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Going solar discussion

Posted by crud

Oct 11, 2018 at 5:33am

I just wanted to tell people some opinions about whether or not they should consider using solar power. Let me say first that anyone who plans on saving any money by going solar is going to have to wait about 10 years to see any savings. Energy is so cheap to buy from the power company that it will take what will seem like an eternity to pay off any up front cost of solar equipment. Even with net metering,mainly what you would be doing is trying to offset the access fees of electric,gas and water.I use less than 10 dollars a month for all my utilities.The access fees are about 75 dollars a month. My electric is about 12cents (slightly less) per kwh. The electric company only lets you accumulate a 10 percent excess amount of energy each month so its not like you can speed up the clock to pay off your solar gear. The only way to actually benefit from using solar,before you die,is to use it off grid. Like out in the middle of nowhere,where you actually need to generate your own power for survival. Even then it will take 10 years to pay off your gear. So go ahead and go solar if you want but just know that it will be a long long time before you pay off your gear and by then you will probably need to start replacing things anyway.So that will put you back at square one again. Paying more up front to save mere pennies per week. Remember,electricity is dirt cheap to buy from the electric company. A hell of a lot cheaper than buying a bunch of solar equipment. Using solar for me is more about having fun first,and saving money last. You might as well not even get it in your head that you are saving anything because most likely you are not saving at all.You should consider yourself lucky if you break even 10 or more years down the road. Tell me what you think. I would like to hear from anyone who has a net meter and how much,if any,they are offsetting access fees.

Posted by tattoo

Oct 11, 2018 at 6:12am

 
I'm going in to my 3rd winter and I'm thinking I'm almost even with what I spent in the beginning for my solar system... Taking in consideration what it would have cost to get on the grid....

And you are right it's a lot of fun also...

Posted by playersz28

Oct 11, 2018 at 10:18am

I use solar on an RV so that I can dry camp in free desert & mtn locations. So far I have 2500$ invested (640w, 4x 6v AGM, 2kw PSW) and have dry camped in free sites for about 140 nights over 3 winters so @ 20$/night I'm ahead now :)

Posted by tattoo

Oct 11, 2018 at 12:38pm

playersz28 Avatar

Oct 11, 2018 at 10:18am playersz28 said:

I use solar on an RV so that I can dry camp in free desert & mtn locations. So far I have 2500$ invested (640w, 4x 6v AGM, 2kw PSW) and have dry camped in free sites for about 140 nights over 3 winters so @ 20$/night I'm ahead now :)


Isn't it great that you don't need to hook up to AC to have a great time.... Free is damn nice...

Posted by v10

Oct 11, 2018 at 2:49pm

My solar is on my van.

Solar is not cheap

Enjoying mourning coffee at sunrise in areas miles from a paved road with my lovely wife, is priceless to me.

We have plenty of bushcraft skills and primitive skills, so:

Do we need solar? No

Most jobs I do have electricity, so:

Do I need solar? No

Do I use the heck out of it? Yes

The cabin that we are building would be an example of actually saving money with solar. The power companies charge quite a bit to bring lines onto a property that is so far from their existing grid.

When that time comes, I will be asking many questions about appliances etc...



Posted by tattoo

Oct 11, 2018 at 3:53pm

v10 Avatar

Oct 11, 2018 at 2:49pm v10 said:

 The cabin that we are building would be an example of actually saving money with solar. The power companies charge quite a bit to bring lines onto a property that is so far from their existing grid.


Yes that's what I was talking about.... The cost of getting power to the structure will all but pay for the initial cost of solar...

Posted by v10

Oct 11, 2018 at 4:29pm

Well yeah, your the guy I will be bugging with all those questions

Posted by tattoo

Oct 11, 2018 at 5:03pm

v10 Avatar

Oct 11, 2018 at 4:29pm v10 said:

Well yeah, your the guy I will be bugging with all those questions


I will help all I can... I really changed my system from when I first started.....


One question, How big is the cabin your building?

Posted by v10

Oct 11, 2018 at 7:00pm

Our 1 level 1200sf cottage has worked for us for years. Add a basement.

Im on a 4' crawlspace and the skeeters are running us out

Time for higher ground.





Posted by tattoo

Oct 12, 2018 at 6:06am

v10 Avatar

Oct 11, 2018 at 7:00pm v10 said:

Our 1 level 1200sf cottage has worked for us for years. Add a basement.



Yea mine is 820 and that's plenty big enough...

Posted by bupkis

Oct 12, 2018 at 6:25am

Hi crud, not net metered but solar makes the best maintainer for batteries where there is no utility power. 100w/100ah RV battery is enough to extend a weekend stay, energy hogs go bigger. The 'standard' factory installed chargers in RVs makes a poor charger so adding solar has advantages to battery life.

Posted by swampmonster

Nov 5, 2018 at 8:47pm

If there is ONE place quality solar really shines, it is atop any RV.

You simply cannot compare home solar to RV solar when you calculate returns.

The RV person often wants dearly to go in the boonies for days but cannot stray from expensive RV parks.

RV parks can be really nice, I've stayed in them for months....And they cost big bucks...and I had naggy neighbors, and yapping dogs, and b****y old women and loud kids and even a few cops show up in the middle of the night with sirens blaring and flashing blue lights and gunshots and total stupid s**t going on.

Nah, no more of that s**t....This old man is now totally long term off grid capable even tho it cost me over 5K in proper solar and lots of my time in the installation and learning curve.

Cost return? Who gives a s**t!...You simply cannot put a price on total freedom.

Posted by Johann

Nov 12, 2018 at 7:20pm

Crud,
We got started in solar, because our power company can not keep the power on. There may not be a single cloud in the sky and our power goes off here in the U.S. with a minimum of 4 hours and lately it is about 12 hours.
It became a emergency tool for us and believe me that a generator and fuel would had been more expensive to operate so far.
The better solar panels will last for 30 years or better and you can expect the charge controllers and inverters to last 15 plus years.
We run lights, fridge and fans on a daily basis with our small solar system and we still do not use enough power to come close enough to the capacity. A ice maker and pre- heater for our water heater will be next.

Posted by tattoo

Nov 12, 2018 at 7:35pm


Nov 12, 2018 at 7:20pm Johann said:


Crud,
We got started in solar, because our power company can not keep the power on. There may not be a single cloud in the sky and our power goes off here in the U.S. with a minimum of 4 hours and lately it is about 12 hours.
It became a emergency tool for us and believe me that a generator and fuel would had been more expensive to operate so far.
The better solar panels will last for 30 years or better and you can expect the charge controllers and inverters to last 15 plus years.
We run lights, fridge and fans on a daily basis with our small solar system and we still do not use enough power to come close enough to the capacity. A ice maker and pre- heater for our water heater will be next.


I'm really glad your solar system is working out for you, it's always a good thing that you can expand it....


I know you said you have a small system but How large is your solar system? How many panels, CC etc?

Posted by crud

Jan 29, 2019 at 2:43pm

I have noticed that having longer wires doesn't really lessen my power. Also, the angle of my panels has very little effect. I just leave them perpendicular to the ground and they work just fine. Sometimes I put them at an angle but to me it doesn't seem to matter. I also heard that a big power inverter will also suck more energy. Haven't  noticed the difference in that either. I understand to get optimum performance,one needs to have everything at an optimum setup but I get enough without worrying too much about all that. If it works,it works!!



Posted by crud

Jan 29, 2019 at 2:45pm

oh yeah and how do I get more stars on my Renogy profile?

Posted by crud

Jan 29, 2019 at 2:51pm


Nov 12, 2018 at 7:20pm Johann said:


Crud,
We got started in solar, because our power company can not keep the power on. There may not be a single cloud in the sky and our power goes off here in the U.S. with a minimum of 4 hours and lately it is about 12 hours.
It became a emergency tool for us and believe me that a generator and fuel would had been more expensive to operate so far.
The better solar panels will last for 30 years or better and you can expect the charge controllers and inverters to last 15 plus years.
We run lights, fridge and fans on a daily basis with our small solar system and we still do not use enough power to come close enough to the capacity. A ice maker and pre- heater for our water heater will be next.


Damn,Where do you live? California or somethin'? I'd be asking for rebates if they cut my power off for that long. I'm in Colorado. Not too many problems YET.

Posted by Admin

Feb 4, 2019 at 8:04am

crud Avatar

Jan 29, 2019 at 2:45pm crud said:

oh yeah and how do I get more stars on my Renogy profile?




The more you post, the more your stars will increase. After 50 posts you move up in Rank.

Posted by rhawk

Apr 3, 2019 at 9:21am

Do flexible panels need to be caulked to prevent water from collection under the panel?

Posted by Admin

Apr 3, 2019 at 10:59am

rhawk Avatar

Apr 3, 2019 at 9:21am rhawk said:

Do flexible panels need to be caulked to prevent water from collection under the panel?




It is recommended to caulk the panels.

-Renogy Team

Posted by medic811

Jan 5, 2020 at 7:30am

playersz28 Avatar

Oct 11, 2018 at 10:18am playersz28 said:

I use solar on an RV so that I can dry camp in free desert & mtn locations. So far I have 2500$ invested (640w, 4x 6v AGM, 2kw PSW) and have dry camped in free sites for about 140 nights over 3 winters so @ 20$/night I'm ahead now :)


Posted by medic811

Jan 5, 2020 at 7:33am

I am new to the site, if I am in the wrong place sorry. I am trying to hook up my Dc to Dc charger. It says to hook up to ignition switch. WHat is the best way to do this. I have a 2015 ram crew cab.

Posted by Admin

Jan 6, 2020 at 1:47pm

medic811 Avatar

Jan 5, 2020 at 7:33am medic811 said:

I am new to the site, if I am in the wrong place sorry. I am trying to hook up my Dc to Dc charger. It says to hook up to ignition switch. WHat is the best way to do this. I have a 2015 ram crew cab.


For the DC-DC charger, you will need an 18 to 16 AWG Copper signal cable to use as your ignition wire connected from the D+ slot on the DC-DC output side. We recommend having a mechanic or electrician/installer to properly connect your ignition wire from the D+ slot on the DC-DC output side to the ignition line of your vehicle.

-Renogy Team
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