Residential PV Solar

Share your experiences with actual residential PV solar installations.

Members: 95
Latest Activity: Sep 13, 2012

I added the first discussion forum to this group and have included some data on actual residential installations, some economics on home solar projects and some links to additional information.

I plan to add more information as I find it and as others share information.

Use this link to display the Residential PV Solar Information discussion forum page.
Use this link to display the Residential PV Solar Calculator discusion forum page.
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Discussion Forum

Residential PV Solar Calculator 6 Replies

Started by Bruce Campbell. Last reply by Bruce Campbell Jul 16, 2009.

Arizona APS Solar power 1 Reply

Started by Jeff Hulgan. Last reply by Jeff Hulgan Aug 28, 2008.

Residential PV Solar Information 10 Replies

Started by Bruce Campbell. Last reply by Colin Mckinney Jul 19, 2008.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Residential PV Solar to add comments!

Comment by Gregory L. Smith on January 21, 2010 at 8:31pm
Installers of Solar Panels should take serious note the the FERC, Federl Energy Regulatory Commission has decided they will not be the enforcement agency in control of solar panel installation rules, guidelines, or testing, so, who is probably means the state's Energy department or your OEM manufacturer trainer! What a low-ball way to enable almost anyone to install Solar Energy and possibly kill themselves or burn their home down. WHat a way to go Washington. Bare minimums are all the Industry wants, and a mutually agreeable state test that can work in every state! Is that too much to ask? Why not just agree that NABCEP has the best program going and use it already to go and easy to acquire! If you'd like to comment, I DO want your feedback! Tell to go away, or explain why you don't agree? Life is a precious thing to waste, and three phase connects are not a way to lose them!!! It leaves too little to recognize. Just email me at gregors@att.net Solar group....
Comment by Al Toman on December 18, 2009 at 7:31am
Members of Congress and the Executive Branch of Government put into law concepts such as "Cap and Trade". Members of Congress and the Executive Branch are in office because WE put them there. It doesn't matter who they are, what Party they represent. What matters is who do you want to shove that 2 by 4 up yours!

Consequently, since WE put them there, WE put into law concepts such as "Cap and Trade". Politicians know this. Wall Street know this. So ultimately, it is OUR bad. WE are the ones to blame.

If WE had any kind of backbone, and we don't, WE would simply stop consumption. If WE don't consume, "stuff" isn't manufactured. If "stuff" isn't manufactured, smoke stacks no longer smoke.

So, how did YOU support Cap and Trade today?
Comment by Jacqueline on December 17, 2009 at 11:29am
Brilliant piece on "Cap & Trade":
Please watch & share...
Comment by Jacqueline on June 22, 2009 at 12:36pm
AB 560 needs to pass:
Assembly Bill 560 would increase the cap on "net metering," which gives solar customers credit on their electric bill for surplus power they transfer to the utility. Currently, a utility is not obligated to sign net-metering contracts once solar power equals 2.5 percent of its peak electricity demand, a level PG&E is approaching. AB 560 would quadruple that cap, to 10 percent.
Please spread the word and take action by calling your Representative - requesting the bill be passed. Thanks!
Comment by B. Barley on June 18, 2009 at 5:39am
need off grid energy? I have a plug and play system, all you need are panels and batteries!
Comment by Al Toman on January 4, 2009 at 4:42pm
Hello PV People!

Unbiased Reviews
I'm not sure where a good unbiased web site can be had (but I'm sure one or two are out there) about today's available residential PV solar.
Personally, I discovered that I had to do a whole lot of math and calculations to properly assess something of this nature.
In my assessment for the benefit of each and every homeowner in the community here in sunny Carolina) PV solar panels on a much smaller scale are very practical and economical (1-4 yr paybacks) as compared to whole house PV panel installations.

If you, your customers, have the money, go for it! However, it's more like playing the market. If you have the money to gamble, go gamble and have fun. If not, then, don't look for PV to be the savior. Now, Arizona, New Mexico, and lands in the South West, it's a different story requiring a different assessment.

Small PV Solar Panels
I have a specific project, solar water heating, that can use a small 5 watt, 12 vdc PV panel. This is a job-specific use of PV solar panels. The installation specifications can use it very effectively and efficiently. Therefore, my return is in 2 years and I'm home free after that. Not bad, hey?

I have another project involved with practical outdoor lighting. Again, I can use high efficient LED modules (20mA) with demand-use sensor and controllers, and satisfy my lighting requirements without tapping into my shack's meter.

I have another project where I need some lighting where the sun don't shine. By using high efficient LED (not your store bought brands), I can tie them into the mains (run them off my meter) and STILL achieve my objective at a very low, low cost even though I can't use PV solar panels.

This leads me to say that before anyone considers whole house PV Solar that they may want to consider high efficient, low voltage lighting and appliances. This involves a couple of things:
1) A change in your habits, how you've done things in the past (and this is a very hard thing to do because all of you are cigarette smokers and don't even realize it)
2) bringing your adobe into a high energy efficient state. That is, you want to reduce the load before you calculate what size system you'll need, load wise.

Keep in mind that the energy captured from the sun has to be stored and battery technology today is about as antiquated as a mechanical typewriter. The engineers and product development people just haven't been keeping up with it. It is a dilemma, for sure, for PV solar advocates just as it is for auto manufacturers.

In any case, before you enter a whole house residential PV solar installation, do the math. Your figures should come from all directions, exhaust all possible venues, before you start throwing PV panels on the roof. If you're dependent on a vendor, then, have the vendor show you the math, the equations, the calculations, and get them confirmed by a second, unrelated party. Yes. It is that critical. Do not accept pretty glossy pictures from vendors. Get only the facts and more importantly, the figures.
Comment by Liz Kelly on January 1, 2009 at 9:37am
Wow! Maybe I've come too late to this group to see any comments that will be of use in making a decision to go solar. Can anyone point to a comment here or a website elsewhere (hopefully not a .com) to get some good decision-making info on solar for the home? Thanks much!
Comment by Earl Allen Boek on November 7, 2008 at 6:35am
Wanting to set up network of California based conservation and solar generation dealers. American Energy Conservation Group, (your city, your county)

We create NegaWatts, the cheapest watt of power is the watt you do not have to generate. Easy as one, two, three...

1) Conservation first...Insulate, Windows, Weatherize, Audit

2) Solar DHW second, a solar waterheating collector is 80% effective
compared to about 20% for solar electric panel...There-fore, it's important
that this highly cost effective solar is thought of first, before solar electric
for water heating needs, space heating, extra energy storage in batteries,
you would call them solar storage tanks, spa heating and pool heating,
air conditioning is also possible using solar dhw.

3) After 1 & 2 are completed, like the thousands of systems we have operating in Ca nearly 30 years now, trouble-free, only then should you consider the
solar electric install. You'll find the system size can be downsized, now,
because of the other conservation and solar generation efforts. You'll find the
pay-back on the solar electric system will be quicker and when you really
educate your customer to this approach and show them the love and concern
you have for them, they'll get it and you'll receive more business from their friends...Come on folks...Let's get it right this time....50% of any renewable
energy project should be invested in one and two...That's the AECG way.

Interested parties should contact Al Boek, Redding CA at 530-549-4315 or
write at americanenergyatfrontiernetdotnet...Thanks for listening.
Comment by Jeff Hulgan on September 11, 2008 at 5:37pm
Hello all,
I was checking some people that are looking at getting solar for there home and might not now that they talked to a rep.
We have two programs with APS, a 7 to 7 plan and set prices on and off peak and a 9 to 9 plan with basically the same.
So if you are generating more power that you are using during the day you cannot use it at night, you make it, they use it, if you don’t use the daytime power you loose it, so you need to pay for the power you use at night.
They need to make a solar program that has the same rate day and night and make it so you can use whatever you put into the system, if you use more you pay for what you have used. Who do we need to talk to?
Anyone have any other ideas that might work.
Comment by Gregory L. Smith on September 3, 2008 at 9:47pm
I think, just about everyone I have spoken to believes the Feed-in Tariff system is the only way people will be able to afford to go to solar in the near future. The upfront costs are just too high. I looked at Solar Thermal systems as a means to use radiant heating, but the technology is still in the testing mode and expensive if it fails, so there has to be some way to get the prices down.
It is amazing, however, that nay-sayers say the cost is too high, period, not looking at the eventual savings in the future. And if you look at industry's decisions to go solar, you can be surprised when a company can recover their total investment in 4 years, due to the higher costs of Natural Gas in the winter time as well as Heating Oil, and both pollute and both are expended with CO2 resulting, so for those companies, there really is a positive reason to go green. It is the individual resident that has the trouble, and the government is hesitant to encourage rebates and credits, although they produce significant results in participation.
The real issues will eventually be, CO2 generation and the negative effects to the environment and also the significant costs to elderly people who live in insufficiently insulated and generally low quality heating and cooling facilities. There is a direct transfer of costs from the lack of heat and cooling to health costs to the hospitals and emergency medical centers that treat those patients, simply because prevention was not considered "feasible".
And Remember that the old people of tomorrow are us! So solar and residential wind power as well as Geo-thermal should be incorporated as a strategy to reduce costs for future health issues, much higher costs than converting to Solar per home. And New materials will be here soon that absorb 100% of available light and heat, which then convert to electricity at a higher capacity for 1/5th the cost. There is hope it will be developed by DOE.
Cal Berkeley reported this a month ago and the compound is based on similar compounds used already, but with Nitrites, that make the crystals darker and more pronounced and uneven, causing some problems for manufacture. Still, if the cost per watt becomes more like $.40/watt for a 200 watt panel, and less than 12" wide and long, then parity of price will have occurred and we will be very busy putting up and installing new systems that bring a profit each month, in addition to meeting the needs of families.
Gallium, Indium, and Nitrites are the compounds that combined, create these 100% absorbent crystals. If you find a manufacturer anytime soon, they will be working 24/7! We can only hope!
Gregor Smith gregors@att.net Check with Solar group for link.

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