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Old 12-10-09, 12:50 PM   #1
Daox
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Default Solar panels from your big box stores

Lowes is going to start stocking solar panels in their stores apparently. While the article is full of technical inaccuracy, it is good to see solar going more main stream. It also appears they are using Enphase inverters since they say monitoring can be done through the internet.

Solar power coming to a store near you - Yahoo! News


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Old 12-10-09, 02:08 PM   #2
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My dad is doing site assessments for solar and wind now and has said that at least for wind that the turbine companies will not talk to you or sell you a product unless you have a site assessment done first, why is this? they want their product to work, you can't just set it out side and have it work at 100%, it needs to be in a good location, set up properly and mounted securely, a friend of mine who installs solar systems said he has alot of trouble finding people to work for him who he can trust to install solar panels without needing to stand over them, sure it's pretty simple, but you also need to be able to pay attention to what you are doing and that is not always the American way, right now anyone can install their own system and I would like to keep it that way, but there are some people I know who should not do it them selves.
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Old 12-10-09, 03:36 PM   #3
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Greentech Media: Do-It-Yourself Solar at Lowe’s

I was just reading about Lowes getting their feet wet..
I had seen the stuff at Homedepot and wasn't too impressed with their pricing.

I'm pretty sure that using the Enphase modules can make putting together a DIY
package a lot simpler for the DIYer to get up and running.

The thing that worries me is my local codes/inspector. This is a new type of system.
There is no need for a DC cut-off in this system. (Which the inspector needs to understand).
There is actually no need use any kind of outdoor cutoff with the EnPhase setup.



It's pretty simple.. And that network (RJ45) can also be connected directly
to a PC, for those who don't want to pay for the web service.
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Old 12-14-09, 12:58 PM   #4
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I like it!

Just wish I was in a better area for solar. I think I could make these work in my area but they probably wouldn't produce the full 175 watts often.
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Old 12-14-09, 06:24 PM   #5
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Hi,

So, they are 175W panels, so it would take 18 of 'em for a 3kW array? Which would cost $16,200. That is actually still a lot less than my friends paid for their more powerful array (4.5kW if I remember correctly?) -- they paid something like $36K installed.

The wiring diagram posted above (thanks!) says that you can have up to 16 of the 175W panels on a single circuit, and 14 of the 200watt variety.

I certainly hope these become much more common, and the price gets lower because of competition.
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Old 12-14-09, 06:39 PM   #6
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Here's a 16 panel 2.8kW kit.. GTe 2.8
For a mere $15860.00

Comes with a lot of the stuff you need to install it..

I would love to invest in this stuff right now. To heck with break-even,
I'm too old to worry about that now..

But, with the government-gone-wild we have now, my wife is very fearful
that our retirement savings are going to devalue so much, we are going
to need every single penny, just to buy food and medicine. To survive.
The amount of money you need to retire nowadays is getting harder to estimate.

I think my wife is picturing us, standing in soup lines, pockets full of worthless $100 bills..
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Old 12-14-09, 11:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtgeekman View Post
I like it!

Just wish I was in a better area for solar. I think I could make these work in my area but they probably wouldn't produce the full 175 watts often.
That rated out put is for full sun at sea level after brake in, at around I think 150F, the first 3 years of output should be slightly higher, then the fallowing 25 years should be at that rated output, after that it's hard to say but their output might drop slightly for the last 50-100 years of their life, at that point no one really is sure what they will be doing.
the 1.5kw of pv that my parents have has put out more then that rated out put on more then one occasion, like right now with snow on the ground their output and single digit temps cool the panels and the reflectiveness of the snow boost the output.
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Old 12-15-09, 09:42 AM   #8
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I think the best part about the kits from Lowe's is that you could purchase one panel and all the basic stuff to get it connected to the power in your house and then slowly add more panels over time.

so the first panel will have the highest initial cost.

does any one have an estimate of what it might cost for all the basic hook up stuff?
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Old 12-15-09, 10:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtgeekman View Post
I think the best part about the kits from Lowe's is that you could purchase one panel and all the basic stuff to get it connected to the power in your house and then slowly add more panels over time.

so the first panel will have the highest initial cost.

does any one have an estimate of what it might cost for all the basic hook up stuff?
Cost depends on what you want to install. The west coast dealer discussed here: http://ecorenovator.org/forum/solar-....html#post5230
Ships a darn good roof install package. Industry standard parts.

"the first panel will have the highest initial cost."..
Not if you are installing the panels using Enphase inverters. Each PV 'pair' will cost about the same.

If I planed on doing a roof install and wanted to add to it, I would buy the
longer racks for adding more panels later on.
I don't know if there are any 1-panel racks around that you can add-on other racks to..
(But, I have not looked for them).
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Old 12-15-09, 10:08 AM   #10
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I say the first will have the highest cost based on adding all of the cabling and hooking it up to your breaker box in the house.

With the first panel you would have to buy all of that stuff with it. Where as the other panels it's just a short cable between each panel to each inverter.

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