Anyone Here Ever Mess With Solar? - Page 3 - Green Building - Contractor Talk

Anyone Here Ever Mess With Solar?

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-14-2010, 09:49 PM   #41
Pro
 
Rockmonster's Avatar
 
Trade: Masonry
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nantucket MA
Posts: 686
Rewards Points: 5,494

Re: Anyone Here Ever Mess With Solar?


I would also disagree that this is a fad.....I was in AZ at the time, and one of the big nails in the coffin of solar at the time was Reagan eliminating the tax relief that had helped give solar a foothold. In the big picture, we are only in the infancy of "green" technologies. None of us remember, but there were many people that thought cars were just a fad, they were never going to replace the horse. Thankfully, there are a lot of brilliant minds working on these technologies every day, and I'm sure that many of the systems in use today will look quite primitive to our friends in the future. I probably won't see too much of that future, but here's hoping one won't have to travel to China and India to see all the progress........
Rockmonster is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Rockmonster For This Useful Post:
aptpupil (12-15-2010), naptown CR (12-14-2010)

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 12-14-2010, 11:29 PM   #42
solar guy
 
naptown CR's Avatar
 
Trade: solar contracting
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Annapolis Md
Posts: 1,917
Rewards Points: 1,000

Re: Anyone Here Ever Mess With Solar?


Quote:
Originally Posted by oldfrt View Post
Really don't have to be considered a "Hippie" thing.
Many passive solar designers back in the late 70's
and early80's were just regular archys trying to cash in
on what everyone thought was going to be next big step in
home design.
The active collection systems were fairly basic,and they
were accepted by many HO's,mostly in the sun belt of the west
and southwest.

I spent a couple years of my life chasing that rainbow,even relocating to
Arizona,only to find out it became more of a commodity than a real cost
affective way of saving energy.

It all spawned off from the fuel shortages,and died a slow
death as oil prices declined and people realized there was
no real savings at that time.

There were many programs and tax breaks available back then to help
subsidize installations also but it never seemed to really take off.

To me this is just another round of the same old,only now
it is spawned by a misdirected leadership hoping to create
new jobs.
Until it shows a greater ROI,might as well shelf it!
What you saw in the 70's and 80's was most likely solar hot water or thermal.
In reality solar thermal was invented in the days of the Roman empire and refined again in the late 1800's in Baltimore by a guy named Kemp.
He sold the rights to someone in California who further refined the design and was the primary way of heating water in California and the sunbelt until the invention of the gas water heater and the piping and supply of inexpensive natural gas. Systems of this design were popular until the late 1940's when they suddenly died out. that is until the 70's

Quote:
Originally Posted by aptpupil View Post
batteries are bad, to be sure, but they're also getting better. it's a knock on hybrids as well and one that deserves discussion. however, as it pertains to houses, batteries are used in less than 10% of homes, if memory serves. the vast majority of home pv-installations are grid-tied (bimodal) systems and most people use the grid as the backup, rather than a battery bank.
i disagree that this is another fad and that energy prices will go down like they did after the 70s. we've reach peak oil and we're now extracting from some very difficult places (ask our neighbors to the north about their reserves). the athabasca oil sands are absolutely huge resources of petroleum (in the form of bitumen) and canada actually has the second largest in the world reserves in the world. trouble is that it's very costly to extract and refine...high prices are here to stay. will they go down in the spring? sure. but i don't see them going down drastically ever again. my $.02.
I agree with you about inexpensive energy. natural gas is very cheap right now but if you remember about 8 or 9 years ago it went through the roof and doubled in price for about a year. If natural gas goes up in price so will electricity.
You really have to understand the electric supply business to get a grasp on the concept of solar and distributed generation.
For the most part our electricity comes from coal nuclear or hydroelectric generation.
This is carrying what is referred to as the base load which is the average load a utility supplies.
The issue comes during peak load periods which typically occur during the summer months.
During these times the utilities have to bring on more generation to meet demand. Typically the peak power plants are burning natural gas as these are the plants that can be brought on line quickly. (you just don't turn a nuke or coal plant on or off at will it takes a day or so to spin everything up.

Secondly a coal plant is about 34% efficient meaning it takes about 10,000 BTU's of heat to produce 1 KWH of electricity Convert that back to heat such as is happening with an electric water heater (conventional) and that 1 KWH = 3413BTU's.

Now take transmission losses and transforming losses and the actual is probably closer to 20%.

Now lets figure in what it takes to deliver that electricity. Transmission lines. You got it and these add up the losses and are expensive to build and maintain.

Now compare that to the reviled solar thermal system or PV system

Solar thermal is about 50% efficient in that it will convert about 50% of available light and heat into useable heat.

Most PV systems have module efficiencies of about 15% meaning that they convert about 15% of the available light into electricity.

So yes the PV system is less efficient than the coal plant by a few points there is also the lack of having to build and maintain transmission lines, Generation is distributed further reducing the need for transmission lines and finally since peak use times generally occur during the summer months in the afternoons this is when solar works the best and can reduce the need to fire up additional generation facilities.
__________________
Catching sunbeams and putting them to work
WWW.solarsaves.net
[email protected]
naptown CR is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to naptown CR For This Useful Post:
aptpupil (12-15-2010), Rockmonster (12-15-2010)
Old 12-15-2010, 11:21 AM   #43
Pro
 
aptpupil's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: oakland, ca
Posts: 2,643
Rewards Points: 1,894

Re: Anyone Here Ever Mess With Solar?


here's a link to a local company that is hiring these days: http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-20025716-54.html
they use google maps to generate a quote for pv installations.
aptpupil is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-15-2010, 03:32 PM   #44
solar guy
 
naptown CR's Avatar
 
Trade: solar contracting
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Annapolis Md
Posts: 1,917
Rewards Points: 1,000

Re: Anyone Here Ever Mess With Solar?


Quote:
Originally Posted by aptpupil View Post
here's a link to a local company that is hiring these days: http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-20025716-54.html
they use google maps to generate a quote for pv installations.
I do the same but don't generate anything more than a ballpark estimate from the satellite views
__________________
Catching sunbeams and putting them to work
WWW.solarsaves.net
[email protected]
naptown CR is offline  
Old 01-17-2011, 04:23 PM   #45
New Guy
 
Synome's Avatar
 
Trade: Exposed fastener metal roofing
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Kansas
Posts: 26
Rewards Points: 25

Re: Anyone Here Ever Mess With Solar?


A little late on this one, but I'm looking into the roll-on solar panels that are installed on standing-seam metal panels. I've got one guy interested, and the company says the ROI is as low as ten years, maybe fifteen, but I'm a skeptic and I told him that honestly I wouldn't hope for much more than getting half your money back in fifteen years (after that PV panel efficiencies start dropping dramatically, even they have wear and tear). He is still interested, it is something that scratches his itch. If he wants it I will put it on, it is his choice. If I had the money I would too, I have the same itch.

On a side not I see it as an energy/market stability thing. Germany is pushing solar very hard right now, they had a program that would pay 80% of the cost for a while, and it is because they rely on Russia for their natural gas. We aren't as reliant on other countries for our electricity, or we aren't at all, but since markets boom or crash on a small percentage of a factor, knowing that we have wind and solar to back us up is a good idea. Besides that if there ever is a major disaster that cuts off coal produced electricity to an area the electricity produced by solar power plants (not homes or maybe) and wind farms would still be enough to keep the hospitals, police stations, fire departments, cell towers, and gas pumps going. Many have backups, but what happens if there is a two-week, month, or several month problem with electricity production? People will be able to survive much better if we can keep the basics going.
Synome is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Synome For This Useful Post:
aptpupil (01-18-2011)
Old 01-17-2011, 05:31 PM   #46
Escaped contractor
 
Cutonce's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 189
Rewards Points: 152

Re: Anyone Here Ever Mess With Solar?


Some of you guys are talking about batteries, but in Australia they have a pretty trick system. The auto transfer switch dumps straight back into the grid. The government introduced a scheme where homeowners were paid more per unit then what they were charged, so they actually made money on feeding into the grid. This was so successful in getting people to install solar systems that they've recently had to change this and drop the amount they were paying out, but there are still grants available with new installs.



Cutonce is offline  
Old 01-17-2011, 05:46 PM   #47
hurtlocker
 
nailkiller1's Avatar
 
Trade: homebuilder remodeler carpenter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: minnesota
Posts: 555
Rewards Points: 500

Re: Anyone Here Ever Mess With Solar?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Easy Gibson View Post
If I can hippie this forum up a little bit...

I'm pretty sure alternative(call it "green" if you really want to) energy is going to steadily rise from a good idea to possibly even mandatory in the next 20-30 years. I'm sure building trends will follow. Solar technology has been around for decades and I've started noticing solar arrays popping up in a lot of neighborhoods around me(North Jersey).
Saving the Earth sounds like a pretty swell concept to me so I've been interested in learning more about solar panel installation and specifically being able to see some actual facts about the benefits.

Any of you ever do solar installations? Would you be able to point me in the direction of some websites or books that would show me the basics of what it's all about?
Also, are these things hard to install? Who installs them? Do you need an electrician? Code? Jeez, so many questions!

I am trying to do it in a small application
Just to learn more about it
Asked my electrician about it he looked at me like I was Hitler
I do not know anyone around my area I trust
Learning about solar on the internet Is beyond my retardation
I am close to giving it up
nailkiller1 is offline  
Old 01-17-2011, 07:09 PM   #48
Bathroom Remodeler
 
srwcontracting's Avatar
 
Trade: Bathroom Remodeling
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 622
Rewards Points: 560

Re: Anyone Here Ever Mess With Solar?


Quote:
Originally Posted by nailkiller1

I am trying to do it in a small application
Just to learn more about it
Asked my electrician about it he looked at me like I was Hitler
I do not know anyone around my area I trust
Learning about solar on the internet Is beyond my retardation
I am close to giving it up
I here ya man! I'm starting small and separating all my lighting circuits to dc so I can start with a smaller more affordable amount of panels.....I will have a total of 600 watts of lights running (they are LED lights that run off dc)
So I'm still a little confused on what the best batteries and setup is. I also wanted to get a dc converter that I could switch over to just incase we don't get enough sun here for a while (which in Pittsburgh it's a sure thing)
srwcontracting is offline  
Old 01-17-2011, 08:12 PM   #49
Pro
 
Lanya LaPunta's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeling Contractor
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Northeast Nohio
Posts: 273
Rewards Points: 565

Re: Anyone Here Ever Mess With Solar?


Quote:
Originally Posted by aptpupil View Post
i'm not going to get into a global warming debate with you, that's just silly. pretty much all the major scientists believe global warming is real and is man-made. that said, solar panels aren't just about global warming or even being green. for some customers and installations it makes a lot of sense. for people in the boonies it can be a good supplement to other energy sources (propane, wind). for things like call boxes and parking vending machines it's a source of power that doesn't need hundreds of feet of cable. for large homes in areas of high insolation it can be a good way of off-setting, mitigating the increasingly high costs of traditional energy.
it's not about being a hippie, it's about figuring out sustainable ways of being independent for the foreseeable future. when you stop thinking solely about your lifetime, solar becomes an increasingly wise choice.
ROFLMAO!

Now, here we have it ... science "by consensus" as opposed to proof.

Follow the money.
Lanya LaPunta is offline  
Old 01-17-2011, 09:24 PM   #50
Pro
 
Solar Control's Avatar
 
Trade: Subcontractor
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Midwest
Posts: 388
Rewards Points: 304

Re: Anyone Here Ever Mess With Solar?


Quote:
Originally Posted by nailkiller1 View Post
I am trying to do it in a small application
Just to learn more about it
Asked my electrician about it he looked at me like I was Hitler
I do not know anyone around my area I trust
Learning about solar on the internet Is beyond my retardation
I am close to giving it up
Check the attached list and see if one of these installers is willing to meet up with you and discuss the business.

Attached Files
File Type: pdf MNCertSolarInstallers.pdf (22.4 KB, 1481 views)
__________________
Solar Control, LLC--| --Motorized Shades & Blinds--| --Architectural Window Film/Tint
Solar Control is offline  
Old 06-03-2011, 05:23 PM   #51
Registered User
 
nickangel's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 16
Rewards Points: 10

Re: Anyone Here Ever Mess With Solar?


Solar is a good thing to get into these days - at least where I'm from. The grid will buy it back at .80 a kilowatt hour with a 20 year contract. It's like renting a room in your house for 20 years with only a $10,000 investment.
nickangel is offline  
Old 08-02-2011, 05:08 PM   #52
Pro
 
kcremodeling's Avatar
 
Trade: Licensed Contractor
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 588
Rewards Points: 500

Re: Anyone Here Ever Mess With Solar?


Great thread here guys. Totally agree with many of the comments. Just because somebody is interested in sustainable energy, it doesn't make them a hippie. In my opinion it's kind of like renting your energy vs. owning your energy. I for one don't like being so dependent on major corporations that can raise prices whenever they want.
kcremodeling is offline  
Old 08-02-2011, 05:25 PM   #53
Pro
 
GettingBy's Avatar
 
Trade: Home Improvement/handyman
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DC area
Posts: 2,622
Rewards Points: 6,486

Re: Anyone Here Ever Mess With Solar?


Saw an electric vehicle charging station with a sun-tracking solar panel on top. The manuf's website claims 16% efficiency, 8.4 kw of sunlight in and 1.4 kw of elec. out.
GettingBy is offline  
Old 07-21-2013, 10:59 AM   #54
Registered User
 
dave walsh's Avatar
 
Trade: Insulation
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Dublin Ireland
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 12

Re: Anyone Here Ever Mess With Solar?


Just got quoted 21,000 for a solar heating system , I got an engineer to run the figures I would of had saved 4% on my bills which is the same as savings as a chimney ballon which costs 25.

Dave
www.irishsprayfoaminsulation.ie
dave walsh is offline  
Old 07-24-2013, 08:27 PM   #55
Pro
 
fjn's Avatar
 
Trade: mason
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,170
Rewards Points: 11,202

Re: Anyone Here Ever Mess With Solar?


Quote:
Originally Posted by aptpupil View Post
i'm not going to get into a global warming debate with you, that's just silly. pretty much all the major scientists believe global warming is real and is man-made.



Just to play the devils advocate,having been a full blown adult at the time I clearly remember the winter of 78 / 79 . It was especially brutal in the mid-west.Temperatures of -26 without the wind chill . I clearly remember all the "expert scientists" being dead sure the earth was heading into another ice age. Just because the majority thinks one way or another does not really mean a whole bunch. Matter of fact,there was a time when everyone thought the world was flat,the four corners of the earth thing. Step out of line at that point in time and talk about round and people started gathering brush and looking for matches.
fjn is offline  
Old 07-25-2013, 12:22 AM   #56
Fortune and glory, kid.
 
moorewarner's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeler/Restorer
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Saint Louis, MO
Posts: 2,284
Rewards Points: 1,022

Re: Anyone Here Ever Mess With Solar?


Quote:
Originally Posted by fjn View Post
Just to play the devils advocate,having been a full blown adult at the time I clearly remember the winter of 78 / 79 . It was especially brutal in the mid-west.Temperatures of -26 without the wind chill . I clearly remember all the "expert scientists" being dead sure the earth was heading into another ice age. Just because the majority thinks one way or another does not really mean a whole bunch. Matter of fact,there was a time when everyone thought the world was flat,the four corners of the earth thing. Step out of line at that point in time and talk about round and people started gathering brush and looking for matches.
This isn't 1978 anymore. The first planes made were not something you would want to get in, but they are pretty dead nuts on now aren't they?

Science is an iterative, refining process. It's not when a minority say hey this might be happening, but when an inexorably growing majority say this *is* what is happening that we should all wake the ef up and listen.
__________________
"If you don't have time to do it right, when are you going to have time to do it over?" ~ Wise Old Timer
moorewarner is offline  
Old 07-25-2013, 08:07 AM   #57
Pro
 
Lanya LaPunta's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeling Contractor
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Northeast Nohio
Posts: 273
Rewards Points: 565

Re: Anyone Here Ever Mess With Solar?


Just as in most things in life,

Follow the Money.

Why does "Big Oil" make relatively large (I consider them HUGE) grants to the global "climate change" side?

Why do governments (mostly U.S., but others as well) make large (again my "HUGE") grants to the climate change side?

Even when there is evidence that data was falsified to make the climate change case, as typically, in a scientific proof, if one part of your thesis is proven false, that negates the entirety of the "proof".

In the latter seventies to early eighties ... the great coming of the second ice age WAS the majority opinion. Major commodity brokerage houses were crunching numbers as to when/where/how much decline in tillable acreage would be impacted and the reduction of yields ... leading to the starvation of mankind (GET LONG AND STAY LONG).

So, we've been reducing temperatures for around a decade (world wide).

However, if there is no "man made" climate change ... where is the money and/or power in that?

Follow the money.
Lanya LaPunta is offline  
Old 07-25-2013, 03:59 PM   #58
Pro
 
fjn's Avatar
 
Trade: mason
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,170
Rewards Points: 11,202

Re: Anyone Here Ever Mess With Solar?


Quote:
Originally Posted by moorewarner View Post
This isn't 1978 anymore. The first planes made were not something you would want to get in, but they are pretty dead nuts on now aren't they?



Hey look !In the grand scheme of things,science admits that as far as the earth goes,if the time line were represented by a football field mans presence would be exemplified by one blade of grass near the end of the field. SOOOOO what does the time passed from 1978 have do do with anything.

Advertisement

fjn is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to fjn For This Useful Post:
concretemasonry (07-25-2013)


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
please help, have problem with solar hot water heater maleko Plumbing 50 09-05-2009 09:18 PM
Atlanta Solar Roofing Systems Dmax Consulting Roofing 6 06-26-2009 07:09 AM
Roof Measurements and Solar Measurements sray Marketing & Sales 1 04-07-2009 03:39 PM
Solar Power Industry Dead In California w6ire Electrical 2 06-28-2007 08:57 AM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?