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Old 01-15-2009, 09:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
I've seen low quality PV get cheaper and I've seen stuff made in China become avalible, but personally I'd still spend my money on the stuff that has been proven to work, made by people who will still be around if something does happen to it, I just wish I would have bought some PV while the raw materials that they are made out of where cheaper and demand was down and when the economy was doing well enough that they felt cheaper, but then again everyone was waiting for the price to drop in 10 years.

The Evergreen panel factory is about 30 miles up the road from here..
I wonder if they have a big stack of panels that didn't pass QC inspection??
That would be sweet!!

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Old 01-15-2009, 10:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Christ -

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Everyone is always waiting for the price to drop in 10 years... the problem with that is the company making them can't build operating capital if everyone "waits" and noone "buys."
It's kinda like saying "I almost donated those old shirts, but I threw them away instead."

To us, it's a simple choice most of the time, because we aren't as consumer-driven in our lives as most people tend to be... at least that's how I see it. Either way, the price will never come down, and the company will never thrive if everyone just waits on the sidelines... conversely, some companies might be better placed to benefit their initial customers with such things as cheaper upgrades on new technology, or free service calls, etc. To "sweeten up the deal" for the people who are getting the 1st runs (which obviously still have bugs, and aren't as good as the same re-developed, cheaper product we'll all buy 10 years from now.)
Guilty as charged. I have had two chances to make a difference on this.

One was when my Dad was having a new roof installed on his house. There was a window of opportunity for me to bankroll the installation of solar-shingles on the small second story. It would have had perfect Southern exposure, and would have been low maintenance. I think it would have been maybe 1KW. Not a lot of juice, but they don't use much. I had the money back then, but I didn't think fast enough.

The second is the driveway at our house. We have a 1924 flat roof, which would be good for panels. But, I don't want to risk creating a drainage/leak problem relative to increasing the load on the building, so I would rather build a sturdy carport that could support the solar panels. It's a 3-for-1 because we would get a carport, a shady driveway in the summer, and it would be the best location on the property for solar access. But these days, I can't justify spending the money.

I don't see any problem with (even more) subsidies to make this cheap and/or at least competitive. I think there is at least one company that will "lease" the systems to you. They defray all or part of the installation/materials cost. You pay a "normal" energy bill, but they get that money and own the system. Please don't quote me on the details because I know I am describing it badly!!!

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Old 01-15-2009, 11:02 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I understand exactly what you're saying, and in principle, it's a good idea, but leasing has always been all or none... either it's a great solution for you, or it's the worst thing you could have come up with to do with your money.. so that's definitely a "beware" situation.

I have to say I'm guilty of waiting too (I think we all are) b/c I've had the money I don't know how many times to get that low-consumption larger-screen LCD TV and replace my C.R.(ap)T. TV, but I keep waiting for a sale, or the price to go even lower.. and its still relatively new technology, and now everything is HD, which is keeping the price higher than it could be, etc...

Same w/ a Wii... wife wants one to beat all... but I can't justify spending $250 on it when I know it will be cheaper in a year... same w/ the only game she wants for it... WiiFit. It's like $150...
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Some info I put up the other day on EcoRenovator.

Plumeting Solar PV Prices | EcoRenovator.org
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I installed a 2480 watt PV gridtie system last year - went live 10-8-2008.
December was bad - snow on panels = 0 output. :-(
But now that the days are getting longer it's all good.
Getting over 7 kWh on most days.
Questions?
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Old 02-02-2009, 10:43 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EcoDriver1951 View Post
I installed a 2480 watt PV gridtie system last year - went live 10-8-2008.
December was bad - snow on panels = 0 output. :-(
But now that the days are getting longer it's all good.
Getting over 7 kWh on most days.
Questions?

7 kWh is pretty dang good.. I wish we had some of that solar juice..

Our usage during these last few cold months, has been almost 24 kWh a day. Meaning we are using
1 KW of power (on average) all the time.
A lot of that comes from this little space heater sitting right here beside me!!
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:03 AM   #17 (permalink)
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What's that system worth? 7kWh makes me cringe - I pay 5.9c/kWh so the savings is pretty dismal IMO.
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:49 AM   #18 (permalink)
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i predict that some of your wishes will come true, as people loose there jobs and are less able to buy any product the demand and cost of all metirals will drop, this will let everyone in every sector drop their prices including PV, but they will still be unafordable for the average person, but unlike before when they could have afforded them and be making their own power if they had just saved money, they will instead be hoping they have enough money to pay for basic living costs.
But as I said, I suspect the prices will drop in the next year.
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:34 AM   #19 (permalink)
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It depends if you are making a financial or an environmental choice. Usually, you can rarely have both at the same time.

The financial choice is easy. What is your opportunity cost? If it was a no brainer you'd already have panels on your roof.

The environmental choice is a bit more touchy. Because it is hard to put a $ sign next to the value you allocate to the environmental aspect. I suspect that is the reason most people are waiting.

You don't see many solar panels around here mainly for 3 reasons:

Cost per kWh can be as low as 4.33˘/kWh if you use bi-energy, but is usually 5.4˘/kWh.
We get long winters with plenty of snow.
Over 90% of our electricity comes from hydro and most people think it's green. Probably because it's historically been compared to coal.
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:56 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Thumbs up RE"What's that system worth?"

The system was $22,200 US. I can get a Federal tax rebate of $2,000 when I file my taxes this Spring. I am also getting a check for $4,200 from a state agency (Wisconsin). The Federal tax credit was 30 percent of the system cost, but was capped last year at $2,000.
As of Jan 1, 2009 it is still 30 percent , but no cap. So if I bought the same system this year the tax credit would be 20,200 - 4,200 = 16,000 * .30 = $4,800.
However, I got in on a deal with the local Electric utility where they were offering 10 year contacts to buy renewable energy (my electricity) for 22.5 cents a kWh. Sweet. If the price I pay goes above that I can opt out and still get net metering - I would get paid the same price per kWh that I'm charged.
Most but not all states have net metering laws on the books.
DSIRE: DSIRE Home

So anyway, my net cost will be about $14,000. The cost per kwH used to be 5 cents or so, but is up around 10-11 cent now. The panels have a 40+ year lifespan, so I'll not be needing new ones for awhile. Expect it to "pay for itself" in about 14 years, but it's already paid for itself as far as I'm concerned.


PS another useful link: http://www.homepower.com/home/

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