# Has anyone gone solar?

#### Dave

Joined Nov 17, 2003
6,970
Just saw another thread asking about solar kits and this got me thinking has anyone gone solar (completely or partial) at home (or work)?

Was it expensive? Did you DIY? Comments on how good/bad it is?

Dave

#### beenthere

Joined Apr 20, 2004
15,819
I've got some friends in California that put solar panels on their house. On a sunny day, they get enough output that they sell power to the utility company.

The down side is that it cost quite a bit, and the panels may lose efficiency before they pay back that cost. There are now newer and more efficient panels that may have better lifetimes - I have no input on that.

#### nomurphy

Joined Aug 8, 2005
567

#### Audioguru

Joined Dec 20, 2007
11,249
There is a big advertising sign in a field beside the road. It had solar power to charge a battery but it didn't light after a cloudy day and didn't light long after a sunny day in winter. So instead of laying expensive electical wiring from a utility pole the owner added a windmill. Now it lights the ad sign for a few hours every night.

#### beenthere

Joined Apr 20, 2004
15,819
The obvious question there is if solar is simply undependable, or did an incompetent decide on the solar panel/battery combo?

#### Audioguru

Joined Dec 20, 2007
11,249
It looks like a windmill is a lot better than an expensive solar panel that doesn't work following a cloudy day.

The combination of solar plus a windmill seems to make the electricity reliable under most weather conditions.

#### recca02

Joined Apr 2, 2007
1,214
The problem is that we haven't found a way to store solar energy.
Wind energy is solar energy, nature's way of storing it.

Solar thermal power is more favoured than solar power, but how long can we store & maintain the temperature of water. Even the most economical solutions out there do not seem economical enough.