Question on the 45 watt chicago electric solar panel that Harbor Freight
sells for $150.00 .Anybody have any experience with these units ? What
could a person power with one ? coffee pot ,light bulb? thanks for any
Paying 150 dollar for that seems to be a very bad investment,
as additional cost(installation, battery bank, convertor , etc,
needs a payback time of about 100 years.
As a source of power in an inaccessible locations, it might be
useful, like battery maintenance in a remote location.
On Oct 20, 12:04 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org (HL B123) wrote:
If it was in Dallas, which has 5.5 full sun hrs per day, the panel
would generate 5.5 x 365 days x 45 watts = 90 kwh per year.
At 11 cents per kwh, that would be $9.90 worth of electricity per
year, if purchased off the grid......
That is about the same as one would get in interest if the $145 plus
shipping ($10) plus battery($60) plus wiring ($10) plus inverter($50)
were put in the bank instead, and one would still have the money
It isn't a business decision, it is a hobby toy.
Andy in Eureka, Texas
Absolutely correct. There is a definite niche for solar power, or
wind power, or for bicycle operated generators. Any place one needs
a continuously availble source of a small amount of power, solar will
do nicely.... usually.... except maybe in things like coal mines
However, if the purpose is to "get off the grid" and "replentish
earth" or some such, the operator needs to make a business decision
regarding costs, maintenance, reliability..... and solar isn't even
in the running to replace an existing grid source...... the ONE
being on government buildings where taxpayer money is used to set
up a million dollar installation where the maintenance cost exceeds
electric bill.... Since the taxpayers are paying for it, and the
can get a few votes from avid tree-huggers, it is cost effective...
Andy in Eureka, Texas
You make a couple of good points.
In addition is is not within the boundaries of physics to run this country
off of sunbeams, yet we keep pouring (government) money into the quest for
perpetual motion, er..., Sasquatch, er..., ah, I've got it, "Solar Power."
The ONLY way it would be POSSIBLE to run a city or a state off of sunbeams
is to move the orbit of the earth closer to the sun.
focused-mirror steam (or salt-slurry) power generation only makes sense
for certain niche applications (at least with current technology), or in
certain areas where the sun shines most of the time, and the feeling is
laid back. But passive solar, if designed in, can pay for itself almost
anywhere, as long as the people using the building are willing to put up
with the daily and seasonal changes in routine to take advantage of it.
(Or you automate the whole thing, but that is still currently pretty
expensive.) Every gallon of water or cubic foot of air you heat however
many degrees with solar, is that many less BTUs of electric or oil or
gas you need to use. And if the house is shaped right, and the local
outside air is tolerable, solar can provide plenty of 'free' inside
airflow. The 1902 building I work in used to be set up that way, until
they 'modernized' it and tore out all the elevated openable skylights
and air shafts, and blocked off all the transoms above the doors when
they added the drop ceilings.
That must explain why Walmart, (a publically traded company that is
LEGALLY REQUIRED to do what is in the best interest of shareholders
financial interests) is doing it all over the place. If it didn't have
a demonstrable ROI, they couldn't do it. They are responsible and
legally bound to the shareholders.
It doesn't have to be a complete replacement for anything else to be
How do they turn a profit on the 100s of millions they give to
charities each year? I think they are earning good will with
their solar installs- not ROI.
In the long run that is a good thing because maybe, someday, solar
will be a viable option. But that time isn't here yet.
We will never get there unless we start. How much did the first heart
transplant cost, and how well did it work compared to ones done today?
What Walmart is doing is exactly how mankind's greatest advances have
all been accomplished.
People who stand around waiting for "something to happen", will always
be disappointed and look like losers.
Or, of course, you could whine and complain like lost sheep, while
China works their collective asses off, and beats us to it.
Then you could whine about that, too.
On 10/21/2010 9:32 AM email@example.com spake thus:
You mentioned Walmart: what about eBay, which has a huuuuge solar
installation (leased from Solar City) on their campus down here in
eBay's not exactly the company that pops into mind when one thinks of
tree-hugging-type organizations, and yet they consider it a good
BUSINESS DECISION to go solar. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.
And "harry", try 12% efficiency, not 5%. And rising (thin-film
technology, dontcha know).
The fashion in killing has an insouciant, flirty style this spring,
with the flaunting of well-defined muscle, wrapped in flags.
No. My argument is "it is impossible to run this country/state/city off of
The total radiation falling on the surface of the earth is about 1,300W/m^2.
At 23 degrees of latitude. At noon. With no clouds. Adjusting for latitude,
clouds, hours of darkness, and assuming 50% efficiency, it would take a
solar collector farm the size of the Los Angeles basin (1200 sq mi) to
provide for the power needs of just California (~50GW).
Imagine the cost, time to construct, and maintenance of a mechanical
apparatus 35 miles on a side. Heck, that's bigger than the pyramids!
People that grow flowers and such have been using solar power for
hundreds of years. They are called greenhouses. They open and close
vents and shades to fine-tune the temp as needed. A lot of the same
principles can be applied to residences and commercial spaces, thereby
reducing the electric/gas/oil they need to get by.
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