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8
votes
3answers
482 views

What's a reasonable expectation for efficiency in modern solar panels?

I recently had a solar array installed on my roof with four different sections connected to three inverters - the total array includes 56 panels for a total of 13.44 kW. However, I'm not seeing ...
2
votes
2answers
91 views

What is required to connect solar panels to my home without connecting to the grid?

My household has a base power consumption of approx. 200W-300W. I am considering if it was possible to get a reasonably sized solar panel to cover its needs when the sun is up, with a seamless ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Where can I find good resources on solar thermal backup options?

The 'what if the sun don't shine' problem is the difficult issue in solar thermal. Where can I find good solid test-based resources on the options for backup and their downsides? For example: ...
2
votes
2answers
58 views

What factors should I experiment with to improve the performance of a DIY solar hot water system?

Background: Late in the summer last year I finally commissioned a DIY solar hot water pre-heat project. Very simple, drain back, open (vented) tank, PEX coil for a heat exchanger, PEX plumbing ...
2
votes
2answers
305 views

Where does the excess electricity from my solar panels go?

When my excess electricity goes back into the grid, where does it go after it has passed through my meter? Does it go to the next closest house needing power?
1
vote
1answer
68 views

No hot water even if heating elements work (solar/boiler combination)

I've got following setup for heating water: boiler solar panel on the roof The overall setup is simple - the cold water enters the system and goes first through the solar panel and then through ...
1
vote
1answer
228 views

Is it possible to make a heliostat with no moving parts?

I want to place a couple of mirrors outside the house to direct some sunlight to the windows, which will make it easier to cope with the soul-crushing overcast winters here in Melbourne, Australia. ...
1
vote
3answers
88 views

Would it be entirely crazy to cover my lawn with solar panels?

I was just wondering how viable this would be and if this seemed too crazy. I have a fairly large lawn that just so happens be sloped and facing east. Assuming the city ordinances don't bar me from ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

solar tubes to heat room [closed]

What if I actually WANTED to use a solar (skylight) tube to help heat a room? (WANTED because some folks have reported unwanted heat coming down the shaft to be a problem in the summer.) It struck me ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

splitting sun tunnel

We have a nice sun tunnel in the kitchen soffited area that I would like to split off with a 90 t and add a 4' extension and an additional plate on a vertcial side of the soffit. I realize I am not ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Is it worth it to upgrade a solar system to get power from partially obstructed panels?

So I did a 7K solar system in 2009. A year or two later I was reading about a new converter that removed the penalty for partially obstructed panels. In other words, if one of the 4 panels in a row is ...
0
votes
1answer
133 views

Regulations 2015 NEC regarding 12/24 volts DC, New DC wiring Light/+in my old.“ I'm Scared ”

What might regulations would there be in the 2015 national residential electrical code regarding 12/24 volts dc in residence. I want to install mostly lighting but also also all electronic devices ...