Recent Topics
New TV bad picture some channels part2
by raaizin. 09/24/18 10:46 PM
Another Bad PCM on a Buick 3.8L!
by clinebarger. 09/24/18 10:17 PM
Funny pictures thread
by JLTD. 09/24/18 08:40 PM
Redline 15w40: Low or Mid Saps?
by SavagePatch. 09/24/18 06:59 PM
What are these cables to?
by 99Eclipse. 09/24/18 06:44 PM
Help with parasitic draw?
by buck91. 09/24/18 05:57 PM
Costco Car Buying Program
by dkryan. 09/24/18 05:39 PM
Glass Scrub?
by buck91. 09/24/18 05:03 PM
Loosing coolant from somewhere
by NICAT. 09/24/18 03:47 PM
2010 or so Ford Fusion Sport thoughts?
by ZZman. 09/24/18 03:35 PM
My boss killed his jeep.
by Chris142. 09/24/18 02:40 PM
Moly question about walmart oils
by jayjr1105. 09/24/18 02:33 PM
Questions About 9011 Bulbs
by knerml. 09/24/18 02:23 PM
Lubricant Additives - A Practical Guide
by wemay. 09/24/18 01:39 PM
Fram Ultra--Any Real Competition?
by IndyFan. 09/24/18 12:59 PM
Newest Members
fortim, albert001, LG_Electronics, TCam, OzFrog
66063 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
52 registered members (Blkstanger, Brian123, Bbonez, Bailes1992, BlakeB, 5 invisible), 829 guests, and 46 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Statistics
Forums67
Topics290,963
Posts4,853,442
Members66,063
Most Online3,590
Jan 24th, 2017
Donate to BITOG
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
Has anyone here gone full solar? #4653177
02/01/18 02:06 PM
02/01/18 02:06 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 951
PA,US
HemiHawk Offline OP
HemiHawk  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 951
PA,US
In the beginnings of looking into panels for the house, and a whole setup. It looks like by some calculators that the return would be 7-10 years depending on usage and current rates. Considering usage typically doesn't go down, and rates don't either, it could be sooner.

Right now I have heat pump heat, and oil backup. I assume both of these would still function, but was also reading about ditching the oil backup in favor of electric units. Seems like the total systems wattage would need to be adjusted to account for that though. Right now I go through about $500-$650 a year for the cold weather oil heat.

For those that have made the leap, what downsides have you noticed? If you were to go through the process again, what would you do differently?


2016 Nissan Frontier Pro4x
2017 VW GTI sport
1995 Mustang GTS
Re: Has anyone here gone full solar? [Re: HemiHawk] #4653210
02/01/18 02:50 PM
02/01/18 02:50 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,195
Ontario, Canada
IndyIan Offline
IndyIan  Offline
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,195
Ontario, Canada
If you are going off grid you would want to keep the oil or some other backup heating system. Enough solar panels and batteries even to run a heat pump seems like it would expensive in your climate, and winter cloud cover. You don't want all your heating to rely on the sun to be shining even for 1 day out of 4 in winter.
We thought quite hard about going off grid at our place, built in 2004, but it was just to expensive. We still have a propane tank and run a gas stove, and a gas hot water tank for heating,hot water, and would have bought a gas dryer. Running a large freezer though was going to cost like $4k more and getting power to our house went down to $11k, as Hydro1 decided to put in two poles for free on our road, so we went with the grid.
We also had second thoughts on solar after visiting a fellow who had a relatively huge budget for off grid electricity and still was running a generator quite often...
That was 14 years ago though, and prices and technology have changed for the better, so go find someone local who's doing it and talk to them.
If your house runs pretty well passively, with little energy needed you have a chance. If you need to have a forced air fan blowing most of the time or have a sump pump that can run for days at a time in the spring, or after heavy rain. Even a house full of ac-dc power supplies and electronics plugged in 24/7 will cost real money in sizing the system.


07 Focus ZXW, 5spd manual, 210km M1 5W30
18 Outback 2.5 CVT 10km 0W20 "bulk subaru" whatever that is
Re: Has anyone here gone full solar? [Re: HemiHawk] #4653227
02/01/18 03:07 PM
02/01/18 03:07 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 40,916
'Stralia
Shannow Online content
Shannow  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 40,916
'Stralia
Most of the time when the solar is producing, people aren't home to use it, so it goes to the grid.

Then you draw on the grid when everyone gets home from work.

If you want to be "full" solar, you need batteries...and double your payback.

My employer does a system called "redback", which can schedule things like HVAC, washing machine and drier to run while you aren't home. Can be coupled with batteries and time of use meters to reduce daily costs.

I think it's about 3.5Kw panels, 3.5KW batteries and the smarts for $10k Oz.

Re: Has anyone here gone full solar? [Re: Shannow] #4653239
02/01/18 03:17 PM
02/01/18 03:17 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 951
PA,US
HemiHawk Offline OP
HemiHawk  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 951
PA,US
Originally Posted By: Shannow
Most of the time when the solar is producing, people aren't home to use it, so it goes to the grid.

Then you draw on the grid when everyone gets home from work.

If you want to be "full" solar, you need batteries...and double your payback.

My employer does a system called "redback", which can schedule things like HVAC, washing machine and drier to run while you aren't home. Can be coupled with batteries and time of use meters to reduce daily costs.

I think it's about 3.5Kw panels, 3.5KW batteries and the smarts for $10k Oz.


I was looking into battery solutions (like tesla powerwall), but mostly for low energy appliances in the evening. Things like lights, and TV.

Like Indy mentioned, I don't foresee this being a full "off the grid" solution. As I have AC that needs to run almost all the time (dogs) and sump pump that runs very often after rain.

Setting things to run during the day is a great idea, and will probably help extract more from the system. One benefit I have is there is zero shade over my roof, so that should hopefully help.


2016 Nissan Frontier Pro4x
2017 VW GTI sport
1995 Mustang GTS
Re: Has anyone here gone full solar? [Re: HemiHawk] #4653256
02/01/18 03:54 PM
02/01/18 03:54 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 37,187
Ontario, Canada
OVERKILL Offline
OVERKILL  Offline
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 37,187
Ontario, Canada
Are you going to be doing net metering or is solar subsidized in your area?


2018 RAM 1500 Big Horn EcoDiesel
2016 Grand Cherokee SRT
Re: Has anyone here gone full solar? [Re: HemiHawk] #4653270
02/01/18 04:16 PM
02/01/18 04:16 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,944
PV Az
AZjeff Offline
AZjeff  Offline
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,944
PV Az
Having moved to Az from Pa and familiar with how many winter days are overcast it would seem you'd need a lot of panels to be net zero energy through the the dark months.


86 Samurai 1.3 leftovers
14 RAV4 2.5 5W-20 PP
16 Silverado 1500 4.3, DI, AFM 5W-30 PP

The most important thing to do in your life is to not interfere with someone else's life. - Frank Zappa

Re: Has anyone here gone full solar? [Re: HemiHawk] #4653273
02/01/18 04:20 PM
02/01/18 04:20 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 112
CO
UberArchetype Offline
UberArchetype  Offline
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 112
CO
Adequately sizing the system is important. I suspect most solar contractors and companies assume an optimistic weather profile in their calculations. We installed a max-allowable system here 3 years ago, with satisfactory results, so far. The first year was great, and there was only one month our previously banked kilowatts did not cover, resulting in a small shortfall. IOW, I was only out of pocket for about $50 worth of electricity for the entire year. But the weather was pretty great here all that year, too. Last year was on average, about 20% cloudier overall and it directly translated to electric bills in Jan, Feb and March (the short daylight months).

PA is going be a hit on the weather factor. Go big or stay home.

Re: Has anyone here gone full solar? [Re: HemiHawk] #4653328
02/01/18 05:19 PM
02/01/18 05:19 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 40,916
'Stralia
Shannow Online content
Shannow  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 40,916
'Stralia
Originally Posted By: HemiHawk
I was looking into battery solutions (like tesla powerwall), but mostly for low energy appliances in the evening.


On Oz electricity prices, the powerwall doesn't pay itself back within the 10 year warranty period. (Insurers are getting antsy about Lithium in/near residences too).

We have a bunch of options available in Oz, which includes lead, and Redox flow for domestic applications.

To give an example, a guy at work about 3 years ago built a full self sufficient house with panels, batteries, and nothing coming in (except prolonged bad weather), and it was about $35k.

Re: Has anyone here gone full solar? [Re: HemiHawk] #4653338
02/01/18 05:32 PM
02/01/18 05:32 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 3,799
New England
madRiver Offline
madRiver  Offline
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 3,799
New England
Those ROI calculators have the recent adminstration's tariffs in them?

Re: Has anyone here gone full solar? [Re: HemiHawk] #4653354
02/01/18 05:50 PM
02/01/18 05:50 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 14,424
Silicon Valley
PandaBear Offline
PandaBear  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 14,424
Silicon Valley
If I were to do off grid solar with battery for evening use in cold climate, I'd still not take out oil / propane based heating for electric. That's suicidal.

I'd definitely buy a laundry dryer that has a timer and run them during day time on low heat, maybe also a freezer in the garage with a big ice pack, and only run it during day light hours. Those 2 would be the low hanging fruits to reduce battery need.

Last edited by PandaBear; 02/01/18 05:51 PM.

"You keep asking questions PandaBear and you'll end up a vegetarian like my wife" - Camu Mahubah
Re: Has anyone here gone full solar? [Re: HemiHawk] #4653364
02/01/18 06:04 PM
02/01/18 06:04 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 20,758
Upstate NY
Donald Offline
Donald  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 20,758
Upstate NY
Most people who install solar panels stay on the grid and use it to cover electricity but heat with oil or gas.

If your going to try and use it to heat also with a heat pump it should be a new very efficient one with booster coils. You need to stay on the grid. The booster coils will take enough power there is no way you could power them off grid.


2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: Has anyone here gone full solar? [Re: HemiHawk] #4653440
02/01/18 08:14 PM
02/01/18 08:14 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 560
MN
14Accent Offline
14Accent  Offline
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 560
MN
I have a great roof for solar... and great light exposure.

Unfortunately, in MN, there's no WAY I could ever go off the grid completely. Just too darn cold. Good thing natural gas is still cheap...

However, I could see myself producing enough electricity in a month to cover what I use. I'm almost never here, nor is anyone else, and when I am I use relatively low-energy devices. TV, almost all LED lighting, phone charger, etc. My monthly electric bill is somewhere between $40-$75, and with my perfect sun I could probably start selling electricity back to the power company immediately.


2013 Chevrolet Volt - Saves enough in fuel to pay for itself!

2003 Cadillac Seville STS - The winter "beater", it uses the Volt's fuel
Re: Has anyone here gone full solar? [Re: HemiHawk] #4653480
02/01/18 09:10 PM
02/01/18 09:10 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,262
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,262
Waco, TX
I haven't gone "grid tied" yet, but getting there. I currently do 100% solar in two outbuildings, but it's going to all be integrated over the next couple of years.

"Stand-alone" solar requires some very expensive batteries.


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Has anyone here gone full solar? [Re: HemiHawk] #4653531
02/01/18 10:44 PM
02/01/18 10:44 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 2,347
SE British Columbia, Canada
Snagglefoot Offline
Snagglefoot  Offline
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 2,347
SE British Columbia, Canada
Took a one week solar course at the local college. The prof said, if you are on the grid, stay on it and just net meter. Our power is cheap (8 cents U.S. per kWH), so it takes a long time to pay out the system. 10 to 25 years depending if you do it yourself or pay someone who is doing it for a living.

For off grid, you get a generator, large propane tank, panels, inverter, etc and a battery bank large enough for 3 days of cloudy skies. If itís cloudy for more than 3 days the generator charges up the battery bank and you coast for another 3 days. Repeat as neccesary. The house heat in the winter is a propane furnace or boiler, passive heat and a wood stove. Also propane stove but electric fridge.

Last edited by Snagglefoot; 02/01/18 10:55 PM.

If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: Has anyone here gone full solar? [Re: HemiHawk] #4653700
02/02/18 08:38 AM
02/02/18 08:38 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,407
CA
raytseng Online content
raytseng  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,407
CA
There are statements here that are [censored] if you think about it. They are not from the mindset of someone whos offthegrid first, but someone who's lookong to just seamlessly keep their same full consumer lifestyle.

If you're going off the grid and solar you start thinking about every watt. For example, you don't run the dryer midday to save energy, what you do is not run the dryer at all and just line dry or air dry everything.
https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Home-Kitchen-Clothes-Drying-Racks/zgbs/home-garden/695488011
you dont watch tv at night you read a book or go to sleep.
Put yourself into the mindset of no electricity like you are camping or maybe RV camping with a generator as the baseline, and the solar just gives you back the ammenities you feel are most important. E.g. internet.
If you cant do that, put yourself in the mindset of a second or third world country where you have no electricy. do you think they have dryers or huge freezers? You will need to change your lifestyle to be more simple.

There also exist propane fridges and feeezers, they are not too efficient but the waste heat goes to your house so its not completely wasted. Downsize of course

Last edited by raytseng; 02/02/18 08:46 AM.
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3

BOB IS THE OIL GUY® Powered by UBB.threads™