Your Questions About Solar Panels

Susan asks…

what save more electricity? Solar panels over half my roof, or trees covering half my roof?

I was wondering which would save more money in the electricity arena (I know tree's can damage roofs).
I had heard that the shade provided by trees covering your house can help to greatly reduce summer electric bills.
I had read that Solar panels need to go onto the south side of the house, and that is where the tree's shade the house. So which is more cost effective?
Also I know many of the benefit's tree's can provide, as well as the negatives associated with large tree's near houses.

ssadmin answers:

Unless your house has a hundred acres of roof, the solar panels will save more electricity. If your electric company provides net metering, you may even find yourself making a bit of money as they buy back power you don't need.

Unfortunately, solar panels come with a hefty price tag, similar to the cost of a car, whereas trees (of any portable size) tend to cost less than $100.

You can of course have both, but then the solar panels will not be quite as effective, and for the investment you put in to them, you will want them to be effective.

Lizzie asks…

Where are sources and information to build solar panels, that is diy solar panels?

I am looking for information to make and install my own solar panels. I am interested in a do it yourself solution to install solar panels.

ssadmin answers:

Google your question. There are over one million sites on the enter net explaining how to hook up solar panels and the equipment needed.

If you want to make the solar cells, you can't without a mulit million dollar laboratory / factory to grow the silicon crystals and other things required. You can buy the individual cells and then solder them together if you wish. Just hook them in parallel or series depending on the wattage you require.

Mark asks…

Where can I find a company to install solar panels that is located in the midwest?

I live in the St. Louis area, and I'm thinking about adding solar panels to my home, howerver, I cannot find a company that installs them that is local. I have browsed the internet and all I can find is companies in California.

ssadmin answers:

Here are links to a companies in St. Louis.
Http://www.missourisolarliving.com/
http://www.midamericasolar.com/

I believe Home Depot sells and installs solar.
Good for you for going solar.
Pay no attention to the poster above me. Solar panels are guaranteed for 25 years.

James asks…

How hard and expensive is it to install solar panels on a house that is already built?

I live in central Texas. I want to install some solar panels on the roof of my house for electricity. Im just not sure how expensive it will be or if it even makes sense to do. My house is one story 2100 square feet.

ssadmin answers:

More or less depends on things like orientation of the house, roof pitch, shade, etc. Here are the folks you probably want to start with:

http://www.seco.cpa.state.tx.us/re_solar.htm
and
http://www.infinitepower.org/calculators.htm

William asks…

Can you charge a bank of batteries with solar panels in a room with artificial sunlight?

I was just curious if this is possible: Charge a bank of deep cycle batteries, and use it to run grow lights, and also having solar panels in the room to recharge the batteries that are creating the light.
What about the L.E.D. grow lights?

ssadmin answers:

Its possible

but somewhere in the cycle, energy will be lost via heat, so there wouldn't be any net worth in it

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