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Author Topic: Solar Panels  (Read 434 times)

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Offline DrMongoose

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Solar Panels
« on: July 23, 2018, 12:04:46 PM »
Anyone have them? Thoughts? Is it legit or a bad idea? is the long term payoff worth it?

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Offline acater

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Re: Solar Panels
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2018, 01:36:23 PM »
Anyone have them? Thoughts? Is it legit or a bad idea? is the long term payoff worth it?

Last time I researched them it wasn't worth it. The state didn't have a deduction for them and the payoff time was like ten years.

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Offline TexZilla

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Re: Solar Panels
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2018, 02:27:51 PM »
Its a fairly simple set of calculations, and the value is very much derived from your particular situation. 

You need to understand your energy usage completely from a historical perspective, what activities in your life drive usage, how long you plan to live on the property, historical electricity rates in your area, creeping time for use issues in your area, and what future technology needs might be.  Scale is important.  A small house may never pay off, a 6000 square foot house with a huge pool might be worth it with a five year payoff.  In most cases it wont pay for itself in the time one lives in the home. 

If your interest in this is generated by an excessive high bill right now due to our monstrous heat wave, then you should maybe look different ways.  I think the most economical way to improve is AC efficiency and performance.  More insulation can never hurt, modern windows, replacing doors, fixing leaks.  A lot of houses have a hollow core door to the garage; in my house that was a huge leak that I didn't think about; I wanted it replaced for security but it wasn't much better than having the door just open.


Offline wvhawgfan

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Re: Solar Panels
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2018, 02:52:20 PM »
The biggest issue in "payback" is the actual rate you are paying for power. Arkansas, historically, has extremely low rates making it hard to justify from a purely economical standpoint. The increase in technology and reduction in price is helping that calculation.

I was part of a feasibility study a couple of years ago and we found that around 300kW was the breaking point for a 20 year payback with no rebates.

The other issues are demand rates (usually for commercial) and storage. If all you are looking for is to lower your bill during peak time then storage isn't an issue; if you are looking for it to provide power in an outage situation then it's a big expenditure and can take up a lot of space.

Having said all of that, if I were building a new house, I would definitely look into some of the roofing options that incorporate PV into the system.


Offline Tanny Bogus

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Re: Solar Panels
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2018, 04:09:54 PM »
Also if you are looking to be able to power your house in case of outages, generators are the way to go. 


Offline wvhawgfan

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Re: Solar Panels
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2018, 06:02:15 PM »
Also if you are looking to be able to power your house in case of outages, generators are the way to go.
Agree, and if natural gas is available that's more than likely the fuel of choice.