Science Forum

Science Forum

  1. Joined
    06 Mar '12
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    17 Dec '20 08:457 edits
    This is a question I long wanted to know the answer to but currently still find it too complicated to answer because it just depends on too many variables.
    But here is a video of someone who 2 years ago installed rooftop solar panels on his house, designed to give good functionality for at least the first 25 years, in less than ideal conditions for such a thing (rooftop not slopping about southward + much shade from trees) and he bothered to break down and calculated all the costs and cost savings and it has become clear, despite those less than ideal conditions, they will pay for themselves between about 7 years to about 15 years, depending on how you define 'pay for itself' (do you take into account tax breaks etc? ) after the point in time when they first were installed. So there is no doubt rooftop solar panels in most cases do eventually pay for themselves but the catch is there is a rather discouraging huge initial upfront installation cost and you have to wait many years before you save enough to cover that initial installation cost and then, of course, there is also the hassle factor; I really can see and understand why so many people are so often put off.

    YouTube

    As you can tell by what he says in this video, it involves horribly complex maths calculations to work out the economics of all of it and I would really hate to tediously go through all those calculations myself.
  2. Joined
    22 Sep '20
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    2987
    17 Dec '20 09:412 edits
    Now we are talking silver 🤗

    So...originally they used a lot of silver and it was expected to raise the price of silver.

    But alas...they came up with better ways and due to silvers cost they use less silver now in solar panels but due to more demand for panels they will need a lot of silver to make more panels blah blah blah....

    Yes I am a silver bug.

    Did you know silver has more uses than any other metal?

    Solar
    Technology
    Medicine
    Photography
    X-rays
    Jewelry
    Bullion
    Plus it is the best metal for electrical and thermal and reflective applications...
    Plus 100 or more uses and applications...
    It is absolutely important and key to our way of life.
    (Your computer or phone which you are using right now is using silver)

    www.silverinstitute.org

    I have a time constraint because it's 4 am gotta go soon.

    Anyways...

    I've heard panels take up to 25 years to get to the point where you are free and clear for energy ...(Canada)
    Obviously it could be shorter in sunshine states like California or Florida etc.

    Is it worth it?

    No.

    By the time the panels pay for themselves technology will be better so why bother?
    You might break even in cost but why put up with the hassle of cleaning them and maintaining them for 10 or 20 years only to break even in cost and by then your neighbor has the "new technology" that cost much less with no work?

    Also...
    If the world goes crazy...
    I mean real end of the world stuff...
    Vagabonds will see solar panels and know you are surviving so your house is a target for power and supplies.

    I believe solar panels can cover vast areas like desserts and crap like that to power our cities but as far as personal home use it is too costly and an eyesore to look at.

    ...and psychopathic nuts like me know a house with panels is a good place to live if the SHTF in an end of the world scenario so it would be a target...

    To each his own...
  3. Joined
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    17 Dec '20 09:47

    Removed by poster

  4. Joined
    06 Mar '12
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    642
    17 Dec '20 09:594 edits
    @cheesemaster said


    I've heard panels take up to 25 years to get to the point where you are free and clear for energy
    but usually a lot less time; something more like about ~10 years on average depending on where and conditions. Watch OP video.

    As for silver, silver will inevitably be gradually replaced by cheaper better alternatives such graphene etc. And that's not a question of if but when.
  5. Joined
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    642
    17 Dec '20 12:21
    @humy said
    And that's not a question of if but when.
    My misedit;
    That should be;
    " And that's not a matter of if but when."
  6. Joined
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    2987
    17 Dec '20 12:49
    True.

    That's why I was in the graphene thread.
    Graphene has the potential to destroy silver and it's value.
    I hope not but it is only a matter of when.
  7. Subscribersonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    slatington, pa, usa
    Joined
    28 Dec '04
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    17 Dec '20 18:39
    @Cheesemaster
    The whole idea is to bring down the cost of zolar, it has come down some 90% in the past ten years so right now the payback is a lot shorter.

    But that does not effect silver for other purposes, like jewelry, coatings for the insides of waveguides because silver is the best electrical conductor outside of superconductors.

    I don't see the price of silver changing just because someone figured out how to get the same effect they need for photo cells was found .
  8. Joined
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    8624
    28 Dec '20 20:54
    @cheesemaster said

    By the time the panels pay for themselves technology will be better so why bother?
    You might break even in cost but why put up with the hassle of cleaning them and maintaining them for 10 or 20 years only to break even in cost and by then your neighbor has the "new technology" that cost much less with no work?
    Why bother replacing a perfectly fine lamp during a home renovation? Why bother doing any home renovations for that matter?

    People do go out of their way to eliminate inefficiencies in our way of life. Recycling, for example. In terms of energy efficiency, the sun can hit your roof in the summer, heat your shingle, and warm your house. Or the sun can hit your solar panel, power your air conditioner and cool your house to a livable temperature. There are lots of people who appreciate the efficiency of this system. If you break even, lots of folks would consider that a success.

    Although I'm a bit weird on that front. I collect coffee grounds at work to spread in my garden.
  9. Joined
    12 Jul '08
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    13787
    28 Dec '20 20:58
    Depends on how much your electricity costs and how much sunlight you get.
  10. Joined
    22 Sep '20
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    2987
    28 Dec '20 21:58
    ...and how much the solar panels set you back.
    It will take years to break even.
    Maybe even a decade 🤔
  11. Joined
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    30 Dec '20 02:24
    @cheesemaster said
    ...and how much the solar panels set you back.
    It will take years to break even.
    Maybe even a decade 🤔
    I haven't broken even on any home improvement project. Maybe I'm doing something wrong.
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