When first enquiring about solar power I was skeptical. Very skeptical. After talking to others - I was pretty much convinced it was a pie in the sky idea for alternative 'hippies'.
Looking at buying a property where electricity was very expensive to connect (ie Au$50,000) I was determined to find out for myself. I started doing research & then bought some secondhand panels out of the paper. Then some batteries & an inverter and finally a brand new PL regulator.
My total investment was about Au$3000 and after wiring it all up on my shed roof I plugged in as many appliances as I could. It was very make-shift - the panels basically flat on the roof, extension cords running everywhere. Items were untested & I had to learn as I went along.
I also started to 'clean up' my electricty usage...light bulbs were replaced with flouros, computers were upgraded to laptops, tv & stereo were turned off when not used.
The benefits were immediate! My electricity bill went from $260 to $40! The $40 bill was during summer where we had a small pool filter running and an outdoor 250L Freezer. It was enough to show me that solar can work...
As a bit of an extremist and now with a new found passion for solar I started to re-sell solar & wind products. I also had a passion for helping people as I had recently discovered that Jesus wasn't an imaginary figure for religious fruit bats, but was indeed God & Created the world and me - and He cared! He saved me from a life of torment & pain & addictions & promised a share in Eternal Life! So now, as a committed Christian I doubly-loved the fact that I could help people save money, reduce environmental damage and utilize the energy sources Jesus put in place.
My next venture was a totally remote property we wanted to establish for rehab & retreats to help people out. We had to lay 4 kms of pipe & then pump water from a tank, had a satelite for internet, after 4 months installed a composting toilet & only had 6x GE110w panels to start with. It was tough living in the heat with no dunny in caravans with 3 young children and waaay too many bees - but the solar setup did very well. This system grew to:
6 x GE110w Solar Panels
6 x BP115w Solar Panels
12 Panel Solar Tracker
400w Air X Wind Turbine
Plasmatronics PL60 Regulator
SE32 2400W Selectronic Inverter
12 x 2v 1000AH SunGel Batteries
50A 12/24v Charger
40A 24v Charger
9KVA Diesel Backup Generator
Total Cost about $40,000
This setup worked very well for us (My wife & I & 3 kids under 3 as well as occasional vistors) - very rarely needing to start the geny. We had electricity for a 210L Chest Freezer, 373L Fridge, Washing Machine, Laptops, elec rice cooker (I love curries!) & all my drilling & welding, and occasional microwave use, not to mention water supply for the 1/6 acre of vegies...the list goes on. We could also use the Aircon when hot too. We had power all the time!
If we had to use a diesel geny for the power we needed, not only would be be starting & stopping it all the time - we would be paying about $6 - $12 a day for diesel & oil etc. The cost of runing would be $2190 - $4380 a year - assuming the geny lasted 20 years over 20 years the cost would be $43800 - $87600. If the solar setup lasted 20 years (the panels are guaranteed or 25 years) the minimum savings if $3800 up to $47600! This would be more if the geny needed repair / replacement in that time (highly likely!).
To connect to the grid it may only cost about $2 a day - but the setup cost would be well over $100,000 meaning over 20 years cost would be $114600. With this you would also have the hassle of blackouts that aren't very quickly fixed in rural areas!
We are back in suburbia now & will work at installing solar at the rental house we are in as think it is well worth it!
Truth Wins Out!
Strange that humans are so entrenched in their own beliefs, even if they are wrong...I see this everywhere and I myself had to be open-minded to accept the truth wasn't in line with my own ideas.
I am thoroughly converted! In my experience & from my research - Solar / Wind technology can work very well. And Jesus Christ is the only one who can give life! Not only did we save $50,000 on connection to Western Power &had free electricity, but we discovered that our beliefs about life, death & spiritual things were wrong... Don't be ignorant - it can cost ou more than money but your very soul!
There's no turning back now!!
A main goal of ours is to help you connect with Jesus Christ (the One who Created the Sun, Wind and You!) but don't let that stop you getting a bargain!
-We would also like to help you do the right thing for the planet...and save you money!