Monday, July 22, 2013

Solar Panels

This thought has been kicking around in my head for awhile now. This country needs to do more about using solar for power. Solar will work anywhere as long as there is daylight (I have a little solar panel that plugs into the cigarette lighter and it produces power as long as there is daylight, even after sunset). 

The problem seems to be that those with the resources to do more about solar aren't interested in doing so. They'd rather continue with the status quo. And those that would like to do more solar don't have the resources to do so. I would be interested in doing solar, but the upfront cost is too great. Several years ago I saw something about how there were companies that would put in solar systems and the homeowners would pay the company for the power generated by the solar panels. Haven't seen or heard anything about anything like that lately. Also one thing that may keep some people from putting in alternative power systems is in most states if you have an alternative power system and sell power back to the grid, you need a separate meter and you get paid a pittance instead of having a meter that would run backwards when you put power back on to the grid.  

But if every home (or a large majority of them) were to have solar panels providing electricity, what would the power companies do?? They wouldn't be able to make lots of money producing and supplying power to homes and businesses (they're great at doing things like telling people to conserve energy and then jacking up the rates because people are using less energy). What if large businesses like the big-box stores were to put solar panels on their roofs and in their parking lots?? That would be a win-win, power for the store and shaded parking for the customers. In some areas the shaded parking would seem like manna from heaven, and in all areas would be welcome in the summer.

Seems like this country never thinks in terms of having a whole lot of little projects working together, instead they think in terms of doing a huge project or projects. Like the huge solar projects in the deserts in the Southwest. 

Some of my thoughts on solar, which may or may not be coherent. 


  1. A little solar panel that plugs into the cigarette lighter doesn't produce much but I guess it's better than nothing.

    I have four big ones, guess I really should set them up and if I lived off grid I would.

  2. It all comes down to money and influence of big companies.

    Living off the grid is not profitable for Oil and coal industries or the electrical generating and distributing companies.

    A citizen producing electricity country would devastate the status quo economy.

    the Ol'Buzzard

  3. I see that in Arizona they want to tax you for using them.

  4. BBC, RE: Arizona, the state is run by FuckingRepublicans, so of course they would do everything they can to tax and inconvenience the average person while giving tax breaks to the rich and big corporations. That's a fucking given!!

  5. I lived outside of Kingman, Arizona for a year off grid with a 500 watt generator and one solar panel and a propane fridge. But that was back in the 80's.

  6. The sun doesn't always shine, nor does the wind always blow, so you have to maintain the original generating and grid system.

    We are not hooked on hydrocarbons because it is profitable for the big companies. the big companies exist and are profitable because we are hooked on hydrocarbons. They are cheap and they work better than any alternative to date.

  7. Solar panels work even on cloudy days, not as well as on a bright sunny day, but they do produce electricity. The problem with individual solar and wind systems is once the system is installed there is nothing more the company can sell the individual other than new batteries every ten years and maybe new solar panels every twenty years.

    Rockefeller had a lot to do with getting us hooked on hydrocarbons. Ford wanted to run his cars on alcohol. Also GM, Firestone and the oil companies killed the streetcar systems around the country to replace them with buses. That change wasn't made because they were more efficient, they actually bought up streetcar systems and replaced them with buses because they could then sell their products.

  8. I have a solar panel I bought in 87 and it's still good but it's been in storage and not used.

    The old low compression engines would run on damn near anything.


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