DIY solar panel install

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Has anyone done DIY solar panel installation? Do federal and state subsidies and credits still apply for DIY solar install? I live in central NJ and researching possibility of solar panel. I am not driven by green paranoia, only by economics. So if economics does not deliver I will not do it.
From what I read and heard multiple times if solar panels are installed by a pro even with all subsidies and credits it is still very bad economic deal and it takes zillion years to recoup huge investment. What I thought is good portion of this cost is installation and if I can install them myself I could make numbers align better. Any info on DIY solar install and personal experience would be greatly appreciated.
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What kind of solar panel? Electricity generation, preheat hot water,?????
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wrote:

Electricity.
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http://www.green-trust.org / This guy has a lot of eperience in the field.
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ls02 wrote:

Most federal and state incentives are for the purchase, not the installation. So you can do it yourself. I got tax deductions for my replacement windows and biomass pellet stove and did it myself. When I do solar water and electric I will do it myself. Some low income weatherization and insulation installations may be subsidized though.
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Please remember that solar panels have about a twenty year life span. After twenty years you will need to buy new ones.
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wrote:

Please remember that solar panels have about a twenty year life span. After twenty years you will need to buy new ones. ================================================= Effing bummer! Rarely does anyone mention the lifespan of PVs! Just like battery packs for effing electric cars.
Here are some resulting depressing numbers, thumbnail.
At ShittyTwo's numbers ($3 per watt), for a 6,000 Watt system (an electric dryer draws 4,000 W), in DIY mode, that's $18K, just for starters. Materials, tie-ins, etc will proly bring the number to at least $20K.
Assuming 10c/kWhr from the grid, you will have to use 200,000 kWhrs to recoup your investment. Assuming 500 kWhrs/mo usage, it will take 400 months to recoup this investment, which is about 33 years -- already a poor ROI..
So if the life of PVs is in fact 20 years, they will conk out with more than a third of the way left to go to realize sed poor ROI, and you will have to do it all over again. Almost like a loan shark's vic.
Effed again.
Ditto hybrids/electrics. Assuming gas doesn't go to $15/gal, you are economically much better off with something like a Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, etc.
More coal-fired generators and oil drilling, please!
--
EA



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On 5/29/2010 12:50 PM, Existential Angst wrote:

Of course not. Everything today is "magical" and somehow it will all work out if we think good thoughts and hand out huge "tax credits" (isn't that our money?)

Whats a "proly"?

Don't forget ancillary equipment such as the inverters needed to connect the panels to the AC grid.

Or maybe fewer McMansions and fewer people driving themselves and a large beverage around in their fluffed up trucks.
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wrote:

Proly = proberbly.

ROI = 45 years????

Or cities (Manhattan) lighting themselves up like Xmas trees, 365 days/year. In NYC, subway stations are lit up like a liberry for the myopic, with air conditioned terminals that likely rival the Astrodome ito hvac costs. Etc.
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On 5/29/2010 7:19 PM, Existential Angst wrote:

I go to NYC frequently. I am betting McMansions have way more energy use per capita than per capita use in NYC.
I can't say I have ever thought of the stations as being "overlit". I have never been on any NYC subway station property that was air conditioned. It would be impossible to air condition the open platforms. At most the deeper stations or ones with poor airflow have exhaust fans.
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wrote: -

I provided another post in this thread where I went over in DETAIL the costs and subsidies applicable to solar electric in NJ. That's right, actual information about the solar economics in the state that the OP was asking about. I didn't post it in this part of the thread with your BS and digression into McMansions, NY subways and God knows what else that had nothing to do with the question, because the other spot in the thread was on topic and more appropriate. Capiche? And if you do the correct ROI, solar makes very good economic sense for a homeowner looking to install it in NJ today. You don't even have a clue as to what subsidies are available to the OP, yet as usual, you spout off and make an ass of yourself. Then you quicky resort to hurling insults at nearly everyone else on this group.

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wrote: -

I provided another post in this thread where I went over in DETAIL the costs and subsidies applicable to solar electric in NJ. That's right, actual information about the solar economics in the state that the OP was asking about. I didn't post it in this part of the thread with your BS and digression into McMansions, NY subways and God knows what else that had nothing to do with the question, because the other spot in the thread was on topic and more appropriate. Capiche? And if you do the correct ROI, solar makes very good economic sense for a homeowner looking to install it in NJ today. You don't even have a clue as to what subsidies are available to the OP, yet as usual, you spout off and make an ass of yourself. Then you quicky resort to hurling insults at nearly everyone else on this group. ============================================= Costs and subsidies are not an ROI calc. Do one, and show that the payback is less than 30 years. Or 60 years.
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EA






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> Heh, you didn't have too much to say when your buttbuddee SaltyAsshole
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wrote:

There you go again, spouting off about things where you don't have a clue. Costs and any federal or state subsidies are obviously key components of calculating ROI. For example, if you spend $50K on a solar electric system, you get a 30% fed tax credit. Only a complete idiot would claim that $15K should not be factored in to ROI.

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There you go again, spouting off about things where you don't have a clue. Costs and any federal or state subsidies are obviously key components of calculating ROI. For example, if you spend $50K on a solar electric system, you get a 30% fed tax credit. Only a complete idiot would claim that $15K should not be factored in to ROI. ================================================= First, I never claimed that. Second, you STILL have not done an ROI calc.
If you need a hint, see my calc, but I'd certainly expect that, with all your chest-thumping and blusteirng, you'd do a much better, more accurate, and thorough job.
Another hint: there is a bit of an error. Can you find it?
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wrote:

As with most of what you post, there isn't just a bit of an error. It's total hogwash. I already pointed out 3 MAJOR errors:
1 - You didn't include a whopping 30% federal tax credit that amounts to tens of thousands of dollars, reducing the cost.
2 - You didn't include the value of REIC certificates that one receives in the state of NJ for each 1000Kwh of solar generated which amounts to thousands of dollars a year in income for your proposed 6Watt system.
3 - You didn't include possible NJ state rebates that can total thousands of dollars for said system.
That;s why you think it takes 60 years to break even on a solar electric system, when it's an order of magnitude less.
To the above I'd add that unless your Uncle owns the solar panel company, the inverter company, and half of the equipment is free, you aren't going to get a 6KW solar electric system in NJ for $3/watt.
Anything else I can help you out with?

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As with most of what you post, there isn't just a bit of an error. It's total hogwash. I already pointed out 3 MAJOR errors:
1 - You didn't include a whopping 30% federal tax credit that amounts to tens of thousands of dollars, reducing the cost.
2 - You didn't include the value of REIC certificates that one receives in the state of NJ for each 1000Kwh of solar generated which amounts to thousands of dollars a year in income for your proposed 6Watt system.
3 - You didn't include possible NJ state rebates that can total thousands of dollars for said system.
That;s why you think it takes 60 years to break even on a solar electric system, when it's an order of magnitude less.
To the above I'd add that unless your Uncle owns the solar panel company, the inverter company, and half of the equipment is free, you aren't going to get a 6KW solar electric system in NJ for $3/watt.
Anything else I can help you out with? ================================================= Yeah, what part of "do the ROI calc" don't you understand?
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Existential Angst wrote:

They don't conk out. They slowly decrease their efficiency over time. They might be at 75% efficiency in 20 years and might take longer to reach that.
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*I am an electrical contractor in NJ. I am currently not promoting the installation of photovoltaic panels through my business. I have taken some classes and talked with several installers of solar panels and have not become convinced it is something that everyone should have. With rebates and tax credits it can almost make economic sense for an average homeowner, but you need to look at the big picture. Where will you install the panels? Not every roof can withstand the extra weight. What will you do when the roof needs replacing? How will you keep the panels clean? Will replacement parts be available as well as someone to repair the system after a few years? Will you be living in your house long enough to realize a payback? Is this something that will affect the value of your house one way or another? Will the panels look attractive? Since you plan to do the work yourself, do you have any experience working with live electricity? The panels start putting out juice as soon as they are exposed to daylight.
I have been hearing Trinity Solar in NJ advertise free installation. Give them a call and see what that is about.
I personally believe that you will get a better and faster payback with insulation which includes windows, doors, caulking and sealing and by improving energy efficiency. I've noticed that a number of customers are going for window replacement due to tax credits.
The solar fallacy sort of follows the same thinking as purchasing your own home is a good investment. Of course your home will appreciate in value over time. However when you add up the interest paid on the mortgage, the taxes, insurance, maintenance and upkeep as well as the purchasing and selling costs it can actually be a loss.
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John Grabowski wrote:

You've been warned before about speaking with common sense on here.....
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*Sorry :-)
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