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Posted By mikeathens,
Apr 10, 2008 at 4:03 PM
Well, if I was a betting man, I'd bet it was NOT by pimpin' out Hillary :gulp:
This month's Farm Show newspaper shows a guy who did just that. He had a scrap piece of 8" stainless steel pipe, 24' long. He painted it black, bent it into a U shape and mounted it on top of his roof. A couple of valves to the cold and hot water lines and he was in business... He uses it until freezing weather and then just drain's it for winter. Solar hot water is much easier to do on the cheap but for solar electric most states that have rebates require professional installers. Mass even requires that for an insulation rebate which is a bummer. Check out Home Power for more on solar.
This month's electric bill showed up. Pretty satisfying to see "amount due: $0.00" and "additional credit to be applied to future bills". I know I have a loan to pay off for the panels, but nuthin' to the electric co!!
Thought I'd provide an update on this system. It's working great, and I have had no problems to date.
Our meter that is read for billing reads 40 kWh. That means we've used a total of 40 coal-fired kWh in four months. This morning, our cumulative production was around 2080 kWh, meaning on average around 500 kWh/month since installed. Of course, I'm expecting this production rate to drop significanly over the shorter days of winter.
I think what put us over the "0" mark was the use of the AC for a couple weeks (parents complaining about heat when they visit) and the use of the dehumidifier in the basement.
I am happy with the decision to install the pv system, even though our $/kWh is aobut double that of buying coal power off the grid. It has also really made my family consider what applicanes we use and when. We are definitley making better use out of our clothes lines, for one.
For those of you on the fence, if you can afford it, take the plunge!