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Solar power discussion

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Re: Solar power discussion

Post by CanuckBob on Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:40 pm

Is anyone here supplementing with solar power? Seems to me that if you are a high consumer, payback would be fairly quick. No?
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Re: Solar power discussion

Post by David on Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:49 pm

Pete Johanson has gone full solar. I'm looking into it. Funny you should ask, I was at the Chili Cookoff today and talked with two companies about it. One said for a mid-sized system payback could be as little as 5 years. Many of us don't buy green bananas, so paybacks of 10 years or more don't make sense. But 5 years hmmmm. Anyway, it got me thinking and I'm going to investigate further. Solar for hot water is a no-brainer.
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Re: Solar power discussion

Post by CanuckBob on Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:01 pm

Yep, hot water for home and pool is definitely a no brainer in that neck of the woods. Maybe as a supplement for a pool pump too if one doesn't have 2 meters. Charge all day and set your pump to run during the night.

PS.... If the price of electricity keeps going up those bananas will ripen a little quicker.
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Re: Solar power discussion

Post by David on Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:43 pm

Bob, you've been in the cold too long. One runs the pump during the DAYTIME when the sun is up heating the water for the pool. Battery back-up isn't necessary here. During the day you're selling Kw to CFE, at night you're buying. Batteries add a lot of cost to a system. We do have solar heating for our pool. Since that pump is on meters separate from the house the cost is low. We have our water pump, pool pump, freezer and outdoor lights on one set of meters. Our house is on another set. That's where I'd connect the solar system.
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Re: Solar power discussion

Post by CanuckBob on Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:54 pm

I didn't think the solar cells would generate enough Kw to directly run a 1/2 or 3/4 hp filtration pump on it's own (unless you had a lot of them I suppose). My thinking was that you would need to charge batteries for 12 hours to get maybe 4 - 6 hours worth of juice to run it. Then I was thinking a much smaller pump that could run directly from some solar cells to cycle the water through a series of black hose coils for heat during the day.

My pool here is 20 x 40 and has a 1 hp pump.

And yes I have been in the cold too long. Not for long though. I'll be down in 6 weeks....... Beer Beer Beer
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Re: Solar power discussion

Post by David on Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:10 pm

Maybe if you had those coils on the ground (nice yard dude) our solar panels are a good 35 ft (ok, 10.67 meters) above our pool.
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Re: Solar power discussion

Post by CanuckBob on Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:18 pm

Yeah that's a long head. I think a 120v 1/2hp pump takes about 2300watts to get it started and about 1500 watts to keep it going. Not sure what the average 3' x 6' solar cell puts out............????

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Re: Solar power discussion

Post by David on Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:28 pm

Senor Google is your friend that knows.
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Solar power discussion

Post by CanuckBob on Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:55 pm

I started to look and it is a bit complicated. I did find that the average 6" x 6" solar cell will produce about 3.5 watts and .5 volts in full direct sunlight. So from a wattage perspective you would need approx. 657 (164 sq. ft.) of them to create 2300 watts to fire that 1/2 hp pump. I'm not sure how you wire them to control the voltage but assume that some sort of regulator would be involved to create a steady stream of electricity to the pump.
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Re: Solar power discussion

Post by peteben on Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:58 pm

Right now you can buy Mexican made 250W solar panels on Mercadolibre for $14,500. Get four of them and a controller for about $70,000-$80,000. Then I am sure you can generate about 5kw/h every day, or more. That should be enough to keep you out of the DAC rate, even with a pool. In summer, or during times when you are away, you can run the pump even less and roll back your CFE meter.

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