Solar Power for the home

Joe

Senior Member
Yes, that's one of the things I like about debunking - you get to learn new things. Like now I know all about measuring the power output of solar panels. Fascinating stuff, but you probably need a certain nerdy personality to enjoy that type of thing.
what do you think about the Solyndra panels . I was pretty impressed with the design and wondered if theyde be worth the money being the went under ? I really want to be off the grid . http://www.ebay.com/itm/13-SOLYNDRA...943?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3ccdf2c40f
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member

Jay Reynolds

Senior Member
what do you think about the Solyndra panels . I was pretty impressed with the design and wondered if theyde be worth the money being the went under ? I really want to be off the grid . http://www.ebay.com/itm/13-SOLYNDRA...943?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3ccdf2c40f
I'm planning a build like this by next winter for heating my home:


I already have a set of panels which I am using for pumping potable water from my spring to a gravity tank on the mountain.
The panel in the video will recirculate into a 500 gal holding tank using some solar powered pumps into which a separate copper coil loop will x-fer heat for the hydronic radiant floor distribution system already in service using a wood fired heater. I hope to substantially cut my wood burning with this panel of approx 240 sq. ft.
 

pseacraft

Active Member
Love my solar water heater here and my house in Thailand. Funny how every house has a minimum of two panels for hot water here on the island but in Thailand everyone who has hot water just uses one panel. My goal is to have my entire farm in Thailand off the grid someday. I wish I had a wood heater to back up my water heater here, mine is fuel oil which is ok but expensive as heck, but then fire wood is a premium commodity here too. Wonder how much I could make profit wise from a bulker full of scrub oak firewood from the states here. A quarter ric is 100 euro min....
 

Joe

Senior Member
I'm planning a build like this by next winter for heating my home:


I already have a set of panels which I am using for pumping potable water from my spring to a gravity tank on the mountain.
The panel in the video will recirculate into a 500 gal holding tank using some solar powered pumps into which a separate copper coil loop will x-fer heat for the hydronic radiant floor distribution system already in service using a wood fired heater. I hope to substantially cut my wood burning with this panel of approx 240 sq. ft.
Here is something similar to what im building now for my clothes dryer not for heat since Im in Florida . Im into individual sustainability .
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I'm planning on installing a PV system on my garage at some point, hopefully as a (mostly) DIY project. It will help keep the garage cool (black roof), and I should be able to get 10 or 12 200W panels on the south facing side.

All the research I did for the V3Solar thread was quite useful :)

I don't think I'd go for the Solyndra panels for my situation. We have a couple of major storms here every year with a lot of flying palm fronds, and I'd expect some breakages from the glass tube design, and spare parts would be a problem. And it's $3775 for 13 210W panels including racking. That's $290 per panel, or $1.38 per watt. This place has individual panels as little as $0.75 per watt: http://pvdepot.com/ and I don't think the rack add that much.
 
Last edited:

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I don't think I'd go for the Solyndra panels for my situation. We have a couple of major storms here every year with a lot of flying palm fronds, and I'd expect some breakages from the glass tube design, and spare parts would be a problem. And it's $3775 for 13 210W panels including racking. That's $290 per panel, or $1.38 per watt. This place has individual panels as little as $0.75 per watt: http://pvdepot.com/ and I don't think the rack add that much.
Although now I'm looking at the kits they have, 13x210W is 2.7KW. for $3775

The closest kit they have is this 3.0KW, 12 250W panels, $7408, inverter included, and then $1,500 for racking, but you can factor that out as a 3KW inverter is about the same price.
http://pvdepot.com/solar-panel-kits/3-000-watt-monocrystalline-pv-grid-tied-solar-power-kit.html
Which would put the Solyndra at half the price, accounting for racking. Subtracting racking it's $5908, or $1.96/Watt for the panels. I'm a little confused about this price as they also list other 250W panels at $0.75/watt. Why wouldn't I buy 12 Talesun 250 Watt panels for $2,250? What are the quality and performance differences?
 

Joe

Senior Member
Although now I'm looking at the kits they have, 13x210W is 2.7KW. for $3775

The closest kit they have is this 3.0KW, 12 250W panels, $7408, inverter included, and then $1,500 for racking, but you can factor that out as a 3KW inverter is about the same price.
http://pvdepot.com/solar-panel-kits/3-000-watt-monocrystalline-pv-grid-tied-solar-power-kit.html
Which would put the Solyndra at half the price, accounting for racking. Subtracting racking it's $5908, or $1.96/Watt for the panels. I'm a little confused about this price as they also list other 250W panels at $0.75/watt. Why wouldn't I buy 12 Talesun 250 Watt panels for $2,250? What are the quality and performance differences?
The advatage with the solyndra panels is the can be mounted on a flat roof . wind passes through them . moreelectricity.jpg
 

Jay Reynolds

Senior Member
We have a couple of major storms here every year with a lot of flying palm fronds, and I'd expect some breakages from the glass tube design, and spare parts would be a problem. .
Every one of the oil platforms I visit have solar panels to run the navigation lights and horns which must always be on. The flat panel designs are very resistant to storms, most of these have been through multiple hurricanes. My panels survived a hailstorm which noticeably dented flat surfaces on my car. They are on a moveable mount and tilted. Tubes in a flat orientation sounds like they might be more subject to hail damage since the stress of a hailstone would be concentrated on a single point at impact.

001.JPG
 

Jay Reynolds

Senior Member
I'm planning a build like this by next winter for heating my home:
The panel in the video will recirculate into a 500 gal holding tank using some solar powered pumps into which a separate copper coil loop will x-fer heat for the hydronic radiant floor distribution system already in service using a wood fired heater. I hope to substantially cut my wood burning with this panel of approx 240 sq. ft.
There are many designs for solar hot water heaters out there. For a science fair project my son did an energy audit of our house and found that by just turning down the temperature setting of our domestic hot water heater to 110F we got a 25% decrease in the electric power bill. My wood system generates domestic hot water in winter when we burn wood, thanks to a separate coil of copper immersed in the floor heating water, but with the new system I should be 100% solar on domestic hot water year-round.

Most of the energy spectrum emitted by the sun lies in the range best captured as heat, not electricity, and heat collector efficiency at capturing this spectrum approaches 50% vs. PV about 20%. Solar heat collectors are easily home made whereas PV is almost totally the province of manufacturers (you can assemble your own panels). Especially if you guys have no freeze risk, why not do it?

My system right now: (At the installation, I made provision for "future connection" of solar)
Heating 3.jpgHeating 4.jpg
 

Clock

Active Member
Wow treasure, that looks like a hell of a project that you got going up there. Are you up to it?
 

Cairenn

Senior Member
I have always thought that an in floor heating system would be real nice, especially in moderate climate
 

Jay Reynolds

Senior Member
I have always thought that an in floor heating system would be real nice, especially in moderate climate
I enjoy the system, Cairenn. No ductwork, no fans, warm feet tends to set up heat which is more comfortable, and since my downstairs is a concrete slab there is a significant mass which when heated takes a long time to cool back down, acting as a flywheel does to moderate temp change over time. So, during heating days usually an 8 hour run of the system brings the house temp up to about 68, and then the system is shut off for the remaining hours and through the night. Total silence, which out here in the country is very quiet anyways. Since the system works to heat the whole mass of the house through radiation rather than conduction and convection of warmed air, opening a doorway doesn't lose much of the thermal energy stored as it would if the air alone was being warmed, and the temp quickly recovers. This has found to have real advantages even in very cold climates in garages and warehouses where huge doors might be opened losing large amounts of hot air to outdoors.

For anyone interested in self-built solar projects, this site is the best resource out there, a massive site:

http://www.builditsolar.com/
 
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