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Solar panel house. #8636733 07/08/22 11:48 AM
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don k Online Content OP
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I know a family that is building a Barndo that is going to be run completely from solar panels. I asked about winter heat for the house and they said propane. How does the solar work for AC? I have not researched any, but it does not sound doable to me.

Re: Solar panel house. [Re: don k] #8636738 07/08/22 11:55 AM
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Enough solar panels can generate what's needed to run an A/C. The payback on solar has been ridiculous but is a much shorter timeframe with energy prices doubled or more. FJB

Re: Solar panel house. [Re: don k] #8636745 07/08/22 12:05 PM
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I have built a complete solar powered and battery back up system

As Paluxy has stated, with enough solar panels it not an issue.

You size your battery pack to the watts needed, times how
many hours of electricity you will require if the sun doesn’t
shine enough to completely recharge your batteries

The battery packs are very expensive

Re: Solar panel house. [Re: bucksnbass357] #8636747 07/08/22 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by bucksnbass357
I have built a complete solar powered and battery back up system

As Paluxy has stated, with enough solar panels it not an issue.

You size your battery pack to the watts needed, times how
many hours of electricity you will require if the sun doesn’t
shine enough to completely recharge your batteries

The battery packs are very expensive

What is the predicted life of the solar batteries, and what is the disposal cost when they are replaced? confused2


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Re: Solar panel house. [Re: don k] #8636769 07/08/22 12:40 PM
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A few years ago the show This Old House was somewhere in the New England area for that season. They were a part of building a house that their goal was to have their meter spinning backwards. The homeowner was an architect so he really dove deep into even the r rating on the lumber. So instead of 16" spacing between the studs he did 12" and the walls I want to say were 12" thick. I never caught an update episode if they ever achieved their goal or not. But for it to work they better have some serious insulation.


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Re: Solar panel house. [Re: don k] #8636811 07/08/22 01:42 PM
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The Tesla Powerwall batteries run $10K each. I talked to a friend this week who's cousin is now energy independent. he has a ton of solar panels and 3 Tesla batteries. Also bought one of those new Rivian trucks. We figured all that should pay for itself in roughly 20 years at current electricity and gas prices if any of it lasts that long.

Re: Solar panel house. [Re: aggiehunter03] #8636813 07/08/22 01:56 PM
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I wonder how the Tesla battery system compares pricewise with Generac battery system.


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Re: Solar panel house. [Re: aggiehunter03] #8637243 07/09/22 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by aggiehunter03
The Tesla Powerwall batteries run $10K each. I talked to a friend this week who's cousin is now energy independent. he has a ton of solar panels and 3 Tesla batteries. Also bought one of those new Rivian trucks. We figured all that should pay for itself in roughly 20 years at current electricity and gas prices if any of it lasts that long.


How long does the three batteries run his home if he has a week of cloudy days?

Re: Solar panel house. [Re: don k] #8637253 07/09/22 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by don k
I know a family that is building a Barndo that is going to be run completely from solar panels. I asked about winter heat for the house and they said propane. How does the solar work for AC? I have not researched any, but it does not sound doable to me.


There are now 38 SEER inverter-heatpump systems that can easily run on 1500 watts of solar panels ( 5x300w panels) -
https://www.alpinehomeair.com/produ...ystems/blueridge/bmkh0938#specifications
can do cooling AND heating, so they wouldn't even need propane (unless they want a gas cooktop, or propane for backup/emergency heat, like I do.

Re: Solar panel house. [Re: don k] #8637266 07/09/22 12:21 AM
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Put all the lipstick you want on it, solar and wind is not cost effective

Last edited by Thundervee; 07/09/22 12:23 AM.

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Re: Solar panel house. [Re: don k] #8637278 07/09/22 12:31 AM
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I have solar panels on my house, and will do a write up after a year with hard data. Payback appears to be 11 years or so. I keep my house at 65 and have large trees blocking ghe sun half the day. Elec bill was $59 last month.


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Re: Solar panel house. [Re: don k] #8637279 07/09/22 12:32 AM
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BTW - managing electricity is important in the winter months.


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Re: Solar panel house. [Re: don k] #8637316 07/09/22 01:33 AM
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My meter was running backwards fairly quickly this afternoon with the A/C running. My last electric bill was $20.....all Oncor charges and taxes plus I upped my energy holdover to 750kw...

Re: Solar panel house. [Re: oldoak2000] #8637383 07/09/22 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by oldoak2000
Originally Posted by don k
I know a family that is building a Barndo that is going to be run completely from solar panels. I asked about winter heat for the house and they said propane. How does the solar work for AC? I have not researched any, but it does not sound doable to me.


There are now 38 SEER inverter-heatpump systems that can easily run on 1500 watts of solar panels ( 5x300w panels) -
https://www.alpinehomeair.com/produ...ystems/blueridge/bmkh0938#specifications
can do cooling AND heating, so they wouldn't even need propane (unless they want a gas cooktop, or propane for backup/emergency heat, like I do.



that’s big enough maybe for a container home w 3” closed cell insulation


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Re: Solar panel house. [Re: don k] #8637392 07/09/22 04:46 AM
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Seems to me it would be much more practical on an underground home.


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Re: Solar panel house. [Re: BOBO the Clown] #8637425 07/09/22 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted by oldoak2000
Originally Posted by don k
I know a family that is building a Barndo that is going to be run completely from solar panels. I asked about winter heat for the house and they said propane. How does the solar work for AC? I have not researched any, but it does not sound doable to me.


There are now 38 SEER inverter-heatpump systems that can easily run on 1500 watts of solar panels ( 5x300w panels) -
https://www.alpinehomeair.com/produ...ystems/blueridge/bmkh0938#specifications
can do cooling AND heating, so they wouldn't even need propane (unless they want a gas cooktop, or propane for backup/emergency heat, like I do.



that’s big enough maybe for a container home w 3” closed cell insulation

The house is a two story Barndo and they have 4 kids. And there is no outside electrical backup.

Last edited by don k; 07/09/22 11:24 AM.
Re: Solar panel house. [Re: don k] #8637444 07/09/22 12:14 PM
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Don,

I have a lot of customers who run large homes with air conditioning on solar only and have been doing so for many years. A couple of them are huge homes.

Like so many other things, the 80/20 rule often applies: It is not hard to run everything without a grid connection 80% of the annual hours. The other 20% requires either a much, much larger system or a small supplemental generator to bridge the gaps.

Generally, I see off grid systems driven by a desire for energy independence or when the cost to bring power out to the property is insanely high.

We typically see around a 9-11 year life for an AGM battery bank. I got into the solar battery business 14 years ago and almost all of the first battery banks that I sold have been replaced in the last few years.

A common size battery bank is around 40-60 kWH of storage capacity. Larger homes will have more like 100-150 kWH of battery storage. Using AGM batteries, that is a $10,000 to $35,000. investment. (The Tesla Power Wall is around 14 Kwh each)

Marc

Last edited by Marc K; 07/09/22 01:38 PM.

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Re: Solar panel house. [Re: Marc K] #8637499 07/09/22 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Marc K
Don,

I have a lot of customers who run large homes with air conditioning on solar only and have been doing so for many years. A couple of them are huge homes.

Like so many other things, the 80/20 rule often applies: It is not hard to run everything without a grid connection 80% of the annual hours. The other 20% requires either a much, much larger system or a small supplemental generator to bridge the gaps.

Generally, I see off grid systems driven by a desire for energy independence or when the cost to bring power out to the property is insanely high.

We typically see around a 9-11 year life for an AGM battery bank. I got into the solar battery business 14 years ago and almost all of the first battery banks that I sold have been replaced in the last few years.

A common size battery bank is around 40-60 kWH of storage capacity. Larger homes will have more like 100-150 kWH of battery storage. Using AGM batteries, that is a $10,000 to $35,000. investment. (The Tesla Power Wall is around 14 Kwh each)

Marc

Hey Mark, what do you think of the Generac Powerwall system?


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Re: Solar panel house. [Re: Marc K] #8637502 07/09/22 01:45 PM
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What you say is very interesting, though at my age (74) I don’t know if we’d reach a payout. Could you please give us an idea of what it would take, in $, to set up and run a 2000 square foot foam insulated house on solar.

A $20 a month electricity bill sounds mighty attractive, but what’s the up front cost of all the bits and pieces to get us there? Thanks.


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Re: Solar panel house. [Re: don k] #8637766 07/09/22 10:31 PM
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Bump! I’d like to know the answer. How much does it cost up front to save a lot of money with solar?


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Re: Solar panel house. [Re: Jimbo1] #8637798 07/09/22 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Jimbo1


Hey Mark, what do you think of the Generac Powerwall system?


Just my opinion, but it has a lousy "bang for the buck" ratio. A $10,000. module stores 14 kWH.
- That's the same as running a 14 kW generator for exactly one hour.
- Or a portable 7 kW generator for two hours.

Yes, there is a discount when you buy multiple modules, but it all depends if that is enough power for a person's needs. It may be great for some folks. Look at your power bill to see what you use per day/hour. Then decide how many modules that you need.

Bottom line: It's cool way to store a little energy for short power outages with light loads, without needing fire up the Genset.

My opinion is worth exactly what you paid for it!

Marc


Last edited by Marc K; 07/09/22 11:32 PM.

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Re: Solar panel house. [Re: Marc K] #8637803 07/09/22 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Marc K
Originally Posted by Jimbo1


Hey Mark, what do you think of the Generac Powerwall system?


Just my opinion, but it has a lousy "bang for the buck" ratio. A $10,000. module stores 14 kWH.
- That's the same as running a 14 kW generator for exactly one hour.
- Or a portable 7 kW generator for two hours.

Yes, there is a discount when you buy multiple modules, but it all depends if that is enough power for a person's needs. It may be great for some folks. Look at your power bill to see what you use per day/hour. Then decide how many modules that you need.

Bottom line: It's cool way to store a little energy for short power outages with light loads, without needing fire up the Genset.

My opinion is worth exactly what you paid for it!

Marc


Appreciate the info.


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Re: Solar panel house. [Re: 603Country] #8637805 07/09/22 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 603Country
What you say is very interesting, though at my age (74) I don’t know if we’d reach a payout. Could you please give us an idea of what it would take, in $, to set up and run a 2000 square foot foam insulated house on solar.

A $20 a month electricity bill sounds mighty attractive, but what’s the up front cost of all the bits and pieces to get us there? Thanks.


That question is like "How long is a piece of string? or "How much does a car cost?" Soooooo many factors involving your needs and expectations must be considered. Don was talking about a totally off-grid system because there is no power there already. That is very different than adding some solar to reduce your power bill.

In general, adding solar to an existing home with grid power will have a very looong ROI in Texas. I will go so far as to say that the math does not work without Government incentives. And remember: That money comes from taxpayers.

Marc


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Re: Solar panel house. [Re: don k] #8637897 07/10/22 02:41 AM
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Originally Posted by don k
Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted by oldoak2000
Originally Posted by don k
I know a family that is building a Barndo that is going to be run completely from solar panels. I asked about winter heat for the house and they said propane. How does the solar work for AC? I have not researched any, but it does not sound doable to me.


There are now 38 SEER inverter-heatpump systems that can easily run on 1500 watts of solar panels ( 5x300w panels) -
https://www.alpinehomeair.com/produ...ystems/blueridge/bmkh0938#specifications
can do cooling AND heating, so they wouldn't even need propane (unless they want a gas cooktop, or propane for backup/emergency heat, like I do.



that’s big enough maybe for a container home w 3” closed cell insulation

The house is a two story Barndo and they have 4 kids. And there is no outside electrical backup.


well, yes, I wasn't 'sizing' a system for them - just giving an example of modern efficiencies.

In fact, if they're serious, they'll likely use a modern gshp 45 seer system like this -
https://www.climatemaster.com/Homeowner/side-links/products/product-details/trilogy,
which also give you 'free' hot water out of the deal as well.

Plus I'm sure they'll be putting 20+ panels up for a full-size dwelling.

Some say "it's not cost effective" - in many places yes, but If you got land in the boonies that's gonna cost $20k+ to have utility power ran out there, a sizable solar array instead makes sense.

Re: Solar panel house. [Re: don k] #8637914 07/10/22 03:00 AM
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Neighbor in Az is a electrical engineer nerd. He runs a 3Ksf home on all solar. His place looks like a spaceship. Pretty sure he’s OCD.....always crawling around messing with stuff. Always on the move.
I asked him once if he wanted to come over for a drink. He said sure, thanks....I haven’t seen him since
Dude cracks me up. He’s a busy pilgrim. Wears me out watching him

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