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Re: Post on the General BB from 2002: Solar Panels Posted by Snowmobile [Email] (#686) [Profile/Gallery] (more from Snowmobile) on Fri, 17 May 2019 20:07:18
In Reply to: Re: Post on the General BB from 2002: Solar Panels, JerseySaab [Profile/Gallery] , Fri, 17 May 2019 06:58:21 Members do not see ads below this line. - Help Keep This Site Online - Signup
Solar panels benefit from the right climate and siting. Obviously if you are in a cloudier coastal environment with less than ideal siting (eg trees shading the roof), you will not yield the same benefits as someone in California or Arizona. That said even up here in central Canada, they can be cost effective, with many clear days even in winter and if you have southern exposure with no shadowing. There were at one time good deals with the local utilities to invest in this. Snow is not much of an issue if the roof pitch is adequate. Smoother roofing materials, like metal and in this case glass, shed snow much more efficiently than asphalt shingles with adequate pitch.
I agree on the aesthetics to some extent. Some look at the panels as a badge of honour, and they will significantly increase the value of your house to some. Others find them unattractive. I suppose I don't have a strong opinion on the aesthetics, as quite frankly, most people have asphalt shingle roofs which are plenty artificial looking anyway. Would be different if one had slate or tile or something... That said, I think there will be a huge market for photovoltaic shingle materials that are designed to look good, and serve the dual purpose of keeping water out and generating electricity. Quite frankly, a conventional roof is a huge waste of energy - asphalt shingles do not last long, they absorb a huge amount of radiant energy which in the summer only worsens the cooling load. It would not be hard to design a dramatically more functional roof system. There was a neat one I saw that integrated hydronic under photovoltaic... I will try to find a link to post.
All that said Tesla (or some offshoot thereof) is offering a photovoltaic integrated roof tile system that kind of does what I'm suggesting above... but it is *ridiculously* expensive. Like more than the cost of most people's houses, and with some super long waiting list. I do think that is the direction things will go, but as you say, it might be far enough in the future that you aren't going to be interested.
Tesla S does have a little bit in common with the 9000 (large hatchback) and would be one of the cars I'd consider in the future if we get to a point where the saabs we have are no longer viable (well I plan to at least keep a c900 indefinitely if possible!)...
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