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First summer with the Solar Array–is solar power worth it?

By on August 23, 2012 7:43:55 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Draginol

Join Date 03/2001
+102

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This past year I had a 20KW solar array put in.

For the month of July my electrical bill looked like this:

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To translate this, my house uses a lot of juice, especially in the Summer months (air conditioning and such).  I’m not proud of the power use. But in essence, the solar array covered 2,685KWh of electrical use.

Plus, I had an excess of 640KWh.

The DTE program (heavily subsidized by the government) pays me for the energy I produce so I end up with a negative electrical bill.

So does it pay off?  Well, without the solar array, rather than getting about $360 back I’d have paid $286.  That’s a difference of about $650 a month.  Now, the summer months are better than the Winter months.  So let’s assume about $6,000 per year.  The array cost me (out of pocket) around $100,000 (a chunk of that being the clearing of the area and the necessary grading).  So it’ll take a bit less than 20 years for it to pay off. 

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August 23, 2012 7:50:56 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

20 years is actually a pretty good payback time on Solar. Especially for Michigan. I think my calculations for a solar array I wanted to put together came to about 35 years to pay for itself.

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August 23, 2012 8:30:41 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

What's the expected lifetime of the array & maint. costs?

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August 23, 2012 9:03:31 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Way back when....with solar HWS in its infancy it took 10 years to recover the cost of the HWS installation....which is well and good, except a Hot Water System has a thing called a 'boiler' [the storage tank] which has a REQUIRED replacement time of, yes, you guessed it.... 10 years....

And Brad, you didn't factor in against the 'plusses' the cost of the purchase price...ie. most people would require some form of loan and repayments for a 100K investment.  Interest rates on 100K extends the pay-off time to break even quite a bit...

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August 29, 2012 12:17:06 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Here in Quebec Canada Solar power is not very popular. 8 months of the year we have less than 12 hours of sunlight and then you get the -30 celcius.

 

When is that cold fusion mobo jumbo ever going to happen?

 

PS your setup is pretty cool though

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August 29, 2012 12:45:38 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Solam,
Here in Quebec Canada Solar power is not very popular.

Then... take a look at this:

http://israel21c.org/environment/new-solar-device-keeps-homes-warm-even-in-cold-climes/

 

Quoting Jafo,
Interest rates on 100K extends the pay-off time to break even quite a bit...

That's very true... which is why some make payments which include money to reduce the principle as well... (as with mortgages).

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October 4, 2012 4:40:26 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting DrJBHL,
Quoting Solam,
reply 4
Here in Quebec Canada Solar power is not very popular.

Then... take a look at this:

http://israel21c.org/environment/new-solar-device-keeps-homes-warm-even-in-cold-climes/

 

Really cool info.

 

If this could be brought here in the next few years I would be a very happy camper.!!

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October 4, 2012 4:59:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I've heard the transformer unit has a lifetime of about 10 years, average. Also the arrays themselves get damaged, lose efficiency, sometimes get stolen and so on.  Also, interests, as Jafo said.

Of course, it depends a lot on exposure to direct light, but for the average user, it's usually a net loss (even though advertisements don't push this notion). BUT, it's a good thing there are pioneers who take the "risk", so the chances of this technology getting better and more convenient improve

 

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