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  • Solar Powah!

    This sort of flows on from the Kyoto thread, but thought I'd start a new one to save cluttering the other one up even more.

    Is solar power currently viable in residential applications? I'm not talking about generating 100% of a households power needs from solar, but I'm talking about generating a reasonable chunk of power from cells on the roof or whatever.

    Last I heard was on some ABC doco not long ago which said it would cost about $15,000 to have the quality/amount of solar cells required to generate ALL the power a normal house should need.

    Obviously this is not absolutely economically viable at the moment, because coal is still so cheap. However if someone wanted to go down this path, what would you do? and who would you go to?

    cheers

  • #2
    I looked into this a little while ago at one of those hippy eco green fairs that are held from time to time. It was going to cost around $25k (after subsidies) for our house (but we have a pool so reasonably high energy needs).

    The ROI was going to be around 30 years so decided that it was not viable for us to add that sort of money to our mortgage. If you are planning on staying in your property that long it would probably be worth it.

    On the quality side it all looked a bit cobbled together for my liking.

    I think it is probably the way of the future but it is still in the 'early adopter' stage at the moment. I am sure that the costs will come down and if it is going to be viable anywhere then Perth has got to be high on the list.

    If it was going to be $10k with a 10-15 year ROI I might consider it.
    Adventure before Dementia

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    • #3
      yeah I was thinking that if the prices got down to say $10,000 or less, then throw in some fairly substantial government subsidies/incentives and you'd start to get people doing it.

      Also, if price was down to $10,000 then imagine the price that bulk builders (ie Dale Alcock) could get it for.

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      • #4
        I think $15K would refer to the price to power a "normal house" after the $8K (I think) rebate from the Government Photovoltaic Rebate Scheme. I did the sums on my place and you break even around 18-20 years in the current cost base. Barely economic in my case, but there ya go. If I was cashed-up, I would probably do it in a heartbeat.

        A large installation is 20 panel generating around 100 watts per panel, with inverters built into each panel and connected in groups of 4. Check out BPSolar for info, or do a search on "Plug and Power".

        If we start to see some serious govt subsidies, then it may become economic, but I wouldn't like to stump up more than $5-7K with my current situation.
        Dead Man's Hand
        Internationational Porter Protection Group
        Just call me Pat

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        • #5
          The one thing they dont tell you is the panels and batteries require replacement throughout the life of the system. Panels at roughly 10 years and batteries at between 2 & 5. Once you run the sums on that side of things, viability becomes an issue.
          In complete darkness we are all the same. It is only our knowledge and wisdom that seperate us. Dont let your eyes deceive you.
          Its the little things that make the difference
          Originally posted by IPIT on relationships
          If either/both of you can take a dump with the other person being next to you within a week of meeting them then you're in with a VERY good chance.

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          • #6
            Yeah I fully understand that its not comparable to current electricity prices and that its really only for "enthusiasts".

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            • #7
              We have solar heating...and also are about to connect up a solar panel for our pool.

              My hubby picked up the panels for free from the quokka...and had to replace the insulation/gyprock sheets...but the solar panels themselves are in A1 condition.
              Originally posted by Red_is_Best
              hahah I hate it when they do that and you make some noises like you had it done just last year, then they give you that look, like you are a bad vagina owner and you should take better care of it!

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              • #8
                Not for water Col for electricity.
                In complete darkness we are all the same. It is only our knowledge and wisdom that seperate us. Dont let your eyes deceive you.
                Its the little things that make the difference
                Originally posted by IPIT on relationships
                If either/both of you can take a dump with the other person being next to you within a week of meeting them then you're in with a VERY good chance.

                Comment


                • #9
                  *shrugs* Hey...im doing my little bit.
                  Originally posted by Red_is_Best
                  hahah I hate it when they do that and you make some noises like you had it done just last year, then they give you that look, like you are a bad vagina owner and you should take better care of it!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Nothing wrong with solar hot water. Tis good.
                    In complete darkness we are all the same. It is only our knowledge and wisdom that seperate us. Dont let your eyes deceive you.
                    Its the little things that make the difference
                    Originally posted by IPIT on relationships
                    If either/both of you can take a dump with the other person being next to you within a week of meeting them then you're in with a VERY good chance.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Aphex View Post
                      The one thing they dont tell you is the panels and batteries require replacement throughout the life of the system. Panels at roughly 10 years and batteries at between 2 & 5. Once you run the sums on that side of things, viability becomes an issue.
                      The ones I was referring to are "Grid Connect" so there are no batteries (they use the grid as their "float". ironically, they de-activate when the power fails, as that is what is required for Aus Standards certification.

                      They have a 20 or 25 year guarantee. They initIALLY PUT OUT ABOUT 120 WATTS, AND AFTER A SHORT "BURN-IN" TIME DROP BACK TO AROUND 100 WATTS/PANEL. (Damn caps-lock key!)

                      If you want to go the whole hog and do a battery-floated fully self-contained system, the sums would never add up in the city. Agree about the batteries, they cost a bomb, and require regular replacement (though I would disagree about 2 year replacement - get proper batteries NOT car/bike jobs with HUGE amp/hours).

                      My 2 cents
                      Dead Man's Hand
                      Internationational Porter Protection Group
                      Just call me Pat

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Morgs View Post
                        If it was going to be $10k with a 10-15 year ROI I might consider it.
                        Ditto.

                        If there was a decent $10k system out there I'd be all over it like Ike on Tina.
                        such comment
                        wow
                        many post

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                        • #13
                          Ive also looked into it thoroughly and cannot afford it even with the rebate - also the rebates come AFTER you have initally invested it and really i dont have the capital to do it.

                          Know how, know why but know i can't afford it.

                          I would love the feedback + backup system, solar cells on the roof charging bank of batteries connected to inverter and feedback system that feeds to the grid when in excess and will backup when theres a mains failure.

                          But LOL at the price.

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                          • #14
                            I work in an industry where we design, supply, install and maintain solar power systems, mostly small scale jobs to run lighting systems. One of the guys I work with has his house totally run from solar power, does not even have mains connected to the property. He lives on a small farm so has the space for the pannels and uses a wood stove that also does his hot water. This goes to show with the right setup it is quite possible but granted due to the industry he works in he gets the parts dirt cheap.

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                            • #15
                              i wonder about the actual amount of greenhouse gas reductions etc you're actually achieving. With how much the panels/batteries costs thered have to be a lot of energy going into producing them
                              If cleanliness is next to godliness, why was jesus a dirty sandal-wearing beardo?

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