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Solar panels, a realistic solution to charging?

Discussion in 'North America' started by SCW-Greg, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    #1 SCW-Greg, Jul 8, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
    Solar panels on the home?
    Okay so I'm a novice on solar technology, understanding only that electricity is produced during the daytime. And perhaps there is a thread on this already, if so please point me to it.

    If your discharging your EV primarily during the day, and charging at night... how then can you harvest solar energy for this purpose. Thinking too, that most of your home energy needs occur during the morning and evening hours. Are you just offsetting your demand and giving back to the grid? I can't imagine that there are storage systems for the home, to unload from when needed later - is there?

    Just curious to understand, how some threads seem to indicate you can charge your Tesla completely from solar. What viable technology solutions are out there today?
     
  2. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    In my area I feed power to the grid with solar and get credit for about 48 cents per Kwh. I then charge a night and pay much less, about 12 cents per Kwh. Overall I produce about as much as I use, even with an EV!
     
  3. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Check out Solar City if they operate in your area. Solar systems are typically connected to the grid but you can get storage systems to save your power for later use. My parents have a solar system installed at their house and it is tied to the grid. There are as number of people on this forum with large solar systems with more information.

    Solar Panels Oregon & Solar Installers in Oregon OR - SolarCity
     
  4. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    Didn't know they were here already. I just filled out their form for a consult. Our HOA doesn't currently allow for this, I think. But I'm on the board, and we're talking about rewriting the roofing code right now as it is. This is the future.

    Thanks!
     
  5. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    Yeah this sounds great Lloyd. That's kind of what I figured (giving back to the grid). Didn't know about the kwh incentives though. We plan on being in our home for a minimum of 10 years, do you know what your payback / break even period is?
     
  6. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Most people have the solar system set up as grid connected: you send power to the utility when you have surplus, and buy power when you need more than your panels are producing. In some areas this works well, as the utility effectively acts as a free battery. Whether that works for you depends entirely on the utility tariff.

    As mentioned above, Solar City is marketing a panel + battery option that could allow fully off-grid operation. Whether that is economically rational entirely depends on your utility rates. Most off-grid people I know choose that either out of necessity or conviction.
     
  7. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    #7 dsm363, Jul 8, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012
    Don't know if it is accurate but found this
    Solar Calculator

    Disregard this calculator. It seems to wildly overestimate the costs of solar.
     
  8. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    Yeah... Funny, here in Oregon, the solar calculator says we get 4 hours of sun per day! LOL The calculator seems to be running a bit high - $77k I also filled out a request for quote online earlier today with SolarCity... and a guy called me in person within 30 minutes - on a Sunday! Impressive.

    We walked through some scenarios, but he estimates my house to be 100% covering my electrical would be around $20k of panels and inverter installed. Of course he's the phone sales guy. I have an actual estimator coming out to my house on Wednesday though. These guys move fast.

    The thing I didn't think about, is that I have a cedar shake roof that has about 3 to 5 more years left on it (it's old), and they won't install on shake roofs. Further our HOA doesn't allow for comp roofs, at least not yet. There are many here who do want to change and allow for that though.

    But I gotta think that with inflation, and being net neutral on power it would also skew house have better resale value, when we ever do sell.

    Hmmm.
     
  9. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Putting the panels on then taking them off 3 years later would be a pain. Hopefully you can get rule changed then get a new roof before you install your system. Good luck.
     
  10. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    That is mind boggling. I wonder if that'd really hold up in court. I can understand an HOA not letting you pick hot pink as a shingle color, but saying you can't use composite seems beyond the limits of their power. They'll let you have solar panels though?

    Had Solar City look at my house in Aloha, OR, but I'm in a bad spot and not nearly enough of my roof gets good sun coverage so it wouldn't pan out for me :(
     
  11. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    "It will take approximately 19 years to make profit."

    Yuck.
     
  12. Citizen-T

    Citizen-T Active Member

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    This is why most people lease. It will take exactly 1 day to see your first savings.
     
  13. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    @Leasing
    Any recommendations on a good "calculator" style page for that? BTW, Solar City isn't in my state (yet?).
     
  14. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    Costs a little bit more, but there are solar options that look like dark colors roof tiles. Not as visually distinctive as roof mounted large cells. Matches well with concrete tile or composite roofing.

    Robert.Boston covered how common solar systems work. Lloyd referenced time of day metering/payment. For my system I still use more juice than I produce, but I pay once per year and it isn't too much. The cells are paying for themselves nicely and I'm looking 5-10 years down the line for replacing/upgrading with new technology.
     
  15. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    Well the neighborhood was initially started in 1988, and the HOA established in 1990. Back then solar wasn't on the radar. However the SolarCity guy did say there is a law that may or may not apply here, essentially stating that you cannot restrict a homeowner's "right?" to install solar panels... that essentially it overrides HOA bylaws.
     
  16. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    Yeah I'm thinking this calculator may run high. It said my payback would be 20 years. After talking (loosely) with the SolarCity guy, the over-the-phone numbers he ranged for me, suggests a 10 year payback. Not counting the costs of new water heaters (from gas to electric) and furnace too, which are aging, the payback could hit 6 years. Again these are not official numbers just yet.
     
  17. mulder1231

    mulder1231 Active Member

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    #17 mulder1231, Jul 8, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
    That calculator has ridiculous estimates for the cost of solar. You can get it installed for half by shopping around. And if you get a solar kit and install it yourself (which I intend to do), you can get the ROI down to only 5 years.

    I calculated that in order to generate enough electricity to drive my Model S 12,000 miles per year, I would need to install a 2.5 kWh solar system. That is about 12 panels. You can get a grid-tied solar DIY kit of this size for $8-10K. And with Federal tax credits, California rebates, etc. figure an additional 30% off that price.

    Here is a good website with online pricing for DIY solar kits: www.solarpanelsonline.org

    It has a much better solar calculator as well.
     
  18. strider

    strider Active Member

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    There is such a law in California. It's a state law and overrides any county, city, or local (HOA) ordinance. You cannot be restricted from installing solar panels on your roof. There's a similar law for EVSE's - so if you're in a condo with a garage they can't restrict you from installing an EVSE (charing station). Of course, you'd have to pay for it but they have to let you do it. I'm not familiar w/ Oregon laws but I would assume the local solar folks would know.
     
  19. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Yeah, that calculator I linked isn't accurate. $110,000 for an average home's use to go 100% solar is at least double I think.
     
  20. AlexSV

    AlexSV Member

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    SolarCity will start installation of the system on my roof tomorrow morning. It's 20 yr lease. My house is about 5000 sq ft. The system will cover 85-100% of my needs. The cost is $8800. I leave in Los Angeles area.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     

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