General Question

inkvisitor's avatar

Have you successfully used solar panels on your home?

Asked by inkvisitor (660points) October 9th, 2009

I’m not really concerned with the amount of power summoned (I would want to start small) and I know it can be economically impractical to set up even though photovoltaic technology and access for residential use is improving. Please share your stories, experiences, and uses!

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14 Answers

inkvisitor's avatar

…or someone you know? :)

SpatzieLover's avatar

@inkvisitor It’s a great question. I’m looking to replace my roof in the next year and would love to implement them into the renovation

SheWasAll_'s avatar

I haven’t, but my friend’s father actually applied for a federal grant to research solar and other renewable energy sources to build a completely self-sustaining house. He started off by building a hot dog cooker. They were delicious.

RareDenver's avatar

I am going to look at a property to buy in a couple days and it has potential for an electricity generating windmill so I will be watching this thread very closely

JLeslie's avatar

This is so cool y’all, solar ink on thin sheets of plastic. Not sure how far along they are in marketing it for roof tops

Here is the company website

perplexxed82's avatar

Check the Amazon reviews on the smaller generators. They are pretty helpful

stanley00's avatar

Short answer: Yes, if you own your house/have a cool landlord.

Long answer: I tried this last year. The plan was to get a basic rig going, with a single panel and battery and then slowly add to it over the course of a few years. More details here:

Everything went great except that my landlord wasn’t cool with having panels on the roof. My first panel was up there for a few months before he noticed it (and the cable leading down the side of the building into my living room). While it worked, I was getting good juice and ran my laptop off of it.

Note that this is the more DIY “off the grid” way to install solar panels. I didn’t have a “grid tie” system, where the panels fed into the building’s power and I used the regular outlets. Mine required an inverter for AC power, but was waaay cheaper.

inkvisitor's avatar

@stanley00 Interesting – thanks. And yeah, I plan on starting small and definitely off the grid like you did (but no landlord to stop me!).

@JLeslie Neat about the solar ink. though not neat youtube description…wtf?!

Zen's avatar

Yes – very happy with mine.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes. Got a 5.5 kW photovoltaic system.

inkvisitor's avatar

Ooh there are so many choices and set ups to look at. Amazon has a decent selection too.

I think I’ll need to start with this, though..
Solar Power Your Home For Dummies

For other uses, this seems pretty cool!
Foldable Solar Array

JLeslie's avatar

@inkvisitor I know the description makes no sense to me either.

Response moderated (Spam)
Kraftsmann's avatar

Yes, I have use the Solar Panel at my home, the set up is bit complicated but not very difficult.
It has a Panel and a Reservoir in which the water gets collected and the which is later passes through the coil embedded into the Panel so the water gets heated.

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