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Old 04-21-16, 09:19 PM   #4
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I had written a big long reply up last week, and when I went to post, the thing deleted itself. Don't know why. I then fell asleep and completely forgot about it. Sorry about that.

One big thing I had to say was about the difference between solar thermal and solar electric: electric is much less efficient than thermal. This means for heating any given amount of water, you will need more surface area to heat with electricity. Then again, electric panels are not in danger of freezing or generating steam.

Like gtojohn said, it is much less hassle to grid-tie electric panels and let the local power utility be your battery. A battery bank is not a highly efficient method of storing power. Besides wiring losses, the batteries themselves generate heat while charging and discharging. With a grid-tie setup, the losses are much smaller.
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