August 5, 2016
I have been thinking about getting more solar equipment lately. I want to become electrically independent some day. I’ve always wanted my own power reactor. The sun would do. However, it all seems inconvenient for my current lifestyle.
You see, in order for solar power to work, a solar panel has to be left out in the weather. It needs to be cleaned once in a while. Occasionally, the cables need to be fixed. Batteries don’t last and need to be replaced. And so on and so on.
As hot as it is, I stay indoors, mostly. If I were more outdoorsy, small solar panels would be great. However, since I stay inside, I’d need to leave solar equipment lying around where I couldn’t keep an eye on it. That’s not good.
A lot of solar kits warn against just keeping things lying out. They generally don’t have overcharge protection nor are they typically weather-proofed.
Furthermore, you need rather a large solar panel farm to generate any kind of significant energy. You want enough power and storage to run a major home appliance at least a couple of times, before it can’t drive the appliance anymore. More importantly, you want to be able to run such cycles over and over again. You see, solar generators cost more than a pretty penny, so you need to make sure it makes up for its cost over time. So it needs to be able to drive a lot of stuff over a long time, for the minimum amount of money. And since electronics exposed to the elements will inevitably require maintenance, Solar energy is not a one-time investment, but rather a continuing-cost responsibility. So yes, you really have your own reactor, complete with maintenance responsibilities.
And yet, I still find myself wanting solar power sources.
Perhaps a solar coop is what I am looking for. I wonder if I could find one in the local area. I shall have to investigate when I have time. Perhaps one of the local “green” power companies is a solar power co-op.