Klarus        
Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Solar Energy Web Sites

  1. #1
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    121

    Default Solar Energy Web Sites

    I just discovered my procrastinating is working against me, and I need to get moving on research/installation of a PV system.

    If anyone (Darrell, Brock, Lasernerd, et al) knows of USEFUL web sites relating to Solar Energy (edit: specifically on Residential PV), I'd very much appreciate it.

    Thank you!

    (damn BP Solar mailer)

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* Brock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Green Bay, WI USA
    Posts
    6,346

    Default Re: Solar Energy Web Sites

    I frequent the Windsun site
    http://www.wind-sun.com/forum/
    although it isn't really active.
    Some of the best information is at
    http://www.homepower.com
    for vendors check out my
    http://www.uwgb.edu/nevermab/stuff.htm
    page, I have a lot of links to solar suppliers.

    Brock

  3. #3

    Default Re: Solar Energy Web Sites

    http://www.altenergystore.com/ check out the discussion board and tutorials..

    http://www.gotsolar.com/ low(est?) prices..

  4. #4
    *Flashaholic* Darell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    LOCO is more like it.
    Posts
    18,645

    Default Re: Solar Energy Web Sites

    The guy who will be doing my installation is down in your area. I'd be happy to forward his info.

    I too, am tired of wasting all this sunlight. Can't happen soon enough! If you have thought about refinancing, now is the time to do it. Take out a bit extra to cover the cost, and this project should be damn-near free for you right up until you pay off your mortgage. At that point it starts making money for you.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: Solar Energy Web Sites

    Thanks guys!

    The tricky part for me is convincing the wife that an outlay of $8K+ is a good idea.

    I'm not looking at this on an ROI basis, rather my idea is to minimize the use of energy produced from non-renewable resources.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Solar Energy Web Sites

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

  7. #7
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    607

    Default Re: Solar Energy Web Sites

    errrm... Despite the promising advances in photovoltaics, they still consume more energy in their production than they will ever produce in their entire operating lifetime.

    PV is great when you're in the middle of nowhere and have no other energy-distribution infrastructure. But when you've got a grid to connect to, it's just a waste of both money and natural resources.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Solar Energy Web Sites

    oh, ok, forget the whole stupid alternative energy thing... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    Do you know what the operating lifetime of a solar panel is? Did you know that the first solar panels ever manufactured are still operating..? do you consider that fossil fuel is a non-renewable resource? what about the cost of pollution world-wide caused by the entire petro chemical industry? if the grid is connected to oil, what'll people put in their cars in fifty years, or less, when the oil's all gone? (and who will be able to afford the last few barrels of oil on earth? I can see the auction on Ebay now..)

    consider this; a solar panel 10,000 miles square (100 miles on a side) could eliminate ALL of the United Sate's dependance on oil .. with somewhat less pollution..among other things.. but could it happen? going to war for oil is so much more profitable for a few select citizens..

    Solar is sustainable, oil ain't..and I doubt a panel doesn't eventually produce more energy than it takes to make, all factors considered..
    (darell, do you have the stats on this?)

  9. #9
    *Flashaholic* Darell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    LOCO is more like it.
    Posts
    18,645

    Default Re: Solar Energy Web Sites

    Highlandsun - I just can't state this vehemently enough (and I'm pretty sure this is my fist time to state this on CPF). With all due respect: B.S.! And it pains me to see this tired myth perpetuated. Kind of reminds me of sticking needles in my eye when TED first told me I was moving my pollution to somebody else's back yard by driving an EV (Remember that Ted? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img])

    I have the most comprehensive study ever done on this around here somewhere (he says sheepishly since he can't put his finger on it). The fact of the matter is that if you count all the packaging, the transportation, the installation and the manufacturing of the panels, it takes between two to four years to pay off the energy used to create the panels. From then on out, it is pure gravy. And these panels last FAR longer than four years.

    Anybody know how much energy it takes to build a power plant? A dam?

    Where do you get the facts to back up your statement? As far as I know, it simply is not true - though it is a common myth. I'd love to see your sources, and in the meantime, I'll dig up mine. I posted the link on a thread a while back... just can't find it when I need it!

  10. #10
    *Flashaholic* Darell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    LOCO is more like it.
    Posts
    18,645

    Default Re: Solar Energy Web Sites

    OK, here is one resource: http://www.ecotopia.com/apollo2/knapp/PVEPBTPaper.pdf

    From the paper: "Crystalline silicon modules achieve an energy break-even in a little over three years."

    and "Over their lifetime, these solar panels generate nine to seventeen times the energy required to produce them."

    But this still isn't the one I was looking for....

  11. #11
    *Flashaholic* Darell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    LOCO is more like it.
    Posts
    18,645

    Default Re: Solar Energy Web Sites

    The same folks wrote this paper: http://www.homepower.com/files/pvpayback.pdf

    "Critics of solar energy have been
    known to claim that it takes more
    energy to produce photovoltaic
    (PV) modules than the modules will
    produce in their lifetime. We’ve
    conducted a detailed and scientific
    empirical study to look into this
    question. We found that the skeptics’
    assertions are false. PVs recoup their
    production energy in two to four years,
    and go on to produce clean, renewable
    energy for twenty to thirty years or
    more!"

  12. #12
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    607

    Default Re: Solar Energy Web Sites

    Interesting. I have some papers from Sanyo, circa 1991, talking about their various PV technologies, and the net balance was negative. It seems to me that efficiencies haven't improved so much in the past decade to change that, but perhaps they have.

  13. #13
    *Flashaholic* Darell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    LOCO is more like it.
    Posts
    18,645

    Default Re: Solar Energy Web Sites

    [ QUOTE ]
    highlandsun said:
    Interesting. I have some papers from Sanyo, circa 1991, talking about their various PV technologies, and the net balance was negative. It seems to me that efficiencies haven't improved so much in the past decade to change that, but perhaps they have.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Whew - thanks for coming back, highlandsun. I actually didn't mean to get so ugly in front of somebody I don't even know yet. If you can dig up ANY links that can demonstrate a negative net energy for PV, I'd love to see them. I've looked, and can find nothing. Here's another with 1-4 year payoff though: http://www.azom.com/details.asp?ArticleID=1119

    Do you have those Sanyo docs in hand right now? Any chance to scan them? I'd be very curious to figure out how such a large change has come to pass in such a short time - if in fact it has.

    I am convinced that today's panels, produced as they are today, will put all their energy back into the "system" before they're four years old, at the OUTSIDE. Interestingly enough, in my application where I'll be generating during peak demand, and consuming most of my eletricity during off-peak times, that my "energy demand" payback will be all but instantaneous. I'm generating when everybody wants it, and I'm consuming when power is being thrown away.

    No, sticking with the grid to be more energy efficient isn't even an option in my case.

    I'm really starting to wonder about one of my off-the-cuff comments now. I wonder how long it takes to pay back the energy to build other kinds of "grid" generators? Coal burning plants? Natural gas plants. Dams. How about nuclear plants. Be interesting to see. I think I'll stick with solar for now.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    607

    Default Re: Solar Energy Web Sites

    I'll see if I can dig them up again. The Sanyo product line today is quite a bit different from what it was back then. I just did some browsing and can't find much of anything current now. Seems that efficiencies jumped quite a bit in 1994 relative to what came before:
    http://www.sanyo-energy-europe.com/frameset_solar.htm

  15. #15

    Default Re: Solar Energy Web Sites

    ..when Ted met Darell Darell's ev1 string

  16. #16

    Default Re: Solar Energy Web Sites

    I'll tell you, man, if CPF isn't more entertaining (and educational) than "Survivor" or "The Bachelor"...I don't know what is!

    Darell...getting any better sleep? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Anyway...I really love these alternative energy threads!

    One of these days we'll have to get one started on housing. It really pains me that 30 years after the Arab Oil Embargo (anyone remember how our Saudi "friends" treated us then?), that we are still constructing new housing but ignoring solar design principles to use less energy. Once you build a house with whatever energy balance it has...it stays there a LONG time.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    607

    Default Re: Solar Energy Web Sites

    When I figure out where I want to move to, I'm gonna sell my place here in LA and go build a geodesic dome. Probably in the middle of the woods, maybe half-buried into a hillside, and definitely solar electric and heat.

    I will also surround the place with cameras/IR detectors and probably a few UV laser cannons. LA has taught me to really hate unexpected visitors...

  18. #18
    *Flashaholic* Darell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    LOCO is more like it.
    Posts
    18,645

    Default Re: Solar Energy Web Sites

    [ QUOTE ]
    ikendu said:
    One of these days we'll have to get one started on housing....to use less energy. Once you build a house with whatever energy balance it has...it stays there a LONG time.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    You are SO right. If I didn't already have a cause that took almost 100% of my time, I'd be all over the housing/energy one. Because the builder of my home didn't take ANY energy efficiency into account (beyond what had to be done by law, which equals insulation). A slight change in orientation, and some more South roof would have been fantastically more efficient for many reasons. As it is, the rooms that get the most use (master bed, family room kitchen) all get BLASTED with summer heat. the rooms we almost never visit are cool and nice. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] And with the South facing roof, I could have saved about 25% on my PV array installation. These are all changes that cost NOTHING to implement at the building stage, but save lots of money later on, and enables power saving/generation. Just imagine where we'd be if each home in the neighborhood generated just 2KW on its own. Well, we'd need about 90% fewer power plants. And around and around it goes...

  19. #19

    Default Re: Solar Energy Web Sites


    " Heat Mirror is a clear, low-e coated film that is suspended in the middle of the air space in a double insulating glass unit..."

    if only you could apply this stuff after the fact, as some sort of film on the inside surface.. oh well, better late than never, have you heard of this stuff?

    http://www.southwall.com/products/heatmirror.html

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •