dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
3663
share rss forum feed


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
reply to cowboyro

Re: [Green Tech] Solar panels: doing the math...

You pay double to what we pay here. Last month cold and broke compressor causing us to run on heat strips from Dec 26 to Jan 15.
Used 4148 kWh costing $383.($0.09/kWh) including taxes and fees.


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
said by Jack_in_VA:

You pay double to what we pay here. Last month cold and broke compressor causing us to run on heat strips from Dec 26 to Jan 15.
Used 4148 kWh costing $383.($0.09/kWh) including taxes and fees.

I am aware of the ass-reaming we are getting. Unfortunately there is no alternative. As far as solar is concerned, I have no S-facing roof side and on top of it I have noticed a serious decrease in sun levels after 12PM (output of my solar pool heaters dropping).


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
Even if solar could lower our bills, no one on the forum has tackled the questions of disposal methods/costs nor cost to handle them during a roof shingle replacement. Odd there are no takers for those questions...


aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..

1 recommendation

The majority of solar panels are made with Si, and you should have no issue to put those into the trash.

There are also CdTe and CIGS panels, and at least in the case of CdTe, some suppliers already established recycling:
quote:
Recycling

With over 100 GW of solar PV modules installed worldwide, recycling is important to the whole PV sector in order to maximize resource recovery and manage environmentally sensitive materials (e.g. lead, selenium, and cadmium compounds) which are common in the industry. First Solar established the first global and comprehensive recycling program in the PV industry. Its proven and scalable recycling facilities are operational at each of First Solar’s manufacturing plants and recover up to 95% of semiconductor material for reuse in new modules and 90% of glass for reuse in new glass products.
I would expect more widespread recycling in place within 10 - 15 years when more panels will reach, or get close to their EOL.

Personally, recycling would be my least worry. Also, even though panels have a quoted life time (i.e. 25 years) they won't just stop working at that point -- their output will get lower over time, but it could be cheaper to operate them longer then replacing them at the 25 years mark.

As for a possible shingle replacement, you should talk to installers because it will depend a lot on how the panels are installed.
--
.sig

Critsmcgee

join:2011-12-02
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to SwedishRider
said by SwedishRider:

Even if solar could lower our bills, no one on the forum has tackled the questions of disposal methods/costs nor cost to handle them during a roof shingle replacement. Odd there are no takers for those questions...

No one has had to dispose of them yet so not very odd. They have a 15-20+ year life so that won't be a common occurrence for another decade. Not to mention like a roof, siding, paint, etc. you'd typically have new ones installed and the new company would remove the old ones as part of the install.
--
"Trust Me I'm The Doctor!" -Doctor Who


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to aurgathor
Given that the labor costs for installing make the largest chunk of the cost, I would expect the cost of fixing a roof to be astronomical.


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
said by cowboyro:

Given that the labor costs for installing make the largest chunk of the cost, I would expect the cost of fixing a roof to be astronomical.

That's what scares me. Paying additional labor to dismount and remount the panels could easily wipe out a lot of the energy savings.

Critsmcgee

join:2011-12-02
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to cowboyro
said by cowboyro:

Given that the labor costs for installing make the largest chunk of the cost, I would expect the cost of fixing a roof to be astronomical.

That's why I love my lifetime guaranteed roof.
--
"Trust Me I'm The Doctor!" -Doctor Who


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
What's a "Lifetime" Guaranteed roof? How about some pictures as I need a new roof this spring.


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT

1 recommendation

reply to Critsmcgee
said by Critsmcgee:

said by cowboyro:

Given that the labor costs for installing make the largest chunk of the cost, I would expect the cost of fixing a roof to be astronomical.

That's why I love my lifetime guaranteed roof.

I am willing to bet that the "lifetime guarantee" does not include the cost of removing and reinstalling panels - assuming that installing panels does not void the warranty.


aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
reply to SwedishRider
said by SwedishRider:

said by cowboyro:

Given that the labor costs for installing make the largest chunk of the cost, I would expect the cost of fixing a roof to be astronomical.

That's what scares me. Paying additional labor to dismount and remount the panels could easily wipe out a lot of the energy savings.

I'm actually planning on buying a couple of panels and a grid-tie inverter, and doing a self-install this summer -- partly as my own "pilot project".
--
.sig

Beezel

join:2008-12-15
Las Vegas, NV
Here in a place like Vegas, they are worth it and make sense. We have a abundance of strong daylight throughout the year. Direction doesn't make much of a difference here. Also most roofs here are covered with Spanish tile type coverings. They have a life span longer than the panels would.


Anonymous_
Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-21
127.0.0.1
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

1 edit
reply to aurgathor
said by aurgathor:

said by SwedishRider:

said by cowboyro:

Given that the labor costs for installing make the largest chunk of the cost, I would expect the cost of fixing a roof to be astronomical.

That's what scares me. Paying additional labor to dismount and remount the panels could easily wipe out a lot of the energy savings.

I'm actually planning on buying a couple of panels and a grid-tie inverter, and doing a self-install this summer -- partly as my own "pilot project".

do not buy a cheapo grid tie inverter people like you, give back very poor quality power back on to the grid. which damages electronics and shortens the life span of them

--
Live Free or Die Hard...


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
said by Anonymous_:

do not buy a cheapo grid tie inverter people like you, give back very poor quality power back on to the grid. which damages electronics and shortens the life span on them

So if someone in a neighborhood uses crummy quality components or does a crummy quality install, it can damage neighbors' electrical devices?!?


Anonymous_
Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-21
127.0.0.1
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
said by SwedishRider:

said by Anonymous_:

do not buy a cheapo grid tie inverter people like you, give back very poor quality power back on to the grid. which damages electronics and shortens the life span on them

So if someone in a neighborhood uses crummy quality components or does a crummy quality install, it can damage neighbors' electrical devices?!?

For a Pure Sine wave is going to cost several grand especially the higher powered ones and power co grid certified

most cheap ones use Modified sine wave type.... which feedback poor quality power.

Critsmcgee

join:2011-12-02
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to cowboyro
said by cowboyro:

said by Critsmcgee:

said by cowboyro:

Given that the labor costs for installing make the largest chunk of the cost, I would expect the cost of fixing a roof to be astronomical.

That's why I love my lifetime guaranteed roof.

I am willing to bet that the "lifetime guarantee" does not include the cost of removing and reinstalling panels - assuming that installing panels does not void the warranty.

They would use PV tiles and remove part of the roof to install it. The rest of the roof would be covered under the lifetime warranty untouched. There would be no roof under solar panels to repair either. People seem to think panels are the only option.

»www.dowpowerhouse.com/
--
"Trust Me I'm The Doctor!" -Doctor Who

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable
·ooma
·VOIPO
·Verizon Broadban..
reply to Jack_in_VA
said by Jack_in_VA:

said by ke4pym:

said by nunya:

"The "feelgood" portion of solar panels gets eroded way when you consider the amount of energy and waste involved in the manufacturing process (solar's "dirty" little secret).

Generally speaking, solar panels get out of debt no later than year 4 (depending on the technology used):

»www.mnn.com/earth-matters/energy···generate

»www.theverge.com/2013/4/2/417420···-consume

How much loan do you have on the panels? Will it be paid off in 4 years and how many years to recover the amount of the loan?

I bankrolled my install. However, the debt discussed here isn't one of dollars. It is the debt of using more energy to produce something (the panels) than they make (you know, kinda like ethanol).

It used to be that it used more energy to make a panel than that panel would ever return. That's not the case anymore.

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable
·ooma
·VOIPO
·Verizon Broadban..
reply to SwedishRider
said by SwedishRider:

Even if solar could lower our bills, no one on the forum has tackled the questions of disposal methods/costs nor cost to handle them during a roof shingle replacement. Odd there are no takers for those questions...

I think I've taken this on a couple of times, Swedish.

You're going to pay at-then market labor rates for however long it takes to dismantel the array.

If labor is $85 an hour and it takes them 10 hours, well, that's going to be $850 bucks plus tax and pizza delivery fees. Like-wise if it takes them 20 hours to put it back at $85 an hour - you can do the math there.

Again, if your shingles are marginal, you'd be best served by replacing them before the array goes up in the first place. Since the sun will no longer be beating on them you should get one hell of a life span out of them.

On the topic of disposal, I've heard of one guy upgrading his panels. He got his money out of the first set and bought all new gear. The installer reused the panels for another project. Since their useful lifespan is 25+ years, this isn't a topic that has had much opportunity to come to the top.

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable
·ooma
·VOIPO
·Verizon Broadban..
reply to aurgathor
said by aurgathor:

said by SwedishRider:

said by cowboyro:

Given that the labor costs for installing make the largest chunk of the cost, I would expect the cost of fixing a roof to be astronomical.

That's what scares me. Paying additional labor to dismount and remount the panels could easily wipe out a lot of the energy savings.

I'm actually planning on buying a couple of panels and a grid-tie inverter, and doing a self-install this summer -- partly as my own "pilot project".

That's great and good luck.

But don't expect to tie your array into the grid on a DIY project. It most likely won't happen (at least not without some outside eyes looking in). More and more utilities are demanding that the installer be certified and accredited solar installers before they'll let you flip the switch.


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to ke4pym
Using your numbers, which seem reasonable, 30 total hours of labor would come to about $2500 plus tax (and pizza).

That's a lot of savings wiped out.

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable
·ooma
·VOIPO
·Verizon Broadban..
said by SwedishRider:

Using your numbers, which seem reasonable, 30 total hours of labor would come to about $2500 plus tax (and pizza).

That's a lot of savings wiped out.

Again, this is why you deal with the roof /BEFORE/ you put the panels up....


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to nunya
Technical question: can solar panels be disconnected from a home's electrical system in order for a portable generator to provide emergency power? I have a whole-house portable generator setup to backfeed my panel via an interlock kit. I know solar panels are set to somehow disconnect when POCO power goes down. But can they be disconnected in addition to disconnecting POCO power so as to isolate the generator feeding emergency power to a house?


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
said by SwedishRider:

Technical question: can solar panels be disconnected from a home's electrical system in order for a portable generator to provide emergency power? I have a whole-house portable generator setup to backfeed my panel via an interlock kit. I know solar panels are set to somehow disconnect when POCO power goes down. But can they be disconnected in addition to disconnecting POCO power so as to isolate the generator feeding emergency power to a house?

That's something I've wondered about. My guess is that since there is the chance of islanding and damage to your generator they wouldn't allow it.

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable
·ooma
·VOIPO
·Verizon Broadban..

1 edit
reply to SwedishRider
said by SwedishRider:

Technical question: can solar panels be disconnected from a home's electrical system in order for a portable generator to provide emergency power? I have a whole-house portable generator setup to backfeed my panel via an interlock kit. I know solar panels are set to somehow disconnect when POCO power goes down. But can they be disconnected in addition to disconnecting POCO power so as to isolate the generator feeding emergency power to a house?

My install has 3 opportunities to disconnect the array from the grid.

There's a dual breaker in my load center. There's a lock-out-tag-out throw switch next to the meter outside and there's another dual breaker in an external load center next to said switch and meter.

It would be a very good idea to disconnect the array prior to energizing your home from the portable generator. Portable gen sets aren't world renowned for their power output quality. And your inverters will probably struggle to keep up with it.

You may want to read over the thread I created when my project started. It is here (pictures start on page 4):
»I've gone and done it ... solar install


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
I'm looking over your thread with pics now. If I am understanding this correctly, you are back feeding your panel with solar power through a backfed breaker. If that breaker were opened (off), and my interlock was off (shutting off POCO power), I could then hookup my generator and safely use it to provide emergency power. That works for me.

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
I'll just turn the breaker off on the indoor load center for the array. Then commence with firein' up the generator.

But it certainly wouldn't hurt to turn them all off.

25696122

join:2013-12-20
reply to SwedishRider
Another way to cash in is wind. Same rebates, basic hookups, and slightly cheaper. No roof issues at all!


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
No roof but plenty of local zoning and HOA issues.

25696122

join:2013-12-20
said by Jack_in_VA:

No roof but plenty of local zoning and HOA issues.

Some but no more then solar. My buddy just did a ground mount solar install w/ 80' wind turbine. Ground solar is yet another option.


aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
reply to ke4pym
said by ke4pym:

More and more utilities are demanding that the installer be certified and accredited solar installers before they'll let you flip the switch.

Do you think I'll ask them?
--
.sig