I, like many recently, have been looking at alternative fuel sources. Looking for ways to cutback my dependance on expensive electricity and gas. I’ve come up with some ideas but one that doesn’t seem to be worth a damn is Solar Panels. I found this solar panel kit that only costs $600 and yields about 1 kWh a week.
Wow a whole kilowatt every week!
That sounds like a pretty good dead right! I mean, 600 bucks gets you 52 kWhs a year assuming you have perfect weather and the sun is always directly on your solar panel…oh and it also has to be summer all year long.
There’s only one problem, after a year you will have paid ($600/52)=$11 a kilowatt. That doesn’t sound like a bad deal. A kilowatt is like…1000 watts right? That must be a large sum of watts! Like…a whole barrel of watts!
Back in the real world
Unfortunately last month my house used 981 kilowatts for a bill of $78.56. Which means I paid $0.0698 per watt. That makes solar power a whopping $10.30 more expensive per watt. In order to power my entire house I would need roughly 981 solar panels of this size 4.5 ft x 1.5 ft which means I would need an area roughly 4414.5 ft x 1471.5 ft. I’m pretty sure thats more area than the plot that my house sits on. Oh yeah, plus it would cost $588,600 dollars to make…
Sorry solar power, until you cost less than 11 times as much as normal electricity it looks like it’s a no go.
Update: Solar Panels Still Suck (7/17/2010)
Read the follow up to see if solar panels still suck in 2010.