[aprssig] Solar House Symbol & Solar ecstasy!

Jim Sanford wb4gcs at wb4gcs.org
Tue Sep 8 23:08:41 EDT 2015

Where did you get solar for 70 cents per watt?
Does that include inverters??
thanks & 73,
wb4gcs at amsat.org

On 9/8/2015 4:00 PM, Robert Bruninga via aprssig wrote:
> > …I recently purchased an 07 Prius...
> > Where did you find the "form fitting" solar cells for yours?
> I composed the car roof rom 18 smaller 12W panels (back in 2007).  
> But, it makes no sense now.  Those small panels still cost about $10/W 
> whereas 300W panels for my house roof now cost less than $0.70/w and I 
> have 100 times more area than the roof of the car.  So the value on 
> the car is only 0.001 times the value on the roof of the house.
> Besides the typical car spends 21 hours or more a day parked mostly at 
> home or work.  So just plugging into a 120v outlet while parked can 
> maintain more than 80 miles a day.  Since my typical daily use is only 
> 30 miles I have zero “range anxiety” and never have to go anywhere to 
> charge other than at home, at night.  See:
> http://aprs.org/EV-misinformation.html
> Bob
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:*Robert Bruninga via aprssig <aprssig at tapr.org 
> <mailto:aprssig at tapr.org>>
> *To:* TAPR APRS Mailing List <aprssig at tapr.org <mailto:aprssig at tapr.org>>
> *Subject:* Re: [aprssig] Solar House Symbol & Solar ecstasy!
> > How much did your present solar power set up cost?
> Interestingly, Ive never really added it up.  I just keep adding to 
> it.  But I'll try.
> First 3 kW were $3/watt, next 6 kW were 2.50/W, next 3 kW were $1/W 
> and last 6 kW were $0.80/W Plus about $6k for inverters for a total of 
> about $38k.  Less the 30% federal tax credit and $1k from the state 
> for about for a total of about $26k.
> But that eliminates the $6000 per year I was paying in electricity and 
> heating oil.  So, Since I started in 2010, it has already almost paid 
> for itself and the rest of my life is free energy.
> WARNING:  This was of course was a DIY project, so my costs are less 
> than half of a contractor system (Typically $3.50/watt).  And full of 
> painful delays just getting "round-to-it"... I finally had to hire a 
> licensed electrician ($500) and re-do some wiring before I could grid 
> tie.  ANd you have to be legally grid-tied or solar is uneconomical.
> > How do you manage backup power.
> Same as I have always done.  Either fire up the $250 generator with a 
> $6 can of gas or more recently, just plug the house into the Prius.
> See http://aprs.org/APRS-SPHEV.html
> But to my memory, in the 5 years since I began my solar conversion, by 
> the time I get off the couch and find the cords and flip all the 
> switches, and "get around to it", the power has always come back on 
> (Average outage around here is 4 hours a year)...
> > what have you found to be maintenance expense?
> Biggest expense is just getting up and getting out of bed on weekends 
> and getting around to it. I have had three problems, all due to my 
> sloppiness and short cuts that would not occur in a contractor 
> system.  Bad connections, shorted panel due to flooding and one bad 
> panel (out of 80).  I also installed my ground mount panels too low so 
> when we get a bad snow, all the snow slides off into a pile on the 
> ground in front of it, and I have to go out with a shovel and remove 
> the bottom few feet.  This would not be a problem if I had mounted 
> them the recommended 28" off the ground instead of my 12"...
> > Surely you don't mean to imply that you heat your home with solar as 
> well.
> Yep! I got rid of the oil burning system and switched to a heatpump.  
> That changed my $3000 a year heating oil bill to about $1500 more 
> electricity, but I made up for that by doubling the size of my arrays. 
> I also swapped out the electric water heater with a heatpump water 
> heater reducing my $500/year of water heating cost to $200. And of 
> course all my 55 light bulbs in the house are CFL's and no 
> incandescents further saving $2500 over the life of the bulbs.
> The electric car costs about 1/3rd to operate compared to gasoline.  
> My average 40 miles a day car use only uses about $50/mo of 
> electricity, easily made up with just another 6 panels.
> It was a big investment for sure, but it ELIMINATED the $6,000 per 
> year of utility and oil and gasoline costs.  What a fantastic return 
> on investment!
> I just love getting those $4 electric bills. The actual minimum charge 
> is $8/mo, but then they subtract the credits due to having an AC and 
> hot-water utility control switch and the net is about $3 or $4 a month..
> Its like being debt free, but in this case, it is Utility free! 
> (though you MUST remain connected to the grid because that is the only 
> economical place to store the solar power for when I need it later).
> Don't even think of whole-house batteries or energy storage.  That 
> wastes $2 out of every $3 invested and is totally uneconomical 
> (assuming, of course, you have access to the grid).
> Grid-tied Solar power is ECONOMICAL power and has nothing to do with 
> Emergency poewr.  Solve that the way you already do.
> Please see http://aprs.org/off-grid-NOT.html
> Bob, WB4APR
> On Mon, Sep 7, 2015 at 3:48 PM, Robert Bruninga <bruninga at usna.edu 
> <mailto:bruninga at usna.edu>> wrote:
> Now that all my energy comes from solar, I finally remembered to 
> change my APRS symbol to Home Solar (House with S overlay). ALthough I 
> dont think any APRS clients have adopted all the new potential 
> symbols, at least APRS is ready when they do.
> http://aprs.org/symbols/symbols-new.txt
> Solar is Amazing!  Its cheaper than the Utility, its clean and it 
> returns from 10 to 20% return on investment for life. And that return 
> only goes up as the cost of energy rises. You cannot find a better 
> risk free investment anywhere.
> I was just out watching my electric meter spin backwards on this nice 
> sunny holiday and wanted to remind people to think about tomorrow.
> Remember, if  you have sun on your roof, are going to live there for a 
> long time, and are not going solar, what are you thinking? Sooner or 
> later you are going to go solar, it just makes no economic sense not 
> to.  So why keep paying thousands of dollars a year to a utility when 
> you could be paying near zero for the rest of your life starting now.
> And the one deadline that is looming is the end of the 30% federal 
> incentives next year (2016).  Why wait till then and then maybe 
> mis-out because all the proctrastinators wait too and then the 
> installers are so over loaded you miss it?
> The things that are certain in life are death... taxes.... and 
> utilities.  But finally you can do something about the last two.   Get 
> 30% refund on our taxes AND eliminate your utilities and energy costs 
> for life.
> see my page: http://aprs.org/solar-now.html
> If you don't have sun, you can at least sign up with most utilities 
> for wind power and soon you can buy into commuinty solarfarms in many 
> states.
> My point. Solar costs about half of what you will pay for utilities 
> for the next 20 years (at today's rate), more like a third if utility 
> rates continue to go up. So why keep paying every month for the rest 
> of your life, or even one more year, when you could go solar and have 
> free energy for life?
> I'm just glad I have lived long enough to see solar not only equal the 
> utility in cost (2010) but to now be cheaper than coal!
> ANother way to look at utilities is that its like being permanently in 
> debt, but even worse, because you never pay it off!  You just keep 
> paying for ever.  Makes no sense (if you have a sunny roof) .
> I used to spend $2400 a year for electricity, $3000 a year for heating 
> oil (old leaky house) and $1500 a year for gasoline. Now I switched to 
> a heatpump (had to double my solar) and drive an Electric car and my 
> utility electric bill is about $4 a month (the minimum account 
> charge),  And the only fossil fuel we burn anymore is about $500 a 
> year for the gas for the prius when we go out of town.to 
> <http://town.to/> visit gramma.
> That's $6400 a year savings for the rest of my life.  And my 
> contrubution to fossil fuel burning is down 10-to-1.  ANd... it is 
> cheaper than doing nothing!
> Don't wait.  Even my first array I bought in 2010 at 4 times today's 
> price has already paid for iself, so "waiting" for costs to go down 
> gains nothing, but just more money lost every month going down the 
> utility rat-hole. And wait too long and miss the 30% federal tax 
> credit (going down to 10% in 2016) and  you just threw away another 
> 20% of your potential savings for life.
> Its a whole new world.  Glad to be part of it!
> YOUR state and your mileage may vary. But get some quotes, and do the 
> math!
> Bob, WB4APR
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