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Retirement Dirt
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Pumpkinslinger
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Joined: Sep 22, 2007
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Location: NC foothills

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Retirement Dirt Reply with quote

Cary, a friend here is heavily into solar power, etc. and he says most solar panels are guaranteed for 25 years. He said that they do degrade over time but sort of settle out at about 80%.

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PaulS
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Joined: Feb 18, 2006
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Location: South-Eastern Washington - the State

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Retirement Dirt Reply with quote

Well maintained "lead-acd" bateries will last 5 to 10 years - depending on the type. Metal cased batteries will last the longest and the smaller plastic cased batterues will last about 5 years.

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SwampFox
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Joined: Jul 15, 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:31 am    Post subject: Re: Retirement Dirt Reply with quote

Cary,
I have chased the tail on this a bit. It appears that the windmill is the tried and tested product for longevity. However, the solar products are vastly improved and are replacing windmills as the windmills wear out. So one must surmise that the folks that have mills believe the solar product to be at least less cumbersome as relates to maintenance. It is pretty obvious that a walk over to the array of panels is a less traumatic experience than climbing a 40 ft tower and standing on a 4 ft square platform in the wind, with a free swinging mill head that must be oiled, etc. Very Happy

In my case, without either system and starting out from scratch, the solar is a lot less of a problem to install, especially considering the 40 ft wide spread and anchored (hurricanes) tower for the mill. Plus, at 20 years, I figure someone else will be replacing the panels that wear out.
Best,
Ed

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OntheLasGallinas
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Joined: Aug 23, 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:05 am    Post subject: Re: Retirement Dirt Reply with quote

I didn't know that solar panels lasted so long. I know that batteries have a shorter lifespan. I guess there are limitations to both systems. If you have no wind (like south Texas is prone to do during Dog Days-June-July-August) and the weeks of cloudy days during the winter.

Another question. To what extent does solar panels work on cloudy days. It seems that they would work some.

Cary

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SwampFox
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:59 am    Post subject: Re: Retirement Dirt Reply with quote

Cary,
My understanding is that the solar panels work to some degree as long as there is sun light. A DC pumps as shown simply reduce in outflow until the wattage reaches the point of shut off. On average the panels work at optimum output for 5 hours per day, 365 days per year. The trick is to figure your need then the reduction in output (about 90% true compared to list, plus 80% for age) and build you array to match, but you do not exceed the maximum wattage for the application. If you are running a stock watering system with a DC pump, small outflow of water per hour, I understand you can go direct from panel to pump without an inverter or battery system. But, I may be wrong in that understanding. I intend on having a system designed by the folks that I posted, so at the point of receipt of design I will know a lot more.
Best,
Ed

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