Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by Shawn » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:43 pm

OK, my solar panels are up and running. A 14-panel, 2.66kW system. Installation took half a day, then we waited over a week for Tepco to install a new meter so we could send power to the grid, and then waited some more so they could actually hook up the meter. :FU: Things officially kicked off on Feb. 6, which was a warm and rainy day. :doh: We've only had a few days of clear weather, but so far, we've been able to generate over half of our electricity needs over the past week. I'm actually looking forward to getting my electricity bill. :cheers:

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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by sirwanksalot » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:47 pm

Sweet! I dream of one day having solar hooked up to my house too!

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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by MacGyver » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:22 am

Just got back from two weeks in Perth and I was amazed at the number of houses that had solar panels on them....
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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by Shawn » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:14 am

MacGyver wrote:Just got back from two weeks in Perth and I was amazed at the number of houses that had solar panels on them....
Same goes for my neighbourhood here. Selling solar panels must be the easiest job in the world at the moment. :mrgreen: Solar panels are at a price where it makes sense to install them if you can.

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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by Edogaijin » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:07 pm

Tepco don't pay as well as you may hope though... although you may be generating a lot of power for them, they are not giving a very fair price for it....

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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by Fenrig » Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:29 pm

Yeah, installing now is good. I got quoted (unofficially) 2Myen for a 4.2 Kw system before subsidies, which is much better than the price I paid. The Jgov is apparently slated to bring subsidies from the current 42yen/kw/hr to 38 or so next year....

BUT it may be good to wait until April for the local/prefectural subsidy budgets to fill up again before ordering. It could knock off some 400,000 off your total price to wait for those... As always, do the math and figure out what's best.

The cool thing about this tech is that the module's price keeps falling (and will likely continue to fall IMHO) but subisidies will shrink over time, so once you have a good price-point to install the system, it's a good time to do so.

Gooo solar!

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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by MacGyver » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:11 pm

Edogaijin wrote:Tepco don't pay as well as you may hope though... although you may be generating a lot of power for them, they are not giving a very fair price for it....
Well, doesn't make sense for them to give you a good price for it considering the amount they have invested in infrastructure.
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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by Edogaijin » Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:56 pm

MacGyver wrote:
Edogaijin wrote:Tepco don't pay as well as you may hope though... although you may be generating a lot of power for them, they are not giving a very fair price for it....
Well, doesn't make sense for them to give you a good price for it considering the amount they have invested in infrastructure.
I don't want a good price, I want a fair price.
I don't get to bargain with them... they set the price. That's the part that isn't fair.

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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by MacGyver » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:04 pm

Edogaijin wrote:I don't want a good price, I want a fair price.
I don't get to bargain with them... they set the price. That's the part that isn't fair.
What's not fair about it? They set the price, which presumably you knew before you bought the panels, and yet you bought the panels anyway. If you didn't think it was fair then, why did you buy the panels? Presumably because it made sense to do so, regardless of whether the price is fair or not. And yet isn't that the definition of fair? The price they offer is good enough that it made sense for you to buy the panels.
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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by Edogaijin » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:11 pm

I got them because it was the 'greeny' thing to do.
Not too fussed about the price really... just that it is very low.

The customers pay for the infrastructure as well...it didn't come out of their pockets.

They can set the price lower and lower and lower. Is that fair?

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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by Edogaijin » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:16 pm

Somehow you've calculated that they are giving a fair price. I'm not sure how you managed to figure that out. :wnw:

Seems like they can do whatever they like with the price.

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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by Edogaijin » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:19 pm

I see where the wires are crossed....

you're talking about the cost of the panels and installation, where as I'm talking about the price TEPCO offer for the price of electricity you let them buy off you.

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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by Wage Slave » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:25 pm

Edogaijin wrote:I got them because it was the 'greeny' thing to do.
[Snip]
They can set the price lower and lower and lower. Is that fair?
I have some sympathy and am wondering if you were in fact mis-sold. It just goes to show again that you really need to do your own sums and never trust what sales people say or forecast. Of course, they never mention the risks or the costs either, so you need to research those before committing to buy.
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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by Edogaijin » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:21 pm

I don't have a problem with the purchase of the system, I'm just concerned how they (Tepco) arrive at the price they buy your (my) electricity at. And is that a fair price?

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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by Fenrig » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:35 pm

TEPCO buys power from me at 48yen/kw/hr and will do so for the next 8 years at which point they'll pay me something else (lower?)

The current price at which I buy power from them varies from 7yen/hour to almost 30yen/hour depending on time of day and season.

From my point of view, they pay me a premium of 18-41yen/hour for my electricity. I have no problem with this and that is what I had expected. There have been no discrepancies between the promises and reality.

I'm sorry you feel like you've been had. I've felt that I've been had by certain telephone companies in the past and it was no fun.

Could you give us more concrete numbers on your expectations vs. the reality you've experienced? It may help others make better decisions.

Thanks.

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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by MacGyver » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:41 pm

No I get you. But what I mean is you knew what the rate they would offer you was but you went ahead and bought/installed the panels anyway. If you bought them for purely green ideals (which are good ideals to have btw) then you shouldn't be worried about the price anyway. Plus its a good deal cause your electricity bills go down regardless of how much you may or may not make from TEPCO. Whinging about the price TEPCO offers you just makes you sound like a CEO of a company letting workers go so he can make more profit to buy that second gold back scratcher that he wanted!

As for infrastructure, I'm referring to electricity lines, poles, power stations, etc, etc that TEPCO had to build. Sure, you had to pay for the installation of your panels, but last I looked the cost of that installation isn't in the league of the cost of TEPCO's infrastructure. Hell, its not even the same god damn sport! :wink:
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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by Edogaijin » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:26 pm

I don't have any regrets.... but don't any of you think it is strange that the seller is not having a say in the price that is being paid?

The infrastructure that Tepco paid for??? Where do you think they get the money to do that?
Who really paid for that infrastructure? You and I and every other customer they have...

They just rake in the money...they don't pay for anything out of their own pockets...the customers do.
And I guess they charge NTT, TV cable companies and a host of other companies that use the infrastructure as well.
You can even buy advertising on the power poles.

Again, I'm not complaining, I'm just pointing out that the deductions you (other people not me ) get or credits may be a lot less than what you are expecting... I don't even check the figures on the bill and with 2 teenage kids who take long showers my electric bill is quite big...plus we don't use gas either.

Arguing on the internet when you're not even arguing!!!!! :bdh:

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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by MacGyver » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:27 pm

Edogaijin wrote:don't any of you think it is strange that the seller is not having a say in the price that is being paid?
No I don't but let me ask, with this sort of business model (numerous people selling small amounts of a product, in this case electricity, to a large entity) how would you propose they ask you what price they sell to you at? Either they come to you directly and negotiate with you directly (I know you're not stupid so I know you don't think that's a reasonable request) or do you think all the sellers should form a co-op of sorts and negotiate as a group? Probably more realistic but doubtful it would ever happen in this case and even if it did, the price still may not satisfy you. You do realise that sellers, especially small ones, are dictated to by the large corporations they sell to all the time right? If you don't believe me, this is exactly what is happening now in Australia between certain farmers and Coles and Woolies. Well, its been happening for ages but what I mean is there is a price war going on (has been for a yr or more now) and certain farmers (dairy and market gardners) are afraid they will be pushed out of business because of the extremely low prices that the 2 super markets are buying their produce from them.
Edogaijin wrote:The infrastructure that Tepco paid for??? Where do you think they get the money to do that?
Who really paid for that infrastructure? You and I and every other customer they have...
You should set up a competing company! Just tell a bank to lend you trillions of yen in start up fees and tell them the money is guaranteed cause your customers will be paying for it. I know TEPCO is a little different from many other organisations as they started life (and still are to a certain degree) as a government-run company but don't forget you only pay a small portion of their costs with your bills, regardless of having solar panels or not.
Edogaijin wrote:Again, I'm not complaining, I'm just pointing out that the deductions you (other people not me ) get or credits may be a lot less than what you are expecting...
Actually this is a fair point. As Fenrig asked, what were you expecting and how much does the price you were expecting differ from what you actually get? I think its fair enough to be pissed off if you were told to expect 500 yen/kw/hr but only get a fraction of that.
Edogaijin wrote:Arguing on the internet when you're not even arguing!!!!! :bdh:
Hey, you opened Pandora's Box.... :wink:
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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by Edogaijin » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:15 pm

Before I ruffle some more feathers let me say that I agree with everything you just said.

Now for the fun part...

My son and father in-law made a water power generator 3 years ago for summer homework...for their efforts my son got some award from Chiba prefecture...

I took a video of the project and put it on youtube... so popular this clip is I make close to 1man yen a month from it....

Now lets take that as my electric company start up expense....Ooops I'm already making a profit and I haven't sold any power yet....
Now!!! Let's compare that to TEPCOs profit for the 2011 year... Oooops -$23.6 billion...that's MINUS!!!
That puts me up around $23.6 billion plus or minus a little....

I think I'm doing pretty well so far...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDgGvPdAuTU

Version 2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5rz91Z5QUY

http://www2j.biglobe.ne.jp/~hoshino/koa ... udenki.htm

Version 3:
http://www2j.biglobe.ne.jp/~hoshino/bio ... system.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0K3U3yA ... M870rtuun7

Currentley being developed by a company in China under license. They saw a market for it.

My father in-law has taken this project a few more steps... upgraded and made other electricity producing machines...
For the last month he has been installing a Stirling Engine (electricity (and hot water ) producing ) in a Sendai high school that was nearly destroyed by the tsunami.
They no longer have to rely on TEPCO for a lot of their power...

Version 4: Sorry I have to charge admission for this one!!!

:thumbsup:

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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by Edogaijin » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:38 pm

I think its fair enough to be pissed off if you were told to expect 500 yen/kw/hr but only get a fraction of that.
This is also a little bit misleading. They quote per hour...but there is no mention there of 'only if the sun is out and shining enough rays on your panels'

Of course you're only going to get a fraction of that! 48yen/kw/hr There is no way they can pay that much.

http://astro.unl.edu/classaction/animat ... lorer.html

And please feel free to change that 48yen to x.

You can only be paid a fraction of x.

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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by BergKatse » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:26 am


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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by Sankyuberymucho » Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:23 pm

Edogaijin wrote:Before I ruffle some more feathers let me say that I agree with everything you just said.

Now for the fun part...

My son and father in-law made a water power generator 3 years ago for summer homework...for their efforts my son got some award from Chiba prefecture...

I took a video of the project and put it on youtube... so popular this clip is I make close to 1man yen a month from it....

Now lets take that as my electric company start up expense....Ooops I'm already making a profit and I haven't sold any power yet....
Now!!! Let's compare that to TEPCOs profit for the 2011 year... Oooops -$23.6 billion...that's MINUS!!!
That puts me up around $23.6 billion plus or minus a little....

I think I'm doing pretty well so far...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDgGvPdAuTU

Version 2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5rz91Z5QUY

http://www2j.biglobe.ne.jp/~hoshino/koa ... udenki.htm

Version 3:
http://www2j.biglobe.ne.jp/~hoshino/bio ... system.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0K3U3yA ... M870rtuun7

Currentley being developed by a company in China under license. They saw a market for it.

My father in-law has taken this project a few more steps... upgraded and made other electricity producing machines...
For the last month he has been installing a Stirling Engine (electricity (and hot water ) producing ) in a Sendai high school that was nearly destroyed by the tsunami.
They no longer have to rely on TEPCO for a lot of their power...

Version 4: Sorry I have to charge admission for this one!!!

:thumbsup:
I concur, impressive stuff. Is your father in-law some kind of engineering genius? I often think I should have been an engineer. The problem is most courses are too long and too expensive, and not closely related to engineering practice, so I got discouraged from pursuing it any further.

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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by Edogaijin » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:34 pm

.I Saw your video ( Water Power Generator ) im a hudge fan of your work and i thought it was great. Just thought id let you know that Id be happy to pay you some free money via paypal to have some info added into your video description.

please let me know via reply or email if your interested

Throwing money at me now!

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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by Edogaijin » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:05 am

One more question for Mac!


Do you think the Aussie farmers think they are getting a fair price for their milk?

:love:

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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by MacGyver » Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:41 pm

Edogaijin wrote:Do you think the Aussie farmers think they are getting a fair price for their milk?
:lol: They certainly don't think so!
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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by Shawn » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:10 am

Time for an update. These are the results for the first two months with the solar panels.

February

Used: 414kWh (10,694 yen)
Sold: 95kWh (3,990 yen)
Effective bill for the month: 6,704 yen.
My bill would be even cheaper were it not for the fact that I was only generating power for 10 days during the billing period.

March
Used: 264kWh (7,107 yen)
Sold: 169kWh (7,098 yen)
Effective bill for the month: 9 yen. :clap:

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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by Wage Slave » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:48 am

Impressive! How much were the panels again?
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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by Shawn » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:58 pm

Wage Slave wrote:Impressive! How much were the panels again?
Well, I paid Y1.6 million, but with the government subsidy it came to Y1.4 million. Off the top of my head, I think I'm on track to recover the cost of the system in about 10 years. But then again, I've only got two month's worth of data to work with.

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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by Wage Slave » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:50 am

What if you need to move? Can the system move with you or are there technical and/or contractual reasons why that can't happen?

Is there a second hand market at all?

10 years is pretty decent, but if it is tied to one location .........Still, I suppose you could always list it at a fair second hand price as an add on to the price of the house if you need to sell up.
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Re: Solar Panels for Fun and Profit

Unread post by Shawn » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:36 am

Wage Slave wrote:What if you need to move? Can the system move with you or are there technical and/or contractual reasons why that can't happen?
The panels are bolted to the roof plus there's all the extra wiring for the power converter, so I can't imagine taking it with me if I had to move. I think I'd be able to add to the price of the house if I had to sell though.

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