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Solar Panel System

Stanley Said:

How do I buy an affordable solar panel system for my home?

We Answered:

I hate to sound like a commercial but I found a company that provides you with the components and you pay for the service... similar to the current electric companies but with a cheaper rate. Check it out

Tina Said:

How does a solar panel system store energy?

We Answered:

Seems like your watts, volts and amps confusion has been handled. I'll tackle the headline question.

Some solar panel systems store energy and some don't.

One type of system has no storage capacity at all, hooks up directly to your meter (and the power grid) and delivers power to your house as long as it is generating electricity. Extra capacity is sent to the utility and the home owner's account usually gets credited.

The second type takes any excess capacity and stores it on site. This is done in a battery array. Although one university professor in NJ is doing it with hydrogen.

Cindy Said:

How much does a solar panel system for your roof cost in the U.S.?

We Answered:

My colleague in San Jose, California installed a solar photovoltaic system on his house several years ago.

His installed cost was a little over $30,000.

The peak capacity of the system was 3,000 watts.

His annual production of electricity has been approximately 4,000 kilowatt hours per year.

He financed the system with a second loan on his house with an interest rate equal to the prime rate.

That interest rate is adjustable and has gone up to 8.25 % per year.

His interest cost on the loan is $2,475 per year.
($30,000 times .0825 = $2,475)

His interest cost per kilowatt hour is approximately: 61.88cents per kilowatt hour.

That does not include maintenance (which has been significant) or depreciation.

($2,475 divided by 4,000 kilowatt hours = 61.88 cents per kilowatt hour).

I think that 61.88 cents per kilowatt hour is rather high.

The utility company that I use is one of the most expensive utility companies in the United States and they only charge me 17.3 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity.

That is much less than it costs my colleague for electricity from his solar photovoltaic system.

I realize that it is very difficult to get accurate cost data on these systems. Recently I had the opportunity to talk with a salesman who sells these systems.

The first question that I asked him is why is it so hard to get accurate cost data on these systems.

The salesman replied with what I would say was rather remarkable candor.

The salesman said that if people knew how little electricity these systems produce, how much maintenance they require and how much they really cost nobody would buy them.

Here in Silicon Valley we have a term for people who absolutely must have the latest technology no matter what it costs.

They are called "early adoptors"

Who are early adoptors?

They are people who have more money than they know what to do with. They must have the very latest gadget and they do not care how much it costs.

Solar photovoltaic systems are definitely systems for"early adoptors"

Solar photovoltaic systems are not ready yet for the mainstream public.

Manuel Said:

How does a solar panel system work?

We Answered:

Some are photo electric...they turn light energy into electricity.

Some are heat collectors...they store the heat and transfer it to the hot water heater.

Warren Said:

can someone make a solar panel system that is made from the flexible silca?

We Answered:

There are rubberized flexible panels made today, but I haven't seen one yet that's durable.

Jimmy Said:

Some questions about solar panel system?

We Answered:

You're approximately correct in your charge-time estimate. It will probably take a little longer because batteries can't accept charge as fast when they are near-full. A "maximum power point technology" (MPPT) charge controller will be able to stuff the most charge in the fastest.

You hook the battery, the inverter input and the charge controller output in parallel - all pluses together, all minuses together. Fuses or circuit breakers should be used in the + side of each leg, preferably with a switch so that you can remove the individual component. The solar panel should have a fuse/switch between it and the charge controller input, as well. The inverter can have very high surge loads, so will need much higher fuse ratings than the charge controller circuits.

Discuss It!

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