Solar

(see this blog’s pages for pics of my solar)

In my last post I spoke to you about TRUE Green.  This is a person who has dematerialized, and reduced or eliminated travel and modern networking.  This person has gone local into permaculture.  The permaculture is both physical and spiritual.  One is never TRUE Green just closer to this ecological truth.  I contrast that to FAKE Green which most greens are.  A FAKE Green is a person who embraces so called green technology and feels righteously green.  The primary problem with FAKE Greens is affluence.  Affluence always gets in the way.  The one exception is spiritual affluence.  There are no limits to this in a figurative sense.  REAL Green is a FAKE Green in acceptance and humility.  The acceptance is of the carbon trap and the path dependencies of his nature and nurture.  It is of his limitations of his local of people and place.  A REAL Green aspires to and holds in high regards the TRUE Green. 

I mention this when I explain my energy and power systems because they are not TRUE Green.  Solar is dirty.  Stop believing the FAKE Greens when they tell you stories about Net Zero 2030 or whatever fantasy date they hype.  Yet, for REAL Green a modest solar system is highly recommended.  It is a system greener than the alternative of all grid.  My system is local because it is stand alone.  It contributes to my resilience and sustainability in a crisis so it is green prepped.  Remember REAL Green is about reconciliation of these inconsistencies and inconvenient positions.

My solar is not anything special in a techno sense.  What is different is I choose to be less technical and more manual.  I keep it small and it is also hybrid.  I use solar and grid power.  My solar power is for green prepping.  The grid is for those energy needs that are beyond my solar’s capability.  It is also there because multiple times a year the sun does not produce enough energy to run what is needed.  If I were going to be off the grid, I would need to double my solar system.  This would also require propane for cooking although I could use wood.  The problem you will run into when REAL Green is your local of people and place.  My wife would not want to cook on a woodstove.  She likes electricity.  I have both propane and electricity but the propane is a backup for cooking and fires my grill.  I also have charcoal cookers.  The point here is my solar is targeted.  It is realistic for my trap of people and place.

I have all my circuits that can be run by solar tied into transfer switches.  This is standard electrical equipment used by people with generators.  This allows a switching from solar to grid.  I can use both the grid and solar at the same time.  The alternative is grid only, solar only, or grid tied system.  My hybrid system allows me to take care of some of my energy needs and still have all the capability of the grid.  I have $25,000 tied up in this system so I must make a return to pay down that investment.  I got some tax benefits from this but this was really insignificant.  I work my system to pay for itself and I have the system for green prepping.  I also have a very capable generator/welder that can connect to my grid service by a throw switch.  If power goes down, I can flip the throw switch and disconnect grid power.  This must be done becuase any system has to be separated from the grid or dangerous interactions can occur.  I can then charge my battery up with the generator if the solar conditions do not allow an adequate charge.

The results of this system on my electric bill are not as great as one would expect spending $25,000.  On a good solar day I can produce 10KWH to 16KWH.  My usage is as high as 100KWH when solar is not being used and I am using electric for heat.  Space heating is a very high draw item.  When I have my wood boiler going, I am using far less power.  My wood boiler still uses power but a small amount.  It has two pumps and a fan.  This uses 2 amp when running with fan and pumps.  This cuts my usage in half.  My solar system can easily power this system even when solar is low.  This makes for great green prepping.  If I had a failure of the grid and solar then I still have a wood stove in the house that does not need electric.

Conclusions:

Solar is not Green!  Solar is not cheap!  Solar is not economic!  Wow, that sounds bad but REAL Green this and see how this changes.  Solar is not green but it is greener than a new muscle car.  It is greener than a swimming pool.  I could go on and on.  Energy is central to your existence.  In today’s flip a switch living that is cheap you might not care about any of the above.  I am a green prepper.  The basics of this is what is more secure is greener.  This does not mean safe nor does it mean TRUE Green.  It means safer and greener.  This is REAL Green in a nutshell.

Solar is not cheap or economic.  I spent a lot of money.  Part of my increased costs was due to I did a custom system.  I am located in a nonrenewable orientated region.  My installation choices were minimal.  The equipment is technical and complicated so not cheap.  You may hear FAKE Greens cheerlead how panel prices are declining and so forth but panels are not the only part of the system.  If you just grid tie then you have an inexpensive way to have solar.  This is mainly panels and an inverter tied to the grid.  If the grid goes down you have no power.  My system cost me around $25,000.  It has taken lots of my time in research and procurement.  I would not recommend this to people if they are only looking for a bang for the buck.  Grid tied systems are better.  If you go off grid due to location then yes it has value.  In my case it does not pencil out with only cost and economics factors considered.

Currently my utility KWH cost is $.084827.  Keep in mind there is a cost for your service itself which is $1.24 per day.  My solar system at its best produces 16KWH a day.  DO THE MATH!! That means at 8 cents times 16.  That means I am gathering $1.28 a day of solar irradiation on my best day.  Then do my service cost per day.  I give my system an average 15-year life then my service cost is $4.50.  So, you see, I am making on my best days $1.28 but my system costs $4.50.  The numbers do not add up.

Where my system shines are with green prepping strategies.  It allows me to have lights and power for refrigeration in a grid down situation both essential.  I can also run my A/C with this system so if there was grid down in a brutal heat wave, I could have cool air at least in part of my house or shop.  I have a mini split system that works well with solar.  This system can cool one room or many.  It can heat or cool.  It is an inverter technology so it does not require a large compressor that is beyond smaller solar capabilities like mine.  I can easily run my wood boiler in winter for heat.  I am considering a water heater that works similar to my mini split system that is very efficient and insulated so I can also heat water with my solar.  My solar will not run a standard water heater.  Too much draw.  Currently my wood boiler heats my water but only in the winter.  Lights are critical.  I easily have lighting.  This system will shine if we have a jump in electric costs.  It shines with grid down.  It shines in a relative way in regards to green.  Solar is not TRUE Green but it has many green prepping applications.

Cost Summary

inverter, charger, panels, pole mount, accessories$10,061.98
Lithium phosphate battery$7,630.00
concrete, wire, conduit$1,082.00
transfer switches$604.00
labor$5,680.97
total$25,058.95

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s