The tipping point is right around the corner.

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by MJSfoto1956, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    5,874
    Location:
    Seattle
    Here in Seattle the rain just washes everything away :) Most people here have them on the roofs, not on the ground.
  2. Woody2627

    Woody2627 Grey Wobbler

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,727
    Location:
    Jindabyne
    Just because they wash them doesn't mean they need washing. I've had 2kw on my roof for 15 years, and another 2 for 10. Never cleaned them. They still pump out the same number of watts they did since new.
    smdub likes this.
  3. FPGT72

    FPGT72 Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    12,979
    Location:
    Kingsville MO
    I have not seen one on a roof here anywhere....could be cost, could be because people out here have the land to put them down low....I don't know...imagine it is a little bit of both. But I do know they get very dirty, and it seems just rain will not cut it. One guy has a long squeegee (had to look up how to spell that...funny word) with a mop on the other end....looks like a thing window washers use....and he runs it over it about once every two weeks. Said he can see a drop off if he does not do it....the other guy has his in pretty long rows of one panel each with room to walk between them....this seems like a better setup as you don't have to take a bunch of stuff apart if you have a failure somewhere in the middle....but it does take up much more space. Funny thing is now with temps over night hitting the low teens I know one is still covered in ice and snow...not sure on the other.

    Not sure how he knows when they get less after they get dirty...guess he has some kind of meter inside.....to tell the truth I found it all just a little eh....knock yourself out bud....

    The funny thing is however they could never give you a hard number on how much they "save" on their power bill.
  4. FPGT72

    FPGT72 Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    12,979
    Location:
    Kingsville MO
    I do remember....and it seems to me it changed from global warming to climate change after some emails came to light on how they.....cough.....bent the readings.....cough....on just what the temps really are. Odd how you never hear about that.

    I do remember.....being a "boomer".....in the 70's it was going to be a new ice age.....one advantage of being a little older is you have seen a thing or two and don't take everything at face value. It was all over the place and as I remember it was a pretty cold decade with lots of snow that started early.
    Tmaximusv likes this.
  5. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    36,298
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    That sounds like a case of people washing them because they can. They may see a few watt increase in the power generation but it probably does not offset the labor they are putting in.
  6. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2001
    Oddometer:
    7,340
    Location:
    Orygun
    Out in the countryside I see panels mostly setup on stands on the ground.

    On the roof that is additional weight - some roofs can handle it, others not - if you have room on the ground, then that is a better place to put them. My property has acreage for panels, but they would be 1000 feet away from my house and any of the outfits that are willing to put them up for "free" using the tax incentives/etc., won't put them on the ground, they want to put them only on roofs of houses. Even if I put them close to the house, they would get covered with leaves and conifer needles and pollen/etc., during half the year. It does rain a lot here, but from May to September not near so much and there would be times when they would need to be washed.

    When I retire I am moving further out, and I will buy land that has a south facing slope. I will put up enough solar panels to support my energy needs should the grid go down. That would be lighting, refrigeration and geothermal heat pump (with radiant floor heating) - with a wood stove being backup heat.
    OConnor likes this.
  7. dirt hokie

    dirt hokie Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,296
    Location:
    Eastern shore of MD
    The cheap way is not considered the clean way these days.
    My point is, higher efficiency does not always = reduction in use of the product in question, and can lead to higher demands and less efficient activities in other areas. Wide spread availability of cheap 100 mpg EV may reduce the individuals fuel use, but may increase the societies. My investment point was in reference to the person doing the investing. We invest for ourselves, and children. If my investments had 0 impact on the rest of the economy, I would still invest.
  8. FPGT72

    FPGT72 Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    12,979
    Location:
    Kingsville MO
    This is the issue around here....they have yellow dust on them, and stuff like morning due will make that stuff sticky and you have to rub it to come off.
  9. dirt hokie

    dirt hokie Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,296
    Location:
    Eastern shore of MD
    In my area the solar panel "scam" was essentially the solar companies using your roof area as square footage to get rid of the product they were building using government subsidies or some kind of tax deal.. The solar companies only got
    to take advantage of the subsidies for installed panels that they owned, so they only gave you a "good deal" on the electric rates if you signed up for a long term lease agreement. If you just wanted to buy the panels outright you could not get as good of a deal. You were essentially signing up for a second power supplier, that was going to guarantee the electric you buy from them was a little cheaper then from the grid at the time of your contract. In exchange you pay them to put there panel on your roof, and have to pay to remove them if the roof needs to be fixed, or you want to sell the house and the buyers don't want them. You still got a electric bill from the grid for what ever short fall the panel don't cover plus minimum service and delivery fees.....and there was no guarantee on the amount of power they would produce. They tried to scam my MIL, we met with the sales guy sat down went over all the numbers.... he gave the sale pitch...Scam. The ROI for the leased panels was around 15 years ( that's to break even on the install cost) It was 20 years if you bought her panels. The panels estimated life span was only 20-25 years.
  10. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    5,874
    Location:
    Seattle
    That's true, total scam. Fortunately there are better options.
  11. Tifighter

    Tifighter thread killer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    483
    Location:
    Taco-Ma
    Have a 6.6kW rooftop system, with full southern exposure. It covers about 75% of our usage, which includes two EVs. And yes, the rain does a good job of keeping them clean.
    RedRocket, Roam and liberpolly like this.
  12. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2001
    Oddometer:
    7,340
    Location:
    Orygun
    The other thing is that these roof systems they install for "free", are tied to the grid. No off grid systems. I want an off-grid system.
  13. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2001
    Oddometer:
    7,340
    Location:
    Orygun
  14. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    5,874
    Location:
    Seattle
    Then you need either a big battery, or buy a Tesla and use it as a big battery when not driving :)

    https://www.energysage.com/solar/solar-energy-storage/tesla-powerwall-home-battery/

    Personally I don't see why bother going off-grid, it's a nice backup if something falls on the roof and breaks your solar panels.
  15. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2001
    Oddometer:
    7,340
    Location:
    Orygun
    I will have a battery bank - probably one the the iron-flow battery types, which are more like a cross between a battery and a fuel cell.

    I don't plan to be off-grid as a general practice, at least that is not the plan. I will have grid power. But if the grid goes down, I want power. I won't need much.

    I have had 4 or 5 power failures so far this year - mostly due to trees falling across power lines, or a car taking out a power pole somewhere along the power line. Usually power is back on line within a few hours, but once it was out for a couple of days. That is just inconvenient, not a real emergency. I get by without power for a while. I have a woodstove and emergency lighting.

    But if a Cascadian Subduction Zone earthquake hits, the whole PNW (and now possibly the whole west coast) will be without power for weeks, possibly months. So I want a system that can be off-grid for an indefinite period of time if needed. I want to be as self-sufficient as possible.
  16. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    5,874
    Location:
    Seattle
    Yeah. I have power inverters in both of my cars, but having solar is of course much better.
  17. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2018
    Oddometer:
    388
    Location:
    .
    .
  18. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2001
    Oddometer:
    7,340
    Location:
    Orygun
    https://www.essinc.com/energy-storage-products/
  19. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2001
    Oddometer:
    7,340
    Location:
    Orygun
  20. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2001
    Oddometer:
    7,340
    Location:
    Orygun