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Subject: I'm a power plant! rss

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Mac Mcleod
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Well, my new Spinray solar panel is producing 68 watts right now.

I'll have a better graph after Sunday but couldn't wait.

For now, it looks like this

09:00 55 watts
10:40 68 watts
11:40 120 watts
12:40 170 watts
13:40 178 watts
18:40 008 watts (still light but none left in the yard.


Edit: total for yesterday (7/21) was .84 kw, 25kw per month. About 2% of last months bill. My rate is 10.77. Savings would be $27/year at this rate. That's a 25 year payback. I'll need to get the power up. It's fairly cloudy right now. I assume when it's overcast that the rate will be much lower which will lower me below $27/year.

It looks like at $500 with 10.7c power, the panel would be a good deal. At $700 it's not.

OTH, I'd have to earn about $35 to pay $27 in electric bills currently but when I retire that will drop to about $30 to pay $27. If my tax rate rises back up to 28% again then viewed as a tax free investment it has a 19 year payback.


I don't have the back half of the curve yet.
The panel is just laying on some bricks right now. I'll install it up on the roof later this week.

I've found shade is a lot more common than I realized. I came home yesterday to find the "sunny spot" I had originally chosen had heavy shade by noon. Ironically, it looks like up on my roof is the least shady spot but I have a good 10 hours of non shade where it is now. But I leave for D&D at 1pm so I'll have to wait until sunday to see the back half of the curve.

The panel cost $1000 with a $300 tax credit. But now they are $1250. I would think the solar panel tariffs but the same exact panel in 240v is still $1000. So now i suspect Amazon's "dynamic" pricing algorithm or some kind of 120v micro inverter price spike. The price is slowly decaying so perhaps I can get a second panel this fall.

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Daniel
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So for us noobs, how much power is that exactly? That seems like a lot of money. How long for it to pay off?
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Mac Mcleod
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dandechino wrote:
So for us noobs, how much power is that exactly? That seems like a lot of money. How long for it to pay off?


The pay off is about 14 years if rates remain at 9.5c per kilowatt hour and the inverter does not fail. (edit, I'm currently paying 10.77c- 9.5c is only available for short term contracts. I wanted a 3 year commitment since i think rates could rise).

The panel is currently producing 120 watts of power. That covers two 60 watt bulbs or equivalent. When I have it properly mounted, it should peak at 240watts instead of 180 watts. The parts are sitting by it but it's just too hot. Plus I want to mount it on the roof.

I'm also interested in solar power as a hobbiest. And I spent $2400 on board games last year and they only produced an "income" of about $350.


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Daniel
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Is there a way to store the power or does it go back to the grid?
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Mac Mcleod
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dandechino wrote:
Is there a way to store the power or does it go back to the grid?


In Texas, there is no way to run the meter backwards. The best you can get is zero net power. I could feed the grid, but they would not pay me for it. Since my power usage is about 20kw per day, I would have to have 20 of these panels (and they only work in sets of up to 5) to negate my power usage. This would take up most of my roof (which might also lower my cooling bills by shading my roof.

I would probably have to upgrade my roof in that case as it would weigh about 1600 pounds.

Batteries add a lot to the cost of solar power, require maintenance, and still die in under a decade.



Example picture. Same panel- not mine tho.

Oh yea, the savings could be viewed as tax free income.
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Welcome Rolling Stones
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Solar panels almost make sense, and I am glad you got one to tinker around with Mac.

As an architect, I can never recommend them to clients that want green buildings because they just do not make economic sense, yet. That being said, if the client is aggressive about being green, we'll do it.

This happens mostly for buildings we design for the Department of Defense. All of you folks who think the DOD needs big bucks for bombs and such are dead wrong. They spend that money in very wasteful ways, like covering the entire roof of large buildings with photovoltaic panels.

Some day it will not be so wasteful, but right now, it is.
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Lynette
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For anyone else who wants to play but also want it to actually save enough money to make it pay off...

Solar Water Heaters are there now. They pay off in savings in about 5-8 years and have a 12-20 life span according to the large amount of research I was doing into them right before my house burned. I had already decided to get one, I was just waiting on the plumber to get all the parts back in stock.


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lotus dweller
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Solar hot water yay!

Do demand that the installed angle is going to give you hot water in middle of winter.

An angle that gives you sufficient hot water in the middle of summer only may be to the installer's advantage. But not to yours.
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Rich Charters
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Is this a game session report of Power Grid?
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Ed Bradley
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You'll save even more money as energy prices rise.

You'll even still have a trickle of juice if the whole grid starts to collapse at some point
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Mac Mcleod
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Fwing wrote:
You'll save even more money as energy prices rise.

You'll even still have a trickle of juice if the whole grid starts to collapse at some point


It's a safety feature of this system that it stops producing power if there is no power in the system you plug it into.

Okay- latest thing I learned...

a) even a tiny 2" circle of bird crap can knock off 50 watts of power from the entire panel. So you have to keep it clean.

b) a heavy rain can kill your Kilawatt electrical meter even if it is up on a brick under a tarp. Somehow it's wet. So now I am blind to the power being produced until it dries out or I get a new one.
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Born To Lose, Live To Win
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maxo-texas wrote:
Fwing wrote:
You'll save even more money as energy prices rise.

You'll even still have a trickle of juice if the whole grid starts to collapse at some point


It's a safety feature of this system that it stops producing power if there is no power in the system you plug it into.

Okay- latest thing I learned...

a) even a tiny 2" circle of bird crap can knock off 50 watts of power from the entire panel. So you have to keep it clean.

b) a heavy rain can kill your Kilawatt electrical meter even if it is up on a brick under a tarp. Somehow it's wet. So now I am blind to the power being produced until it dries out or I get a new one.


On the bright side, you're getting rain.
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Mac Mcleod
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Okay so the solar fan and the solar panel appears to have reduced my electricty by 400kwh from 1530 last year to 1113 this year.

That's about a $35 savings!
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Josiah Fiscus
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chaendlmaier wrote:
Corporations are people...

People are power plants...

WTF USA!?


To complete the syllogism:

THEREFORE, Corporations are Power Plants.
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