Solar Electricity

Reply

  #1  
Old 06-24-09, 05:03 AM
mboxwell's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Solar Electricity

I am a specialist in solar electric systems.

Solar electric systems are really coming down in price now - and I think we can see some more price drops in the coming year or so.

If anyone has any questions about solar photovoltaics, or any project that they have in mind, feel free to ask me any questions.

Best Regards

Mike
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 07-16-09, 04:34 PM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Trying to get started

I want to build my own solar panel.
I purchased the kit

I want to eventally have enough panels to power myhome.

right now I want to get started on the basics.

I I understand the piece form the panel up to the battery. What to I need from there?
Is there a one stop store to purchase these things from cells, batteries, to inverters, etc.
 
  #3  
Old 07-30-09, 03:06 PM
mboxwell's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Sorry in the delay in responding - I've been on vacation.

If you are planning to power your whole home on solar panels, you've got a big job on your hands! But that doesn't mean it isn't worth doing - you can reduce your carbon footprint and make a difference to the environment.

When you say you are wanting to build your own solar panel, do you mean assemble your own system from pre-bought components, or actually make your own solar panel from individual cells? Building your own solar panel from individual cells is hard work but I can imagine it being very rewarding - there is something quite incredible (it feels like magic!) about connecting up a lightbulb to a solar panel and watch it light up - doing that from a panel you've built yourself would feel very special indeed.

First things first: for your project, you need to identify how much electricity you need each day. Measure the power requirements of all your appliances and then work out how you can reduce them as much as possible. When its time to replace electrical appliances look for the lowest power replacements you can find - you can buy fridges and freezers for instance, that are designed to work on solar power and these can consume as little as 1/20th of the power of standard 'efficient' units.

Next, find out the monthly insolation figures for your area to find out how much solar power you need to generate each day. This is easy, you can find the information at www.noadvertisingintheforums.com

You may find it useful to use the full project analysis tool on the site: it generates an eleven page report which is e-mailed to your address and explains the number of panels and size of battery bank you are going to need based on your power requirements and your location. Don't be put off by the estimated prices the report comes up with - because if you are making your own solar panels, the prices can be significantly reduced - and also because you'll probably want to be doing this as a step-by-step project adding power generation capacity as and when budgets allow.

For connecting up a complete house, there are various ways of doing this. The first is to build something independent from the national grid - i.e. to power your house in isolation. For this you need a big solar array, a bank of batteries and a pure sine wave inverter that you then connect up to your consumer unit.

The second way is to go 'grid tied' - where you connect your solar array to a pure sine wave inverter and actually provide electricity into the national grid. This way any surplus power that you generate gets fed into the grid and you can then take additional power from the grid when your solar array isn't generating enough power. For various reasons, mainly environmental, I don't particularly like this approach: it costs a lot of money to get started and in many cases does not have any environmental benefit at all.

The third way - and probably the best - is to build a system that is supplemented by that national grid when your solar system runs flat. In this system you have a solar array connected to a bank of batteries powering a pure sine wave inverter. This is connected in parralel to the national grid into your consumer unit using an automatic power transfer switch to switch between your solar system and the national grid - so that when your batteries have run flat and the sun isn't shining, power comes in from the national grid. This is a good system because it means you can get the best out of your solar system both during the day and in the evening, but you have the comfort of knowing that you have the national grid available on stand by for when you need it. This can be especially important if you are starting small and building up - come winter time you're likely to need vast amounts of solar panels to generate a comparatively small amount of power (depending on where you live) and unless you have extremely deep pockets you may not be able to afford to build them all to start off with.

With regards to where you can buy stuff - you'll find a list of suppliers on www.noadvertisingintheforums.com as well, but a quick search on Google will pick up any number of companies who can provide you with equipment.
 

Last edited by the_tow_guy; 08-20-09 at 06:21 AM.
  #4  
Old 07-30-09, 05:29 PM
airman.1994's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: VA
Posts: 5,789
Received 8 Votes on 8 Posts
I think this global warming is BS but I wonted to know what would a system cost (US) to go all solar and generator back up so I would not have to pay the man? $75K?
 
  #5  
Old 08-01-09, 11:15 AM
mboxwell's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by airman.1994 View Post
I think this global warming is BS but I wonted to know what would a system cost (US) to go all solar and generator back up so I would not have to pay the man? $75K?
It depends on how much electrickery you use! If you want me to give you a reasonable idea of what it would cost, go and read your electricity meter now and do it again at approximately the same time tomorrow. Tell me the total number of units you've used over a twenty four hour period.

Then tell me where abouts in the world you live (to the closest major city, or just state if your prefer) and I'll give you a reasonably accurate estimate on what you would need and how much it will cost you.

By the way - I ought to say here and now, that although I am a specialist in solar electric systems, I do not represent any particular company in terms of supplying equipment or installation services. I've written a book on the subject, but other than that I am supplier agnostic.

I'll also say this: solar electricity is expensive for big power applications. Where solar works really well is on smaller projects - putting a solar panel on the roof of a shed for providing light and to power a couple of power tools - perfect. Putting a panel on the roof of an RV so you can go and live in the middle of nowhere with no electrical connection within 100 miles - great. Powering a house so you don't have to pay the man... well, lets put it this way - you're really going to have to hate the man in order to make that worth your while!
 
  #6  
Old 08-01-09, 10:51 PM
airman.1994's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: VA
Posts: 5,789
Received 8 Votes on 8 Posts
1712 is my average KWH per month.
 
  #7  
Old 08-02-09, 06:54 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 21,218
Received 264 Votes on 239 Posts
Mboxwell: I am curious why you do not like the grid tied approach? It seems like a natural. You do not need a large number of big batteries full of lead and acid. In my mind there seems to be a price paid mining, manufacturing and recycling the batteries and losses charging, storage and then converting back to AC. I'm just not seeing the downside of backfeeding to the power company by day and buying electrons at night.
 
  #8  
Old 08-20-09, 02:17 AM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Exclamation

Is it hamful such solar electricity?Has it any influence on our health?
 
  #9  
Old 08-20-09, 04:59 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,967
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
No more than the sun does on your body during the day. Post your location.
 
  #10  
Old 08-21-09, 09:26 AM
LucHt's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 15
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I'm quite happy with my solar energy system. Generates more than promised by the installer and pays off from day 1, because I financed the purchase with a loan. Meaning, from the first day my profit from the solar energy is greater than the reimbursements for the loan.
Depends on your local situation, tax rules, grants, ...
 
  #11  
Old 09-03-09, 04:35 AM
mboxwell's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Pilot Dane View Post
Mboxwell: I am curious why you do not like the grid tied approach? It seems like a natural. You do not need a large number of big batteries full of lead and acid. In my mind there seems to be a price paid mining, manufacturing and recycling the batteries and losses charging, storage and then converting back to AC. I'm just not seeing the downside of backfeeding to the power company by day and buying electrons at night.


The downside is one of environmental efficiency in most parts of the world where peak power demand is in the evening. In this scenario, a grid-tied solar system is generating electricity when there is surplus electricity available from the power stations and then your taking electricity from the national grid when the grid is already maxed out.

In other words, there is no environmental gain.
 
  #12  
Old 09-20-09, 10:59 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Nigeria
Posts: 1
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The grid tied approach is a good arrangement when most of the homes are genrating their own energy from the sun. You store the excess on the grid to be released during the off-peak period
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description: