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Old 01-19-2019, 12:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm just curious as to people's thoughts on photo-voltaic panels for their homes.

- Do you have them?
- Are you seriously planning to get them?
- Do you use a battery backup?
- Do you directly charge an EV with them? Would you?
- Is/was having solar power a factor in deciding to own an EV?
- What would you do differently now if starting from scratch?

I'm not really interested in the politics of clean vs. dirty power etc. (There's another thread for that.)

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Old 01-19-2019, 12:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snax View Post
- Do you have them?
- Are you seriously planning to get them?
- Do you use a battery backup?
- Do you directly charge an EV with them? Would you?
- Is/was having solar power a factor in deciding to own an EV?
- What would you do differently now if starting from scratch?
I have a 4.96kW array that I had installed early last year, and I am currently working on a DIY addition of another 1.2kW (as Grape Solar is based here and has some scratch and dent panels I'll be picking up on Monday).

I will probably add even more panels down the road, but at significantly more cost with the need for a second inverter.

Mine is grid tied for whole house use with no backup and single net metered at 1:1 pricing.

I did not get the EV because I suddenly started thinking green about solar. There was no correlation of the two.

I do wish I had made a provision for battery backup, not for extended use, but to keep the array functional if/when the power does go out. It hasn't happened in the nearly 3 years I have lived here, but Cascadia quake zone and all, staring at 6.2kW of dead panels on the roof would be a soul-killer post disaster. I also want to be able to charge my EV in that event. :\

I also wish I had gone with a larger inverter from the start, but that's not a huge cost factor to future expansion. My current one will likely be at 100% capacity with the additional 1.2kW I am adding, but I have roof and ground space for more.
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Old 01-19-2019, 03:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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home photovoltaic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snax View Post
I'm just curious as to people's thoughts on photo-voltaic panels for their homes.

- Do you have them?
- Are you seriously planning to get them?
- Do you use a battery backup?
- Do you directly charge an EV with them? Would you?
- Is/was having solar power a factor in deciding to own an EV?
- What would you do differently now if starting from scratch?

I'm not really interested in the politics of clean vs. dirty power etc. (There's another thread for that.)
For me,purchasing wind-generated power from my electric Coop worked out to be more pragmatic.
We have enough cloud cover to be a deal-breaker for solar,while the wind is really reliable.
I pay a flat 13-cents/kWh.And I'm squirreling away all that I can for a second-hand entry-level EV.20-miles range would exceed most of my needs.
I do have a modest PV array,and have enjoyed 10-years off the grid,and a solar-charged electric scooter,but it's more of a technology demonstrator than 'real' transportation.
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm trying to get solar.
I installed sub panels to free up space in my main panel.
The coop requires that the solar power tie in through the main and so I can add EV charging circuits.
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Old 01-20-2019, 12:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have no plans to get solar, though I might if subsidies make them attractive enough to justify the upfront cost.

I'm more interested in micro-hydro and would like to purchase property that is conducive to that.

Since I'm in Oregon, wind probably makes more sense. That is the most likely route I will go.

None of that has any bearing on me wanting to get an EV (which I do). Perhaps if there were a smart way to use the car as emergency house power, that would influence my decision. I've got no interest in battery backup apart from making an EV dual purpose because batteries are so expensive and it's a waste of resources considering the grid is my "battery".
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Over priced here, plus limited sunlight hours...so not happening as things stand.

Our electricity is all hydro generated anyway, and 10c a kwh...as much as I'd enjoy being off-grid, there's no real point.
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Old 01-20-2019, 04:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The electricity here mostly comes from coal and wind power and the base rate is 7 cents a KwH. My entire bill divided consumption is between 9 and 10 cents with the surcharge added in.
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Old 01-20-2019, 04:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
I have no plans to get solar, though I might if subsidies make them attractive enough to justify the upfront cost.

I'm more interested in micro-hydro and would like to purchase property that is conducive to that.

Since I'm in Oregon, wind probably makes more sense. That is the most likely route I will go.
I literally jumped on the Oregon tax credit at the last minute the previous year. Going from 30% to nil overnight made it go from worth paying somebody else to install it to being obscenely expensive again without going DIY.

As a field service technician, I see so many homes with running streams nearby that don't utilize micro-hydro, I die a little inside each time. Most people have no clue about that.
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Old 01-20-2019, 05:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Tesla 3.66 kW solar, Nissan Leaf

I agree with what somebody else said, there's no need to get an EV and solar power at the same time. But, we're very glad we got both. We got the Leaf first and solar power about 1.5 years later. If I could only choose one, I would pick the EV before solar power.

The Nissan Leaf probably saves $1,000/year on gas and maintenance and it's more fun than the old ICE (internal combustion engine) car.

Our Tesla 3.66 kW system was designed to cover about 75% of our home electric bill. This December it was 80% covered, so maybe our savings will be more than expected. Tesla was pretty expensive compared to other options but I don't regret it, and it will pay off in the long term. Breakeven is about 14 years. Customer service has been good and I like the Google Nest they gave us. The Google Nest saves lots of energy, too.

Unfortunately my town in Texas doesn't have any extra solar rebates and electricity is already cheap (~10c/kWh). So we're in an area where rooftop solar barely makes sense, financially.

My only regret is not waiting a bit longer because Tesla just dropped solar prices by "up to 20%." With the 20% price drop, it would have been a very easy decision to go solar.

We're pretty much maxed out on roof and yard space. I toy with doing a ground solar installation for my parents in Colorado because they have plenty of open fields and good rebates.
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Old 01-20-2019, 06:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The answer to most of your questions is location, location, location for me.
Western Washington has too many cloudy days, and I have too many tall trees to the south to really use solar.
My brother has some big trees south of his array in Yakima, but Yakima has many more days of great solar. He also has solar hot water and a geothermal heat pump system that I helped install.

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