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Old 03-24-2009, 01:43 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bozeman, MT
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Daily Driver - '02 Pontiac Grand Prix SE
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renewable is nice, but one has to think about energy density. My dad recently installed a solar panel at their home, rather large, and it tracks the sun throughout the day.
The website has all the specs about what they're using physically and electrically. The whole panel is 15' x 14' on a 20-something foot pole. It's a biggun'.
They system dumps power into the grid, and that counts as a credit towards their monthly bill. It does not directly power anything. There is a bunch of producers for the valley, thus taking some load off the coal firing plants. 1% so far, they hope for 3% soon enough.
It unfortunately doesn't produce enough throughout the year to support their home, but if they could store the energy from the 24hrs of daylight in the summer (alaska) it could supply their needs 24/7. For the month they're up to 282KWh. I'd like to see the dollar values they're saving and their current usage. See how much the panel is offsetting. I'll send an email and see if dad is willing to share that. I remember a few months when I was growing up it was over 600KWh in the winter. I think now dad said they keep between 150-400KWh summer-winter.

Tangent aside about the panel, while this one should produce most the electricity he needs, there are millions who use much more. There are places that don't get as much sunlight, where its not viable to install personal panels, or even a large array plant. We need something to supplement.

although now that I remember, someone said a solar array the size of NV would easily power North America. The size of AK would power the world for a few generations of electricity increase. Sooo....
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