Solar Power does not Pay Off, An Excellent Indicator

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by N11778, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. N11778

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 4, 2015
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    The Government in California is going to require them on all new houses.

    My OffGrid 7 KW 6 year old system in the AZ. desert puts out 3 KW at high noon,
    2 KW at 10 am and 2pm , none at 7am and 5pm. With CLEAR skys in the winter.

    Labor and Loan Interest NOT included It's only going to pay off 75% in 20 years.
    If it keeps working, which is highly unlikely.
     
  2. dl324

    AAC Fanatic!

    Mar 30, 2015
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    Even with federal and state subsidies and utility company power buy back, pay off times are long. There are too many questionable people trying to sell systems.

    I made the mistake of completing a form to get more information. They wouldn't give me *any* information without someone coming to my home to give me a presentation. I declined.
     
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  3. Reloadron

    Distinguished Member

    Jan 15, 2015
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    California is just one of those interesting places. Looking at current rates for electricity by the Average Price per Kilowatt hour Californians pay about the sixth highest price for their electricity. Hawaii is #1 which is understandable followed by Alaska, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Hawaii I can understand as they lack the natural resources. When I was young I lived in CA and it is one place I never had a desire to return to.

    You want renewable energy? You can have all you want but it comes with a price so be willing to pay the price. Californians currently on average pay about 16.14 cents per Kilowatt hour. So what is the plan to finance Solar Power on new home construction? I guess it will be added to already excessive property cost. California loves to mandate things as much as they love taxes on those who work. Return on investment means nothing to these people. Then too, not my problem as I don't live there.

    Ron
     
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  4. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Sorry to be dense, but require what? A solar panel?

    When will the people of California rise up and push back against their oppressors?
     
  5. MisterBill2

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2018
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    Probably the people will never rise up against the stupidity because they are not able to focus their attention on any one thing long enough to realize that something is wrong about it.
    Solar power is a great idea for those choosing to live off grid, and it also makes sense in rural Alaska, where many are off grid because of location. It certainly will not make much sense where I live in Michigan because of the shorter sunny season and also the many cloudy days.
     
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  6. MisterBill2

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2018
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    I have wondered about the cost effectiveness of those big photo-electric farms, but that portion of the story is seldom mentioned. Of course it is certainly true that a good way to avoid telling lies is to not speak. Sorry about being so very blunt.
     
  7. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    The tide is turning. Solar already beats fossil fuels in many markets and the U.S. is adding more solar capacity than any other energy source. Panel prices have fallen off a cliff and that has changed the landscape, literally. Some are going so far to predict that solar will be THE cheapest energy as early as 2020. It's already killed wind and seriously dented natural gas.

    This is all in regards to big solar, not residential solar, which doesn't make sense for most people.
     
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  8. Tesla23

    Senior Member

    May 10, 2009
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    This thread prompted me to look up "U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System CostBenchmark: Q1 2018":
    https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy19osti/72399.pdf

    and it's interesting that the cliff has an interesting bump within the US:

    upload_2019-1-3_10-30-40.png

    likely caused by changing trade policies. It is dramatic - there is now a more than 50% premium to buy a cell within the US. It will be interesting to see if this is a temporary blip or permanent.
     
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  9. profbuxton

    Member

    Feb 21, 2014
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    Yeah, solar power is a wonderful thing.Free energy from the sun! I have installed 3kw of panels last year and my power bill has dropped to less than half!
    But for some reason I can't run my electrical appliances at night! can't figure it out. Sun is still shining somewhere around the world but I have no power from the panels? Whats more I notice that I can't run my manufacturing plant 24/7. Even if there is a bit of cloud I have to shut my factory down.
    Well, I could install batteries, I guess but its very expensive and they have a limited life. And they only provide a few hours of power to run everything I need. Someone suggested wind power but the wind isn't too reliable either.
    What to do? I guess the only thing if I want reliable power 24/7 is to continue with coal, gas or burning something else in a base load power station. Maybe I should try nuclear. That seems to work quite well once I figure out how to handle the leftovers.
     
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  10. Reloadron

    Distinguished Member

    Jan 15, 2015
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    You place large lamps over the panels at night.

    Ron
     
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  11. MisterBill2

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2018
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    The biggest problem indeed is having power when it is needed as opposed to having it when it is available. Solar availability is fairly steady in some areas but not available at night to run my lights, or the furnace when things get cold. Wind power is "sometimes", a lot different from usually or often. Batteries are great for storage until they get old and lose capacity, and then they are toxic waste. Hydro-electric power is great if it is allowed. Probably capturing power from ocean waves is the best choice because the sea is very seldom calm.But that will not be nearly enouigh for any portion of our country.
     
  12. N11778

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 4, 2015
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    All good comments all.
    Good Idea. Going to install the lights tonight it's 25Deg F In the dessert tonight. Should help for tomorrow nite.
    Sparky
     
  13. N11778

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 4, 2015
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    I will vote for Permanent.
    More states will follow the greedy one's.
    The best Indicator will be if Washington state requires them, Overcast 8 to 10 months of the year!
    The panels that produce power from sun and "rain drops hitting them" (No joke) will be required there.
     
  14. Tonyr1084

    Distinguished Member

    Sep 24, 2015
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    Many years ago I saw, I think it was Popular Mechanics I saw where wind and solar was used to pump water from a lower reservoir to a higher reservoir. When power from wind and solar failed, there was energy stored in the water level above, sent down a pipe to hydro-electric generators. Better than a battery because it doesn't wear out, nor is there any toxic waste from used water. Simply pump it back up during the daytime. Expensive as all get-go, I'm sure. And the amount of real-estate needed, very costly. But it is one solution.
     
  15. N11778

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 4, 2015
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    If you have solar and are hooked to the grid, I would guess it's automatic.
    If you push your excess power up their Grid the water use from the reservoir/Coal/Oil will decrease.
    All is well if your willing to make money for the power company or Go Green.
    I was going to push it up there lines but they could not tell me how much they would pay me for it.
    Or how much power from them was going to cost me if I hook my solar power up to their Grid.
    So now I just use it all during the day hot water, Heating, cooling,Hot tub,Pool pump, Chlorine,Computer.
    right now there is not enough for the hot water so its temporarily hooked to the grid.
    Most of the systems switch back and forth from their grid to my Solar automatically.
    It would be better to hook to the grid but they Pi.... upset me.
     
  16. Tonyr1084

    Distinguished Member

    Sep 24, 2015
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    In Utah, pushing power back into the grid - you can get limited credits. Beyond that you're just handing out free energy. The thinking is that during the day your surplus energy goes to the grid. At night you get those credits back. But there's a limit to how many credits you get. So it doesn't pay to over-produce.

    The idea with the reservoirs is that your excess pumps water to a higher elevation. Then when needed that water runs hydro-electric, typically at night. Aside from evaporation, there are no other losses.
     
  17. MisterBill2

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2018
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    Given that the efficiency of a good pump setup is about 75% and that the efficiency of a water turbine generator is not much better, the reservoir system only works well with free power. And yes, the system does indeed take a lot of real estate and money to build. So a careful evaluation of costs is advised before starting to build anything.
     
  18. Tonyr1084

    Distinguished Member

    Sep 24, 2015
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    As I understood it, You push power to the grid during peak use hours and get credits. During off peak hours you use those credits. SUPPOSEDLY you get a gain that way. I said "SUPPOSEDLY". Reality often is different. And reality has teeth with which to bite.

    No matter what you do - they're not going to lose anything. And you're not going to gain much, if anything. There's even talk in Utah about if you go "Off Grid" you will be charged $25 a month by the power company. Legislation was considering making that a law. And people thought the Affordable Care Act (ACT or Obamacare) was unconstitutional when it mandated all persons must obtain health insurance or be fined in taxes by some $200 plus dollars.

    What's good for the goose is good for the goose. The gander, on the other hand is the one that repeatedly gets raked over the coals.

    If I had my way I'd build a house on the west coast where there's almost always a breeze and often sunshine. Charge up batteries and use that to power lights at night. If I expect heavy usage during the night I could run a generator. Use the heat from the engine powering the generator to heat the home while the system regenerates battery power and stain's the electrical needs of the household. In addition to wind and solar I'd also have a giant de-humidifier pulling water out of the air. Clean that water and use it for drinking. Install an underground storage tank and collect rain water and purify that as well. Talk about off grid! Cell phones and satellite internet service. No wires connected to my home. The only foreseeable connection would be that of being connected to the sewage system. Unless I had enough property for a leach-field and septic tank.

    I'm sure there are problems with my proposal, but all things can be worked out if you have enough money. Which I don't. "(
     
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  19. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    There are a wide range of storage technologies in development/evaluation. Pumping water, hauling big weights up a ramp, flow batteries, compressed air, regular batteries, and still more I can't recall. I think they all have niches where they win out but most are not universally practical.
     
  20. BobTPH

    Senior Member

    Jun 5, 2013
    1,367
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    I have also seen proposed pumping air into a huge cavern to store energy. And don't forget flywheels.

    Bob
     
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