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Installing Solar Panels

Dan Said:

What's the downside of installing solar panels on house other than its expensive initial cost?

We Answered:

i think they have to be fastened to the roof, so i'd worry about leaks.

technology is advancing, so i'd worry about better ones becoming available next year.

electronics typically have some limited life expectancy. i'd worry about that.

usually part of the justification is the pay back from the power companies. i'd worry about that changing.

then there's wind, etc, that might be a problem.
and keeping them clean.
and, of course, you'd have to do an analysis of average solar energy.
and you'd have to keep the angle of the roof in mind.

Clifton Said:

What is the labour charge for installing solar panels in a remote location in australia?

We Answered:

You'll have to ring and get some quotes. The price is going to vary with the travel times involved.

Barry Said:

Can I contract to buy my neighbor's federal tax credit from installing solar panels on his roof?

We Answered:

I'm not sure why you would want to do this. It's a tax credit, not a deduction, so would not change your tax bracket even if you could/did buy it. Usually, a contract has an advantage for both parties, and I'm not sure what each of you would gain in this case.

If your neighbor is short of cash to install a solar system, you could do an ordinary loan to him (even draw up legal documents). Your neighbor would repay you over time, either in several installments, or one lump sum. Presumably, the neighbor would have extra funds at tax time, because of the tax credit, with which to pay you. The federal credit is not refundable, so if the neighbor's taxes do not exceed the credit, they will have to spread the credit out over several years.

All this said, financial deals gone wrong can make for horrible neighbor situations. You probably shouldn't do it, unless you love them so much that you'd just give them the money, without expectation of being paid back.

Marian Said:

Anyone know about installing solar panels to heat a small swimming pool?

We Answered:

Take a look at solar swimming pool heater on the Internet. Good information there. You will want to decide whether to go photovoltaic, or "waterbag" heating. I think you will find waterbag heating the most economical.

Glenda Said:

What are the disadvantages and advantages of installing solar panels onto HDB flats?

We Answered:

Advantages:
1) Solar panels require no moving parts required to generate electricity.
2) Decreased thermal radiation on the roof underneatch the solar panels will keep the HDB flat cooler.
3) Power generating capabilities can supplement the electrical grid during "brown outs".

Disadvantages:
1) In an urban setting, the solar panels would be a target for theft because of their high resale value. Consider laser etching the glass with a unique code.
2) Solar panels systems are designed to add supplemental power; true off-grid solutions require batteries and high output inverters
3) Purchasing solar panels is tough in the year 2010. Solar panel market is flooded with Amporphous and similar knock-off thin film variants that last only a few years at 90% output. As a result, you will need to make sure you buy monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panels.

I wish you luck. Solar panels do generate generous amounts of power and tend to attract the environmentally aware community of home owners.

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