Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maine Coast
Thanked 300 Times in 232 Posts
Rep Power: 18
Re: An eye opener for installing solar panels!
What kills me from an ROI perspective on the solar project im complete is the cost of components *NOT* associated with power generation!
My 215 watt kyocera panel buy was just a small portion of the total spend. Between frame/fittings to make it fit over the bimini, mounting brackets that were required because the standard holes in the panel weren't right, gland fittings for wiring to go through decks, on and on, the ROI of simply getting a honda to charge up batteries made so much more sense.
It's like that with any electrical upgrade.... Try installing a high output alternator. The proper fusing, wiring, pulleys, brackets, nuts bolts and various other accessories will usually cost more than the alternator itself.. Hell a serpentine pulley kit to drive a 100+ amp alt runs about $700.00 alone....
But hey the price of solar has come waaaaaaay down. I just recently ordered two Kyocera 140's for a customer and including shipping it was less than $600.00 for both 140W panels... In fact I treated myself to a new Kyocera 140 a few weeks ago as the price was ridiculously low. We nearly doubled my solar capacity and the bank now goes from where the alt left off to 100% SOC in less than two days.
For about $500.00 or less you can get a pretty sweet solar set up these days.
The ROI really comes down the road. Our 375Ah $210.00 Wal*Mart battery bank is still purring along perfectly in its sixth season. They still test at 96-98% of new. Next year will be year seven and most of this success is due to the addition of solar for our mooring sailed vessel..
-Maine Sail / CS-36T
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 08-30-2012 at 05:59 PM.