Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > General Discussions > Other Talk
Reload this Page >

Anybody using solar power at their houses?

Other Talk "Otterville" plus Religion/Politics

Anybody using solar power at their houses?

Old 05-14-08, 08:45 PM
  #1  
New Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Anybody using solar power at their houses?

I have been looking at solar panel installers and am wonderring if anyone can give me any feedback on havign their homes being solar powered?
Old 05-14-08, 08:54 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
Giantrobo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: South Bay
Posts: 57,714
Received 19 Likes on 14 Posts
Before you spend a chunk of change...

http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_2850151.html

Beer bottle solar heater

A Chinese peasant has made a solar water heater - using only beers bottles and hoses.

The solar water heater made from beers bottles and hoses /Lu Feng

The beer bottles lie on a board in rows, all connected by hoses which allow cold water to flow through them and be heated by the sun.

"I invented this for my mother. I wanted her to shower at any time more comfortably," says Ma Yanjun, a carpenter, of Qiqiao village, Shaanxi Province.

"A real solar water heater is too expensive to me, so I came up with the idea of making one on my own.

"I hope this invention can be promoted nationwide, and allow mothers in undeveloped rural areas to have a hot shower."

Ma has now helped more than 20 families in the village to make and install their own beer bottle solar water-heaters.

He says he will build a public bathroom for the village using his invention when he has the money to buy enough beers.
Old 05-14-08, 09:45 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 52,654
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
I am!

The reflection on my SUV's windshield gives me a large amount of defined light in the my living room. Take that oil companies!
Old 05-15-08, 09:30 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Atlanta/Boston
Posts: 334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Old 05-15-08, 09:34 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: USA
Posts: 12,274
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I would like to but the cost to benefit ratio is still way out of whack
Old 05-15-08, 10:16 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Madison, WI ("77 square miles surrounded by reality")
Posts: 30,011
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
It runs my watch and calculator real well!
Old 05-15-08, 10:27 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: USA
Posts: 12,274
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by movielib
It runs my watch and calculator real well!
That it does and that is about it.

The system cost $15,000, which they rolled into their mortgage, adding about $100 to the monthly bill. Come tax time, they'll receive a generous federal tax break thanks to the Energy *Policy Act of 2005, which gives homeowners a credit of 30 *percent, or up to $2,000, toward the cost of a system. Gage has no worries about the new roof paying for itself: Her last electrical bill was a paltry $3.85. "I?am now a firm believer in the power of the sun," she says.
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/arti...205726,00.html

So let's see at a savings of $97.00 a month based on the above numbers, after the tax credit it will take 11 years to recoup the investment. The only plus is that the price of electricity would likely rise over that time so it would speed up the time, but just slightly.
Old 05-15-08, 10:29 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: NY
Posts: 1,978
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I thought most electricity was made by burning coal...? The gov't has incentives for solar, but not enough for me. To go off the grid I'd have to spend $40k. The gov't would give tax breaks that would cover almost half. I was told it would take 8-12 years to break even. On another note; I read at gizmag that solar cells are being produced on wallpaper-like rolls that would roll out on your roof at a much lower price. Estimates are they will be available in 5 years (unless the coal industry has something to say about it).

Edited to add: I'd love to go solar, and put less sulfur into the air. One of my biggest concerns if I do it is - how long will the pannels last? If after 12 years they stop working that would really annoy me.

Last edited by parrotheads4; 05-15-08 at 10:39 AM.
Old 05-15-08, 10:41 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Shazam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Canuckistan
Posts: 10,027
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Solar panels are vital in keeping yourself alive when the impending zombie invasion arrives.
Old 05-15-08, 10:54 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Formerly known as "orangecrush18" - still legal though
Posts: 13,846
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Brian Shannon
I would like to but the cost to benefit ratio is still way out of whack
If the green movement has any traction, when you go to sell your house you will have a big advantage over nearly every other house in your area.
Old 05-15-08, 10:59 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
The Bus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 54,880
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I use a system where I control the amount of solar energy used by my home.
Old 05-15-08, 11:11 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: NY
Posts: 1,978
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Things are changing so fast you may find yourself diving in and paying $40k only to see a comparable product at half that price a year later.

Here's an interest new article: http://www.gizmag.com/thin-film-sola...ficiency/9323/
Old 05-16-08, 04:22 AM
  #13  
Fok
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Fok's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Canada, BC
Posts: 6,689
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
sounds like it's too expensive like hybrid cars. guess we'll have to wait for a while before they become affordable
Old 05-16-08, 05:56 AM
  #14  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 52,654
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Fok, yeah.
Old 05-16-08, 08:04 AM
  #15  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: USA
Posts: 12,274
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by orangecrush18
If the green movement has any traction, when you go to sell your house you will have a big advantage over nearly every other house in your area.
At the moment I have no plans to sell my home in the forseeable future. So I would need to recoup the cost while there to make it worth doing.
Old 05-16-08, 08:29 AM
  #16  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: in da cloud
Posts: 26,196
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
there is an engineer who works at a national lab in colorado that set up his home to not use any utilities. he has solar and a bunch of other things and sells power back to the power company
Old 05-16-08, 09:15 AM
  #17  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: On the banks of the Red Cedar
Posts: 9,867
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am thinking about getting a small panel for keeping the battery charged on my boat when it is just sitting, then I don't need to drag out the charger.
Old 05-16-08, 10:09 AM
  #18  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Nick Danger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 22,913
Received 23 Likes on 14 Posts
I live at 35N, get 310 days of sunshine, and above 5000 feet. The location is ideal, but it's still not cost effective.
Old 05-21-08, 10:11 AM
  #19  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Region 1
Posts: 16,291
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can checkout this site. www.openenergycorp.com
Old 05-21-08, 10:21 AM
  #20  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Dr Mabuse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: 75 clicks above the Do Lung bridge...
Posts: 18,950
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by Shazam
Solar panels are vital in keeping yourself alive when the impending zombie invasion arrives.
i'd rather be a zombie and eat and terrorize the GD 'solar power' survivors...
Old 05-21-08, 10:28 AM
  #21  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 1,445
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm thinking the big technology will be fuel cell microturbines. Once they get the fuel cell issues solved for cars or other uses, then they will take a regular microturbine, add it as the fuel source and you will have a small quiet unit for each house that creates multiple kW of power. An added bonus will be the byproduct of distilled water.
Old 05-21-08, 04:12 PM
  #22  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Norm de Plume's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Toronto
Posts: 15,851
Received 26 Likes on 22 Posts
To my understanding, wind power is much more efficient than solar. There are companies that sell turbines for individual households. Depending on your energy consumption and the frequency and strength of wind in your area, you may or may not be able to transfer entirely to self-generated power, but significantly.

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 On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.