• Category Archives Solar Power
  • Solar Panels update

    When we first put in the solar panels I’d intended to try to update here regularly with what our energy production was.  Yah, that didn’t happen.

    But here’s a screenshot of the lifetime graph for our energy production as of this morning:

    spupdateI’d have to go dig through the files to tell you exactly how much thats saved us in costs from the power company, but I can tell you that in the summer our bills, even when we’re running the central air, are pretty close to half what they were before.  Keep in mind that the upstate area tends to be very cloudy, we don’t get a whole lot of very sunny days here in comparison to the rest of the continental USA. However that side of the house gets very little shade.

    We’ve got a few more “around the house” projects that need to be done in the next couple years, important things like putting gutters on the house so that the rain will stop screwing with the foundation, and then we’re going to look at adding to the number of panels and adding a battery backup system.  Our goal is to eventually be able to use this as a backup generator that doesn’t require us to stockpile fuel.

  • What we blew our budget on this summer

    (if you click on the picture to see it big you’ll see a face peering out the door trying to figure out what I was doing)

    The install finished last Friday.  Today the power company came out and swapped out the meter for one that will role backwards, and we turned on the panels.  Course, its raining today, with a pretty heavy cloud cover.  But they’re pulling in some power anyway, just from the ambient light.  Currently the monitor says 30-31wh per panel.

    Right now this is just a standard grid tie system.  Eventually our intention is to put in a battery back up system, but that’ll have to wait a couple years probly.

    I’m going to try to make this a regular thing, to report on what we’re getting for power in (basically the sort of thing I was trying to find when doing my own research). 

    In that spirit, here’s the upfront information on this:

    This is 16 250w Solar World Monocrystalline panels, with 16 Enphase micro-inverters.

    Full cost, including labor: $18,000

    NYSERDA 2012 incentive:-$6,000

    County incentive: -$2,000

    Our upfront cost: $10,000


    Federal tax rebate: -$3,000

    NY state tax rebate: -$2,500

    Our total cost after tax rebates: $4,500

  • Solar power

    I posted, way back shortly after starting this blog, about a company called Clarian Power, which was attempting to produce less expensive, “plug n play,” solar and wind power systems for the average consumer.  Their products were decidedly interesting and I’d been keeping an eye on them for a while.  They were hoping to have product on the market by the end of this year.

    So, today, with all the news about “green power” companies going under I decided to hit Clarian’s website to see if there’d been any updates.  Except the website has changed.  The link now auto redirects to www.clarianlabs.com which doesn’t have any information on it except a “contact us” button.  I can get around that new front page by typing in www.clarianpower.com/solar.html and see the originial website, but there’ve been no updates.  Well, that’s not cool, but hey, I was following their Facebook site, and now that I think about it there haven’t been any updates from that for a while either, but lets go check.  Except there’s no Facebook site any more either.  Under either the Clarian Power name, or the Clarian Labs name, and its not listed as a page I’m following any more.

    Well f*ck.  Hit Google, nothing really comes up there either.  Links to past articles about the solar and wind projects, an article about a “new” project (dated a few months ago), and thats it.  Nothing about this being one of the companies thats closing, nothing.  So I don’t KNOW that something bad has happened to them, but the lack of anything anywhere is not promising!

  • One of the Google ads just now…..

    ….was for the GE Ecomagination Challenge  which in turn reminded me of this company: Clarian Power

    If you’ve not heard of them take the time to look over their site.  They are attempting to make solar and wind power (complete with backup system) available at a reasonable price to the average consumer.  Instead of a single solar panel that you pay a fortune for that then requires either signifigant electrical know-how or a paid professional, they plan to offer to the public an easy to install “plug-n-play” solar panel and wind turbine setup that requires minimal extra know-how beyond basic tool handyness and ability to follow instructions.  Still not CHEAP, but much more reasonable than the current standard setups currently on the market.  They hope to have at least some product on the market by the end of this year.