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ctaylor230

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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 

Hi everyone, we're a couple of students at the University of Arizona investigating the information types and information channels that contribute or impede the adoption of solar panels within the community. To keep it short, the largest barrier is the financial one. We are looking to build on existing scholarship concerning where people gather their information about renewable energy and solar panels. The survey should take <5 minutes, message me if you have any questions or want to know more about what we're doing. Thanks!


https://uarizona.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_1HLTOYTSKleixQp

KevinH

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Posts: 554
Reply with quote  #2 
Most of us here are building DIY hot air collectors, hot water collectors, and to a lesser extent, photovoltaic solar.

For photovoltaic, the biggest reasons I haven't installed a system are:
- Uncertainty about what states or individual power companies will do over the life of the system, such as metering credits and additional charges on the electric bill.  PV is a long term investment.
- No viable "plug and play" systems yet.  Professional installs are expensive.
- Community solar gardens are still too expensive with long paybacks (16 years for the one my electric company set up)

FYI, your survey had two choices with the same description "Solar panels (or collectors) for home heating".

Kevin H
MN
jimfrom12

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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #3 
I think you missing out you can make your own photovoltic panels or buy panels on the web they are quite inexpense now one dollar a watt and install your  a simple ground rack is no harder then building a fence. and things are at the level of plug in.I put my off grid system in in 1993 and have not had a electric bill since. I tell my kids to go with the grid it save money in the short term and if they get crazy add a battery bank and tell them get lost. now each panel has a mini inverter  your can buy a truck line that they just plug into. Most DIY systems have a 3 year payback .Forget all about selling power back it does not pay.The saving is in aavoiding charges. Good Luck Jim
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #4 
I agree I think PV is the way to go, and prices have come WAY down. They're still expensive but they work for you year round and they're versatile. If it's electric they can run it, heat pump, AC, stove, fridge, washer, even a car. It's all just watts to the panels.
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Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay
KevinH

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Reply with quote  #5 
My electricity use is low, 3410 KWH for the last 12 months ranging from 176 to 388 KWH per month (the winter peaks will be a little lower since I have tripled my solar thermal output for this year).  The total cost is $571.  $150 of that is the basic connection charge and a few dollars a month for tax.  If I generated every bit from solar the most I could save is $380 per year.

What I would like to have is a small plug and play system or minimal installation system that covers the baseline usage.  Something I could take with me if I move.  I wouldn't care about credits.  It's just a way to have some contribution from PV just like I am reducing natural gas usage with solar thermal.  A few companies have appeared with plug in PV, but quickly disappear.  I know there are ways to do that DIY, but when dealing with AC I would want something with all of the certifications.

Kevin H
MN
Garage_Hermit

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
What I would like to have is a small plug and play system or minimal installation system that covers the baseline usage.  Something I could take with me if I move.
 

Kevin, maybe you ought to be looking at marine PV systems, as used on boats ?
(However, like most things used on boats, the cost could soon get very prohibitive...)

G_H


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Bert

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Reply with quote  #7 
I run my solar heater fans off of solar panels that I installed. I'm slowly installing 12v wiring throughout the house. I have lights in a bathroom, family room, kitchen and living room so far.

The wife loves the "free" electric even though it cost a bit to buy the panels, controllers, batteries and wiring.

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Bert K.
Michigan

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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #8 
Just Google "plug in solar" and you will find several. The issue is not the technology, it's the utility company, the local laws, and in some cases your landlord.
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Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay
jimfrom12

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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #9 
Hi Kevin If your electric use is so low your corresponding solar system would be small and inexpensive and very doable for a portable system. systems set for RV's and marine especial if DYI  
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