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Member to Member Services This forum is for members to help, and to seek help from, other members with their expertise and requests for expertise. This is outside of car related stuff, such as repairs, mods, etc. Things like plumbing problems, construction, etc.

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Unread 04-23-2015, 11:45 AM   #1
Cor66Vette
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Default Solar panels ???

I think I'm going to do it. No matter how many times FPL says its rates are being lowered, my bill gets higher. So ....
I have propane for the jacuzzi, house hot water, and I ran a line to feed the Bar-B-Q. I was thinking of changing over from gas to solar for the jacuzzi and hot water, then thought about solar for the entire house. There are two types of hook ups: tie in to the grid, or self contained. The tie in seems to be the way to go for us. Stand alone requires a bank of batteries, and is more suitable for rural areas.

I am looking at this solar company.

http://www.superiorsolar.com/

Has anyone had experience with them, or with ANY solar company, or with solar panels in general? Thanks a lot.
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Unread 04-23-2015, 02:24 PM   #2
Rich Z
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I've often thought that this would be a good idea, if for nothing else, as a solar water heater, but my land is so heavily wooded, even around the house, that I don't think I would get enough sunlight on the roof to make much of an impact.

At least for the house, now the garage might be a different story if the solar cells could generate enough juice to run the lights, lift, AC, etc. I'm guessing you do need to still be connected to the grid, and there would be some sort of switching mechanism to switch from the solar system to the power company grid when the current draw needed exceeded what the solar panels can provide.

Let me know how this works out for you, or if you hit a brick wall, what that was. Interesting topic....
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Unread 04-23-2015, 03:34 PM   #3
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When I worked for the power co in NY, the IPP (Independent Power Producers) get connected to the electric grid by way of an ATO (Automatic Throw Over). Same applied to Harry-The-Homeowner who had a generator feeding their house. As long as there is the slightest chance of back feed to the system, the ATO, or at least a manual disconnect, was required. That was a good thing because when we worked outages the last thing we wanted was some yahoo back feeding a circuit we were working on, and it makes sense for a whole lot of other reasons, too.

I like that any excess electric that I wouldn't use gets SOLD back to the power company- probably in the way of credits. Anyway, I got a call in to that solar company I mentioned in my op for a home evaluation. They come highly recommended and sound like a pretty solid outfit.

And yeah, I'll definitely let you know how this plays out.
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Unread 05-28-2015, 05:18 PM   #4
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It seems that the company I wanted to go with does not service my area, but they were good enough to recommend a company that does.

Here's what I got so far:
Domestic hot water solar will cost $5,990. That includes the solar panel, 85 gallon hot water tank, and installation. I have to run a 220 line for the new tank for electric back-up during those not so sunny days. Solar heat for the pool spa will cost $3,500 total. That includes the solar panel and installation- nothing else is needed. I'm waiting for the sales guy to give me a price if I do both at the same time.

There is the Fed write-off of 1/3 for the hot water, plus $1,000 FPL rebate, so I'll end up paying a little over $3,000 for the hot water. Suntrust bank offers 0% for 12 months so I might think about that.

I'll update for anyone who cares.
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