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Half of Germany's Electricity in June Provided by Solar

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Posted

The most interesting part of the article is the mentioning of how so many solar panels are exceeding household demand.

 

Neat find, thanks Delhommey.

 

I don't know why we'd need solar when we have fraking and other options, though. ;)

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Much of the cost of solar comes in the form of installation costs. The panels themselves are pretty damn cheap. If you're even reasonably handy, you can install panels yourself. You'll still need an electrician to tie everything in to the breaker, but if you don't mind sacrificing a day or two, you can cut the cost of installation a tremendous amount. I priced out just material for my townhouse (I can only fit about a 2kW system, so not very big) and it came out to be less than $4000. Probably another $1000-1500 for an electrician to hook everything up.

 

Solar installed on a utility scale is even cheaper. I see so many people say things like "I had solar priced out for my house and it was expensive and a bad investment" and then apply that logic to all solar. Fields of solar panels (or large rooftops) can cost around $2/watt for equipment + installation. Residential can easily cost 2-3x that. Economies of scale make a huge difference in the financial viability of solar.

 

There has been a ton of emphasis on manufacturing panels in the last decade. This has resulted in panel prices dropping by 70-80% in that time frame. The next big push is going to be on storage systems. Elon Musk's gigafactories will certainly play a large role in this. His batteries are not fundamentally different than other batteries, but they're configured differently to allow to faster charging and way more cycles than more common lithium ion batteries. They can be fully recycled and re-used in a closed loop system.

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Posted

The most interesting part of the article is the mentioning of how so many solar panels are exceeding household demand.

 

Neat find, thanks Delhommey.

 

I don't know why we'd need solar when we have fraking and other options, though. ;)

This happens for two reasons from my experience working in the industry.

 

First being that after people install solar panels, they generally become A LOT more conscious about their electricity usage. Systems generally come with monitoring software so you can see what your system is generating in real time and historically. The amount of data that you gather is pretty impressive.

 

Secondly, solar panels cover large sections of your roof, but they were about a 2-4" gap underneath the panels because the panels need to remain cool(ish) to operate at peak efficiency. Your roof is no longer directly absorbing the sun's heat, the panels are, but the airflow underneath the panels prevents the heat from transferring to your roof. This keeps your attic cooler, which in turn keeps your entire home cooler, lowering demand on the cooling system.

 

Most companies also try not to bullshit and use the lower end of projected output. It's better to exceed expectations than come up way short. These are mostly small businesses whose success depends on their reputation.

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Posted

I hear that a common use for recycled hybrid car batteries is hooking them to these solar systems.

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Posted

I hear that a common use for recycled hybrid car batteries is hooking them to these solar systems.

I guess you could, but a prius battery (on the older models anyway) only holds 1.3 kWh. The average house uses about 1000 kWh/mo, or about 33 kwH per day. I have no idea what an old battery goes for, but I can't imagine that really being a good investment. The battery packs in the Prius aren't huge, but they're not tiny either. 30 or so of them would take up a lot of space. Newer hybrid batteries are a lot smaller. The older Prius cars used nickel-hydride batteries while new ones use lithium ions.

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I guess you could, but a prius battery (on the older models anyway) only holds 1.3 kWh. The average house uses about 1000 kWh/mo, or about 33 kwH per day. I have no idea what an old battery goes for, but I can't imagine that really being a good investment. The battery packs in the Prius aren't huge, but they're not tiny either. 30 or so of them would take up a lot of space. Newer hybrid batteries are a lot smaller. The older Prius cars used nickel-hydride batteries while new ones use lithium ions.

I just read an article about this stuff this week... I'll try to find it later.

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Paying for something now that saves you money in the long run, or provides a financial return is called an "investment."

yeah and lots of these solar investments have gone down the drain.It's still not free.It's like getting rid of your semi high gas mileage car that is paid for and buying an over priced hybrid or electric in the end you can afford paying for the gas guzzler and still save money.

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Posted

Why don't you do some research on it and report back to us since you're obviously so concerned.

no need for research, no matter where you look high costs always cancels out free.

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no need for research, no matter where you look high costs always cancels out free.

 

I don't think you read very well.

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Posted

I don't think you read very well.

and you don't do math very well.

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Posted

and you don't do math very well.

 

Good lord man.  We have enough crazies in here...  go play somewhere else.

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Good lord man.  We have enough crazies in here...  go play somewhere else.

play the crazy card when you got nothing, nice.oh my bad your math says when you got nothin' you really got somethin'.Ok I see how the game is played.

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