Learning about Solar Power
June 29, 2011 2:24 PM Subscribe
I want to look into planning a solar panel solution for my home, as electricity has hit 50c/kwh and doesn't look like it's ever going down. Where are the best resources online to learn about the various options and techniques?
posted by Static Vagabond to home & garden (10 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Electricity has just hit 50 cents per kilowatt hour on our island, and so my mind turns towards what other options are possible. I live in the caribbean, so the sun is hot and steady for the vast majority of the year.
I really want to get a good round knowledge about what's out there, I'm pretty nerdy about tech, so I'm more the happy to delve into the technical aspect, but ideally I'd like a nice learning curve. I imagine if it's a feasible to use technology in the USA, it's a slam-dunk here where the electricity costs are far higher (though there are no government grants here).
Currently, and likely for the foreseeable future, we are unable to 'feed the grid' because the only power company doesn't (won't?) support it.
I imagine you can likely chart my power usage with the amount of available sunlight, as the primary power drain is the air conditioning, so I'm interested if there are solutions available to offset the grid. So, say I have 1kw of panels on the roof, and the A/C sucks 3kw. A magical box will use all the available solar energy, then fill in the blanks with the grid, that way can have a simple system without battery banks and the maintenance associated with them. Of course, if batteries are the better solution, great!
I'm looking for any blogs about people who have walked through the process, or infomational sites that give you a great run through would be more then welcome.
Also, I'd love to hear your opinions on if it's really worth it, or suggestions on the multitude of things I haven't thought of.