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Has anyone here installed a home or off grid solar system?


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Just wondering if anyone here has installed a solar system on a home, cottage or camp? Either a system that feeds the grid or stand alone to a battery bank. 
 

I’d be interested to know if these systems actually produce enough to pay for themselves before they need replacing and if they generate enough to live off grid through the winter months. I’ve heard the new panels produce much better than they used to. 
 

would like to hear of your experiences 

Edited by Hack_Fisherman
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On 11/10/2021 at 3:15 PM, Sinker said:

 just buy a honda 2200 inverter.....it will save you a lot of  time and money in the long run. 

 

S. 

The point is to get off of the grid and possibly have enough to charge an electric vehicle or to possibly feed the grid with surplus as an income supplement after I retire

Edited by Hack_Fisherman
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First thing you do is call your local power company and make sure their lines a good enough to carry your excess electricity. I know people who bought a system to use and sell solar electricity, the solar company told them they would make lots of money from it so they bought it

when they tried to get the final hook up inspection hydro told them that until the lines are upgraded in about 10 years or more it can not be used for transporting your excess power. 
 

so the more remote your location the less likely you can do it 

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I will be putting a good sized solar system at my cabin here. It will power everything a normal home would have plus all my shop tools. You can get a system that will power anything you want.

Off grid would be a solar setup with batteries through an inverter to power your home

Grid tied is tied to the electrical grid so you can use solar power during the day but the grid at night. Excess generated power can be sold to the utility company reducing your power bill for the energy you use at night or on cloudy days. You can also add battery storage so that if/when the grid power goes down and it's dark or cloudy you still have power.

Batteries are the things that need replacing most often. They generally last 7-10 years.

If you're totally off grid then you will need a generator occasionally to top up the batteries in the winter when there is less solar energy. The larger your battery bank the longer you can go between generator use. There are systems that will automatically start the generator when your batteries fall to a certain level and shut off when full.

Look into rebates for installing your system as well. They can be substantial. Here in the NWT they will rebate you 50% of your purchase price up to a maximum of $20,000. So you could purchase $40,000 worth of system and get $20,000 back.

 

 

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17 hours ago, Hack_Fisherman said:

The point is to get off of the grid and possibly have enough to charge an electric vehicle or to possibly feed the grid with surplus as an income supplement after I retire

Good luck. 

Like I said, just buy the generator, and thank me later. Your not retiring on profits from a solar system,unless you have a few hundred acres of land to cover in panels, and even then, you lose the value of your otherwise useful land, so its not a good way to use solar. 

Sure you can invest 20+ grand into a solar system to get off the grid, but you have to replace it again in +/- 10 years, so your just throwing money away that can fuel your generator, that will still be running like the day you bought it 10 years ago. 

Solar just hasn't come far enough yet, or everyone would be doing it. 

S. 

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I have crunched a few numbers over the years for associates to get a return on investment (ROI) for installing and using residential solar systems to get off grid. To make this a short post if your goal is to save the planet by reducing our carbon foot print yep go ahead and hug a tree while you help save our Mother Earth*, moneys no object. If you believe you are going to save %%% by getting off the grid that is a tough question, simple short answer is no. If the price of delivered electrical power goes up less than 10% a year and the replacement cost of the systems do not increase the short answer is maybe. Unsuspecting homeowners as well as business folk that did not do thier homework as far as selling power back to their local hydro* company often find that the infrastructure is not able to handle one more single kw and or they don't need or want it. Like any long term investment there are many pitfalls and more lose than win. I would personaly take my 60 to 100 grand for a system more or less, invest it in real estate and buy my hydro. 

*Mother Earth, I am a global weather change/warming soldier fighting for Co2 reduction.

*hydro. Talk about "hydro" in many areas of North America and they have no clue what you are talking about. Refer to "Power and light" and they understand. 

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On 11/11/2021 at 9:40 PM, Terry said:

First thing you do is call your local power company and make sure their lines a good enough to carry your excess electricity. I know people who bought a system to use and sell solar electricity, the solar company told them they would make lots of money from it so they bought it

when they tried to get the final hook up inspection hydro told them that until the lines are upgraded in about 10 years or more it can not be used for transporting your excess power. 
 

so the more remote your location the less likely you can do it 

Exactly what I was saying. It was front page news here in Haldimand a few years back when a couple spent around $60,000 when they agreed to finance a system at a very highinterest rate and have it installed. They were sold on the fact that their pensions were going to be supplimented well selling power back to our hydro one. Hydro one can't take anymore juice as the grid is basically full and upgrades are years away. Sad. Caveat emptor. 

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On 11/16/2021 at 8:16 PM, Hack_Fisherman said:

Dream crushers....disappointing. How are we supposed to change if there is no financial justification 

If you want to really go off grid, learn to live with no hydro. People did it for thousands of years. 

S. 

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