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-   -   Is solar energy worth it in low sun/cold climates? (

dave42 08-04-2009 01:59 PM

Is solar energy worth it in low sun/cold climates?
I live in Monterey Bay, CA, where we aren’t particularly known for sunshine. Would it be worth the money to invest in solar energy? Do cold temperatures affect how efficient panels are? I'm not really knowledgeable in solar energy so any information would help out a lot!

kok328 08-04-2009 04:15 PM

The payback time to realize a savings is too long. You'll be long gone by the time the panels pay for themselves; let alone provide you and energy credit that will pay for the panels, battery banks, switching hubs, S&H, installation and maintenance.

go sunny 08-08-2009 09:41 AM

Solar energy means save money and save our earth. Solar Heater DIY is obviously simple to do and safer to implement. To pursue my green living, I have read several online books and guides about teaching people how to have Solar Heater DIY. I found that Solar Heater DIY is the most practical way to implement, thus easy to follow.

Doorman 08-10-2009 12:42 PM

If you donīt have much sunlight where you live I would definitely not recommend solar panels. Iīm sure you have high bills over there for heating in winter etc so probably best to stick with electricity unfortunately. It should be quite cheap where you live though...

sundance 08-10-2009 11:54 PM

Actually, solar power is just as efficient in colder locations. Articles have mentioned that solar panels convert energy more effectively in colder climates even. I think the science behind it is that the colder the material is, the better conductor it is for electricity. San Luis Valley gets freezing winters but they have some of the best solar resources in Colorado.

dave42 08-12-2009 06:23 PM

What you guys are saying makes sense. Maybe solar power isn't the best option for me. Even if solar power isn't ideal for my home, I'm still interested in it. Can anyone recommend a good web site on the subject so I can educate myself?

kok328 08-13-2009 07:01 AM

I will have to clarify my statements after realizing what other are saying in their post and perhaps should have asked for clarification on the original post. I worked for a solar panel manufacturer and was aware of the cost versus payback time period. This knowledge was what my statement was based on. However, due to my background, I totally forgot about solar heating versus solar electricity. I will have to defer to the group when it comes to solar heating. However, as far as solar electricity, the performance is in the battery bank not the panel but, the panel itself still has a 20yr. payback time frame and they do degrade over time.

dennisprange 08-14-2009 10:07 PM

If your on the grid, the utility company is the battery, Monterey does not have cold winters and has natual gas anyway.

Irish1970 08-21-2009 06:54 PM

Hey Dave,

Where I live in South Carolina, solar panels are definitely a good investment and the payback is really quick. If you aren't sure about your area of Northern California, I suggest you check out websites that specialize in solar panels. There are some companies that even sell DIY Solar Panels kits that are pretty easy to install.

Nestor_Kelebay 08-22-2009 09:21 AM

It'd be great if Obama put some stimulus money into a "solar panel" and "wind energy" program for the US besides his "Cash for Clunkers" program. It's investment by both industry and the public in these technologies that drives research and development, and research and development in turn results in higher performance and lower costs.

Here in Manitoba, we keep hearing that switching to Compact Fluorescent lighting and shutting off lights at night or the TV when no one is watching is good for the environment. I still can't figure out why. ALL of our electricity is "hydroelectricity", meaning that it's produced by water flowing through turbines which turn generator shafts. So, it's not like we have to burn coal or diesel fuel to produce that electricity. If I were a sceptic, I'd believe my government was lying to me about CF lights being "greener".

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