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Thread: The ugly side of solar panels.

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    Default The ugly side of solar panels.



    Do you want to go "green" and feel all warm and fuzzy that you are saving the planet by using solar panels? Think again...

    "New research shows, albeit unintentional, that generating electricity with solar panels can also be a very bad idea. In some cases, producing electricity by solar panels releases more greenhouse gases than producing electricity by gas or even coal."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Learjet View Post


    Do you want to go "green" and feel all warm and fuzzy that you are saving the planet by using solar panels? Think again...

    "New research shows, albeit unintentional, that generating electricity with solar panels can also be a very bad idea. In some cases, producing electricity by solar panels releases more greenhouse gases than producing electricity by gas or even coal."
    Don't you just love these stories ,, anyone stupid enough to believe having solar is going to have any positive effect on the climate needs medication!
    The very last thing on my mind when going solar was that it was good for the climate phffft , the only green involved in my decision was the money I handed over to purchase them.

    It wouldn't bother me a bit if Solar panel produced 75 tons of CO per day!

    Some twits will jump on the solar panels are bad for the planet bandwagon , but they will all be people to stingy to install them.

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    I agree. I think the main two reasons to have them are for saving in $$$ off grid power and the other is to have power off grid in case of power outages or where grid power is not available. But save the planet... no.

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    How much power produced at a power station goes to waste ?. If it's not used right now where does the excess go ?. Some top secret government underground base full of batteries.. LOL.. I recon more power is wasted (produced by coal or not) then every home solar system combined. Having home solar is only saving the owner a few bucks, not doing a lot for the planet. Although the theory is good.

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    Power Stations dont generate XXX million watts per hour 24/7 but reduce their output by taking both the generator and boiler off line at times of low useage.
    When I was on nightshift about a mile from the Power Stations at Wallerawang you could hear after 2 am or so the boilers starting to come on line getting ready for the morning Peak load in Sydney and by noon they began to 'run down' as evening peak back then wasnt as heavy as the AM peak I was told.
    No doubt they had Resistor Banks to dump any sudden overload production but the operators told me that was a big No-No as they were expected to avoid that by controlling the system.
    I stand unequivicably behind everything I say , I just dont ever remember saying it !!

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    Cool Snowy Hydro Pump Storage System.

    Quote Originally Posted by gordon_s1942 View Post
    Power Stations dont generate XXX million watts per hour 24/7 but reduce their output by taking both the generator and boiler off line at times of low useage.
    When I was on nightshift about a mile from the Power Stations at Wallerawang you could hear after 2 am or so the boilers starting to come on line getting ready for the morning Peak load in Sydney and by noon they began to 'run down' as evening peak back then wasnt as heavy as the AM peak I was told.
    No doubt they had Resistor Banks to dump any sudden overload production but the operators told me that was a big No-No as they were expected to avoid that by controlling the system.
    G'Day Cobber,
    Yes that is part of the answer.
    Pump Storage is one of the primary features of the Snowy Hydro.
    Any excess power on the grid is absorbed by pumping water to a higher level Dam, and is then available for use under peak load conditions to augment extra capacity.
    It's like a huge AC Storage Battery.
    Forgive the over simplification, but I thought it easier to explain this way.
    If you really want to go into the nuts and bolts of this, there is a myriad of information available on the WEB.

    Kindest Regards, " The Druid ".


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    Quote Originally Posted by Learjet View Post
    I agree. I think the main two reasons to have them are for saving in $$$ off grid power and the other is to have power off grid in case of power outages or where grid power is not available. But save the planet... no.
    I don't believe you can have power off grid on a standard install? Most generally switch off the solar panels when no power is detected...

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    Hi Goodchris, you are right, there is no power when the grid is off for a Very good reason.
    When the dc-ac converter senses there is no mains to synchronise to it shuts off. This is to prevent your system trying to energise your area and go into overload, also it prevents electricians working on poles and lines getting killed by someones home solar setup energising lines that are surposed to be offline.

    If you want offline power then go offgrid and buy batteries and an inverter to suppliment your solar array.
    We havent paid an electricity bill in 11 years and never have blackouts.
    cheers from the bush
    Last edited by Bluedog; 13-06-11 at 08:14 PM.
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    The money people tie into their solar panels won't be used for buying plasma TV's and the like which I would expect would have a far greater carbon footprint in manufacture and use. Not to mention that they tend to increase their awareness of power consumption and change their habits to reduce use overall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goodchris View Post
    I don't believe you can have power off grid on a standard install?
    That's right, not on a standard install.

    Joey in one of his earlier posts in another thread mentions of one particular inverter and battery bank system that when the batteries are fully charged, the excess from the solar panels then goes back into the grid. So you can have your cake and eat it too. But... I don't think hybrid systems like this qualify for any subsidy. You have to fund it yourself.

    My install is a "hobby install" where I have grid power but also Solar and battery banks which mainly run 12V stuff like lights, radios, misc electronic gear, laptops or whatever else I can find to run off 12V. Everything except high power usage items like stoves, heaters and air conditioners.

    Quote Originally Posted by dogsbreath View Post
    Not to mention that they tend to increase their awareness of power consumption and change their habits to reduce use overall.
    We sure do, especially on a run of dark cloudy days. But then I have the option to "cheat" by going back to grid power, unlike Bluedog.
    Last edited by Learjet; 14-06-11 at 02:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Learjet View Post
    That's right, not on a standard install.

    Joey in one of his earlier posts in another thread mentions of one particular inverter and battery bank system that when the batteries are fully charged, the excess from the solar panels then goes back into the grid. So you can have your cake and eat it too. But... I don't think hybrid systems like this qualify for any subsidy. You have to fund it yourself.

    My install is a "hobby install" where I have grid power but also Solar and battery banks which mainly run 12V stuff like lights, radios, misc electronic gear, laptops or whatever else I can find to run off 12V. Everything except high power usage items like stoves, heaters and air conditioners.



    We sure do, especially on a run of dark cloudy days. But then I have the option to "cheat" by going back to grid power, unlike Bluedog.
    Yeah that's right we still have normal power when the grid goes down ,I get an email from the system when there is a blackout otherwise it's undetectable ( unless the neighbors suddenly appear ) , the Solar part of the system is still covered as normal by the subsidy but the entire backup system is self funded.
    It would cost as much to setup this backup system as self funding a new 5KW system.

    What Learjet has makes a lot more sense for most people than a full blown backup system.

    I think Bluedog will have a generator in the system for long term outages , cloudy days etc , Gensets are a standalone users grid .

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    Off topic, if i had a bank of batteries could i power my house of 2 adults and 2 teenagers, and what life span could i expect and could i continue a life style as we do off the grid
    There is a fine line between "Hobby" and "Madness"

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    Quote Originally Posted by allover View Post
    Off topic, if i had a bank of batteries could i power my house of 2 adults and 2 teenagers, and what life span could i expect and could i continue a life style as we do off the grid
    How many kW/h a day do you presently use?

    Joey would be better qualified to answer your overall question than me but I'll throw in a few observations.

    Teenagers and lifestyle. I don't have any teenagers but my friends do and I think I may have been one myself many many years ago. They leave appliances on, open the fridge door 240 times a day to see if there are any changes and really have no regard to power usage. Best of luck training them!

    In a stand alone solar house, unless you have a ginormous setup there will have to be changes to low power appliances and usage. Laptops instead of desktop PC's for instance and minimal use of air conditioners, heaters, electric stoves and clothes dryers. Gas stoves are popular in solar houses.

    However... since you are also are connected to the grid, like Joey you can cheat fate and have a hybrid system. The best of both worlds, you have power during blackouts and power savings during normal use.

    I have a minimal system of a few hundred watts to run LED lights and 12 volt appliances. If pressed I could go without power for a while and still function almost normally. But I am a single hermit. My power usage is modest, only 10 kW/h per day during summer months and 4 kW/h through winter. That will drop further when I get a low power fridge.

    It really depends why you want to do it. If you could tell us your power usage and reasons for wanting to go solar we can give you a better idea.

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    I just read over all of these posts and found it quite interesting.

    The other day I had a customer of mine tell me this story. He was doing work at a large nursing home and all the pensioners decided to buy a solar panels to cut costs on their electricity bills especially the heating side and to sell it back to the electricity company. They did all the research and asked advice from many different sources. Even the company that installed it told them their would be no problems selling the power back. Once it was installed and up and running it was setup so that the excess power goes back into the grid rather than being stored. Everyone involved was charged tax for the power they sold back and also lost majority of their pension because they all had an income now. The electricity they sold back to the grid was deducted from their tax invoice from the electricity company not on a separate invoice.

    How is this right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by beer4life View Post
    [COLOR=Blue]G'Day Cobber,
    Forgive the over simplification, but I thought it easier to explain this way.
    If you really want to go into the nuts and bolts of this, there is a myriad of information available on the WEB.
    Very nicely explained sir. Thank you. Goes to show how much forward thinking the project was all those years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnwinger View Post
    I just read over all of these posts and found it quite interesting.

    The other day I had a customer of mine tell me this story. He was doing work at a large nursing home and all the pensioners decided to buy a solar panels to cut costs on their electricity bills especially the heating side and to sell it back to the electricity company. They did all the research and asked advice from many different sources. Even the company that installed it told them their would be no problems selling the power back. Once it was installed and up and running it was setup so that the excess power goes back into the grid rather than being stored. Everyone involved was charged tax for the power they sold back and also lost majority of their pension because they all had an income now. The electricity they sold back to the grid was deducted from their tax invoice from the electricity company not on a separate invoice.

    How is this right?
    Because the lousy Government classes ANY income as Taxable if your on the Old Age Pension.
    Any income is Taxable but it is more stringently applied to the OAP than other Pensions/Allowances.
    I stand unequivicably behind everything I say , I just dont ever remember saying it !!

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