Who here has a solar electric system?

Boyd

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Certainly not going to do this soon, but have been wondering whether I should install one here. Curious how many (if any?) members here have a system. If so, when did you install? Is it meeting your expectations? How much of your electric needs does it meet? Installation cost? Do you also have some kind of contract for routine maintenance, etc? Any regrets?

The "new car thread" got me thinking, an electric car and solar electric system has a certain attraction - if you can really generate enough of your own power. I mean, unless you can drill and refine your own oil, I don't know any other way to power your car for free. Same thing goes for electric home heating. But probably not practical to generate that much power from a home system... or is it? I have plenty of room to install an big array of solar panels in the yard instead of the roof, if that makes sense. There's a home not too far from me that has done this. Looks pretty ugly to my eyes though.

Anyway, what are your thoughts? I know one member has already mentioned owning a Tesla - does anyone else have an electric car and a solar system? NJ claims to be one of the top states for solar energy, so it seems to be working for some people...

"New Jersey is a national leader with regards to installed solar PV capacity, with more than 4.5 gigawatts (GW) from over 187,000 individual solar PV installations."
 

imkms

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New Jersey is a national leader with regards to installed solar PV capacity, with more than 4.5 gigawatts (GW) from over 187,000 individual solar PV installations."
I imagine many of those solar cells are the ones put up by PSE&G and other power companies. They seem to be on nearly every pole in Burlington County and quite a few solar farms spread out in the area as well.
 
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bobpbx

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If I owned a house with a lot of propery, and a small solar farm would definitely be paid back by savings in electrical costs, I'd go for it IF it was in a suitable area where I did not look at if every day and think it's an eyesore.
 
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Boyd

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That's pretty much the state of my own thinking. But it's not a decision I would take lightly, would need to do some real research, create spreadsheets, etc. Not gonna take the time to do any of those things right now, but would love to have some real-world "solar in the pines" reports to consult when the time comes.

But also interested in systems of any size. For example, I have a 400 watt-hour battery power supply from a company called Goal Zero. It has an input port where you can connect a solar panel and they have specs about how long it takes to recharge with different panels (which can be daisy-chained). I don't have a panel for it yet, but have thought about getting one and putting it somewhere outside just to charge that battery. Something as simple as that might provide a couple kilowatt hours of free power a day (400 watts x 5 hours?). The panels were pretty expensive last time I checked though, would have to do the math on how long it takes to break even.
 

Boyd

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I imagine many of those solar cells are the ones put up by PSE&G and other power companies.

True, we discussed that awhile ago in fact!

 

bobpbx

Piney
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They complicate the sale of a house especially if a lease is involved.
10 years ago I thought it was ridiculous that Solar was not required on every new senior home roof being built in a senior community. If they did that, most people would not quibble about buying one since their choices would be limited anyway.
 
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stiltzkin

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Feb 8, 2022
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I mean, unless you can drill and refine your own oil, I don't know any other way to power your car for free.

A friend of mine with a Tesla lives in an apartment complex with free charging. Unless he has to take a long trip and do supercharging stops, he pays nothing to fuel up. I guess you could argue that this amenity is being paid for in his lease, but he's not paying a lot.
 
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