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posted 11 days ago by
devinanm
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HomeDepot offers Grape Solar 150-Watt Off-Grid Solar Panel Kit for $310.99 - after 30% off - $209.99 through 03/29/2017. Delivery for free.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Grape-Solar-150-Watt-Off-Grid-Solar-P...

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devinanm said:   HomeDepot offers Grape Solar 150-Watt Off-Grid Solar Panel Kit for $310.99 - after 30% off - $209.99 through 03/29/2017. Delivery for free.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Grape-Solar-150-Watt-Off-Grid-Solar-P...

  what can i use this for? it's almost useless without a battery that may add another $150 or so.

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microkelvin said:   
devinanm said:   HomeDepot offers Grape Solar 150-Watt Off-Grid Solar Panel Kit for $310.99 - after 30% off - $209.99 through 03/29/2017. Delivery for free.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Grape-Solar-150-Watt-Off-Grid-Solar-P...

  what can i use this for? it's almost useless without a battery that may add another $150 or so.

  I know right? I can't believe that for $200 I don't get a complete miracle energy device that works from sunlight.  I bet this thing won't even run the a/c on my. 3000 square foot house.  What a ripoff.

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Hmmm. Perhaps it's time for people to know how much power a watt is.

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best price so far for a 150 watt panel.

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This is a warm deal. Separate deals on panels are ~$1.2 per Watt and a charge controller is $30.

For batteries thee are some cheap solutions:
If this is only for emergencies or camping then you can take the 12V sealed packs out of battery backed up supplies with you as your storage (what I do).
For 24/7 you can buy extras of those style. Check out eBay for some good deals.
Worst but still ok solution for emergency (but not daily cycle) would be an old, but still functional car battery you may have lying around or can get very cheap.

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Without batteries, I'm not sure what this panel could be used for. Run a couple of lightbulbs, but only when it's sunny?

For charging a phone, it's total overkill. For heating, it doesn't have nearly enough power.

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canoeguy1 said:   Without batteries, I'm not sure what this panel could be used for. Run a couple of lightbulbs, but only when it's sunny?

For charging a phone, it's total overkill. For heating, it doesn't have nearly enough power.

  raise a legitimate question and u will get negatives. lol.

i am thinking to connect it to a box fan. so it can dry my wet stinky armpits whenever its a sunny day. 

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it's a fair price and pretty normal to not have batteries included. Perfect for a small shed, electric fence for animals or keeping batteries charged during storage. If you buy something like this, the best batteries are golf kart 6Vdc that you can get for pretty cheap. Actually Trojan T105-RE are. It bad for a tiny system but a bit overkill

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Like anything... knowing what you need will inform if it fits or not... there are lots of components in a solar power system... and lots of variety in all the components depending on your need. This particular system is for use in charging batteries, likely in a 12v power system. It does not include a battery and isn't terribly useful without one.

For example... I have a 200w system with a similar 'low end' charge controller. I have it hooked to a pair of 35ah AGM batteries I got on sale at Harbor Freight for about $55 a piece. You can get by with 1 battery if your needs are light... or spend a whole lot more on batteries if you want. My system powers everything 12v in our 28ft silver streak (think airstream) RV. A dozen interior/exterior LED lights, two water pumps, ceiling fans, recharging USB phones/tablets etc. My two 100w panels bring in between 40-50ah of power a day in FL sun... My total battery capacity is 70ah... but It should never be drained below 35ah. I'm going to add a 3rd battery this year to give me a bit more research as I use about 40ah a day.

This system isn't for someone wanting to charge mobile devices on the fly... there are little fold up things for that... This isn't for someone that wants a home solar power system to run their traditional house. Its limited.. it would work for an RV (which likely already has batteries), a cabin or even a shed you want lights and fans in that doesn't have electric wired from your house.

You can run your house off solar... this isn't the tool for that job... its not even the starting place for that job.

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keaton85 said:   it's a fair price and pretty normal to not have batteries included. Perfect for a small shed, electric fence for animals or keeping batteries charged during storage. If you buy something like this, the best batteries are golf kart 6Vdc that you can get for pretty cheap. Actually Trojan T105-RE are. It bad for a tiny system but a bit overkill
  Where can you get Trojan T-105 GC2 batteries cheap? Granted, they are probably the best built GC2 batteries around.

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Alchemist42 said:   Like anything... knowing what you need will inform if it fits or not... there are lots of components in a solar power system... and lots of variety in all the components depending on your need. This particular system is for use in charging batteries, likely in a 12v power system. It does not include a battery and isn't terribly useful without one.

For example... I have a 200w system with a similar 'low end' charge controller. I have it hooked to a pair of 35ah AGM batteries I got on sale at Harbor Freight for about $55 a piece. You can get by with 1 battery if your needs are light... or spend a whole lot more on batteries if you want. My system powers everything 12v in our 28ft silver streak (think airstream) RV. A dozen interior/exterior LED lights, two water pumps, ceiling fans, recharging USB phones/tablets etc. My two 100w panels bring in between 40-50ah of power a day in FL sun... My total battery capacity is 70ah... but It should never be drained below 35ah. I'm going to add a 3rd battery this year to give me a bit more research as I use about 40ah a day.

This system isn't for someone wanting to charge mobile devices on the fly... there are little fold up things for that... This isn't for someone that wants a home solar power system to run their traditional house. Its limited.. it would work for an RV (which likely already has batteries), a cabin or even a shed you want lights and fans in that doesn't have electric wired from your house.

You can run your house off solar... this isn't the tool for that job... its not even the starting place for that job.

  so to light up some LED lights during a sunny day or ceiling fans at this cost of investment, it only takes about 250+ years to get my money back.

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microkelvin said:   
Alchemist42 said:   Like anything... knowing what you need will inform if it fits or not... there are lots of components in a solar power system... and lots of variety in all the components depending on your need. This particular system is for use in charging batteries, likely in a 12v power system. It does not include a battery and isn't terribly useful without one.

For example... I have a 200w system with a similar 'low end' charge controller. I have it hooked to a pair of 35ah AGM batteries I got on sale at Harbor Freight for about $55 a piece. You can get by with 1 battery if your needs are light... or spend a whole lot more on batteries if you want. My system powers everything 12v in our 28ft silver streak (think airstream) RV. A dozen interior/exterior LED lights, two water pumps, ceiling fans, recharging USB phones/tablets etc. My two 100w panels bring in between 40-50ah of power a day in FL sun... My total battery capacity is 70ah... but It should never be drained below 35ah. I'm going to add a 3rd battery this year to give me a bit more research as I use about 40ah a day.

This system isn't for someone wanting to charge mobile devices on the fly... there are little fold up things for that... This isn't for someone that wants a home solar power system to run their traditional house. Its limited.. it would work for an RV (which likely already has batteries), a cabin or even a shed you want lights and fans in that doesn't have electric wired from your house.

You can run your house off solar... this isn't the tool for that job... its not even the starting place for that job.

  so to light up some LED lights during a sunny day or ceiling fans at this cost of investment, it only takes about 250+ years to get my money back.


Obviously you haven't spent time in an RV... or spent time in the middle of nowhere.    I run my vacation home (a classic silver streak 28ft travel trailer rebuilt as an off grid tiny house)  completely off a 200w solar system i have about $350 invested in....   lights, fans, running water,  etc.  I'm there for months at a time with no utility bills at all.  I have underground electric at the entrance to my property...  it would cost about $1500 to have it run to a usable spot,  another $1000 for an electrician to connect things up... then id have an electric bill of around $100 a month...   no matter how little its used because of basic service charges, taxes and fees. 

So how long did it take that $350 to pay for itself?   The first day!

Again...  if you don't know why you need it...  you don't... and if you don't need it you likely can't see the value.  Thanks for making my point. 

 

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ecsaltz said:   
keaton85 said:   it's a fair price and pretty normal to not have batteries included. Perfect for a small shed, electric fence for animals or keeping batteries charged during storage. If you buy something like this, the best batteries are golf kart 6Vdc that you can get for pretty cheap. Actually Trojan T105-RE are. It bad for a tiny system but a bit overkill
  Where can you get Trojan T-105 GC2 batteries cheap? Granted, they are probably the best built GC2 batteries around.

  
You will have to get them locally.  Trojan T-105s are flooded lead acid batteries.   They can't be shipped UPS/USPS/Etc.    So you need to shop local places.     Farm supply stores carry them like Rural King. 

Keep in mind that Trojan T-105 batteries are 6v.  Heavy duty / thick plates so they last a long time but do require maintenance (adding water) so not the best for unattended systems...  and when used with this solar setup you will need a pair of them because the charger is designed to charge 12v systems.   So you need to run 2 6v batteries in series to create a big 12v battery.

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How much would a 12v inverter cost? Or would you connect 12v batteries in series? I hear inverters have a high failure rate and are usually the most expensive. Was thinking about converting a Uhaul box truck or van into a stealth RV.

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ne0tekk said:   How much would a 12v inverter cost? Or would you connect 12v batteries in series? I hear inverters have a high failure rate and are usually the most expensive. Was thinking about converting a Uhaul box truck or van into a stealth RV.
 
It depends what you need it for and how much you want to spend.   Basically you use an inverter to convert 12v power to 120v power so you can plug in household items.   

There are two big factors in picking an inverter...  first, how many watts of power it needs to be able to deliver then if you want a modified sine or pure sine inverter.  More watts always costs more and pure sine inverters cost more than modified sine inverters. 

On the cheap end you can get a 500w modified sine inverter for maybe $20 if you look around.  

With 150w of solar panels and maybe 100ah of usable battery storage your not going to be running anything over 500 of 1000w very long so getting a 300w, 500w, 1000w inverter is fine.

The next decision is modified vs pure sine wave...   pure costs more... but modified sine inverters have been known to destroy electronics.  Household current is pure sine so its really what everything is designed to plug into. 

You can find 300w pure sine inverters for $30-$50 and on up to $150+ depending on name, etc. 

 

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Can this be hooked up to the grid so you can reduce your utility bill?

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russ0519 said:   Can this be hooked up to the grid so you can reduce your utility bill?
  
Its not really enough power to make all the much difference... and you would need a 'grid tie inverter' to connect the solar power supply into your electric system.   A grid tie inverter would likely cost more than this kit.  

The 'charge controller' with this kit is designed for charging batteries.   Also most states with electrical code require a licensed electrician to connect anything to the grid.

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russ0519 said:   Can this be hooked up to the grid so you can reduce your utility bill?
  Yes, would be interesting to know... Would it at least make a dent???

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To put this kits power in perspective. The panels are rated at 37.5ah per day on average.... my LED lights in my RV take 0.12a while operating... so I can pretty much run as many lights as I want for 1a an hour. The ceiling vent fan takes 1a, 2a or 3a on low, med or high. But lets convert it to 120v so we can compare it to household current... 37.5a at 12v is approximately 3.75a at 120v. so running something that requires 3.75a at 120v to operate could run for about 1 hour before using power equal to the panels daily average.

For example... a GE 5000 btu air conditioner requires about 4a while its running... and goes down to 1a while on fan only. On average It pulls about 3.5ah an hour in use. So this kit every day could supply enough power to run that window AC for an hour.

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dookie1949 said:   Hmmm. Perhaps it's time for people to know how much power a watt is.
  
And how much a kilowatt cost vs this.  Do all the math and decide what's best for you.

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Alchemist42 said:   
ne0tekk said:   How much would a 12v inverter cost? Or would you connect 12v batteries in series? I hear inverters have a high failure rate and are usually the most expensive. Was thinking about converting a Uhaul box truck or van into a stealth RV.
 
It depends what you need it for and how much you want to spend.   Basically you use an inverter to convert 12v power to 120v power so you can plug in household items.   

There are two big factors in picking an inverter...  first, how many watts of power it needs to be able to deliver then if you want a modified sine or pure sine inverter.  More watts always costs more and pure sine inverters cost more than modified sine inverters. 

On the cheap end you can get a 500w modified sine inverter for maybe $20 if you look around.  

With 150w of solar panels and maybe 100ah of usable battery storage your not going to be running anything over 500 of 1000w very long so getting a 300w, 500w, 1000w inverter is fine.

The next decision is modified vs pure sine wave...   pure costs more... but modified sine inverters have been known to destroy electronics.  Household current is pure sine so its really what everything is designed to plug into. 

You can find 300w pure sine inverters for $30-$50 and on up to $150+ depending on name, etc. 

 

  So a modified sine wave inverter can be used for input power from the solar panel to the battery bank and pure sine wave inverter is used for output power from the battery bank to your household items, correct? What's a good site to check out for these inverters? I can get second hand solar panels locally but it's always been a challenge getting good inverters at a good price with a decent warranty.

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great price for the product.

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Smaller than the ecology by about half an inch but works well didn't throw a meter on it to compare. Aluminium frame is weak for direct attachment of legs for portable use but is easily reinforced. Good value.

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remember Home Depot gives 10% off sale prices to veterans,

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ne0tekk said:   
Alchemist42 said:   
ne0tekk said:   How much would a 12v inverter cost? Or would you connect 12v batteries in series? I hear inverters have a high failure rate and are usually the most expensive. Was thinking about converting a Uhaul box truck or van into a stealth RV.
 
It depends what you need it for and how much you want to spend.   Basically you use an inverter to convert 12v power to 120v power so you can plug in household items.   

There are two big factors in picking an inverter...  first, how many watts of power it needs to be able to deliver then if you want a modified sine or pure sine inverter.  More watts always costs more and pure sine inverters cost more than modified sine inverters. 

On the cheap end you can get a 500w modified sine inverter for maybe $20 if you look around.  

With 150w of solar panels and maybe 100ah of usable battery storage your not going to be running anything over 500 of 1000w very long so getting a 300w, 500w, 1000w inverter is fine.

The next decision is modified vs pure sine wave...   pure costs more... but modified sine inverters have been known to destroy electronics.  Household current is pure sine so its really what everything is designed to plug into. 

You can find 300w pure sine inverters for $30-$50 and on up to $150+ depending on name, etc. 

 

  So a modified sine wave inverter can be used for input power from the solar panel to the battery bank and pure sine wave inverter is used for output power from the battery bank to your household items, correct? What's a good site to check out for these inverters? I can get second hand solar panels locally but it's always been a challenge getting good inverters at a good price with a decent warranty.

  
The typical power flow for using with household devices (ie things you plug in) goes like this... 

Solar Panels > Charge Controller > Battery Bank > Inverter.       The inverter has 120v (house) plugs so you can plug in things that require power. 

There are two types of inverters... modified and pure sine...   both give you 120v output...  but some devices, especially electronics / computers /etc. can be damaged by modified sine inverters.   Modified sine inverters also tend to be less expensive and less efficient so they waste more power converting it for use than pure sine inverters do. 

You can also wire the battery bank to 12v systems as well... lights, fans, USB ports, etc. 

 

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Alchemist42 said:   
ne0tekk said:   
Alchemist42 said:   
ne0tekk said:   How much would a 12v inverter cost? Or would you connect 12v batteries in series? I hear inverters have a high failure rate and are usually the most expensive. Was thinking about converting a Uhaul box truck or van into a stealth RV.
 
It depends what you need it for and how much you want to spend.   Basically you use an inverter to convert 12v power to 120v power so you can plug in household items.   

There are two big factors in picking an inverter...  first, how many watts of power it needs to be able to deliver then if you want a modified sine or pure sine inverter.  More watts always costs more and pure sine inverters cost more than modified sine inverters. 

On the cheap end you can get a 500w modified sine inverter for maybe $20 if you look around.  

With 150w of solar panels and maybe 100ah of usable battery storage your not going to be running anything over 500 of 1000w very long so getting a 300w, 500w, 1000w inverter is fine.

The next decision is modified vs pure sine wave...   pure costs more... but modified sine inverters have been known to destroy electronics.  Household current is pure sine so its really what everything is designed to plug into. 

You can find 300w pure sine inverters for $30-$50 and on up to $150+ depending on name, etc. 

 

  So a modified sine wave inverter can be used for input power from the solar panel to the battery bank and pure sine wave inverter is used for output power from the battery bank to your household items, correct? What's a good site to check out for these inverters? I can get second hand solar panels locally but it's always been a challenge getting good inverters at a good price with a decent warranty.

  
The typical power flow for using with household devices (ie things you plug in) goes like this... 

Solar Panels > Charge Controller > Battery Bank > Inverter.       The inverter has 120v (house) plugs so you can plug in things that require power. 

There are two types of inverters... modified and pure sine...   both give you 120v output...  but some devices, especially electronics / computers /etc. can be damaged by modified sine inverters.   Modified sine inverters also tend to be less expensive and less efficient so they waste more power converting it for use than pure sine inverters do. 

You can also wire the battery bank to 12v systems as well... lights, fans, USB ports, etc. 

 

  very informative. Thank You guys. Would you also rec any inline amp meters or auto-trip/shutoff to prevent things like ac etc against tripping or damage?

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Alchemist42 said:   
ecsaltz said:   
keaton85 said:   it's a fair price and pretty normal to not have batteries included. Perfect for a small shed, electric fence for animals or keeping batteries charged during storage. If you buy something like this, the best batteries are golf kart 6Vdc that you can get for pretty cheap. Actually Trojan T105-RE are. It bad for a tiny system but a bit overkill
  Where can you get Trojan T-105 GC2 batteries cheap? Granted, they are probably the best built GC2 batteries around.

  
You will have to get them locally.  Trojan T-105s are flooded lead acid batteries.   They can't be shipped UPS/USPS/Etc.    So you need to shop local places.     Farm supply stores carry them like Rural King. 

Keep in mind that Trojan T-105 batteries are 6v.  Heavy duty / thick plates so they last a long time but do require maintenance (adding water) so not the best for unattended systems...  and when used with this solar setup you will need a pair of them because the charger is designed to charge 12v systems.   So you need to run 2 6v batteries in series to create a big 12v battery.

  what would be your recommendations for batteries?

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missmatch said:   
 
  what would be your recommendations for batteries?

  
Batteries are a big subject... depends a lot on needs, where your using it,  if its something you plan to expand later, etc.    Here is the cliff notes version.

First decide on the capacity you need.   Batteries are rated in Amp Hours (AH) of power storage.  If its not rated in AH then its likely not a deep cycle battery intended for storing power.     This solar kit can provide 37.5ah of power a day.     So you likely want at least 2-3 times that much so your power coming in from the panels will always have some place to be stored.   The more AH your battery(s) provide the more 'reserve' you still have power at night or on rainy days when your not bringing in much solar power.     Also keep in mind that with most battery technologies you never want to draw the battery down below 50% of its power capacity.  So you should never draw a 100ah battery below 50ah, etc.   Every time you do, it significantly cuts down on the life of the battery. 

Next you have technology...  the old standby is lead acid (flooded) batteries...  a deep cycle battery like this is what people usually buy to run a trolling motor.   You can get 105ah for around $100 or less.    The drawback is they require maintenance (adding water) and can't be tipped over,  you also can't order them through the mail as they are restricted shipping options.    Next up are AGM batteries...  they are still lead/acid but they are sealed, can be shipped, don't require maintenance and may charge a bit faster....  AGM batteries often cost 2+ times as much as flooded...  the best bang for the buck AGM battery i've found is the 35ah AGM battery at harbor freight.  It lists for $89, is on sale often for $69 and with harbor freights 20% off coupons you can get it for a bit over $50.   Next up are a variety of expensive options... lithium batteries,  nickle iron batteries, salt water batteries.  There are pricey and really for bigger systems than this so I won't cover them much.   

Finally is... do you want a single battery or a bank of batteries.    You can wire 2+ batteries together in serial or parallel to increase the AH or Voltage of the batteries.   Say for example you can get 2 35ah batteries and wire them together to act as a single 70ah battery.   Or you can wire two 6v batteries together to make 1 12v battery with the same amp hours.   Btw... thats one of the drawbacks of the 6v lead acid (flooded) golf cart batteries like the Trojan t105.   You need two of them to make a 12v system.   So you can't just buy one... you have to buy two... and you have to buy more battery cables so you can connect them all together.

I've gone the route of 105ah deep cycle batteries and they work well... but if your not going to be there all the time to 'water' the batteries they could go bad.  I lost 2 of them that way when I was unexpected away for 6 months.   So I prefer AGM, but they are pricey.  Two inexpensive options are the 35ah batteries from harbor freight that I mentioned earlier...  or the 72ah house brand agm battery at Rural King for around $120.   You can also get a 35ah agm battery on Amazon for around $70 if you don't have anything local.     I have found 105ah flooded lead acid batteries at WalMart, Lowes, menards, etc. for as low as $60 in Spring sales. 

Right now I'm using two 35ah agm batteries for a capacity of 70ah... or 35ah usable.    My panels panels give me 40-50ah a day and I use 35-40ah...     usually in the morning my batteries are topped off by 10am...    most the day my batteries stay full and everything gets run off solar...  when the sun goes down I start pulling off the batteries and usually use 20-25ah during the evening...  this works great as long as its sunny...   I did have a period with 3 days of mostly rain last summer which had me tapping below that 50% line...  so I'm going to add 1-2 more batteries.   Probably two... to bring my capacity up to 140ah, 70ah usable.  Which will give me a couple day reserve if the solar can't get any sun. 

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One of the things to consider is how fast you can charge the batteries.
For example, assuming that the panels are actually putting out 150W, than at 12V that's 12.5A. You'll need a set of batteries that can accept that charge rate.

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arellano3033 said:   
russ0519 said:   Can this be hooked up to the grid so you can reduce your utility bill?
  Yes, would be interesting to know... Would it at least make a dent???

  Of course it would. Just a very, very small dent. 
Assuming 4 hours of strong sun every second day during 150 days of Spring /summer/fall, then 150W*4 hr=0.6 kwH/day, or 75*.6= 45 kwH/year. At a price of 10 cents/kwH, you're saving a whopping $4.50 per year.
Assuming you spend $300 for the utility grid connection, and another $1000 for the electrician, your payback period is....wait for it.... 333 years. Woohoo!

Of course, you also have to take into account the opportunity cost of your $1500 upfront investment. In the stock market, it could make you $130/year, on average, so you're LOSING $125/year by hooking this product up to the grid. (People always forget to include this opportunity cost in their calculations)

So no, hooking this up to the grid is a horrible investment. The only real use for it is in applications where there is no grid.

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canoeguy1 said:   
arellano3033 said:   
russ0519 said:   Can this be hooked up to the grid so you can reduce your utility bill?
  Yes, would be interesting to know... Would it at least make a dent???

  Of course it would. Just a very, very small dent. 
Assuming 4 hours of strong sun every second day during 150 days of Spring /summer/fall, then 150W*4 hr=0.6 kwH/day, or 75*.6= 45 kwH/year. At a price of 10 cents/kwH, you're saving a whopping $4.50 per year.
Assuming you spend $300 for the utility grid connection, and another $1000 for the electrician, your payback period is....wait for it.... 333 years. Woohoo!

Of course, you also have to take into account the opportunity cost of your $1500 upfront investment. In the stock market, it could make you $130/year, on average, so you're LOSING $125/year by hooking this product up to the grid. (People always forget to include this opportunity cost in their calculations)

So no, hooking this up to the grid is a horrible investment. The only real use for it is in applications where there is no grid.

  I'm 100% behind your point but want to point out one thing.  8.67% growth in the market is not average 7% is.  I would realistically say 5% since average joes typically fall on the short side of that 7%.

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corecomps said:   
canoeguy1 said:   
arellano3033 said:   
russ0519 said:   Can this be hooked up to the grid so you can reduce your utility bill?
  Yes, would be interesting to know... Would it at least make a dent???

  Of course it would. Just a very, very small dent. 
Assuming 4 hours of strong sun every second day during 150 days of Spring /summer/fall, then 150W*4 hr=0.6 kwH/day, or 75*.6= 45 kwH/year. At a price of 10 cents/kwH, you're saving a whopping $4.50 per year.
Assuming you spend $300 for the utility grid connection, and another $1000 for the electrician, your payback period is....wait for it.... 333 years. Woohoo!

Of course, you also have to take into account the opportunity cost of your $1500 upfront investment. In the stock market, it could make you $130/year, on average, so you're LOSING $125/year by hooking this product up to the grid. (People always forget to include this opportunity cost in their calculations)

So no, hooking this up to the grid is a horrible investment. The only real use for it is in applications where there is no grid.

  I'm 100% behind your point but want to point out one thing.  8.67% growth in the market is not average 7% is.  I would realistically say 5% since average joes typically fall on the short side of that 7%.

  OK. If we REALLY want to pick nits, let's assume 5% since most people will invest in a mix of bonds and stocks. That means you only lose $70/year in opportunity cost. However, you then have to take into account that the panel is dead in 25 years, so you're losing another $60 a year in depreciation. So, we're back to $130/year. For grid use, it's kind of an anti-FW product. ie it's a "ThinWallet" product.

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Nice finds. Thank you so much.

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canoeguy1 said:   One of the things to consider is how fast you can charge the batteries.
For example, assuming that the panels are actually putting out 150W, than at 12V that's 12.5A. You'll need a set of batteries that can accept that charge rate.

  
True...  although technically the panels are 17.5v but the lower end charge controller used in this kit uses whatever voltage level is needed to charge the battery and throws away the rest.   So your likely charging at 12.5 - 13.8 or 14.1 voltages depending on the battery and state of charge.    MPPT controllers will throw all the extra voltage into higher amperage to charge faster but those usually cost as much as this kit by themselves. 

Battery bank sizing is very important though...   to big of a bank and the panels can't muster enough power to charge it...   to little and its fully charged all the time but your likely throwing power away as it has no where to be store. 

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Drill, Baby, drill..

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Fun thread. I'd like to hook up a panel to a pump and run my inground pool water through 100' of black irrigation pipe to bring the water temp up a few degrees. It's already hot and sunny here, but the 13.000 gallons in the pool will take a couple of months to hit 80, even using a solar cover.

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canoer said:   Fun thread. I'd like to hook up a panel to a pump and run my inground pool water through 100' of black irrigation pipe to bring the water temp up a few degrees. It's already hot and sunny here, but the 13.000 gallons in the pool will take a couple of months to hit 80, even using a solar cover.
  
You can get a 12v flojet self priming water pump for maybe $60-70.   I have two of them that I use to pump water from my external tanks.    They pull about 4a while in use though...  haven't found a lower power water pump.    You don't need to run it at night though, only during the day...  and Id guess this setup would give you about 8a of power in good sun...  So if you hooked it up to any battery and only ran it on sunny days it would work fine... and it doesn't really make sense to run it when you don't have sun. 

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canoer said:   Fun thread. I'd like to hook up a panel to a pump and run my inground pool water through 100' of black irrigation pipe to bring the water temp up a few degrees. It's already hot and sunny here, but the 13.000 gallons in the pool will take a couple of months to hit 80, even using a solar cover.
  It wouldn't make any difference. The ground is simply too cold, and your pool has no insulation from the ground. It's not a hot tub where you just add a heater and watch the water warm up.
You can add a few degrees, but after that the earth would suck away any heat that you supply. You have to wait till the ground warms up. and the solar radiation gets stronger.

Secondly, the pump would have to run on 12V, or you need an inverter. 150W would only power a very low throughput (maybe 10 gal/min, with a very low head), and only for a few hours on sunny days. It would make no difference. Certainly not enough to justify spending $200 for the panels, another $100 for the pump, and maybe a further $100 for the inverter. Then all the cost and hassle of the irrigation pipes...

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