Thread: Solar power
View Single Post
Old 03-31-2019, 11:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
Cyborg ECU
California98Civic's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Coastal Southern California
Posts: 5,219

Black and Green - '98 Honda Civic DX Coupe
Team Honda
90 day: 66.37 mpg (US)

Black and Red - '00 Nashbar Custom built eBike
90 day: 3671.43 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1,859
Thanked 1,556 Times in 1,058 Posts
Several years ago I volunteered with a nonprofit in Los Angeles that installed solar panels on low-income homeowners' roofs. It was part of a state project in distributed solar power generation. I worked on three or four installs, most of them single day some of them today projects.

It seemed to me as if the primary costs, in retail terms not ROI calculations, were the labor and extra fees that install companies add on to the costs for their own profit. The install itself is not very complicated: anchoring the rails for mounting the panels properly and securing the panels and inverter modules to the rails. Both grounding and wiring was taken care easily through Plug and Play Type connectors. It somewhat more complicated and a bit more necessary to get a professional electrician once you want a tie into the grid. The overall simplicity of the install was improving during the two summers and which I volunteered. it's possible that it's even simpler now.

It's just not that hard. Your expectation of a return on investment within a handful of years seems entirely reasonable given that you're going to do almost all the work yourself, especially if you are buying second-hand panels.

Why a 50 kilowatt hour setup? I mean, one way to drive up your costs would certainly be to overbuild and therefore buy too much hardware that you don't really need. I would imagine 50 kwh is maybe because of the electric vehicles you're planning?

See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.

  Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to California98Civic For This Useful Post:
aerohead (04-03-2019)