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Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by mightybooboo, Aug 24, 2005.
Edit-not going there.Article is ridiculous.
First you need to do the economizing, the solar hot water, the more efficient refrigerator and freezer, more insulation, better windows and doors, etc, etc, then some PVs. I figure that our wind&PV system (1.8kw of PVs, with batteries) has cost us about $20,000 over the last 30 years, including a 1940s vintage Jacobs wind generator. The older PV panels, new in 1981, have probably paid for themselves in avoided cost of electricity, and may last another 24+ years, or longer--nobody knows. The wind generator has already lasted 60+ years, with one replacement set of blades, which was done in part to get the newer style of governor that controls the blades in varying winds, and one replacement of bearings.
But--solar hot water probably would pay for itself in 5 years or less, even here in Wisconsin, and surely quicker in most other parts of the country, and should be installed before spending big bucks on PVs or wind energy systems, unless you live in a very windy area (with the actual wind speed verified by measurements at your site). Our wind generator is marginal at our present site, although at our previous location, it provided 99% of our power before we got PV panels--the remaining 1% came from an old Delco light plant whose engine was started on gasoline and then run on fuel oil or kerosene.
I guess that maybe I am getting off the subject, but home energy and resource efficiency and alternative energy have been my hobby and interest for over 30 years.
Now booboo, I doubt if Ken was trying to pick a fight over the pros and cons of solar power. Like me, he may be curious and has a desire to learn more. For instance, our electric bill averages $35/mo. I am having a hard time justifying any investments to reduce that bill. I just want to understand both sides.
Oh heck no,didnt see it that way.
That article is just so stupendously stupid its ridiculous. Wont waste the time rebutting it,just very poorly stated and nothing to back up any claims,on and on.It would take 3 pages just for the article to have any validity at all. :soap:
I think highly of Ken,he is a good guy.
Ken only posted part of the article.
Here's a link to it
I ain't gonna read any article from "Gallatin New Sex A Miner!"
Didn't notice that when I posted it. Tells me where your mind is. :nono: I read it as "Gallatin News Examiner". It's all in where you put the spaces
If a peson is already hooked into the grid, then investing in solar or other alternative energy to reduce costs becomes tricky... if not already hooked into the grid, then it becomes a matter of what is it gonna cost to plant power poles [or underground lines in some places] and then the monthly expense....
my nieghbor bought $12,000.00 worth of solar panels, invertor, back up genset and batteries, which since he wasnt on the grid, and to hook it up was gonna be about $7500.00 brought his costs down considerably to recover startup.... he over bought his invertor, but since he uses 2 forklift batteries [re-conditioned for $750 each as opposed to $3000 new] his system is 48 volts and needed a light commercial invertor.
he ran his genset for 3 years before actually poutting up his solar a month ago... cost of fuel was $60 per month, which is below average cost for electric on grid here... it is a lifestyle choice more than anything else [no CF not that kind of lifestyle]
Sounds to me like he isn't getting the power from his 1.8kw of panels that I have been getting from my newest 1.5kw array of pv panels. His costs that are mentioned in the article are a lot higher than mine were, too (Sept 2004 prices for my latest 1.5 kw of PVs). What really interested me is that his power company has finally allowed people to connect to them to sell power back, which was Federally mandated quite a few years ago. I don't think it makes the Nashville Electric Service's look too good!
Also, he sure uses a lot of electricity, but that is common, I guess. As previously mentioned, it would make more sense, in terms of return on investment, and spending less on energy, to go for solar hot water and energy efficiency before install the PVs.
If asphalt shingles need to be replaced (not another layer) doesn't the PV array pretty well have to be removed and reinstalled?
I agree for most people payback is likely in increasing energy efficiency, not in supplementing.
Although I'm no solar expert - I find it interesting that they'll actually pay you far more for the electricity you produce compared to what they charge for use.
Solar produces electricity during peak usage time. Since most people are at work during the day, homes use less during peak. Check out the commercial/industrial rates and you will see a big increase in the power rate.
I think something is wrong with that setup. For 1.8kw he should produce a lot more than 90kwh a month. especially in July/August with the longer days.
It appears TVA is being generous in the buy rate. I believe they are only required by the feds to pay on a cost avoidance concept. That is what they would have to pay to produce or purchase electricity. That may be say $.05 kwh.
The article noted he had only one billing period with the system in use. $13.00 at $.15 kwh would be about 87 kwh. If a 30-day billing period, then 2.9 kwh produced per day does seem low.
Way out of my area, but some numbers to play with. Assume the system produces some power 12 hours a day on a bell-shaped curve. Two hours at 20% efficiency, two at 40%, four at 60%, two at 80% and two at 100%. If I did the math correctly, average daily output would be about 13 kwh. At $.15 kwh, about $2.00 day. Thus, $60 a month using these numbers.
Seems like it was about 25 years ago TMEN wrote on how promising $1.00 kwh installation looked. I don't track solar power production on a regular basis, but I don't believe there has been much progress in that time to bring down kwh installation cost.
Federal law only states that they have to let you hookup to the grid if you meet there requirements. Many states have adopted net metering laws that handles Compensation. I didn't find where Tenn. has a net metering law yet. TVA can set whatever them and the homeowner can negotate. 0.15 per kw is very generous.
I'd need to now what grid tie inverter is used to say if your figures are acurate. Some inverters don't generate under low voltage conditions. Morning and evening hours would produce no power. I think Tenn. averages out to 4 hrs of full production a day (would need to check a solar map to be sure). So it should produce about 7.2 kw (1.8 x 4) a day.
Perdictions of $1 a watt systems were based on expected break throughs and inventions that never came. Just because we want something doesn't make it possible.
Thanks for posting the link to the whole article -- kind of sheds some new light on the original post. Appreciate it.
This says to me more that things are seriously wrong at TVA (which I'm assuming NES is a part of as is my rural electric coop) rather than solar isn't the way to go.
There is a LOT of talk from TVA about green power and such but you don't see anything happening for real folks. I've yet to see a solar panel on a home here (there must be some, but very rare).
TVA makes a BIG DEAL about their Green power program. Sounds great--like maybe they are polluting less. But in reality some miniscule portion of their power (5%?) is green power. This with all the dams and possibilities for wind.
In fact as TVA consumers we are given the very generous CHOICE of supporting green power by volunteering to pay higher electric bills. Supposedly this extra $$ by those of us with consciences is used to produce green power. How magnanimous of them.
In the last few years Habitat for Humanity built Zero energy homes hooked up to TVA in east Tennessee. Now how can that be and this guy gets what? A 100-year payback-- my goodness!!
The average TN homeowner has no roadmap from TVA on how to do this. They make it almost impossible to find out. I'm amazed that guy was able to do it at all.