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File: solar-panel.jpg (747 KB, 2048x1536)
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Is it realistic to install enough solar panels to not have an electricity bill?
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>>1956653
No.
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>>1956653
No. You're only generating power when it's bright and sunny. That doesn't happen all day every day, so you need to store enough energy for the hours that you don't produce energy as well as days where weather prevents it. Factor in losses in generation, transmission, storage and conversion, and you need an absolutely massive system for even a modest household. You may save a tiny bit of money over the lifetime of the solar panels, but you pay all the cost up front and you still get a bill from the city because taxes.
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>>1956653
It can be done. If you have a very well insulated house and just do some ridiculous overprovisioning. Even on a foggy overcast day in winter they produce some power.
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>>1956653
Unless we're talking about some kind of insane off the grid DIY mad prepper setup that costs a million dollars and has a generator backup to run the inverter, it isn't possible to install a PV system that actually powers an entire house independent of utility power. 99.9% of PV systems that people install on their houses generate a small fraction of what the house actually needs to run - and it costs so much to do it that the government offers subsidies to make the price more attractive. We're talking about spending the price of a new car in order to save a couple hundred bucks a year.

Solar is not free energy, it's a scam industry driven by global warming hoax bullshit. Just buy your power from the power company like a reasonable person and don't chase this pipedream.
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>>1956653
Yes, during summer months, you can realistically build up credit with your power company to only have 2-3 months a year where you have to pay for your electricity. Where I live, kwhs in the winter are cheap($.04/kwh), and in the summer are high priced ($.10/kwh).That's because of all the AC's running. With tax breaks, it'll pay for itself.
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>>1956659
Just don't store it. Put the rest back on the grid and build some credit with your electricity supplier.
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>>1956680
While grid-tied systems do result in lower power bills, it is not a net metering system and instead you pay for power you need and the city pays you a very small amount for the power you generate. Of the figures I've seen, the amount paid for power generated is about 1/3 or less than the price you pay for power you use.
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>>1956653
depends on how much juice you need m8.
Solar and solar/wind is viable for small off-grid living if you have a decent storage system (caps or batteries). In a city it's not really viable except to feel you help the environment. The actual return won't pay for the cells yet.
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Solar is fucking stupid man. My response at this point to people is to go and try it. I don't even bother explaining it. You're right, it's free energy, go do it and see what happens.
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>>1956689
And? Grid price is not what you're competing against here. You're competing against a battery system or some other storage system for your generated electricity.
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>>1956675
In a lot of countries solar with subsidy was and is a crazy good investment.

If government is dead set on handing out money to you, just hold out your hand.
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>>1956746
>In a lot of countries solar with subsidy was and is a crazy good investment.

It's an OK investment where I live, but it's still pretty stupid unless you plan to live in the same house for 20+ years. The only people I see buying them around here are retired boomers.
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>>1956689
In a lot of places the power companies get forced to pay well above market price.

In fact net metering still exists in a lot of places.
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>>1956653
With enough amorphous panels (good luck finding them today) and a huge nickel iron or lead acid battery bank, it is feasible.

Be ready to spend $50,000+ out of pocket
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>>1956759
>Be ready to spend $50,000+ out of pocket

That's not going to get you anywhere close to powering an entire house. At best you're going to power perhaps 1/3 to 1/2 of a small house, and that's excluding the batteries and generator you will need to be truly grid-independent.
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>>1956659
It's just under $27k for the panels, inverters, install and hookup for my current house. Got a quote a few weeks back. If you could magically spread the output over the whole day every day, it would provide enough power for our current usage. A power wall, or other battery system, would up the cost almost double.

If it weren't for the utility company trading your daytime excess for nighttime power, it wouldn't be worth it. For me at least.
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>>1956754
That was a reaction to the shit the power companies pulled at first and are still pulling. They haven't done shit to upkeep their grids, and charge the consumer for upgrades they never actually make. There are places it's illegal to install solar without hooking it up to utility power, and your solar output goes to the grid in an outage. You're not allowed to use your own generated electricity is the power company wants it.

Cry me a fucking river for the power company. They're sleaze sucking on the government teat, and the customers are their whipping boy.
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>>1956754
and in a lot of places, such as mine, the utility will not pay you at all for your power. Another aspect is the average intensity of the daylight varies with location. OP needs to contact a contractor in his locale to determine if it's advisable from a cost perspective.
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>>1956653
>ITT: rarts who have never played around with solar
My parents live in Northern Ohio where the solar system I helped my dad build for ~15-20k total (incl the converters and batteries) powers the majority of the house, minus major appliances (e.g. AC, dryer). The big factors on cost effectiveness/efficiency are your geographic location, climate, and orientation.
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It's impossible to answer yes or no, OP, until we know if you're in the tropics or in Alaska.

You need to factor in laundry, dishwashing, hot water for showers, etc. The nearer you are to Equator, the more you can take advantage of the sun to heat water directly instead of first generating electric power to heat said water.

Cooking can be done on a gas stove, which is actually preferred by pro chefs.

AGM batteries are cheap enough that a very sizeable power bank and mains inverter won't set you back more than a few thousand dollars if you want to go off grid power-wise. But the colder the climate you're in, the more power you will waste on heating (unless you have a fireplace or wood burner, or live in a warm climate).

The panels are dirt cheap now, and even though they lose a little bit of efficiency for every year that passes, you will easily get 30 to 40 years out of them.

We've had solar panels powering our mountain cabin in Norway for 30+ years, and are about to upgrade to modern panels with much higher efficiency and 900W max charhing capacity - and a 1,000 Ah battery bank.

For a house I'd go much bigger though. Several kW charging capacity and a few thousand amp hours. LED lighting exclusively. Gas for cooking. Wood burner for heat (we have an endless supply of firewood) and maybe hook the wood burner up to a hot water tank for domestic use.

I know some folks who are on-grid but still get their hot water from a wood fired water heater in the basement.

And hey, if you get a period of overcast weather, that's when you fire up your diesel generator for an hour and charge the battery bank with a few dollars' worth of diesel.
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>>1956764
That's if you're not buying direct from alibaba
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>>1956897
China being bros, keeping solar panels cheap and plentiful.
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>>1956653
Find how much the power company pays you to feed in electricity. Then figure out how much energy you need at night. The total cost of the night energy used divided by the cost per kWh is how much solar panel energy you need to make a day to have free energy. That's only after you pay the panels off of course.
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>>1956882
Haha yeah that's the reality of having solar panels. You hear left and right, from people that never had them, how they're a scam, be thrash in 10 years, release toxic materials, be damaged by hail etc etc.
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>>1956653
I work at a solar installation company so I can give you some insight. First of all, if a house is already built, power companies in a lot of the US will cooperate with you to connect your array to their grid, but will not help you one bit if you try to go off grid because they want to charge you a service fee. If you are grid-tied, even if you negate all of your power bill with solar panels you will still have a $10-$15 service fee. If you heat with natural gas or something non-electric, and you don't mind staying tied to the grid, it really doesnt cost as much as you think to negate your energy costs. Most of our customers get an array large enough to build a lot of "energy credit" in the summer so when winter rolls around and the sun isnt as productive they still have no power bill aside from the service fee. If you have a small house it costs 20k, mid size house 30k, large house 40k+, double these costs if you want to heat with solar and god help you. Add 5-10k more if you want a ground mounted array, add 9k for each lithium battery you want (we dont do lead-acid for some reason). Keep in mind if you are grid-tied you don't need a battery at all.
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>>1957182
Alliance with Israel over. China greatest ally now
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They were worth it in australia but then our government introduced incentives and rebates which lead to them becoming more expenaive instead, and power companies pay franctions of a cent where as power costs 70c per kw or something mental like that. Then theres fun fees from simply installing solar that energy companies charge you, so desu idk if my system actually pays for itself or not, even though it runs at full capacity whenever its day time
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>>1956699
We bought a house with a 2.5kw/H setup that was installed in 2015 on a feed in tarrif, so we get paid for excess energy returned to the grid.

In the past year, we made something like £800.
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>>1956847
>If it weren't for the utility company trading your daytime excess for nighttime power, it wouldn't be worth it. For me at least.
Just remember that for the utility companies the daytime electricity is more expensive to produce than the night time electricity, so it isn’t like they are doing you a favor.
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Solar is gay.
Just diy a geothermal setup. You only need to dig a 500ft deep hole.
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>>1957606
Unless you use literally zero energy and you're getting paid £0.25 per kwh, your numbers are off.
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>>1957725
Yeah. I know they're not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. I'm pretty sure it's only because the state requires them to have the program. If the electric company had their way, you'd have to pay them for using solar.
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>>1956653
Ya bro, totally impossible to generate power from the sun. Yeah the energy infrastructure which supports the grid will be just fine, those diversity hires will have noooooo problem maintaining all those turbines, lines, poles, transformers, transport of coal, etc in the coming years. S'all gonna be just fine bro. Yeah bro. And if you do decide to go with the impossible solar setup, which toooootally can't be done, be sure to get grid tie, that way you totally lose power when the grid totally never goes down brooooo. Yeah brooooo, imagine all that investment just kinda like, up there just chilling out dude, doing nothing. Knowwhatimean brooooo?
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If solar panels were free, a solar installation is STILL too damn expensive because of the inverter and recurring cost of batteries.
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>>1956653
If you struggle to pay $1,500-$2,500/year for electricity or feel like it's too much, you should get a better career. That's your main issue. I don't mean that in a mean way. That kind of money is worthless pocket change in today's society. Hustle more, anon.
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>>1956675
just because humans are cucks to power companies and don't want tk develop power additional power sources doesn't mean it's a scam and the conspiracy is real. any half-assed effort zmis going to look like shit.
we've had electric cars as long as cars have been around, but they were never developed or marketed until recently.
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We're near the break even point, but not there yet. I'm in Southern California, so sun is abundant, like 85% of the year. If you're in a similar climate, yes.
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>>1957935
You dont become financially independent by spending frivolously.
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>>1957597
t-thanks anon
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>>1956653
>estimate how much you use
>estimate how much your site can give in solar power
>estimate how many straight days without sun you will have on average and how many batteries will be needed so cover your daily demand
>accept that there will be days without power
Yup. Unless you are a northern cuck you can do it, but not without batteries. The grid kinda works like a battery so depending on your demand you get zero $ a month or even negative values.
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>>1958149
Also american cucks consume way too much power in their rotten decadent lifestyle. If you use less energy you PV system and energy storage can be smaller..
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>>1956689
if you have a old ferraris counter it will just count backwards if you put energy into the net. it would be a fair 1 to 1 deal

but that's illegal and they install Smart meters in the next few years anyway.
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>>1958197
problem here in soon CO2 neutral mastermind Germany is if you grid tie you get fucked in the ass by Angela.

you need a ton of licences and permits, you need to get a businesses licence you need to pay tax on the energy you consume by yourself.

typical politicans
> we want to be co2 neutral.
people belief the idea and invest their private money to get co2 neutral electricity.
>Woah people get tax free power. lets fuck them with loicences.
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With the time, effort, and money necessary I'd bet that you could make a small nuclear reactor haha.
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>>1958200
How do I make a nuke tho? Asking for a friend.
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>>1956659
No you don't. Just stay connected to the grid and your meter will run backwards during the day. You might break even by the end of the month.
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>>1956889
>We've had solar panels powering our mountain cabin in Norway for 30+ years
Do you only go there in the summer or something? I couldn't imagine solar powering much of anything right now when the sun barely goes above the horizon and sets by 15:00
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>>1958356
Even on the darkest day of December we have free line of sight to the sun for a good few hours due to the elevation our cabin is at. No mountains to the south blocking the view. This is at 62 degrees north though, so we're not exactly in the Arctic regions of Norway - but still pretty far north.

Couple that with 900W of panels, 1,000Ah battery bank, LED lights everywhere, emergency generator, propane for cooking and wood for heating, and we're golden even in the winter.

Our charging regulator even has capacity for 1 more panel, so we can upgrade from 3x300W to 4x300W for a total of 1.2kW worth of panels if we need to. But that probably won't be necessary.

There's also a super efficient refrigerator that only uses like 5.5W once it reaches operating temperatuere, but obviously that can be disconnected in the winter since we can just leave milk and other refrigerated goods outside this time of year.

The thing that consumes the most power will actually be a new 40" led TV that we're about to get (only 40" because larger sizes require much more power). But even that TV uses less than 20W if we don't turn the brightness to absolute max, plus we only really turn it on to watch the evening news and maybe a Netflix movie every now and then (Norway's so covered in 4G+ masts that we're getting 50Mbit mobile broadband through the cell phone network all the way out in the sticks where our cabin is.)

So what about the dishwasher and washing machine? Well, we don't have them. We do the dishes by hand in the kitchen sink after each meal, and we bring our laundry back home. That way there aren't too many chores to do when we're at the cabinnto relax. But we could install a washing machine and run it off of the generator if we wanted/needed to - or use a 12V->Mains inverter to run it straight off the battery bank and recharge the bank with the generator afterwards.

But yeah, our living there in the winter is facilitated by our access to plenty of firewood.
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>>1958375
That sounds super comfy. I want to live like that someday, except in an RV so I have the option to go north for the summer and south for the winter to save on heating and cooling.
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You do the reverse way
Start getting rid of most demanding powered shit in favor of thermosolar/autonomous/gas/passive alternatives.
Adapt to minimal power needs and then maybe some panels and a bunch of good batteries would suffice for electronics and led lights, if possible ran directly through 12V/24V
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In Spain they're mandatory on new builds, use to have two in my old house, and for 8 months heating water was completely free, knowing that you were not paying for that heated water, is quality of life. Something a lot of people on this board will not be able to understand.
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>>1956653

it all depends on where you live and what the laws are. in some places it will be illegal to be off grid and you will always have an electricity bill, even if you use no power. if you have net metering, you could end up with zero net usage with a big enough system.

this ties into whether your system will eventually pay for itself (which is what most people are looking for). again, this depends on where you live and what your electrical pricing is and what your usage is like. you'll have to do some homework here.
without net metering, it's pretty hard to get a system to pay for itself, or at least a very long ROI. if you have to go with batteries, it's almost impossible. this is coming from some experience. i have a 7.5KW rooftop installation.
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>>1956653
Imagine wanting to store a fire harzard like that on your roof and on top of that you want to store a large explosive fire hazard in a closet or garage somewhere.
At home solar is a meme.
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>>1958275
just buy a bunch of smoke alarms bro.
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>>1958375
>There's also a super efficient refrigerator that only uses like 5.5W once it reaches operating temperatuere, but obviously that can be disconnected in the winter since we can just leave milk and other refrigerated goods outside this time of year.

god how i wish we didn't have bears. lucky norsebro.





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