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Old 07-12-2012, 07:08 PM   #1
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Alternative Energy Q&A - Ask me about Solar or Wind Power

I just wanted to open up a discussion for anyone interested in using solar or wind power for their home or business. Also anyone who is interested in this as a career is welcome to join in too.

I have been in the alternative energy business for about six years. I have designed and installed hundreds of residential and commercial solar electric systems and several small wind energy systems.

If you have any questions about going solar or employing wind power ask away.

I am not some tree hugging hippy so don't worry thats not what this thread is about but rather I am a dude that thinks this stuff is pretty cool and I can make a good living doing it. I come at this from a construction and management angle and am not an electrician though I am nationally certified so I understand how it all works.

Enjoy!
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:10 PM   #2
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe ....
OZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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I want to get set up for net metering the next time I build
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OZ-T View Post
I want to get set up for net metering the next time I build
That is how the majority of the systems I build are done. Our local utility has a great program. I would check with your utility to see what programs/incentives they offer.

I do a lot of systems on new construction, it is really the best way. We often "rough in" homes so they are "solar ready".

Let me know when your ready to build...
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:20 PM   #4
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe ....
OZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenrustic View Post
That is how the majority of the systems I build are done. Our local utility has a great program. I would check with your utility to see what programs/incentives they offer.

I do a lot of systems on new construction, it is really the best way. We often "rough in" homes so they are "solar ready".

Let me know when your ready to build...
I won't be building for myself again any time soon , but I'm a residential home builder , so I am intetested in learning more
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:39 PM   #5
Chewie is my Co-pilot
YumaTRD is one of the sharper tools in the shedYumaTRD is one of the sharper tools in the shedYumaTRD is one of the sharper tools in the shedYumaTRD is one of the sharper tools in the shedYumaTRD is one of the sharper tools in the shedYumaTRD is one of the sharper tools in the shedYumaTRD is one of the sharper tools in the shedYumaTRD is one of the sharper tools in the shedYumaTRD is one of the sharper tools in the shedYumaTRD is one of the sharper tools in the shedYumaTRD is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Solar is huge in Arizona. ASU is expanding its coverage around campus every year. I'm majoring in Business Sustainability so its good to know someone to talk to in this field of technology.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:42 PM   #6
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greenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OZ-T View Post
I won't be building for myself again any time soon , but I'm a residential home builder , so I am intetested in learning more
http://www.bchydro.com/energy_in_bc/..._metering.html

Here's some info about the program in BC I didn't dig to deep but it describes a "net-metered" system. I also saw some other information about a "feed in tariff" (FIT). Both work well basically they are just different ways of accounting.

I also saw programs for solar thermal.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:47 PM   #7
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greenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YumaTRD View Post
Solar is huge in Arizona. ASU is expanding its coverage around campus every year. I'm majoring in Business Sustainability so its good to know someone to talk to in this field of technology.
Interesting. I just got a bid package for one of the local community colleges this week. It seems like schools are waking up to this idea, my company completed five high school installations so far this year.

The businesses are just starting to pay attention too (around here anyway). It is a great way for them to stabilize part their expenses and have a positive effect on cash flow.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:48 PM   #8
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I just started working in the photovoltaic installation industry and am currently working towards my NABCEP solar installer certification. I just need to sign up for my 10 hour OSHA training class. In my area, it is mostly residential installations that are leased to the customer directly from the manufacturer, or "solar gardens" where whole neighborhoods pay into an offsite location. Those are starting to become more popular
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:51 PM   #9
If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving
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I'm just finishing up a BS in construction engineering, double minoring in business and sustainability. done a fair share of "green" construction. managed a project that just finished up in august, with 3 new buildings earning LEED silver certification. currently working on getting a radio station building to operate 80% on solar.

At a previous job, i worked on projects for the navy, one of which was to create safety standards for hydrogen storage and transportation for fuel cell driven ships they are working on.

i'd be glad to help with questions as well
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:52 PM   #10
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe ....
OZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenrustic View Post
http://www.bchydro.com/energy_in_bc/..._metering.html

Here's some info about the program in BC I didn't dig to deep but it describes a "net-metered" system. I also saw some other information about a "feed in tariff" (FIT). Both work well basically they are just different ways of accounting.

I also saw programs for solar thermal.
Ya , thanks

+1

Solar thermal rough ins are about to become part of our residential building code
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:57 PM   #11
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greenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opy5656 View Post
I just started working in the photovoltaic installation industry and am currently working towards my NABCEP solar installer certification. I just need to sign up for my 10 hour OSHA training class. In my area, it is mostly residential installations that are leased to the customer directly from the manufacturer, or "solar gardens" where whole neighborhoods pay into an offsite location. Those are starting to become more popular
I have my NABCEP solar electric going to try and sit for the Small Wind next spring (going to have another kid next month so don't think I'll have time to prepare for the fall exam). Best tips I can give to prepare for the exam are spend enough time in the industry to know what you are doing and find some good courses (not so easily done). If you happen to work for a company that is a SunPower dealer then SunPower has an online "university" that is great.

No leasing here the utility doesn't allow it. They have however just introduced a FIT which is opening up another sector of the market!
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:00 PM   #12
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greenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colinb17 View Post
I'm just finishing up a BS in construction engineering, double minoring in business and sustainability. done a fair share of "green" construction. managed a project that just finished up in august, with 3 new buildings earning LEED silver certification. currently working on getting a radio station building to operate 80% on solar.

At a previous job, i worked on projects for the navy, one of which was to create safety standards for hydrogen storage and transportation for fuel cell driven ships they are working on.

i'd be glad to help with questions as well
Sounds like some interesting work. We just finished up the alternative energy portion of a LEED silver Winery.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:04 PM   #13
If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving
colinb17 is one of the sharper tools in the shedcolinb17 is one of the sharper tools in the shedcolinb17 is one of the sharper tools in the shedcolinb17 is one of the sharper tools in the shedcolinb17 is one of the sharper tools in the shedcolinb17 is one of the sharper tools in the shedcolinb17 is one of the sharper tools in the shedcolinb17 is one of the sharper tools in the shedcolinb17 is one of the sharper tools in the shedcolinb17 is one of the sharper tools in the shedcolinb17 is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenrustic View Post
Sounds like some interesting work. We just finished up the alternative energy portion of a LEED silver Winery.
nice. did you use the web-based LEED process for your submittals and credit checklists? If so, i'm curious how you liked it. i personally think they have some refining to do. we had issues with the server being very glitchy.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:08 PM   #14
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greenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OZ-T View Post
Ya , thanks

+1

Solar thermal rough ins are about to become part of our residential building code
Solar thermal is cool and it works but I hate installing it for your typical home owner. I tend to shy away from those projects now, but I will install it on my house when I'm ready to build.

The rough in is pretty easy though. I use a pre insulated flexible stainless steel tubing, similar to a gas line, one hot and one cold then run some control/temp sensor wire. Best to get it from the attic to the utility room to a place where you can make a junction later. Don't forget your nail stops when going through a stud or a cat...
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:12 PM   #15
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greenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shedgreenrustic is one of the sharper tools in the shed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colinb17 View Post
nice. did you use the web-based LEED process for your submittals and credit checklists? If so, i'm curious how you liked it. i personally think they have some refining to do. we had issues with the server being very glitchy.
I was not involved in the LEED submittals the owner of the winery is an engineer and developer so he was taking care of that aspect of the project.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:12 PM   #16
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe ....
OZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenrustic View Post
Solar thermal is cool and it works but I hate installing it for your typical home owner. I tend to shy away from those projects now, but I will install it on my house when I'm ready to build.

The rough in is pretty easy though. I use a pre insulated flexible stainless steel tubing, similar to a gas line, one hot and one cold then run some control/temp sensor wire. Best to get it from the attic to the utility room to a place where you can make a junction later. Don't forget your nail stops when going through a stud or a cat...
We have to rough it into the attic from the crawl or mechanical room , somewhere accessible later
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:14 PM   #17
Slow as shit. Cute as Hell.
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Sub'd
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OZ-T View Post
We have to rough it into the attic from the crawl or mechanical room , somewhere accessible later
Speaking from experience don't forget that control/temp wire or if you don't know what is going to be needed run a pvc or seal-tite (empty) conduit with the flex tube

or even better...

build in a chase - I don't understand why more homes don't have them.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:31 PM   #19
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe ....
OZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shedOZ-T is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenrustic View Post
Speaking from experience don't forget that control/temp wire or if you don't know what is going to be needed run a pvc or seal-tite (empty) conduit with the flex tube

or even better...

build in a chase - I don't understand why more homes don't have them.
Yep , got it
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:48 AM   #20
There's an evil monkey in my truck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OZ-T View Post
... so I am intetested in learning more
Subscribed!!!

Ditto for me. The home I'm buying is all electric and rates out here skyrocket when you break into the 3rd tier for usage. I've been looking seriously at solar once we get a gauge of how much we're spending on electricity.

The home's original owners were electricians and they built it when electricity was relatively cheap.

There's a push down here in California to try and get the cap increased as there are so many solar homes we're almost reaching our limit for 5% solar power.

http://cleantechnica.com/2012/05/02/...percent-limit/
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