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Solar Photovoltiac

KAB_2 Member Posts: 15
Guys can anyone recommend a website or web calculator to see what I could actually generate and save (or sell) with a PV array.  I'm getting a quote on a system and want to educate myself.  Sorry I know this is a heating site, but if I can generate enough I'll get a Fulton Electric Boiler.  Thanks.


  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    Hate to burst your bubble, but....

    Solar PV efficiency is around 15% at peak conditions. Solar Thermal is around 60% efficient. Unless you have a LOT of money, and a LOT of space to put collectors in, you're probably not going to be able to afford an electric boiler and a PV system.

    There are some smaller systems that are utilizing state of the art air source heat pumps with PV's, but still extremely limited in capacity. And then there is the inverter, and battery $torage $y$tems necessary to complete the system...

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • KAB_2
    KAB_2 Member Posts: 15

    Thanks Mark, more I look into it the more I agree with you. Thanks KAB
  • Kevin_in_Denver_2
    Kevin_in_Denver_2 Member Posts: 588
    edited August 2012
    PV vs Thermal

    I would say that for a new, sub 2000 sq.ft., energy efficient house, grid-tied PV is preferable to solar thermal. The pendulum has only recently swung that way because of PV price reductions, and new heat pumps for heating and domestic hot water.

    A resistance boiler for space heating would be a bad choice in any case.
    Superinsulated Passive solar house, Buderus in floor backup heat by Mark Eatherton, 3KW grid-tied PV system, various solar thermal experiments
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,252
    I'll add...

    ... that there is a huge amount of info on all things solar at https://homepower.com/ .

    Yours,  Larry
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 21,898

    that a pv array generates power that can be used all year, maybe not so with a thermal array. I'm hearing prices about 1 buck a watt for PV, if you can install them yourself a pv array could be a better choice.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
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