Your Questions About Solar Panels For Your Home

Ruth asks…

Anyone soldered their own solar panels?

My husband and I are about to make an investment to make our own solar panels for our home. He is the mechanical end in terms of sealing and mounting the panels and I am the technical side. My question is this.. have any of you bought the cells themselves in bulk form and soldered them yourself? What company is a good one (price-wise/ease of assembly/high quality) to purchase the cells from? I have found quite a few online companies to purchase from and am curious as to what kind of results you had before I make this choice.

I have a strong background in electronics and have a good understanding of how it all works in terms of converting your home so technical jargon is OK in your explanation. Please be specific!

ssadmin answers:

The Earth4Energy kit suggests one of those popular alternative energy devices that prove to drop home energy costs by 50-80%. The kit also shares information on where to purchase free batteries required for your project. These batteries store the alternative energy making it a portable energy resource. You can take them anywhere, for any use!

Sharon asks…

Are you producing your own electricity in your home? If so, what are you using and are you satisfied with it?

I want for my new house to be self-reliable on electricity. I'm not sure if solar panels would be enough because where I am we have full winter time.

ssadmin answers:

Hey No Name, you've got some good responses here, but to address the core of your question, we have been running our home on wind and solar for 11 years now. We've made some changes over the years, had a few setbacks and malfunctions, but overall we are very happy with it. If you live in a place with full winter, your climate is probably like ours. Where we live, our solar resources are exceptional in the summer with long sunny days, but dismal in the winter. Wind however is just the opposite, great in fall and winter, limited in summer. This is why most renewable homes use both solar and wind, the two compliment each other so well. There are other considerations though. In 11 years I've not put a drop of oil into or turned a screw on any of my panels, they still put out the same power today they did 11 years ago. The wind turbine however is another story. We're actually on our third unit, and for 7 years it has worked pretty well. Turbines are like cars. If you don't maintain them, they break down. If you do maintain them, they break down later. They make noise, and can be a sight to behold or an eyesore to weather, depending on your point of view. Probably a good reason to check with your neighbors ahead of time. Another misnomer about solar is it needs heat to work. Actually, it is just the opposite, solar panels put out more power the colder it is, you can check with the manufacturers on that.

We spent $13,000 on our original equipment, then received around $3,700 in grants and tax incentives. Our electric bills today come in around $6 per month, as opposed to the 30 or 40 dollars they used to be. Are we money ahead? Probably not, but this does not address the fact that our home has not been without electricity for even a minute the last 11 years, difficult to put a price tag on that. But even if our energy costs more this way, we're okay with it. Lots of people grow tomatoes, even though it's cheaper to buy them in the store. They hunch over in the garden picking worms off the plants, weeding, and fussing for weeks. Why? It's a hobby, they taste better, they are organic, and so on. We just grow electrons in our garden, so when I do a load of laundry, I'm not adding CO2 to the air and mercury to the lake. Does it save me any money? No, but it's still worth it to us.

Your question is pretty broad based, and it will be difficult to get a complete answer here. What I would suggest is you do some more research, and try to make it to one of the many energy fairs that are hosted all over the country. We did 12 years ago, and it got us to where we are today. There are some great non profit groups advocating and researching in this area, I'll list some below. I would also recommend subscribing to Home Power Magazine, it's inexpensive and gets right to the heart of what you are trying to find out. Each issue has articles on people like us, what they have done and how it has worked out. Our home was even featured about 9 years ago. They also keep a calender of all the energy fairs. Do some more research, keep asking questions, and get to a fair, you'll be an expert in no time. Take care Noname, Rudydoo

William asks…

How many will vow to only buy a 100% electric car? ?

If people started vowing not to buy another car until they can buy an affordable 100% electric car would you make the same commitment? Imagine, filling your car up for less then $5.00 of electricity at home (or completely free with solar panels on your home). People are already doing it! Never going to the gas station again. And no longer being controlled by the oil companies.

ssadmin answers:

Heeeeeeeeeeeeelllllllllllllllllllllllno.

One…if you're green enough to buy a car that runs solely on electricity, and live close enough to your job to make a successful roundtrip commute with the limited range of an all electric car, just frickin take your bike! Good for you and the environment and i wont have to deal with you clogging up the highway barely getting up to the speed limit.

Two…the idea of electric cars is the biggest joke on environmentalists everywhere. Kudos if you can charge your car with your own solar cell, but for everyone else, guess where all that energy comes from? FOSSILE FUELS! And with everyone driving an all-electric car, electric companies could wipe their asses with the profits

Sandy asks…

Are you part of the solution or part of the problem?

Take my example people and install solar panels in your home. With only a $4,000,000 investment I am now saving $40 a month. It will pay for itself in only 100,000 years.

ssadmin answers:

There is no problem. Global warming is a myth. Therefore i'm not a part of a solution or problem.

Richard asks…

How would you build your Eco-friendly Home?

Just give me whatever you can come up with your on own. I'm really looking for answers of How you would take everything that's available and apply to a House that you were going to Build (custom Home). Like say Energy Efficient appliances and Solar Panels and Composting toilets. Simple right?

ssadmin answers:

I built my home out of straw bales, recycled wood, cob, light straw clay and urbanite (recycled concrete). I have the bucket type composting toilet and and an earthen floor. The only thing not recycled are some brackets, a few bags of concrete to mortar the urbanite, a tube of caulking, an outdoor electric panel and most of the plumbing.
If it were more available and cost efficient I would have used recycled tire composite roofing. If I did not live in a place cloudy most of the time I might have sprung for a solar panel, instead I opted to buy only “green”power form my electric company.
For grey water I made a small pond from where I dug a hole to soak the clay for the cob and lightstrawclay.
I used passive solar design and placed windows for specific lighting and venting reasons.
I built on a site that had invasive plants and in a high density older nieghborhood, planting trees and the small living roof to help replenish the site.
We use an on demand water heater and a pellet stove. I would liked to have run the house off an on demand oil heater so I could use bio home fuel but they only come in the larger size and the house is very small.
Some books I liked best were the hand sculpted house and a new one I think called green building, which was cool because it used a lot of the same things we did and would have been very helpful when we were figuring it all out.
If you have any questions give me a write.

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