My Little Solar Project (Read 12175 times)

Heavies

Re: My Little Solar Project
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2012, 04:11:25 AM »
Awesome writeup! 

Inspector

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Re: My Little Solar Project
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2012, 05:33:50 AM »
Awesome writeup!
+1 on the write up!!! And a big mahalos for it. I have one last question. Is it possible to estimate (doesn't have to be extremely accurate) how much money you are saving by using your solar power? Maybe on a monthly or yearly basis? I imagine if you save about $5/month you are pretty much averaging what a full size solar system is providing as far as return on investment. But if you are saving $10 a month that is fantastic!!! And a great return on your investment.
Officially Retired and living in the free state of Arizona.

wirecounter

Re: My Little Solar Project
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2012, 08:32:21 AM »
Thanks Guys!  I am glad that I can give back a little to this forum that I have gleaned much from.

To answer Inspector's question:

Figuring on current HECO rate of 33.6 cents per KWH (kilo watt hour) and
conservatively estimating 7 hours of good sunlight with a 100 watt solar panel which provides for 0.7KWH per day or 16.46 cents per day = $4.93 savings per month.  I probably get more useable power than this as the pool pump alone is 0.6 KWH usage.
Conservative payback (without rebates) is 14 years, not considering future rate increases.

Yours savings would be greater on the Big Island as HELCO rates are higher than HECO's.

A sun tracker will significantly increase the output of the solar panel, thus increasing savings, as it would rotate the panel to directly face the sun throughout the day.  Estimates have ranged from 30% to 40% increased output.  Plus we have better solar exposure here in Hawaii.

dmas

Re: My Little Solar Project
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2012, 07:48:10 PM »
Hey wire,

Not trying to be negative but, you invested in this more as a learning experience and hobby project more than an investment project?

Would you says its relatively mobile?  The reason I havent jumped at the opportunity to mount PVS on my roof is that I figure the time I'm going to need them the most is right after a natural disaster.  There's most likely would be a hurricane and I don't think some solar panels would survive the wind and debris.  Might lose the whole roof right?  So, the heaviest components, batteries, would need to be protected from rain, flood, and flying debris which I don't think would be especially difficult.  Getting the panels down and protected quickly and safely would be more challenging right?  Have you made any considerations for this?  Are the panels light?  If I were to try setup a system my goal would be to have the panels taken down and protected during the event and possibly setup in the yard after.  Preferably concealed from the street or vantage points.  If I don'tgot a roof then iI'll set it up in my living room.  I'm anticipating power would be a precious commodity at that point, something I would not want to advertise by remounting to my roof.

I live far from the coast (well relatively), and am not planning on moving.  The resources my family requires would be too cumbersome to be moving around with.  Plus the pets situation.  And where would I go anyway?  Its an island.  So, primarily interested on your ideas on moving the panels and if its a logical concept.  Thanks.

D

wirecounter

Re: My Little Solar Project
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2012, 10:22:44 PM »
I did this project both as a hobby and a hedge of preparation.  I only have one panel and it is not mounted on anything yet so it is "portable."  The 100 watt panel weighs less than 10 pounds.  But, the system is not portable like the Humless Sentinel.

I know that I will have some power if the grid were to go down.  Most (99%) PV systems do not have batteries so the house has no power if the grid goes down, even if the solar panels generate over 2.4KWH per hour.  It is very costly to back up this type of system because you will need a lot of batteries and the racks would take up all of your garage space for one car.  These would not be Costco batteries, but batteries specifically manufactured for PV systems and guaranteed life of at least 10 years and cost several hundred dollars each.

I would definitely hire a professional company to install a PV system for my house for net metering as I am not too comforable climbing on my 2 story house's roof and mounting brackets into my tile roof.  I am pretty sure that the mounting brackets are hurricane rated although it wouldn't matter if it took a direct hit from a category 5 hurricane.  Then it really doesn't matter what you have unless you have a basement.

Keeping the solar panel(s) portable for small systems like mine may be a good idea.  It really depends what you plan to use it for and what you are preparing for.

Power will be a very precious commodity in SHTF scenarious, but solar panels on the roof will not attract unwanted attention.  It will be the lights you have on at night and the food that you will cook (either with PV, fresnel lense,or propane).  But, that is a topic for another thread . . .

Bcspy

Re: My Little Solar Project
« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2012, 12:11:46 AM »
Great Topic.  I made a project for my Aquaponic power and emergancy backup power to top off the battery for my generator.  I believe that this a great backup power supply for any doomday and power outage.  I also have PV for my house, if no power from HECO, no power for the house. I took it a little further. It was very bad when we had no power for about three days. I decided to buy a big generator, install a transfer switch to the house, and hook it up to my generator. It will power the entire house except the dryer. Great investment.  Prepare for any bad incident is a must.  I plan to stay home than evaculate.

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« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 08:29:05 AM by Bcspy »

wirecounter

Re: My Little Solar Project
« Reply #26 on: May 04, 2016, 05:23:37 PM »
Actually, almost "all done."  Waiting for this company http://www.sunsaluter.com/ to begin production of their passive sun tracker system to mount my panel on.

Well . . . after 4 years they finally have it for sale on their website.  It appears that it may also be used to purify 4 liters of water per day (as in a solar distiller).  I just sent them an email, so we will see how much it will cost.  It seems very basic = should be less than $50.00.

Inspector!  You can probably have a few of these for power on the Big Island instead of mounting panels on your roof = much better output = less panels = save $$ to buy more toys  :D

Inspector

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Re: My Little Solar Project
« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2016, 04:44:46 AM »
Well . . . after 4 years they finally have it for sale on their website.  It appears that it may also be used to purify 4 liters of water per day (as in a solar distiller).  I just sent them an email, so we will see how much it will cost.  It seems very basic = should be less than $50.00.

Inspector!  You can probably have a few of these for power on the Big Island instead of mounting panels on your roof = much better output = less panels = save $$ to buy more toys  :D
Actually, I already spoke to one company that was willing to pour some concrete footings and mount them in a rack on the ground rather than on my roof. Easier to keep clean. However, easier to steal. Unfortunately that can be a problem out there.
Officially Retired and living in the free state of Arizona.

wirecounter

Re: My Little Solar Project
« Reply #28 on: May 11, 2016, 04:01:24 PM »
Actually, I already spoke to one company that was willing to pour some concrete footings and mount them in a rack on the ground rather than on my roof. Easier to keep clean. However, easier to steal. Unfortunately that can be a problem out there.

That's what the toys are for . . .  ;)

Surf

Re: My Little Solar Project
« Reply #29 on: May 11, 2016, 06:03:07 PM »
Well . . . after 4 years they finally have it for sale on their website.  It appears that it may also be used to purify 4 liters of water per day (as in a solar distiller).  I just sent them an email, so we will see how much it will cost.  It seems very basic = should be less than $50.00.

Inspector!  You can probably have a few of these for power on the Big Island instead of mounting panels on your roof = much better output = less panels = save $$ to buy more toys  :D
Great idea and looks like it could be easily replicated by sourcing all parts locally.

83rdrecon

Re: My Little Solar Project
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2016, 02:14:43 PM »
That's what the toys are for . . .  ;)
And pit bulls!!! Lol

wirecounter

Re: My Little Solar Project
« Reply #31 on: June 26, 2016, 08:47:39 PM »
Coupla updates . . .

First the good: The Sunsaluter for rotating the PV panel is on the way.  $45.00 - $25.00 for the kit & $20.00 for freight.

The bad: The Power Bright 2300W inverter, barely four years old, gave up the ghost yesterday = it started smoking.  That is not acceptable for such a short period of time considering what I paid for it at the time ~ $220.00.  Maybe it wasn't rated for continuous duty - but, although it was on 24/7, it usually never had a load on it.  I am now considering replacements & considering Ren's question, they are a bit more expensive.

The ugly: the Sunsaluter is useless when my system is down . . .  :(

Now, I am looking to go much bigger kinda like my gun safe . . .