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Is solar a good option?

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Is solar a good option?

Postby maryjane48 » Dec 8th, 2015, 10:55 pm

http://www.cnet.com/news/find-out-if-yo ... ar-energy/ Find out if your house is a good candidate for solar energy


type your addresses in and see what it says
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Re: Is solar good in canada ?

Postby maryjane48 » Dec 8th, 2015, 11:26 pm

the app doesnt work in canada yet but they give you formula to figure same thing out
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Re: Is solar good in canada ?

Postby alfred2 » Dec 9th, 2015, 12:18 pm

you spot off on solar do you have solar in your place? :130:
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Re: Is solar good in canada ?

Postby Veovis » Dec 9th, 2015, 12:58 pm

alfred2 wrote:you spot off on solar do you have solar in your place? :130:


Pretty sure saving the earth from oil is what people let others know what THEY should do.

My neighbor has some solar. It has minimal usage for his house, someday the technology may get to a point where it is really beneficial but for home supplement at this point it isn't quite beneficial for the average Joe due to the costs involved. Currently camping sees a benefit for many, but for household use it's not quite there but certainly improving.
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Re: Is solar good in canada ?

Postby maryjane48 » Dec 9th, 2015, 1:51 pm

alfred2 wrote:you spot off on solar do you have solar in your place? :130:

no i rent but my mom put solar on her motor home and when stopped on sunny day it lessons the need to run the gen-set . but as the link says you can figure out if solar is good idea for your part of the world , and if it is , why not use it?
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Re: Is solar good in canada ?

Postby I Think » Dec 9th, 2015, 2:32 pm

Been saying for years that the solar cost benefit line is still to the south of us, but with prices coming down and your electricity bill going up, perhaps in the near future it will become viable.
The map is interesting, you can go to the spot closest to where you live north of the border and get an idea of the insolation.
Hopefully soon they will include a calculator so you can input your own variables and get a result.
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Re: Is solar good in canada ?

Postby I Think » Dec 9th, 2015, 2:33 pm

PS am currently using about 400 watts of solar power, provides all my lighting using LED's.
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Re: Is solar good in canada ?

Postby Captain Awesome » Dec 9th, 2015, 2:42 pm

Out of all provinces in Canada, only Ontario is using solar in any meaningful way simply of their location.
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Re: Is solar a good option?

Postby alfred2 » Dec 9th, 2015, 4:13 pm

mj it is ironic that you are such a big lover of no oil , but mom drives a motor home . :200:
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Re: Is solar a good option?

Postby maryjane48 » Dec 9th, 2015, 5:00 pm

no choice till they make electric one alfred :skippingsheep:
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Re: Is solar a good option?

Postby Jlabute » Dec 9th, 2015, 5:03 pm

Solar panels have an efficiency rating that is for direct sun light measured at the equator. Once you get up in to places like Canada, their effectiveness drops drastically, especially in winter. Inexpensive panels already have a low efficiency. Also, weather patterns such as in Okanagan winters when the sun is on a low angle, the days are short, and the skies are overcast a lot of the time, solar may not make a lot of sense.

My brother on the Island is making his own solar PV panels. I should phone him and see how it is coming along. Although, he is a collector of such things and has piles of truck batteries and all sorts of stuff laying around, materials for him are cheap because of what he works with.

Seems to me that if a typical solar panel is like 4' x 2' and is roughly 100 Watts, and can cost up around $200. If I wanted to try and run a small portable air-conditioner in the summer to stay cool, I could use 10 panels thinking 1000W might be good (8' x 10' array). So, $2000 for panels or so, plus battery storage and conversion equipment to go from DC battery to AC. There are always losses in conversion. Plus, who is home when the sun is shining? Batteries are necessary. if you want to tie in to the grid and the rest of your house, it gets complicated I would think and more expensive.
It would be a major investment, plus, you'd have to replace it all on a schedule. Panels last 25 years, batteries 5 years, etc.
Might make more sense in very sunny areas.
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Re: Is solar a good option?

Postby maryjane48 » Dec 9th, 2015, 5:19 pm

http://www.bchydro.com/energy-in-bc/acq ... etmetering


bc hydro must think more people will use solar
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Re: Is solar a good option?

Postby Jlabute » Dec 9th, 2015, 6:46 pm

The article mentioned up to 100 kWh generation of clean energy is acceptable.

https://www.bchydro.com/powersmart/resi ... nergy.html

Just a link from there,
In BC., a 1 kW solar PV system, south facing and tilted with no shading, will generate about 1,200 kWh per year or about 30,000 kWh over its 25 year lifetime. This is taking into account an industry average solar panel efficiency degradation rate of 0.5 per cent per year. At a turnkey installation cost of about $3,000, it would take you over 25 years to recoup your investment at today’s average electricity rates.

I think generating 1200 kWh per year saves you about $120/year at best if the sun is shining. One thing that might make it difficult is, that measly $120 savings could easily be a lot less, and it requires a south facing panel that is 8 square meters in size... So, it is really really big and lots of roof tops do not face south... So your entire backyard could be consumed by a large panel that after 25 years will only pay for itself. There will be more costs to replace batteries, etc. So perhaps, it is better to have a much larger panel than 8 square meters in order to do better than break even and waste your time. Over- all, it is rarely trouble free and fixing problems will also be expensive. $3000 seems cheap to me... I've heard prices more in the 8k and up range.

In B.C., a 1kW solar PV array would require about 7 to 8 square metres of south facing free space. A professional systems installer can help you estimate the solar potential of your home.

The worst thing that could happen? Someone would build south of you a large building that would block your sun forever.
I am not sold on solar yet. My neighbour has those solar mini lights he installed two years ago. They never work in the winter.
Too inefficient and too much to worry about with no savings unless you have a gigantic array. I wouldn't expect it to be very reliable over the 25 years.
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Re: Is solar a good option?

Postby bob vernon » Dec 9th, 2015, 10:38 pm

The best option for alternate energy in the Okanagan is geothermal heating. In the summer it provides air conditioning. Our 3000+ sq ft house uses just under $100 a month for hydro averaged over the year. And that's all the hydro needed. Yes, we also switched most of the lights to LED. Outside of that small amount for Hydro, all the energy comes out of the ground. The compressor head on the geothermal unit is cooled by water that helps heat the hot water tank.

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Re: Is solar a good option?

Postby I Think » Dec 10th, 2015, 8:23 am

Solar panels last more than 20 years, their output does decrease over time, I am using at least one panel that was made in the early 80's, it was a 60 watt panel and still puts out enough to keep batteries up with light loading.
It may well never pay to use PV where the grid is available this far north, that has been my mantra since the 80's.
Where the grid is not available it may be the best option.
Better to take the solar money and invest it in Siemans, GE, Sun City, reputable manufacturers of wind and solar systems.
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