplus and buy it back when you arent making as much as you need.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: mohawk70 on August 11, 2013, 12:44:52 PM
My solar panel installation will begin on Monday..  I am seriously surprised at the strong and passionate responses to my orginal post.  For me,  I wanted to do something with my bonus money that would reduce my cost of living well into retirement.  I am sure people will spend their bonus money in the way that benefits them the most.  But for me this was a good fit and I posted it because I thought it was an interesting idea. 

FYI,  I won't be posting picture,  my solar panels will be nothing that interesting to look at.

Sounds like a good investment to me.

Some of the rants had nothing to do with your post.


But no batteries/storage device?

The appeal for me is  the fact that no storage device is necessary, just sell it to the grid when you have a surplus and buy it back when you arent making as much as you need.


And if you have any kind of storm or disruption that knocks out your distribution then you are out of schlitz.

Remember Hurricane Sandy?   People were out of power for long periods of time because they didn't have their own generators or they couldn't get gasoline for their generators ... NO POWER LINES.

A little ice and some wind on your power lines and ... no power.

When the lines go down, all those great doing solar panels won't do you much good at night.


Many of my friends went and had generators installed with natural gas for fuel.

Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: macal on August 11, 2013, 01:06:49 PM

  You live in Jersy Hawk ? Im bored.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Berkeley on August 11, 2013, 01:22:35 PM
My solar panel installation will begin on Monday..  I am seriously surprised at the strong and passionate responses to my orginal post.  For me,  I wanted to do something with my bonus money that would reduce my cost of living well into retirement.  I am sure people will spend their bonus money in the way that benefits them the most.  But for me this was a good fit and I posted it because I thought it was an interesting idea. 

FYI,  I won't be posting picture,  my solar panels will be nothing that interesting to look at.

Sounds like a good investment to me.

Some of the rants had nothing to do with your post.


But no batteries/storage device?

The appeal for me is  the fact that no storage device is necessary, just sell it to the grid when you have a surplus and buy it back when you arent making as much as you need.


And if you have any kind of storm or disruption that knocks out your distribution then you are out of schlitz.

Remember Hurricane Sandy?   People were out of power for long periods of time because they didn't have their own generators or they couldn't get gasoline for their generators ... NO POWER LINES.

A little ice and some wind on your power lines and ... no power.

When the lines go down, all those great doing solar panels won't do you much good at night.


Many of my friends went and had generators installed with natural gas for fuel.

How is this different than what i have now?

I would not be getting solar panels to prepare for the apocalypse but to save money.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: mohawk70 on September 08, 2013, 03:43:01 AM
Discussion of rooftop solar and the problems with freeloading from the distribution system.

http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/maritanoon/2013/09/08/solar-obamas-proxy-war-in-the-desert-n1694255/page/full
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: bob0usa on September 08, 2013, 04:39:03 AM
Here is food for thought,,,What if ?



http://thecommonsenseshow.com/2013/09/07/when-the-lights-go-out-on-november-13-2013/


November 13-14, 2013, the lights are about to go out. Will the lights come back on? It depends on who you ask.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: mohawk70 on September 08, 2013, 08:58:43 AM
Buy batteries with your bonus money ... get ya through the night.

Then you could be truly off-grid.

Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: donegal on September 08, 2013, 02:58:23 PM
Go to sleep & git up  wif da' chickens ......save yer bonus money for Yuengling.


Hey, I'm jus' tellin' ya' whar BartieBoy said, ;)
Donegal
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: bob0usa on September 09, 2013, 02:54:50 AM
Go to sleep & git up  wif da' chickens ......save yer bonus money for Yuengling.


Hey, I'm jus' tellin' ya' whar BartieBoy said, ;)
Donegal

hey bart,, i got a batch of brandy that will be ready at end of month!
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Backcountry on September 11, 2013, 06:13:45 AM
I just wanted to report that my solar panels are producing more then I had expected.  My best day yet is 55 kwh and my worst overcast and rainy day was 20 kwh.  AND WE STILL NEED TO CUT SOME TREES CASTING SHADOWS TILL 10:30 am.

My average monthy bill is 600 kwh or 20 kwh per day,  so I am producing more than I consume every day so far.

I am obsessed with checking my production online and mildly annoyed that the panels don't make any noise,  I mean,  doesn't something need to make noise to actually work?  I guess not ! :)
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Backcountry on November 08, 2013, 10:35:05 AM
The Pennsylvania DEP just gave me $7500 ,  they are such nice people. handclap
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: bellbucci on November 11, 2013, 07:02:57 AM
I just read back through this thread. Backcountry, could you summarize? It looks like your recent $7500 DEP payment reduces your costs to around $12,500. Is that correct?

Could you also estimate your monthly savings in electricity?

I hope you report back on how things go over the winter.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Backcountry on November 11, 2013, 09:29:37 AM
No my costs is not that low,  after I use my federal tax credit,  my out of pocket cost will be $20,000.  Since it was installed on August 23rd I have produced 2700 kwh of energy or about $351 worth.  I am saving well over $100 a month in electricity.  As far as how the winter is going,  for the month of September I produced 1170 kwh of energy and in October I produced 942 kwh.  So my production is definitely shrinking with the shorter days but it is still enough to cover my useage.  I also have offset 1.86 tons of carbon.  I am going to make my production public so anyone can view it via the web,  as soon as I do,  I will post it.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: mohawk70 on November 11, 2013, 10:55:17 AM
Do you have batteries for night electricity?

Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: bellbucci on November 11, 2013, 11:41:39 AM
No, Backcountry  has stated that he doesn't have backup, but relies on the grid.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Sailor on November 11, 2013, 03:03:44 PM
Backcountry, my system has been in place since 2004 so I have some history.  I build a surplus every summer.  In CT we settle in March.  Some years I have had a surplus and others I have had to pay a small amount for the last month.  I have a meter on my inverter that I used to look at all the time.  It shows the current and daily output as well as the total and the amount of carbon saved.  The regular meter on the pole shows weather we are feeding into or taking from the grid.  It was fascinating for a while but now I just let it run.  No noise, no problems just nice clean energy.

As for Hawks questions, we had a Honda gas generator long before we had solar panels so nothing has changed as far as being prepared for outages is concerned.  For all the preppers and doubters I am wondering if you have back up batteries that you charge from the grid?  No?  I didn't think so but since you think every solar system needs them, I am a bit surprised, Steve.   
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: mohawk70 on November 12, 2013, 01:16:27 AM
Backcountry, my system has been in place since 2004 so I have some history.  I build a surplus every summer.  In CT we settle in March.  Some years I have had a surplus and others I have had to pay a small amount for the last month.  I have a meter on my inverter that I used to look at all the time.  It shows the current and daily output as well as the total and the amount of carbon saved.  The regular meter on the pole shows weather we are feeding into or taking from the grid.  It was fascinating for a while but now I just let it run.  No noise, no problems just nice clean energy.

As for Hawks questions, we had a Honda gas generator long before we had solar panels so nothing has changed as far as being prepared for outages is concerned.  For all the preppers and doubters I am wondering if you have back up batteries that you charge from the grid?  No?  I didn't think so but since you think every solar system needs them, I am a bit surprised, Steve.   

Sailordude,

Could you write up a brief technical description of your system?

How many solar panels, how much cleaning does it require, is the equipment maker still in business, ground mount or roof mount, post a photo?

It sounds like something I would like to build in my yard.

With ten years of operating history, sounds interesting.

I keep sizing and making a bill of materials from Northern Tool catalogs, but it gets out of feasibility very quickly.

Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: bob0usa on November 12, 2013, 03:43:01 AM
Sailordude, My question to you and Backcountry,
Would you install a  solar panel system again knowing what you know now?
My self, i can truly say "yes I would"
Even tho i look out window this morn, and see panels covered with white stuff!
 ;)
bob0usa
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Backcountry on November 12, 2013, 04:22:53 AM
bob0usa,
Yes,  knowing what I know now I would definitely go solar again.  It was a huge investment and a huge leap of faith.  We almost never hire out any of our work and we have remodled our entire house and built a huge pole barn ourselves so contracting out was the most unnerving part of it all,  but I love our contractor.

It is great to hear from people like Sailordude who have been using solar successfully for 10 years or more.  The genius of the whole system is that there are no moving parts so there is nothing to wear out.  Because this is a very long term investment I made sure I bought panels that were made in the USA - Solar World - panels.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Sailor on November 12, 2013, 06:23:32 AM
Sorry folks, I just went out and looked at my commission date on the inverter.  It was 12/10/2008 so it is five years not ten that the system has been in place.  This is still a fair bit of time.

I have 30 SunPower  panels  that carry a 25 Yr warrenty and a SunPower inverter that is warrented for 10 Yrs.  It is an American company that is still in business. 

I have a south facing shop building with a 4/12 pitch where the panels are very neatly mounted.  The roof was pretty bad when I was looking at installing the panels so I stripped the asphalt shingles and put on a metal roof that is guaranteed for 40 years.  The pitch could be a bit greater for optimum collection but it does just fine and blends in so that most people don't even notice the panels unless they are pointed out to them.  I have never done anything to clean them.  I was up there the other day and they look cleaner than the house windows.  As a matter of fact the only interaction I have ever had has been to turn it off in the rare event of a power failure that lasts long enough to start the generator.  The only complaint I have is that the low pitch does not shed snow very quickly.  Many times we get snow followed by nice clear sunny weather and it bothers me to waste the generation potential so I have a plastic edged roof rake to clear off the snow.  It doesn't take too long but it is a PIA.  I have three permanently mounted brackets that I slide a 24' staging plank onto in the winter to make the job easy.  Once cleared of the bulk of the snow they quickly heat up and melt the rest.

Backcoutry, I too have built everything on this property myself.  That would be the house, shop, barn and numerous little out buildings.  I have done everything with the exception of the excavation and concrete work so I know how you feel about having a contractor do the work.   I kept a very close eye on the job and was able to decide where the inverter and switches went to keep things neat and accessible.  The contractor was neat and professional but it would still be nice if things were set up so you could do at least some of the work yourself.

Unless you are only going to create a small system for a camp or some other limited installation that would not qualify for any rebates or tax incentives, toss out the Northern Tool catalog and contact a couple of solar contractors.  These guys have quality products and know what they are doing.  One of the biggest advantages of having an establish company do the install, is that they handle absolutely all of the paper work.  They will take out permits, and deal with the power company as well as any government entities.  Their sales people seem to be pleasant and knowledgeable.  They will be able to ask the right questions to properly size your system and give you advice on the best siting options for your situation.  Estimates are cheap or free so you have very little to lose in having someone come out to take a look.

Bob O, I would do it again in a heart beat.  I initially did this for a variety of reasons.  It is a long term investment that will pay significant dividends in the long term.  I am currently paying $16.00 a month for my grid connection so I do contribute to the cost of using the grid.  I also have a home equity loan for the installation but the system will far out last the loan.  That was one of my major considerations.  When I am older than I am now, like really old, the system will be paid for and I will have a very low energy bill.  You could look at this as a retirement saving account.  I never worry about rate increases but we still conserve as much as possible; Energy Star appliances and CF or LED light bulbs.  For the most part we go about our lives no different than we did before.  I just feel a bit better about the source of the energy we use, Steve.             
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: DSWIS on November 12, 2013, 06:46:35 AM
Mo the critic OF SOLAR,  ;D is building a Solar Plant in his backyard!  slaplaugh

This I definitely need to see. Mo, pleaseeeee send photos when you finish that Northern Tool decision process.  headpat
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Backcountry on November 12, 2013, 06:58:25 AM
Sailor Dude, 
It is interesting that you and I had he same thought in mind,  reducing our cost of living in retirement.  I figure too that if I save about $1200 a year in my cost of living,  that is about $1600 a year I do not have to go out and earn,  pay tax on and then pay to the utility company.  Anything you can do to reduce your cost of living has more financial benefits that you may think of at first.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: donegal on November 12, 2013, 07:27:20 AM
Sailor Dude, 
It is interesting that you and I had he same thought in mind,  reducing our cost of living in retirement.  I figure too that if I save about $1200 a year in my cost of living,  that is about $1600 a year I do not have to go out and earn,  pay tax on and then pay to the utility company.  Anything you can do to reduce your cost of living has more financial benefits that you may think of at first.

Ummm...yeah....like when wj said he was movin' in.  I asked him what he was doin'.  He jus' shrugged & said, "Can't afford to live by Duffy no more, what with all my hard cider he's drinkin'.  Figgered I'd bunk here  & save on ALL my expenses. ;D "

It may do wonders for HIM, but how's about my havin' double the food bill now?  What's in it for me?


Donegal
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Sailor on November 12, 2013, 07:28:53 AM
If you finance the project through a home equity loan, the interest is also tax deductible.  I did not get a Fed tax credit when I did my system but they have also been available at various times.  There were no state sales taxes and there are no property taxes on the solar array. 

So for all you folks that don't enjoy paying taxes this might be appealing, Steve.   
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: mohawk70 on November 14, 2013, 10:10:11 AM
Backcountry, my system has been in place since 2004 so I have some history.  I build a surplus every summer.  In CT we settle in March.  Some years I have had a surplus and others I have had to pay a small amount for the last month.  I have a meter on my inverter that I used to look at all the time.  It shows the current and daily output as well as the total and the amount of carbon saved.  The regular meter on the pole shows weather we are feeding into or taking from the grid.  It was fascinating for a while but now I just let it run.  No noise, no problems just nice clean energy.

As for Hawks questions, we had a Honda gas generator long before we had solar panels so nothing has changed as far as being prepared for outages is concerned.  For all the preppers and doubters I am wondering if you have back up batteries that you charge from the grid?  No?  I didn't think so but since you think every solar system needs them, I am a bit surprised, Steve.   

Sailordude,

Could you write up a brief technical description of your system?

How many solar panels, how much cleaning does it require, is the equipment maker still in business, ground mount or roof mount, post a photo?

It sounds like something I would like to build in my yard.

With ten years of operating history, sounds interesting.

I keep sizing and making a bill of materials from Northern Tool catalogs, but it gets out of feasibility very quickly.


Sorry for leading you on, guys.

Based on the more complete information provided by you all, the numbers just don't work.   No matter how I worked the numbers, the finances just do not work out.

To make matters worse, I would need a bank loan which is not supportable.   

I'm just not interested in getting a bank loan.

AND the amount I collect would be based on an artificially supported non-feasible rate per kilowatt-hour.

AND, if by any chance the legislation changes, then I would no longer get the artificially high KWH rate.


Even worse, I would not be able to unplug from the grid in the event of some disaster that took down the wires ... ice storm, most likely.   With no batteries to use to run the house at night, there would be a vulnerability that I don't to have.    I understand I could buy a whole house generator and store a couple of weeks worth of gasoline.   But that adds another $10,000 to the $40,000 base price ... plus?  another $10,000 or more for a battery bank and a building to house all the electrics.

So, I took another re-look ... for the upteenth time ... and it just doesn't work.

Sorry.

Didn't mean to lead you on.

Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Zeb on November 14, 2013, 11:54:52 AM
I used my signing money back in 2008 to put up solar panels - because of the tax credits, the math worked.  But that's the only reason.  The Solar credits you generate with the system that were going for $300 in 2008 are now about $25.  No way does the math work.  I guess it lowers my monthly bill a bit, but when I tracked the numbers, I see no significant decrease.  I know the system works because if I shut down all the electric in my house, It registers electricity flowing in - but don't do it for the cash flow.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: mohawk70 on November 14, 2013, 12:15:35 PM
I am STILL interested in a "virtual off-the-grid" solar and wind installation.

But it would have to be based on some kind of self-financing "high school physics experiment".


For example, I found a newish wind generator:

Small Wind Turbine Generator for Clean Energy Power Production
by Pacific Sky Power
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews) | 10 answered questions
Price:   $46.00

You can see it on YouTube.

It's the size of a small coffee cup and will ever so slowly trickle charge a 12 volt battery.

There are "issues". 

Such as, I would need a swivel to point the thing into the wind.   

And only one won't do much good.

Northern Tool and Sportsman's Guide have components.

But they are expensive.

Sportsman's Guide does have a 10 foot high "tower" that is normally used for hunting.   You could put four of these on it, or more, with some kind of tail.

Just a high school physics experiment, unfortunately, adequate for emergency charging of a small 12 volt battery.

AND, most all of the wind mills don't start spinning until upwards of 7mph winds.

You REALLY need a wind mill that spins immediately when the wind starts up; the problem is that there is magnetic resistance, normal in any generator, so you would need to reduce that starting resistance.   Not sure how to do that at this point.   

You would need a variable speed drive.   Of sorts.

And the towers are not structurally sound for long term.

But the structurally sound units run so expensive that they just are not feasible, unless you are up at the Arctic Circle someplace.

Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: haybaler on November 14, 2013, 12:17:11 PM
I visited a solar web site to get an idea of what is the start cost for someone like me. After filling out a work sheet I got a pretty good read out of what the cost would be. For a small monthly reduction of my energy usage (25%) I would need about 303 kW hours of solar generated replacement power. The happy salesman number was about 19,000$. The Federal and State Government subsidy being about 11,000$ over 10 years. Over 25 years the savings would be 18,000$. They do mention an ROI of about 5 years, but I don’t believe that.
Obviously, this is a wealthy man’s hobby shop setup. And I question how these panels save energy in relation to carbon output. The energy used to produce just one panel takes 10 to 15 years to pay back. In other words, the energy borrowed to make the panel must be produced by that panel to show energy profit. Then it would start producing ‘new’ energy.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Sailor on November 14, 2013, 06:00:32 PM
Deciding to install solar panels is not just about the money.  I don't want to have to worry about a constantly rising electric bill when my income is fixed.  The whole system will paid off by the time I truly retire so it will seem mighty cheap at that time.  It also just feels good to be generation all your own electric in cooperation with the utility company.  It also feels like the right thing to do. 

I am very happy with my decision even if an an accountant would not recommend the installation, Steve.   
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: haybaler on November 14, 2013, 06:16:40 PM
Deciding to install solar panels is not just about the money.  I don't want to have to worry about a constantly rising electric bill when my income is fixed.  The whole system will paid off by the time I truly retire so it will seem mighty cheap at that time.  It also just feels good to be generation all your own electric in cooperation with the utility company.  It also feels like the right thing to do. 

I am very happy with my decision even if an an accountant would not recommend the installation, Steve.

Sailor, to have an expensive hobby precludes the thought of how much it costs by many, many years. You are not a young man as you have said, but any man that owns so many acreas of land and produces from that land is not on a fixed income. I don't believe you at all.


 

Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Sailor on November 14, 2013, 06:33:19 PM
You are right, my income isn't really fixed.  Some years it is lower than others, Steve.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: haybaler on November 14, 2013, 06:45:11 PM
You are right, my income isn't really fixed.  Some years it is lower than others, Steve.

Your a funny guy. But like Diswistle, ya got no cred anymore.

been nice talking to you. AH.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: mohawk70 on November 15, 2013, 05:14:28 AM
Mo the critic OF SOLAR,  ;D is building a Solar Plant in his backyard!  slaplaugh

This I definitely need to see. Mo, pleaseeeee send photos when you finish that Northern Tool decision process.  headpat


Working from Tehran is difficult, particularly when English is not your first or second language.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: mohawk70 on November 15, 2013, 05:16:45 AM
Deciding to install solar panels is not just about the money.  I don't want to have to worry about a constantly rising electric bill when my income is fixed.  The whole system will paid off by the time I truly retire so it will seem mighty cheap at that time.  It also just feels good to be generation all your own electric in cooperation with the utility company.  It also feels like the right thing to do. 

I am very happy with my decision even if an an accountant would not recommend the installation, Steve.


I agree with this.

However, if it was my solar installation, I would shop around for a battery bank.

Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Sailor on November 15, 2013, 06:12:13 AM
The battery bank only makes sense if you are not currently connected to the grid and very far away from existing power lines.  The cost and maintenance issues involved with batteries just don't seem worth the trouble or expense.  I suppose if being completely self sufficient was an important goal then you might be willing to carry the burden. 

I like the simplicity of the grid connected system where the power company is my partner, Steve.   
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: bob0usa on November 16, 2013, 04:01:44 AM
Sailor,   let me put it another way,,,,,,, at least my way!
Are you retired?
Do you garden?
Some people think gardening is a waste of time,
 instead you can just go to walmart and buy it there
 and save the work of growing your own!

Tending my batteries, is just like tending my garden,

I invest a lot of time and money into it each spring, 
some years i get a good return and some i don't!
solar is the same way, some months i get a good return and some i don't!
just another way to look at solar!
bob0  headpat
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Sailor on November 16, 2013, 04:53:13 AM
Bob, that is a very valid view and I like the garden analogy.  Harvesting your energy from the sun, both to grow your food and provide your power.

What sort of batteries are you using?  Gells or AGMs would make things easier but drive up the initial cost.  Lots of boats use banks of golf cart batteries which seem to be the best value but they are flooded cells that need to be maintained and do give off hydrogen gas when charging.  What do you do with excess power when your battery bank is full?  Do you have a gas generator to charge the bank if it gets too low?

I am not being critical but am curious about your system, Steve.   
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Backcountry on November 16, 2013, 02:29:33 PM
To Mohawk and others with bad taste in hair styles and no respect for the planet,
(should I really say that out loud,  sure,  why not)

Below is an interesting link showing over 100,000 solar installations across the world,  mind you this is just one vendor but it happens to be the company I decided on.  It is amazing that this company convinced so many people to buy solar panels and microinverters when as you say "the numbers just don't add up"  .  They must have a genius marketing department.

https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public_systems (https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public_systems)

Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: mohawk70 on November 17, 2013, 02:13:31 AM
To Mohawk and others with bad taste in hair styles and no respect for the planet,
(should I really say that out loud,  sure,  why not)

Below is an interesting link showing over 100,000 solar installations across the world,  mind you this is just one vendor but it happens to be the company I decided on.  It is amazing that this company convinced so many people to buy solar panels and microinverters when as you say "the numbers just don't add up"  .  They must have a genius marketing department.

https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public_systems (https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public_systems)


Right up there with "free ice cream for everybody", polar bear stories, the tooth fairy, and Kim Kardashian.

Solar [and wind power] require storage of some kind or spinning reserves to compensate for the times when there isn't any sun or wind available.   That doubles the cost, right off the bat.

Also reduces reliability.

Germany has spent so much money on boutique solar power with tiny reliability, that they could have had a huge system of nuclear power installed.  Yes, nuclear, vulnerable to tsunamis ... which Germany doesn't have.

April 3, 2013 here:

There is a news article that Germany spent $110 Billion to push off global warming by 39 days.

A tremendous amount of lopsided "investment".

They could have built ten or twenty nuclear power plants for that.   Depending on unnecessary costs created by lawsuits.

Instead Germany is shutting down their nukes [because of the Japanese tsunami] and reverting to soft coal and to wind/solar and to buying electricity from neighboring countries who are building nuclear plants just to sell the electricity to Germany.

Doesn't make much sense, does it.


October 9, 2013 here:

Historically energy transitions have been drawn out affairs that took many generations. A rapid transition to renewables in Germany is often portrayed as being a reality. The evidence however indicates an energy transition no faster than its historical predecessors.



What percentage of Germany's energy needs comes from solar power? If you spend too much time reading environmental websites you could be forgiven for believing the figure to be anywhere as high as 50%. The actual figure is 2%, according to BP's latest statistical review of global energy. Wind power fares slightly better at 3.3%. This figures make it rather clear that if Germany is showing how we can get to 100% renewable energy, it has a long way to go. And the rate of growth of renewables is not anywhere close to what is needed for rapid de-carbonisation.  As George Orwell once observed "Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious." Here I will have to re-state the obvious, and will leave it to the reader to ascertain whether I am an intelligent man.

The basics of German energy

Germany is a rather typical modernised country. It uses oil mostly for transport, coal mostly for generating electricity and natural gas mostly for heating and electricity.

Last year, Germany's total energy consumption was equivalent to 312 million tonnes of oil, generally written as tonnes of oil equivalent (toe). In power terms this is roughly 430 GW. And of this the energy mix was as follows: Oil was 35.8%, natural gas 21.7%, coal 25.4%, nuclear energy 7.2%, hydro-electricity 1.5% and non-hydro renewables 8.3%.




Just because there are a lot of government subsidized solar installations, doesn't mean solar makes any sense, except as an expensive high school physics experiment ... unless you are off the grid.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2013/08/16/no-end-in-sight-for-spains-escalating-solar-crisis/

Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: bob0usa on November 17, 2013, 06:17:07 AM

Bob, that is a very valid view and I like the garden analogy.  Harvesting your energy from the sun, both to grow your food and provide your power.

What sort of batteries are you using?  Gells or AGMs would make things easier but drive up the initial cost.  Lots of boats use banks of golf cart batteries which seem to be the best value but they are flooded cells that need to be maintained and do give off hydrogen gas when charging.  What do you do with excess power when your battery bank is full?  Do you have a gas generator to charge the bank if it gets too low?

I am not being critical but am curious about your system, Steve.   




Steve,  At current time, I'm using 6 - 180w panels, (next summer 6 more) , 6 deep cell wet batteries, (i should have at least 2 per panel) , and a 65 amp charge controler, and a 5000 watt inverter.
 
As of right now it's running my heat system (propane) forced air, with this type of system, your controler will only output what batteries need and not over change them, and out put more if you are using power off them.
just to give you an idea, over nite last nite, the back up is only down .3 volt, i'll last me for bout 3 days just running my heat with no sun .

   Now to my main point,,,,,,,,, I'm slowly up grading my system, as a out of pocket cash project.
This money, i'm using is all from what i've earned! NO gov help!  OFF grid system! crazy
    I'm retired, and don't need to work, but I choose to to be able to fund my projects!
    As far as getting money help from gov, I would if they would!  but unless your grid connected, can't get any money, big business (gov) wants you to share with them.
 I guess it's ok to hand over money to the gov, but it's not ok to get some back??
  That's why people should NOT believe every thing they read!  ,,,let me print that again,,,,,,   
PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BELIEVE EVERY THING THEY READ! headpat

20 years ago I was told that solar would not work at all in northern states, and you'd be lucky to buy a panel for $4 a watt! well they work and prices are down to $.87 and in bulk they are lower!
Well guess what, the earth isn't flat! slaplaugh headpat
Almost seems like some folks are against solar, like some folks are against fracting! :( they may one and the same!
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: GONRA on November 18, 2013, 02:50:27 PM
Nuclear Power Fanatic GONRA wishes Solar Fellas the very best.
However, based on my experience with a DC battery backup sump pump,
using Very Best (Zoeller) stuff available:
  *   "charger controllers"  may overcharge and blowup your batteries,
  *   "deep cell wet batteries" require close monitoring and adding distilled water.
 Because of the above and hydrogen gas emissions:
  *    KEEP THE BATTERIES OUSIDE THE HOUSE,
  *    recognize that as time goes on, "battery maintanence" will become your New Hobby
        whether you like it or not!
Solar Guys with battery banks - please report back over the years .
Methinks ya'll are gonna have some REALLY interesting stores to tell
the really beat my VERY BEST "sump pump battery blowup" stories.....
 
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Backcountry on November 19, 2013, 06:18:17 AM
My 10KW array has no batteries.  It does not have a sump pump either.  slaplaugh
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Sailor on November 19, 2013, 08:07:50 AM
I have three different situations where I run 12V batteries that often sit idle for extended periods and then are ,often, deeply cycled.  In two of these situations I am running AGM batteries and the third is a gel cell.  These batteries have several advantages over flooded batteries.  They will sit for a very long time without self discharging.  They give off no gasses and can not spill.  You could mount them upside down if you wanted to.  They will also take a charge more quickly that flooded batteries and are harmed less by deep discharge.  The disadvantage is that they cost a good bit more. 

In the sump pump situation a gel cell would work very nicely.  It could also be, safely, kept inside where it would stay warm in the winter. 

This is the technology that is keeping unmanned light houses working all over the world, in very harsh conditions.  In that situation the system has to be very reliable and maintenance free.  It just wouldn't be acceptable if the light didn't work and it doesn't seem to be a problem. Steve.   
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Backcountry on October 23, 2014, 07:05:52 AM
I have over a year's worth of production with my solar panels.  I never cleaned them and never did any maintenance at all with them.  My monthly electric bills are 4.52 a month which saves me about $100 a month.  I started selling my SREC credits also but I will hold onto most of them and hope the prices go up.  I just got an electric heat pump and furnace installed last week.  Next year I want to buy another 19 panels to cover the usage of my new furnace. I am spending way to much time dreaming about a Tesla. 

I am seeing that ADMIN does not believe in solar. I just wish he would post more intelligent articles and not insult my intelligence with sensational misleading headlines.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: aubrey on October 23, 2014, 08:16:30 AM
with a grid connection, you buy retail and sell wholesale. not the best economics.

off grid with batteries and a backup generator to charge them, you are maximizing your investment and eliminating the inconvenience of power outages.

there are also alternatives for backup charging that cost little to nothing. veggie powered diesels and wood gas powered engines.

I'm with bob0. if you enjoy the feeling of independence and enjoy the tasks of maintaining your system like you enjoy gardening, it's the way to go.

wj
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Backcountry on October 23, 2014, 08:48:12 AM
WJ - no maintenance when hooked to the grid,  really NONE.  Not sure why people don't quite get this.

But you are right about the electric company selling you electricity at retail and buying it as wholesale.  It makes the most sense to just barely cover your electrical useage like I am doing.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: aubrey on October 23, 2014, 11:05:21 AM
bc, I get that, I really do.

but to be completely honest, there is always a little maintenance. you have to keep the panels clean and clear for maximum efficiency, and if necessary, clear vegetation which in some situations might shade the panels.

what I think some don't understand is that some of us are tinkerers. we enjoy designing and building, and yes even maintaining our own systems. like bob's garden analogy, we like to have our hands on the things that are important to us in life. our food, our energy, our transportation needs met by our own hands.

then too, if one runs a backup generator with used veggie oil, that saves on the environmental impact of having to dispose of it.

we all have to find the way that works best and is most satisfying for us. some like the economics of having the government help them in life, and some of us like the independence of doing it ourselves. I like knowing that yes..."I did build that".

wj
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: bob0usa on December 01, 2014, 04:18:39 AM
Well, here it is more then a year later, the past winter I run our heat system off my solar and only had to switch to the grid once, after 4 days of no sun!
No I haven't up graded my system yet, but during the summer I was able to run my home 60% of the time off the solar system. During the time I was down south this fall (3 months), I run the place off solar also!
Just love those $16.00 electric bills! ;D   
Next summer I plan on installing a tracker system and it should increase my output my around 35%.

all in all I'm very pleased with it!  by the way I have increased number of  battery's to 9 

Now I need to think solar for my motor home!!  crazy

bob0
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Backcountry on December 01, 2014, 05:28:04 AM
bob0,
Very cool ! 
One question for you,  I thought with the solar panels becoming cheaper,  it was more cost effective to just buy more solar panels instead of a tracker system.  Are you running out of space?
A couple weeks ago we replaced our propane furnace with an electric heat pump and furnace.  We will probably go with another row of panels to cover this.  My electric bill are $4.97 a month,  just love opening those bills !
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Wax on December 01, 2014, 08:34:38 AM
I live in a 4000sf + house and average 300.00 a month electric bills. I have 5 1/2 tons of mini-split heat pumps and backup propane boiler. Submitted quotes for solar and only 1 person got back to me. He said without any PA state rebates, your project is too excessive to be worth while. I guess the system would need to be too big for the roof. He said, a ground system would be the way for me to go, if the prices come down, and rebates become available again. 

wax
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: gassyguy on December 01, 2014, 09:22:58 AM
The new mini-split heat pumps are supposed to work down to 0F without loss of efficiency is that just hype do you know?
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Backcountry on December 01, 2014, 10:00:40 AM
Wax,
The Pa sunshine money was depleted late in 2013.  But the federal tax grant of 30% is still good till 2016. 

A good installer should be able to give you a detailed pay back of any system you buy which helps considerably in comparing apples to apples.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Wax on December 01, 2014, 11:20:26 AM
The new mini-split heat pumps are supposed to work down to 0F without loss of efficiency is that just hype do you know?
A new  Fujitsu ,12RLS2H  will run down to -15F. I did not run this unit last year, but started it in July. So no very cold weather yet.
I have several 12RLS2 units and let them run any temperature. They say not to run them below 5f but have no internal component that turns them off. They still seem to provide a good amount at low temp.
 http://www.fujitsugeneral.com/wallmountedRLS2H_specs.htm (http://www.fujitsugeneral.com/wallmountedRLS2H_specs.htm)
 
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Wax on December 01, 2014, 11:34:03 AM
Wax,
The Pa sunshine money was depleted late in 2013.  But the federal tax grant of 30% is still good till 2016. 

A good installer should be able to give you a detailed pay back of any system you buy which helps considerably in comparing apples to apples.
I told installer, I was only interested in a system, if I can save money and not lay out a great deal of money. He did not think that was doable. I filled a form out online for all local solar co. to bid on. Just the one guy I mentioned called me. However I was able to get rebates of $400.00 for H.P. from Penn Electric on 3 H.P. Now they are giving $100.00. I also got back money on my income tax from feds, but used the max up.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: duffy on December 01, 2014, 02:51:07 PM
While a Fujitsu will run down to zero they take more "breaks" to dice when it's that cold, we tell customers they're great to about 10, but then your other heat source should take over.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Wax on December 01, 2014, 03:29:01 PM
While a Fujitsu will run down to zero they take more "breaks" to dice when it's that cold, we tell customers they're great to about 10, but then your other heat source should take over.
This model has only been available for about a year.( 12RLS2H )  No additional heat required in Pa. Full output at -15 .

http://www.scribd.com/doc/126691825/2013-New-Fujitsu-Products (http://www.scribd.com/doc/126691825/2013-New-Fujitsu-Products)
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: gassyguy on December 01, 2014, 04:36:29 PM
While a Fujitsu will run down to zero they take more "breaks" to dice when it's that cold, we tell customers they're great to about 10, but then your other heat source should take over.

So the other heat source has to provide all the heat? (the Fujitsu shuts down completely?)
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Wax on December 01, 2014, 05:49:02 PM
While a Fujitsu will run down to zero they take more "breaks" to dice when it's that cold, we tell customers they're great to about 10, but then your other heat source should take over.

So the other heat source has to provide all the heat? (the Fujitsu shuts down completely?)
No, I set the HP at 70 and the boiler tstat at 67. Generally 3 degrees apart. Boiler ran 60 hours last winter with the regular Fujitsu and other brands. I changed a (Senville) out for the latest Fujitsu. These units are around $1600.00 online and double that installed. I do my own installation, but have a  CFC certification and done many installations. Would not recommend, anyone without experience attempt it. 
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: duffy on December 02, 2014, 03:55:48 AM
While a Fujitsu will run down to zero they take more "breaks" to dice when it's that cold, we tell customers they're great to about 10, but then your other heat source should take over.
This model has only been available for about a year.( 12RLS2H )  No additional heat required in Pa. Full output at -15 .
Bull, try heating with just a fujitsu when it gets below 10 degrees, you'll freeze your nunny off. Like i stated they go into de-ice mode and basicaly stop heating till the cycle is done, if not it a block of ice from cold air transfer through the compressor unit that sits outside. Even ground source heat pumps need aux. heat when temps get below 10 degrees, they have electric backup coils on the supply side of the unit. Air source like fujitsu, mitsubishi etc are great for heating and cooling and are a good heat with few draw backs except extreme cold. Oh by they way WAX we have put in over 50 just this year alone some with up to three inside wall units on one outside unit. one thing i had a laugh at was at service school the instructor said the drilling industry in Pa was putting a severe strain on the electric grid running all the rigs and equipment on pads,lol.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/126691825/2013-New-Fujitsu-Products (http://www.scribd.com/doc/126691825/2013-New-Fujitsu-Products)
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: bob0usa on December 02, 2014, 05:22:55 AM
bob0,
Very cool ! 
One question for you,  I thought with the solar panels becoming cheaper,  it was more cost effective to just buy more solar panels instead of a tracker system.  Are you running out of space?
A couple weeks ago we replaced our propane furnace with an electric heat pump and furnace.  We will probably go with another row of panels to cover this.  My electric bill are $4.97 a month,  just love opening those bills !

Backcountry....I just want to get max output with what I have, I have the knowledge to build it my self, all except the controllers, which are cheap,  and as i said, want to get max output.
 running out of space?  no way , I have lots of room! just want to get max out of them.
siting here right now they are outputting only 20 amps,,, but the sun just came over the mountain! by 11:am they will be up to at least 50amps +.   with a tracker they would be at 50+ now! then i can increase my backup batteries even more!  I think you may understand my thoughts for this.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Wax on December 02, 2014, 05:52:58 AM
While a Fujitsu will run down to zero they take more "breaks" to dice when it's that cold, we tell customers they're great to about 10, but then your other heat source should take over.
This model has only been available for about a year.( 12RLS2H )  No additional heat required in Pa. Full output at -15 .
Bull, try heating with just a fujitsu when it gets below 10 degrees, you'll freeze your nunny off. Like i stated they go into de-ice mode and basicaly stop heating till the cycle is done, if not it a block of ice from cold air transfer through the compressor unit that sits outside. Even ground source heat pumps need aux. heat when temps get below 10 degrees, they have electric backup coils on the supply side of the unit. Air source like fujitsu, mitsubishi etc are great for heating and cooling and are a good heat with few draw backs except extreme cold. Oh by they way WAX we have put in over 50 just this year alone some with up to three inside wall units on one outside unit. one thing i had a laugh at was at service school the instructor said the drilling industry in Pa was putting a severe strain on the electric grid running all the rigs and equipment on pads,lol.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/126691825/2013-New-Fujitsu-Products (http://www.scribd.com/doc/126691825/2013-New-Fujitsu-Products)
De-ice cycle frequency average is about 5-minutes.( a hour.) in very cold weather.  If you want to run a air source heat pump for your total heating system: you need a good insulated home. I have R-26 walls and R-49 ceiling with the best u-value windows and doors. I do not setback temperatures at night in very cold weather.  Each 1ton, 12,000btu  HP will use about 1kw a hour or $2.40 a day at full output. Hardly a strain on the grid.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: duffy on December 02, 2014, 07:57:04 AM
You didn't read what i said about the grid or you wouldn't have answered like that. The rest makes perfect sense but every home isn't like that insulation wise.
Title: Re: Buying solar panels with your bonus money
Post by: Wax on December 02, 2014, 10:20:16 AM
You didn't read what i said about the grid or you wouldn't have answered like that. The rest makes perfect sense but every home isn't like that insulation wise.
I did read what (you said)the teacher said about the grid. I am aware you know how efficient heat-pumps run. I posted for others reading the forum, who may not.