35 votes

Heat large pool with electric via solar panels?

PV panels are ~15% efficient. Hot water panels are much more, and probably much cheaper. Way more efficient to just heat the water, rather than convert to electric and then to heat. Maybe with the ...
28 votes

Is Electric Central Heating worth it if using Solar Panels?

Passive solar design before you build On a new build, your very first stop is passive solar design. Strutting forward and designing a bad old stickhouse, and then bolting on solar as an afterthought,...
20 votes

Why do I need batteries to use solar when the grid is down?

This is an XY problem at the industry level. Imagine some guy says "Design me a dimmer" and you design him an excellent triac dimmer, no big. And then he goes "Cool, can you just tack on a VFD onto ...
17 votes
Accepted

Protecting solar panels from kids who may throw stones to get monkeys off roof

The real problem is the monkeys. The collateral damage due to flying rocks would best be dealt with by trapping and relocating the monkeys. Or, it might be helpful to use an electric (chicken wire) ...
  • 6,084
17 votes

Is Electric Central Heating worth it if using Solar Panels?

Assuming that you are (a) on the regular electric utility grid and (b) are on the regular natural gas delivery system (i.e., don't require propane deliveries), as a general rule, natural gas heating ...
13 votes

Heat large pool with electric via solar panels?

This has already been said in one answer - but I want to say it again so that it is very clear. Generating electricity from solar only to then turn around and run electric heaters for the pool is not ...
  • 62k
13 votes

Protecting solar panels from kids who may throw stones to get monkeys off roof

I live in a small Himalayan Village facing the same problem. But we kept our solar panel in such a place which is not accessible to kids or monkeys. The second thing I would like to mention is that ...
12 votes

Is Electric Central Heating worth it if using Solar Panels?

If you design the solar thermal correctly, then given the annual solar insolation ( higher than my location in EU by about a factor of 2) then with good insulation you can avoid heating at all. But ...
  • 22.3k
10 votes

Heat large pool with electric via solar panels?

How much energy do you need? In four months you spend $7500, so assuming you heat using natural gas, that would indicate a consumption of about 19,000 cubic meters. At 10.8 kWh per cubic meter, we're ...
  • 267
10 votes

Is it safe to harvest rainwater that fell on solar panels?

If you plan to use that collected water for drinking and cooking then you will need a proper filtration / treatment system... Ingesting diluted bird-droppings is not a good idea... So, a simple ...
  • 22.3k
9 votes

Would solar panels save money with electric baseboard heat?

Entirely apart from the high cost of electric resistance heat, (that is, regardless of heat source) a 1969 house is almost certainly going to benefit from insulation upgrades and the boring best bang-...
  • 145k
8 votes

Heat large pool with electric via solar panels?

You have a pretty big pool by residential standards but I still am surprised it is costing you that much... almost $2k per month! Assuming a price of $.90 / therm (average in the NY area, according ...
  • 13.7k
7 votes
Accepted

Adding critical-loads sub-panel with a PV install, rationale and ampacity calculation

Welcome to the land of Article 220 The procedure you're describing for determining the appropriate amperage rating of subpanel and feeder is called a load calculation, and is performed using a set of ...
6 votes

Would solar panels save money with electric baseboard heat?

Electric resistance heat is expensive, no way around it. Here are a couple of high-level things you can do to reduce your bill: Common sense: Stop using your fireplace (it's sucking more heat out of ...
  • 12.3k
6 votes

How should I go about installing a 12 volt DC residential circuit?

I'm installing a 24VDC lighting circuit in my new tiny house. Aritcle 411 of the NEC describes low voltage lighting residential wiring requirements. Here are the major points: 12VDC Power Supplies (...
6 votes

Why do I need batteries to use solar when the grid is down?

The batteries are a "buffer" Solar panel output inherently varies with a variety of factors, even when the sun is out: temperature, shading from obstacles, incidence angle, and more. As a result, any ...
6 votes
Accepted

How can I achieve blackout resilience on a grid-connected solar installation?

There are 3 basic types of alternative energy installations: Grid-tied Off-grid Hybrid What you have is grid-tied which is absolutely required to shutdown within just a few milliseconds in the event ...
  • 21k
5 votes

Protecting solar panels from kids who may throw stones to get monkeys off roof

How big are the rocks and how far are they being thrown from? Panels are generally designed to be able to withstand small to medium sized hail... if kids are throwing rocks large enough to break panel ...
5 votes

Protecting solar panels from kids who may throw stones to get monkeys off roof

I would think a security camera that records, along with a phone call to the police, would be cheaper and easier than trying to figure this out. Along with the threat of legal action and jail time may ...
  • 1,228
5 votes

Is Electric Central Heating worth it if using Solar Panels?

Start with efficiency Harper's overall point about starting with an efficient envelope is dead-on; managing solar gains is going to be a huge part of it down in Texas, and you'll also need to be ...
5 votes

Why do I need batteries to use solar when the grid is down?

Because even when it isn't dark, there may be clouds. The amount of power you can get from solar panels depends enormously on the amount of sunlight hitting them. My rough rule-of-thumb is that ...
  • 1,885
5 votes
Accepted

Solar AC Disconnect - Fused or UnFused?

You don't need a fuse here The solar disconnect is only needed so the utility can shut down your solar system if it goes awry without having to fumble around in your breaker box or incur the risks of ...
5 votes
Accepted

What is a "solar-ready" air conditioner?

You paid a higher cost to have an AC with the built-in breaker circuit to handle the output from a small solar system. The built-in breaker limits the size of the solar system that you can install ...
  • 2,703
5 votes

How big of a solar panel is needed to run a 300 watt water pump?

Here's the problem. Virtually all products are built on the assumption that they will be run on utility mains AC power. That assumption permits economies in design: There is no need to "...
5 votes
Accepted

Residential Solar Stopped Working

Your system sounds very similar to mine. The YC600 has blinking lights underneath. Are yours blinking red? Is it slow blink or fast blink? My system stopped working - I think I had slow blink red. ...
4 votes

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

In stark contrast to some statements seen here, in parts of Europe it is a big trend even for non-electricians to put 1 or 2 photovoltaic modules to the balcony or elsewhere with an on- grid ...
  • 2,378
4 votes
Accepted

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

Typical grid connected installs of solar panels on homes need a couple of items to get them to work (it's not just lets slap some panels up there and wire it into the house). Solar panels are DC (...
  • 4,366
4 votes

Half of my lights and oulets are not working after heavy winds?

It sounds like the winds knocked one leg of your service down in a way that kept your inverter from powering up the dead leg -- most inverters are line-interactive, and won't feed into a dead or ...
4 votes

Protecting solar panels from kids who may throw stones to get monkeys off roof

Could you post a simple sign that asks the well-meaning kids to not throw rocks at your roof? You would want to depict rock throwing hitting a solar panel or glass pane. I could not find a precise ...
  • 4,094
4 votes

Protecting solar panels from kids who may throw stones to get monkeys off roof

OK - so you're not going to be able to stop the kids from throwing rocks at monkeys and you're not going to be able to protect the solar panels from rocks. The only solution I see is to keep the ...

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