Profile picture for dnoble84

does anyone use solar for their energy source? how do you find it?


  • January 11 2014 - Town of Pepperell
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Answers (7)

Profile picture for blue screen exile
Wikipedia does have a list of manufacturers (not installers).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_photovoltaics_companies

You can always ask the manufacturer who they would recommend to install their system in your local area, or you can ask some local electricians their opinion on installers in the area.

The Wikipedia article does indicate the % of market share and production capacity for each of the top 10 manufacturers, but it does not indicate the efficiency of the panels they produce.

Information on PV efficiency:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_cell_efficiency
  • January 11 2014
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Profile picture for blue screen exile
There is no such thing as "free of charge", they charge you monthly for a lease of their equipment, and you are signing a long term lease.

Even more important, they are installing obsolete technology that is less efficient.  You really need to do the research on the efficiency of the equipment being installed prior to any commitment.

As for "stand alone" systems?  In addition to the solar panels and inverters that one would have with a grid connected system, one also needs the batteries for energy storage and power regulation, and a "transfer switch" to go to commercial power in the case that you don't have enough site generated power.  The stickler is the batteries.  Not only are they typically expensive and an environmental hazard, but they don't tend to last that long.  Sure, one could get 20 year batteries, but they will only last 20 years if maintained and used in near ideal conditions.  Probably you will be lucky to get even 5 years out of most of the batteries used in such installations.

The price of photovoltaic panels is dropping and the efficiency keeps increasing, but presently I still don't consider it cost effective, except when using the government tax credits.  And then it is about "break even".

Don't forget that it also increase the cost of re-roofing, as the panels would need to come off before the re-roofing can be done.

By the way, I just had one of those "scam artist" telemarketers representing a Solar system installer cold call me yesterday from a VOIP system in an entirely different area, and the caller had the audacity to state they work for the city power company, represent the city power company, and that the city recently raised my rates by 25%.  All "lies" to try to make a sale.

You are better off researching what you want installed (including brand and model number) before deciding on who you want to install it.
  • January 11 2014
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Profile picture for shapiroamg
Next Step Living is one company that comes to mind. There are several others if you search around.

Basically these companies will come to your home, assess your roof. you should have good southern exposure and at least 600 square feet (IIRC).

You can either purchase and own the system, or lease it and pay a reduced rate for electricity.  When leasing, you are not responsible for maintenance and repair.
  • January 11 2014
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Profile picture for dnoble84
have been looking into energy companies that will install free of charge. they handle all maintenance warranty and own the system. you just save the $
  • January 11 2014
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Profile picture for gator70
You can build a system that is not "net metered". They are more expensive and use a hybrid " off grid " engineering. 
  • January 11 2014
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Profile picture for dnoble84
i am finding that the reason is because it is tied into your National Grid power grid and if your grid is down then your solar cannot be harnessed to use on demand. However with the federal regulations you can pay 10.5 cents for solar or 18 cents to National grid. if you produce more than your consumption you are credited by them at 18 cents not the 10.5 you pay! that is obviously toward your usage of their supply.
  • January 11 2014
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Profile picture for jkazakoff
I, too, have been looking into it and am disappointed to learn that solar power doesn't work in power outages.
  • January 11 2014
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