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Solar Electricity Systems

Joyce Said:

How much would it cost, and how much land would be need to get all the electricity in the US from Solar Power?

We Answered:

15Watt 38in x 13in = 494sqIn Scale this up by a factor of 1 million

15Mega Watt = 494,000,000 sqin

494 000 000 square inch = 78.75 acre

Sofar 15Mega Watts from 1,000,000 panels needs 78.75 acres lets scale this up to equal SqMiles (640 acres = 1 sqMile) Note the area doesn't consider additional room between the panels. You will need additional space so you can walk between them so as to be able to service them etc.

15 * (640/78.75)= 121.9 MegaWatts / SqMile
1000000 * (640/78.75) = 8126985 * $100each = $812,698,400

So far that is over $812 Billion and you have enough wattage to replace one nuclear power plant.

Your going to need more land than 1 sq mil, you will need additional hard ware to mount the panels.
So you can easily quadruple the cost and area requirements to $3.248 trillion(not counting the purchase of the land) on 4 square miles with 32,507,940 (32.5 million) solar panels

Why quadruple the cost? Remember that the panels are only exposed to 1/2 day worth of light so you need at least twice the capacity to store half of what you generate in batteries for night time use. And this is being generous in assuming that you get 100% efficiency and no cloudy days. The additional cost of batteries, wire , solar trackers etc are only partially covered in this estimate. Then you will have maintenance costs to keep the panels operating at peak performance and replace damage. (imagine what a hail storm would do)

And all of this to replace a single 120 mega watt power plant.

Frances Said:

Which is the best DIY solar panel/wind turbine program? Real people only, please.?

We Answered:

If you have noticed that Earth4Energy is a scam (which it is), then you may be amused by my analysis of it at

If you want to build a wind turbine yourself (like a good engineer would), then get the following book:

Homebrew Wind Power
Dan Bartmann & Dan Fink
Foreword by Mick Sagrillo

ISBN: 978-0-9819201-0-8
Published by Buckville Publications LLC

You can get this from This is a startlingly complete book and it has all the background theory you need too. They explain why, for example, you cant use a car alternator or something from a generator, and then proceed to build alternators from scratch. The references are compete -- if you explore them and have the time to read, you will be right up there with the pioneers.

As for DIY solar, you can get the parts (panels, inverters, batteries, charge controllers) individually from many sources and make a system. It will not be cheap. You can't make your own silicon cells, and probably aren't up to designing the electronics, can't make your own batteries etc.

My recommendation is this: Get the wind book. Look through the web sites of some of the better looking solar dealers, and if they seem to be "no bull" then e-mail them and tell them what you want. e.g. an entry level system, 80W panel, battery, inverter and charge controller so that you can make enough power for say, a small laptop. The good ones will be able to tell you what works together.

If you are thinking of a whole home solution, then you have a lot of reading to do. You need to switch to natural gas or propane (no electric heat, electric stove, electric hot water) and absolutely mininize the electrical load.

It would be nice to market a good DIY manual, but with a truthful title like "Generate power at home for more than you are paying now" or "With thirty thousand dollars in equipment, you too can avoid those monthly power bills" sales would be pathetic.

Have fun.

As for "real people" comment, when I see questions like this, I wonder if I am wasting my time because many of the questions are not real either. They are simply created by scammers so that they can add their scam replies and rate it best answer. I find this particilary galling when someone says, "this is for my science fair, and I am 14 years old" and all the answers are Earth4Energy scammers. Other times, I find my comments pasted on fake energy sites with links to pharmaceuticals. It is a mad world out there.

Leonard Said:

Who are the local installers and affectionados and suppliers in milton fl area of solar electricity systems?

We Answered:

I'm sorry no one has answered your question! Try Good luck!

Wendy Said:

How to set up grid connect Solar or Wind electricity home generation systems?

We Answered:

Good for you. I can't tell you about London specifically (I'm in California), but where I live there are several programs available through my electric utility that give loans and grants to homeowners who are interested in generating their own solar electricity. Maybe you should start at your electric company's website to see if they have any similar programs.

Addendum: A lot of people do illegal hookups because they don't want to deal with the regulations of their electric company. All you need for that is a solar panel (it doesn't have to be big) and in inverter that will synch up to your household current. Then you just plug it in. I'm not necessarily suggesting you do this; it may not always be safe. I'm just letting you know what's out there. You can find more information if you do a web search

Thomas Said:

I need a solar electricity system that can run a 40Hp or 20Hp submersible?

We Answered:

Rules of thumb:

1 Hp is about 750Watts and it takes about three times that to start the motor.
So for 40 hp motor you need 30Kw to run it and the system must be capable of providing 90Kw to start the motor.

A reasonable cost for solar in 8 to 10 dollars per watt. So 30Kw = 30,000 Watts x $10 = $300,000

Solar panel size is about 18Watts per sq Ft

30,000 / 18 = 1666 sq ft

It is far cheaper to use electric power from the grid or even operate a small generator than it is to use a solar array.

The cost of the panels is the main expense followed by the cost of the inverters.

Small solar systems can be cost effective and competitive if you can take advantage of tax credits , rebates and SREC credits.

I have a 2.25KW grid tie system (cost about $8.86/watt) installed for just under $20K that supplies about 47% of my homes electrical usage.

What makes this system affordable is the numerous subsidies. Local power company provides $4/watt for systems from 1KW to 2.5KW. Federal goverment covers 30% and the State offers a 15% credit capped at $1000.

20000 up front cost
-9000 Utility subsidy
-6000 Federal tax credit (expires this year)
-1000 State credit

4000 Out of pocket so far.

SREC credits are issued on a 1000KwHr basis for 10 years on a system. Based on production I get 1 to 2 credits per year which are guaranteed by the state to be worth no less than $285/credit . However the auction price drives this value up several hundred.

Assuming the base 285 and 15 credits over the 10 year life that is $4275

$4000 Out of pocket
(275) profit after 10 years

Notice that these calculations do not even consider the reduction in my energy bill.

So when you factor in the energy savings in my pay back is less than 5 years.

It is the subsidies and tax credits that make my system financially feasible I could not have done it any other way.
I did have to from the $20K for installation but recouped 9K within the first month from the power company and an other 7k from tax credits, leaving only 4K to recoup.

Veronica Said:

how do i install a solar powered electricity supply system in my 5-bedroom home?

We Answered:

First off.. forget every air conditioner... all of them. Then forget your water heaters. Then, forget almost all your appliances, including the 'fridge. As a matter of fact, for the size house you have, where you are, and what you use it for, forget photovoltaics altogether. If I were you, knowing what little I know about your situation, I'd probably put up some solar hot water collectors, and maybe look into some wind power. But it sounds like you are on the grid already... why do you want solar? If it's to save money, as they say on the sopranos... 'fuhgedabboutit!!!' A grid-tied panel or two might give you a warm fuzzy feeling about helping green up the earth or something.. but the reality is that your payoff time is about 20 years on that.. and likely never given your location. Solar panels get very inefficient when they get hot.. and hot is what you have. Solar hot water will help some, depending on how much you use. Go to and educate yourself on the reality. For remote locations it makes sense, but if you already have city power there, it usually doesn't. Good luck, and be smart.

Lois Said:

Are there any solar power systems where i can store my own electricity and use it as i and when i see fit?

We Answered:

Yes they do it with batteries and then you can use it as DC power or with an inverter as AC power

Discuss It!

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