OK....solar really IS getting dirt cheap now.....

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by TnAndy, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Look out Melbo.....those Big Bird swatters are going DOWN.....ahahahahaaaa

    Got a Carolina buddy getting ready to pull the trigger on a 20 panel system ( 245watt SolarWorld panels) with Enphase micro inverters (M215).......so I said "see what you can get me another 10 with Enphase for".......

    $4920 FOB fairly local distributor ( 60 miles away ).

    4920 bucks.

    I gave almost 7 grand for JUST THE FREAKING the 10--245w panels I put up last fall.....and this year I can get the exact same panel + the inverters + the cabling + grid tie info hub for......get this.......

    4920 bucks.

    That is 2 bucks a watt.......with everything but the racking.

    Sigh.....yep.....I gotta do it......it's calling me.......the power company is gonna come out here one day and say "WTF ??.....you keep this up, and we'll have to put in a substation just for you....."........ahahahahaaaaaa
    kellory and melbo like this.
  2. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member


    But you know, you can't eat them ;)
  3. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Actually, with enough Tabasco sauce, you CAN eat anything......you'll just hate yourself in the morning......
    VisuTrac likes this.
  4. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Somewhere on a mountain top in East Tennessee, TnAndy is up at 1:00AM digging out $200 face value in 90% to trade for $5K worth of solar panels... Gotta love it.
  5. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Nope.....no 90% for nothing until it hits 100oz.....THEN I'm buying a new tractor ! Until then, it's FRNs before they go completely worthless.
    VisuTrac likes this.
  6. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    When you have a chance, can you post a list of what this comes with?

    It might be time to take the plunge.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk 2
  7. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Soon as I get my taxes paid solar will be my next item to buy--well the 50 is in there somewhere.
  8. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    so when u "tie into the grid " this means if the power goes out you too also loose power or is thee some wy of storing this power in batteries?
  9. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    On a straight grid tie with no battery backup, you lose power when the power is out.
  10. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    ok thanks so how much does the hole battery back up set up cost ?
  11. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    That would be a Hybrid system KAS.

    Thats my next purchase .

  12. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    ok so i have a 3000 square ft house and i want to be able to "hybrid "enuff to run a few lights 1 refridgerator/freezer ,adeep freezer and some window units{a/c} what a i looking at money wise????

    bear with me im new to thins and dont have all the lingo down ...
  13. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    LOTS..... L16HD's cost $250US each, and it takes 2 each to make 12Vdc, as they are 6Vdc each. These are 400 AmpHour Batteries. My bank is made up of, 12 each L16HD's. this is a 1200 AmpHour 24 Vdc Battery Bank.
  14. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    so how much does it cost USD in the lower 48?
  15. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Kas, at this stage of your research, it would be a good thing for you to read thru TnAndy's discussions. He is grid tied, but fully able to go off grid. Nadja is completely off grid. When you get thru all that, you'll be able to ask more focused questions.. BTPost is very knowledgeable, too, and has some information to hand besides the battery costs WAY up north. (I think the cost he quoted was bare of shipping, not sure.)
  16. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    ok thanks
  17. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member


    This was the quote. Dealer in Chandler, NC.

    10 245w Solar World Modules
    10 M 215 Inverters
    10 1.7 meter trunk cable
    1 Terminator
    1 EMU with bridge
    $4,920.00 No Taxes, FOB

    One would need to add racking to mount the panels, a weatherproof disconnect (30amp plenty) at the mounting site, and some wire at the site, and then to a power company connection point. That would run anywhere from 500 on up, depending on the complexity of the mounting.
  18. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    I started off doing about the same......enough to run some lighting, a fridge and a chest freezer. (no AC) I set up a 2.1kw system to start.

    I figured 300kw/hrs/month would do the trick. I spent nearly 20 grand to set up a system that would do that.....but panels at the time were $800 for a 175w panel. Now I can buy a 245w panel for less than 300 bucks.

    My original 2.1kw system would NOT supply 300kw/hrs month EVERY month. Winter months, about half that.

    So my first expansion was to 3.2kw. Worst month with it was Jan 2010, at 149hrs. ( oddly, Jan 2011 was 338hrs.....weather can vary THAT much )

    Best month was Sept 2010 at 407 kw/hrs.

    Average was right in around 300 (w/o doing the math, just looking down my chart of figures )

    November 2011, I expanded to 5.95kw.

    Worse month so far was Jan, 2012 at 453kw/hrs
    Best month so far was May, 2012 at 714 kw/hrs.

    Average looks like a bit over 600/month.

    Batteries, I used the same L-16's Bruce is talking about, and they ran (at that time) about 200 each.....they are higher now. Batteries went up, panels went down.
  19. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Since SolarWorld is out my way, I wonder if
    So with the enphase inverters at each panel, you don't need a charge controller or 'main' inverter anymore or is that what the EMU does?
    It looks like this is a grid-tie (no bank) setup up - correct? Could a battery bank be added?

    I have plenty of cable ;)

    Since Solar World is out my way (Oregon), I wonder if the FOB might be even less?
  20. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    For reference, most power companies use a (rather mythical) 500 kwh per month as a standard for a household. Most households use way more than that, but it's the baseline used for tariff estimates. KAS, your best bet is read your own meter for your "typical" month, and I'd suggest that February would be the worst case (or August if you have a/c.) If I were to attempt to set up solar in this nekka da woods, I would start with at least 4 times that for initial sizing and allow for expansion capability. You can see from Andy's production numbers that is not at all oversized. If you have no plans to feed the grid and don't mind listening to the freezer running while you are in the dark, well, it matters less and you can start WAY smaller. But you still need batteries to cover dark hours.

    As an additional metric, I live alone, use minimal lighting, and I still burn thru around 450 kwh per month. If you get a Kill-a-wat meter, you can come up with the max instantaneous demand that your system will have to supply. If you are a country mouse like I am, your well pump will be the biggest single starting load you'll have.
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