You have greatly underestimated the price of a solar system that
will meet your needs.
To supply electricity EQUAL to the amount you are using from the
grid ( $200 a month at probably 12 cents per kwh) will require a much
much higher initial cost than the 10,000 you have stated.
Your best bet would be to buy a large generator.
On the other hand, if you cut your power useage down to the
point where a 10K solar system would supply it, you will be amazed
at the decrease in your electric bill.
There is a LOT more to a solar system than just buying some
panels and hooking them up..... Most people who try it become
disillusioned and go back to the grid, if they have the opportunity.
The only real useage for a solar system is when someone has
no choice, such as remote cabins or sailboats......
Andy in Eureka, Texas
You are all electric? Hot tub , cooking, laundry, water heater? To off
grid power all of that might cost 100000, I realy dont know how much.
Propane might be cheaper for apliances, run comparison numbers.
alt.energy.homepower is where you will get numbers for alternates. A
generator will cost you more than you pay now.
"Solar' does not always mean 'electric'. In the case of the hot tub, it is a
no-brainer- a solar collector (can be as simple as a bunch of black tubing
on roof), and a small electric pump, perhaps even a small windmill, would
easily take over most of the water-heating duties for the tub. Electricity
is very convenient, but sometimes stone-age forms of energy can still be
very useful at a much lower price.
ameijers wrote:> "Solar' does not always mean 'electric'. In the case
of the hot tub, it is a
You are absolutely right.... I was assuming that he meant using
photovoltaic cells to make electricity for stuff.......
Solar heating is a very practical, and very cost effective idea if
is in a climate where the sun is readily available when needed...
Unfortunately, solar cooling isn't as practical, although I think
solar heat could probably be used to power ammonia cycle refrigerators.
I've never seen one, but the fridge in my RV uses a tiny propane flame
to run the cooling apparatus, so I suspect an enterprising fellow could
replace the propane flame with a solar collector..... As far as air
contitioning a house, forget it if a swamp cooler isn't good
Anybody can make energy, even kids: Oakridge-Marpole students were top
winners at the Vancouver Climate Change game. Here's a link to the
victory picnic party:
So I can't help but wonder: if this stand-alone thing would power my
If you're really handy with tools and the like, a diesel generator can
be cost effective. They are most cost effective if you pipe the cooling
system so as to heat your house with the cooling water.
It's the owner's "sweat equity" that usually provides the greatest cost
saving. You provide "free" labor and reap the benefit. If you're not
savvy enough to provide the labor, it's no longer a good deal.
Regarding solar power, it's one of the biggest scams going. The cost
for a 6KW system is around $50K. A 9KW is around $75K, and even that
isn't going to supply the full load of a typical home with AC and the
usual other loads. Nor does it supply anything at night.
Now the looney tune environmentalists will try to tell you how it is a
great alternative, cost effective and the answer to our energy
problems. But, that's only because in many areas, there are huge
subsidies to make it look better. For example, here in NJ, that $50K
system winds up costing the consumer about $13K, with the other $37K
coming from the tax payers to fund this stupidity. If even a few
percent of homes did this, there wouldn't be enough tax money to
In the real world, if you paid the $75K and finanaced it like the rest
of the house with a 6% mortgage, the interest alone would be $4500 a
year, which is more than a regular electric bill. Plus, there are
going to be maintenance costs, it doesn't last forever, etc.
Regarding the mystery box the electric company wheeled over, this has
to be a troll. A mystery box wheeled over on a handtruck running AC
and the rest of the house and lasting for 2 days? Powering the heat
and AC? When's the last time you needed both in a 2 day day period?
And what's the big mystery when the OP asked the utility guy what it
was? Anytime I've asked, they;ve always been happy to provide info.
Plus, no markings, name, etc on the unit identifying what it is?
It is a religious dictum that our planet can be run by sunbeams. Now the
facts are that sunlight falling on the earth's surface is 745 watts/meter2.
At the equator. At noon. With no clouds. The only way to increase that value
is to move the earth's orbit closer to the sun.
Assuming a 70% conversion factor, it would take a collector farm the size of
the Los Angeles basin (~1200 square miles) to provide power for California's
needs. In addition, probably 10,000 workers to keep the seagull shit washed
off the panels and other maintenance all while everyone in Los Angeles lived
in the shadow of the damned thing.
FWIW, the electric company sent the guy out for the permanent repair
today, and he explained that the mysterious box is nothing more than a
transformer. I have 2 "legs" coming in, and only one was working, so
they hooked that up to a transformer temporarily.
Apparently, the squirrel on the wheel didn't work out as well.
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