The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Register Now!

Register Now!

We want your input!

Featured:
   

2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

   
Recent Posts
Sprinklered equipment 26-008
by bigpapa
Yesterday at 04:24 PM
On Delay Relay with Auto Reset
by Potseal
12/01/16 09:59 AM
Wow, that was close!
by jraef
11/28/16 07:06 PM
Earthquake in New Zeeland
by RODALCO
11/27/16 11:25 PM
Calling all Non-US members!! (Non-US only)
by Tjia1981
11/27/16 06:33 AM
New in the Gallery:
12.5A through 0.75mm flex (just out of curiosity)
Shout Box

Top Posters (30 Days)
gfretwell 15
HotLine1 10
Trumpy 8
Texas_Ranger 8
sparkyinak 7
Who's Online
0 registered (), 107 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#58204 - 11/02/05 05:59 PM Installing Photovoltaic Systems
ShockMe77 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 823
Loc: Rahway, New Jersey
The company I work for recently started installing photovoltaic systems. I've worked on 2 of the jobs (1- a 6300 watt system, the other a 3000 watt system), and my initial impression is that going on the roof sucks (to put it bluntly). I don't mind doing all the other work involved, but I really don't like working on the roof. I am a strong believer that these solar panels are going to be huge money makers in the next 15-20 as the demand for energy increases and I'm just curious as to what other electricians experiences have been using or installing them.

Top
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Arc Flash Clothing, Gloves, KneePads, Tool Belts, Pouches, Tool Carriers, etc. etc....

#58205 - 11/02/05 06:06 PM Re: Installing Photovoltaic Systems
Ron Offline
Member

Registered: 03/13/02
Posts: 577
Loc: White Plains, NY
In my part of the woods, in lower NY, even with tax credits and rebates, there is still a 12-15 year payback for most systems (of a reasonable size). Many of the PV arrays carry a 10 year guarantee, so the payback may not occur until after the panels have failed.
So ..... very little work in this part.
_________________________
Ron

Top
#58206 - 11/02/05 06:16 PM Re: Installing Photovoltaic Systems
ShockMe77 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 823
Loc: Rahway, New Jersey
Yes, but if the energy is being back fed to the POCO that in turn means less money paid to the POCO by the consumer. Plus it takes stress off of the national power grid.

Top
#58207 - 11/02/05 06:50 PM Re: Installing Photovoltaic Systems
Ron Offline
Member

Registered: 03/13/02
Posts: 577
Loc: White Plains, NY
The rules regarding backfeed to the grid as I understand, are that if you have batteries in the home to store power for use during low/no light, you cannot feed back to the grid.
You can feed back to the grid if there are no storage batteries in the home, and you use whatever you produce (if you can) during sunlight.
I think the next good way to get large numbers of residences off the grid, will be the further development of residential fuel cells. Then it doesn't matter if it is sunny outside, or not, or whether it is fall and my roof has leaves on it.
_________________________
Ron

Top
#58208 - 11/02/05 08:05 PM Re: Installing Photovoltaic Systems
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I have been watching homeowner maintained energy schemes since the 70s and I have never seen one that made the customer a dime. You would be money ahead if you just bought T bills with the money you would spend on these ideas and use that money to pay the bill when energy gets expensive enough to make anything "off the grid" attractive.
Most roof mounted systems compromise the integrity of the roof and got tossed when the roofer explained why they needed a new roof. Add that to the "cost".
Who fixes a solar system or comes up with proprietary parts when the manufacturer goes belly up?
If a utility, with central management and a trained maintenance staff can't make money with PV arrays, how can a homeowner do it?
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

Top
#58209 - 11/02/05 10:13 PM Re: Installing Photovoltaic Systems
mhulbert Offline
Member

Registered: 10/19/04
Posts: 133
Loc: Anaheim, CA USA
I've seen a few systems installed here on gas stations and the like. They are purely for backfeeding, no batteries at all. I think that the rebates are big enough here in CA, and we (Chico) get enough sun to make them work well that it may be economically feasible. What most ignore is that the output of these things decreases from the day they are brought into service.

I"m not sure how valid this statement is, but I've heard that the total energy that goes into making a PV panel exceed what it will put out in its lifetime. They are just big silicone chips! If anyone has ever gone to a chip fab plant, you know how much energy, fresh water, and knoxious chemicals/acid goes into one, not to mention all of the waste and air/water polution that comes out! They are not that "green" of a product!

mike

Top
#58210 - 11/03/05 02:36 PM Re: Installing Photovoltaic Systems
boggerbutt2454 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 44
Loc: Concord NC USA
PV systems alot like wind mills takes a lot of money to install and years to pay for itself. They always seem to leave out the maintance $$$$.

I think I will go out and hug a tree now.

Top
#58211 - 11/03/05 03:17 PM Re: Installing Photovoltaic Systems
ShockMe77 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 823
Loc: Rahway, New Jersey
What kind of maintenance needs to be done? Do the solar panels go bad? If so, how do you determine which one went bad if there are say, 36 panels on a rooftop?

I am suprised by some of the opinions given thus far. I thought for sure that these systems were better than what others have said about them. But I appreciate the feedback nonetheless.

Top
#58212 - 11/03/05 03:33 PM Re: Installing Photovoltaic Systems
Wolfgang Offline
Member

Registered: 09/25/05
Posts: 154
Loc: the very West of Germany
In Germany we got sort of funny and positive situation with regard to PV energy. It is more or less mandatory to sell all of the pv energy to the Poco at about .50€/kWh counted by a second meter, whereas you buy your own consumption at about 0,14€ depending on your provider.

There is a law in favour of green energies guaranteeing prices for a certain period or time in order to push these new technologies.

This means there will be quite a lot of practical experience in the near future regarding reliability and maintenance of such (at the moment economically senseless) projects heading for a future w/o oil.

Maybe I can give some link with more details in the next days.

Top
#58213 - 11/03/05 05:01 PM Re: Installing Photovoltaic Systems
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6804
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Shockme:
I'm not to far 'south' of you. THe majority of the solar I have inspected (resi) is connected to backfeed the grid (PSE&G)
State BPU says that the utilities HAVE to buy generated power.

As to the $$$$$, not my thing.

BTW, Middlesex Water Co is now installing 'Phase II'; the second half of a 500KW solar system at the treatment plant. 1/2 is on the roofs(3); the 2nd half is basically 'on the ground', over a buried tank field. There plan is to use all the green power for the plant, not to dump into the grid

John
_________________________
John

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >



ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals