Someone in a townhouse not far from here got solar panels, for free. The
electric meter is in the front and that's why they ran 1.5 or 2" conduit
up the front of the house to the roof, and put in a 3" long junction box
where the conduit had to bend almost 90^ to go on the roof.
I think it's uggggly.
What should they have done differently, even if the homeowner had to
Can conduit be painted and how long would it stay approximately the same
color? Is there any conduit or useable alternative that is already
colored? White? Brown? Mariner turquoise?
Even that wouldn't be very good but it's the easiest most obvious.
How is it properly done when put on a roof?
Down through the stack to the basement, I presume, and the electric
connections and the solar control box (2 or 3 times the size of the
meter) are put in the basement????
In two instances I have used gutter downspouts to conceal (contain)
220 volt cable that was then buried to feed our hot tub. I also used
it to contain (conceal) the replacement freon lines running between
the compressor and the condensor (the original had been buried in the
poured concrete slab of the house). The downspouts were then painted
the same color as the house and barely noticieable. Besides,
downspouts look normal on a house wall, not like an ugly cable.
Since this insallation is already in place, painting the meter and
control box could also be painted.
I'm sure there could have been better alternatives, but it's too late
~~ If there's a nit to pick, some nitwit will pick it. ~~
On Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 6:58:23 PM UTC-4, Wayne Boatwright wrote:
Plus the bigger problem is solar panels themselves are ugly.
Put on the front of the house, where you can see them, they look
terrible. Elon Musk has some new ones just coming out that look
like shingles, but they are a lot more expensive so far.
You can paint PVC conduit, but it would certainly have been easier
before it was put up.
In alt.home.repair, on Tue, 15 Aug 2017 22:58:18 GMT, Wayne Boatwright
So you mean put the cable inside the downspout! I thought he just
meant put the conduit in the corner between the downspout and tthe
Was it an actual downspout with water in it when it rained?
Actually those two things look okay, and the meter isn't even visible
from the street (though I painted mine, all but the glass, to match the
Right. They've been talking about this on our new neighborhood mailing
list, and I pointed out how bad it looked and how it could have looked
better. last I looked, this particular neighbor was on the miailing
list, but if she is, so be it.
Then someone else posted as both the salesman and the 5-star reference
for one of the companies. She said " I have [this brand of] panels and
my elec. went from about 290 to $47.50 and with my XOOM elec&has my bill
is about 22" This sounds very unlikely to me. I asked how big her
array is and how many watts, and if I could go see her house.
I myself don't think solar panels are ugly, only that bloomin' pipe.
It was not an actual downspout to carry water. It was a section of
downspout bought specificaclly for this purpose. It didn't connect
If I were iclined to put solar panels on my roof, I would definitely
ut them on the back side of the roof, as well as any associated
equipment either mounted on the back wall or in the basement, if
there is a basement.
~~ If there's a nit to pick, some nitwit will pick it. ~~
On Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 1:31:09 AM UTC-4, Wayne Boatwright wrote:
Incline? No pun intended, I assume. ;-)
The layout of your house may dictate where you install the panels. You may lose some
production, depending on which way the rear roof faces as well as the slope.
My rear roof faces north so I'll lose production just from that. The trees won't help either.
This site contains a study done on north facing panels.
In alt.home.repair, on Wed, 16 Aug 2017 04:59:26 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
This is a great page, except for one mistake, as I read it. "The sun
is overhead in the summer, when the array is most productiveso the
arrays are nearly identical during the most crucial times"
He does say "nearly" but I still think it can be misleading to a lot of
people. The sun is always above our heads, but it is never directly
above our heads or north of the the line going straight up from our
heads. That is, even on the longest day of the year, the sun is never
farther north than the Tropic of Cancer, which goes through Mexico and
along the northern coast of Cuba. So even Florida and Texas don't get
direct sunlight, ever. There is always some angle. But the angle is
less during the summer -- That's what makes it summer!
On Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 11:44:36 AM UTC-4, micky wrote:
ay lose some
es won't help either.
How much sun does the north side of a roof in your area get
even in summer? It's not about summer just summer
months, it's about how much sun falls on a given roof face
during the entire year. South facing is best, sw is still
very good. North, forget about it. I've never seen an array
facing north, have you?
There are calculators that give you the exact data for a specific location.
It's what the installers use.
I was told by someone who has solar panels that here in Phoenix it
doesn't mattter where on the roof you mount them, unless they are
blocked by trees, etc. The sun is intense and constant most of the
~~ If there's a nit to pick, some nitwit will pick it. ~~
On Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 5:04:17 PM UTC-4, micky wrote:
Do people typically buy these systems based on it's output versus
it's cost savings based on the summer only or on a whole typical
I just read it now. Let's start with this:
How much worse are north-facing solar modules?
"We start with a typical residential system in Charlotte, North Carolina. We designed and modeled the system in HelioScope, our sales and design software platform. With a 2/12 pitched roof...."
So, they don't start with a "typical residential system", unless 2/12
roofs are typical in NC. Are they typical in MD? They aren't typical
here, 6/12 would be typical. Then they say that if it were a shallow
pitched roof of 1/12. WTF? 2/12 is already shallow. If it's close
to flat, then orientation doesn't matter. Finally they
start to get to reality, 4/12 is 29% less efficient when facing north.
I'm not going to bother with the calculator to find out how bad it gets
when you reach 6/12 pitch, but from the shallow 2/12 roof to a 4/12 roof
the efficiency loss doubled, so draw your own conclusions on what
happens as you get closer to a typical roof. Even at 4/12 you're
29% worse off and that's in NC, if you go further north it gets worse
too. The economics already
need subsidies to make them practical and that's for a normal install.
If you want to put one on a typical roof that faces north, you can
but the economics get much worse. That is why I don't see them on
north facing roofs here.
In alt.home.repair, on Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:52:33 -0700 (PDT), trader_4
Let me say again, I wasn't talking about annual output or how people
decide whether to buy solar panels or not. >
I was talking about "The sun is overhead in the summer". If you want to
call it thread drift or OT, feel free.
Now you are talking about roof pitch when I was asking your question
about whether I had seen an array facing north. As I said, I have seen
it and it's not such a bad idea, depending on atleast 3 factors.
If you want to change the subject, fine, but I think you should make
clear that you're not relating your new topic with my topic.
But since you've changed the subject, yes, there are 2/12 roofs here.
Probably some 1/12 roofs but I don't remember any in particular.
The smae article points out that if the roof is oriented NNE/SSW the
difference is not as great and with NE/SW it's is a lot less. But it
doesn't really matter because I'm not getting cells any time soon.
If I ever decide to get solar cells, I'll do or get the calculations.
That's why I bookmarked Dad's page.
On Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 9:50:04 PM UTC-4, micky wrote:
I am relating it to your topic. You said someone in your
neighborhood got solar panels installed. That was the topic.
Seems to me that system, the economics of it, whether it's wise
to install or not depends on using it year round, not just during
the summer. You apparently then swallowed that article about north
facing roofs not affecting performance much without realizing they
start off with a very misleading analysis, they use a 2/12 roof and
then say that it gets even better with a low pitch roof, 1/12?
2/12 is already a low pitch roof, the lowest code allows for shingles,
but then they want to sell solar systems, so they probably aren't
the most objective, eh?
The problem is that solar is only feasible for most people because
it's being subsidized, it has a long payback period and when you
further cripple it by putting
it on a north facing roof, it gets worse, a lot worse if it's
a typical 4/12 to 6/12 roof instead of a nearly flat roof in the example.
On homes here, a 2/12 roof isn't common, I've never seen a 1/12
roof. And where I have seen a 2/12 kind of roof, it's been as
just one smaller part of an overall structure, like part of a
contemporary house design. I have one roof plane close to that
on mine, over the garage, but it's not big enough for a typical
If you want to put a solar array facing north and understand the
economics, that's fine. I'm just saying if you read that article
where they claim to use a "typical" installation and then use
a 2/12 roof and talk about a 1/12 roof, to show that the output
only takes a 16% hit, it's very misleading. Eventually they do
say that a more typical 4/12 roof takes a 29% hit, which is why
you don't typically see them on the north side of homes. It
changes the economics significantly.
In alt.home.repair, on Thu, 17 Aug 2017 09:15:04 -0700 (PDT), trader_4
No, I read that, and before you brought it up.
I don't remember the details anymore.
I said I'd seen it on north roofs, but those same people probably had
cells on the south roof too.
I don't think they called 2/12 typical.
"We start with a typical residential system in Charlotte, North
Carolina" I took that to mean the system itself was typical, and this
wasn't related to where it was installed.
"The tilt of the roof matters a great deal. If this same system was on a
shallow 1/12-pitched roof (with a tilt of 4.8°), then the south-facing
--- this doesn't mean there are such houses, just that this shows how
array would produce 1,315 kWh/kWp, while the north-facing array would
produce 1,205a difference of just 8%! If the roof were steeper (say,
4/12), then the north-facing array would be 29% worse.
The orientation of the house also matters. The above examples are for a
house facing perfectly north-south. But if the house is facing
south-southwest (30° off of perfectly south), then the equator-facing
roof is only 14% better. And if the roof is 60° off south, then the
equator-facing roof is only 8% better."
I might be able to do the math but with difficulty. Since I'm not
getting solar, I stipped reading.
Don't know about other people but for me the return I get on money invested with Vanguard is greater than a return I would get from any solar system. Solar is just not there yet.
That said I think we need to take the money taxpayers waste on welfare democrats and reroute it into solar R&D.
In alt.home.repair, on Wed, 16 Aug 2017 05:31:00 GMT, Wayne Boatwright
That would be okay. It's probably what he meant.
I'm sure you didn't have a 3" right angle connection that was hanging in
mid-air by a few inches.
I wonder if she got both the front and the back. I can see the front,
but that side points north east. The south west side would be better,
plus, because we're on a hill, you can't even see the roof on the back
of the house.
Another neighbor put a light on the side of his house and instead of
running elecricty to the attic and then through the wall to the light,
they ran aluminum conduit from the porch light 20 feet sideways and 20
feet up. It sure looks ugly.
Other houses I've seen put in floodlights and instead of running cable
in the bedroom wall up one foot from a indoor receptacle and out, they
run conduit from the porch light outside the wall and it looks ugly too.
I don't think they know anything about construction and it doesn't even
occur to them how to do it right.
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