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Mar 4 11 10:34 AM

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I have a broken solar panel that puts out only about 1 amp at 17 volts. Not good for much but better than nothing to charge a car battery or play with. Free 982-3273

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#5 [url]

Jan 10 12 1:42 PM

It's easier to take Buffers or her DH with you to Costco and let them buy it with their membership card.  She's easily bribe-able with things like a nice lunch.  Saves you from having to buy a membership ($50 to $100 a year) and lets you see the store to determine if it's something you'd want to get a membership for.  Costco is pretty far away so it's not a store you'd be shopping at often.

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#6 [url]

Jan 11 12 12:04 AM

Yes Drylandfish I thinkit is a west coast thing. I found it had lots of good "deals" on things when I lived in LA. But usually the saving where spent in their ridiculously generous pastry department:)

don't know how it compares with chains that may not really keep money on island tho...wallmart etc.

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#8 [url]

Jan 11 12 11:11 AM

Costco is in Chicago too (last I checked, Chicago was still in the Midwest :)

Those panels sound like an incredibly good deal. But for someone starting their solar set-up from scratch, what other material/component costs need to be factored in? 

A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions - Confucius

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#9 [url]

Jan 11 12 10:50 PM

Panels, rack to put 'em on, wires from the panels to the battery bank (this is a stand alone system?), a charge controller, a battery bank with monster wires between the batteries and going to the inverter (welding cables work nice), an inverter (full sinewave is best - look at the Outback brand) wires from the inverter to the circuit breaker box in the house.  Oh, a big cut off switch to isolate the battery bank if necessary.  That should aughta do it.  A rack for the batteries, too.

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#10 [url]

Jan 12 12 9:57 AM

Never shopped at a Costco, as it seems to be a west-coast chain. 

-drylandfish

 

They are all over the country, reportedly the third largest retailer in the US. Go to Costco.com and click Locations for details. They also have online sales. 

Do they require a membership like Sam's Club to buy there? If so, at what cost?  

-drylandfish

  Yes, Sam's Club is Walmart's knock-off copy of Costco, including the membership fees. A basic personal membership is currently $50 a year.

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#12 [url]

Jan 12 12 12:09 PM

When we go to Putla & La Lima to volunteer in Mexico, we shop at Costco in Acapulco.

It's such a relief to find Costco & Tony Roma's when you've been eating corn tortillas 

that taste like dirt for a month.

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#13 [url]

Jan 12 12 3:42 PM

best solar panel to buy is passive.  No wires, No Batteries, No charger, No Controller, No maintenance, no costly expense of replacing batteries every 5-10 years.  No HUGE up front cost...

Just basically 5-800 dollars and FREE HOT WATER!   :)

Oh, and did I mention it's more efficient than photovoltaic?   :)

As for costco is concerned would like to find someone that want's to split the membership bill in half.  Yes, it's a whole day drive after spending a few hours in Kona and a few more on the beach.  It's nice to go every 2 weeks or once a month just to get away.  It would also be good to find someone that want's to shop there and can bring back items for others.  Of course I would do the same for the other person.

Tho, I've had my G/F use my card many times ... They don't even look at the card ... It would royally suck to bring someones card to costco -- drive for 4 hours and get few hundred dollars worth of food on the belt and then have a cashier check the card.  But so far 10 for 10 my GF always handed them my card and they didn't even blink.

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#16 [url]

Jan 19 12 11:56 AM

Chooks,

Of course not, solar PV electric isn't efficient enough.    Most people don't know that about 20-30% of their electric bill goes towards heating water ...  You can use this technique to heat a home as well. 

 

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#17 [url]

Jan 21 12 2:15 PM

Chooks,Of course not, solar PV electric isn't efficient enough.    Most people don't know that about 20-30% of their electric bill goes towards heating water ...  You can use this technique to heat a home as well.   

-ericlp

For most locations on the Big Island, solar water heaters are now required for new residential construction. Heating, however, is not required and many homes go without it. Even in the very cool climes of Volcano, census figures show about 1/3 of the homes have wood stoves, 1/3 have heating systems, and 1/3 have no heat. So yes to a solar water heater, but PhotoVoltaics for the other energy needs. 

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#18 [url]

Jan 22 12 4:45 AM


For most locations on the Big Island, solar water heaters are now required for new residential construction. Heating, however, is not required and many homes go without it. Even in the very cool climes of Volcano, census figures show about 1/3 of the homes have wood stoves, 1/3 have heating systems, and 1/3 have no heat. So yes to a solar water heater, but PhotoVoltaics for the other energy needs. 

-opend

Ya know, you can take hot water from the storage tank and pipe it under the floor for radiant heating.

It may require additional collectors and bigger reserve (storage tank) to pull it off but no matter how you slice it, free = free after the system is installed you end up with not only Hot water but warm home to boot in those crisp fern forest mornings. I even hear of people running pipes directly into a wood stove.  There are all kinds of ways to make it work.


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#19 [url]

Jan 22 12 12:57 PM

Floorwide radiant heating sounds interesting, although most of the heating would be happening when it was already hot outside unless the underfloor piping was separate from the storage tank somehow.  Then pumps would be necessary to move the water around which could be problematical if one was off the grid.  Although if there was enough sun to heat the water, there should have been enough sun to charge the battery bank.  Of course, on cold wet weeks when you'd want it most the floor would be cold.  That is, if one is only using solar energy to heat the water under the floor.

How about that old Roman method of floor heating?  They had channels under the floor and ran heat from a fire under it.  Somewhat like a rocket stove under the floor.  I think they called it a hypocaust.  Dunno what they made the floors from, though.  I'd suspect stone or something non-flammable.

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#20 [url]

Jan 22 12 3:37 PM

all depends on... Ambient temps for night/morning... How big your storage tank is, how thick of insulation your have around your storage tank, how big of a home  or room you are trying to heat.  How well, that room is insulated that is being heated.  Insulating the pipes Etc...etc...etc...  There are tons of variables and everyone has different needs. 

Why burn up wood for floor heating?  Doesn't sound too sustainable to me.  Sure you can burn it but that's a lot of carbon / pollution your throwing back into the atmosphere.  It's not very efficient, time consuming and messy.  Yes, you need a pump, but you wouldn't need a very big pump since it would be a closed loop to the storage tank. You would just be cycling the hot water to the floor, and the cold water would be brought back into the tank.  Done cheaply and easily.  If you were off grid you could run a DC pump off a PV system.




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