said by nunya:
But, back to the solar situation. I stand by my assertion that it rarely is cost effective to use solar panels in residential situations. It just isn't cost effective yet. That's why we have to *pay* people to do it. If the technology were ready for mainstream, we wouldn't have to pay people to buy a product.
Also, much pollution is produced in the manufacture of solar panels. A lot. Solar is a "dirty green" solution, much like CFL lamps.
Well, in the time I've taken to get this project off the ground, the panel prices have dropped enough I'm getting one free!
What isn't green? How much pollution goes into making a Prius? How many tons of rare earth metals have to go into making a Volt?
Here's the carbon footprint reduction estimation for my install:
CO2 saved (lbs): 9,605
SO2 saved (lbs): 38
Nox saved (lbs): 15
Car mile equiv: 9,461
Trees saved 112
Coal not consumed (lbs): 5,708
I do agree, to an extent, that a project like this isn't for everyone. I think, at the end of the day, a project this size is going to have to come down to the $10k range (with out subsidies) before it can become a lot more common. Hopefully, that can one day happen.
And I do think, maybe not in my lifetime, but perhaps our grandchildren's lifetime that the grid, as it is, won't exist. Every home will have some sort of small generation system to supply the power needs of a home.
Here's what my installer says about sun tracking systems:
"It's not generally something that applies to roof-mounted systems, but the technology exists sure. Trackers are usually used for pole-mounted systems that are installed in a big field or something where the additional sunlight is fully available. Manufacturers claim that the tracking can increase yield up to about 30%, but there are cons as well. Moving parts = more stuff that can fail, the trackers need replacing usually after 5-10 years, definitely adds cost."
Oh yeah. All this math goes out the window (and I'm hosed) if we have a really cloudy year! So, here's to a sunny summer in 2013!