Author Topic: Photovoltaic Solar Power  (Read 1604 times)

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Offline Technowraith

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Re: Photovoltaic Solar Power
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2010, 04:18:37 pm »
We anticipate keeping ourselves attached to the local grid, and our house does have that east-west orientation. Now the difficult part is finding solar panels that we can afford and finding a contractor...

If you don't have sun exposure on the roof, try what a friend of mine does: He lives on a private lake. So he made a large raft with solar panels on it, and then floats it out toward the center of the lake, tethered with a water proof electrical cord and heavy duty chain and anchor. He reels the raft in every night to prevent kids from jumping off it. But for the small amount of power he needsm the solar raft provides almost all his power. He's still connected to the grid, just in case of rain or clouds. Of course this only works if you live on a lake.

Another option is an array of solar panels mounted on poles in an open section of your yard. Best to choose an area that will be out of the way of future plans for a garden or whatever.
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Offline Rain

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Re: Photovoltaic Solar Power
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2010, 10:25:27 pm »
Mhm, mhm. i never would have thought of the poles. Too bad I don't have a lake. If we could eventually buy the barns, though, all that roof space would make for a fantastic platform.
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Offline Toruk Makto

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Re: Photovoltaic Solar Power
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2010, 03:16:02 pm »
My array is on a 8' pole (see pics in first post). You have to be careful with height, though. Solar panels have a fairly high "sail factor" (wind can affect them), and a tall pole would have to be very strong to keep from being damaged in high winds.

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Offline Rain

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Re: Photovoltaic Solar Power
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2010, 09:13:43 pm »
Good point, considering the winds in my relatively flat area of the state can turn into cyclones pretty easily.
"If there are self-made purgatories, then we shall all have to live in them."
-Spock, "This Side of Paradise"

"The greatest danger about Pandora is that you may come to love it too much." ~Grace Augustine

Offline Technowraith

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Re: Photovoltaic Solar Power
« Reply #24 on: March 04, 2010, 03:49:12 pm »
My array is on a 8' pole (see pics in first post). You have to be careful with height, though. Solar panels have a fairly high "sail factor" (wind can affect them), and a tall pole would have to be very strong to keep from being damaged in high winds.

Yes, very true. I have a friend who mounted his panels on a basic 10 tall support tower. The winds in his area generally aren't bad. But during thunderstorms, the winds become hurricane like. One bad storm last year blew his panels a quarter of a mile away! He had to replace some of them, but a sufficient number still worked fine enough to get power to the place to some degree. Thankfully he never gave up his grid connection.

Roof mounted panels don't have "sail issues" at all. But one thing you should consider is ventillating the attic, either with a passive vent or an active air-flow system. The reason being is that solar panels can heat up just due to their very nature. The attic heats up enough during the summer, or when it's hot out. Solar panels could make it a lot worse. Mom and dad had to install an active air-flow cooling system to the attic. The temperature was reaching above 100 degrees in the summer, which was causing the air conditioning system (located in the attic of all places) to run for extended periods of time even though the thermostats were downstairs. This situation is mostly on a house-by-house basis. My parent's house is a bit wonky in more respects. But at least mom and dad are happy with their solar array. Dad says the next 800 square feet is getting installed in about a month. So our solar farm will be 2000 square feet total.
See that shadow? It's the last one you're gonna see.

Tsmukan fa kxetse anawm

Offline Rain

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Re: Photovoltaic Solar Power
« Reply #25 on: March 04, 2010, 03:53:24 pm »
Let me know how that goes so I can relate the info and results to the parental units. :)
"If there are self-made purgatories, then we shall all have to live in them."
-Spock, "This Side of Paradise"

"The greatest danger about Pandora is that you may come to love it too much." ~Grace Augustine

 

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