I think solar power is a rip off!!

124»

Comments

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,082 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: I think solar power is a rip off!!

    I'm here because of a "Sungod" moderator(who reportedly works in the industry) at another forum, who continuosly post bad and erronious information about solar. I found I spent much of my time explaining to people that yes there was net metering, that solar electric was more than 90% reliable, etc.

    While I don't always agree with them, I respect and apprieciate their time and effort at this forum. Lets be sure to mention Northern Arizona Wind and Sun for sponsering this forum! I'll be ordering some new Water Miser caps, from them, as soon as I verify my new forklift battery has the same type cap.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • The Only SargeThe Only Sarge Solar Expert Posts: 164 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: I think solar power is a rip off!!
    Photowhit wrote: »
    I'm here because of a "Sungod" moderator(who reportedly works in the industry) at another forum, who continuosly post bad and erronious information about solar. I found I spent much of my time explaining to people that yes there was net metering, that solar electric was more than 90% reliable, etc.

    While I don't always agree with them, I respect and apprieciate their time and effort at this forum. Lets be sure to mention Northern Arizona Wind and Sun for sponsering this forum! I'll be ordering some new Water Miser caps, from them, as soon as I verify my new forklift battery has the same type cap.

    LOL...Good I am not the only one that thinks that guy (SunGod) .....
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: I think solar power is a rip off!!
    Your complaint about there being unscrupulous people in the RE business is entirely valid. The number of times we've exposed such shysters on this forum is mind-boggling. We also know there are installers that take advantage. But tell me; can you name even one industry about which the same isn't true?

    Investment banking, maybe? :p

    Kidding aside, yes, there is a lot of charlatanism in the solar business, perhaps even a bit more than its share because it is a new industry. As my instructor in my very first solar classes was fond of saying, "Welcome to the frontier."

    It is incumbent on all of us who are involved in the industry to be a source of accurate information to our potential customers, but it is as well the responsibility of every customer to do his homework so that he isn't easily taken advantage of. Caveat emptor.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: I think solar power is a rip off!!

    Let me start by saying that I don't think solar power is a rip off. That said, it seems that several local contractors and specialists are pushing solar and wind power. I see the value both from an environmental and savings standpoint. I'm not highly technical but I'm looking for an efficient way to evaluate my options. What are some of the key certifications that contractors should have?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,994 admin
    Re: I think solar power is a rip off!!

    Look for happy customers with at least one year of logged energy output (especially for wind powered systems).

    Solar is pretty cookie cutter... Put the numbers in mixed with location/weather patterns, and you will get answers within 10-20%.

    For wind, not so much. Need tall (expensive) towers and good hardware (relatively rare apparently).

    And, don't overlook well funded companies with good warranties for any product (solar arrays, gt inverters, etc.). I am on my second array and about to be on my third GT inverter (in ~6 years).

    Installers, with the solar bubble of tax rebates and such, come and go. Mine is still here. Was a licensed electrician/contractor for decades before solar.

    Also, do some detailed analysis of cost/benefit of your system. Solar GT systems can break even, and in areas like California with punishing power rates (my peak summer rate is $0.52 per kWH with heavy power usage), you can save money.

    In any case, do all the conservation you can first. It will have a better return on your investment, probably make your home more comfortable/quieter, and will actually have some value when you sell your home.

    After you have done all the conservation you can, then look at solar Grid Tied power. There are hybrid GT/Off Grid systems that can make sense for those that have unreliable power (storms, fires, etc.)--but they are not cheap when compared to a back up genset.

    For wind--do a lot of research before you spend one dime. Personally, I am not a big fan of small wind as it is quite expensive to install and maintain--usually with much less power output per month than "promised". Plus the long term reliability of many of those systems is open to question (not that I can say solar PV has been much better:cry:).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • klrskiesklrskies Solar Expert Posts: 30
    Re: I think solar power is a rip off!!
    garlic wrote: »
    "Incentives" are a political,bureaucratic trap for those that somehow
    believe a free lunch is to be had.Incentives,in the end benefit the creators
    and enslave the supposed beneficiaries,as is evident by this discussion.
    If one demands a free ride,don't expect to be holding the steering wheel.

    Grid tie systems are technically very interesting and a cool solution,but
    the bureaucratic back half of the animal is too ugly to bear for those
    of us that like to maintain their own steerage.

    I built my functional,safe off grid system for as low a cost as system
    integrity,and quality would allow.If I had involved anyone in the chain
    of the "solar installation" industry/bureaucracy cabal,I would have to
    give up any expectation of economic conservation or design freedom.

    agreed, and well said!
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: I think solar power is a rip off!!
    garlic wrote: »
    They have to keep it civil because in the end
    the main purpose of this forum being here is to sell products,and that makes the fine
    line even finer.

    So I guess the best way is just keep it technical,and emulate Mr. Spock best you
    can so everyone can benefit from the knowledge at hand and Wind & Sun can
    maximize it's revenue.

    I have never seen one of the moderators or even the administrator push Wind & Sun - these guys are fair to the max.

    Stick around and read a while before going ballistic and making false charges.
Sign In or Register to comment.