A Solar Buyer’s Guide: Solar for Home and Office


Thomas Schueneman
Thomas Schuenemanhttps://tdsenvironmentalmedia.com
Tom is the founder and managing editor of GlobalWarmingisReal.com and the PlanetWatch Group. His work appears in Triple Pundit, Slate, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, Earth911, and several other sustainability-focused publications. Tom is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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  1. Hi,
    I liked your video for the guide.
    But, I think you are way to negative on DIY solar.

    There are a whole army of skilled (and not so skilled) DIYers out there and I think its one of the great untapped areas that can be brought to bear in increasing interest in renewable energy. There are a lot of DIYers who are interested in learning more about doing solar projects — my non-commercial DIY solar project site gets over 5 million visitors a year, and many of these folks go on to do projects.
    Things like solar air heating collectors are falling off a log easy.
    Solar water heating systems (if you keep to simple designs) are not much harder.
    PV systems are made to sound hard, but are really not that difficult especially if done with micro-inverters as is my system: http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/PV/EnphasePV/Main.htm

    I’ve had feedback from many hundreds of people who have installed their own solar heating or electric systems and the great majority of them had good experiences and have become promoters of solar.

    The cost saving for doing some kinds of solar projects yourself are amazing. I’m told the average cost for a solar water heating system is $8000 in the US. You can do the $1K design that I use (a simple but efficient and reliable drain back system) for — surprise $1K. Many many people have done this system with good results: http://www.builditsolar.com/Experimental/PEXColDHW/Overview.htm

    There are good plans for DIY solar projects (many more than just a few years ago), and forums oriented toward DIY solar — its a really rewarding area to get into on many levels.

    Gary

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