» Solar Basics – The New Technology

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Working here on the second half of the information from the Solar Workshop I went to and want to share.

When it comes to the new technologies, well the designers have been busy. There are solar panels that look like shingles now being used in California. There are remote table- style panels that work away from your home and are mostly used on farms and wide open spaces, because the table has to move to follow the sun and be fanned cool on days that are too hot.

There are literally dozens of passive solar projects one can do around the house or office that will make a profound difference in usage. These projects may range from insulation, double paned windows, redoing the building envelope, fan systems and changing out heating and hot water systems. It is best to call upon an architect who is knowledgeable because renovation is much more cost effective than starting fresh, but it can cost you more if you do not have a plan. You may also not be able to get loans without an expert on call. You want your projects to not cost you more money in the long run and make the sale of your house possible.

Solar Hot water heaters were of high discussion, and why one sees them come and go off of houses. When folks move, one can take their solar hot water heater with them, or they can sell them to someone else and get the tax credit once again. As they get even more cost effective one can see systems changing hands and houses for the tax incentive.

In the Pacific Northwest even on a cloudy day a closed system will keep the water at 140’ to 190’ and in the summer months most folks are able to turn off their tank all together and just use the sun alone. Solar Hot Water heaters are ½ the cost of Photo Voltaic (PV) systems.

One excellent change in the PV system is that the systems once needed a single INVERTER to translate energy incoming from DC to AC which houses use. If a cloud came over one panel with 1 inverter, the whole system would shut down. Now, in a 6 panel 1KW system there are 6 much lower cost inverters and thus the system keeps producing as the shadows roll over.

PV Systems cost about $7,000-$10,000 per KW hour produced, and the solar hot water system is about that same price.

We are looking forward to the next step of how we might implement these changes to our home and will share more information as it comes. What kinds of changes can you make to your office or home that will reduce your carbon foot print?

Have you got a clothes line yet?

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Thu, June 4 2009 » Discoveries

2 Responses

  1. Jannie Funster June 6 2009 @ 9:43 am

    Hi! Well, I don’t exactly have a clothes line, but I do have a fold-out rack and I love it! And after my hubby stabalized it against the wind it was even better.

    We plan on going very solar wtih the place in Canada, bu probalby won’t even bother going with the faux-shingle esthetics, altho I can see how that would be good for people who really care about the visual details.

    Jannie Funsters last blog post..Another chance!

  2. Tom June 8 2009 @ 9:48 am

    Jannie,
    Thank you for coming by and making a comment. This is quite an exciting adventure, we have done passive solar for so many years it is nice to learn something new.

    My Mother never owned a dryer but she lived in the desert.
    Glad you got some stabilizing for the rack!

    Toms last blog post..Solar Basics – The New Technology

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