Solar Panels For Home Use
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Solar Panels for Home Use

Why solar panel for home use will not work for me.

Living in the Pacific Northwest I've been looking around at all the different options that are available for emergency power use during a storm or extended blackout solar power for home use is constantly popping up. Although this is a green option that's supposedly environmentally friendly solar power will not work for me for several reasons.

The cost of a full blown system is prohibitive.

Living in a rented double wide mobile home is challenging at times. And since I just can't seem to convince my landlords to invest 50,000 into a solar power system for the rental, the costs and savings to my electricity bill fall squarely in my lap.

Although solar power prices have come down in recent years, most systems are still very expensive for most homeowners, even with the 30% Government refund.

Grid tie or off the grid.

Then there's the matter of grid tie or off the grid power. Grid tie solar power systems are great and after a few years the savings will pay for the entire cost of a solar power system. Unfortunately if you lose power or have an extended power outage the solar panels will not do you much good, since they're tied into the power grid. Sure, it is nice to be able to sell pure sine wave solar power back to the utility company, but who do you call when there is an outage.

If I were to install a full blown solar power system here I would like it to be an off grid system, since we have power outages that can last up to two weeks at a time. The kids get whiny after a few days, and you can only do so much cleaning during the short winter days. A hand crank emergency radio will only go so far for entertainment, and NO internet has everyone at each others throats.

Limited sunlight.

One of the drawback to either type of solar power system is the limited sun that we have here. We live on a small 2 acre lot that's surrounded by trees. Sure, it is awe-inspiring country here in the Pacific Northwest portion of Washington state, but with the trailer surrounded by trees we only get about 2 hours of sunlight a day and that doesn't give much charging time to the solar panels, since we could deplete the battery bank in a single night running just the internet router and TV with a DVR.

My hope is that someday when the price of a solar panel system comes down to an affordable range, that I might be able to afford something to install. For now my only options are a small portable solar power system that I can move throughout the day and aim at the limited sun. Some of the smaller 80w solar power systems would probably run a few lights and keep all of us from bickering. With a small system we could probably run a few laptops and the internet router, or listen to a radio. If I kicked everyone out I may even be able to use one of my ham radios on low power.

That is why solar power does not work for me.


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