Solar Power... so close... Yet so very far.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Informal, Jun 10, 2021.

  1. Informal

    Informal Tele-Afflicted

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    I'll try to get right to the point....

    More than 70% of my roof, is covered in Solar panels... 2/3 of said panels.. were installed when I bought the house, the final 1/3... I installed post purchase, and paid cash, and they just recently paid for themselves in 2 and a 1/2 years.

    So far so good right?


    Why is everything else I have bought that's solar powered, been a flaming pile of crap?

    Went through half a dozen different brands of solar powered landscaping lights... and finally gave up and ran low voltage around the backyard, which sucked... because it involved concrete work.

    Bought a $600+ solar pool skimmer a few years ago on Amazon... It had hundreds of rave reviews when I bought it. (I was an early adopter) It worked like a champ for about a month... Then just crapped out.

    When I went to print the return label, I noticed a lot of people had downgraded their reviews, and almost everyone returned it.... No biggie, I got my money back and decided I would wait for them to work the bugs out... So I checked back periodically for their revamp, which was promised... But never came.

    Fast forward to today... As I'm skimming the 10th million bougainvillea petal from my pool. I thought, "Surely NOW someone has built a decent solar pool skimmer"

    2+ years later.... There is 1 company making a consumer grade solar skimmer (on Amazon at least, although I did search Google shopping as well) Looking at the reviews... It's a piece of crap as well.

    What is the bottleneck? I'm not looking to take pictures of Mars.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
  2. Harbinger77

    Harbinger77 Tele-Meister

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    The Amazon solar products aren’t heavily subsidized like your roof panels, for one.
     
  3. Informal

    Informal Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm sure if someone built one that actually worked, Most power companies would offer a "rebate" for buying one... Then recoup during the next increase.

    I don't give a crap whose paying for it... My shoulders hurt.

    Someone needs to build the sombish :p
     
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  4. sixstringbastard

    sixstringbastard Friend of Leo's

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    Buy a chainsaw, electric or gas powered, and cut down the bougainvillea.
     
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  5. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    I had same issue with outside solar lighting..decorative..
    get a few hours..but, if it is not aimed directly at sun
    you are out of luck....hard to do that....and then pivot
    the dang thing till it falls over..or is pointing at useless piece
    of sidewalk..lol
     
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  6. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Two words: MIC
     
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  7. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    you need a Giraffe, they like eating tall spiny type of plants... they could do it while standing in the pool, too...

    you should look into getting one.... a weekly hire or something for a thorough trim of the offending leaf littering triffid...:D
     
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  8. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Solar consumer products like landscape lighting have always been sketchy. I don't even think of them in the same category as solar power, but more like gimmicks. Probably better to have a good, well designed home power system with battery storage, and use efficient but more standard lighting and tools.
     
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  9. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Poster Extraordinaire

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    Solar cells with enough capacity for an LED light bulb or small motorized device are ridiculously small and cheap to manufacture. Add some marketing hype, and there ya go.

    Been through several outdoor walkway lights. I hate landfill, probably more than most. But it's still cheaper and easier to buy and replace them than burying a line from the house. Sometimes the batteries in them even outlast the bulbs. But generally it's not even worth replacing the batteries. A pair of rechargeable AAs costs about as much as the entire light. Not to mention their propensity for breakage when kicked. These are the good 'ol days.

    Landfill. That's how I offset my carbon footprint.
     
  10. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Hmmm... bougainvillea petals in the pool.
    Big bummer.
    In the US, price is king.
    This is why you have to search so hard for a good flashlight.
    The vast majority are 69 cents and they're trash.
    We've done it to ourselves.
    I saw a guy save $4 on a water pump for his car and buy remanufactured instead of new.
    I sometimes get tools at Harbor Freight.
    If you buy the $35 angle grinder, it can last like a DeWalt or Makita.
    But the $9 one? That's the one most people buy.
    So factories make everything to a price, not a standard...because we like it that way.
    Then the marketing of a product has basically one goal...to get your money.
    From the moment you pay, the vendor considers it a successful transaction.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
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  11. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The problem with the smaller solar objects, like landscape lighting, etc, is with their ability to store power. It's the crappy batteries.
     
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  12. scrapyardblue

    scrapyardblue Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    In the early stages of considering a few landscape lights myself, but heard there are solar lights today where the collector can be separate from the light. Anyone have luck with some of those?

    I've never seen a solar landscaping light that wasn't junk but, as much as I like my money, I'd still rather buy a half dozen solar that need replacing every year or two than hassle with low voltage (that will eventually cause problems).
     
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  13. Festofish

    Festofish Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Solar Giraffe is now my band name! :)
     
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  14. ronzhd

    ronzhd Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Wait until ya have to get rid of those solar panels
     
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  15. MarkieMark

    MarkieMark Friend of Leo's

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    Frequently combined with inevitable moisture ingress.

    My question about the solar panels- what happens when its time for a re-shingle?
     
  16. twangking

    twangking Tele-Afflicted

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    Made in china is three words. Maybe it's two in Maine.
     
  17. dkmw

    dkmw Poster Extraordinaire

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    At least you live somewhere that makes it possible to use solar solar power on your home. Here, the state and the dominant utility company make it all but unworkable.

    On the small lights, I bought the cheapest one I could find (about $4) a year and a half ago. I use it for a nightlight in my shed/smoking lounge. Still going, but starting to fade. A good life, if you ask me.
     
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  18. telestratosonic

    telestratosonic Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Lol!
     
  19. OlRedNeckHippy

    OlRedNeckHippy Friend of Leo's

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    My wife kept buying those darned cheep a88 little solar lights (like 8 bucks a piece at RiteAid) and sticking them along the paver walkways, in the grass, where I've got to mow. Getting off the mower, pulling them out, putting them back... UG! Then they break because you touched them too many times, the solar batteries don't last, gol dang things! Into the trash cans they go!
    I've thrown away at least a dozen of them. :mad:

    OTOH, we put Solar on our roof last fall. No out-of-pocket $. Not a penny. Installation company keeps all rebates, overages, incentives, etc.
    Now that it if fully functional, we are experiencing about a 80% reduction in our electric bill.
    Win Win!
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
  20. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Poster Extraordinaire

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    Landfill! The answer to all of our problems since about the time human species starting burying things. That and large water sources. Basically anywhere we don't have to look at it.
     
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