Time To Get Off Your Butt & Go Solar!

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Jan 062014

moneyThe fact of the matter is: millions of Americans are throwing away money. Actually, not just throwing it away, but giving it to semi-monopolistic utility companies for electricity produced from the burning of dirty energy sources such as coal and natural gas.

In other words, millions of Americans are giving money to companies that, in return, pollute our air and water, ruin our climate, and simply make our lives more difficult and shorter.

You should know by now that you have a better choice. If you own the roof over your head, you can put solar panels on it, solar panels that will probably save you a ton of money. Look at the benefits: You save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. You stop polluting and harming your neighbors, your kids, your grandkids, and yourself. You become a power producer rather than simply a dependent slave to the energy system. You have a positive effect on the world as well as your own household. 

Join the solar rooftop revolution.

solar-powered-nissan-leaf-plug-in-carFurthermore, you can get an electric car, fuel it with electricity from those solar panels, and thus also cut your dependency on pollution from the burning of oil, as well as your dependency on oil-producing countries that don’t like the US and wars that are centered around oil security.

It’s really a simple matter. It’s common sense. The price is right — for millions or even hundreds of millions of you!!

You may think that the story is different for you. You may think your situation is not so peachy. If you got a solar quote a year or more ago, you may think solar is too expensive. But the cost of solar has dropped tremendously in the past few years. It has put solar power growth off the charts. If you haven’t gotten a solar quote in a few months, now is probably a good time to check again.

Plus, if you have solar leasing or a residential solar PPA option available in your state, you may be able to go solar for $0 down or very little money down, and then save money from Day 1 or at least within months of getting solar panels on your roof.

Know all this and haven’t gone solar or at least gotten a solar quote yet? Know is the time! Just do it!
Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/10/30/time-get-butt-go-solar/#LmROHt4eyi4uxsoM.99

Time To Get Off Your Butt & Go Solar!

 Posted by at 10:36 am

Why solar?

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Dec 242013

Why solar?

Homeowners across the globe are seeing the solar light. The reasons vary for each person, though they mainly come down to the following:

It’s free.
Solar-energy systems allow you to capture free sunlight and convert it into usable power in your home.

It’s clean.
Solar energy can be used to heat and cool your home, but it has almost no impact on the global climate. By comparison, electricity generated by power plants produces carbon dioxide emissions that scientists say pose serious threats to the environment.

It’s infinitely renewable.
While nonrenewable energy sources like oil, gas and coal are becoming increasingly scarce, the sun’s energy is limitless. Wherever sunlight shines, electricity can be generated.
amy sun

It can reduce your utility costs.
Having a system that creates solar energy means you use less electricity from your utility company, and that can contribute to lower heating and cooling costs. This is significant, especially when you consider 56% of energy use in a typical U.S. home comes from heating and cooling.

It comes with incentives.
The U.S. federal government and some states provide tax credits for renewable-energy systems. Depending on where you live, you may also be eligible for incentives through your utility company.

It increases your energy self-reliance.
The more sunlight harnessed by the system, the less electricity you need from your utility supplier.

It can also increase your home’s value.
An investment in a solar-energy system may improve the value of your home, thanks to its ability to lower the cost of heating and cooling. Surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have shown that home values rise an average of $20 for every $1 reduction in annual utility bills.

It’s extremely reliable.
The sun has been around for billions of years and is likely to burn on for billions more to come. And when you consider how a trusted name like A J Leo is putting it to economical use in the home, it’s easy to see solar energy’s future is bright.

Phone (734) 368-6945
Email amy@ajleo.com
Website http://ajleo.com
 Posted by at 9:33 am

SolarYpsi Founder Goes Solar

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Dec 102013

 SolarYpsi Founder Goes Solar

Inspired by my neighbor Larry solar installation and the continue drop in price for solar panels, we decided to put some on our house. The only available roof space was on a West facing roof. While it will only generate about 80% of the power of a South facing roof, since the price was low it still makes economically sense.

I was also interested in using Michigan made solar panels. Contractor’s Builders Supply located in the Traverse City area are now making (assembling) solar panels. We’re using the SS-250, 60 cell, panels.

Solar Panels on 323 Oak Street

Solar Panels on 323 Oak Street

As the home owner, I was able to pull the building and electrical permits myself. My neighbors Charlie, Dave, Mark, and Bobby came over and helped with the project. I was surprised that we could get it all done in two weekends. Just for fun, we did the installation using only hand tools. We have passed our inspections and generating power.

You can see lots of pictures here,

All the bills are in and here is the breakdown of the costs.

Component Dollars/watt Percent of project
Solar panels $0.950/watt 38%
Inverters $1.041/watt 42%
Rack $0.331/watt 13%
Conduit/wire $0.089/watt 4%
Permits $0.068/watt 3%
Tools $0.009/watt 0%
Total $2.488/watt 100%

Those are the actual costs, but I had several left over parts. For example I needed 9 rails but they only came in bundles of 10. Same with the roof mounts, I needed 24 but had to buy 32. Here are our adjusted or true costs.

Component Dollars/watt Percent of project
Solar panels $0.950/watt 39%
Inverters $1.041/watt 43%
Rack $0.277/watt 11%
Conduit/wire $0.089/watt 4%
Permits $0.068/watt 3%
Tools $0.000/watt 0%
Total $2.416/watt 100%

It’s interesting to note that the inverters cost more than the solar panels. Micro-inverters are nice and seem inexpensive, but if you add in the special cables, mounting hardware, and communication gateway for monitoring the power, it get’s quite expensive.

We are lucky to get the project finished so quickly, so we can claim the renewable energy tax credit on our taxes in April. That will knock off 30% of the price. So the real out-of-pocket cost is (2.416*0.70) $1.691/watt, or (1.691*4500) $7610 for our 4.5 kW system.

Using a fixed price for power of $0.18/kWh, the system should generate about $850 dollar worth of power per year. That means it will take about 9 year to payoff. If the price of power rises, the payback period will be shorter. If the panels were facing South the system would generation about 20% more power and pay off even quicker, maybe in 6 years. The panels and inverters are warranty for 25 years but should last 30 or more years.

 Posted by at 11:14 am

Solar Production Readings of 1.5kW Instead of .250kW

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Apr 082013

Tree @ office was trimmed last Wednesday. Now at 9am I bust out solar production readings of 1.5kW instead of .250kW…(3.8kW system) Liking that the clouds are going to bring rain that will wash the bird droppings off the panels, not liking so much the lack of sun and production we will have, but we do need the rain. Happy Monday!

 Posted by at 2:00 pm
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