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View Diary: Let's put 'solar panels on every home' say Robert Kennedy Jr. and David Crane (190 comments)

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  •  Nice! (0+ / 0-)

    How many panels do you have? How many KWH do they produce in a year? Do you mind telling us how much paid for the whole system?

    It's time for cheaper solar power! Zenman Energy

    by ZenManProject on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:45:41 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  8 panels, 1.9kW, 48v system (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZenManProject

      $13 k all-in-all. If we'd been grid-tied, we'd have qualified for a bunch of rebates that would have brought it down to half that, and we'd be making money with our excess summer production. But alas ...  On the plus side, we never have a power outage.

      We got a specially designed, very strong pole and panel mount system due to fairly frequent high winds. We also went whole-hog with lightning protection due to a long history of lightning issues, so it was a bit more costly than a more typical system of the same size.

      We live in a "tiny house," and had the option of starting from scratch for our energy use - adding what we needed over time (mostly in order of how desperately we wanted to solve that need). :-)

      As a result, we don't have much that uses electricity that isn't a need. And for some needs, we just plan to use those items (vacuum cleaner, for example) on sunny days. What we did install is as low power-consumption as possible: LED lights (loving the newer bulbs that have the yellow coating to more closely match incandescent light quality), an on-demand water heater that doesn't require electricity, a gas range that uses piezo-electric starters rather than a glow-bar in the oven, a super-efficient refrigerator (GE has a new insulation that significantly increases efficiency, so for ~$350 we have a refrigerator that beats most of the wicked expensive, specialized "off-grid" refrigerators for both internal space and energy use).

      We also did some passive things: humongous window on the south side that lights up most of the space, even on cloudy days, tons of insulation, a huge amount of masonry around the wood stove. Made of cement board, mortar, and free discarded chunks of broken countertops from a local granite counter manufacturer, the thermal walls are ~3 inches thick, and radiate heat all night. (It also looks really nice.) We only need 1.5 cords of firewood/year to heat the house, with no additional heating system. The one convenience we really miss is a washer and dryer, but we make due with the local laundry-mat and occasional house-sitting.

      As things stand, we didn't need to use the generator at all (except to run certain power tools) from January - October. We've used it about 4 times since the December cloudy season moved in. Next month should be sunnier, so we'll be back to all battery power.

      •  Photos? (0+ / 0-)

        Wow, that's awesome!

        How many square feet/meters do your 8 panels take up? How much more was the grid tied inverter versus what you installed? Did you install one of the lightning arresters in the panel itself and/or did you put in a bunch of lightning rods.

        Is there any chance you took pictures and posted them on Flickr/FB etc? I love seeing solar installations.

        It's time for cheaper solar power! Zenman Energy

        by ZenManProject on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 01:40:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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