solar power

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  #1  
Old 06-11-18, 05:18 AM
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solar power

I was talking to a neighbor who put solar panels on his house and says he saves a lot of money by doing so. in my area they don''t use batteries. they power feeds back to the electric company grid and he is credited for the power that he does not use. I do my own electric work at home, but know nothing about solar panels, how they hook up, what it takes to install them, basically I am at square one. can anyone here point me to sites or places where I can get the information I need to size and install a proper solar system for a single family residence of 1500 sq ft. that is ranch style?
 
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Old 06-11-18, 05:59 AM
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Typically batteries are not used on solar home systems. They all feed back into the grid system and power company in turn will pay you for power supplied. If power outages occur you will still be without power. Solar power panels will not store power. I would start by contacting a solar power installer and get a quote, even if you plane on doing your own. You may also want to see what and if you state (and federal Gov't) has any rebates. And last but not least check local codes and if you are allowed in to install your own.

I know I did not answer you specific question but I hope I gave you info to think about.
 
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Old 06-11-18, 08:02 AM
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Best place to start would be an electrical contractor in your local area or at least your state who is familiar with your local solar laws including your power company policies. This is an area where the requirements change a lot based on area and power company.

The generic term for getting credit for the solar power you produce is called "net metering" and every power company does it differently so you need someone who knows your local process. Permitting and inspection is also usually different for solar work than for regular electrical work.
 
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Old 06-11-18, 10:20 AM
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As you start researching, also understand that there are different ways of purchasing/financing the solar panels.

Some people like the idea of buying them outright or using a home equity loan or similar. Some companies do a lease option, where you pay $xx per month over 15 years. And others do some kind of payback-sharing as your extra generated electricity is sold to the power company.

Whatever you select, make sure you understand the financing option. There are (or at least were) some companies that do long-term contracts that could be considered predatory. So make sure you understand the terms and agree with how it works.
 
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Old 06-11-18, 02:56 PM
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thanks for the reply. I was just curious to see if anyone on the forum had residential solar and how it worked out.
 
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Old 06-11-18, 05:21 PM
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My daughter has it (had it, Still owns the house but no longer lives it it. She also had a heat pump installed. The whole house was rebuild after a devastating flood.) and she loved it. It did save her lots on utility bills. However, will the cost vs payback time be reasonable? That is perhaps the single biggest question. And without government rebates I doubt you will see it in your lifetime. Solar is still very much in it's infancy and new strides are being made every year. What you buy today may be outdated or eclipsed with a better system tomorrow. If you need to re-vamp a home or re-do the electrical system, then it may very well be worth the investment. But just to convert because it seems cool is not a wise choice. IMHO
 
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Old 06-11-18, 05:34 PM
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I have some of my own solar but would probably not attempt a full fledged system.

There are many things to consider. One is the roof should be nearly new before installation. Also, plenty of roof facing in the right direction.
It is definitely recommended into looking at subsidized systems. My one neighbor bought his system and completely sells all his power back to the POCO. Another neighbor had a system installed where he pays one set monthly electric rate for I think ten years regardless of use. It's some low figure like $92.
 
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Old 06-12-18, 04:57 AM
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thanks or all the responses. I know now to talk to people who have it locally and see what any pitfall might be. payback time and it becoming obsolete are my major concerns. I just had a new roof put on last year.
 
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Old 06-12-18, 05:10 AM
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I don't think you need to worry about it becoming obsolete, so much as being outdated in short period of time. As long as it works it will not be obsolete. One question I would ask is how long are the solar panels life rated at. And when that time arrives, will the company (panel mfg or installers) update or replace panels with the same or newer technology.
 
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