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solar panel curiosity  

 

spincycle
(@spincycle)
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January 13, 2017 7:58 pm  

Can those of you that installed solar panels please describe your experience as well as panel source, installation, & cost analysis. what is the overall feeling of roof mount vs standing mount?


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Gator's Mom
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January 13, 2017 8:19 pm  

I'm not sure you can get a permit for standing mounted panels in the VI at your home.

We have 18 panels on our roof and use net metering.

Company that installed our system on STX no longer is in business since net metering was capped by WAPA and the government.

Cost for our system was around $16K four years ago. Our WAPA bill is less than 0. I estimate we're at breakeven on our investment now.


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vicanuck
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January 13, 2017 8:46 pm  

I have a 7.5 KW system with 20 panels currently and roof space to easily add 10 more. We used Mike Bruno of Electricity Wise Strategies for our install. Mike did an excellent job from start to finish and is still in the business.

It's unclear to me whether they are still giving permits for residential net metering, but I highly doubt it. However, you can still go solar if you decide to go right off the grid by installing a companion battery system.

We'll be installing some sort of battery back up system, probably going with the Tesla Powerwall system. I've discussed this on another post. We're just waiting for the Tesla's first gigafactory to be completed to see what affect mass production has on the pricing of the units. From what I can see, we'll need 2 Powerwall units which is currently about $15K investment.

We love our solar panels and have been generating enough credit every month with WAPA that we "had" to install A/C to burn off some of the excess power. WAPA zero's out your credit at the end of every year so you really use it or lose it. However, we still experience WAPA's frequent outages so the battery back up will be easier than firing up my old diesel generator.


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fdr
 fdr
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January 13, 2017 8:46 pm  

I'm not sure you can get a permit for standing mounted panels in the VI at your home.

Indeed you can -- most people just don't own enough real estate for such an installation to make sense, so the roof provides the most logical area.


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Gator's Mom
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January 13, 2017 9:12 pm  

Will you be able to go off grid with the two Tesla units?

We're looking at battery options, too.

We have AC that runs most of the time as well. Still couldn't burn the credit before the end of 2016. LOL

I have a 7.5 KW system with 20 panels currently and roof space to easily add 10 more. We used Mike Bruno of Electricity Wise Strategies for our install. Mike did an excellent job from start to finish and is still in the business.

It's unclear to me whether they are still giving permits for residential net metering, but I highly doubt it. However, you can still go solar if you decide to go right off the grid by installing a companion battery system.

We'll be installing some sort of battery back up system, probably going with the Tesla Powerwall system. I've discussed this on another post. We're just waiting for the Tesla's first gigafactory to be completed to see what affect mass production has on the pricing of the units. From what I can see, we'll need 2 Powerwall units which is currently about $15K investment.

We love our solar panels and have been generating enough credit every month with WAPA that we "had" to install A/C to burn off some of the excess power. WAPA zero's out your credit at the end of every year so you really use it or lose it. However, we still experience WAPA's frequent outages so the battery back up will be easier than firing up my old diesel generator.


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spincycle
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January 13, 2017 10:39 pm  

Thankyou this is very insightful.


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STTsailor
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January 14, 2017 8:52 am  

I have rooftop panels with individual inverters generating on average 7.5 kW per month. The instal cost was $24K minus tax credit about $7K if IIRC. I run air after 5 pm and pool pump. No more WAPA bills. Once I install batteries I will get off the electric grid. It takes 5-7 years for the system to break even.


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daveb722
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January 14, 2017 12:41 pm  

I plan on getting the battery packs too. As VICanuck stated it's more of a wait now to see what Tesla can do with it. I'm not planning on it for at least 5 years as that is my tentative move date and by then, the technology will be even more improved. With the battery packs you will not need to worry about power outages for the most part. We rent our apartment out and have not had to pay a bill yet. Although the apartment does not have AC.


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LiquidFluoride
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January 18, 2017 2:06 am  

Will you be able to go off grid with the two Tesla units?

The first power walls were crap, how many amps can you draw at one time? that's the real question...maybe the new ones are better, but if you can't run an 80 amp circuit off them they are kind of pointless.


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vicanuck
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January 18, 2017 11:10 am  

The second generation Powerwall 2.0 resolved those issues. They will only get better as the technology matures and more competitors come on to the market. Tesla's first factory is almost complete and they are already planning to build two more.

Investors wouldn't pour billions into the company if the technology wasn't commercially viable.


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Treeman
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January 18, 2017 11:27 am  

Has WAPA stopped permitting for the net metering because they were losing too much money??

If I wanted sola, it seems that I would need to buy a house already outfitted unless I go totally off grid?


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East Ender
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January 18, 2017 11:37 am  

"Investors wouldn't pour billions into the company if the technology wasn't commercially viable."

One word...Solyndra.


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LiquidFluoride
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January 18, 2017 9:43 pm  

The second generation Powerwall 2.0 resolved those issues. They will only get better as the technology matures and more competitors come on to the market. Tesla's first factory is almost complete and they are already planning to build two more.

Investors wouldn't pour billions into the company if the technology wasn't commercially viable.

Investors... well what if 5 billion of those investments come from questionable investors?

I designed my system with your same hopes in mind... so I'm with you, just not seeing it yet.

I have more hopes for a good flow battery.


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LiquidFluoride
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January 18, 2017 9:54 pm  

Has WAPA stopped permitting for the net metering because they were losing too much money??

If I wanted sola, it seems that I would need to buy a house already outfitted unless I go totally off grid?

Only a percentage of the total power production can be solar.

Solar systems are very hard for a grid to support, you have to have enough standby generation to account for ALL of your solar, as extreme clouds will cause their power production to drop dramatically and none of the "net metering" systems have batteries to keep them from drawing power at night and during cloud cover.

Going off grid means more money (up to 1/3rd more), but you can certainly still do it.


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Scubadoo
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January 19, 2017 2:42 am  

Solar systems are very hard for a grid to support, you have to have enough standby generation to account for ALL of your solar, as extreme clouds will cause their power production to drop dramatically and none of the "net metering" systems have batteries to keep them from drawing power at night and during cloud cover.

Not to mention the utilities have to deal with generating the right balance of real and reactive power, more challenging when there are a bunch of net metering solar inverters putting out only real power. So the utilities have to run their generators just to produce the reactive power needed to balance what's produced from the inverters. The situation should get better as more inverters with reactive power capability go on the market and on the grid.

http://buyersguide.renewableenergyworld.com/the-interstate-renewable-energy-council-inc/blog/meet-solars-imaginary-friend-reactive-power.html

And that endith today's electrical engineering lesson.


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vicanuck
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January 19, 2017 11:09 am  

"Investors wouldn't pour billions into the company if the technology wasn't commercially viable."

One word...Solyndra.

Solyndra's technology was viable but you can't compete with the Chinese if you're manufacturing your solar panels in California.


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daveb722
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January 19, 2017 12:21 pm  

Tesla acutally just bought out Solar City which has a FREE plant given to them by NY state in Buffalo. They supposedly will be producing solar panels at this plant, start up should be within the next year supposedly. They haven't really hired anyone as of yet, but the FREE shining new toy is just waiting for them, with the promise of providing something like 1400 jobs.


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hiyella1
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February 1, 2017 3:33 pm  

So hindsight being 20/20 would you recommend biting the bullet at the start go Solar and off grid if building a house in STT? With battery walls and maybe small genrac for emergencies??


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vicanuck
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February 1, 2017 5:37 pm  

So hindsight being 20/20 would you recommend biting the bullet at the start go Solar and off grid if building a house in STT? With battery walls and maybe small genrac for emergencies??

Absolutely.


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