Does anyone have solar panels on their roof?

If so, what got you into it?

Here in Onterrible, with electrical costs rising so much, so fast, it seems like one way to combat high bills.

I live rurally, so there are a few other reasons. The biggest being power loss which runs pumps. It would be nice not to be a slave to the grid.
I have lived in the bush on just panels
one just has to fit it all into the watts you get that's all

heat with wood
put a stainless water tank on the top of the stove

Use coiled runs of PVC pipe in the sun to heat water from the spring

Run the spring water through an old fridge bolted down with battleship chains so the bears can't walk off with it
use a Laptop, and maybe a little 14 in flatscreen and a ghetto blaster....

One thing that I discovered is that at the Marina I dealt with, they had skids of due to be scrap batteries.
So you check the capped cell deep cycles for 10 volts or better, then replace the old electrolyte which is not anymore, with distilled water and Epsome salts, and charge the crap out of it three times, then see if it will start the truck.
If yes, wire it in, you might get a whole half a battery life out of it...

any lead acid batteries are candidates

here is another well tried way to generate power:
Construction of a Simplified Wood Gas
Generator for Fueling Internal Combustion
Engines in a Petroleum Emergency
runs on wood chipper shreds too

old school high tech....

metal recycling and auto scrap yards are a great place to delve for parts

You also want some transformers from scrap micro waves
Find the plans for step up and step down transformers and do your long runs in high voltage ac so that you have much less voltage drop than if you try to run current over long distances

Alternators can make OK little gennies but you have to balance the load to the rpms of your drive motor...but possibly if you are just say filling a tank you can have these little gennis at the location and just burn alittle fuel without the transmission losses...

Also I read somewhere that CDs or DVDs layed on the solar panel act like a light trap and boost the output of the cells, but I haven't tried that myself yet
I guess they act like a one way mirror...
Last edited by Danbones; Sep 14th, 2016 at 07:12 PM..
Curious Cdn
I'm hoping to see inexpensive solar panels designed like roof shingles that most homeowners can afford, some day.
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

I'm hoping to see inexpensive solar panels designed like roof shingles that most homeowners can afford, some day.

Keep dreaming, Only way you see something like that is if some lazy a$$ kid gets off his a$$ and builds them out of his garage.
lone wolf
#5  Top Rated Post
Like these?
Sun Roof: Solar Panel Shingles Come Down in Price, Gain in Popularity - Scientific American
I wonder if these are available in Canada, and if so, are they competitive with regular panels?

I need to run a couple of pumps and my radio equipment. I do not want to worry about the grid. This is unlikely to happen again, but in 2004, when we had that three day outage, my basement started filling with water after about 48 hrs. I rectified that with a DC back up pump and a battery, but have some other electrical equipment now that needs to work.

I figured to put up a 5kw system. 10 panels and associated hardware. DIY kits are $6000. Theoretically, that would cut my bill in half.

I'm partial to net metering. Feed everything to the grid and every kw I produce cancels the kw I use. And it cuts out the need for batteries. Off grid batteries are around $500 each.
Curious Cdn
Quote: Originally Posted by Angstrom View Post

Keep dreaming, Only way you see something like that is if some lazy a$$ kid gets off his a$$ and builds them out of his garage.

You are clearly not the inventive type, are you?

Some of us develop new things .. Yes, Virginia, even in Canada.
On the other hand, connecting to the grid is no simple matter, and you may have to pay for upgrades required to the distribution system to make a safe connection possible. And if the grid goes down, with most systems you'll be left in the dark, just like your neighbours without a renewable energy system.
Storing or Exporting Your Electricity

and as I explained
recycle the old batteries people are tossing if you can

But customers living in the lowest density rural areas, who use the least amount of power, will be hit hardest, with distribution soaring by as much as 25 per cent. The increase will mean total hydro bills will be up to 11.5 per cent higher by 2017.
Only a back up system would require batteries. It's insurance against the grid going down.

For the house, the back up would only have to power the furnace, sump pump and my office. A back up can be incorporated into a grid tie system, but the solar guy said it's easier and cheaper to keep it separate.
Add up the watts you need
at some point it will boil down to so much a watt

any other sources of motive forces handy?
wind, water(stream or wave action), cow farts?
Wind and solar only that I can use. I have water near the back of my property, but it is slow moving. Presently, it's just not feasible to put up turbines. The cost versus the return isn't where it needs to be. That's why solar is more popular. The idea of a 24 hr power generator is great, but the maintenance and cost of upkeep doesn't make it viable quite yet.
Slow moving water is ok if you have volumn
It's like the amount of water moving is current and the height would be voltage
They can be interchangeable
When they teach electricity, that's the analogy they often use.

When I lived in the bush with panels, it was on the moon river, and for an experiment we put an old tug propellor under the dock to check the possibilities...
It showed promise, but the water dropped that year to where we didn't get the chance to finish a good test apparatus

One thing is, if you like to tinker, you have lots of options to play with
entertainment has a value too, lol

it is possible to make decent propellers in the shop for wind