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View Full Version : anyone here into the solar and wind energy craze?



lidspinner
03-30-2011, 08:33 AM
I am wanting to start building my home in the next year or so, I have land in the country and its somewhat up on a hill....I thought of looking into solar and wind but not to sure where to start....you guys have any ideas?

dougdirt
03-30-2011, 10:35 AM
Solar energy isn't worth it. For the price point, you can get much more efficient solutions.

LoganBuck
03-30-2011, 10:51 AM
Go geothermal, on a new construction it will pay off more, and is still green.

lidspinner
03-30-2011, 10:57 AM
cool.....I have heard the cost of solar is outrageous and takes years to pay off....but why then are people doing it more and more? is it more for the business that uses alot? and not so much for the homeowner just using normal electric?

I ask because my wife and I do intend to run a small greenhouse on the property after we build, would this be something you would look into running with solar? or should I stick to geothermal for that as well....

thanks in advance

RBA
03-30-2011, 11:01 AM
I guess it depends on the size of the home and if you are going to live off the grid? to start.

durl
03-30-2011, 11:14 AM
cool.....I have heard the cost of solar is outrageous and takes years to pay off....but why then are people doing it more and more?

I would say it's involved into a fad at this point.

Solar and wind power has intrigued people for decades but they're still not an economical means of power. Traditional means of energy (plus nuclear) are far more concentrated making them more efficient.

I would also say that geothermal is the way to go if you want to reduce power consumption in your home.

Spazzrico
03-30-2011, 11:20 AM
Solar is expensive, but there may be opportunities to recoup the initial investment by selling surplus power back to the grid. I really don't know the specifics on this, but it is worth checking with your local utility to see if this is possible. If so, you can eventually repay yourself for the investment and actually create a small income on the side in the future.

You could also make or buy a solar water heater (http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/WaterHeating/water_heating.htm). It is typically a passive (non-electric) solar system that heats water in a collector panel (dark tubes that absorb solar radiation) and then either feeds it to a backup water heater or directly into the system. They're pretty neat.

Jefferson24
03-30-2011, 01:17 PM
I would also say that geothermal is the way to go if you want to reduce power consumption in your home.

It will defiantly reduce power consumption but it may not save you money.

Depends on how long your planning on living there as to weather it is cost effective. The increased cost of the system will take years to balance out and actually start saving you money. I have a fiend who will start building this year. He is 65 and opted to go with conventional gas because he figured he would have to live there 20 years for it to start saving him money. He is a retired plumber and has a lot of service experience with geo and HVAC systems.

RBA
03-30-2011, 01:19 PM
Living past 85 is not at all rare anymore.

LoganBuck
03-30-2011, 02:15 PM
It will defiantly reduce power consumption but it may not save you money.

Depends on how long your planning on living there as to weather it is cost effective. The increased cost of the system will take years to balance out and actually start saving you money. I have a fiend who will start building this year. He is 65 and opted to go with conventional gas because he figured he would have to live there 20 years for it to start saving him money. He is a retired plumber and has a lot of service experience with geo and HVAC systems.

Geothermal increases your property value as well though. Also as energy prices increase, and they will, your geothermal system will still be paying you. I have natural gas, and that system is approaching twenty years old. I have been researching my options, financially I am not in a position to just replace it, so I am educating myself for the day I need to replace it. I will probably be going back with natural gas, but if I was building new it would be geothermal.

Hoosier Red
03-30-2011, 03:30 PM
It will defiantly reduce power consumption but it may not save you money.

Depends on how long your planning on living there as to weather it is cost effective. The increased cost of the system will take years to balance out and actually start saving you money. I have a fiend who will start building this year. He is 65 and opted to go with conventional gas because he figured he would have to live there 20 years for it to start saving him money. He is a retired plumber and has a lot of service experience with geo and HVAC systems.

It also may be cheaper since lidspinner is building his home, rather than having to dig up an existing back yard.
:dunno:

bucksfan2
03-30-2011, 04:37 PM
If I were to build my dream home I would really consider solar power. It is expensive and takes years to recoup the original investment, but then again I wouldn't be looking to move out of my dream home after a couple of years. The idea of selling energy back to the grid also would entice me.

But in general solar is just too expensive to be practical. Geothermal does seem to be the newest idea to come about. I don't really know if its the same thing or similar but I know radiant heat is becoming a popular idea in some places. It makes sense to me and seems practical as well.

Rojo
03-30-2011, 05:25 PM
If your not in a tsunami plain you might consider a small reactor.

Seriously, one thing to consider with wind and air is that the speculators and dictators can never jack up the price.

Well, not yet.

Caveat Emperor
03-30-2011, 06:45 PM
Seriously, one thing to consider with wind and air is that the speculators and dictators can never jack up the price.

Well, not yet.

A mad scientist just cackled somewhere.

SandyD
03-30-2011, 08:18 PM
http://www.dreamgreenhomes.com/index.htm

here's a link to a site about plans for "green homes." They have plans for a solar greenhouse, among other things. If you want a truly energy efficient home, you need to look at the design and materials you use as well as your energy source.

RBA
03-30-2011, 08:19 PM
Do it yourself wind:

http://www.thegoodhuman.com/2011/03/15/build-your-own-vertical-axis-wind-turbine-on-the-cheap

Caveat Emperor
03-30-2011, 09:10 PM
Do it yourself wind:

Alternate method:

http://www.confessionsofacheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/bush_baked_beans.jpg

lidspinner
03-31-2011, 09:10 AM
some great replies here fella's.....thanks a ton for your opinions....we are in our 30's and plan on never moving again.....this is going to be our last move...we are both entrenched in our jobs locally, neither of us have aspirations of moving away when we retire......unless its just for the winter..lol.....but from what I am reading, the US and Ohio govt has rebates for people who purchase solar for their home.....I am going to keep looking into that option...as well as geothermal.

A question about geothermal.....I have not looked into it much...but from what I gather, its not a energy source, correct? its a way of heating and cooling your water and home, correct? Basically what I am saying is, can I run fridge or TV from geothermal? I dont think I can, but I could be wrong.....

great responses everyone....I am all for all ideas...I will also update you all about the costs and what we choose...hopefully it wont be a headache.

LoganBuck
03-31-2011, 09:22 AM
A question about geothermal.....I have not looked into it much...but from what I gather, its not a energy source, correct? its a way of heating and cooling your water and home, correct? Basically what I am saying is, can I run fridge or TV from geothermal? I dont think I can, but I could be wrong.....



Yes it is a way to heat and cool your home and water, it is expensive but the energy savings is great. I agree with Sandy, spend extra on windows and insulation. It is worth it, you don't even have to be a "greenie" to appreciate energy savings in terms of dollars.

RichRed
03-31-2011, 05:38 PM
Nation's first wind-powered brewery. I'll be checking it out this summer.

http://obbrewing.com/wind-powered-brewery/

Rojo
03-31-2011, 06:14 PM
If your not in a tsunami plain you might consider a small reactor.

I was kidding when I wrote that but....

http://www.nextenergynews.com/news1/next-energy-news5.28.08c.html

GAC
04-03-2011, 12:30 PM
Go geothermal, on a new construction it will pay off more, and is still green.

Yep. I have a few friends who have built new homes over the last several years and taken that route.... and they are glad they did.