Dulcimoo.com uses 100% carbon free electricity for all electrical uses.
Our web hosting facility, fatcow, is 100% wind powered.
And our corporate headcowters electrical needs are 100%+ solar photovoltaic, provided by Sun Fusion Solar power.
If you use electricity and you own your home or office then go solar!
I did - this is the dulcimoo solar farm
Why go solar? There are many reasons to go solar, but here are a few:
- In the long term the electricity will cost you very little if anything! After your system is paid for it will continue to run...perhaps for decades. Modern solar components have 25 year warranties and will continue to produce electricity for MANY years beyond that.
- In the short term you pay for Electricity anyway. A properly executed loan will cost you less than you are paying now and additionally can reduce your costs due to government interest rate rebates via tax deductions.(talk to a tax consultant about this!)
- Lock in the costs of electricity. Over the past three decades electrical rates have risen between 4% and 8% (depending on where you live) per year. By purchasing solar you lock in your rates!
- The MORE electricity you use the FASTER the ROI is. Because electrical usage is tiered (the more you use the more each unit costs) and the price to install solar in fixed (or lower) per unit, installing solar actually costs less in relation to your current costs the more you use.
- Solar produces the MOST when the costs of electricity is HIGHEST. Because electricity rates are typically highest (based on time of use) in the daytime hours and this is when your system is producing it saves money.
- It is good for the planet. We decided to go Solar after the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. The more the human herd goes solar the less we will need nuclear power. Did you know the smoke plume from coal power plants is radioactive and that coal ash can be more radioactive than nuclear waste?!
- Still on the fence ... Uncle Sam provides 30% solar tax incentives in addition to what the state or local utility provide
Does it work? Yes! ... when there is some sun light!
In the first 6 Months of operation - we made over 3.8 MEGA Watt hours of electricity! ...
... In terms of CO2 That is over 110 BBQs worth!
You can see the difference in our power consumption ...
... the line is before solar ... the bars are after solar.
Note: During the day time hours ... no energy was used from the power company.
Below see our system (if there is some sun light) working
Note the data is lagged about 45 min.
Still in the dark? ...
Here is an excerpt from my July 2011 Power bill. ... this was the first full solar month
That -287 kWh credit is going to be worth about 25 dollars at the end of the year
The small charge is the cost of using the power company as a battery
How are we doing after the first full year?
The graph on the left shows The cumulative Solar Production over the first year.
The graph on the right shows the actual output in relation to the estimated output given by the PV Watts tool (see below). In summer production was above the estimate, but in winter a little below. Some Eucalyptus trees shade my array in the winter afternoons so my production is not as high as I'd hope ... but the bottom line due to the great production I get in Summer does not justify getting rid of them at this time.
The bottom line...
So after a year I had excess production of 1,941 kWh, for which I received a credit of $54.51 on my SDGE bill
So ... really how is this working out for me
After 2 years ... I have a credit balance of over $75 ... never pay an electric bill again ... what a great feeling!
But wait? Isn't the credit getting smaller? ... Well yes and no ...
The first year I actually paid each month the minimum usage fee (even if I did not have to) because I was not entirely sure how it was going to work out. However after the first year I had a credit (about half from paying the fee) so that's never deducted any more. The actual extra credit I have for the past year was $62.22 which is still larger that the first year. The total (including carry over from the first year is a bit larger than $75) as long at it keeps getting larger ...
...and it really helps with those reduce your use days too!
Soooo ... after 4 years I have a credit of about 300 dollars (USD). In the past year I only used a little power one month. Here is my usage in the past year:
Some of the questions I get asked are How long will a roof top solar install last? and Does Solar degrade over time?
In a study done by Queens University Canada, of 204 modules that have been in the field at least 19 years,
it shows that modules should last at least 30 years and perhaps more. In addition power degradation is less
than 1 percent a year (it averaged 0.86 percent per year).
What does this mean? This means that if you are worried about degradation, add one extra panel now
for every 10-20 panels you install and you will generate all the power you will need, but that is probably not necessary
as energy efficiency (for example LED TVs are more efficient that LCDs) will continue to increase so it is not
going to be a big deal in twenty years and the degradation is very small anyway.
Solar Planning Calculators
CSI Solar Sizing Tool - plug in your electrical usage and dial in the system size you need. A SUPER good tool! I give this one 5 milk buckets!
NREL PV Watts home page
PV Watts notes for Enphase users
SolarWorld Solar Saving Calculator
Sharp Clean Power Estimator
Electric Cars and Plug In Hybrids
CODA (R.I.P.) Was All Electric Car from an all electric car company
Tesla Motors Premium Electric Vehicles
Fisker Automotive Lux Hybrid with serious (like 50Mile) range on Electric alone
LEAF The All Electric from Nissan.
Volt The All Electric car with an integrated generator from Chevrolet.
Ford All Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Ford Fusion and Focus
prius plug-in A 15 Mile Electric range then it runs just like the regular prius - From Toyota of course.
Smartcar Electric A small car for the Big City
The Bell Solar Battery - the start of PV in your home
The EPA CO2 Equivalency COWculator ... how many barbeques propane tanks will your solar offset?
Electric Cars are for Girls Blog
Solar Power Forum
Solar Panel Talk
Some one did it themselves ... not my cup of tea
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