Solar Advice

I was looking into solar panels.
After four presentations what I have surmised is the following:
1. Avoid micro-inverters. There is a theoretical advantage but you introduce 15-25 potential points of failure instead of 1. They do fail and you don't want people up on your roof, breaking tiles, as they replace the failed micro-inverters. A failed central inverter just means a couple of days with no power generation.
2. Optimizers are okay, but not really essential unless you have shading issues.
3. Avoid polycrystalline panels. Use only monocrystalline panels.
4. Buy direct, from a panel manufacturer that is likely to remain in business, not from an installer that buys panels from that manufacturer. Check the financial health of the panel manufacturer since some are barely hanging on and are likely to fail when the federal tax credit starts going away in 2016.
5. Minimize the number of panels buy using the more efficient panels even if the initial cost is slightly higher.
6. Buy, don't lease, and no "prepaid power agreements."
7. Make sure that the electrical panel upgrade cost, if necessary is included.
8. If you're going to go solar, do it in 2015, the last year of the 30% federal tax credit.
9. Check LinkedIn for friends that may work at a solar company to see if there is any "friend's and family" discount (the quote I got from one panel maker came down by $3000 because a friend works there and they have a friends and family program).
10. Check that it makes sense at all based on your KWH rate. In my city we're paying about 33¢/KWH and it will take about 9 years to break even. The next city over, with a municipally owned power company charges about 11¢/KWH and solar makes no sense there.
11. Consider whether or not a time-of-use rate plan will work for you or not. For my utility, they credit you a lot more for generated power if you are on a time-of-use rate plan, so even if you have to use some peak time power, i.e. for a pool pump or air conditioner, it may be beneficial to be on the time-of use plan and pay a higher top rate than on a non-time-of-use rate plan.
Any other things I've missed? Advice? Should I run away screaming?
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sms wrote:

0. (hey, I'm a programmer) Find out if the project is even feasible given the insolation for your area:
http://www.solmetric.com/annualinsolation-us.html
Have you considered the batteries, both the initial cost and the replacement costs? Do the research but in my experience if you're already connected to the grid, solar is very expensive per kwh. I run a solar setup in Arizona, but there's plenty of sun and no available electricity.
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sms wrote: ...

yes, do many other things first to increase your efficiency, i.e. good appliances, LED lights, solar hot water heating, better insulation and sealing up the house if you use heat or AC, using better roofing to reflect light if you are in the south and to absorb it or be neutral farther north, wind blocking trees, shading trees... most of these things are worth the money spent and will decrease the amount of electricity you need to generate and store.
if you can avoid large battery banks it is well worth it. instead just have enough storage to cover the usual outage cases (here that is a few minutes to a few hours) and still plan for having a worse case outage once in a great while (major storms). a lot of people think that they have to sell electricity back to the power company, but if they don't give you a very good price and you are paying a lot of fees it can be more of a pain than it is worth.
songbird
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On Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 10:12:01 PM UTC-5, songbird wrote:

IDK where all the battery talk came from. Only a small, insignificant installs here in the USA have storage batteries, for obvious reasons. Bet SMS isn't looking at batteries.
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On 1/28/2015 5:29 PM, sms wrote:

Make sure your local fire department will get up on your roof and solar panels and put out your house fire.
Paul
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wrote:

It sounds like a pretty comprehensive report. I came up with similar results and at 13c a KWH it did not make sense when the Florida rebates dried up. One issue, see if your homeowners covers them or if you need a rider. That was a factor for me. I do not buy windstorm but $40,000 worth of collectors on my roof would have flipped that equation. Also be sure what your deal is with the PoCo. How much do they pay you? Just because the bill is 13c, does not mean the electricity is worth 13c. They may hold back all of those fees that are half of your bill. Old dumb meters may have lost that in the months bill assuming you still pay something but the new meter knows when you are going backward and they can adjust the price they pay.
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wrote:

NO NO NO NO NO NO.....
Do not use LinkedIn for ANYTHING. They are one of the top spam sites online, and they have been sued several times because of it. (Google will "LinkedIn lawsuits")
Just sending one email to a LinkedIn user will guarantee you to be placed on their spam list, in which you will receive multiple "invites" to join their crap site, which will go on forever.
I found this out personally, simply because I sent someone an email from a weblink. I was just asking this person a question about an animal related illness they had to deal with. THey replued to me in a nice and friendly way. Almost immediately I began getting LinkedIn spam, which claimed was sent by the person I had emailed. I asked them to please stop asking me to join LinkedIn. They said they did NOT send those emails. This went on every few weeks for over a year. Things got ugly between myself and that person, who insisted they were not sending these spams. I told them that if they can not control their LinkedIn use, they should stop using it. They claim they DID close their LinkedIn account, yet the spam continued.
That's when I read about these lawsuits, and after sending several "REMOVE ME" emails to them, I phoned them and threatened another lawsuit. They DID block my email address from their spam afterwards, but only after a lot of aggravation.
What they do, is steal everyone's email address book info. Then they send out their spam, claiming it was sent by the person who they stole the list from. They are a very corrupt company. DO NOT USE LINKEDIN IN ANY MANNER!
Besides, why do you need LinkedIn to determine if any of your friends use Solar power. Just ask your friends!!!! DUH!!!!!
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SMS wrote:

Yes , you certainly are . I went thru the same bullshit with LinkedIn , endless attempts to join and endless spam . The only way I got it stopped was to block them , they ignored repeated requests to stop sending me emails .
--
Snag



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On 1/29/2015 8:37 AM, Terry Coombs wrote:

It has/had to do with the LinkedIn user settings. LinkedIn like Facebook will change things from time to time, and if you don't keep up on the changes, you are in for some surprises. Users who didn't turn off a change LinkedIn had made ended up having LinkedIn scan their Gmail/webmail contact lists when they were logged into both accounts at the same time. And then LinkedIn began sending those contacts invitations to join.
I had to school my unemployed sister on this, who refused to admit it was a problem until I pointed out every potential employer she'd emailed was getting auto-spammed with LinkedIn invites from her, which would ruin her chances. Even then, I had to email her instructions as to how to find and change the setting to stop it.
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Per Moe DeLoughan:

Is that to say that my "Contacts" on my Android phone is exposed to such practices? Or is that separate from gMail?
--
Pete Cresswell

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Per SMS:

On the disconnect.me link I see a "Disconnect Malvertising", but no "Disconnect-Mobile".
Maybe another story there?
--
Pete Cresswell

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wrote:

If I was a suspicious guy I would say they hacked my AOL address book. I suddenly got a message from linkedin asking me if I knew just about everyone on it right after I logged in the first time.
I have not been back but I am still getting updates about everyone I know and everyone they know, everyone I have ever done business with and a whole lot of total strangers..
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Per snipped-for-privacy@aol.com:

There are other perpetrators that harvest address books from web-based mail services on a regular basis. I don't know the ins-and-outs, but I get spam on a regular basis that is tailored to look like it came from people I know, but which has return addresses that differ from theirs.
My #1 daughter recently had her Juno mail account hacked. They started spamming everybody in her addressbook and also deleted her addressbook from Juno's server. It was especially problematic for her because she has a couple of businesses and her customers and associates were getting spammed..... bad publicity and all that...
My take is that it is a bad idea to use webmail because of the real chance of having the addressbook harvested. I use an email client so my email addressbook is local to my PC.
Problem for me is that I also have a few Android devices and have been using their contact managers to hold email addresses as well as phone numbers and synching same via Google... so I suspect I am exposed too.... and maybe it's time for me to work out some other solution.... but the convenience of Google's synching facilities is soooo tempting.
--
Pete Cresswell

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wrote:

If I have to go thru all of this trouble, just to avoid LinkedIn (or any other site), from spying on me, and spamming me, and then have to continually have to keep tweaking this stuff because they change their software, I WANT NO PART OF THAT COMPANY RIGTH FROM THE START. This is exactly why I dont use any social networking sites. Not to mention that Facebook (which is the only social netw site I have ever tried), and I found it to be nothing but a pile of rubbish burying what I might have interest in, as well as a big time waster. I played with it for around a month, then closed the account. I have no intent to ever use FB or any other similar site. If I want to chat with friends, I use private email, or phone them, and that way I dont have a bunch of stangers making rude comments about something which is none of their business anyhow.
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wrote:

The key phrase is "a panel manufacturer that is likely to remain in business." Give our ditherer-in -chief a call and see what company he would recommend.
The following list is but a few companies that our beloved leader has squandered our tax dollars on to return the favor of their campaign contributions. These are "stellar, rising star, extemporary, forward looking" and many other adjectives but unfortunately they have one thing in common -- they are bankrupt.
Solar Trust of America - Oakland, CA The Amonix Solar – North Las Vegas, NV Solar Trust of America - Oakland, CA Bright Source - Oakland, CA Solyndra - Fremont, CA Energy Conversion Devices – Rochester Hills, MI Abound Solar - Longmont, CO Beacon Power – Tyngsborough, MA Ecotality - San Francisco, CA A123 Solar - Waltham, MA UniSolar - Auburn Hills, MI Evergreen Solar - Marlborough, MA
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Run away screaming. Taking into account maintenance and depreciation, it will never pay for itself. It is also unlikely that the manufacturer will be around in ten years.
--
Web based forums are like subscribing to 10 different newspapers
and having to visit 10 different news stands to pickup each one.
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On 1/29/2015 6:11 AM, CRNG wrote:

At my age, I'm unlikely to be around in 10 years. And, as a 40 year home owner, I've replaced two well pumps, 2 pressure tanks, maybe 6 water heaters, house air conditioner, two furnaces, a dishwasher, all the windows, garage door and opener, two electric ranges and a roof - maybe more. Think solar stuff would last this long - think again.
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On 1/28/2015 8:29 PM, sms wrote:

This fellow: http://www.green-trust.org/wordpress/ Knows his stuff when it comes to solar and electric. I'd have a look around his web site, and contact him. He works days, might not reply till he gets home from work.
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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