Is solar a good option?

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Re: Is solar a good option?

Postby Mr. Sanity » Feb 12th, 2016, 12:57 pm

So the panels are warrantied for 25 years as are the microinverters. Lots of panels are still being used and producing well beyond 30 years. I should be able to enjoy 15 years or so of free energy. By then the price of a panel might be even more reasonable. Replacing a panel is relatively easy and can be done by the homeowner saving even more.

Hydro currently provides enough energy for most all of BC, I'm not sure they'd have a hard time with the extra load during off-peak times. Unless you're concerned about the "hit" the grid will take when all of the solar producers come on-line?

From what I'm seeing in the industry with regards to storage I believe that within the next 10 years we'll see very affordable home storage (like Tesla Powerwall) as well as Utility Grid sized storage that will more than cover the extra loads.

I think BC is in the perfect position as we can transition to other renewable energies slowly as we don't have the pressure that a Province like Alberta has or Ontario saw. Less mistakes are made when you have time to consider options.
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Re: Is solar a good option?

Postby Donald G » Feb 12th, 2016, 1:42 pm

I hope that those who go the solar route realize their dreams but I have yet to read an article about Solar Energy in Canada that does not, as per the honest comments by Mr. Sanity, not contain the words ... should be ... I should ... might be ... not sure ... I believe ... I think ... and similar far from definite statements.

Although I am not willing to go that route I appreciate the information that comes from such personal initiative and await the cumulative findings inherent in many such solar energy trials by individual Canadians.

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Re: Is solar a good option?

Postby Smurf » Feb 12th, 2016, 3:48 pm

I'm not sure BC is in the perfect position to transition to other sources because I don't totally agree that we want to. Use them, definitely, but I feel that Hydro will be one of the most reliable, stable, renewable resources we will have. I do agree that cost will go up but as I have explained before that will not be because of site C. That is because of the IPP'S and the government using Hydro and ICBC as their personal bank accounts and letting their customers blame them. The government has to get that money from some where but I feel taxes would be a more honest place and we could lay the blame where it truly lies. Both Hydro and ICBC would be a lot cheaper if it wasn't for government theft. I believe that site C unlike most of the other renewable sources energies you talk about will give us the ability to sell power for possibly some time to offset it's cost. It also has the ability to stabilize the system when necessary which none of these other sources would have. Site C, Hydro power supplies have many advantages as systems get larger and larger. As systems start to contain more and more of these other energies the demand for large stable supplies will become higher for the purpose of system stability. I have no real idea how a large solar system would react during a stability problem, especially at night. Whether they could control it or not. I do believe thousands of small home systems would be useless and quite possibly a problem. I have not kept up 100% with the engineering.
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Re: Is solar a good option?

Postby Mr. Sanity » Feb 16th, 2016, 12:17 pm

Good comments Donald G and Smurf. I agree with both of those. Solar is a luxury item at present here in BC and as stated we don't have to rely on any other sources of energy if we don't want to. Hydro can be sustainable here in BC for as long as the water is running. But that also makes BC the perfect place to apply different energy solutions without having to rely on any specific one. Alberta really has no choice if they are to move from fossil fuels. The other thing that I like solar for is it's getting people talking (like us) and thinking about energy conservation, climate change and the planet in general. I'm pretty sure that we are all in agreement here that the oil needs to stay in the ground, that the world has to do something about the carbon we're pouring into the atmosphere.

50 years from now how many of us are driving gasoline cars and trucks? How many of us are getting energy from oil, coal, natural gas etc? We need to stop treating the world like our garbage dump. My own kids are trying to get us to be garbage free with composting and recycling we're down to a small grocery bag of garbage every 2 weeks. My own parents are in their 70's and they are big recyclers, they weren't so much 10 years ago. If they can change I'm hopeful for the future. I just hope that the change will come soon enough.

Thanks for putting up with me and good luck in all of your research and discoveries.

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Re: Is solar a good option?

Postby forum » Mar 12th, 2016, 2:43 pm

Canada is a very small population of people, which leads to small thinking.
Solar Energy is one of the available options Humanity has to provide energy for our growth.
If everyone just sat on their butt and said no no no, of course the technology will never get better.

It's the big thinkers, the early adopters, the long visionary investors that truly understand the capacity Solar Energy has.

Too many people here think in black and white, you need to think how we can use all forms of energy and truly optimize the distribution.

It's funny how many of you will drive your gas vehicle to the store for a case of beer, or your kids to hockey practice (hockey is a very inefficient, costly sport with very low ROI), or Tim Hortons drive thru for a box of fat, sugar and coffee then say IN THE SAME SENTENCE how Solar Energy is inefficient. We are all hypocrites, that is the truth.

Much of this boils down to our own personal greed as humans. Many simply don't want to spend their own money on something that doesn't immediately give them high amounts of self pleasure.

Who cares is you spend $10,000 on a Solar Array for your house, and never see the full return. You're helping out.

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Re: Is solar a good option?

Postby Donald G » Mar 12th, 2016, 9:51 pm

Postby forum » Today, 1:43 pm

Canada is a very small population of people, which leads to small thinking.
Solar Energy is one of the available options


IMO the real life viability of solar energy depends on where you live and what alternative electricity options are available.

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Re: Is solar a good option?

Postby forum » Mar 13th, 2016, 12:12 pm

Well I thinks Solar Energy is like water, of not better. It's reliable in the fact that the sun WILL rise again! Just because some areas of the planet get little, and others have an abundance, we should be capturing it every moment we can. We just need to keep lowering the cost to capture and distribute, that is all.

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Re: Is solar a good option?

Postby Ptolemy Soter » Mar 14th, 2016, 9:23 pm

This is why people need to utilize their imaginations. Not enough do, therefore few good ideas get done at the pace they should.
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Re: Is solar a good option?

Postby tsayta » Mar 19th, 2016, 8:26 pm

I love solar. I use it all the time. Got 3 deep cycle batteries hooked together and a charge controller hooked to 2 panels on my commander. Puts 14.4v at 3 w (is it watts or something else, can't remember) back into the system when parked. Nothing like free juice
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Re: Is solar a good option?

Postby Queen K » Nov 8th, 2017, 9:03 pm

^^ I love it Tsayta, of course critics would ask how did it go today, but the real answer is that solar isn't meant to the be all for all, it's meant for those days when free juice after capital outlay lasts for years and years. Thanks for sharing that one :130:


I was watching the news on coal in the USA today and was surprised to learn that a coal musuem has solar panels on their roof top. They expect to save $8,000 - $10,000 USD/year. Save. That gives you an idea as to their energy costs, no?

Here is but one of dozens articles on the coal museum with solar panels.

https://arstechnica.com/information-tec ... -its-roof/
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Re: Is solar a good option?

Postby alfred2 » Nov 9th, 2017, 12:29 pm

tsayta wrote:I love solar. I use it all the time. Got 3 deep cycle batteries hooked together and a charge controller hooked to 2 panels on my commander. Puts 14.4v at 3 w (is it watts or something else, can't remember) back into the system when parked. Nothing like free juice

what did it cost to put in the free juice and how realliable is it.how long do batteries last? Thanks for info. :smt045
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Re: Is solar a good option?

Postby tsayta » Nov 9th, 2017, 2:09 pm

I got the panels on sale at crappie tire for about $100 each. Got a charge controller on ebay for $15. I run high quality batteries in the machine. Odyssey 925. I can park and run a stereo all day long and be down to 12.3 volts. Battery is isolated from the starting battery so there is no risk of getting stuck.
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