Originally Posted by behappy
Evergreen 200W Module Es-A-200 (B Grade) 2x$600
Grid-tie Inverter, 1000 Watts, MPPT Pure Sine (Grid Tie, On Grid, On-Grid, 1KW system, solar panel)$600
$1800 bucks for 400 watts give or take
Originally Posted by Kevdog
Thats enough for 1cpu and 1 video card while the sun is up...
Gonna need an electrician and Power company permits, at least here in Cali so thats a few more $$
I was under the impression I would need more than just the panels and inverter. Rails and other various mounting things, all the cabling, and things like depending on your geographic location--possibly panel tilters so that your panel is at 45* (to the sun, not literally 45* from ground). Then as Kevdog said, you have to get permits (local/city ordinance.. although I'm sure they pass them all since they want you to be "green", power company, etc). I am pretty sure they want a licensed electrician to come do the tie-in work to the grid, as well. You could make it cheap by literally wiring everything up to the box and letting them "hook it up". I'll bet they want to check it though. Or at least claim they have to--regardless if it is already done correctly or not.
Wherever there is fat government rebates and incentives to spur the industry, everyone will want their piece of the pie. It is definitely a hassle and they're not too stoked about the DIY-er solar ideas. I'm sure for good and bad reasons. Even so, 400 watt systems won't do much to ding your bill. At optimal condition (also depends how they're all rated... its a mess) in SoCal we can get ~6hours of good sunlight. On a 400w system that is 72kw/month (30 days--400x6x30/1000).
A PC pulling 500w from the wall 24/7 will use 360kw in a month (500x24x30).
This means that your $1800 (if you can really do it that cheap) solar system will make enough power for 20% of your rig throughout a month. If the cost to run that rig is $50/month-- you'll shave $10 off the bill.
Unfortunately, solar is still not that efficient in the big picture and really really costly to implement. At that rate, it would take *15*
years for your 400watt system to save you enough money to break even on the cost of implementing it.
The real savings (at least in SoCal) are when you can generate enough power to keep your energy usage just low enough to knock you back into a lower tier for pricing reasons.
Ex: Normally a household uses enough power to get Tier 3 pricing (something like 0.24c/kwh)--putting in a small 200 or 400watt solar panel system throws enough power back into the grid that you can get safely knocked back down to Tier 2 pricing (roughly 0.14c/kwh). This saves you 0.10c/kwh, and if you're home is using 2000kwh/month you could potentially save up to $200/month. At that rate, an $1800 investment in solar panels would pay for itself in 9 months and continue to gain value for the owner over time.
I hope I'm not turning you off this, but unless you're on a tiered system and right on the edge (barely into tier 3 or tier 4 usage for example)--it might not be worth it. Just takes a lot of research.
Another alternative is to ask to be switched to the non-flat-rate pricing scheme. That is where they charge you based on peak usage, so during the (hot) daylight hours energy will cost significantly more than in the evening. Since your solar system will be putting power out during the hot(more expensive hours) and your pricing will be significantly cheaper in the evening, you might make out.
It all takes a lot of individual investigation since literally every home and individual use will be unique.