Solar power, the Bay Area, and me
July 5, 2009 12:54 PM   Subscribe

As we will probably end up buying a house in a sun-drenched corner of the San Francisco Bay Area, I'd like to learn more about solar panels.

I'm looking at a traditional photovoltaic, augment-the-grid setup, but feel free to be creative in your recommendations.

What are good solar panel brands? what are brands that I should avoid?

Any particularly good or bad experiences with installers?

Where are the sweet spots in the 3-D graph of wattage / area / cost?

Are there any developments that could change the market significantly in the next few years?

Where can I learn more?
posted by the cake is a pie to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
A friend of mine who is an SF resident blogged about this recently. Not a dead-on answer, but all I got.
posted by doteatop at 3:02 PM on July 5, 2009

This is a good place to start. Also here.
posted by gingerbeer at 3:05 PM on July 5, 2009

Is there any reason for you not to consider solar thermal panels? They tend to be more economic in a direct comparison, though the final analysis will depend on the relative subsidies available in your location, and on the demand you will have for hot water across the year.
posted by biffa at 4:58 PM on July 5, 2009

From Ms. Vegetable:

Check out the solar living institute:

They're located in Hopland, CA - not too too far from SF.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:06 PM on July 5, 2009

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