PING: All you AC/HVAC experts

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miles wrote:


Paybacks can take a while when upgrading. However, as we have touched on previously, money is not the only consideration in upgrading to more efficient technology. The higher the SEER the more efficient the unit. That opens up many more possibilities. Like running your home on solar panels or wind generators. If this type of alternative energy is not your bag and the power plant you are using burns coal, a more efficient unit means less air AND water pollutant. Pollution is a hidden cost. You are paying for it whether you know it or not.
Craig C.
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I personally would love to run solar, hell with all the sun we get in AZ and with the fact the rear of my house is sun ladden 80% of the day, it would be great! Anyone got about 15k I can borrow?
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azwiley1 wrote:

It isn't an 'all-or-nothing' proposition. You can start slowly and build your way up, using the grid as a battery. (During the day you are spinning the meter backwards and at night spinning it forwards. Kinda using the grid as a storage facility for your power. At the end of the month if you crammed more into the grid than you have removed ... voila! a check from from your electric company made out to you. If not, you pay the difference.)
You have to get a meter that tracks and allows and you to channel electricity back into the grid. You should be able to get that through your electric company. You will need to purchase the inverters and other equipment to start, however, you do NOT have to purchase all of your solar panels at one time, which is the largest cost.
You can add them as you get the $$ and time to install. Depending on brand name and wattage, panels plus hardware will cost you anywhere from $400 to $1000 each (110w panels).
Start with 3-4 panels. Depending on your usage, that should get you a 10%-30% drop in your bill. Add a panel or two every month and before long, the electric company is paying you.
This site is pretty good:
http://www.siliconsolar.com /
But ... there are hundreds of web sites. In your area of the country, I imagine you have retail outlets for solar parts.
Craig C.
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Larry,
I don't know where in AZ you are, but if you are in Tucson, this company:
http://www.solarstore.com/grid_tied_systems.html
has some financial incentives that are being offered by TEP. At the bottom of the page you will see a link to "Hardware buy down". It appears that TEP will pick up $2k of the costs in some cases.
If you aren't in AZ, a quick search on "solar" plus the name of your electric company may reveal some free moola.
Craig C.
Craig C. wrote:

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I am in AZ, but TEP is not my power company, it is Trico. I have looked in to it with them and unless there is more then what I saw, you have to do it all or nothing.
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wrote:

Hmmmm....Don't they make windshield wiper blades???
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Yup!
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That MIGHT cover a "starter" system that you'd hate, Larry..
My brother in CA is having a $60k system put in, but after rebates and tax credits, he figures that the net will be about $35k... He'll also save about $300 a month on electricity..
(His system doesn't use batteries, and they add to the cost and take up space)
mac
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mac davis wrote:

$15k will buy some nice equipment and get you well on the road to eliminating your electric bill, depending on usage.

Unless your brother lives in a mansion with HUGE electric needs, he is getting ripped off.

In TX, a $60k system has batteries, hybrid wind/solar setup with a gas/natural gas generator backup and it is off the grid on a normal sized home.
A grid-tied system is *easy* to implement. Little or no maintenance and they're fairly cheap too (< $10k to get started and add panels as you can afford it), if you are willing to do some of the work on your own.
Larry strikes me a DOY'r, he'd get off to a great start with $10-12k, and could add panels little by little after that, provided he purchases a nice sized inverter ($3k - $5k).
Craig C.
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Trico, it would cost me about 15k to get everything that is needed for a single home installed and running. I would get about half of that back in "rebates" and tax breaks.
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azwiley1 wrote:

You don't *have* to use Trico. You can do it yourself.
However, 7.5k net isn't bad. Just make sure you get a high quality, over-sized inverter so that you have the option of adding more panels later in case your need increases.
There are many brands of grid-tie inverters. I use Xantrex. Just make sure that it is large enough or larger than your highest usage month (I'm assuming that is August in AZ).
Craig C.
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That sounds like a great deal, Larry...
Did you buy this place??
mac
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Not yet mac, but if we are going to, some of these issues are going to be addressed/fixed before we do. Than if/after I buy, I will look harder into the solar issue and maybe by then the prices will come down a little.
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azwiley1 wrote:

Possible but don't count on it. Pricing on PV stays pretty constant. What does change is the appearance. You can get flexible PV in a roll now. I have seen some that look very much like shingles.
The most bang for your buck is wind power, if you get any wind in AZ.
Craig C.
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I could just pay Denny to come down, stand out side with cases of WC!! <bg>
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In response to azwiley1 's post. I thought everyone should know:

hell the tower for the wind turbine would have to be twice as strong as they normally rate them if you did that.
then of course there are the *OTHER* factors to consider..............
--
Chris

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Carbon Credits for the excessive Methane?
FMB (North Mexico, the windy part)
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Too many pollution issues!
mac
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In response to mac davis 's post. I thought everyone should know:

would he have to involve a hazmat team?
--
Chris

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From what little I heard, (it wasn't really my thing and several folks had more interesting subjects), his is a grid system and he expected to run his house and shop without drawing from the grid...
There is a big solar community here in Baja and most folks wish they'd gone for bigger panels and better batteries when they were having the homes built...
Some folks brought in better units from the states, but the solar area becomes a ghost town in the summer because few people want to run a generator for AC..

mac
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