Do Solar Systems Pay For themselves?|
Solar power is all the rage. But do these systems pay for themselves? A small company thinks that they do. Read more to find out for yourself. Sorry for all the numbers.
Based on current residential E-1 electric rates, a 7% discount rate, 30 year system lifetime, 5% annual electrical rate increases (top electric rates in California have actually increased at an average of 5.5% per year), and 42% combined California and Federal tax rates, solar power systems will save the homeowner $1,888 per year. But the system will cost $25,000. So is it worth it?
Maybe. Also, remember that you can for a smaller system. A $2,500 system will still save you $188 per year.
According to the Appraisal Institute, energy saving improvements will increase your home's value by $20 for every $1 reduction in annual energy usage. In this case the value of the home was increased by $37,760 in current dollars -- more than the net cost of the solar electric system itself! Also,
Moreover, by financing the purchase of the system at an interest rate of 6.5%, the Net Present Value of the system increased to $21,553! This improvement results from the fact that the return on your investment from the solar electric system when it is financed exceeds the cost of the financing itself. On a cash basis, this customer's electric bill went down by $157 per month, and their after tax loan payment went up by $116. Their monthly positive cash flow was therefore $41.
These savings do not take into account several important factors:
Distributed solar electric power is a renewable energy resource and very kind to the environment.
Renewable energy system improvements add significantly to the value of your property without any increase in the assessed value in most municipalities.
Cash flow savings are likely to be hundreds of dollars per month if you were to install a solar electric system in conjunction with other energy saving devices - and then refinance the entire package at a lower interest rate
I like your idea, and would like to get even better cost savings. What do you reccommend?
Here's a secret. Solar panels rarely operate at maximum output. Do increase the power output of the solar panels, just add mirrors! We are the only people in the world that concentrate the sunlight with mirrors before the sunlight hits the solar power. We use slightly smaller solar panels, and multiple mirros to offer 2x the power output without increasing the cost!
I wanted to get the most out of my panel and noticed that it was rarely working at maximum output. I recently got a DC refrigerator and realized I'd need three more panels to run it straight off my array. While mirrors are common for passive photovoltaic systems and parabolic reflectors for solar heaters,I haven't noticed mirrors employed for active systems. Frisnell lenses are used to magnify sunlight on cells, but I didn't have any. It occurred to me to reflect beams of light onto my panel from the sides with mirrors. On cloudy days I could get much better performance from my panel with two mirrors set up as above.
This is the crux of our idea. I can't disclose the entire idea because we're still filing the patent, but but we're taking orders. I've put a paypal button. A $5 (refundable) deposit secures your order!
The system offers a 4-5 x improvement on existing solar power systems. We commonly ship it as a solar power kit, but we can also install it for you through one of our dealers.
Which design gives you more power?
If you're not happy with the system, we'll refund your money. If you'd like more info, email me at cbergstr "at" ttul.org.
Standard Solar power system
Our improved design
We're coming out with imporved system that beamed 20 square meters of sunlight onto a 1 square meter
solar panel. We're really excited about this technology. It's coming out in 2007.