Your Questions About Solar Power System

Mandy asks…

Engineers – is it feasible to use solar energy to power a system that converts corn products to ethanol?

One of the major complaints about ethanol is that there's little, if any, net gain in energy. Is the state of the science sufficiently advanced to allow solar power to be the primary energy supply?

ssadmin answers:

I would like to say yes but at this point I would have to say no. I worked at an ethanol pilot plant and anyone in the industry can tell you to break down starch in the corn you need what they call a jet cooker. This uses high pressure steam at appx 400-600F. There is no way in hell solar panels could heat water to this temperature effeciently and consistently. Plus a lot of ethanol plants run 24 hours a day and that right there pretty much shoots that plan in the ass. A good thought though. Ethanol will become more effecient once the enzyme industry catches up and can CHEAPLY use switchgrass as a fuel source.

David asks…

solar power system?

where can i purchase the equipment to install solar power on my house. The type that feeds back into the grid. i am an electritian and prefer to do the work myself

ssadmin answers:

If you live in Canada… Canadian Tire sells both solar and wind power equipment, they also sell the batteries and power inverters needed for the install.

You must inform your electric company of the install. If their is a power failure in the grid, they must be aware of additional power sources that may feed the affected areas.

You can visit websites such as…

Hope this helped!

Maria asks…

how big of a Solar Power system do I need for a 1000 sq ft home?

Home is in Central North Carolina

ssadmin answers:

Is it a grid tie system? If so i would say that you need at least 2.5kw. This will allow you to recover your costs via net metering.

Sharon asks…

How big of a Solar Power System would I need??? Where & How do I get started?

800 square foot small Apt./Cottage.. one story.. one bedroom, small bath, kitchen, and living room

ssadmin answers:

If you you are looking at powering your house by solar, do as others have said and check your electricity bill.
The next most important thing to do is look at ways of seriously reducing your power usage (low energy bulbs, turning off lights and other appliances that are not needed). Those that live off grid using solar tend to be economical with power while still leading a normal life.

Solar is still an expensive way to provide your electrical power and is unlikely to be economic unless it would cost a lot to have electricity laid onto your property or your government/state gives financial help.

To try to answer your question more directly, here in southern Spain, with plenty of sunshine, a system with panels rated at 600 – 800 watts should do the job but there are many variables to consider.
The link below gives a lot of information on how it works and what is required.

Charles asks…

Would you invest in a residential solar power system given today's economy? Why or Why not?

ssadmin answers:

Okay, here's the thing.

I would invest in solar panels if I had eliminated my extra electicity usage already.

It can be very expensive, and simply cutting your electricity use at home is usually more economical and a more logical first step.

Unplug appliances when not in use
shut off lights (duh)
turn heat down
turn a/c up (warmer)
put systems on a power bar (television, computer) and shut down the bar
sweep instead of vacuum floors
shut off computer when not using it

The less you use, the less you have to pay for. The less has to be generated. Once you've done everything you can for power savings, then look into alternate production methods.

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