We have 2100 watts of solar panels facing south (as you would expect) and they are doing a really good job. Better than I ever anticipated. I have not had to start the generator in three or more months. It is amazing!
My ‘guy’ who supplies panels and stops by for lunch now and then is urging me to take three more panels adding another 780 watts. I am going to do so. “Why?” Because the last 3 or four months have been summertime and relatively sunny. The winter is not as generous in power generation. The extra three panels may make the seasonal difference.
“But you have had 2100 watts for almost two years now. What is the difference?”
Batteries. I guess I was producing more power than I could store and so, when the new bank came on line ($5,000) five months back, the storage capacity simply got bigger and the panels filled it up. Technical specs number crunching did not do the job for me on that score, but experience has. Everything works so much better with the new batteries.
But here’s the good news: panels are a dollar-a-watt. 3000 watts of panels is a mere $3000. Admittedly, with all the bits, pieces, controllers, inverters and cable, you can add almost double the price. And a bit of expertise-labour added and you are looking at $10,000 easily. Add batteries and you are looking at $15,000 or more. But you city folks do not have to have an expensive battery bank. Most utility companies offer a buy back arrangement that allows you to generate power (which they buy) and then give back to you later in the day.
But, for me (and not counting the batteries) in four months, I have paid nothing. Annualized, that would equate to $2000 a year in hydro savings (give or take). That’s a five year payback. Eight years or so if I factor in the batteries (which I should).
The math works in that case.
And now, over to the new, lower funicular…………..OMG what a treat! We have used it a dozen or so times and it works like Juan Valdez’ mule, Conchita. Slow and steady. Two minutes of the metal cart hill climbing up from the sea. No more barnacles. No more sweating and lifting, falling and cursing. It works beautifully. Worth every penny.
“Dave, are you posting just to gloat?”