Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

post your experiences with it

Brian Eno's Mother (Latham Green), Thursday, 1 May 2014 20:56 (four years ago) Permalink

ie: i have a 1 inch solar car or my house is solar

or news

Brian Eno's Mother (Latham Green), Thursday, 1 May 2014 20:56 (four years ago) Permalink

I have a solar powered wireless keyboard, which is pretty cool I think

silverfish, Thursday, 1 May 2014 20:59 (four years ago) Permalink

I was always told that if your roof doesn't face south then in cloudy N. European climates they are mostly useless.

xelab, Thursday, 1 May 2014 21:04 (four years ago) Permalink

I was just reading they should face west - at least if you get billed for peak use

Brian Eno's Mother (Latham Green), Friday, 2 May 2014 16:47 (four years ago) Permalink

A perfect roof for solar PV would be large, south facing and pitched at an angle between 30º and 45º

under the cobblestones, le dogshit (xelab), Friday, 2 May 2014 17:04 (four years ago) Permalink

yes let's make it more unattractive to use clean renewable energy source

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Friday, 2 May 2014 17:09 (four years ago) Permalink

Some time circa 1980 I bought a Casio solar-powered calculator for about $8. It still works. I still use it.

Aimless, Friday, 2 May 2014 17:11 (four years ago) Permalink

these fucking ALEC people... it's gratifying that they've been failing for the most part but just grrr

PLATYPUS OF DOOM (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 2 May 2014 17:27 (four years ago) Permalink

I am also dismayed at the net metering battles

climate change = the need to help clean energy grow , not treat it like any other business

Brian Eno's Mother (Latham Green), Monday, 5 May 2014 18:06 (four years ago) Permalink

oh hi, this is my field

ALEC sucks

most people feel that the subsidies are hindering the industry in the long run, it needs to go toe to toe with fossil - since the modules are dirt cheap, the barriers esp. in America are permitting costs & red tape.

more later maybe

RSD-rolled (sleeve), Monday, 5 May 2014 23:20 (four years ago) Permalink

I live in Southern California with a clear south facing roof. A guy came by one day to run the numbers on a solar panel system lease. He was really excited about the roof and said it would be a big savings. It turns out I would have been guaranteed to save $35/month which wasn't very exciting to me - especially since it was a 20 year lease/commitment. I just kept thinking that in even 10 years, these panels will probably cost nothing.

Spencer Chow, Monday, 5 May 2014 23:37 (four years ago) Permalink

I also wonder why there aren't more living people wearing solar watches on 'The Walking Dead'.

Spencer Chow, Monday, 5 May 2014 23:37 (four years ago) Permalink

the solar lease thing was attractive to me for a little bit but now I'm thinking that's basically lining the pockets of a bank somewhere.

akm, Monday, 5 May 2014 23:39 (four years ago) Permalink

Ditto for me (SoCal south-facing roof) but my electric bill isn't that high. If I ever break down and get A/C, or a plug-in electric car, I'd do it.

nickn, Monday, 5 May 2014 23:41 (four years ago) Permalink

u guys ya gotta take the rebates into account - payback time on a 5 KW system in CA right now is just over 6 years

(I really am busy, but had to note that)

RSD-rolled (sleeve), Monday, 5 May 2014 23:51 (four years ago) Permalink

solarpowerrocks dot com has a good rundown of rebates & incentives

RSD-rolled (sleeve), Monday, 5 May 2014 23:52 (four years ago) Permalink

That included the rebates/incentives etc etc, which were all rolled into the lease. This was about a year and a half ago. He recently came by having quit the (leading) lease company and was selling systems outright and the savings would have been similar but with a much shorter loan commitment.

He's annoyed that i won't sign up for guaranteed savings, but I just feel like it will get cheaper and cheaper so why commit now?

Spencer Chow, Tuesday, 6 May 2014 00:01 (four years ago) Permalink

A perfect roof for solar PV would be large, south facing and pitched at an angle between 30º and 45º
― under the cobblestones, le dogshit (xelab), Saturday, 3 May 2014 03:04 (3 days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Not necessarily so, it depends whether you want to maximise your grid exports or minimise your grid consumption. A decision you have to make base don the relative value of the feed in tariff versus retail electricity price. Although south* facing panels (angled appropriately) maximises electricity production. East and west facing panels match typical domestic loads (morning and evening) . Given that panels are so cheap right now a better array would be oversized, relative to the inverter, and cover all three aspects.

*Flip south for north for my hemisphere

Panels and inverters are getting cheaper, but as they become a smaller proportion of total system cost, the effect to total system cost will be lessened so there will be a levelling off of prices. US has very high installation costs relative to Germany and especially Australia. Solar systems cost a lot more because of these 'soft' costs. There's obviously room for improvement there as both Australia and Germany are high wage economies, but soft costs will be hard to reduce.

If you should lock in a good FiT then you should go for it because the premium FiT backlash in Australia was savage and quick when it happened.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Tuesday, 6 May 2014 01:15 (four years ago) Permalink

Solar is cost competitive with grid power in the absence of subsides in Australia although this is partly due to ridiculously high electricity prices, inflated by over investing in the electricity grid (also population density, cross subsides etc. etc.)

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Tuesday, 6 May 2014 01:17 (four years ago) Permalink

grid parity!! see also: Hawaii

Ed totally otm, of course

RSD-rolled (sleeve), Tuesday, 6 May 2014 14:43 (four years ago) Permalink

yeah yolu don't get the rebates under the lease plans. the company installing does, and 'passes that savings on to you' if you believe that.

akm, Tuesday, 6 May 2014 16:59 (four years ago) Permalink

lol don't get me started abt leasing, what a scam

see here (I don't know these people but the video is good)

RSD-rolled (sleeve), Tuesday, 6 May 2014 17:51 (four years ago) Permalink

I think electrical rates will increase in thte future but solar will be cheaper - thus they have an incentive to fight people getting solar - just like the oil industry woudl fight if people could harevst and refine gasoline from their backyards.

I am getting heat pumps heater and domwestic hot water and I hope to in the future have them powered by solar

Brian Eno's Mother (Latham Green), Monday, 12 May 2014 20:52 (four years ago) Permalink

The next cool thing will be putting your hetapump or watever on the DC bus. 80% of what you have in your home runs on DC and solar panels produce DC. DC to DC conversion is much more efficient than DC-AC-DC. Some of the AC-DC conversion is criminally inefficient <50% doesn't get wasted.

Are you doing solar thermal for your hot water as well? Solar thermal with an electric/gas boost is very popular down here, probably the best playback for solar, plus you get storage.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Tuesday, 13 May 2014 23:14 (four years ago) Permalink

NO to solar for hot water, not really a good roofspace for it right now (trees)

so you could have yoru whole house on DC if you just ran it all from solar panels? WHat abotu connection to the grid? have yoru house get inverted to dc from the street?

Brian Eno's Mother (Latham Green), Wednesday, 14 May 2014 20:51 (four years ago) Permalink

Pretty much, although it would be a bit heath robinson at the moment. The infrastructure in terms of plugs and sockets, DC-DC converters isn't there yet but its coming. Most of the DC focus has been in data centres at 380V and commercial lighting at 48V but 3 wire 120V DC would be pretty effective in the home.

You'd have to invert/rectify for a 2 way grid connection but that would be more efficient than all the little wall warts you currently have.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Wednesday, 14 May 2014 23:25 (four years ago) Permalink

lotta new construction has 5 VDC built in, it's funny because aiui USB was never intended as a power delivery source, just data.

as Ed says, DC appliances for the home are coming soon/already here - some DC fridges are on the market now.

we'll probably still see long distance grid transmission in AC, but more and more DC at a local level - see also all the discussion around microgrids, once again folks in developing countries can leapfrog technology like they did w/cell phone infrastructure and have localized power grids.

I think you'd still have to have batteries or some other form of energy storage (flywheel etc, I have seen all kinds of zany ideas) to use solar-generated DC effectively in a home DC environment. That storage seems like the weak link in all of this right now, although lithium ion has promise it is very expensive.

this summer I am gonna put a small 300-400 watt kit together to run our chest freezer and whatever else I can throw on the inverter without hitting 50% depth of discharge on the batteries. I'll probably use MK Deka AGM type, my understanding is that they're good for 5-7 years depending on how hard you cycle them.

KrafTwerk (sleeve), Thursday, 15 May 2014 04:02 (four years ago) Permalink

Deka, Trojan, Sonnenschien seem to be the brands that people talk about the most as far as storage goes right now. What brand of BMS/Charge controller are you going to use?

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Thursday, 15 May 2014 08:47 (four years ago) Permalink

well Outback would be my top choice, and Morningstar my second. Since the Outbacks are around $500, I think I'll probably use an MPPT Morningstar with a 45 amp limit (maybe $350?)- both those brands have high input voltage limits so you can stack the panels in series to reduce voltage drop. If my budget can't handle it, I'll put the panels in parallel, use a Xantrex C35, and upgrade later.

KrafTwerk (sleeve), Thursday, 15 May 2014 14:02 (four years ago) Permalink

feasibility of generating wind power? I mean you would have to have a really windy location I would think to get any juice

Brian Eno's Mother (Latham Green), Thursday, 15 May 2014 19:58 (four years ago) Permalink

Xantrex really is the best I can think of where solar +storage are concerned. I was at a solar trade fair last week and a local integrator that has previously been all about Xantrex was repping for a Chinese brand called Solax, although when questioned they hadn't installed many.

Outback and Midnite are very popular with the Northern California Weed growing crowd.

Wind, wind isn't particularly economical at small scale, the turbines are OK but you then have to build a sacking great tower to get it to a height that will lift it out of the wind shadow of trees and other structures. Permitting for a decent size wind tower is going to be way, way harder than solar.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Friday, 16 May 2014 10:47 (four years ago) Permalink

what aboout many many littel windmills?
they woudl be cute anyway

My concern is how to store power generated from solar in the summertime that is excess from what you need, so you can use it later in winter months. Some kind of huge batteries? would the power stay for months?
somehow convert the power to a fuel?

Brian Eno's Mother (Latham Green), Monday, 19 May 2014 13:12 (four years ago) Permalink

omfg let us ridicule these scum (C & P'd from National Report so as not to give them clicks)

<National Report>This week, a scientific research facility in Wyoming made a startling discovery that is certain to change the way millions of Americans look at the environmentalism movement, after they found conclusive evidence that solar panels not only convert the sun’s energy into usable energy, but that they are also draining the sun of its own energy, possibly with catastrophic consequences far worse than global warming.
Scientists at the Wyoming Institute of Technology, a privately-owned think tank located in Cheyenne, Wyoming, discovered that energy radiated from the sun isn’t merely captured in solar panels, but that energy is directly physically drawn from the sun by those panels, in a process they refer to as “forced photovoltaic drainage.”
“Put into laymen’s terms, the solar panels capture the sun’s energy, but pull on the sun over time, forcing more energy to be released than the sun is actually producing,” WIT claims in a scientific white paper published on Wednesday. “Imagine a waterfall, dumping water. But you aren’t catching the water in buckets, but rather sucking it in with a vacuum cleaner. Eventually, you’re going to suck in so much water that you drain the river above that waterfall completely.”

WIT is adamant that there’s no immediate danger, however. “Currently, solar panels are an energy niche, and do not pose a serious risk to the sun. But if we converted our grids to solar energy in a big way, with panels on domestic homes and commercial businesses, and paving our parking lots with panels, we’d start seeing very serious problems over time. If every home in the world had solar panels on their roofs, global temperatures would drop by as much as thirty degrees over twenty years, and the sun could die out within three hundred to four hundred years.”
The study was commissioned in August 2011 by the Halliburton corporation, who wanted to learn if the energy giant should start manufacturing and selling solar panels domestically and internationally. Halliburton’s executives wanted to know more about the sustainability of solar energy and how photovoltaic technology might evolve over the next ten years. But based on the findings of WIT’s research in the field, Halliburton revealed on Friday that they will not be entering the solar energy market.
“Solar panels destroying the sun could potentially be the worst man-made climate disaster in the history of the world, and Halliburton will not be taking part in that,” the company stated in a press release issued Friday morning. “It’s obvious, based on the findings of this neutral scientific research group, that humans needs to become more dependent on fossil fuels like oil and coal, not less. Because these so-called `green technologies’ are far more dangerous to the Earth than any hydrofracking operation or deep-water drilling station. What good is clean air when our very sun is no longer functional?”
- See more at:

KrafTwerk (sleeve), Tuesday, 27 May 2014 23:02 (four years ago) Permalink

oh n/m it's a parody site

KrafTwerk (sleeve), Tuesday, 27 May 2014 23:04 (four years ago) Permalink

anyone knwo much abotu this

Brian Eno's Mother (Latham Green), Thursday, 5 June 2014 20:28 (four years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

solar leasing vs. owning - which is the better?

Brian Eno's Mother (Latham Green), Tuesday, 24 June 2014 20:58 (four years ago) Permalink

even w/o my knowledge of the industry, as a homeowner I'd never lease:

polyamanita (sleeve), Tuesday, 24 June 2014 21:14 (four years ago) Permalink

leases don't make sense for residences afaik

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 24 June 2014 21:17 (four years ago) Permalink

thinking of doing this

Brian Eno's Mother (Latham Green), Thursday, 3 July 2014 20:31 (four years ago) Permalink

Does anyone have any thoughts about solar roadways?

noir-ish need apply (Drugs A. Money), Saturday, 12 July 2014 06:18 (four years ago) Permalink

(Is there a separate thread where it's being discussed?)

noir-ish need apply (Drugs A. Money), Saturday, 12 July 2014 06:19 (four years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

fuckin Nevada, it blows my mind

thanks to WmC for the link

not sure what can be done at this point, the brazen bait-and-switch move here is just insane

the 'major tom guy' (sleeve), Thursday, 21 January 2016 16:32 (two years ago) Permalink

yeah this is ridiculous and will bite them in the ass

Οὖτις, Thursday, 21 January 2016 17:22 (two years ago) Permalink

they're not the only states where investor-owned utilities are trying to roll back net-energy-metering - distributed generation systems are basically a death knell for the traditional utility distribution system model

Οὖτις, Thursday, 21 January 2016 17:23 (two years ago) Permalink


Karl Malone, Thursday, 21 January 2016 17:25 (two years ago) Permalink

but no fear, the Republican Party is almost dead

we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 21 January 2016 17:28 (two years ago) Permalink

there's no way this entire debacle doesn't get reversed at some pt imo - either because of lawsuits or political pressure

Οὖτις, Friday, 22 January 2016 20:02 (two years ago) Permalink


Brian Eno's Mother (Latham Green), Friday, 22 January 2016 23:33 (two years ago) Permalink

I haven't posted or even been on ILX for a long time but this seems like a good time to decloak.

Naturally net-metering is important but providing parity payment is unsustainable and although the way it was handled in Nevada was utterly boneheaded it probably had to go in time. My understanding was that NV provided no-sunset for parity net metering payments and rather than closing the scheme for new installs pulled the rug from under existing owners. In a market with so many PPAs and people having bought into sola under assumptions of payback over time that was plain wrong.

Over here in Australia we've had all kinds of incentive scheme from Carbo based credits, generous (66c/kWh) and less generous gross metering, and net metering. Currently every new customer gets the carbon credit (Renewable Energy Target) up front and a net metering create of ~5c/kWh for the avoided wholesale cost of electricity. There is no credit for the avoided transmission and distribution costs and the benefit that that solar offers the network is not compensated for - that said the extra costs that solar customers (and those with big A/Cs and pools) impose not he network are not fairly distributed either.

All of this is leading to much more generous pricing and compensation models. We've had a regulatory process (called Power of Choice) which is leading to more cost reflective network pricing (Residential Demand Charges and or Time of Use) which will penalise A/C use and reduce the self-consumption benefit of solar (without storage). Further off It something I've been working on if the Local Generation Network Credit which is a proposed mechanism for compensating distributed generator owners for the value they do offer the network. It will go some way to recognise that solar on a residential zone sub at 2pm is not very useful but at 4pm it is very useful. There's a good description of the way it works in other jurisdictions in the briefing paper for one of the workshops I've been involved in.

The TL;DR on this: this shit is complicated

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Saturday, 23 January 2016 05:35 (two years ago) Permalink

thanks, gonna dig into that when I have time.

I am sympathetic to the "costs of distribution" argument in terms of reforming net metering, but as you note the retroactive penalty was where the PUC really fucked up in NV.

the 'major tom guy' (sleeve), Saturday, 23 January 2016 05:39 (two years ago) Permalink

CA PUC smarter than NV PUC:

Οὖτις, Thursday, 28 January 2016 20:11 (two years ago) Permalink

great news

the 'major tom guy' (sleeve), Thursday, 28 January 2016 21:29 (two years ago) Permalink

congress looking into some pre-emptive legislation forbidding retroactive net metering changes:

the 'major tom guy' (sleeve), Thursday, 4 February 2016 16:06 (two years ago) Permalink

Hope that passes, good on them. Murkowski being in charge is of course disgusting and counterproductive.

Οὖτις, Thursday, 4 February 2016 16:56 (two years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Ah but when everyone has a telsa powerwall the grid will no longer be of any concern!

Brian Eno's Mother (Latham Green), Thursday, 24 March 2016 13:43 (two years ago) Permalink

incorrect, those batteries don't store enough power to run a house, the stored power is used for peak shaving and load reduction

they also quietly discontinued the larger model last week:

cuz guess what? they are just too expensive.

the 'major tom guy' (sleeve), Thursday, 24 March 2016 14:16 (two years ago) Permalink

sad lol

someone really needs to crack this battery storage issue

Οὖτις, Thursday, 24 March 2016 19:44 (two years ago) Permalink

i'm probably going to do a solar lease. I know this doesn't give me the tax benefits purchase would do, but I already owe the IRS money so on a monthly basis leasing saves me more. I'm guessing that CA already worked out the issues that are plaguing NV and ruining the industry for them over there.

akm, Thursday, 24 March 2016 19:46 (two years ago) Permalink

recent CA PUC ruling preserving net metering is posted upthread

Οὖτις, Thursday, 24 March 2016 19:50 (two years ago) Permalink

oddly I JUST NOW got a CREDO email saying that they are challenging that. Fuckers.

akm, Thursday, 24 March 2016 19:53 (two years ago) Permalink

so not gonna happen

Οὖτις, Thursday, 24 March 2016 19:54 (two years ago) Permalink

good range of comments on that article

the late great, Thursday, 24 March 2016 20:07 (two years ago) Permalink

Galatians! lol

Οὖτις, Thursday, 24 March 2016 20:13 (two years ago) Permalink

the key is to convert solar power to heated magma to be used later!

Brian Eno's Mother (Latham Green), Friday, 25 March 2016 19:55 (two years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

Well that's neat

THE SKURJ OF FAKE NEWS. (kingfish), Wednesday, 14 December 2016 23:50 (one year ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

more trade war details for anyone who is interested

as I mentioned in the Global Warming thread, one of the big problems with all of this is that four years isn't a long enough window to actually build cell factories if the tariffs that make them cost-effective disappear after that point.

sleeve, Monday, 2 October 2017 17:50 (one year ago) Permalink

Circa 1980 I bought a Casio solar-powered calculator, just the kind that does basic arithmetic operations. It has only just now bit the dust, after providing me with 37 years of faithful service and not a single battery required, let alone daily recharging. It was perfection of its kind. Of course, with mobile phones now performing the same functions, I will never be able to replace it.

A is for (Aimless), Monday, 2 October 2017 23:07 (one year ago) Permalink

Ha! I have such a Casio, bought at about the same time, and it's still working fine.

nickn, Monday, 2 October 2017 23:18 (one year ago) Permalink

Mine was dropped once too often.

A is for (Aimless), Monday, 2 October 2017 23:24 (one year ago) Permalink

one month passes...

waiting for the penny to drop on Monday w/r/t tariffs or cell quotas

this speech does not bode well:

sleeve, Friday, 10 November 2017 17:04 (one year ago) Permalink

idk that reads like his usual empty bluster

Οὖτις, Friday, 10 November 2017 17:06 (one year ago) Permalink

and nothing specific about the solar tariff issue

Οὖτις, Friday, 10 November 2017 17:06 (one year ago) Permalink

I know, I'm just paranoid.

The ITC recommended like four different options, nobody has any idea what's going to happen and it's the uncertainty that's wearing on me

sleeve, Friday, 10 November 2017 17:08 (one year ago) Permalink

60 more days of misery, uncertainly, market disruption, and fear. This is the worst.

pv magazine staff has found no sources that can tell us more about this confidential report, and ITC staff has stated that a public version will be released at an unspecified later date. {...}

In other words, President Trump can do just about anything. There are precious few limitations, but these include that initial trade action can last four years (and be extended to up to eight years), and that tariffs are limited to 50% of the price of products “above the rate existing before the proclamation of action”.

This last detail may be more complex than it first appears. While all the commissioners who recommended import duties would have the tariff values calculated on the cost when solar products enter the nation, SolarWorld and Suniva have asked for duties equal to 50% of the prices during timeframes covering previous years when solar cells and modules were much more expensive.

Neither SolarWorld nor Suniva has done much to mitigate these proposals, which we at pv magazine feel are dangerous and unreasonable.

sleeve, Tuesday, 14 November 2017 18:39 (one year ago) Permalink


sleeve, Tuesday, 14 November 2017 18:40 (one year ago) Permalink


Οὖτις, Tuesday, 14 November 2017 18:43 (one year ago) Permalink

both of those companies can burn in hell, forever

so selfish and stupid

sleeve, Tuesday, 14 November 2017 18:44 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah it's rather remarkable

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 14 November 2017 19:02 (one year ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Other solar groups have stepped up to support the cause using social and advertising campaigns. A coalition of manufacturers, U.S. Made Solar, has been running TV advertisements during shows that President Trump watches regularly, such as Fox & Friends.

sleeve, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 01:18 (ten months ago) Permalink

we'll know within two weeks, probably. good article.

sleeve, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 01:18 (ten months ago) Permalink

30% tariff, could have been worse, hopefully Solar World and Suniva die now

sleeve, Tuesday, 23 January 2018 01:44 (ten months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

well looks like Solar World found a way out

sleeve, Wednesday, 18 April 2018 17:07 (seven months ago) Permalink

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.