Photovoltaics price

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by hedwig, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. hedwig

    hedwig Junior Member

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    I want to have a very rough figure.
    How much money does one need to invest to cover the electricity needs with solar power?
    We are cooking electric have a energy efficient fridge and do not use much power (no Air conditioning/heating).
    I think it would making sense to have the possibility to feed into the grid.

    How does the price of solar pannels move? Up or down? And what can I expect from the federal /QLD government?
     
  2. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    PV System Costs

    Hi Hedwig,

    I'm not sure I've ever heard of someone combining photovoltaics with cooking electric.

    https://www.solarexpert.com/pvsizeinfo.html

    Electric resistance heating elements consume large amounts of electric current. Have you considered any other cooking options? Sizing collectors and storage (batteries) as well as inverter size will cost significantly less if you can identify an alternative cooking strategy.

    9anda1f
     
  3. Uncle Yarra

    Uncle Yarra Junior Member

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    I think the rebates are a bit of a scam, the rebate is always less than the cost of paying someone to install it. Better to find a non-greedy electrician and get him to do an official inspection of your own work. That way, when you are looking to purchase, you can just chase down the lowest price/watt.
    Personally, I am saving up to get a bifacial tracker set-up with a grid interactive inverter ( https://www.solarvalley.com.au ), which should be
     
  4. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    i'm with uncle yarra, rebates are a rort, you do this because you have done the math and know exactly what you want.

    reckon you would have to switch to a gas stove, and you would find the average run of the mill fridges/freezers less than desirable for a solar system.

    one story i have on my site a lady paid $8 just to power a good quality fridge and freezer, you need to do your homework long before you go to the industry so you know waht you are looking for etc.,. i ahve 2 accounts of what people have done on our
     
  5. kittykate

    kittykate Junior Member

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    pv, wind

    Hi all,
    we have just had a 2 KW (12 x 167 watt panel) sytem installed with a gov rebate. we use an average of 10 KW day, so our system will cover us. we have instant gas hotwater, heating and cooker. It is a $23000 system, with $8000 back. lets just say we don't drive fancy cars!
    a 1KW system would have been about $5700 out of pocket (6 x 167 watt panels). we paid an extra $100 per panel in those quotes for a bracket per panel, as we have a flat roof.
    we have also bought a 500W wind turbine which we shall connect to batteries. My husband is considering running 12 volt for lighting - a separate system, too.
    we are very happy with the system. . . i know some of you have said the rebate is a rort, but that $15,000 out of pocket for us included installation, cabling, inverter - everthing but the meter that says to our electricity company "you owe us money.' I am looking forward to the higher rates payable for green power to domestic solar producers. i believe they already have this better rate in place for SA.
    we calculate it will have paid for itself in 10-15 years, and it has a warranty for 25 on the panels, that good. life expecrtancy is 40 years.
    the world will be such an amazingly different place by then, anyway, really - what will we have created by 2030 or or 2040? Some thing far more respectful of the earth I hope, out of love or necessity - either will do.
    i really do think wind power will be IT for future power tho. Shame no rebates for that.
    laters
    Kate
     
  6. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

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    um, gardenlen, can I assume the $8 to power the fridge is actually $8000?

    Secondly, can't you get the rebate no matter how you install your system?
    $8000 is alot of money in my book, and I think that any effort to encourage solar installations is a good thing.
     
  7. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    that was a long time ago i typed that ppp, but yes it is a typo'. i probably meant to put a 'k' after the 8.

    so even though solar is unaffordable (and will always be unsustaibably expensive) by the poorer people go for it anyway hey and use money from gov' coffers for those resource wealthy affluenza types so they can feel good, while the poor people who themselves could use some gov' money have no power??

    we live in a community and bios and segregation will make those communities even less desirable to live in. needs some thinking!!

    solar has been around for around 10 to 15 years now and guess what it hasn't gotten any cheaper, the gov' rebates will make sure of that.

    and as kate pointed out why is only solar the gov supports why not any renewable??, reckon on it being industry driven.

    len
     
  8. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

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    oops, sorry gardenlen, i didn't look at the date
    OK fair enough
     
  9. gbell

    gbell Junior Member

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  10. Uncle Yarra

    Uncle Yarra Junior Member

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    Kittykate,
    No offense, but I don't think anyone is going to be giving you a cheque anytime soon (PSH * 2kW - consumption * system efficiency - cost of access to grid...)
    Nevertheless you have put your money where your mouth is, tangled with the bureacracy and won - good for you!
    May I ask how long it took to install?
     
  11. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    gbell wrote,

    for one industry standard research like supportive scientific research for me is a very poor guide, like gov's do with stat's! they do with their findings to show what the people who paid for the research, want consumes to believed.

    ok around 10 years ago we had a person come to our home to work out what we would need to do a "stand alone" solar system. we had gas stove, heater, hotwater.

    to run only the general power and lighting was going to cost around $30k all up, to have enough to run fridges as he said was going to be more. there were no rebates on offer so all in the industry where fairly competative. and if solar is going to make a differenc then it has to be stand alone with grid backup. and again when we built our new home we broached solar and again it was too expensive being about the same price as 4 years earlier. plus when you go stand alone on rural without grid you need a damn good generator and more battery storage as well. the lady who spent $8k to power $4k of fridge and freezer also changed habits, like not opening the fridge through the day keeping perishables from shopping on ice until evening, these are the things she saw she needed to do to be efficient in power use.

    now at that time we had manage our over all power bill down to $400 for the year (power was somewhat cheaper then as well) currnelty it would be around the $600 mark where we are.

    with those figures and the built in obsolescence of solar components (that is what you need to put aside in a piggy bank for future replacement of the system progressively over say a 20 year span).

    so wit what 'kate' has provided! no in real terms solar is still just as very expensive and unsustainably for the consumer in general.

    inverters like video players have a life expectancy as well as are you realy going to stick with an out of date unit when there is something that is far more efficient available factor. same with pv panels ther is no way known when you get to say the 15 year mark you will stick with those old inefficient panels when there is something far more efficient available, and how much efficiency is lost as the clear cove over the cells fogs up and gets coated with layers of air borne particles over the years?

    for me i would not expect a system to ever pay for itself well not in monetery return that is, if we are going to get real then all renewables need to be stand alone and affordable to the broader community or all that will ever be will be those who can afford to do so putting it up on the roof because it is some sort of fad or fancy.

    now going dual as 'kate' has indicated that they are "thinking" about they could be more sensible as most never factor in that around 1/4 to 1/3 of the year for most of us living near the sea board is going to be cloud/rain days when no solar power is produced, and that 1/2 the year is night time when most homes use most power.

    but it just has to be stand alone, don't need to buy new batteries there are others around that can be recycled into power storage ie.,. ex-forklift batteries and a chap in the USA bought an ex-submarine battery from a disopsal auction, he figures on it never needing replacement.

    needs thinking outside the square with lots of latteral thinking in there as well "sigh".

    len
     
  12. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Isn't having a small solar set-up to augment the grid a bit like putting in a rainwater tank ie bloody good sense? We can always remember the days of unlimited water coming out of a tap. We know that is now a thing of the past for most communities.

    You dont need a crystal ball to foretell that in the near future electricity supply will be more expensive and probably limited. A bit of design assistance now makes good sense for both homeowners and governments.

    The solar rebates have traditionally been aimed at remote areas where the cost of generating power is huge and is greatfully accepted. There are small towns in the NT now on solar.

    I would guess in the future your power arrive at your house at different tariff levels. So if you opt for electric heating, refrigerated airconditioning and a clothes dryer you will be on level 5 and pay a premium for all of you KwH. If you opt in for say just refrigeration and 3x 240v GPO's [general purpose outlets] in your house you will pay heaps less.

    I believe govts are already discussing issues along these lines.

    At this point in time I believe power is still quite cheap and affordable.

    If I were to install solar power for $25k to run a fictional home. I probably spend part of that money minimising the load on the system with skylights, extra verandah/awning/tinting windows etc etc. There are dozens of simple strategies available to reduce consumption.

    Someone makes the point about the sustainability of solar power hardware which is a valid point. I think converting any existing home to solar would require investment into minimising current grid usage anyway.

    cheers
     
  13. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    g'day ho-hum,

    good point so to really have an effect it would need to be stand alone, as the power you generate you store for use in the times when you are home using power usually when the sun has gone down. so for that to have a great effect on production needs then a good majority of homes would need to do so? that is where affordability and sustainability come into it, unlike the power box on the side of your home that contains components that pretty much never need replacement solar is quiet diffrent it has heaps of built in obsolescence, and what do the poor people do for power? of course if all your appliances were 12 volt then that would take away the inverter weak links.

    if you look at the current grid like a big sponge that when squeezed gives out power then how many homes might you envisage having to trickle small amounts of solar back into the grid sponge to make a noticable difference to the grid?? you trickle power in through the day and pay for their power each night and on cloudy days.

    as the gov' soon worked out it only makes good sense if people put in large enough tanks and use them for household water and not for gardens, and washing cars and driveways as very many did and still do. the number cruncher worked at that x amount of 3k and 5k tanks would collect x amount of water and then they equated that to that x amount of water actually saving the water grid water it didn't do that, that is why we went from level 4 to level 6 in that same time frame.

    like power if people put in enough to stand alone then it will make a difference, but then a water tank is a whole lot more affordable than is solar power isn't it, and a tank will last how long when compared??and there are lots who would love to put in a substantial tank, not one to cash in on the subsidy, but they simply can't afford a tank.

    not related you may say well imagine if everyone had enough water for their use to last say 3 months of the year of household use how much power in producing water will that save? bet a lot more than would solar under the feel good label.

    why not better home designs?? bandaides for older inefficient homes for now but start changing thinking on home design.

    len
     
  14. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

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    I agree whole-heartedly with reducing demand and better design butwith respect, I think some of your points are not correct.

    The main contributor to a total grid's required capacity is the peak requirement, not the power requirement when everyone is asleep etc.

    From memory I beleive there is a peak requirement in the morning, and during the day generally (when industry and airconditioners are working). If this peak capacity could be filled, by, for example many people's grid connected solar systems, then the amount of generating capacity required to be run ALL of the time (from coal) would be reduced.
    The maximum useage is on hot, sunny days when everyone is running airconditioners. This happens to be the time of peak output from solar cells.

    Coal powered stations take around 48 hours to start up and the generation capacity cannot be quickly changed. Therefore we have alot of wasted generation overnight etc, for which you are suggesting we use batteries.

    I agree that reducing useage is MOST of the solution, however I think that grid-connected solar has a large potential role in reducing the burning of coal for electricity.

    Australia does, in fact, have a very good "battery" for storing power, which could be used for storing the power from renewables with grid connection. It isn't working so well at the moment due to lack of water BUT. Since construction of the snowy-hydro scheme, the companies have pumped water uphill during low power demand, and generated power by letting it back down during peak demand.

    Perhaps instead of home installations, large scale generation from renewables would be better? that way the cost and benefit is shared.. ?? your thoughts?
     
  15. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    g'day ppp,

    we are talking domestic power here aren't we it would be a whole 'nuther story to talk about industry use surely?

    the peak hours for home as you say are in the mornings early (before the sun begins to generate power in your pv cells, and early evening into early night when all arrive home from school/work, again when there is no sun to produce power.

    and good home design would minimise a/c and heating power requirements which again surely would not be running in empty homes??? or are people being that flipant? i am aware that those with evaporative a/c don't mind wasting up to 50 litres of water an hour as well as power usage.

    i think even molleson even agrees that renewables will work better decentralised as transmitting power over distance costs power. this is why they are putting wind farms where bio-diversity should be so that the power is close to the user base. or we could replace all our forests and put solar/wind farms out in the barren lands where they will have least impact hey?

    hyou need to have more latteral thinking and outside the square if we are to be sustainable into the future, bandaides won't do it.

    len
     
  16. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

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    hey, I think we mostly agree (re house design, eg I mostly bought my current house on the grounds that it was well designed for energy use), I'm just trying to look at the wholistically at the electricity supply problem, and think that a grid connected system without batteries might be as good as, or even better than a stand-alone one with batteries.. I'm not trying to argue, just thought it's an interesting discussion.
     
  17. Duckpond

    Duckpond Junior Member

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    I think that the whole retrofit idea is never going to be cost effective, be it solar power, skylights, rainwatertanks, greywater etc.

    The issue needs to be tackled at a construction point. Instead of paying $6k for roof tiles on a house and then covering them with solar panels, make the roof out of solar panels from day one. That way you have less wastage and the overall cost of your solar panel is offset by your roof savings.

    Planning regulators need to (and are starting to) mandate energy efficiencys into building codes. I agree it will make building houses more expensive, but that money is spent on trades and services used in construction so it stimulates the economy, and it is morgaged along with the house and paid off over 25yrs. Hopefully the money saved over 25 yrs will offset the increased morgage payments.
     

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