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solar shingle

Post in 'The Green Room' started by sgcsalsero, Jan 15, 2007.

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  1. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

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    I read the previous solar article, did a quick search, and thought I'd share this one out http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/knowhow/electrical/article/0,16417,1205866,00.html#.

    I think what makes for a somewhat compelling case is that even if the roof costs you 3x
    normal asphalt, the difference in monthly mortgage payment is not major. Besides
    I think the idea of pumping energy back into the grid is way cool.

    If I lived in the Southwest I'd be following more, I have huge elms, pin oaks, and pines on my
    property so not for me.

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  2. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    the amorphos style panels dont offer as high of a efficiency as mono or poly crystallin panes yet. The shingles are cool, but it will take alot more south facing roof to get the same output as the standard panels. The shingles are almost twice the cost per watt. Im sure there will be breakthrough sometime soon.
  3. Jay H

    Jay H New Member

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    The aethetics of a built in solar shingle is pleasing to a lot of people. Many people find the standard rack of PV panels an eyesore.

    What I have heard about the standard PV Panels too is that since they shade a standard composite shingle roof from the sun, the basic compsite shingles roof system is supposed to last longer. Of course, those PV panels don't last forever either...

    One thing about the federal and state rebates is though as more people convert to solar, less rebates are available for each person, unless the state/federal decide to open up more money for rebates or continue to force utilities to convert to renewable energy or pay a fine.

    Jay
  4. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    I agree they look better, but unless your independtly wealthy, and never hope for a ROI, the standard PV panels are the answer. The standard panel will last 25-30 years. I would be proud to have a rack on my roof, unfortunaly my house location is not condusive to solar at all.
  5. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk New Member

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    I agree with MSG. Sure they look great, but regular old panels aren't too much of an eyesore. Not to mention servicing those shingles if anything were to go wrong would be more costly. Roof installations have to be just right to work well, requiring design considerations before construction. Furthermore, you'll get better performance with a system that tracks the rise and fall of the sun vs. one that is fixed.

    -Kevin
  6. Jay H

    Jay H New Member

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    Hi MSG, neither is my house.... I had a solar installer come and take a sun compass thing and determined my sun exposure from 9am to 3pm... They said I have about 55% give or take a few % of sun exposure and for me to qualify for my state's rebate program, I need 75% or equivalent. I have a lot of tall oak trees nearby as I live behind a county park in a hilly part of NJ. However, if NJ starts a rebate program for solar hot water, I'm there as they don't need as good a sun exposure as solar electric and the solar collectors in hot water systems last longer than the PV panels.

    I too don't think PV Panels are an eyesore or that much a problem but I was surprised by stuff I've heard from ordinary folks.... I guess it's a whole different world on the other side of the fence... :)

    Jay
  7. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    You actully dont get a better deal with one that tracks. You have moving parts that need to be serviced, and the racks that track are much more expensive then a fixed rack. To offset the cost you take the money saved from not buying the tracking rack and buy a few more panels. The array would put out the same either way but you would not have the maintenance of a tracking rack. The roof works well too if you have enough of it facing south.
  8. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    I have no idea about the life of hot water systems, but PV panels last 25-30 years... 55% is not to good. Any place for you to install a pole mount system?

    PV arrays dont take to shade very well. That would be one place that amorphous panels could come in handy, they work porportional to the light hitting the panel, unlike mono and poly panels that might put out 10% if there is ANY shading on the panel..
  9. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk New Member

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    Very true. But it also depends on whether or not you have the physical space for more panels. In either case it would be wise to calculate both options if just for simple evaluation. I don't think the moving parts on them are very advanced, and could be serviced by a homeowner... well, if the homeowner were handy. But certainly, a fixed rack is a no maintenence item.

    While a south facing roof is the "must have", the roof pitch is also critical, and will change depending on where you live. Of course, the pitch will change for rain and snow considerations too. If however, folks are concerned about the asthetic value of panels, and want them laying flat, then pitch (and house siteing) should be considered. If you don't care, sure you can bracket the panels up to the proper height. I've seen them before... panels 2 feet steeper than the roof pitch, and angled for efficiency.

    -Kevin
  10. Jay H

    Jay H New Member

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    Nah, not really, my whole property is pretty shaded... I'm only on 1/3 acre. It seems silly in a way except for the green aspects of it. My month electricity bill is basically around $14... My gas bill is about $20 and I pay more for delivery and service charges than for the actual supply of gas. Arrghh.. Maybe I should regress into a LP stove and perhaps an electric water heater.

    domestic hot water systems can last 30+ years, there are some systems that were put in the early 70s (the oil embargo/gas crisis) that are still functional today from what I've learned. It is getting more cost effective these days again for the solar collectors and they are only about $4k-5k to install, less money up front than solar electric and a higher ROI.

    Jay
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