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Author Topic: Solar?  (Read 717 times)

Online spdy158

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Solar?
« on: January 12, 2020, 10:42:01 AM »
I remember from an earlier thread that there are some members in the solar industry.  Unfortunately I can't find that thread.  I have gotten the annoying calls from the mass marketers and they seem like a scam.  Looking for a more unbiased opinion.  So, any comments from our more learned members?  Thanks.  Jim

Online Mustang

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Re: Solar?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2020, 11:12:44 AM »
You looking to go solar electric or solar heat?
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Online spdy158

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Re: Solar?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2020, 02:06:42 PM »
Solar electric.

Online M1A_All_Day

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Re: Solar?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2020, 12:31:45 PM »
Aside from the potential to at least beak-even on electricity generation vs purely getting it off the grid, what I have not heard much of is input from roofers.

How the heck do you deal with a roof job when the roof is covered with (fragile?) solar panels? How much extra is a labor to remove/replace and get an electrical involved? No escaping a permit for the roof job and a building inspector is going to want a permit for the electrical work. More common electricians don’t have a boom handy for moving solar panels....

And leaks- I know you want as few exposed fasteners on asphalt roofing as possible. I’ve dams- let’s say snow gets packed under the solar panels, panels warm and soak the snow with liquid water rolling off, then it freezes.

Watts per sq meter at this latitude matters too.
Gray January day- I’m seeing about 49 watts/sq meter on my home WX station.
January 12, 2020 - A sunny January day - about 375 watts/sq meter
July 13, 3019 - about 800 watts/sq meter.

... so why have I never heard the conversation that  you’re going generate 1/2 the wattage in the winter vs summer?

Also would love to hear from realtors- are solar panels on a house considered a plus or minus? How does that factor into an appraisal? Home inspectors input?

I’m all about solar, but it has limitations at this latitude. I’ve heard sales pitches from salespeople and it’s basically a lien on your house until you break-even in 10-30 years.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 12:47:48 PM by M1A_All_Day »

Online nutter

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Re: Solar?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2020, 01:31:47 PM »
Aside from the potential to at least beak-even on electricity generation vs purely getting it off the grid, what I have not heard much of is input from roofers.

How the heck do you deal with a roof job when the roof is covered with (fragile?) solar panels? How much extra is a labor to remove/replace and get an electrical involved? No escaping a permit for the roof job and a building inspector is going to want a permit for the electrical work. More common electricians don’t have a boom handy for moving solar panels....

And leaks- I know you want as few exposed fasteners on asphalt roofing as possible. I’ve dams- let’s say snow gets packed under the solar panels, panels warm and soak the snow with liquid water rolling off, then it freezes.

Watts per sq meter at this latitude matters too.
Gray January day- I’m seeing about 49 watts/sq meter on my home WX station.
January 12, 2020 - A sunny January day - about 375 watts/sq meter
July 13, 3019 - about 800 watts/sq meter.

... so why have I never heard the conversation that  you’re going generate 1/2 the wattage in the winter vs summer?

Also would love to hear from realtors- are solar panels on a house considered a plus or minus? How does that factor into an appraisal? Home inspectors input?

I’m all about solar, but it has limitations at this latitude. I’ve heard sales pitches from salespeople and it’s basically a lien on your house until you break-even in 10-30 years.

This is a solar guy on arf in the hometown thread- he seems to know his stuff. If you post your question on arf- I am sure he will chime in.

Online Mustang

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Re: Solar?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2020, 03:44:03 PM »
OK I have some time to post on this...…

There's good and bad to them. Most people ignore or don't ask and just look as if theyre doing good and want a star sticker for their fridge.  Starters there are a lot of fly by night companies out there installing these.  So make sure you find one who been round a while with a good name. When the company goes bye bye this might be an issue. Some companies rent you the panels seeing these panels are expensive and they get the rebate, if any. From what Im understand this rebate thing is slowly going away too.

The best optimal placement for the panels would be the east to west so as to get every bit of  sunlight off the best results. Though I've seen some situated on the roof with the house going north to south. Don't know how efficient they are though I'm sure they r working.

Looking at round ten thousand (give or take a thousand or so) and the price goes up from there to have these installed.

When installed you have added weight to your roof and if not secured properly or the holes not properly sealed you will have problems not just with the extra weight.  Looking at the frame, brackets, and panels weighing bout 3lbs per square foot. 

Insurance is another thing people over look and if you own your home I've talked to people where their property tax went up.

 I've talked to a few firefighters on this. Fire in your house, forget the fire departments trying to save the house. Contain the fire would be the objective. Houses with their whole roof filled with panels there is no way to vent the house. The lights from the truck will activate the panels. You can turn the panels off to the house but they will still be active. Water and electricity don't mix.During a storm these can easily get damaged and rainy, cloudy, snowy days with snow covered panels, you will be using electric from the street.

 Never mind if you need to change your shingles. Its a bigger project now and adds to the cost of the roof.

These panels and systems need to be maintained every year so a service plan is needed.

You get somewhat free electricity. Your electric bill will drop The way I look at it, it wont be "free" for long if they tax you on rain water collection.

There is a lot to look into which most blindly over look or don't look into at all. 
Not saying solar electric sucks, its pretty good imo.  I would like to get solar panels for my house. I spend up to $500.00 a month in the summer time.  Though I want the panels  mounted on stands on the ground. I have the room and the oriented space.
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Online joelcramer

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Re: Solar?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2020, 06:05:36 PM »
My girlfriend has solar. She told everyone that called to sell her the system that she only wanted to pay $80.00 a month, call back when you can do that. She opted to go with rental as opposed to ownership. They did everything from permits to inspection and working with the electric company. If the panels need to be removed there is a $500.00 charge for R&R. They came out and added structure to the roof in the attic to handle the extra load. A good company will not install panels on an old roof or if it is obscured by trees. The supposition is that the cost from the grid will go up faster than the guaranteed and contracted rate of the solar company. She piles up the electricity during the summer and pays only the line maintenance fee to the electric company. In the last couple of months of winter she ends up buying some from the grid. Right now she is doing a bit better than break even. If natural gas were available she could do better if she went with a gas stove and dryer but using propane will not save her anything.

Another little tidbit. If the grid goes down so does your solar. you are SOL (shit out of luck) just like everyone else even though your panels are still working just fine. In CT you can not have it set up to work as a generator when the grid goes down. There is no ability to add a battery backup in CT its the law!

Here is a pro tip, have your solar installed in the early spring or the very end of winter, like Feb or March. If you install it in Aug or Sept you will be paying the electric company for power from the grid AND the solar company for the contract. This is because you will not have stored up any electricity in the short time. 

Other issues. Her panels hand on the side where she parks her car. If she is not careful the snow will slid off the roof and onto her car. The snow slides off the panels onto the roof and can hang up on the gutter. The gutters are to high off the ground to be cleaned from the ground so now I can not walk on the roof to clean the gutters. You will need to watch for things like that. Things that are common sense but not thunk of until you are looking at it and saying to yourself "why didn't I see that coming!"

Online edgephoto

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Re: Solar?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2020, 07:58:16 PM »
Are you positive that battery backup solar systems are not legal here? Where did you see this?


Online WoodBurner

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Re: Solar?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2020, 08:02:49 PM »
OK I have some time to post on this...…

There's good and bad to them. Most people ignore or don't ask and just look as if theyre doing good and want a star sticker for their fridge.  Starters there are a lot of fly by night companies out there installing these.  So make sure you find one who been round a while with a good name. When the company goes bye bye this might be an issue. Some companies rent you the panels seeing these panels are expensive and they get the rebate, if any. From what Im understand this rebate thing is slowly going away too.

The best optimal placement for the panels would be the east to west so as to get every bit of  sunlight off the best results. Though I've seen some situated on the roof with the house going north to south. Don't know how efficient they are though I'm sure they r working.

Looking at round ten thousand (give or take a thousand or so) and the price goes up from there to have these installed.

When installed you have added weight to your roof and if not secured properly or the holes not properly sealed you will have problems not just with the extra weight.  Looking at the frame, brackets, and panels weighing bout 3lbs per square foot. 

Insurance is another thing people over look and if you own your home I've talked to people where their property tax went up.

 I've talked to a few firefighters on this. Fire in your house, forget the fire departments trying to save the house. Contain the fire would be the objective. Houses with their whole roof filled with panels there is no way to vent the house. The lights from the truck will activate the panels. You can turn the panels off to the house but they will still be active. Water and electricity don't mix.During a storm these can easily get damaged and rainy, cloudy, snowy days with snow covered panels, you will be using electric from the street.

 Never mind if you need to change your shingles. Its a bigger project now and adds to the cost of the roof.

These panels and systems need to be maintained every year so a service plan is needed.

You get somewhat free electricity. Your electric bill will drop The way I look at it, it wont be "free" for long if they tax you on rain water collection.

There is a lot to look into which most blindly over look or don't look into at all. 
Not saying solar electric sucks, its pretty good imo.  I would like to get solar panels for my house. I spend up to $500.00 a month in the summer time.  Though I want the panels  mounted on stands on the ground. I have the room and the oriented space.

That's a lot of great info. I have a very sunny open location but would never consider panels on the roof, the house was built in 1998-1999. I always felt that roof panels came with issues, you pointed out some I knew about and brought up many I never would have considered. Even a free standing ground unit seems like BS to me. If you live off the grid I can see the usefulness of solar panels as free standing off the roof otherwise I see this as something that will bite you in the ass one day and your presumed savings won't ever materialize.
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Online joelcramer

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Re: Solar?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2020, 08:22:47 PM »
 :blank:
Are you positive that battery backup solar systems are not legal here? Where did you see this?
The info comes from the solar companies. If the could sell them they would. They sell them in other states but not in CT.