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Vic801

Using Solar Panels To Power Electricity In The Home?

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We are toying with the idea of using our solar panels not only for hot water but for the electricity in the flat and I would be interested in hearing if anyone else has installed a similar system.We have 4 large solar panels which at the time were bought to generate enough energy to heat water for 6 bathrooms. We were thinking that maybe the extra energy generated could be transformed and stocked to link to the electric system and we could maybe install electric radiators instead of burning coal in the soba.Apart from the possible financial savings, it would also be a contribution to reducing the pollution impact on the environment. But although everybody we know has solar panels (even in the tiniest mountain village) nobody seems to use them for anything other than hot water.Anybody any idea where or how we could get more information about the feasibility of this?Thank you

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Wow Vic, do you really have 6 bathrooms ? Your idea certainly has merit, but otherwise I don't know much about it. I read somewhere that it can take up to 8 years for a solar energy system to "pay for itself", but if you'll be using it to power the whole house, it should take less time.

If only the government would plough more funds into researching alternative sources........... but then, they'd be putting the powerful energy corporations out of business, wouldn't they ?

Good luck with it, and do let us know how it goes ! Posted Image

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The solar panels fitted to heat water cannot produce electricity. You will need dedicated electric solar panels, a bank of batteries that will be charged by the panels and various other pieces of equipment all of which will add up to a sizeable financial outlay. Before buying a system make sure you know the expected life of the various components and their maintenance and renewal costs because it will be expensive and it may take a long time to break even. If you google solar energy systems you will have lots of choice.

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Thank you for your answers: Meral, we don't have 6 bathrooms now but we did at the time we were transforming a place into a hotel. When we left we brought the panels with us to our present (one bathroom!) flat.Cukurbagli,

The solar panels fitted to heat water cannot produce electricity

Sorry, I am a real beginner on this, but why?I did start Googling things and found a guy in Arizona who had kitted out his house with a minimum of electricity using home-made solar panels and a car battery. The other sites selling the complete system seemed to have prices out of this world. But in any case the sites I found in France or in the UK selling the same solar panels as ours showed prices at least 4 times as much as what we paid here. So it was more about what is available in Turkey.

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Cukurbagli,Sorry, I am a real beginner on this, but why?

Because electrical solar panels have solar cells in them and water heating panels have tubes for the water to flow through. I don't think there are any that will do both but I could be behind the cutting edge of development on this. Solar water heating is incredibly cheap here in turkey, I had a complete set up installed on a five metre tower not long ago and it only cost me TL 1200. UK and the rest of Europe is way above that price.

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If you google "free electricity", it's amazing what comes up -- they make power from water, air and the earth. Mostly DIY stuff based on inventions by Nikola Tesla. I hope you find something suitable Vic ! :)

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Thank you Sunny, I had seen the first link and I think I hadn't worked out that the Gunes Enerji that we have is Solar and not PhotoVoltaic. I just naively thought that since we are producing tons of boiling hot water every day which we don't need that energy could somehow be transformed into electricity.I found this link http://mdpub.com/SolarPanel/ and only understood half of it but thought there might be a possibility.Never mind, I'll have to stop having good ideas! We aren't going to invest in a second system when we've already got an over-sized hot-water solar system.

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Noooo! Don't stop having good ideas, they might start working..

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Well if you've got lots of hot water my idea would be to have two of the panels for the normal hot water system then make a closed system for the remaining panels and install a pump and radiators so that the water is circulated. Voila! Central heating.Errr, I suspect it's not that simple and it would only be hot enough during the day and early evening.

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Interesting idea Sunny. In any case it would have to be a system that would switch over to the water heater on very cloudy days and as you say would probably only heat in the early evening but since we never heat at night anyway might be worth looking into. We'll talk to our plumber/solar panel man and see what he thinks.Thank you

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