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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The New York Times today reports
"The United States imported a daily average of more than 1.45 million barrels of Saudi crude over the first five months of this year, compared to a daily average of roughly 1.15 million barrels over the same period last year."
In Saudi Arabia, women cannot vote, they cannot drive, they cannot attend college, they have no rights. Practicing Christianity or Judaism or Hinduism in Saudi Arabia would be a suicidal gesture.
Osama bin Ladin was ... a Saudi millionaire.

Please go out today and buy a Fisker, a Tesla, a Volt, or a Leaf.
 

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JSPONSLER said:
The New York Times today reports
"The United States imported a daily average of more than 1.45 million barrels of Saudi crude over the first five months of this year, compared to a daily average of roughly 1.15 million barrels over the same period last year."
In Saudi Arabia, women cannot vote, they cannot drive, they cannot attend college, they have no rights. Practicing Christianity or Judaism or Hinduism in Saudi Arabia would be a suicidal gesture.
Osama bin Ladin was ... a Saudi millionaire.

Please go out today and buy a Fisker, a Tesla, a Volt, or a Leaf.
Amen.
 

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Weird Fishes said:
And install solar panels to offset the energy used to charge the car and power the house.
That's good too (and I am doing it), but it's far less important: only in Hawaii is there any significant electricity generation via oil. In the continental US it's about half from coal (45 to 55 percent depending on how and when you count), with the remainder split up between nuclear, natural-gas, and hydroelectric, plus single-digit percentage wind. (The tiny fraction of solar and others is pretty much negligible although they are growing fast enough to start hitting single-digit percentages soon. Actually biomass is over 1% now, it seems.)

Using the numbers on this 2010 energy flow diagram, I get 48.5% coal, 21.4% nuclear, 19.0% natgas, 6.3% hydro, 2.3% wind, 1.1% biomass, 1.0% oil, 0.4% geothermal, and all of 0.025% as solar (which rounds down to 0%, alas). Note that this is for the entire US, and the 1% oil is no doubt Hawaii.
 

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Weird Fishes said:
And install solar panels to offset the energy used to charge the car and power the house.
How much does it cost to get 20kw solar installed ?
 

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Nin ja said:
Weird Fishes said:
And install solar panels to offset the energy used to charge the car and power the house.
How much does it cost to get 20kw solar installed ?
Don't confuse kW with kWh. I'm currently in the process of having a 7.5kW solar system installed. This system will produce up to 22.5kWh's over a 3 hour period. My system will consist of 37 premium high efficiency AC solar panels and will cost about $39K installed after my 30% federal tax rebate. My payback period is calculated to be about 10 years, i.e., after 10 years the system will have paid for itself in energy savings. In other words, I will have saved $39K in electricity costs after 10 years.
 

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marswill said:
Nin ja said:
Weird Fishes said:
And install solar panels to offset the energy used to charge the car and power the house.
How much does it cost to get 20kw solar installed ?
Don't confuse kW with kWh. I'm currently in the process of having a 7.5kW solar system installed. This system will produce up to 22.5kWh's over a 3 hour period. My system will consist of 37 premium high efficiency AC solar panels and will cost about $39K installed after my 30% federal tax rebate. My payback period is calculated to be about 10 years, i.e., after 10 years the system will have paid for itself in energy savings. In other words, I will have saved $39K in electricity costs after 10 years.
Got it, my bad, thanks or the clarification and pricing info.
 

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Nin ja said:
marswill said:
Nin ja said:
Weird Fishes said:
And install solar panels to offset the energy used to charge the car and power the house.
How much does it cost to get 20kw solar installed ?
Don't confuse kW with kWh. I'm currently in the process of having a 7.5kW solar system installed. This system will produce up to 22.5kWh's over a 3 hour period. My system will consist of 37 premium high efficiency AC solar panels and will cost about $39K installed after my 30% federal tax rebate. My payback period is calculated to be about 10 years, i.e., after 10 years the system will have paid for itself in energy savings. In other words, I will have saved $39K in electricity costs after 10 years.
Got it, my bad, thanks or the clarification and pricing info.
I have a 3.7Kw system and I get close to 20KWH on summer days out of it, and that's in foggy San Francisco. If you live somewhere sunny, you can probably get that out of it year-round.
 

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Fabulist said:
I have a 3.7Kw system and I get close to 20KWH on summer days out of it, and that's in foggy San Francisco. If you live somewhere sunny, you can probably get that out of it year-round.
I thought you were in Marin? (Though, depending on where in Marin vs SF county, that might not matter anyway :) )

Anyway, I'm getting a mere ~3 kW and it should put out about as much energy as the car will use. (The reason mine is that small is partly to keep capital cost down, and partly because that was all the roof surface area available on the new bit of roof after putting up hot-water panels too. There is lots more space on the main house roof but originally it was not going to have any work done.)

The system they are putting in on my house uses "microinverters" (one per panel) so they can easily add more panels later.
 

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I had a 3.8 kW-system installed on my house mid-June, at a cost of € 7.500 (about $ 9.500) and it has produced 1100 kW in the two (sunny) months since then, enough to drive 2200 miles in my Karma. I will have earned back the investment within 8 years, due to our high electricty rates, and after that the panels will provide free electricity for at least 20 more years.

(I also have a 12 kW-system on the roof of my own company).

We need to rid ourselves of the oil dependency, for environmental reasons and for geo-political reasons. I understand the environmental argument is not popular, but I fail to understand why the Republican party does not embrace electric cars for their geo-political impact. I cannot image they like to keep on subsidizing regimes like the ones in Saudi-Arabia and Venezuela.
 

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ct-fiskerbuzz said:
Fabulist said:
I have a 3.7Kw system and I get close to 20KWH on summer days out of it, and that's in foggy San Francisco. If you live somewhere sunny, you can probably get that out of it year-round.
I thought you were in Marin? (Though, depending on where in Marin vs SF county, that might not matter anyway :) )

Anyway, I'm getting a mere ~3 kW and it should put out about as much energy as the car will use. (The reason mine is that small is partly to keep capital cost down, and partly because that was all the roof surface area available on the new bit of roof after putting up hot-water panels too. There is lots more space on the main house roof but originally it was not going to have any work done.)

The system they are putting in on my house uses "microinverters" (one per panel) so they can easily add more panels later.
I live in San Francisco but my dealer is in Marin because there are no Fisker dealers in San Francisco at the moment. My solar PV system was also limited by the available roof space since, like most houses in San Francisco, my house is a multi-story unit built on a small piece of land. Here is what the roof looks like from Google Maps:



Since you need a 3-foot perimeter around the roof and to allow for all the skylights and vents, we could only shoehorn 18 panels in. I have a pretty big inverter so if I wanted to add new panels as awnings or on a trellis later, I could just wire them in to the existing system. Lately, though, I have been thinking about augmenting the PV with vertical wind turbines like this one from Windstream technologies.



All of this will take some time to evolve. At the moment, the only hybrid solar/wind generator I have in my house is this unit from Ikea.



Can't exactly charge my Karma with it, but at least it's a start. :)
 

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Where do they sell the windstream turbines? Pretty cool stuff. I'd love to know more about how the cost per kilowatt hour compares between solar panels and wind turbines (if such a thing as average sun and average wind can be used to make such comparisons)... Or how to get my wind speed (I know where to get days of sunshine from the weather webpage).
 

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In The Netherlands they did a test of ten so small wind turbines. Two of them had very good results: Skystream and Montana, the rest did much worse (some of the more experimental turbines even had major technical issues). The test results are only available in Dutch, but the numbers (kWh produced per month) speak for themselves: pdf-file

Here's a link to an article about the test, but also that is only available in Dutch :-(
 

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rex said:
Where do they sell the windstream turbines? Pretty cool stuff. I'd love to know more about how the cost per kilowatt hour compares between solar panels and wind turbines (if such a thing as average sun and average wind can be used to make such comparisons)... Or how to get my wind speed (I know where to get days of sunshine from the weather webpage).
They may not be widely available yet, but you can learn all about it here. [hr]
Dutch said:
In The Netherlands they did a test of ten so small wind turbines. Two of them had very good results: Skystream and Montana, the rest did much worse (some of the more experimental turbines even had major technical issues). The test results are only available in Dutch, but the numbers (kWh produced per month) speak for themselves: pdf-file

Here's a link to an article about the test, but also that is only available in Dutch :-(
If I read this correctly, they actually tested the turbines for four years. This is a pretty comprehensive study. Here is a short video of the turbines in action during the test (don't worry, the video is not four years long :) )

[video=youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQ5n9B1zLuY&feature=player_detailpage[/video]

The problem for city dwellers like me is that we can't just put up a 40 foot tower with a turbine on top in the middle of a city and the shorter vertical turbines are a more low-key solution for us, but they are also significantly less efficient than the traditional turbines.
 

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Yes Fab, that's the test field. It's clearly visible that some turbines are not doing much at all, while others are. They could be having technical problems, but it's probably not a coindidence that it's the vertical turbines and other experimental shapes that are not turning. In fact, the test results showed that the more traditional turbines had the highest yields. The conclusion was that only two turbines (traditional shape) could compete with solar panels on a yield/cost basis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I did not mention that I have a 1000 watt tracking photovoltaic system on my office. In Alaska, there are many days where there is not much sun but I am trying.
I also have solar thermal hot water on my office too.
On sunny days I get a tank full of free hot water in about 20 minutes.
Solar systems are (like electric cars) quite expensive.
If we would subsidize them like we do our oil wars (Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan) these systems would be very inexpensive.
 

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Good going JSPONSLER! I'm working on getting solar on my home roof, in not so sunny western Washington state. My proposals have not been for tracking systems, I'll have to ask why. Probably $$. I use a lake based thermal heat exchanger for heating/cooling which if not dramatically, has at least reduced my energy consumption from my prior more conventional system.
 

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EVer1 said:
Good going JSPONSLER! I'm working on getting solar on my home roof, in not so sunny western Washington state.
It is interesting that the top two countries for solar installations are Germany and Japan. Certainly not because they are sunny, but because the alternative fuels (oil and natural gas) are so expensive for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
One can view my solar panels at www.akbraincenter.com.
Proof that even in Alaska the sun can generate electrons.
Hawaii is also very solar panel rich.
Also they do not drive giant trucks and SUVs in Germany (I visited in February).
 
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