Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
NovicePrepper

Would Solar Power be a good alternative to power a home if SHTF?

50 posts in this topic

Solar power is a great source of energy,all depends in how much you really need and are willing to do without,you must do lots of math.

 

Oh no my 6th grade teacher WAS right math IS important to surviving! Obliviously no one will be ale to to live a "modern" lifestyle post power grid but I think putting a few solar panels away in a big tin box would not be the worst of ideas. But like so many great ideas that I would love to do this one will have to wait just to f'n broke

juzcallmesnake likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Generators can be expensive to keep your electrically powered home running.

 

So I was wondering, do any preppers here have houses than run on solar power or the majority of the house runs on solar power?

 

I would like to know if it is expensive, and if solar power is a good and cheaper alternative to electric power.

 

One last thing, do you guys think Solar Power would be powerful enough to keep a home running in a SHTF scenario?

 

Hi NP,

 

The majority of my house's electrical power needs will run on solar and wind in combination eventually. Not there yet. I think it's always best to spread your risks and have a variety of power alternatives to cover your critical power needs: Heating and water heating just for example; wood stove/boiler, solar water heater system, electric heater and electric blankets..... Even if you can't afford the most expensive systems, at least cover yourself with several cheaper alternatives.

 

Yes, it will expensive to power your entire house from solar. Adding to what others have said solar has advantages and disadvantages. I believe the biggest advantages are as follows:

 

Does not require any fuels

Quiet, will not draw attention with noise

Very reliable power source if set up correctly compared to internal combustion gens

Excellent choice for longer term electrical power needs.

 

Solar power could be powerful enough to cover your home needs during an SHFT but as others have said it depends on the needs. Best to calculate what these needs will be before investing. Again, I cannot stress enough to use a combination of power alternatives.

 

Here is some guidance from the folks at other power:

 

http://www.otherpower.com/otherpower_solar.html

 

Hope it helps.

 

Wolfe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would agree that Solar has it's advantages and disadvantages. However, the biggest problem with gas/propane/diesel gens is by far fuel. You would need to either run it very sparingly to get you by a few months or just accept that you may never use the gen again after you exhaust your fuel supply. Next, running that genny is going to give away your location pretty quick....

 

A solar generator does not need gas/propane, etc., it makes no noise and it can be just as portable as a gas gen, even more so because you don't need to drag fuel with it.

 

This company offers a portable model that can run big stuff individually like fridges and sump pumps at least 8 hours straight (on battery alone) and little electronics in combination for days and also workshop tools long enough to get stuff done. Said the battery is good for 6 years but even 3 years of power after the grid goes down permanently would be well worth it:

 

http://www.mysolarbackup.com/

 

Anybody have this or used it?

 

Wolfe

 

Stay away from mysolarbackup.com and the Harbor Freight solar kits! It is a waste of money and resources. You can build a better system at 1/2 that price. Look at: http://www.solar1234.com or http://www.battery1234.com (this link has the Mobile Battery Bank with plans and videos). Steve shows you how to power your home with things you wouldn't believe. It is IMHO awesome information that you can used and adapt it to your needs, especially the mobile battery bank!

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]1736[/ATTACH]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

better forget about electricity or showing any light or anything that looters might notice, for at least a year post shtf.  You're going to suffer immensely, or not make it. Face the reality of that. Nobody had any electricity 150 years ago and as recently as 70 years ago, much of the US had none. Most of the world's population still doesn't, actually. it's not the end of life to be without electricity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're meeting May 1st with a solar company for a site assessment, and free quote.

Based on the current research I have done, the cost of a solar panel today is around $3 per watt, and the extra cost of installation brings costs up to $5- $6 per watt. There is a federal tax credit of 30% for solar (and wind) systems set-up by Dec. 31, 2019. After this time, the credit decreases to 26% and is further reduced every year thereafter. If you don't use the full tax credit amount in that tax year, then it can be rolled into the next year. Also, each state has its own credits or benefits. For example, where I live, there is no sales tax on any materials purchased related to alternative energy.

Another cost thing to consider is whether or not your property is feeding energy back into the grid. If so, the power company has to pay you for your energy you generate. The down side to this, is if they don't need your power, they don't buy it from you and no extra money comes your way. At this time, they aren't storing it! Dumb...but that's another issue. So that could be an income stream once your solar (or wind) system is paid off.

Based on my calculations...IF we ran every single thing in our home including the AC... on an off-grid system, we'd be looking at a $30k up-front cost for labor and materials (if we paid someone to do it for us). However, based on the tax credits, and reduced electrical bills...we would make that back in 9ish years. This would be everything though, I realize in a SHTF situation, we'd want power for the septic, well, fridge, stove, and maybe a few lights. We have a generator. The house has LP. But all that runs out eventually. Solar and wind are forever. Also, I would only do this if it were our "forever home." We plan on being here until we die and the hubby is turning 40 this summer. I am younger than him. So, if we are here for decades, then spending that much seems feasible, especially since it goes way further and is more helpful to the home and family's well-being than a kitchen or bath remodel.

I don't actually see the cost of solar as a burden...the costs have come way down in the past decade. In fact, for me, I think the biggest burden would be the up-keep of the system and the longevity of the system and its panels and batteries (run $350-$650 each depending on size). They will need replacing - these store generated energy for use during night or cloudy days. As for the panels:

"Most solar panels used in home solar arrays come with a warranty for some 25 or 30 years, which means that the solar panels are guaranteed for decades, unlike many of the other goods we buy. And again unlike many other consumer goods, they don’t ‘give up the ghost’ at the end of their warranty period and need to be replaced, but continue to still produce clean electricity, although at a slightly less efficiency each year. In fact, some decidedly old-school solar cells have been producing electricity daily for about 40 years or so, and are expected to continue to power homes and businesses for decades more.

According to a study undertaken by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) a few years ago, which looked at the ‘photovoltaic degradation’ rates of some 2000 solar installations, the average solar panel loses about half of a percentage point (0.5%) of efficiency per year, which means that a panel at the end of its 25-year warranty period should still be operating at about 88% of its original capacity. However, not every panel will see degradation rates as high as 0.5%, as shown by this 30+ year old solar panel, which outperforms its original specs, even after decades in the sun."

There is a learning curve with that. Not impossible, but just something ELSE to know.

Another option we're considering is wind since we have a lot of it rolling over the fields. The drawback there is the maintenance of something 80+ feet in the air...however, it may be less expensive to install than solar. A hybrid system is another option.

Solar is becoming more and more common. Our local hospital has a solar garden nearby. Churches and schools are using it. As this occurs, costs are decreasing. The question becomes...how long does one wait...because how long do we have?

Of all I found, I thought this site was the best and most comprehensive for info gathering. It even has free energy calculators. It's a wholesale site, so yes, they are into sales, but for the research phase, it is very helpful.

https://www.wholesalesolar.com/

Drew_Forge, DonDon and Butler Ford like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A grid tie system eliminating battery bank cost and maintenance if your concerned with power outage I would suggest a diesel generator with the capacity to run our entire home over a battery bank as destructive storms floods and high winds can compromise the battery  system unless you have some skills batteries can be trouble as well as the components the grid tie system hooks into the power grid and you pay what it not made by your system as far as I can understand it check you state laws and local utility to make sure as to how what and if they allow or have a long term agreement with home owners that generate power through solar generation.  it would be expensive to find that it could change over time as laws do like the tax deduction.

One other thought is to have a multiplicity of ways to run / operate your home like natural gas propane 12 volt DC back up generator etc as if one system is disabled or  cut. I have a 12 volt system built in to my home it can e powered by a vehicle or battery I also have a tie in to plug in my generator my oven and range run on gas I have a bar-b-q pit and outdoor range runs off gas as well as camping stove and lights that run off propane also a Fresnel panel that can create 2000+ degrees with sunlight. Why because living in hurricane alley you never know what you'll be forced to deal with and for how long las time it was 11 days I faired fine my neighbors not so well.  Not to mention if you have to bug out all that is not portable.

Another issue is what backs the loan is it leveraged by your home ? if your going to pay cash it is not a concern but if we are gong to deal with a financial meltdown as many have been saying like one well known senator IMHO I would rather have my home paid for than a loan of Damocles hanging over my head. I know it is a popular term but very untrue that your a home owner once you move in nothing is further from the truth and even when you have your title taxes have driven people out of their home by all the taxes I think the fancy term is downsizing or living under a bridge being called alternative housing. None of us plan on illness or loss of jobs or downturns in the economy children are another surprise never can tell what expense or legal costs you will have to shell out and they are children for life it is not like you can give up or hand them off ........... so imagine what your life will be in 20 30 or more years and look to others experiences to guide you.

wally likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, juzcallmesnake said:

A grid tie system eliminating battery bank cost and maintenance if your concerned with power outage I would suggest a diesel generator with the capacity to run our entire home over a battery bank as destructive storms floods and high winds can compromise the battery  system unless you have some skills batteries can be trouble as well as the components the grid tie system hooks into the power grid and you pay what it not made by your system as far as I can understand it check you state laws and local utility to make sure as to how what and if they allow or have a long term agreement with home owners that generate power through solar generation.  it would be expensive to find that it could change over time as laws do like the tax deduction.

One other thought is to have a multiplicity of ways to run / operate your home like natural gas propane 12 volt DC back up generator etc as if one system is disabled or  cut. I have a 12 volt system built in to my home it can e powered by a vehicle or battery I also have a tie in to plug in my generator my oven and range run on gas I have a bar-b-q pit and outdoor range runs off gas as well as camping stove and lights that run off propane also a Fresnel panel that can create 2000+ degrees with sunlight. Why because living in hurricane alley you never know what you'll be forced to deal with and for how long las time it was 11 days I faired fine my neighbors not so well.  Not to mention if you have to bug out all that is not portable.

Another issue is what backs the loan is it leveraged by your home ? if your going to pay cash it is not a concern but if we are gong to deal with a financial meltdown as many have been saying like one well known senator IMHO I would rather have my home paid for than a loan of Damocles hanging over my head. I know it is a popular term but very untrue that your a home owner once you move in nothing is further from the truth and even when you have your title taxes have driven people out of their home by all the taxes I think the fancy term is downsizing or living under a bridge being called alternative housing. None of us plan on illness or loss of jobs or downturns in the economy children are another surprise never can tell what expense or legal costs you will have to shell out and they are children for life it is not like you can give up or hand them off ........... so imagine what your life will be in 20 30 or more years and look to others experiences to guide you.

If we did this, we would pay cash.

The only debt we have is our mortgage - yes, to a bank, (no car or student loans, or CC debts), which is around 63% loan to value (LTV), and gets significant principle payments as well as extra payments every year in the routine payment schedule. It's a 30-year term, at a very low rate, but will be paid off well before that.

IF it got tight, there are family resources available and we could pay off the bank and simply do a private loan with the people lending to us (both my and my husband's parents). Worst case...we'd drain some of the retirement funds and take all the penalties.

As you pointed out, there are certainly numerous options. I guess the goal in the near-term would be to use the solar and benefit from the reduced costs in monthly bills, which run an annual average of $150 per month. Since we plan to be here indefinitely, after the system was paid for, then (and now) we can benefit from the solar power for SHTF.

From my understanding, the battery bank is stored indoors out of the elements and it's the array (or panels) which are exposed. If we are in SHTF and a huge storm comes by and rips our roof off, then yes, the panels would go too - but we'd have far greater issues with no roof over our heads - anything is possible, but we are not in tornado alley.

We are on a windy site, and last summer had a massive storm system come in with 70 mph sustained winds. Roof was fine. The prevailing winds here come from N or NW, and the panels would be on the south side of the roof, which the upper peak of the roof giving protection. We also do not have any large trees near the home that would damage the roof/panels.

juzcallmesnake and wally like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎4‎/‎29‎/‎2017 at 1:37 PM, wally said:

another guy on a different forum has his wind power on a pole that he can bring down to ground level when he needs to work on it. it swivels downward for easy access like a pedulum

We have a friend in the Midwest who has his turbine on a pole that can be raised and lowered. I should email him...

wally and juzcallmesnake like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you have done your homework batteries inside are not a good idea it need to be in a separate building I would go as far as to have a reinforced all that faces your home anyone that has witnessed a battery storage go up you want some separation and a blast wall to help direct problems away from your home.

It is not the problem if your system has some damage as technology will help shunt the voltage lightening is not predictable and has the destructive power to jump equipment .

Batteries are expensive it is best to use 6 volt golf cart batteries as they have a very deep charge / amp hours and have a long life over their counterparts using distilled water to keep dissolved minerals out / from of the cells shortens the battery life the charge controller keeps the water from being over charged / boiling out the water make sure the inverter can carry the load your planning on.

The reason I explained a iesel generator is heat or air conditioning it takes so much amperage the system and battery bank would be way more expensive as far as generators look up a equipment auctions and look for a light plant / pull behind light bar generator like you see on highway work sites. as it is portable most at auction have mangled light bars who cares what you check is the motor and power generation with a meter / tester. any meters wiring if the light bar works all the better.

Ask the difference between running or if the system can run dryer air stove oven conditioner/s or amperage of heaters and for how long / hours per day IE capacity of the total system to operate heavy appliances remembering that sunlight is not a controllable phenomenon here we had a week of overcast and drizzling rain.also winter hours of sun are reduced. If your place is large enough to need a tractor you need one in the high 30's to 40+ horse power to run a generator stubb on it and most are very fuel efficient many hours on a few gallons of diesel and diesel is more stable for long term storage over gas with good stabilizer.   

wally likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, juzcallmesnake said:

you have done your homework batteries inside are not a good idea it need to be in a separate building I would go as far as to have a reinforced all that faces your home anyone that has witnessed a battery storage go up you want some separation and a blast wall to help direct problems away from your home.

It is not the problem if your system has some damage as technology will help shunt the voltage lightening is not predictable and has the destructive power to jump equipment .

Batteries are expensive it is best to use 6 volt golf cart batteries as they have a very deep charge / amp hours and have a long life over their counterparts using distilled water to keep dissolved minerals out / from of the cells shortens the battery life the charge controller keeps the water from being over charged / boiling out the water make sure the inverter can carry the load your planning on.

The reason I explained a iesel generator is heat or air conditioning it takes so much amperage the system and battery bank would be way more expensive as far as generators look up a equipment auctions and look for a light plant / pull behind light bar generator like you see on highway work sites. as it is portable most at auction have mangled light bars who cares what you check is the motor and power generation with a meter / tester. any meters wiring if the light bar works all the better.

Ask the difference between running or if the system can run dryer air stove oven conditioner/s or amperage of heaters and for how long / hours per day IE capacity of the total system to operate heavy appliances remembering that sunlight is not a controllable phenomenon here we had a week of overcast and drizzling rain.also winter hours of sun are reduced. If your place is large enough to need a tractor you need one in the high 30's to 40+ horse power to run a generator stubb on it and most are very fuel efficient many hours on a few gallons of diesel and diesel is more stable for long term storage over gas with good stabilizer.   

Of course, all good points! Thanks. We're building a shed/out building. It will be wired, so we could place the batteries in there and not in the home. 

I completely agree about overcast being an issue, which is why I want to look into hybrid systems (solar and wind). We have a lot of wind, as I mentioned previously. A few homes have turbines around here - small ones. I keep thinking I should bring hubby and go ask them about their wind systems. As a side story, some of the best info we ever get when we have moved to a new neighborhood is asking the neighbors, "What's it like to live here?" They tell all the stuff real estate agents are bound by law from saying. When you roll up with hubby, kids and the family car, people are not "scared" if you knock on their front door and are generally pleased to be helpful and "meet" potential new neighbors. Anyway...I digress.

The trouble with wind for us would be our land is a long rectangle, nearly 7 acres with a creek at the south end, but there are also neighbors on either side of us. Our township's laws for wind turbines is that they have to be 1.5 times the height of the turbine away from any property line or easement. So, if we have a 80' pole, it has to be 120' feet in all directions from the property lines, etc.. The pole, to do its job, has to be placed in the best spot to get the least turbulence (disruption to air flow from obstacles such as trees and buildings). Wind is a huge question mark. It might mean asking the township for an exception to the rule...bleh.

For the time being, our only "tractor" is a John Deere riding mower that can pull our 5' x 8' trailer and mow the lawn. It's unlikely for the foreseeable future that a larger tractor is in the cards - due to our current lack of need for one. However, since husband grew up on a farm, driving tractors, and combines, etc., I don't think he would be opposed to getting one down the road.

With a generator, isn't noise an issue? And, it still requires diesel, which for now, we are not set up to manage. I think a previous poster just mentioned doing solar to run a few things in the home...for us that would be the necessities, of the well, septic, stove, and fridge. If it were a short-term power outage, we could go without our home's radon mitigation system, but if a longer term outage, I would want the solar to run that system. And, if in the winter, we would want to run an electric space heater in one room.

At this point, with what came into play with cost and distance, we wanted our home to have a wood-burning FP. But this one is run on LP and we settled for that because of everything else being met on our "want" list. Gas guy who came to the house when we moved in, said in an emergency if we took the face off the FP, the pilot light would actually do a decent job of heating up our family room if we covered the windows. But once the LP is gone...

But, as you point out potential troubles and work-arounds, it causes me to think more on all of this and that's how the best plans are laid. Thanks.  

wally likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are small wind generators for sail boats make about 400 watts sounds small but you do not have to go 80 foot and you can daisy chain them into a charge controller it one bites it you not out a bank roll only  3 or 4 hundred. large wind generators also can be noisy as to the blade whip not the unit itself I would ask to see / hear whatever you decide on before you buy.

they can be like a weather vane on buildings they kick out when the wind is too high so it will not fly apart.  In fact I would scatter the systems to a barn with a couple batteries out building with the same your home one on each end etc that way you have numerous back ups. each building is an island so no one part can take down the whole.

Trojan are the 6 volt batteries many use they are 6 volt so 2 to get 12 volt but mucho amp hours.

because you have so many acres you probably need a tractor and a generator stub is a cheap add on and most have a 10 KW rating.

so you would have 3 ways solar wind and a diesel tractor w/ gernerator stub

MommyLiberty5013 and wally like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are currently researching which wind generator we will be putting on our property to augment or recharge the solar panel batteries. We will not and have not applied for the federal tax credits/state credits, because we want to be as "grey" as possible for the time being. We have a shed guy coming on Friday that builds stellar sheds(have seen his work personally) at a fraction of the kit costs, and he's local. Want one shed for tool/equipment storage and another as backup sleeping accommodations emergency shelter when things get dicey later on.

Still working on the new basement plans and trying to work around the city planning permit process, it will be a basement addition, as opposed to a whole new one....we shall see.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TPSnodgrass said:

We are currently researching which wind generator we will be putting on our property to augment or recharge the solar panel batteries. We will not and have not applied for the federal tax credits/state credits, because we want to be as "grey" as possible for the time being. We have a shed guy coming on Friday that builds stellar sheds(have seen his work personally) at a fraction of the kit costs, and he's local. Want one shed for tool/equipment storage and another as backup sleeping accommodations emergency shelter when things get dicey later on.

Still working on the new basement plans and trying to work around the city planning permit process, it will be a basement addition, as opposed to a whole new one....we shall see.

 

Grey = good. Our state is very liberal and into green energy so it wouldn't draw too much attention our way regarding tax credits as it's kinda becoming common around our area for residences to have solar. It's great for us though bc the back of the house where panels would go isn't viewable from the road and no one is behind us beyond the creek (all fields and woodland)...private. Being gravel and not a widely-traveled road we're on helps too. 

Are you doing a tiny home sort of concept?

wally likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grey is a non issue technology can scan deep in ground and is active 24/7 not to explain to deeply but the moment you put up a panel or connect to the grid etc it's on like donkey kong.  even if your not connected it can be accessed the potential of your system and other methods can extrapolate the usage. The sine wave of any power use generation knows if it is AC DC amps volts or phase.

Imagine a sub under water it can acoustically KNOW what is in proximity to it size shape propulsion speed depth etc etc etc.  that technology is 40 years old B)

This ain't your grand daddies world anymore it can be known by resonance harmonics motor speed amp draw if you grind your own coffee. depends on your meters they can tell when you shower if you live in an area with cameras when you come and go if you draw their interest or ire ! many a grow house was busted by power usage infrared can see what your growing pot glows wonderful green. "they" know  many "things" but pick & choose.

If anyone has bought with a credit card had it delivered or gave ship or pickup "they" know  I can view my place from overhead and front all other sides are shielded except for scans and those cannot be stopped if you got crazy bronze screen your hole attic and walls but then you could not use a mobile phone inside.  You defeat he "Faraday" effect by penetrating it with a telephone wire or cable there are other issues but if your raided wall and floor scans are an option for the power that be.

People that are stupid enough to place a POD in your home may as well live in a glass house with a speaker projecting into the street with a live video feed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've dug into this a bit more...

People considering wind power should check into the 3rd party ratings produced by the Small Wind Certification Council. Unfortunately, numerous residential users who have installed wind turbines (from a variety of makers) in recent years are generating far less power than the manufacturers and installers claimed they would.

The problem is not generally with the mechanicals themselves (rotor, etc.), but rather improper site placement, improper height, and also not doing an accurate wind study to ensure the site can generate the power needed/desired.

I would check up your state's solar and/or wind studies to learn more about what type of site you're in and I would look up something called: flagging.

Since our meeting with the solar power guy is tomorrow, I wanted to educate myself on some terms and learned more about batteries used in PV systems.

I found this helpful article: https://www.homepower.com/articles/solar-electricity/equipment-products/lithium-ion-batteries-grid-systems

 

 

wally and juzcallmesnake like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi. I have info to share on our solar visit on the 3rd, but not enough time to type it out right now. So...it's coming! 

Overall, I find certain aspects of the solar industry woefully inadequate and I'm shocked we aren't more advanced on some aspects of solar technology. 

more to come...

juzcallmesnake and wally like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just my personal opinion I would rather have a older "dumb" diesel generator 40 HP or better it would cost less not effected by EMP anymore than solar panels and peripheral equipment.

anyway I have viewed it electricity from the utility company is dirt cheap solar is prepaying for it figure the cost and divide that into monthly bills and I came up with NOT MUCH difference as If I invested that same money instead of prepaying for electricity I would be even up in 20 years up the road.  at which I would have to start replacing failing panels of course if you have batteries your replacing them from 4 years to 10 depending on how well their maintained and OH HELL if your inverter dies thats a chunk of change, SO I decided solar was good to support outbuildings as a backup lighting solution and since it cannot run heavy draw items like a dryer or central heating or air-conditioning all i needed was a way to generate 2500 to 4500 watts for a couple of weeks in any disaster you would have to have a battery bank to store your power and it would be good long term s long as what caused the problem was not an EMP.

Well it is all a crap shoot or it is all good just don't bet the farm on any system especially a single system   one way to save money is a geothermal heating cooling system efficient appliances LED lighting upgrade insulation windows and caulk you can really stem the waste of electrical bills then figure what you can afford and spend that in solar and wind  I changed to LEDS and saved 40 bucks a month over incandescent bulbs I even use them outside and although they are not exterior rated they have yet to fail of course they are under eaves / cover.

So what I am explaining for anyone looking to start a energy alternative solution start with what uses the power and work out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's what we learned from the May 3rd PV site assessment/visit/quote.

Our home is a great candidate for either a roof or a ground mount; the rep got up on our roof and took light readings.

All in, doing a PV system without batteries would cost $28,250. Currently, with the 30% federal tax credit and a $4,000 rebate given by our electrical utility, along with our ability to generate power for the utility, we would be able to pay off this PV system in 9.5 years. This is exactly as I assumed. Also our state has no sales tax on any PV materials.

On full power, our home costs, on average, $1,800 annually to operate. With this cost and considering a 4% annual increase in cost of electric power (which it has trended at over the past years) over the next 25 years, a PV system installed today would save us around $75,000 over that same time period.

Those are the basic numbers.

People do PV systems for 3 main reasons. 1. Going green. 2. Saving money. 3. Wanting to not be beholden to the grid. Husband and I primarily fall into category 3, but are also impacted by category 2.

Here's where it all crumbles...

The only way to have direct power in the day time from the array is to draw it from the batteries. As Snake mentioned - the options are lithium-ion or marine. The newest L-ion, are not very popular yet, so one would hate to be a guinea pig. Plus they run $5,000 EACH and that's not including installation. The two main companies to make them are Tesla (eh.) and a German company called Sonnenbatterie. To go full power on our home, we would need 4 or 5 L-ion batteries. At $8,500 each to buy and install, that's just too cost-prohibitive. Plus, while the L-ion batteries have a life of 10 years, and outshine the marine batteries in that way, they are only rated to temperatures of -4, which is a joke considering the low temps in my state. And, of course, there is the safety issue of L-ion (re: fires and explosions). Marine batteries get sluggish in cold and they have a much shorter life span. Eh all around.

In the current PV market landscape, a home owner cannot draw power DIRECTLY from the array in the daylight, unless batteries are in the system. Therefore, a home cannot be off-grid without batteries.

CAVEAT: There is an inverter called the Sonny Boy and it takes DC current generated from the array, converts it to AC current, and sends it into a single dedicated wall outlet in the home, which the home owner can turn on, as needed. The outlet maxes out at 1,500 watts and switches off automatically if the load exceeds 1,500 watts.

Currently, this is the only way to avoid batteries in the system. And if a home had several of them - such as a dedicated outlet in the kitchen, one in the mechanical room, and another for ancillaries, then a home could have power to important loads, but only in daylight conditions (could be ideal for powering up the coffee pot, well pump, and maybe the washing machine). And, each inverter would need to have its own PV panels tied to it. Another drawback of them is their size. A mechanical space would probably easily adjust to one, but one for the kitchen would mean giving up pantry or cabinet space.

The company we met with, has over 3,400 projects they oversee in this tri-state area. The projects are in various stages, with most being completed and those completed ones being monitored by their electronics to see how effectively they are operating. Their monitoring a home's system is a $500 cost. So, one could eliminate that feature if one chose.

What was interesting was seeing the rep pull up other PV systems in the area and seeing, in real time, what they were using and generating. But, all of these systems are grid-tied. They generate power, send it to the utility and basically buy back their power at a lower rate - thus this is where the cost savings comes in.

But, my question is, what is preventing the power utility from jacking up the costs so high that it takes longer than 9.5 years to recoup the costs of the initial system? And the hugest drawback is without batteries or this Sunny Boy inverter, if the utility loses power, due to weather or an "event," your home is without power too. So you've put in a $$$ system and have NO use of it whatsoever...seems foolhardy to me.

But then one could argue in putting in the system to save the money after 9.5 years and adding the batteries OR maybe a new product to hit the PV market, at a later date.

So that's where we sit.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the carrot on the stick routine the laws change and what you thought was a good deal is an albatross around your neck (financially).

Consumerism drives our nation and it puts food on the table for many families BUT the rub is that it takes more contracts today to make the same money as years previous to live the lifestyle as before it is all a moving target.

Solar is not by itself an or the answer Geothermal has to play a major part as heating and cooling are the largest consumers of power a proper Geothermal system pumps 70 +or- degree air year round.

changing your refrigerator to a 12 volt / propane / gas one eliminates your need for the grid and people can recycle sewer / septic  gas to operate one  in gas mode. 

For out buildings if you need or want heat I say look to to rocket stove mass heaters remember that in these ANY fuel like grass dried cow chips leaf litter and twigs work just fine.

as far as high priced li-ion batteries hell no as I stated Trojan lead acid are the best value cost time in service and load capacity over anything except nickel iron that the phone company used to use but those were 2 volts and huge but they could run for months as they had a deep charge.

I would advise anyone looking to lower their electricity bill to first change their thinking to look for heaters and AC units and appliances that cut your bill  keeping a low SEER rated appliance and building your solar system to run it throws good money after bad OR the vampire sucking your blood your giving him a transfusion so he will get full quicker and not suck you dry so fast but any solar system will require major financial investment just as your reaching your retirement / golden years and as we see now people are reverse mortgaging their homes to remain in them after they retire if your health goes of either of you and or your children are not able to help and we see that the middle class is on life support --- this is why my advise counters the so called knowledgeable gurus out there aslo your adding a huge debt on top of any other debts and in 5 years some batteries will need to be changed then 10 then 15 and here is 20 years and each year after some panels may need to be replaced then there is other parts of the system then there is the issue of storm damage hail and high winds what and if the insurance companies decide to alter their stance on replacement and do like the battery companies do and pro rate the panels and the rest of the system or as I call it,  "pencil f*ck you"  OH I have full coverage for whatever and once you need to use the insurance you find it was not as full as you thought !

I am the king of getting f*cked from experience I can tell you your lied to from the day your born ask any 50's child when did they tell you when you were getting SS ??? now they say 66 to 70 years old for full benefits but give illegal aliens your sh*T now they have a program to give Syrians 1,700 a month and food stamps health care and housing LMAO  NO ONE KNOWS what will happen in 1 year much less the life of a solar system our moneys value compared to a 1960 dollar is 2 cents what will it be when you need to fix your system .05 cents and will power be more expensive your chasing a wild jackass our grid is ancient cannot handle EMP and any "SYSTEM" that cannot stand alone is a dead dog counting on power / electricity in a shituation is like counting on a crackhead to help find your wallet.

EMP is the TOP threat to the U.S. next is local terror but the real 800 pound gorilla in the room is a political upheaval of civil war proportions and a real possibility of a overthrow of everything we know and as soon as unrest on a national scale gives a chance we will want to be in Venezuela instead of here........if you think I am wearing a tin hat look at Boston Chicago retirement grabs in Houston and many cities in Commiefornia look at the Dow dropping that is a sign of players betting on a correction there has been noise from the hill about changing the laws on IRA's and 401K plans as well as Roth's this country is in financial quicksand and planning beyond something you can buy cash and not add to debt is unwise IMHO.

MommyLiberty5013 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Financially, anything taking longer than 3-4 years to recoup is considered a poor investment due to the time value of money. Now, going solar may not be a totally financial reason for some folks, so maybe 9 years to recoup is no bother. Husband has written it off. I'm a bit more open to the Sonny Boy inverter idea as a portion of an overall energy plan in SHTF namely for a quiet option and for the well pump in particular.

juzcallmesnake likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your well IS the important thing,  consider a windmill pump as it is passive and requires NO electricity I would advise pumping into a tank then overflow into a animal trough for watering the garden yard the tank can then have a 12 volt pump good diaphragm pumps maintain pressure like in an RV if you want more pressure a elevated cistern as well if you have gutters a septic tank used for storage and you can use that as garden watering needs and it is easy to mount a pitcher pump over it.

I do ask everyone to reconsider electricity as it is a convenience that has become a addiction when I was a kid a soda was a treat now it is all most people drink  it may come in other forms like energy drinks coffees teas but it is NOT WATER.  The evolution of power to become our life instead of augment our life is part of the trouble. 

I love power and convenience I love technology and all the other vices but we are not prepping for civil war with electricity or foreign invasion or internal takeover with benefits of running water easy access to food electricity and  unlimited wifi !

No nation can bring the U.S. down not even the surrogate terrorists BUT ur stupidity can and our weak ling is the grid and our use of Electricity Russia has a new ultra fast missile called the Satan II China has almmost the same as they stole everything in the 80's North Korea has the means I won't get into it but you do not need a missile to take a weapon to a target.

since our grids are connected I think there are 7 locals when a event happens most groups of connected states have a blackout . If we have  EMP pulse it would happen so fast as before many stations could react the overflow or stack would fall taking all the connected grids with it. Texas has its own Grid but as anyone could see a storm takes it out without to much trouble.

To explain electricity as I see it it tis a whore with no morals it is kept in check only because of MONEY AND EQUIPMENT a simple break in a wire can cause a fire short the system cause a failure. It goes to ground and anyone or anything in the way is destroyed or damaged it goes both ways cannot stand a stronger force is self destructive and when you really need it it is never around.

 

 

 

 

MommyLiberty5013 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, juzcallmesnake said:

Your well IS the important thing,  consider a windmill pump as it is passive and requires NO electricity I would advise pumping into a tank then overflow into a animal trough for watering the garden yard the tank can then have a 12 volt pump good diaphragm pumps maintain pressure like in an RV if you want more pressure a elevated cistern as well if you have gutters a septic tank used for storage and you can use that as garden watering needs and it is easy to mount a pitcher pump over it.

I do ask everyone to reconsider electricity as it is a convenience that has become a addiction when I was a kid a soda was a treat now it is all most people drink  it may come in other forms like energy drinks coffees teas but it is NOT WATER.  The evolution of power to become our life instead of augment our life is part of the trouble. 

I love power and convenience I love technology and all the other vices but we are not prepping for civil war with electricity or foreign invasion or internal takeover with benefits of running water easy access to food electricity and  unlimited wifi !

No nation can bring the U.S. down not even the surrogate terrorists BUT ur stupidity can and our weak ling is the grid and our use of Electricity Russia has a new ultra fast missile called the Satan II China has almmost the same as they stole everything in the 80's North Korea has the means I won't get into it but you do not need a missile to take a weapon to a target.

since our grids are connected I think there are 7 locals when a event happens most groups of connected states have a blackout . If we have  EMP pulse it would happen so fast as before many stations could react the overflow or stack would fall taking all the connected grids with it. Texas has its own Grid but as anyone could see a storm takes it out without to much trouble.

To explain electricity as I see it it tis a whore with no morals it is kept in check only because of MONEY AND EQUIPMENT a simple break in a wire can cause a fire short the system cause a failure. It goes to ground and anyone or anything in the way is destroyed or damaged it goes both ways cannot stand a stronger force is self destructive and when you really need it it is never around.

 

 

 

 

I agree. Life will have to be without electricity - we rely on it too heavily, but oh how awesome it is.

juzcallmesnake and wally like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0