Your Questions About Solar Panel Kits

Paul asks…

Solar Panel Help? Beginners?

Well my dad has been into Solar panels for quite a while, his birthday is coming up and i want to get him a small minature one, so he can toy around with it and be able to use it as expirience for when he gets a bigger one. my dad has been doing ALOT of studying, and i've been looking online but idk what kinda kits to get so should i get a
10w kit, 15w kit, or 20w kit? which one would be best to fool around with and play with? thanks

ssadmin answers:

The bigger the better, 20w isn't a lot of power, so you might as well get it.

If you have $400, you can build him one or get him the stuff to do so. This would be WAY better than owning a panel already built because he will learn sooo much more about them. I found this site when I was dinking around with solar panels All the other sites you google/yahoo for will be advertisements. I think the author of this one was a engineering student.

Hope this helps!

Robert asks…

Do you think the Pickens Plan is like salad dressing without the green?

Where is all the money going to come from? Wind power requires consistant wind. Natural gas powered vehicles require conversion kits. Solar panels costs are for the rich.

ssadmin answers:

For the last time, nobody is banking on wind to meet ALL our energy needs. It's a part of the solution, not the solution.

I believe the hope is that cars will be manufactured to take natural gas from the start. This will be much more economical than converting exisiting gas cars.

Photovoltaic solar panels are expensive currently, but concentrating solar thermal plants are not. A mix of solar thermal and wind will save us tons of fossil fueled energy.

Charles asks…

Build your own solar panel, scam or truth?

Has anyone actually used those kits online like energy4green or earth4energy to build their own solar panels or windmills? I'm so tempted but with my budget can't afford to waste any money. They have a 60 day money back policy but that doesn't include the money used to buy the supplies to try and build the things. My electric bill is almost $300 a month due to my stay at home disabled veteran husband who went from Utah snow to Florida sun and he has to have the AC on really cold. If anyone has actually built one can you tell me of your experience and if it actually is worth the money? I do lots of D.I.Y. projects but am a novice with electric besides installing a ceiling fan and changing out a light switch.

ssadmin answers:

Don't waste money finding out how to build one. I would do a lot research first. That guy with the long answer all ready helped you if you are ready to make the investment in PV panels (and the only way to get cheap ones if to contact local road contractors who use them for their signs that sometimes get damaged by drunken drivers and such). You can also find articles in Mother Earth News. It's free to check out.

I would check to see what does best in your area. Not all areas are ideal for any one solution. Wind does good in Texas, but not so good in other places such as Washington State are not so great for solar because they have more cloudy times than sunny times. It nearly rains daily.

You probably should educate yourself on solar. It can be many things. Most think PV, but there are passive systems as well which are really cheap. Sometimes just opening up a south facing windows on a cool sunny day can do a lot. You can also build boxes that do the same thing with a small fan that pushes this heat into your home during ideal hours.

The best thing you can do is look into conservation first. Most assume they are okay, but most are really hurting here. Windows can lose their seals, weathering comes off doors, particulary on the bottom of the door. Drafts can get around light switches in older homes. Somes though the plumbing areas, and attic as well. So many people overlook just adding $250-500 worth of attic insultation can pay for that investment ina couple of years in electric savings (if electric or even gas heat). Then all those appliances that are getting old. Many think spending $800 dollars is too much to spend on a new fridge, but many energy star appliances can cut 30-50% of their energy usage, which can pay for themselves in a few years as well.

Don't overlook all the phantom power users like unused cell chargers, dormant computers, tv's, dvd players or anything that has little LED lights.

If you have any old fashion light bulbs in your home, replace them with CFL's. All of them. That can cost you $50-75, but you can save several hundred dollars there as well if you can get the lowest acceptable wattage shopping by lumens than wattages (sometimes three 20 watt CFL's can be just as good as three 40 watt bulbs in regard to light output). Make sure you replace any regular floruent tub lights like T20's every few years. They get ineffient with time.

Try to keep the door close, and minimize your going in and out the door during extreme weather times.

Then consider wearing jackets in your home during winter allowing you to turn the themostat down a bit to save energy, and the same for summer with less clothes (but only do it to a comfortable level-extremes are like bad diets, they don't last).

There are many other things you can do if you research how to save. Don't over look the government tax credits for conservation and green measures such as adding panels to your house. Some utilities also offer stuff as well.

You might want to make the investment for a kill-a-watt meter that will allow you to check all the plugged in items in your house, except the larger appliances that are hardwired into the 220 wires. It's a $30 device that can be educational.

Check out tax credit for all of this. These are far better than deductions that most expect. This makes your tax bill go down which will put more money in your wallet at tax time while saving money at the same time. Go to the IRS website for details.

Sandra asks…

Solar panel,anyone?

I would like to build a solar energy system but I don't know where to go. Can you help me? I am from the Philippines. Electricity rate here is exorbitant. Where can I find a tutorial, a free kit, a manual, a guide about building a household solar energy system?Are there groups who can give free kits or are wiling to finance?I want to share to as many people as possible if ever I get a system for my home.

ssadmin answers:

Check these guys out

Ruth asks…

Is there a kit I can buy to make my bike solar powered?

I want to make my bike solar powered. I would like to just be able to plug my bike into a solar panel and then unplug for use. It would also be cool if I could pedal and the bike charges from peddling. I want a price range of $50-$100 and not that astalian company. Thanks!

ssadmin answers:

Search the web for electric bicycle conversion, and you'll find some kits. The price is going to be more like $500. Sorry, I know that's not what you wanted to hear. And that price does not include a solar panel.

The wall chargers for the bike batteries are often 24 or 36 volts, and might be replaced with a large solar panel with some tinkering. However, a better scheme would be to connect the solar to your house wiring through grid-tie, because then you would get the benefit of solar electricity every minute that the sun is shining, not just when the bike battery is plugged in. The bike could still be charged from the wall outlet.

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