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#50850 04/13/05 01:53 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 176
I want to know your opinions on people using solar/wind power in their homes. One specific site is . Personally, I think it's a good idea as long as it's installed by a professional. If it's installed by the homeowner, he/she has to be an engineer to get it right and keep it maintained. (I'm an EE student and I still have trouble in the design phase.) Some electricians I talk to say it's not worth it or they hate going to someone's home to find a solar panel or windmill. I guess I can see their point - no real savings and people using receptaces and such things not listed for DC Use, batteries not maintained, etc. I'm building a solar/wind system ust becayse I'm all for a clean energy source, and I think it would be a great learning experience for me. I'd like to hear anyone's opinion, thoughts, experiences, or ideas. One day, I'd like to see the world using at least 25% clean power. It;s available, but very expensive compared to power from the grid.

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 11
Unless you are off grid, or on "net metering,” solar and Photo Voltaic (PV) are more expensive than grid power. However, installing it should be a great learning experience. I think all engineers should spend at least a year installing or repairing, it will make them much better designers.

The following from:CODE OF MARYLAND


§ 7-306. (Recodified Art. 78, Sec. 54M)

[i] (3) "Net energy metering" means measurement of the difference between the electricity that is supplied by an electric company and the electricity that is generated by an eligible customer-generator and fed back to the electric company over the eligible customer-generator's billing period.

(b) The General Assembly finds and declares that a program to provide net energy metering for eligible customer-generators is a means to encourage private investment in renewable energy resources, stimulate in-State economic growth, enhance continued diversification of the State's energy resource mix, and reduce costs of interconnection and administration.x

(c) An electric company serving an eligible customer-generator shall ensure that the meter installed for net energy metering is capable of measuring the flow of electricity in two directions.

Keep in mind that wind power is dangerous to birds and a broken blade can kill people and destroy property.

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 680
In Maine a Kwh is 16 cents so alternatives are getting close to looking pretty good. When you factor in a long driveway(very expensive install) solar might work and is working on many homes in rural areas or on coastal islands.

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 329
I spend a lot of time reading the message board at otherpower called Force Field here's the URL

Check it out, these guys are very enlightening and most of them do know what the they're doing. Still will be more expensive, but fun to experiment though.

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,928
Likes: 34
If I was going to dabble in alternate energy I would look at a 12vdc system.
It certainly is safer and there is a lot of off the shelf equipment from the auto, marine and RV industry. With inverters getting as cheap as they are you can even use most of your current electronic stuff.

Greg Fretwell

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