solar panel

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On 10/22/2010 4:11 PM, HeyBub wrote:

You ain't listening, Bub. Not all applications require electricity. Just as a trivial example, a coil of black pipe on a garage roof makes a dandy pool or house water pre-heater, so the regular water heater doesn't have to work so hard. Yes, you do have to remember to take it out of the circuit and drain it when winter comes, but that can be as simple as turning a couple of valves if you do it right. Very popular up here in frozen north, to extend pool season a couple of weeks. No, solar will never replace all other energy sources, especially those that require the very convenient but luxurious form of energy known as electricity. But there is low hanging fruit out there, for people who will open their eyes.
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aemeijers wrote:

Your trivial example is, indeed, trivial. Millions of trivials add up to (let me think, mumble-mumble, carry-the-three) ah, here it is... trivial.
I agree there are applications that nibble at the margins. But thinking in terms of solar water heaters and walkway lighting and kitchen sunlights is extremely parochial. Just ONE Aluminum foundry on the edge of a town of 50,000 homes uses more electricity than the rest of the town! Even if no one in the town had solar water heating!
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If only it were anywhere near that simple. A coil of black pipe on a garage roof doesn't make a dandy pool heater. Not one that's going to make a rat's ass difference in extending the pool season by a couple of weeks in even the mid-Atlantic region, let alone the frozen north. Go to any of the websites that sell or discuss solar pool heating and you'll find that the solar collector needs to be about the size of the pool surface. So, a 40X20 pool needs an 800 sq ft collector on a south facing roof. Don't have a south facing roof? Then you can use a west facing roof, but then you need an even larger collector because there is less sun. So, how big is that garage roof? And even then, you'll find that there are all caveats that go with it, like recommending that you also use a pool cover to cut down heat loss. Don't want to screw around with a pool cover? Then you need an even bigger solar collector. That's why gas pool heaters are typically 200 to 400K BTUs. You don't get that kind of heat out of a roll of black pipe.
As for using that loop to pre-heat water for the water heater in the summer, that doesn't compute either. Many homes are going to draw most of the hot water in the evening or early morning when there is little or no sun. My entire gas bill to heat water in the summer is under $20 a month. Not much incentive to go screwing around with installing a "coil" of black pipe on the roof, especially when you realize it;s not quite that simple.
That's not to say solar pool heating doesn;t work. It works in places like Florida or AZ, where there is lots of sun and the cool down over night is far less than what it is in NY. Even there, it takes a system like described above, not a roll of pipe.

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On 10/23/2010 7:47 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

coils of pipe on roofs here in SW MI, for people with pools.
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wrote:

It may make them feel good but I agree with the other poster. I am in SW Florida and I have collectors on my pool. You really need an area pretty close to the size of your pool. The area represented by a coil of black pipe is insignificant compared to a pool. It might work for a COVERED spa but even then, unless the coils of pipe are in a glazed box, you won't do a whole lot better than ambient air temperature. If it is much less than 80 outside, I don't even run the pump after I have circulated the water enough for sanitation.
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On Thu, 21 Oct 2010 08:08:12 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@mickymall.com wrote:

Walmart can get generous payments from the government that your average homeowner may not be able to manage and they also write some of this off to advertising. A whole lot of Florida residents are still waiting for their promised $4 a watt for solar installs and the program is broke. A big corporation might be able to wangle a tax break, unavailable to mortals.
The other unanswered question is what impact does the solar installation have on the lifespan of your roof and who pays to remove and reinstall it when the roof goes bad?
I looked at all of this and passed on the idea, mostly because I found out the Florida rebate wasn't coming.
BTW the other thing I found out, the cheap way to get some used collectors is to talk to a roofer. If you are willing to remove them yourself they might be close to free.
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On Oct 21, 1:30pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

This poster has an obvious misunderstanding of how corporations work and what they are legally required to do. There is no legal requirement that every activity they undertake must have a demonstrable ROI. One clear example is money corporations donate to charities, schools, etc. In the case of any environmental endeavor, not that they even have to give a good explanation, but if some gadfly asked at the annual meeting "Why are you wasting money on XYZ green project?", all they have to say is that they want to be an environmentally responsible corporation and they believe it helps the corporate image and brings value in the long run. End of story.
In the case of Walmart, I don't know how much they are spending/doing with green energy, but I can guarantee it's such a small drop in the bucket, that it's impact on the bottom line is negligible. And their motivation is likely driven in part to try to alleviate all the bad publicity they get from the left wing loons who try to portray them as some kind of evil empire.
Anyone that understands the basic facts about solar electricity knows that without large govt subsidies, it's totally economically unviable for replacement of conventional electricity at today's electricity rates. With a 40% federal subsidy and various state subsidies, then it can make sense for an individual or corporation, but only because the rest of us are paying for it. How much sense that makes is highly questionable. Clearly, there isn't enough subsidy money available for deployment to make even a dent in our overall electricity usage. There is the theory that by doing so, it will eventually drive the price down so that it becomes cost effective and can stand on it's own. But a good question then becomes, rather than using billions of taxpayers money to deploy something that isn't cost effective, could the money or even less money be used more effectively for research to develop solar technology and manufacturing methods that would be cost effective?

Yes, just another example of a real issue that people gloss over. Clearly if you install one on a new roof, you'd buy the longest life shingles and then the roof and system should have about the same lifespan. But if you have a 12 year old roof, then what?

In NJ, between the Fed tax credit and the utilities being required to buy green energy certificates to meet state mandates, it works out to be feasible here. NJ also has a state credit program to help pay for the system upfront, but it's a typical govt cluster screw job. They allocated X millions to it and give out the money quarterly. Last quarter, they had so many applications, they ran out of money. And one would think that they would then pro-rate the money so everyone got their fair share. No, it doesn't work that way. Some got $10K +, others got zippo. And to get it, you have to submit a complete application which includes a ton of certification data, a signed contract with the company installing it, etc. BEFORE you install it. So, the poor jerks that did all that last quarter and didn't get squat, can now start the process all over again, because they don't just put you on the list, they toss the whole thing and you start all over again.

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Thanks for all answers . I dont think I really need one after all. hlb
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