Profile picture for Art Heals

Does adding a solar pv system to my home increase the market value of my home?

  • June 07 2011 - Santa Rosa
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Answers (5)

Profile picture for Blue in d Nile
You are correct...

I'm out of date; the utility companies as you say, are buying the power back at the same rate charged for up to the amount you use in the billing cycle, and the inverters are designed to run on substantially variable voltage DC input.

The batteries use to be standard in the system designs but are now omitted.


I'm also out of date on the efficiencies.  They had been 7% to 10% efficient, with the better ones only available to the space industry, but now Sunpower in the Silicon Valley is producing some at over 24% efficiency.  But they were just bought out by a French Oil and Gas company. (Total)  And the 24% efficient panels are not shipping yet.

I also see some installers are offering automated cleaning systems.

Price per Killowatt-hour is still above the 10 cents the utility companies charge; but initial costs is expected to be competitive with utility company rates by 2012 with present manufacturing schedules.

Of course the cities are still buying coal produced electricity at well under 3 cents per killowatt-hour.
  • June 07 2011
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Profile picture for shasta_steve

Pasa I knew you could not take anyone telling you that you are wrong but really you have no idea about what you are  talking about.   Why in the world would anyone need  a "battery" to smooth things out when you have the whole electrical grid to do that for free. You get a cloud the electricity is still there just like it was before you installed your solar.  

Maybe instead of trying to prove how smart you are you could google solar PV systems and see how many on-grid systems use battery backup. 

  • June 07 2011
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Profile picture for Blue in d Nile
The tax credits are usually taken by the owner putting the system in; not the new buyer after the system is in.

Yes, you can just sell the power back to the utility at almost no value during peak production hours when no one is present to use the power except the refrigerator which will cycle on and off; but it makes sense to have enough battery capacity to smooth out the loads for at least 1 hr periods, especially when you consider such issues a cloud cover passing over.  The photo voltaic's are all DC anyway, and you need a 60hz inverter to change it to AC to use in the house and to synchronize with the grid.  Of course the batteries will only last about 5 years.

And of course most residential customers are not on "time of use" metering, so they will get no cost breaks for buying power during evening and night hours when there is no sun to run the system.  Thus if you really want to make it "work" you need enough battery capacity to charge during the day and give you the power you need in the evening and through the night.  Of course you never size for "peak demand" (during the heat of the summer), but for minimum load conditions to minimize the power you sell too cheep to the utility.

You also need to consider how you will clean the panels as they will get very dusty during some times of the year.
  • June 07 2011
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Profile picture for shasta_steve
Not sure where batteries come into this discussion at all as they are not used in on-grid systems.  They would be expensive and totally useless unless you just wanted backup power in case of an outage.  Utilities in California are required to "buy" back excess electricity from your solar system. 

What generally happens is when you produce more power than needed you turn your meter backwards and at night or other high demand times the utility credits you back for power you gave them.  Most will not pay you if you produce more power than you use although some will.  

Most of what I have read is solar has a pretty decent resale value when you figure in the tax credits.   My personal opinion is solar costs are coming down pretty dramaticallly right now and I might want to wait year or two.   I can also just about guarantee that electricty prices are going to go up faster than inflation as soon as the economy improves here in California.  We have used up most of our cheap options and most new forms of generation are going to cost more than we presently pay. 
  • June 07 2011
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Profile picture for Blue in d Nile
It may increase its value by 1/4 of the installation costs.  But it will depend on what energy costs, and whether it is sufficient to run the house; and what it does to the roof, and what the condition of the roof is, and how difficult it will be to re-roof next time.

Also the batteries are not "green" and are an environmental hazard, and are an additional maintenance cost.

It also depends on if you can sell extra power back to the utility and at what rate, or if you just have to store it in batteries.

Efficiency of the photo voltaic's will also make a difference; but most of them are extremely inefficient.
  • June 07 2011
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