hotzcatz
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hotzcatz

Well-Known Member, from Hawaii

hotzcatz was last seen:
Oct 24, 2017
    1. hotzcatz
      hotzcatz
      Message continued from the prior message:
      We just bought a new house so we are on the grid at the moment. We will get our first electric bill pretty soon and then we will know how much of a panic we should be in to get the solar panels transferred to the new house. We will keep the grid power, but it will only go to several outlets in the carport instead of to the house circuit breaker box. Instead of using a generator as backup we will use Helco instead.

      You'll probably want to get solar hot water with a gas backup water heater. You can't really heat anything with solar electric unless you want to pay tons of money for the system.

      Depending on where you are on the island, wind may or may not work. Do you have an area selected yet?

      A hui hou,
      Catz
    2. hotzcatz
      hotzcatz
      Aloha Warwalk,

      We just chose panels by price per watt and the voltage they work on. The lower the voltage, the larger the wires you need to move the electricity to the battery bank. At twelve volts you need heavy car jumper cable size wires. At 24 volts you can get by on what would be a very heavy duty electrical cord size. Keeping the battery bank near the panels is good.

      When selecting an inverter, look at Outback, they are one of the best ones. Choose a pure sinewave inverter if you can, otherwise a stepped inverter will do, but not as well.

      We didn't do a grid-tie system so our system was less expensive. If you want to grid tie, you must use one of their authorized contractors to install it and then there is some sort of paperwork to do which from what I've heard takes a long time. I've not known of any grid tie folks who actually save that much money on their electric bills, I'm not sure why.

      Ooops, the message was too long so I'll have to put it in two pieces.
    3. Warwalk
      Warwalk
      Thanks tremendously for the reply =) It was especially beneficial to hear about your solar experiences. I have four young children, and we go through tons of laundry and tons of dishwashing, although I am hopeful I will be able to teach them to cut back. Finding information about Solar has been very difficult. Some web sites claim I'll have to spend upwards of 30,000 for a decent system, so it was a huge relief to know you were able to do substantially better. The market for panels is very confusing... there's a wide array of panel wattages, manufacturers, and even then from one site to another the cost can swing hundreds of dollars for what seems like similar products. I was thinking for my system about starting w/ perhaps 8 of the 240w panels grid-tied(?) Are these systems the type of thing that someone with some electrical experience can do themselves? What do you think of wind power as an alternative (or add-on)? Do you have a favorite brand? (I noticed Sanyo seemed the priciest)
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