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  1. #61
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    Default Re: 25 kW Solar power project in Iowa.

    Ladia

    Thanks for sharing your plans! Hopefully you can get the loan you need... sounds like you have done most of your homework.

    Those cheap panels you mention above is why some of the solar companies are not making it, they banked on the prices staying higher longer and now are not able to compete. I have been looking at solar for camping, found some good information for putting solar on travel trailer. I suspect it also applies to homes HandyBob's Blog. If you want to be able to ride out power outages, especially at night, you might consider a few batteries to store the energy..

    Keep us posted and remember to take pictures.

    EDIT: that website above has some information against putting solar in for homes already on the grid, just ignore it. The comments about wire sizes and knowing what your usage is are spot on... which you already know..
    Last edited by hawkeye08; 09-13-2012 at 07:36 PM.
    2007 Kubota L3130, LA723 FEL
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  2. #62
    Elite Member MotorSeven's Avatar
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    Default Re: 25 kW Solar power project in Iowa.

    Quote Originally Posted by Domush View Post

    I would hope they are still producing after 20+ years, as at today's panel prices (which one would assume are cheaper than 20 years ago), using the numbers given here in this thread (53K cost w/$3,600/year income), it will take 15 years to just get your money back from a DIY install, assuming zero maintenance costs (not realistic), perfectly clean cells (not realistic), 0% deterioration rate (also not realistic) and 100% energy utilization (retail KW/h rate) over that entire 15 years. The ongoing costs can be offset by increasing electric rates, so that may be a wash or even bump it up by a year or two, making it 13-14 years until the first penny of actual cost savings. Just imagine how long those 20-30 year old PV cells will still have to produce in the future before they become a net gain for their purchasers.

    Where in this math are these old issues you speak of?
    Domush, there is no math here. You would have to have been following solar for that long to grasp all that has happened over that time period. The biggest gain is efficiency, no I don't have the numbers, but today's
    panels are way ahead and cheaper. I understand your frustration with subsidies..they are rampant and exactly why our country is in big trouble. Should they all stop? Maybe, I think a lot of them should. Look at things from a different angle...you have been paying THE power company to provide your electrical needs all you life(since you moved out of your parents house), right? How much of that power was subsidized? Here the TVA is directly tied to the Government, yes we have a lot of Hydro power, but federal tax payers help out quite a bit. Is not generating your own power a good thing?
    2008 KIOTI DK40Se Hydro
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  3. #63
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    Default Re: 25 kW Solar power project in Iowa.

    Quote Originally Posted by dave1949 View Post
    The air you breathe is cleaned by every subsidized solar PV system installed, even though it isn't on your roof, and your personal cost is limited to a tiny percentage of the subsidy. The need for and associated costs of increased power generation and distribution grid capacity are reduced by alternate, local electricity generation. You ought to be cheering on people who adopt alternate energy.
    Uhhmmm, I not so sure about that. Are you aware of the energy and the chemicals and the processing and waste and transportation that goes into making solar panels? What happens to all of that stuff?

    I do agree with you on the concept of smaller and more localized energy production systems and the positive effects regarding transmission losses and grid issues.
    Kubota M8540HD ROPS, LA1353 FEL

  4. #64
    Elite Member Redneck in training's Avatar
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    Default Re: 25 kW Solar power project in Iowa.

    Quote Originally Posted by piller View Post
    Uhhmmm, I not so sure about that. Are you aware of the energy and the chemicals and the processing and waste and transportation that goes into making solar panels? What happens to all of that stuff?

    I do agree with you on the concept of smaller and more localized energy production systems and the positive effects regarding transmission losses and grid issues.
    Even though I didn't consider it when I made the decision to proceed with solar system I look into it. Example article is here but there are other sources with similar conclusion.

    Low-tech Magazine: The ugly side of solar panels

    In general solar panels produce about 0.1 of equivalent emission/kWh produced during their lifetime than fossil sources of energy. They are not perfect source of energy but there is no doubt they are better than fossil.

    The dreamers aren't those who think that solar will be the universal source of energy. Dreamers are those who think that they can stop it. Don't know who said it but I think that is what is going to happen.
    Solar energy production is predicted to rise 650% in near future.

  5. #65
    Gold Member Alien's Avatar
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    Default Re: 25 kW Solar power project in Iowa.

    Germany is certainly embracing solar rather than nuclear now with massive solar farms. Piller mentioned emissions as a by-product producing solar panels. I think that what they save in emissions over a lifetime far outweighs production emissions. Since March this year, my modest system has saved 1,620Kg of CO2. I doubt it would have used anywhere near that to produce them. So 1,620KG in 6 months = 3,240 per year over 20 years = 64,800 kg by my calculations. Just another way of looking at it. Just waiting on my second bill to arrive. I got a small credit on my first one.
    With a CK30 you have the whole world in your hands.


  6. #66
    Super Star Member dave1949's Avatar
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    Default Re: 25 kW Solar power project in Iowa.

    Quote Originally Posted by piller View Post
    Uhhmmm, I not so sure about that. Are you aware of the energy and the chemicals and the processing and waste and transportation that goes into making solar panels? What happens to all of that stuff?

    I do agree with you on the concept of smaller and more localized energy production systems and the positive effects regarding transmission losses and grid issues.
    There are no free lunches, for sure. Consider the embedded energy, chemicals, etc. that are needed to build the equipment to extract and transport fossil fuels--before they are burned. Those fuels are energy rich but also high in volume and weight, requiring massive infrastructure.

    I think it depends on how far down the chain of what is needed to supply fossil fuels to their end uses is included. But obviously, coal cannot be burned in a power plant until it has been extracted and transported, same for oil and natural gas. Of course oil and to some extent natural gas require refining/processing to be usable after they have been extracted.

    It would be interesting to know more about these comparisons, such as how many kilowatts of solar power, at what environmental cost, can be delivered for the embedded total costs of building and running a coal train for 20 years? I don't have the answers, but intuitively feel that solar will come out ahead.

    A big part of the problem in making these comparisons is nobody puts a price on the value of a removed mountain top, the inherent watershed damage, or the reduced quality of life for those living in the area. Unknown or unstated costs are not imaginary costs. That applies to all forms of extraction, be it coal or whatever is needed to build a solar panel.
    "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end ..."
    When there is a huge solar energy spill, it is called a "nice day"!

  7. #67
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    Default Re: 25 kW Solar power project in Iowa.

    Quote Originally Posted by piller View Post
    Uhhmmm, I not so sure about that. Are you aware of the energy and the chemicals and the processing and waste and transportation that goes into making solar panels? What happens to all of that stuff?

    I do agree with you on the concept of smaller and more localized energy production systems and the positive effects regarding transmission losses and grid issues.
    It's not even a tic on the arse of a flea compared to Tar Sands, or Hydro Electric.
    Tim.

  8. #68
    Elite Member Redneck in training's Avatar
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    Default Re: 25 kW Solar power project in Iowa.

    I found a simulation program that can run simulation for different cases of energy projects.
    According to simulation I could increase power generation by horizontal tracking (variable tilt) by about 28%. The biggest gain is tracking during the day I suppose. Fixed tilt and variable tilt reports are attached for those who are interested. Seasonal variable tilt has only marginal effect.

  9. #69
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    Default Re: 25 kW Solar power project in Iowa.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alien View Post
    Germany is certainly embracing solar rather than nuclear now with massive solar farms. Piller mentioned emissions as a by-product producing solar panels. I think that what they save in emissions over a lifetime far outweighs production emissions. Since March this year, my modest system has saved 1,620Kg of CO2. I doubt it would have used anywhere near that to produce them. So 1,620KG in 6 months = 3,240 per year over 20 years = 64,800 kg by my calculations. Just another way of looking at it. Just waiting on my second bill to arrive. I got a small credit on my first one.
    Alien you are lucky with your electricity cost here in South Australia its closer to 30c a KW.
    We have an all electric house (apart from a wood heater) my normal bill was around $450 now its between $30 and $60 and I only have a 3kw system. Plus you get the big bonus of your property value rising by more than the cost of the solar investment. A win win situation if you ask me

  10. #70
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    Default Re: 25 kW Solar power project in Iowa.

    Hi Zonta, Didn't realize it was that bad down there. I see some in North America only pay 7c. Maybe you could overdrive your system to gain a few KWh? A few folk are doing that by adding extra panels. This site here has some knowledgable folk on it re that. http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum/143
    There are other sites too, but some of them are knowledgable knockers so take it all with a grain of salt. Energy Matters Forum is one that comes to mind.
    I also think that Solar on your home should also be an attractive proposition for a buyer. There are some who argue against this. I wonder if they have any real idea.
    With a CK30 you have the whole world in your hands.


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