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Solar Power?

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serenity blaze
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0 posted 06-30-2009 03:36 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze


It sounds too good to be true...

Does anyone here utilize solar panels, or know of anyone who does use it successfully?

In this heat, it is certainly an enticing idea.
http://www.homemadeenergy.org/indexyt.php?hop=cyprusmete

So, I thought I'd pop in and ask my crew of brainiacs.

I always assumed such a set up would be too costly for the likes of my family. But as it is, air conditioning may prove to be too costly for my family.

Whaddya think?

Mysteria
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1 posted 06-30-2009 04:25 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

Well I guess I never told you about the friends I have in Arizona that all use them?  They work efficiently of course but the outlay of cash in the beginning is astronomical in my own opinion.  However, they heat and cool their homes, heat their pools, and run everything that electricity does, with those panels.  A bit of research will show you that they are totally efficient and particularly cost-effective once the initial shock of the cost of installing them is over.  I even know some real hippy friends on Bowen Island, that live in a geodesic dome, that use them Karen, and they made their own somehow.  Never thought to ask because I had no intention of living in dome     Go to YouTube there are videos on making your own, and hey?  Let me know how you make out.   
moonbeam
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2 posted 06-30-2009 07:11 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

You need to research them carefully Karen.  Over here the initial capital outlay means the break even point is far too long in all but the sunniest spots.  So they aren't cost effective unless you have lots of sun and preferably south/east/west facing roofs.  Obviously if you aren't bothered about money, they still contribute to CO2 savings which is good.  The technology is however advancing all the time.  Make sure you get the absolute best you can afford if you do it.  Lots of internet resources on this, and over here the govt gives grants to help with the installation.

Have you thought about geothermal?

serenity blaze
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3 posted 06-30-2009 07:54 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I'm actually just starting to research this. I saw a portable solar generator (somewhere) as I was perusing newer, better hurricane preparation supplies. Such a thing would be great for us to have simply for emergency power outages. We've had gasoline powered generators in the past, but they are noisy and I consider them dangerous.

Not just because they have the potential to explode, but the noise alerts everyone/anyone else in the neighborhood who might appreciate absconding with a power source as well. (Um, I had stayed her alone at night with one, and I promised my husband that if anyone would attempt that I'd shoot the generator.) I'm a bad shot, though.

Anyhow, I'm looking into how practical it is, considering all the options. And of course I'd love some free electricity all year round, but for now, if you hit that link, that first smaller panel looked promising to us.

Feel free to educate me, though. Thanks you two.
Local Rebel
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4 posted 06-30-2009 09:06 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

A fraction of the desert (unusable) land in Nevada alone can supply the entire U.S. with all of it's electrical needs -- and you don't need solar panels either -- which are cool but not very efficient.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_plants_in_the_Mojave_Desert
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_thermal#High-temperature_collectors

On that same note -- Wind power can supply 16x the current electrical appetite of the U.S.
Bob K
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5 posted 07-01-2009 10:49 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Solar can be useful, I'm told, even in Massachusetts, depending in how tight the house is.  You need some amount of air movement for various good reasons, especially in places with certain kinds of rock substrate, such as granite, which provide their own problems.

     With heating/ cooling, one of the things that can be useful is a heat pump, coils of tubing running through the soils around your house.  The depth will vary, depending on the purpose.  Frequently, however, there is a depth where the heat level doesn't vary, year round, often at about 50 or 55 degrees.  If you can pump water or some other fluid through this layer, you will have a source of heat/cool at a steady temperature year round.  In the summer, you can pump in through the walls and cool the house, in the winter, you can limit the amount of extra energy you have to pot into the house to bring the heat up to a comfortable level.  Overall it can provide a decent savings, I'm told.

    
latearrival
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6 posted 07-04-2009 12:58 AM       View Profile for latearrival   Email latearrival   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for latearrival

Karen, I put in a new heat pump such as Bok K just mentioned.It cost me five thousand dollars. But no bill since has hit anywhere near a hundred dollars and I have ben warm in winter and cool in summer. Last month's bill was Sixty eight dollars, and we are having a lot of very hot days. On top of that I catch the run off water and  use it to water my gardens so save on my water bill also. I am sure if you had panels installed it would be very expensive, unless you could get a group together and then ask for discounts. So maybe this  idea will be of some use to you.  Oh, and I also had new ducts put in because we found the old ducts had  holes it them from age or those rats we found last year! Good luck. There must be a way.
Midnitesun
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Gaia


7 posted 07-04-2009 11:34 AM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

A professional energy audit would be the first step. Sometimes you can get them from utility companies or government agencies for free. Now might be a good time, under Obama's administration. Sometimes, rebates are offered.
In your area, you might have to consider the high water table for the subterranean heat exchange pumps, and the effects of hurricanes for either wind turbines or solar panels.
Think safety factors as well as savings.

I have been on a wind farm, many years ago when they were still new and experimental. I saw a turbine propeller fly through the air that broke free of its mounting tower. SCARY! I've also seen solar panels, and think they are great if you have lots of sunshine and appropriate window/roof orientation. I have solar garden lights, and solar Buddha garden fountain. They work great when its sunny.
The least expensive way to save energy $ is to keep thermal drapes or shades, closed that face the sun, at least when the sun hits that window full force. Reflective film on south facing windows also helps. A de-humidifier is a great investment, can make a tremendous difference in comfort level! I bought one last year and use it regularly to keep the moisture level inside at about 50-60% humidity. Make sure windows and doors have good seals, and check the insulation rating on your home. Some of these things can be done in an energy audit, and the 'experts' give you estimates and feedback on best/worse solutions. Good luck, lovie!
Local Rebel
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Southern Abstentia


8 posted 07-05-2009 12:02 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Just FYI

Not endorsing.
http://www.wiki17.com/solarpanels/
latearrival
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Florida


9 posted 07-06-2009 05:46 PM       View Profile for latearrival   Email latearrival   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for latearrival

Kacy you are so correct.I had the electric company come in first to measure the heat loss and then I had to go ahead and buy the heat pump and new ducts. That is one of the reasons I am still working. LOL and both the electric company and the tax rebate should help. I may have gone too high on the price.I am sure there are lesser priced units that will do the job love to you both. jo
 
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