From $9.95


Statistics

Users
Total: 31,138
Visited Last 30 days: 145
Forum Messages
Total: 20,770
Last 30 days: 13
Forum Evaluations
Total: 24,154
Last 30 days: 1
Journal Entries
Total: 5,293
Last 30 days: 9
Connections
Total: 15,165
Last 30 days: 6
Downloads
Total: 82,463

Journals

Name
Z-Oen Dayton, OH
0 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
The-Last-Rodeo Angel Fire, NM
24,023 Visits | 265 Posts | 422 Pix | 4 Videos
Tanglewood Colorado Springs, CO
113,579 Visits | 951 Posts | 2,473 Pix | 42 Videos
washougalhome Washougal, WA
662 Visits | 22 Posts | 124 Pix | 0 Videos
MadeByMelissaPdByChr... Berea, KY
56 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Geosynthetic-Systems
45 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
vanphuccity Ho Chi Minh, AL
61 Visits | 2 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
MCKAY-ICF-BUILD Oconomowoc, WI
98 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Car-Rentals-in-Udaip... Delhi, AL
125 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Art-Camacho New Braunfels, TX
858 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Quijada-project-Lake... Lake Havasu City, AZ
162 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Port-Townsend-Build Sherman Oaks, CA
144 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
MesaBarnHouse Mesa, AZ
1,306 Visits | 33 Posts | 46 Pix | 0 Videos
LalcoInteriors1 Mumbai, AL
162 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Stan-Tol Winter Springs, FL
242 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Metal-Buildings Conroe, TX
343 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
benson-bondstone-hom... Coeur d'Alene, AL
311 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Demetrius Kansas City, KS
394 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Genes-Job Cocoa, FL
490 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
NorthPoleHome North Pole, AK
38,619 Visits | 40 Posts | 177 Pix | 0 Videos
See all journals...

Current Top-Rated Posters

RatingPosts
Timmy Weeks0.001
Steve0.002
James in Beaumont, TX0.002

I’ve learned a lot (and have been inspired!) by the others who’ve posted here, both in the journals and in the other forums.
Mary in Lititz, PA

Try one of our new Construction Bargain Strategies for free. Coupon code: CBS. One strategy could save you $1,000 or $10,000 or maybe $50,000 when you build or remodel.
25,000 pages of free owner-builder resources.  We accept no ads.

Making a house PV ready?


Filter by date: and/or Keyword



Reply... Subscribe to this topic


Rob's Forum Posts: 5
Interview Answers: 1

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Rob in St. Petersburg, FL on 3/9/2007


We will be starting construction on our house in a couple of months and we would really like to have a grid-tied PV system, however our budget just won't support it. Can anyone suggest what we can do to make the house more "PV ready", so that if/when we are able to add a PV system, we will minimize or installation costs?
Reply...


Michael Penn's Forum Posts: 81
Journal Entries: 55
Interview Answers: 58

Private Message

My Construction Website


Michael Penn's Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Michael Penn in Dripping Springs, TX on 3/9/2007


I know that there's some more info about photovoltaic systems elsewhere on this site.

I'm personally convinced that PV panels and systems will get somewhat cheaper in time, so it has seemed like an easy choice to save that money for now, and to consider adding them later. 

Today I ran across an interesting site that offers a rental plan for installing a PV system on your roof. It's preliminary and speculative, but they are signing people up who want to express an interest. I guess if they get enough interest and their financing goes through, they'll build a factory. The idea is that they provide the PV system to you and install it on your roof, at no cost to you except a $500 deposit. Then I guess they charge your regular power company for the power your roof generates, and bill you for it. Doesn't look to me that you really save much money starting out--your motive would be the green consciousness angle--you're doing your part not to pollute. But you would have the opportunity to lock in your rate for 10 yrs. or so, which could be attractive.

But it would be a very good thing if successful, because it could do a lot to popularize PV systems. They give a pretty compelling comparison of PV systems to cell-phone systems:

How far along would we be with cellular phone systems if each individual had to buy and service their own cellular system, towers and all, in order to get their own cell phone to work?

citizenre.com

The name of the company is CitizenRe. 

Ed Begley, Jr is the spokesperson.


Reply...


Joe's Forum Posts: 54
Journal Entries: 4

Private Message


Image from Joe's blog

Login to Vote

By Joe in Ruskin, FL on 3/10/2007


Hi Rob,

I have just broken ground on a place on Tampa Bay/Ruskin area. The pilings were just finished, but in the next month or so I plan to make a strong effort for a grid-tied PV system or at least be PV ready. I am using a contractor for the shell and I believe he has a pretty good knowledge of this type of system. I just don't want to start getting him involved until we are closer to the shell -- I have the concrete sub starting next week and that should take several weeks to get through the lintels, which is where Chris will take over. If you want to keep in touch, just send me an email and perhaps we can exchange phone numbers.

Joe


Reply...

2007 Merit Award Winner

Dale's Forum Posts: 380
Interview Answers: 59

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Dale in Richland, AZ on 3/10/2007


Based on their info about energy charge through my local power company I would save about $25/month on their program. I currently pay about 10 cents per kW while they would charge me 8.4 cents.

It looks like from reading my electric company website that there are federal and local tax incentives, rebates and other reasons for CitizenRe to exist.

The new energy bill strongly encourages power companies to invest or encourage solar power as a means for the US to be more energy secure.

Another reason power companies are encouraging solar is they have an expanding customer base without the need to increase coal-fired or other fossil-fuel generating capacity. GE recently introduced a new power plant generator. It boosts efficiency to about 68%. That sounds pretty low until you realize that many of the older generators are only 55% efficient. Remember, electricity is a second-generation energy source. Unless you are using lightning.

This from their savings calculator: (my electric bill says I am paying more than they are using for a base rate)


Savings Forecast Today's Rate Year-5 Rate Year-25 Rate
Citizenre REnU 8.4 cents 8.4 cents 8.4 cents
Current Electricity Provider 8.4 cents 9.1 cents 13.8 cents
Total Savings   $386.02 $13,396.59
If you were to invest all of the money that you saved over the term of a 25-year contract, and you received the investment grade bond yield average of 9.44%, then your decision to participate in the REnU Program would yield $29,863.81 by the end of your contract.
Additionally, over that same time period, your REnU will eliminate 315 tons of CO2, 1255 lbs of NOx, 872 lbs of SO2, 93 lbs of PM, 10 lbs of VOC, and 84 lbs of CO. That is equivalent to taking approximately, 55 automobiles off of the road, or planting 923 trees.


Reply...


Rob's Forum Posts: 5
Interview Answers: 1

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Rob in St. Petersburg, FL on 3/11/2007


I actually looked into CitizenRe a few weeks ago and got very excited, but the more I read up on it the more unlikely it looks that they will be successful. The whole thing looks kind of shady. I really hope that they are the real thing, though. If they can pull it off, a LOT of people will be getting PV systems. In the meantime I'll hold off until they start installing systems.
Reply...

2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 Merit Award Winner
Contributing Editor

Kenneth's Forum Posts: 937
Interview Answers: 181

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Kenneth in Lees Summit, MO on 3/12/2007


Thank you for this topic. I hope it will generate some discussion, as this is a topic I am currently interested in as well.  However, for me it automatically looks cost prohibitive as the only tax incentives are federal. Some of the states have tremendous tax incentives (e.g. New Jersey) that really bring the cost back from the stratosphere into somewhere simply north of reality.

My suggestion (and not really earth-shattering here) would be to build the box right, before you bolt the technology on. Build your house to minimize energy usage to start with, as PV arrays are pretty expensive minimizing the size of the PV array you need is critical. Passive solar, tight construction, properly ventilated, energy efficient - it is much easier to incorporate this into your design and construction than it is to add it later.

For reference, I pay ~$0.105/kWh today, and with passive solar, ICF construction (tight, heavily-insulated, thermal mass), low-E; and a nod towards energy efficiency (maximizing use of fluorescent fixtures [don't be afraid of these, modern ones are a fairly nice light, not the flickering bulbs of our youth], a nod toward energy-efficient appliances, etc.). I find I use less energy than any other house I have owned. This is a good place to start in order to make adding PV cost-effective at some later date.


Reply...

2007 Merit Award Winner

Dale's Forum Posts: 380
Interview Answers: 59

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Dale in Richland, AZ on 3/12/2007


I sent CitizenRe a request for info and better explanation of how this program works so that it doesn't sound like blue sky dreams.

I'll post whatever response I get.

Reply...

2004, 2005, 2006 Merit Award Winner

John's Forum Posts: 278
Interview Answers: 69

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By John in Erie, CO on 3/31/2007


I'll throw my two cents in here and try not to hijack the thread. I'm big on solar PV, but despite my gung-ho feelings, I can't make an economic pitch for it yet; the equipment is just too expensive. Solar panel prices have skyrocketed over the past 18 months and there is currently no impending drop; the plants are at capacity. Someone is going to have to make a significant outlay of capital to bring the price down... it will happen, but not nearly as soon as I'd like.

I'd be wary of CitizenRe and the other similar programs that have popped up. You can't get something for nothing - lemme add some numbers. (I know you are paying for power, but even at 10 cents/kWh, it's a long time to ROI).

I know a PV dealer; he buys at cost. After ungodly generous rebates, doing the install himself, he'll pay on the order of $4+ per watt of installed power. He is putting 12kW in, a very big system. The retail installed rate is going over $8 per watt installed in this area.

If your house uses 500 kW/month, in Colorado, you'd probably need a minimum of 4 kW (probably more) to come close to breaking-even on power usage, probably a little more. That's a minimum of $16K, more like $32K, to try to cover your house bill. At $.10/kWh, (I think we pay 6-7 cents here), $32K buys a lot of electricity. This is way oversimplified (discounting the important fact that energy WILL get more expensive), but nevertheless...

There are a ton of solar installations going in right now, but every single one of them is going onto a $500K+ house that the owner has extra money, their house is paid for, and they want to have power when the grid is down or want to do it for green purposes... In every case, they have not rationalized it for economic purposes, because it's pretty hard to do.

I paid $8K for power to my site, rolling that back into my overall construction costs, solar still would have not been the economic choice...  I'm planning on adding it this fall, but only because I want to, not because I can make a financial case for it.


Now, to the OP:
1)  Figure out the location and angle for the panels. Make sure your trusses are designed for the load if they are on the roof. If you are locating them remotely, or on the roof, run conduits back to your main panel, or wherever you will install the inverters. The inverters will typically be 5' wide, 2-3' high, and 12-18" deep. Rough rule of thumb, you will need 1 per 6kW, but there are all kinds... 

2) You will need big conduits, (3-4" electrical-rated PVC, 3-4 of them for a typical system). Solar will run DC back to your inverters, so the cables will be large to reduce power loss.

3) Check with your utility company now, they may require an extra disconnect or bypass on the outside of the building for grid-tied PV.

4) If you have an idea of local companies that might install, get a bid and walkthrough now - they will be more familiar with the codes in your areas. Some areas may not allow the cabling to run through the house, though it's not a problem here.

Reply...


Neil's Forum Posts: 9
Interview Answers: 8

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Neil in New Albany, OH on 1/27/2009


We have grid-tied solar. We are lucky enough that we have a south-facing roof within five degrees of perfect pitch for solar.

Even if you do not put the panels and inverter in today, there are things that you can do. We combined our solar install with our new-roof install. We have a metal, lifetime roof (from Classic, here in Ohio). We made the roofers and the solar installers work together so that neither would screw up the other. You want the stand-offs for the panels and the entry point for the wire to be done as part of the roofing process. That way your roofer and your solar installer cannot do any finger-pointing at each other about who owns any particular problem. I wish I had made them do it to all of our south-facing roof instead of just the main section that we filled with panels. We have another kW worth of south roof just sitting there, but I do not want to disturb the roof.

With the un-capped 30% tax credit, solar take a very long time to pay for itself. A 200W or so panel runs around $1,000. Then there is the install cost, inverter, cable, and for small systems you get a cost of $10/watt. For us, it is not cost effective unless power costs go up more than inflation, but we did not do it for the money. If you live in a place where your cost per watt changes throughout the day (coming soon to many parts of the US) then the payback period accelerates considerably, since the panels kick out power when power is most expensive (long summer days).


Reply...



Reply... Subscribe to this topic

Copyright 1997-2018 Consensus Group Inc.