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Let the Sun Shine ! Solar Power roof ? Anyone have any recommendations ?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: August 30, 2021 08:46AM
We have a sudden influx and I am thinking about a solar power install on the roof and a Powerwall to give some environmental friendliness and a bit of a power backup for my home during storms and whatnot.

And there are a gazillion companies out there on the interwebs... it's like they are selling aluminum siding in the 60's.

Yeah, NE Ohio isn't really a hotbed for solar, but we get sunshine. Companies in the area are starting to add solar arrays, so I suspect it's growing.
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Re: Let the Sun Shine ! Solar Power roof ? Anyone have any recommendations ?
Posted by: OWC Jamie
Date: August 30, 2021 09:03AM
I think the companies you're seeing adding are probably using articulating panels that follow the sun in your area. A large solar farm just went in near our OWC office and the panels all track the sun, Our array(s) are stationary and definitely show less generation as they are fixed position.

I'd call your local solar companies and ask for them to show you similar sized arrays they've installed - they can show you the data from each install with historical averages and you can get a real good idea what timeframe your ROI is going to be and what you can expect from your square footage of install.

If they balk at giving you that data (or at least showing it to you, and I'd ask for it to be presented live, not a spreadsheet or anything like that, ask them to see the data, they will have to log in and can show you... it's not right for your area, they are trying to hide something.

It's honestly not much of a savings in the grand scheme of things currently. 20 years $4K savings. You can do a lot better with an investment of the $ the roof will cost than that.

And - you have to remember your roof needs to be in really good shape to do this. If you need shingles in 10 years, the roof has to come off and so do the panels so factor that in smiling smiley

Average home in Ohio
Based on your query
Estimated savings
Over 20 years after
solar purchase
$4,000
Source: Project Sunroof



Good Luck!
Jamie Dresser
Other World Computing
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Re: Let the Sun Shine ! Solar Power roof ? Anyone have any recommendations ?
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: August 30, 2021 09:14AM
[sunroof.withgoogle.com]

Google started this page years ago (back when they were still trying to not be evil) and it does a good job of showing how various options would work for your scenario using Google Maps data. Then they give you suggestions for installers in your area.



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MacResource User Map: [www.zeemaps.com]#
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Re: Let the Sun Shine ! Solar Power roof ? Anyone have any recommendations ?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: August 30, 2021 10:09AM
I'd do a lot of homework before investing in solar power on your roof. First, why your roof? Would it be better to invest in solar panels _not_ on your roof? I'm not sure if thats an option but its an interesting question. Whats the opportunity cost? How much money might you expect to make if the same amount was in the stock market?

There might be better options for investing in your home and making it more ecologically friendly.



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Re: Let the Sun Shine ! Solar Power roof ? Anyone have any recommendations ?
Posted by: Spiff
Date: August 30, 2021 11:47AM
Do some investigation. I installed solar on my roof when the craze hit SC. I got in on the ground floor of it all and the power company actually pays me for the electricity that I make

Regardless. It covers about half of our electricity bill a month. We have a big house with a lot of additions and old windows. So the house "breaths". If we update our windows (there's a lot of them), then I think we will improve things dramatically. So figure out what your yearly usage is, then talk to someone and find out how many solar panels that would equate to (rough estimates). Then see how much it would cost to put it in, etc etc etc.

Not as straight forward as you would want it to be.
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Re: Let the Sun Shine ! Solar Power roof ? Anyone have any recommendations ?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: August 30, 2021 12:13PM
>If we update our windows (there's a lot of them), then I think we will improve things dramatically.

Thats another item worth close inspection.
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Re: Let the Sun Shine ! Solar Power roof ? Anyone have any recommendations ?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: August 30, 2021 12:23PM
California (at least part of it) is ahead of most of the world/country for solar by mandating some new construction to include solar. This usually means that roofs in new developments have been somewhat optimized for generation.

Older homes can be very problematic. Even on somewhat newer construction, kludging an installation that is visible from the street could cause an issue with local codes or homeowners associations. Having a solar option was on my checklist before the last time I moved but wasn't viable in the time frame I set for myself. My current location isn't great because of neighbor's trees and the roof orientation.

Nearby community installations would be something to research. Ohio seems to promote this, several results for a search on [community solar near Cleveland, OH].



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Re: Let the Sun Shine ! Solar Power roof ? Anyone have any recommendations ?
Posted by: OWC Jamie
Date: August 30, 2021 01:18PM
I do think if I were in your shoes, I'd first look at every other energy consuming aspect of the house and modernize it. Windows #1. Furnace / A/C #2. Appliances #3.

Solar sounds great. So does wind. We have both at OWC - and we benefit from both substantially - but the ROI and up front cost are a severe detractor to most. It's expensive being green smiling smiley



Good Luck!
Jamie Dresser
Other World Computing
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Re: Let the Sun Shine ! Solar Power roof ? Anyone have any recommendations ?
Posted by: Forrest
Date: August 30, 2021 02:05PM
If your house is more than 15 years old, you should do a thorough roof inspection to determine if it can handle the load.
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Re: Let the Sun Shine ! Solar Power roof ? Anyone have any recommendations ?
Posted by: sekker
Date: August 30, 2021 03:27PM
Quote
OWC Jamie
I do think if I were in your shoes, I'd first look at every other energy consuming aspect of the house and modernize it. Windows #1. Furnace / A/C #2. Appliances #3.

Solar sounds great. So does wind. We have both at OWC - and we benefit from both substantially - but the ROI and up front cost are a severe detractor to most. It's expensive being green smiling smiley

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Re: Let the Sun Shine ! Solar Power roof ? Anyone have any recommendations ?
Posted by: mikebw
Date: August 30, 2021 05:45PM
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
Even on somewhat newer construction, kludging an installation that is visible from the street could cause an issue with local codes or homeowners associations. Having a solar option was on my checklist before the last time I moved but wasn't viable in the time frame I set for myself. My current location isn't great because of neighbor's trees and the roof orientation.

At least here in MD, there is nothing legal an HOA could do to stop you from having solar installed.

Quote
Forrest
If your house is more than 15 years old, you should do a thorough roof inspection to determine if it can handle the load.

Any solar company worth dealing with would absolutely inspect the roof FIRST thing. The plan must include calculations on load forces in order to be approved for a permit, again here in MD anyway. Last house I lived in we decided to replace the shingles before letting SolarCity put on their system just to avoid having to pay more for removal and reinstallation of the panels down the road.
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Re: Let the Sun Shine ! Solar Power roof ? Anyone have any recommendations ?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: August 30, 2021 07:36PM
Depends on the municipality level code but, very generally speaking, there are no zoning restrictions for roof-mount PV panels as they are an accessory use to the primary residence, and possibly not even that. There situations with an exception in cases of historic homes listed as part of a local historic district, and perhaps some esoteric situations. Ground-mount is different and may very well trigger dimensional restrictions and further constraints.
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Re: Let the Sun Shine ! Solar Power roof ? Anyone have any recommendations ?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: August 30, 2021 11:21PM
If we update our windows (there's a lot of them), then I think we will improve things dramatically.


Hm.

Definitely something to consider.

An energy audit could tell one which are the biggest offenders, and those could be replaced first, avoiding an all at once expenditure.

(Obviously, one would replace all windows literally at the same time, though.)





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Re: Let the Sun Shine ! Solar Power roof ? Anyone have any recommendations ?
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: August 31, 2021 07:11AM
Quote
mikebw
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
Even on somewhat newer construction, kludging an installation that is visible from the street could cause an issue with local codes or homeowners associations. Having a solar option was on my checklist before the last time I moved but wasn't viable in the time frame I set for myself. My current location isn't great because of neighbor's trees and the roof orientation.

At least here in MD, there is nothing legal an HOA could do to stop you from having solar installed.

Quote
Forrest
If your house is more than 15 years old, you should do a thorough roof inspection to determine if it can handle the load.

Any solar company worth dealing with would absolutely inspect the roof FIRST thing. The plan must include calculations on load forces in order to be approved for a permit, again here in MD anyway. Last house I lived in we decided to replace the shingles before letting SolarCity put on their system just to avoid having to pay more for removal and reinstallation of the panels down the road.

And when the roof starts leaking a few years later who covers the repairs?

Solar company or roofing company?

Or do they just point fingers at one another while you're left holding the bag?
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Re: Let the Sun Shine ! Solar Power roof ? Anyone have any recommendations ?
Posted by: space-time
Date: August 31, 2021 07:54AM
At least here in MD, there is nothing legal an HOA could do to stop you from having solar installed.

At my old townhouse, the HOA owned and maintained the roof. I don’t think they would agree to install solar. No way.
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Re: Let the Sun Shine ! Solar Power roof ? Anyone have any recommendations ?
Posted by: Lux Interior
Date: August 31, 2021 08:08AM
Go for the Tesla solar roof!
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Re: Let the Sun Shine ! Solar Power roof ? Anyone have any recommendations ?
Posted by: wowzer
Date: September 01, 2021 08:07AM
I installed a 17kW system, which was near 100% on my home. It feeds the grid and net-metering. It costs almost nothing after a year.

I just bought another house, and am thinking about solar. I would love to do a ground based system, as I have a large hill just north of the house. This hill faces south, and should be a great way to generate energy.

I am also interested in finding out if anyone successfully installed a ground based system.



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