Open thread weekend

I have an important project to finish this weekend, so I’ll be offline much of the weekend.

Here’s some pictures of what I’m up to.

BTW global warming and CO2 reduction did not figure into my decision to do this again (we downsized our original home that I first put solar on) one bit. The economics and out of control regulations that will make electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket” starting this fall were the main impetus.

Details next week, along with instructions how how you can get one easily and put your own sweat equity into it and save a bundle…and have it paid off quickly and fully own it…unlike those lease programs that require 20 year payoffs…and by that time the company may be gone and the panels fading.

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141 thoughts on “Open thread weekend

  1. Looking forward to the details. At least they’ll be coming from a source that will probably be reporting on it accurately!

    :)
    MJM

  2. Up here above 50 degrees latitude it becomes less practical, since our heaviest usage occurs during the winter.

  3. It may be good for air conditioning. Not much else with no huge, expensive & inefficient battery packs.

    However, natural gas powered air conditioning might still be cheaper to install & run (fuel costs & maintenance included).

  4. I am all for people generating their own power for their own use.
    I do object to having to pay for other people’s choices through taxpayer subsidies (which is true in Australia, don’t know about the US).
    I also object to having inconsistently phased power being put into our clean and even phased power grid (also true in Australia and again I don’t know what the deal is in the US).

    So, once you put finish putting this in, how often are you planning to get up onto the roof to clean the panels? You are going to have to do it regularly to keep the efficiency up. Rain is not going to do it for you.

    I guess it does not hail very often where you live. Mind you it only has to do it once every five years or so and you investment is looking a little, shall we say, fragile …

    Be safe working on the roof and using ladders.

  5. That’s one of the things I have considered doing for some time too, though here in Omaha I need to take winter snow and hail from thunderstorms into the equation. I would think it should tend to keep the attic space cooler as well since the light would not reach the shingles to bake them in the first place, which in and of itself would lend itself to a cooler house and lower utility bills. I have been considering a solar powered attic fan as well.

  6. Hmm, I had some topic that I thought would be good for discussing on an open thread weekend.

    Possibly the status of get-out-of RGGI proposals if you live in a RGGI state.

    I recently updated my RGGIWatch page at http://wermenh.com/rggiwatch/index.html .

    A couple highlights:

    Jun 26: Gov. Lynch allow NH’s restructuring of its involvement to become law without his signature. While NH stays in RGGI, it’s mostly defanged, and if some other states pull out, that may trigger NH’s withdrawal too.

    Jun 8: The results from RGGI Auction 16, held on Jun 6, have been released. 57% of the current control period allowances sold at the floor price of $1.93. 5% of the allowance went to non-compliance entities. It’s hard to understand how they expect to make any money in this control period, perhaps other vehicles like or money market or municipal bonds are paying so little that CO2 allowances are worth speculating on.

    June 12: A New York lawsuit to pull New York out of RGGI was dismissed due in part “The court held that plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the lawsuit because they did not suffer a distinct injury. It also ruled that plaintiffs’ claims would have been barred (regardless of their lack of standing) based on their failure to bring a timely challenge.” A pity, as NY’s participation is not a matter of state law.

    A bill has been introduced that likely won’t pass, but would ban such arrangements and take NY out.

    New Jersey is still out, and efforts to get them back look doomed to failure.

    If anyone knows of other efforts I’ve missed, please let me know.

  7. Care to share some technical numbers (hrs of sunshine, KW, etc.)?
    Did they say how often you will need to clean bird poo off of the panels?

  8. Cool. I look forward to your blog over it next week. It’s something I am also considering for the new house I’m building in central Texas. The high cost of electricity in the future is something I am very concerned about if the federal gov’t continue to push Obama’s wishes. Who knows what Romney will do if he wins?

    There’s something I am concerned… what about rolling blackouts? I’m just wondering how both solar panels and blackouts work together. I did another round of researching on the latest stuff on solar panel technology to see how much they have improved over the past few years. My concern is that I may not have enough roof space facing right direction for maximum exposure and I was looking for highest efficiency possible but I do not wish to go bankrupt by paying for it for long term when someone makes a breakthrough in efficiency after a few years. Much like we saw with computers…

  9. One point we want to make, as it seems to be the case, it that those that are pushing the AGW scam today are primarily extreme leftists. Steven Goddard did a post talking about the leftist congressman Ed Markey making a big squawk about climate change. My comment:
    The National Journal gave Ed Markey a Composite Liberal score in the mid-nineties, close to the most left wing congressman in the country. Chuck Slowe put it this way:

    Markey is a blatantly liberal ideologue. As he rides around in his gas guzzling super-sized SUV, he disdains that the regular, man on the street has the audacity to be driving on the same roadways…
    He loves to think of himself as a thoughtfully learned man, in all matters pertaining to the world. Unfortunately, Markey is a typical blowhard of the political left. He is also an alarmist with his sites set on crippling the country’s economy in typical Obama fashion. As long as we continue to send such idiots back to Capitol Hill, we will continue to have the same level of insanity heaped upon us in the form of higher taxes, bigger government and a far less responsive bureaucracy.

    It seems that the only ones now that are making a lot of noise about AGW theory are these wacko leftists like Markey. If the warmists want to gain some needed credibility, why not try to get some mainstream types to stand up for their cause? Try to avoid always relying on these extreme leftists to make their case.

  10. PMH says: July 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm
    Care to share some technical numbers (hrs of sunshine, KW, etc.)?
    —————————————————————————————
    Here’s a link to a US national map showing energy produced and utility bill savings estimate for various locations and various types of solar panels:

    http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/calculators/PVWATTS/version1/

  11. Here’s a question for you Anthony: Are you applying for the federal and state tax rebates and subsudies?

  12. Nerd says: July 21, 2012 at 4:29 pm
    There’s something I am concerned… what about rolling blackouts? I’m just wondering how both solar panels and blackouts work together
    ——————————————————————-
    They work together perfectly. When the grid goes down, your PV array goes offline too. You get no power from either. Grid tie inverters are required to poll the grid and disconnect. This is for the safety of the lineman who goes to fix the problem. They don’t want to worry about non-utility sources energizing a supposed dead line.

    If you want backup power during a blackout, you need battery storage, you need to switch the PV array from grid tie to battery charging, and you need a separate inverter designed to run off grid. I personally have just enough of that to run my refrigerator. Costs more than a gasoline powered generator. Here’s a link to a company that sells the stuff and has good explanations on what to buy.

    http://www.windsun.com/

  13. The cost of solar pv is about 40 cents per kWh. It saves about 3 cents per kWh worth of natural gas ($4 gas at 7000 heat rate = 2.8 cents/kWh) and adds significantly to grid operations costs. The difference between 40 and 3 is 37 cents /kWh which is all subsidy.

    If all our electricity could generated by solar PV the cost increase would be over a trillion $ per year or a subprime crisis and a half every year.

    Of course due to its variability Solar could never generate all our electricity.

    The latest solar snafu is that clouds could decrease solar output 50 percent in 30 seconds which is much faster than the 10 minute spinning reserve that most systems are designed to. More unaccounted costs to integrate large scale solar.

  14. the Carbon Comedy continues:

    20 July: Reuters Point Carbon: Kathy Chen and Stian Reklev: China keen to avoid CO2 rollercoaster ride
    European permits have lost 80 percent of their value since mid-2008 and 50 percent in the last twelve months, spurring claims that the carbon market is becoming irrelevant in the EU’s efforts to cut emissions.
    “China will consider introducing both a price ceiling and a price floor to prevent the dramatic price fluctuation seen in the EU ETS,” said Chen Jianpeng with the State Council’s Development Research Centre, which is involved in studying the impact of a future Chinese ETS.
    China, which accounts for almost a third of global CO2 emissions, plans to use the experiences from its pilot schemes to set up a national CO2 market later this decade.
    The Beijing municipal government, which will host one of China’s seven pilot schemes from 2013 or 2014, plans to implement a price floor and ceiling in the capital’s CO2 market…
    Tax evasion, theft of permits and re-usage of credits have also damaged the reputation of the world’s biggest carbon market.
    China, which is generally skeptical about financial markets, is planning to keep its CO2 scheme under tight control.
    After state-owned power company China Aviation Oil lost $550 million on speculating in oil futures in 2004, Beijing has ruled out forward markets in all but a handful of commodities.
    Emissions trading will take place on government-approved exchanges, and recently announced regulations by the State Council means only spot trading with a five-day delay on delivery will be allowed.
    ***(LOL) Some observers said it would be beneficial to keep the market simple, at least initially, as Chinese compliance traders lack experience in emissions markets.
    “The market is not ready to have carbon derivatives, green bonds and green funds in the pilot phase,” said Shi Minjun, deputy director at the China Academy of Science’s Research Center on Fictitious Economy and Data Science.
    But other observers were doubtful whether an emissions market could be effective if it did not provide a forward price, because companies would lack the information they need to make future investment decisions…

    http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/07/20/us-china-carbon-trade-idINBRE86J0BA20120720

    ——————————————————————————–

  15. Eric Simpson says:
    July 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm
    One point we want to make, as it seems to be the case, it that those that are pushing the AGW scam today are primarily extreme leftists.
    —————-
    You’re in a fish bowl talking to other fish. And the fish often end up talking to their own reflections in the glass. And the refraction distorts their view of the outside world. You need to get out more.

  16. Very nice,Anthony.Just a few points/questions.How will this work above the 50th?I think 3 feet of snow would tend to dampen the generation of power,when we need it the most.
    There is no way a solar panel can withstand the impact of hail,moving at 120 mph(yeah,that’s the average up here in Canada).How much power is generated with the sun only at an optimum angle for three hours a day,on average?
    I’m all for new means of getting and maintaining power,but reality rears its ugly head in northern climes.As asked above,do you want to spend most of your daylight hours cleaning those panels? Dust,grime and soot occur 24/7.Me? I’ll stick with my 3 cords of wood and BBQing at -40.Besides,extra blankets and a warm body next to you works wonders.:):)

  17. You must have grabbed some of those thousands of solar panels Solyndra threw in the dumpster after their $500 million taxpayer-funded bankruptcy.

  18. The local student run coffee house in Hopkins MN “The Depot” got a PV addition a couple summers ago.

    It’s been producing a prodigious $900 worth of electricity every year since then.

    It took a few notes to people in “low places” to find out that the “Gummit” (per Jimmy Carter’s pronunciation) grant to put it in, plus money from the Depot board, amounted to about $72,000.

    Let’s see, the way I figure it…it’s merely a 100 year payback.

    Great investment. I’m looking for the GUMMIT to help me out. I think I can make my house COMPLETELY SOLAR AND WIND for a mere $750,000…I’ll do my own contracting.

    Max :)

  19. I’m going to buy some stock in SC Johnson, makers of Windex.

    Anthony, you should might check out glass-cleaning products that have silicones which will prevent road dust from sticking on the panels. Since there is an enormous amount of road dust generated in Cal, you will probably spend a lot of time keeping the panels clean.

  20. “I’d make cheap energy expensive so that expensive energy would seem cheap”

    That’s what Obama promised, and that’s what his officers are doing.

  21. UP to July 9 householders in Queensland, Australia were able to sign up for subsidised solar power. Contracts have been issued paying these people 48c/unit for intermittent, unreliable power versus the normal rate being 23c/unit until 2028. They have paid various sums but around $15000Au for their solar panels (again with subsidy). The current rate dropped to 8c/unit subsidy.

    One person told me that they are advised to use their electrical appliances at NIGHT so that they use ‘cheap’ power!!

    None of these people seem to realize that no matter how much power their roofs generate that will never recover the cost of the solar cells.

    14 years ago we built a house, intending to install a solar hot water system. The cost then was around $3000. Our builder convinced us that the biggest electrical hot water system would be a better deal at a cost of $500. We sold the house 3 years ago and calculated the cost of all of the power used over the time we had the house. We were still thousands of dollars better off than the cost of that solar hot water system.

  22. Not to pry, Anthony, but will you be sharing details of costs, performance, generated power, reairs, etc. over the next few years? It would be great to have data from a real solar installation for those who may be considering their own system (I’m not…yet).

    Better yet, will we have a “Anthony’s Real-Time Solar Gauge” gadget on WUWT? :-)

  23. “MattB says:
    July 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm
    …. I have been considering a solar powered attic fan as well.”

    Matt, I live in Cleveland, OH and installed a ac powered attic vent fan (the largest one at Home Depot) on our house three years ago so that it would exhaust air from throughout the entire two story house and it continues to work better than I thought it would – and not too costly, either, relative to the A/C that we don’t have to use any longer. I also thought of using a solar powered fan, but quickly discovered that it would not displace nearly the volume of air that a line powered fan would (or as consistently considering not infrequent clouds and lack of sun at dusk and night, etc.!). The displacement of solar fans is pitiful – fogettaboudit. We use our fan alot as it moves and exhausts the humid, warm/hot air very noticeably even on the first floor (through the slightly open pull-down attic ladder door I installed in the second floor ceiling). We still use minimal localized A/C during select periods but the house is incredibly comfortable at much lower cost than without the attic fan. The shingles benefit from the cooler attic here maybe as much or more than panel covered shingles as the non-covered shingles would still be radiated, anyway. Sorry, I don’t have the fan spec’s handy, but you can quickly check up on them – just compare before you buy.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about electricity going too high (except in CA) since one bad power shortage and the citizens will tar and feather the energy minimalists and demand back cheap, plentiful, dependable traditional coal, oil, gas, nuclear (hopefully modular) with continued work on viably developing newer, longer term sources of power (most promisingly lower level nuclear, fusion (hey,someday!)) that we’ve got a hundred plus years to put together a reasonable energy program without going “CAGW Green” on it. .

    Good Luck!
    PLM

  24. MattB says:
    July 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm
    That’s one of the things I have considered doing for some time too, though here in Omaha I need to take winter snow and hail from thunderstorms into the equation. I would think it should tend to keep the attic space cooler as well since the light would not reach the shingles to bake them in the first place, which in and of itself would lend itself to a cooler house and lower utility bills. I have been considering a solar powered attic fan as well.

    I had a thermostatically controlled attic fan installed. It was cheap, simple, and made a noticeable difference in the temperature on hot days. (I have no A/C.) I urge everyone to install one.

    Another quick-payoff item is an awning–as large and high on the wall as possible, to shade the maximum house-wall exposure. They’re cheap from Sunsetter–but you have to assemble and install them yourself. (You can ask the company for a list of installers now, I think.)

    Another cheap item is to add an insulating blanket around your water heater.

  25. @Max Hugoson

    I recently grabbed a cup at “The Depot”. There is not a consensus as to the effectiveness of their solar install at the 43rd parallel.

  26. Spending $10/day for electric in a huge, recently SpacePac air conditioned, 100 year old house with 130 total light bulbs and a small plug in hot tub.. $10/day for water too, to keep all the mature (huge) trees and perennials alive during the heat wave and this drought. (But we do have twelve people living here just for a few months, more efficient ah four separate households, no?)
    The man who installed the subsidized solar hot water system in 1982, defunct for some 5 years now, said he was now too old to take down the six huge panels from the 30′ high roof. The original system had convection heaters throughout the house, and two large hot water tanks. It would have cost about $8,000 to replace the tanks and maintain the old system. I sold the four Myson heaters on ebay and made some compensation. The bray oil and exchanger were recycled by the original installer.
    The shake roof will have to be replaced someday soon, though repairs have been cheap the last ten years. The trees by the driveway have grown too big to get a crane in, what to do?
    We do have natural gas and in other seasons it’s quite affordable. Our local geothermal company went broke and is gone,
    For us the most efficient thing we could do is get rid of the gas log, line the chimney, rebuild the mantle and burn wood again, since it’s free here. We have the heat on from mid Sept through part of May, frequently. With two stairways the heat might waft upstairs quite nicely, but, oh, the mess! The 1960 Hydro Therm hydronic gas boiler is obsolete too but the contractors stare at it with respect as the double boilers are cast iron, heat both in 7 minutes and is not economical to replace.
    It’s been a hard thing to ponder as our house was built for maximum heat gain in 1906 at 39 degrees n latitude at 5000′ elevation in a very dry, sunny climate. People slept in the screened porch if it got hot, and watered the grass in the evening to cool off the whole house. Funny how the walls weren’t originally insulated at all, they had coal forced air heat, state of the art, and knob and tube wiring.
    In rural areas reality is what you live with.

  27. A highly social endeavour: you need someone to use what you produce when you don’t need it (at noon) and some different source to supply you with electrical power when you need it but don’t produce it (nights). And the feed-in tariff is politically (=arbitrarily) defined because there is no objective way to price home-made things when entering such a complex market.
    Do you participate in the corresponding investment for complementary grid and stand-by capacity?

  28. The subsidies are going away.

    The goal for solar power is to be able to compete on parity with conventional energy sources. The subsidies have always been intended as a short-term incentive for growth and innovation, not a permanent crutch. By reducing the subsidized rate aggressively, but not wantonly, the government has set a stretch objective that the industry can bear, allowing market forces to drive innovation and cost reduction. http://www.solarpowernetwork.ca/2012/blog/april24/

    Germany is dropping the subsidies. Ontario has dialed them back. The solar (and wind) experiment hasn’t succeeded. Different jurisdictions will take different times to figure that out but my guess is that the subsidies will be gone everywhere in a decade.

    The real killer of alternate energy will be shale gas. Expensive oil led to huge alternate energy research in the 1970s. All that work evaporated when oil became cheap again. The same thing will happen now. Shale gas can even be used as a transportation fuel:

    Mr. Tech says in a couple of years, one in three Navistar trucks sold will burn natural gas. “This is not a subsidy-driven market,” Mr. Tech says. “It’s developing on its own because the economics are compelling.” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304707604577422192910235090.html

  29. Those who invest in a bit of energy autonomy will probably find it to have been a wise choice in the future.

    IIIRC, Anthony has an electric powered vehicle, so I’d guess he is counting of storage rather than grid tied. Maybe both, should be interesting to see the details.

  30. Until I saw the photos of what you were up to, I thought you must have been working on a major scoop such as :-

    “Has the publisher of the world’s most popular site on the science and politics of climate change sold his soul to the devil?

    For years, the appropriately named Anthony Watts has campaigned tirelessly against the corruption that stems from big business such as solar and wind funding and promoting climate change alarmism. Now it seems, Mr Watts is getting his own little chunk of Paola, but what is worse, he is going to tell his disciples, who have looked to him for inspiration and guidance, how to get their bit of this dirt money also. It seems that when it comes to the crunch, the great American principle of looking after number one trumps even the most cherished of principles.”

    Or as we say in England, “I’m all right Jack.” I criticise my own rich friends for capitalising on the outrageous feed in tariffs just for personal greed and at the expense of those less well off in society who are forced by our corrupt governments to pay for it in their electricity bills. I hope I am wrong in my assessment and that you have not become a lackey to the solar PV industry and the government machine which promotes such selfishness in the obtuse reasoning and justification of saving the planet.

  31. I remember seeing an interview with an African bush doctor. His surgery had a solar panel and he had a choice between running a refrigerator to keep injection drugs viable or a strip light to aid patient examinations. Tough choice and crap solar panels. A friend has recently had his thermal roof panels, which worked well and kept his hot water to at least 30C, replaced with photovoltaic. I await his report but since he has been quiet on the subject I conclude that the new panels are not working as advertised.

  32. If you live in a colder climate, I’d say a gas powered combined heat and power unit is your best bet for short term energy independence. Run off either mains gas or a gas storage tank.

    BTW, here in Perth, pretty much every vehicle that does more than 30,000 Ks per annum, except big trucks (and we have the biggest truck trailer combinations in the world, locally called road trains) run on LPG or NG.

  33. Looks like you have got your work cut out for you this weekend,best of luck with it.
    Thought I would pass this on, since it is an open thread.
    We are currently in Spain, our house faces East-West (West at the back) I have a small weather station with an external temperature sensor at the top of the rear facing window, so it is always in the shade. The back of the house has a high white wall and terracota tile paving. At this time of the year the sun is almost overhead at noon (we are 36.5 degrees North, 4.8 degrees West. It is 1:00pm and the outside temperature is 27 celsius, I can comfortably walk around in bare feet, as the sun moves towards the West, it is impossible to walk on the tiles in bare feet and the temperature soars by 10 degrees, purely due to the heat stored in the tiles.
    I would imagine that tarmac/ashphalt that is black would make the temperature even higher. My point is that thermometers will give false readings at airports and city centres which is where the majority of readings are taken from.

  34. Bill D says:
    July 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm
    Have you considered lowering the load with LED?

    He’s got that installed too. I’ve seen a couple of his threads on it–the most recent almost a year ago, iirc.

  35. James McCauley says July 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    “I installed a ac powered attic vent fan”
    James, That’s all very nice except for the neighbours, who will be getting free heat from your attic over the fence whether they want it or not.
    One has to keep property rights in mind when doing these things.
    That’s why I’d never do what Anthony is doing, if indeed he is taking advantage of state subsidies to make his panel system affordable. Show me a subsidy system and I’ll show you some official who is gaming the system, either financially or ideologically, by taking other peoples’ property rights.

  36. Despite my doubts that solar (and wind) can scale, I would love to get off of “the grid” and be at least partly energy self-sufficient. And I wouldn’t like to be required to sell whatever electricity I generate back into the grid. Interesting times…

  37. A question popped into my head when other posters started talking about hail damage. Are the solar panels covered against hail/storm damage by your Homeowners Insurance? Is there a rifer that can be added and if so, how much does that cost/yr. It would be very sad to lose the entire investment to a sudden hail storm (or a hurricane where I live in Florida). I’m genuinely interested because this is something I would be interested in. The back of my home faces almost due south so my pitched roof would get almost direct sunlight for most of the day. I think it would generate a ton of electricity.

  38. Anthony, a suggestion to add to your workload: While you’re already up there, install a continuous ridge vent. Combine that with continuous soffet vents, and you’ll have a passive cooling system for the attic, dropping temps by 10-20 degrees. If you really wanted to cool the attic down (leading to the same for the inner space of the house), and really wanted to add to your to do list, a radiant barrier can be installed on the underside of the deck. The best time to do that one is when the whole deck is being replaced, but it can be done. As others have done, I’d politely request updates on how it goes, both currently, and as time goes by.

  39. Oh, as far as possible rain and hail damage, IIRC, Anthony’s neck of the woods gets little of either. I’ve kicked around the idea of an array, but being on the Southern Plains, I’d need a quick and easy way to cover the thing up. A turbine would probably work much better here, we certainly have regular wind!

  40. There is a guy who has posted his experience of installing a heat pump to reduce energy bills in the UK [in fact I think he posted it here at WUWT].

    http://mwt1974.tumblr.com/post/22823210239/how-we-slashed-household-heating-hot-water-energy-use

    It seems a shame that the British government is too myopic to put their subsidies into technology that is far more appropriate for the British climate than solar panels. I think it also speaks to the profound ignorance of so many “Greens” that they don’t find heat pumps as sexy as windmills or or solar cells. Engineers, in particular, have efficiency drummed into them from an early age.

  41. A technical question for anybody: If you have a standby generator, you must have a transfer switch (required by Code) to prevent back feeding the grid during an outage- this is a matter of safety for utility workers. With PV, how is it isolated from the grid when there is an outage? You can’t have a transfer switch as the purpose of the PV system is to feed excess power back to the grid. I have never heard this discussed and am simply curious.

  42. I admire your efforts, Anthony, but I’ve read a number of posters here regretting their previous windmill or solar installations. From an engineer’s perspective, that’s alot of equipment to invest in and take care of….

  43. Colin Porter says: Now it seems, Mr Watts is getting his own little chunk of Paola, but what is worse, he is going to tell his disciples, who have looked to him for inspiration and guidance, how to get their bit of this dirt money also.

    Aren’t you adorable, with your silly insolence! Of course, we don’t know (yet) if Anthony is taking advantage of any tax benefits, but if he is, he’s right in line with his state’s stated goals.

    For the record, I think solar panels are fine, if someone wants to use them, and I don’t have to pay for yours. If it turns out that taxes are subsidizing Anthony in this case, well, I don’t live in California, and the people there have made lots of bad economic public policy decisions. We’re learning a lot from the people of that state about the pitfalls of democracies that reward politically correct, but economically unsustainable behavior. Anthony details an intentional Faustian bargain that’s been foisted upon him by that electorate, and I can’t condemn a choice that’s rational given this unfortunate framework..

    It’s also a wonderful opportunity for us here, if Anthony shares the first hand experience he gains with having solar panels on his home. I’ve known a few people that have used them on their homes in Colorado (a very sunny state) over the years, and their experiences have been fraught with problems. But the technology has advanced, and he’s in a unique position to keep the world informed of the cost/benefit tradeoffs of his system, and of the tax and subsidy ramifications. This will all be very apropos to the discussions that occur on WUWT, even if you personally don’t get much from them because you’ve pigeon-holed yourself.

    By the way, the word is ‘payola’ with the word pay built right in. There is no need to capitalize it, as it’s not a proper name. The definition of payola implies a private payment or bribe secretly paid to directly influence some area where competition and merit would otherwise dictate the outcome. Certainly government subsidies influence competition and merit-based economies, but they are not secret or private, and so they don’t fit the definition in the case of someone utilizing a governemental subsidy or benefit.

  44. ****
    rogerknights says:
    July 21, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Another cheap item is to add an insulating blanket around your water heater.
    ****

    And put a timer on it to limit how often & when it comes on.

  45. Anthony: I see you finally made your decision. I am still wrestling with the idea and all it’s implications. Please give us updates from time to time, as you progress through the learning curve. I can’t tell from the photo, but are those the inverter bank panels, beside the switchgear, in full direct sun. If so, you might consider shading them. High temps can shorten their life span and efficiency, if overheated. Bon chance! GK

  46. Anthony, I hope the subsidy system in the US is different from that which we have in the UK otherwise your halo is slipping. Over on this side of the pond it costs energy supply companies about 4p – 8p to generate 1 kWh of electricity from non-renewable sources without carbon capture, depending upon the type of power station.

    If someone in the UK puts solar panels on the roof then the energy supply company is legally obliged to pay them up to 21p per kWh generated depending on the insulation and energy efficiency of their house. Note that I said per kWh generated NOT per kWh fed into the grid. There’s an extra 3.2p if the power is fed into the grid. The energy supply company doesn’t mind because they just factor these extra costs into the prices they charge, so the cost is borne by the people who don’t own their own home or can’t afford the outlay for panels. No wonder we see increasing levels of energy poverty. It’s Robin Hood in reverse – steal from the poor and give to the rich.

    Imagine if you were to organize a barbecue for your friends and you make your own burgers. Then McDonalds are obliged to come round and pay you $21 per burger even though you and your friends ate them all yourselves. It’s bizarre!

    My neighbour has just put solar panels on his roof. As far as I’m concerned, he has his hand in my wallet.

  47. I am in the process of getting a new roof on my house and I can’t help but wonder the added work required to re-roof a house with a solar panel array. Are there new fads in roofing which allow for servicing of panels and/or roof or is this something so new that such a sollution has yet to be explored?

  48. I have had the opportunity of looking at the design of several multi-kilowatt roof-mounted domestic solar installations. Each of them , IMHO, has suffered from potential future problems of corrosion (particularly at soldered or crimped joints), both at the panel interconnects and around the inverters. The relatively high currents being generated by the low-voltage panels will produce localized heating at each corroded area, and eventually threaten to set on fire any nearby combustible matter (leaves, twigs, moss, debris, whatever).

    The homeowner can therefore be reasonably confident that the solar installation will set his house on fire in ten?, twenty?, fifty? years. Much sooner if he lives at the coast, where salt air will speed up the inevitable corrosion.

    Thorough routine inspections every year or two (difficult and expensive) will be somewhat helpful. Eventually, (as with most other domestic appliances today) fire prevention or suppression features will be built into the design every element of domestic solar systems. But we seem to be far away from that ideal as yet. [My background includes physics degree and many years of electronic design experience, including in power generation.]

  49. “For the record, I think solar panels are fine, if someone wants to use them, and I don’t have to pay for yours. If it turns out that taxes are subsidizing Anthony in this case, well, I don’t live in California, and the people there have made lots of bad economic public policy decisions. ”

    You are paying for solar panel installations all over this country, if you pay taxes and electric bills. The federal tax credit is 30%. Most states have credits for installations in their states. And many electrical companies pay incentives for installation and subsidies for power delivered to the grid. I could care less if Anthony is applying for his tax credits. It is the only way it can make any sense to do it. But we should all care that the Federal government has these stupid tax credits, including the ones for electric cars. Like someone said, robin hood in reverse. Plain and simple we need a simple flat tax code.

  50. Smokey: Turning down free, legal money would be pretty stupid, no?

    Legal isn’t always right, of course. Turning it down might be more principled than stupid. I puzzled about this a bit. I also am paying into the tax subsidy and the utility incentive program. Refusing to take advantage of it makes me even more of a victim. And I am putting up big chunk of the capital on what may turn out to be an unsuccessful experiment. (Although the economics in this area favor photovoltaic, without any incentives at all.)

    The government incentives should have gone onto buildings that benefit the entire public–schools, libraries, police stations, fire houses, etc. The present program takes taxes from people of limited means who can’t afford to take advantage of it and gives them to a neighbor who is better off. So the commenter above who compares it to an inverted Robin Hood is correct.

    But I’m not stupid, so I took the money. Still pondering the problem, though.

  51. Roger Sowell says on July 21, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    California’s multi-tier power prices certainly makes residential solar PV more attractive financially.

    Probably instituted at the behest of the domestic solar PV manufacturers, which seem not to exist any longer.

  52. Geoff Sherrington says:
    July 22, 2012 at 4:47 am

    James McCauley says July 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    “I installed a ac powered attic vent fan”
    James, That’s all very nice except for the neighbours, who will be getting free heat from your attic over the fence whether they want it or not.

    The house is going to shed that heat one or another. Like via window AC units that are no longer being used. If the neighbors are more tha 10m/30ft away I can’t imagine it being a problem.

    If you’re thinking row house, then I doubt James would have bought “the largest one at Home Depot”.

  53. beng says:
    July 22, 2012 at 6:41 am

    ****
    rogerknights says:
    July 21, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Another cheap item is to add an insulating blanket around your water heater.
    ****

    And put a timer on it to limit how often & when it comes on.

    More assumptions that may not apply. Are there timers for natural gas water heaters? In particular, downstream of the spur for the pilot light?

    An insulating blanket is certainly cheap, but when our conventional, natural gas water heater spang a leak, we replaced it with a tankless heater. Blanket and timer not necessary, efficiency far beyond the old water heater.

    There were only a couple months between that and the start of the heating system, but I think it reduced the gas bill 25-30%. That would translate into a long pay back period, but I think we all appreciated not exhausting the hot water during a shower. I didn’t check if I could see a step increase in water consumption (we’re on town water too).

  54. go_home says:. Plain and simple we need a simple flat tax code.

    Better idea: nationalise the Federal Reserve so that the federal government not longer has to pay massive interest payments to anonymous, faceless bankers for the money the government itself printed and then bought back from the Fed. to run the country.

    Then abolish personal income tax that was probably never constitutional in the first place.

    Flat tax code, yes, zero !

  55. Careful on the roof! As a young fellow, I climbed in the Swis Alps (no big walls like the Eiger N.Face, though), in the N.Z South Island Alps, mountains in BC and Yukon (mining exploration) and a 1000′ volcanic neck, Wase Rock, in Nigeria (this was an all-but vertical plug of lava that had frozen in the throat of a volcano and then the cone of the volcano had eroded away). Wase Rock hazards included bats in crevices, baboons throwing rocks at you in the lower part and a pure white cap of pelican guano that looked like snow from 10 – 30 miles away. Pelicans each year from the Benue River nested up on top – there was a significiant guano deposit in the detritus around the foot of the neck that was a source of fertilizer for local farmers,

    Years later with a growing family, I noticed that outside window frames and trim around the roof of our house needed painting. It was two floors high at the front and 3 floors at the back. I got a long aluminum extension ladder and up I went up with sandpaper, paint pail etc, in hand. Half way up with the ladder fairly springy, I suddenly was overcome with a panic attack – I had become afraid of heights. Trembling and making my way back down, I confessed to my wife that I was terrified and we hired a painter to do the job, I climbed Kilimanjaro about 20 years ago but it was a 3 day aerobic walk – not as scary as my failed house painting job.. .

  56. You know that saying “stick it where the sun doesn’t shine”? I think the ‘it’ in that sentence may be Britain, because we haven’t seen any sun for weeks! So solar panel are out of the question. Since Iceland uses geothermal energy, which I’m told is rather inexpensive, I may just move there. Mind you, I found this article:

    “Plans afoot to send Iceland’s geothermal energy to Europe –
    A 745-mile high voltage electrical cable would carry power under the sea.”

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/04/plans-afoot-to-tap-icelands-geothermal-energy-with-745-mile-cable/

  57. Colin Porter wrote:

    “Has the publisher of the world’s most popular site on the science and politics of climate change sold his soul to the devil?

    Climb down from your high horse Mr. Porter. Are you going to add to the warmist propaganda that Anthony is funded by the fossil fuel industry by suggesting that he is also (and at the same time) being paid by the solar industry to promote their products?

    That is a small array of panels on a small roof, not a forest of wind turbines harvesting subsidies. Anthony ain’t Ted Turner. If there is any financial motive, it is that of a regular guy struggling to pay the bills, like the rest of us.

    Can you imagine Al Gore taking a break from jetting round the world to lucrative speaking engagements and climate conferences by saying “I have an important project to finish this weekend, so I’ll be offline much of the weekend” because he personally has to install, or supervise the installation of, some solar panels on one of his expansive homes?

    Do you think if someone asked Al Gore how efficient his panels had been in the last six months, factoring in such things as the number of overcast days, that he would be able to give a coherent answer? I don’t.

    Anthony blogs about this kind of stuff. Curiosity was probably as big a factor in his decision. Many of us may be forced to do similar for purely financial reasons. It will be interesting to read the reports, of someone well qualified in the subject, on their personal experience with using solar panels on a typical domestic scale.

  58. Avril Tyrell says:

    July 22, 2012 at 8:34 am

    “Plans afoot to send Iceland’s geothermal energy to Europe –
    A 745-mile high voltage electrical cable would carry power under the sea.”

    There is no sea 745 miles above the Earth!

  59. Keith Pearson, formerly bikermailman, Anonymous no longer says:
    July 22, 2012 at 5:59 am

    =================

    Agree with the ridge vent. Better to install controlled inlet for various seasons. Also provide option (open attic door, louvered vent, etc) to allow ventilation of whole house via open windows when outside temp warrants. When the wind is blowing across the ridge vent it provides an impressive air flow through the windows. Use common sense. On warm spring or fall days you can heat and on cool summer days/nights you can cool. Either way it’s still fresh air. It’s common sense. Don’t wait until the government tells you you must do it.

  60. I trust Anthony, He’s fully capable of instrumenting his installation for us to see and I hope he does.

    Smokey says:
    What’s your point, Alvin? Turning down free, legal money would be pretty stupid, no?

    If subsidized,
    Legal? sure.
    Free Money? this is an Oxymoron. There is no such thing as free money, if there were it’d clearly be valueless.
    Stupid? = no = curious or ignorant or foolish &/or Greedy + unethical, depending on motivation.

  61. Topic: Greenland’s ice melting

    What happens to water when ice in the water melts? The water gets colder.

    If Greenland’s ice is melting as alarmists assert, then why is the water surrounding Greenland warmer than usual?

    See the red and orange-colored areas surrounding Greenland in the map at the link below.

  62. Photovoltaics is a cheap parlor trick hiding a molecular erosion process that is low yield, one-time and NEVER produces even 10% of the total investment energy. This is described in “Green Prince of Darkness”. A semi-pure grid of Silicon cubic crystal with 4 outer shell atoms is embedded with Boron, having 5 outer shell, and Phosphorus with 3 outer shell electrons. Sunrays ‘liberate’ one ‘excess’ Boron electron resulting in a 1.5 volt, 1.5 watt (average) DIRECT CURRENT flow. For residential use this must go thru a transformer to boast to 115 volts and an inverter to convert to ALTERNATING CURRENT. Both of these processes involve Carnot cycle losses. After 20 years the erosion process stops and these used cells become JUNK, hence the pay-off and warranty period limits. In areas with snow, dust and pollen there is further maintenance and output reduction. Carbon climate forcing, peak oil and green energy are the triad of government funded Faux Science created to enforce universal Carbon slavery and bondage. If the energy from solar cells was the only method of mining, refining, manufacturing, distributing and installing photocells….then there would be NO photocells. Photovoltaics exists as a parasitic loss of Carbon based fuel use, hidden by government subsidy….so much for this ‘free energy’ magic.

  63. A good first step to some energy independence. Adding wind will help. Storing heat via solar heated water (with glycol to prevent freezing in winter). Going low voltage for lighting, And an array of 4D batteries for low voltage storage. Invest while you can.

  64. Colin Porter & Mickey Reno bring out an interesting point.

    I live in California and have considered solar in the same manner as Anthony. Our prices will skyrocket due to State mismanagement and making plans to budget for that are entirely sensible.

    What will happen is that those that have a roof, the money and wherewithal will attempt to protect their income.

    The result will be that folks like Anthony and myself will stay on an even budget and the rest will get poorer and become even more dependent on the State increasing the rich – poor divide.

    Welcome to California……

  65. For those who missed it, solar powered attic vent fans mount on the roof and evacuate up, not out.

    Kelvin Vaughan says:
    July 22, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Coffee on my screen after reading this! Good one!

  66. That’s a pretty good sized PV array Anthony is installing, I’d bet a donunt against it’s hole it’s bigger than anything the hockey team has installed.

  67. Has anyone bothered to calculate the average “effective” warming due to Americans moving south? I suspect the temperature increase nationwide in the US between 2000 & 2010 is much less than the average temperature increase experienced by people due to the population shift to warmer states – as revealed in the difference between the 2000 census and the 2010 census.

    Dang, that was hard to word. Did I make it clear? I would be fun to compare the “voluntary warming” to the “involuntary warming.” People vote for global warming with their feet.

  68. Greens: “Obama Filled His White House with Wall Street Lobbyists”

    Dr. Jill Stein is the “officially selected” Green Party presidential candidate.

    “Voting for either Wall Street candidate — Romney or Obama — just gives a mandate for four more years of corporate rule. Every vote we receive is a vote for democracy, for the 99%, and for the survival of the planet,” Stein explains.

    Interesting short read. The Greens are the party to fight against the corporate interests, the powerful elites that control government and unfairly dominate over we who are under their oppressive control. The Greens are the champions of democracy. Oh, and they’ll also Save The Earth, from those powerful monied interests of course.

    They are now The Green Tea Party.

  69. Ric Werme says July 22, 2012 at 7:57 am

    The house is going to shed that heat one or another. Like via window AC units that are no longer being used. …

    An assertion in contradiction to field data/observations; All the home improvement stores down here carry them, as does Walmart, I’m currently a user of a couple, and they are invaluable for use until a central air unit can be repaired … are you aware of the improved SER ratings that window units now posses?

    .

  70. Smokey says:
    July 21, 2012 at 5:02 pm
    “What’s your point, Alvin? Turning down free, legal money would be pretty stupid, no?”

    Smokey,
    When I was 18 years old and attending a 2 year Tech institute, I was urged to accept Social Security money to offset my tuition. I apparently was ‘eligible’, as my father was partially disabled with a heart condition. I told the counselor that I would neither apply for or accept funds from Social Security. That money was intended for the old folks and the truly disabled and I was able bodied and could pay my own tuition. The counselor told me I was ‘nuts’ to not take the money.

    Today, the faux environ-mental subsidies are contributing to the bankrupting of our country, as is a Social Security system that is no longer self sustaining in part because too many able bodied people have tapped it for ‘free, legal money’. I’m neither stupid nor nuts. I am a principled individual who thinks and acts accordingly.

    I respect and applaud Anthony’s efforts to reduce his energy usage and his energy costs. I respect your contributions here and on other blogs. We share many common perspectives, my friend, but this is one I cannot agree with.

    MtK

  71. Anthony –
    A June 28, 2012 article in the http://www.seacoastonline.com website by a Deborah Mcdermott raised concern about an east coast of US “hot spot” for abnormal sea level rise.The article goes own to quote several folks about this hot spot being proven “irrefutable” by a Cameron Wake of Uni. of New Hampshire. It appears town’s folk along the NH seacoast are being made to worry about sea level increasing and are spending time and possibly money to prevent flooding from elevated storm surges in part due to global warming. Are there any individuals that frequent your site that live in the New England area that couldbe called upon to fight this nonsence. Apparently Town’s have been holding meetings on this subject! People need to be made aware of the skeptics side of this argument and come to know that there are serious arguments made by knowlegeable people that run contrary to what they are currently be told.
    best wishes ….from a pt lurker

  72. I have poolmats on the roof to heat the swimming pool and a solar geyser to give me hot water. The solar geyser has electricity back-up in case the weather is bad. Obviously I am the biggest sceptic around hEre a WUWT but I agree: why pay for energy, if you can have it for free?

  73. I noticed a count of 24 solar panels on the roof. Check with google, Home Depot advertises panels at $399 per panel. So that represent approx $9600 in panel cost before other costs. My house in Nevada consumes about $100 in grid electricity per month on average. So this would represent a 96 month or 8 year ROI before subsidies. I wonder how much the California subsidies are ? Also I wonder how much AC power these panels generate and if there is a plan for storage and later reuse of power ?

  74. Mac,

    I was defending Anthony against what appeared to be the launching of an attack. Personally, I don’t worry about such ethical conundrums, because I am not a taker; I’m the guy who always pays the freight. And it’s not voluntary.☹

  75. Frederick Michael says July 22, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Dang, that was hard to word. Did I make it clear? I would be fun to compare the “voluntary warming” to the “involuntary warming.” People vote for global warming with their feet.

    Frederick, I voted to ‘warm my world’ decades ago when I came to Texas … I even moved back once to the ‘home’ state and returned to Texas again a year later … I don’t miss slosh covered streets or white-salt-dust colored streets due to the use of salt to melt ice and snow nor do I miss the constant rust-out of one’s vehicles due to salt either …

    .

  76. Is there somebody who knows how to generate electricity in big quantities with a bicycle? My wife wants to lose some weight.

    If it works I could even open a gym , open 24/7.

  77. At Uxbridge, Massachusetts there is a huge solar system owned and operated by Constellation Solar Net Metering, LLC that appears to be a real oddity. There is a private shooting range next door where the shooters point their guns at their targets and shoot maybe slightly below but right at the solar system! Looks really smart! There is a fairly large stack of broken solar panels on a pallet but I didn’t unstack them to see if they had been hit by bullets and could not determine what had broken the one on top.

    Right beside the solar system is a large dirt lot and all the dirt is covered by what looks like lint, like what comes out of your clothes dryer vent. I guess this lint is put there to keep down dust. But it actually makes more dust at times of lack of rain, like last year. The reason I know that is because I was looking for a place to park my big rig for the night and drove across the lint field stirring up a huge cloud of dust that settled on these solar panels, that at the time I didn’t know was there. It was dark, there were no keep out signs. Oops! I didn’t mean to do that!

    So before I was given some type of parking ticket or citation I fairly quickly moved and found another place to park nearby.

    Anyhoo, be very cautious up on the roof. Loosing a couple of inches of a leg from a fall like I did when the 2009 ice storm dropped a tree on my house is certainly an experience to be avoided. Or worse… be very careful.

  78. How to ruin what would otherwise be good news.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18875385

    20 July 2012
    Vast aquifer found in Namibia could last for centuries

    Flows under the border between Angola and Namibia. Water is estimated at over 10,000 years old. High quality, and under pressure which will make extraction easier. (Artesian wells perhaps?) There’s a smaller saltier aquifer over it, needs careful drilling to prevent contaminating the fresh water.

    The nod to the “sustainability” catchphrase:

    According to project manager Martin Quinger, from the German federal institute for geoscience and natural resources (BGR), it’s a substantial body of water.

    “The amount of stored water would equal the current supply of this area in northern Namibia for 400 years, which has about 40 percent of the nation’s population.”

    “What we are aiming at is a sustainable water supply so we only extract the amount of water that is being recharged.

    “What we can say is that the huge amount of stored water is will always be enough for a back up for an area that is currently supplied only by surface water.”

    Then the kick to the crotch:

    One of the biggest advantages of the new aquifer could be in helping people cope with climate change.

    The researchers estimate that it could act as a natural buffer for up to 15 years of drought.

    Yeah, that’ll do it.

  79. DirkH says:
    July 22, 2012 at 1:12 pm
    “To lose weight, avoid carbohydrates and eat as much protein, fat and fiber as you like.”

    And if cycling, make sure your pulse stays in the normal range, not much above 100/min; as long as that’s the case you’re running in fat-burning mode.

  80. Smokey says:

    July 21, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    What’s your point, Alvin? Turning down free, legal money would be pretty stupid, no?

    Smokey, it is principles. It’s the difference between a Republican and a Conservative

    Alvin

  81. The Republican Creed

    I do not choose to be a common man.
    It is my right to be uncommon.

    If I can seek opportunity, not security,
    I want to take the calculated risk to dream and
    build, to fail and to succeed.
    I refuse to barter incentive for dole.

    I prefer the challenges of life to
    guaranteed security, the thrill of fulfillment
    to the state of calm utopia.

    I will not trade freedom for beneficence,
    nor my dignity for a handout.

    I will never cower before any master,
    save my God.

    It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and
    unafraid. To think and act for myself, enjoy the
    benefit of my creations; to face the whole world
    boldly and say, “I am a free American.”

  82. eyesonu on July 22, 2012 at 9:01 am

    You just caused me to have a Homer Simpson ‘D’oh!’ moment! Many thanks for the idea, though I do feel kind of dumb, not thinking of that before.

  83. “A technical question for anybody: If you have a standby generator, you must have a transfer switch (required by Code) to prevent back feeding the grid during an outage- this is a matter of safety for utility workers. With PV, how is it isolated from the grid when there is an outage? You can’t have a transfer switch as the purpose of the PV system is to feed excess power back to the grid. I have never heard this discussed and am simply curious.”

    If the grid falls below a set value (like to near zero) this would be trivial. Here is a discussion

    http://forums.mikeholt.com/showthread.php?t=138782

    OTOH, the purpose of a small roof PV or wind system is to power the house.

  84. usJim says:
    July 22, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Frederick, I voted to ‘warm my world’ decades ago when I came to Texas … I even moved back once to the ‘home’ state and returned to Texas again a year later … I don’t miss slosh covered streets or white-salt-dust colored streets due to the use of salt to melt ice and snow nor do I miss the constant rust-out of one’s vehicles due to salt either …

    You an a few million others! Just consider the net warming of NY losing two house seats and FL gaining two. The temp difference is a good 40 degrees in winter and (just to guess) 0 degrees in summer — for an average of 20 degrees. So about a 20th of the population gained 20 degrees, just from that shift. The grand total could be more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit on average, per person, for the whole nation. That dwarfs the impact of climate change.

    Someone point me to the state-by-state temp data and I’ll run the numbers.

  85. I would probably do ok with solar here in Georgia USA, Run the AC as high as the panels will drive it during the day then let it coast until morning. The AC is the highest draw of power in my house and I run it around 78F. In the spring before I turn the AC on, my electric bill is about $80 per month or $130 once I open the pool, but in mid June when I crank that AC on, instant $350 bills for the rest of the summer. At 4 months of $220 per month savings that is $880 per year just on the AC bill. Granted that would still be a 12 year or so pay back. If it could also defray some of the 6 months of pool pump cost at $50 per month it would be faster. The problem is this house doesn’t have a good southern exposure. It was put on the lot with the long sides facing southeast and northwest. If you were designing a house for solar panels you would make the house with a long sloping roof to the south with a pitch equal to latitude, and a short steep roof on the north side just for looks or to provide an overhang to protect the walls from rain sheeting in from the north.

  86. RobertvdL says:
    July 22, 2012 at 11:39 am
    “Is there somebody who knows how to generate electricity in big quantities with a bicycle? My wife wants to lose some weight.”
    JK—- Calories in are either used up or result in added weight.
    It takes a huge amount of exercise to work off a few calories.
    Eat less is much easier.
    Skip about 3500 Calories for each pound.

    Thanks
    JK

  87. Two years ago I bought a house with solar panels on the roof and had no hesitation in signing up for the highly subsidized feed in tariff, even though I was well aware that in practice it was a tax on the poor.

    I don’t have any fancy rationalisation for this, except that much of what we use is in practice a middle class subsidy, in part paid for by the poorer. Should I stop going to my local library*, or stop using the highly subsidized commuter rail line into the city?

    * Public libraries used to be the classic middle class subsidy. The poor rarely read books. But in the last couple of years my local library has installed a couple of dozen computers and is now full of people who are presumably too poor to afford their own computer and internet connection.

  88. From Mike on July 22, 2012 at 11:12 am:

    I noticed a count of 24 solar panels on the roof. Check with google, Home Depot advertises panels at $399 per panel. (…)

    You can get them much cheaper online.

    http://www.wholesalesolar.com/bulk-solar-panels-by-the-pallet.html

    A pallet of 22 “Astronergy 240 watt Module Silver” panels is $5807, about $264 a panel, for 5280 watts total, $1.10/watt. Ones of other (perceived) quality, types (poly- or mono-crystalline, etc) or country of origin are available. Even “Made in the USA” panels are available, Sharp and Schott, for under $1.40/watt. Individual panels in that wattage range are available for around $300.

    Of course there’s still the mounting hardware, connectors, inverters and other electrical stuff to buy. Just those three exterior electrical enclosures pictured look like several thousand bucks right there. Offhand I’d guess panel prices will be only around a third of total installation cost, with DIY physical panel installing.

    BTW, I’ve looked at that site on and off for a few years now. The “by the pallet” pickings are pretty slim right now. I doubt high demand is wiping out supply on hand. The falling panel prices wiping out low-margin manufacturers, and/or dropping subsidies killing demand, seems the most likely reason for stock being so low.

  89. Alvin says (July 22, 2012 at 1:26 pm): “Smokey, it is principles. It’s the difference between a Republican and a Conservative.”

    I consider myself a “conservative”/”libertarian” who doesn’t believe in living my life for anyone else except my family. I’m perfectly happy to engage in voluntary transactions with non-family members that benefit all parties (or, to be more accurate, transactions that all parties think are to their own benefit). If the rulers of California and the US, against my own advice, think it’s a good idea to subsidize stupidity with my family’s taxes, then under the appropriate circumstances I’ll accept those subsidies and recapture some of the money taken from us by force (I did in fact install two California taxpayer-subsidized swimming pool heating systems over twenty ago).

    So I hope Anthony’s system is taxpayer-subsidized to the legal limit, and I hope it helps drive California into bankruptcy sooner rather than later. Given the level of stupidity in the California electorate, even that may not improve our management, but at least we can serve as an object lesson for the rest of the nation.

  90. That’s a mighty fine solid-state electronic SOTA hailstone detector you’ve got there, Sir!

  91. From Bob Tisdale on July 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm:

    Does anyone have any idea why Jennifer Marohasy’s website is down?

    It’s just an ongoing National Security project in Australia, where they check for signs of sedition, subversion, and potential insurrection against the Gilliard’s Ministry of Carbon Truth now that the “it will never happen” Carbon Tax is in operation. They’ll copy the archives, install the monitoring software to keep track of readers and commentators, and add full backdoor access for future use as needed, then the site will return after the owners are lead to believe it was some hosting or ISP problem.

    Remember, they just did Jo Nova’s site last month and that came back just fine. Marohasy is not so prominent and outspoken thus further down the list, took them awhile to get it.

  92. RobertvdL says: July 22, 2012 at 11:39 am
    Is there somebody who knows how to generate electricity in big quantities with a bicycle? My wife wants to lose some weight. If it works I could even open a gym , open 24/7
    ——————————————
    It doesn’t work. A person in fit condition can put out about 250 watts for 30 minutes or so. To be optimistic, assume 250 W for 4 hours, or 1 KWh. Even at the retail price of 24 cents/KWh, that’s $.06 per labor hour payment. Modern industry is excellent at making cheap electricity. Assuming use of Thorium and breeder reactors, there is 1000 years of fuel in the ground. Regardless of what you may have heard, there have been zero injuries or fatalities due to nuke power plant sources after the tsunami that killed 20,000 people in eastern Japan last year. That’s compared to hundreds of annual accident fatalities for other power producers including site accidents at wind farms.

  93. What happened to carbon nanotubes modified with azobenzene?

    “Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT) have designed a new solar thermal fuel that could store up to 10,000 times more energy than previous systems. The fuel, which has been studied using computational chemistry but not yet fully tested in the lab, consists of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) modified with azobenzene. It is expected to provide the same energy storage per volume as lithium-ion batteries and can store solar energy almost indefinitely. It can also be recharged by simply exposing it to sunlight – no electricity required.”

    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2011/jul/21/carbon-nanotubes-could-store-solar-energy

    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nl201357n

  94. It’s an open thread, so I can steer it to the safety of windfarms. Here’s a UK reference on accidents and fatalities. http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk/page4.htm?oo=0 It’s mostly UK statistics, but I noted the 2400 golden eagles killed by the Altamont windfarm in the past 20 years. Can you imagine the outcry if that had been caused by a coal burner or a nuke power plant?

  95. Some new data just appeared on the Univ Colorado sea level graph. It appeared about a week ago, then disappeared, now has reappeared, apparently the same as before.

    Did anyone else notice this?

  96. We did exactly the same thing on our terrace house and save $600 p.a. and we also have a Solar HW unit which never needs electric boosting under the Sydney Sun. We too did it with no regard to reducing CO2 output or Global Weirding. We were just protecting ourselves against a deluded Government.

  97. In a place like AZ., you probably can do very well with the 80/20 (or even, if you are lucky 90/10) rule. Design the system to supply most of your energy needs during the daytime and run off the grid at night. This can be accomplished by installing the requisite solar panels (which are quite reasonable in price) a very minimal storage unit to handle fluctuations (a few minutes, at most, would probably suffice to allow auto kickover to the grid if necessary) and a converter (not cheap, but the storage can get tremendously expensive here).

    5 years ago, I figured I could do ~70/30 for somewhere between 12 & 15 grand. Probably much cheaper today.

  98. Gary Hladik says: July 22, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    We’re facing the question that Francisco, Hank and Dagny had to face. Going along with your nature and fight like hell to save the system, even if you’re the only one left pulling the wagon. Or do you realize that it is immoral to help an immoral system keep going, and do your part to bring it crashing down? I wish it were so easy, here in the real world, I’m rather unsettled about what comes after the collapse. Interesting times, indeed.

  99. By now, everyone here probably knows that Penn State President Rodney A. Erickson ordered the removal of Joe Paterno’s statue from outside Beaver Stadium this morning (Sunday, July 22).

    I encourage everyone to contact University of Virginia President Theresa Sullivan and urge her to follow President Erickson’s lead and put an end to UVa’s scandal by ordering the immediate release of Micheal Mann’s emails. I couldn’t find an email address for her but her office phone number (from the UVa website) is: 434-924-3337. Please be courteous.

  100. Economics of my soon to be installed 4 KW system in Phoenix. Note that there are almost no economies of scale (price/kWh) for larger systems.

    Installed price if I purchased the system: $16,500.
    Guarantee kWh over 20 years under the lease agreement: 120,387. It is 6300 the first year and 5737 in year 20.
    The numbers:
    – Before subsidies: capital cost per guarantee generated kWh: $0.137.
    – After subsidies ($7330 in subsidies): capital cost per guarantee generated kWh: $0.076.
    These numbers apply to the 20 year lease option so they include subsidies, repair and a probable inverter replacement.
    – Price kWh if the lease is fully prepaid: $0.069
    – Price kWh if one takes a $0/down lease. $0.113.
    – Price kWh with a $5,000 down-payment $0.076
    In my situation roughly 50% of the generated power will be during the high rate period: M-F noon-7. It is offsetting $0.245/kWh power. In the low rate period, it is offsetting $0.065/kWh power. If the system overproduces, I get high and low period credits from the power company. If I end the year in a positive balance, then I get cashed out at $0.065/kWh. My average price for power last year was $0.134/kWh

    The fine print.
    The lessor is NRG – the largest power producer, the largest nuclear power producer and because of this program the largest solar power producer in the country. The use a 4.5% discount rate on their lease. I was more comfortable dealing with a power company that did leasing than a finance company that did solar. With the two other finance oriented quotes, I could never figure out the price/kWh over the life of the lease.

    The disposal terms after 20 years are clear – I can buy the system, I can continue to lease, NRG can pay to take it out and restore the roof. If none of the preceding occur, the system reverts to my ownership 90 days after the lease ends.

    Pne out for the lessor: The guarantee can be reduced one time if, after one year, the system does not produce its rated power. Does not seem to be happening based on references and BBB rating (almost 4 years).

    If they do not meet the guarantee, NRG writes us a check at the end of the year.

  101. Power Engineer July 21, 2012 at 5:40 pm says:

    “The cost of solar pv is about 40 cents per kWh”

    You need to factor in the cost of connecting to the Grid. In my case that cost thousands of dollars even though the powerlines were right outside my house. There was the cost of the heavy underground cable and digging the trench, and the cost of the meter and someone to read it every month, and a “supply charge” to pay every month.
    People in remote areas may have to pay tens of thousands of dollars for the wire and poles.
    Even if I use Grid power I want backup emergency power, so I’ve paid for all that anyway, i.e. batteries and a generator.
    When there’s a power cut, my house is a blaze of light, to the envy of my neighbours.

    The cost of solar panels is decreasing all the time and the efficiency increasing. The cost of Grid power is increasing all the time, especially when NZ is proposing selling off their power generators. There will come a time when going off-Grid for a house is economic and everybody will do it. I live in a sensible part of the world where I never need an air conditioner and I seldom need to turn heaters on. LED lighting reduces my power consumption even more.

  102. Richard Lyman says:
    July 22, 2012 at 6:20 am
    A technical question for anybody: If you have a standby generator, you must have a transfer switch (required by Code) to prevent back feeding the grid during an outage- this is a matter of safety for utility workers. With PV, how is it isolated from the grid when there is an outage? You can’t have a transfer switch as the purpose of the PV system is to feed excess power back to the grid. I have never heard this discussed and am simply curious.

    There is also a contactor or relay installed that drops out if grid power is lost, cutting the tie to the grid. Assuming the system is installed to code. This isn’t the NFPA’s first rodeo, you know.

  103. Richard Lyman says:
    July 22, 2012 at 6:20 am

    If you have a standby generator, you must have a transfer switch (required by Code) to prevent back feeding the grid during an outage- this is a matter of safety for utility workers.

    Actually, it’s a bit more complicated than that. There is a real danger of connecting to the grid when not synchronized to the grid. Connecting to the grid when 180 degrees out of phase, will toss your generator and whatever is attached, through your house and maybe the neighbors. Your backup generator cannot force the grid to sync, therefore it instantly and catastrophically changes it’s geometry to match the grid. The switchgear interlocks ensures this doesn’t happen.

    So whether it’s manual or automatic connect, a phase synchronization must occur. Linemen don’t depend on switches and completely ground out any lines they are working on. Hope I’ve cleared that up. GK

  104. I was surprised that the comments on McKibben’s Article in Rolling Stone did not take him to task for his evaluation of how to throttle the fossil fuel industry. Several of the quotes did not appear in the Rolling Stone given in this BLOG article, especially the quote,” hold the power to change the physics and chemistry of the planet”. I don’t know if they were edited out by Rolling Stone or just out of the web page that I accessed below.
    Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math | Politics News | Rolling Stone

    Bill McKibben is an journalist environmental activist who likes to write about the climate change issues but really doesn’t understand any of the science, especially mathematics and probability. Therefore everything he says comes from other sources. I struggled through his rant against fossil fuels to see where he thinks the action the environmental activists need to take to prevent climate change. Below is my analysis.

    McKibben has given up on many of the enviro-activist’s efforts to limit the production of fossil fuels. “So far, as I said at the start, environmental efforts to tackle global warming have failed”. “The planet’s emissions of carbon dioxide continue to soar,…”“This record of failure means we know a lot about what strategies don’t work.”
    Well that is quite an admission!
    What did they do wrong?
    1. “Green groups, for instance, have spent a lot of time trying to change individual lifestyles:” “Most of us are fundamentally ambivalent about going green: We like cheap flights to warm places, and we’re certainly not going to give them up if everyone else is still taking them.” “People perceive – correctly – that their individual actions will not make a decisive difference in the atmospheric concentration of CO2”
    2. “A more efficient method, of course, would be to work through the political system, and environmentalists have tried that, too with the limited success. “They’ve patiently lobbied leaders, trying to convince them of our peril and assuming that politicians would heed the warnings. Sometimes it has seemed to work. Barack Obama, for instance, campaigned more aggressively about climate change than any president before him – the night he won the nomination, he told supporters that his election would mark the moment “the rise of the oceans began to slow and the planet began to heal.”” But in light of the numbers I’ve just described, it’s obviously a very small”
    The numbers are: 2 0C, 565 Gigatons of carbon dioxide, and 2795 Gigatons of fossil fuel reserves
    a. 2 0C is a upper limit on the global temperature determined by the Copanhaden Accord. “The accord did contain one important number, however. In Paragraph 1, it formally recognized “the scientific view that the increase in global temperature should be below two degrees Celsius.”
    b. 565 Gigatons is total amount of carbon dioxide needed to raise the global temperature by mid-century 2 0C “The 565-gigaton figure was derived from one of the most sophisticated computer-simulation models that have been built by climate scientists around the world over the past few decades. And the number is being further confirmed by the latest climate-simulation models currently being finalized in advance of the next report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change”
    c. 2795 Gigatons is the mass reservoir of fossil fuel “It was highlighted last summer by the Carbon Tracker Initiative, a team of London financial analysts and environmentalists who published a report in an effort to educate investors about the possible risks that climate change poses to their stock portfolios. The number describes the amount of carbon already contained in the proven coal and oil and gas reserves of the fossil-fuel companies, and the countries (think Venezuela or Kuwait) that act like fossil-fuel companies”
    “At this point, effective action would require actually keeping most of the carbon the fossil-fuel industry wants to burn safely in the soil, not just changing slightly the speed at which it’s burned.” “That’s a commitment that I make.” The next day, in a yard full of oil pipe in Cushing, Oklahoma, the president promised to work on wind and solar energy but, at the same time, to speed up fossil-fuel development: “Producing more oil and gas here at home has been, and will continue to be, a critical part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy.” That is, he’s committed to finding even more stock to add to the 2,795-gigaton inventory of unburned carbon.
    Obviously McKibben feels that there no hope of a satisfactory political solution. “So, the paths we have tried to tackle global warming have so far produced only gradual, halting shifts. A rapid, transformative change would require building a movement, and movements require enemies.”
    What movement does McKibben believe is needed to keep 80% of the fossil fuel in the ground?
    “These climate numbers make painfully, usefully clear is that the planet does indeed have an enemy – one far more committed to action than governments or individuals. The enemy is the fossil fuel industry. “Veteran anti-corporate leader Naomi Klein, who is at work on a book about the climate crisis said “But these numbers make clear that with the fossil-fuel industry, wrecking the planet is there is their business model. “They’re clearly cognizant of global warming – they employ some of the world’s best scientists, after all, and they’re bidding on all those oil leases made possible by the staggering melt of Arctic ice.”
    He has a plan to stop them?
    “Left to our own devices, citizens might decide to regulate carbon and stop short of the brink; according to a recent poll, nearly two-thirds of Americans would back an international agreement that cut carbon emissions 90 percent by 2050. But we aren’t left to our own devices.”
    “Environmentalists, understandably, have been loath to make the fossil-fuel industry their enemy, respecting its political power and hoping instead to convince these giants that they should turn away from coal, oil and gas and transform themselves more broadly into “energy companies.” .” In December, BP finally closed its solar division. Shell shut down its solar and wind efforts in 2009. The five biggest oil companies have made more than $1 trillion in profits since the millennium – there’s simply too much money to be made on oil”
    They loath oil companies. They have always viewed them as the enemy.
    Why is the fossil fuel industry responsible for the climate crisis? McKibben’s answer is that the fossil fuel industry is responsible for producing the CO2 and should taxed rather than the users of fossil fuels because they are not paying for the pollution caused by fossil fuels. The logic of this is difficult to comprehend. It is the same logic that says that guns manufacturers should pay for the cost of crimes committed using guns. If an industry pollutes water by using it in their processes, they should pay to compensate for the damage in the waste disposal. This scheme would require the water company to pay because they supplied the water.
    “Much of that profit stems from a single historical accident: Alone among businesses, the fossil-fuel industry is allowed to dump its main waste, carbon dioxide, for free.” “If you put a price on carbon, through a direct tax or other methods, it would enlist markets in the fight against global warming. Once Exxon has to pay for the damage its carbon is doing to the atmosphere, the price of its products would rise.” Tax them heavily
    Mckibben offers a simple method to redistribute the tax called “fee and dividend.”
    “The economic playing field would now be a level one for nonpolluting energy sources. And you could do it all without bankrupting citizens – a so-called “fee-and-dividend” scheme would put a hefty tax on coal and gas and oil, then simply divide up the proceeds.” There’s only one problem: Putting a price on carbon would reduce the profitability of the fossil-fuel industry. After all, the answer to the question “How high should the price of carbon be?” is “High enough to keep those carbon reserves that would take us past two degrees safely in the ground.
    “The higher the price on carbon, the more of those reserves would be worthless.”
    “It’s not clear, of course, that the power of the fossil-fuel industry can be broken. The U.K. analysts who wrote the Carbon Tracker report and drew attention to these numbers had a relatively modest goal – they simply wanted to remind investors that climate change poses a very real risk to the stock prices of energy companies/”
    3 “Forcing the fossil fuel industry probably would fail”. McKibben is saying that the political clout to make people pay to reduce carbon use is gone and is probably dead. In essence he is admitting defeat of the environmental activists to get the controls on fossil fuel companies despite the efforts of the president to create an alternate energy industry through massive tax breaks and incentives, the subsidizing of the biofuels industry which still produces CO2, the efforts to shut down electrical power plants that use coal, the threat to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, the ruthless efforts by the EPC to add more and more regulations about CO2, and the supreme court agreeing to let the EPC label CO2 a pollutant based on false testimony by flawed IPCC reports. They have won many battles but the wins are not significant. None of this apparently matters in the war against fossil fuel distribution.
    Mckibben has given up yet. He has a new strategy to bring the fossil fuel industry to its knees. Create a huge protest movement to get people to divest themselves of earnings from fossil fuel stocks. He cites the success of the Apartheid movement in support of the minorities in South Africa as a successful example of how a protest could cause the fossil fuel industry to keep 80% the energy resources underground.

    “So pure self-interest probably won’t spark a transformative challenge to fossil fuel. “But moral outrage just might – and that’s the real meaning of this new math.” “The fossil-fuel industry is obviously a tougher opponent, and even if you could force the hand of particular companies, you’d still have to figure out a strategy for dealing with all the sovereign nations that, in effect, act as fossil-fuel companies”

    McKibben’s article paints a dismal picture for environmental activism on behalf of reducing the continued growth in the use of fossil fuels. This is interesting when one considers all the things that environmental activist’s lobbies have accomplished since the beginning of the fear of global warming started. But no one will help them destroy the fossil fuel industry, at least enough, to make a level playing field for the fledgling alternate energy industries.
    McKibben said a lot of things in the article that are not true and for which he offered no references. His analysis of artic ice melting and forest fires caused by global warming are just two examples. But worse he does not understand physical sciences and notably mathematics and probability and he doesn’t understand simple economics. His fear of capitalism is so great that he does not seem to realize that the law of supply and demand is still going on in the world, not just in the US.
    Several points could be mentioned.
    1. The withdrawal of investments in South Africa changed the minds of the South African Apartheid government by reduced investment but the withdrawal of investors in companies doing business with South Africa was economic not political. They were worried about their investments.
    2. Fossil fuels and oil in particular are commodities and traded on the free market.
    3. A reduction in demand for oil by greater taxes would affect the sale of the commodity in the US but it would encourage other nations, who don’t care about global warming, to buy more fossil fuel because it would be cheaper.
    4. A “fee and dividend” program to extract financially damaging taxes from fossil fuel companies would not necessarily be returned to citizens as a dividends. Especially by our government that seeks more ways to spend tax dollars.
    5. Finally, the development of a protest movement in the colleges and universities on the heels of the failure of the occupy Wall Street movement to change Wall Street or the governments relation to the banks. In an environment where the unemployment rate is so high that college graduates even with advanced degrees are finding difficult to find any job and are faced with impending doom that their huge students loans are due to be repaid as soon as they graduate. People are not going to see this as a moral imperative compared to Apartheid. I doubt that middle class people with investment portfolios in IRA’s and state governmental and union fiduciary agencies are going to risk divesting of fossil fuel stocks and their associated rates of return for a hypothetical limit of 565 gigatons of carbon dioxide to prevent 2 0C global warming when the average temperature of the planet has barely changed in the last decade despite major weather events such fires, droughts, and heat waves and simultaneous increases in CO2.
    The evidence is not that strong that global warming requires a mandate to save the planet. The global warming advocates have lost credibility by the fact that the IPCC computer programs don’t prove anything, by not acknowledging that there are also natural causes for global warming and by not providing any real evidence that something bad will happen if temperature goes up 2 degrees in the next 50 years. Their stand is shaky in lieu of the fact the planet in the last 4000 years has gone through bigger heating and cooling cycles with little evidence of problems for heating compared to cycles where the temperature fell below the temperatures in the 1890’s. There is no moral imperative. It is a GIGO computer program supporting a pseudo-religious quasi-political belief system that requires no evidence only the religious leaders in the United Nations handing down fallacious reports with misleading data and information written by a few selected elites scientists without peer review who were chosen to prove that the globe is warming solely due to the use of fossil fuels.

  105. I’m no expert, but would spacing them further off the roof let them stay cooler and therefore make them a lot more efficient?

  106. usJim says:
    July 22, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Frederick, I voted to ‘warm my world’ decades ago when I came to Texas … I even moved back once to the ‘home’ state and returned to Texas again a year later … I don’t miss slosh covered streets or white-salt-dust colored streets due to the use of salt to melt ice and snow nor do I miss the constant rust-out of one’s vehicles due to salt either …

    They fixed the rust problem a log time ago. My recently retired 1999 Saturn SL2 with 317,000 miles on it had a couple rust spots on the hood. They grew over the last 6-7 years, but never came close to perforating the metal.

    If your vehicle rusted out up here, you should look for a new manufacturer.

    The car lived in New Hampshire the whole time, and never had a garage. (Which may be one reason for its good rust performance. In the 1960s in Ohio we decided a heated garage was a bad thing when salt was in use.)

  107. Smokey says:
    July 22, 2012 at 11:22 am
    “Mac,
    I was defending Anthony against what appeared to be the launching of an attack. Personally, I don’t worry about such ethical conundrums, because I am not a taker; I’m the guy who always pays the freight. And it’s not voluntary.☹”

    Fair enough, Smokey!
    Thanks for the American Thinker link also.
    If you ever get up Seattle way, holler. I’ll buy the beer!
    MtK

  108. I come late to this thread due to urgent business business elsewhere. But it makes me chuckle.

    As a trainee a long time ago I was the one who put the training rig alternator in 120 degrees out of phase when we had those funny little dials you know. No harm done but I was teased about it for weeks afterwards.

    About a month later I really learnt about what spinning reserve meant when on secondment to the then Battersea Power station when an 200 MW alternator shorted, of course the emergency trips came in and shut the turbine etc. But the fireworks were spectacular. Amazingly the repair crews had her back up and running within 48 hours.A busbar failure I believe.

    What would be thought of such rapid repair today? when it would need at least endless enquiries from elf and safety, and who knows what else taking months for no good purpose. Same goes for railway accidents, back then a good friend of mine was killed in the Hither Green disaster, but the crews had the line up and passing traffic within a day. Nowadays it would be shut for a month or more as highly paid official vultures picked over the ruins and made their reports.

    As for the hard times we live in now well we had them back then too. When a political fuel
    shortage and doomsayers persuaded an honest if misguided US President that the end of days were around the corner.

    Today there is another kind of US President, who sings the same tune but of whom it might be said you can take the politician out of Chicago but you can’t take Chicago……etc. Over there you will have a vote to decide shortly.

    But the doom and gloom back then extended to the railways and in the US especially to the loss of long haul passenger services. Nostalgia really despite politicians trying to get their paws into it with things like Conrail, god bless the Boston and Maine, the US railroads have prospered mightily even if the US taxpayer has suffered dreadfully from Amtrak

    And Steve Goodman wrote a wonderfully bittersweet song about it which has been covered by numerous performers since..But to my somewhat addled mind none better than Willie Nelson who had the diction, intonation and ability to carry the tune but also just the right mix of grit and brio that makes the song come alive. Must have been his bandanna.

    So for you delectation: here.

    Kindest Regards

  109. _Jim says:
    July 22, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Ric Werme says July 22, 2012 at 7:57 am

    The house is going to shed that heat one or another. Like via window AC units that are no longer being used. …

    An assertion in contradiction to field data/observations; All the home improvement stores down here carry them, as does Walmart, I’m currently a user of a couple, and they are invaluable for use until a central air unit can be repaired … are you aware of the improved SER ratings that window units now posses?

    Sorry – I should have include more of the context for you:

    James McCauley says:
    July 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Matt, I live in Cleveland, OH and installed a ac powered attic vent fan (the largest one at Home Depot) on our house three years ago so that it would exhaust air from throughout the entire two story house and it continues to work better than I thought it would – and not too costly, either, relative to the A/C that we don’t have to use any longer.

    I’m not in the market for a new window AC unit. I was replying to Geoff Sherrington’s assertion:

    James, That’s all very nice except for the neighbours, who will be getting free heat from your attic over the fence whether they want it or not.
    One has to keep property rights in mind when doing these things.

    Unless the SER rating is > 100% (whatever the rating is for more efficient than possible), cooling the house implies dumping heat that may or may not reach the neighbors. The “A/C that we don’t have to use any longer” implies the heat is removed with the attic fan.

    How are repair costs for current window AC units? One of ours got stuck on cooling all the time. The thermostat is electronic, and is on the circuit board with the push buttons, lights, beepter, and remote control reader. Cost me $24.90

    I also have a failed dishwasher control knob – it cracked through the center par that connects to the electromechanical control shaft. I wrapped some wire around it as an expedient solution. a replacment knob sells for $21-$25! A stupid piece of plastic with a white line and a metal cylindrical spring clip to mate with the “D” shaped control shaft.

    My guess is that the control unit goes to obsolete AC units like mine, the knob works on many current units. I may have been the beneficiary of the vendor wanting to get rid of old stuff.

  110. doug kemp says:
    July 22, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Anthony –
    A June 28, 2012 article in the http://www.seacoastonline.com website by a Deborah Mcdermott raised concern about an east coast of US “hot spot” for abnormal sea level rise.The article goes own to quote several folks about this hot spot being proven “irrefutable” by a Cameron Wake of Uni. of New Hampshire. Apparently Town’s have been holding meetings on this subject!

    Cameron Wake (as oppose to Cameron Wake the football player) is primarily a CO2 person. I tend to ignore him as I’m not sure all that many people take hime seriously. I and Joe D’Aleo testifed to the NH Governor’s Climate Change Task Force were Wake was the only scientist and have also testified in support of getting out of RGGI.

    Towns often have meetings about various subjects, New England towns do a formal town meeting every year. While SeacoastOnline is a Wake fan, I don’t think he has the influence on the rest of the state you think he does.

    I’m a ways away from the seacoast region, I don’t think it’s worth my time going there.

  111. Ric Werme says:
    July 22, 2012 at 8:07 am

    ****
    rogerknights says:
    July 21, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Another cheap item is to add an insulating blanket around your water heater.
    ****

    An insulating blanket is certainly cheap, but when our conventional, natural gas water heater spang a leak, we replaced it with a tankless heater. Blanket and timer not necessary, efficiency far beyond the old water heater.

    Maybe I’ll do that when my heater springs a leak. Until then, I’m glad I have my extra insulation.

  112. Don’t know if anyone has mentionwed it, but Norfolk police have concluded that the the release of CRU emails and data was an outside hack, not an inside job.

    Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Superintendent Julian Gregory, said: “Despite detailed and comprehensive enquiries, supported by experts in this field, the complex nature of this investigation means that we do not have a realistic prospect of identifying the offender or offenders and launching criminal proceedings within the time constraints imposed by law.

    “The international dimension of investigating the World Wide Web especially has proved extremely challenging.

    “However, as a result of our enquiries, we can say that the data breach was the result of a sophisticated and carefully orchestrated attack on the CRU’s data files, carried out remotely via the internet. The offenders used methods common in unlawful internet activity to obstruct enquiries.

    “There is no evidence to suggest that anyone working at or associated with the University of East Anglia was involved in the crime.”

    http://www.norfolk.police.uk/newsevents/newsstories/2012/july/ueadatabreachinvestigation.aspx

    [REPLY: Barry, you are usually better than this.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/19/media-questions-and-answers-from-the-norfolk-police-regarding-the-closing-of-climategate/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/19/more-info-on-the-ueacru-climategate-investigation-by-norfolk-police/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/18/climategate-investigation-closed-cops-impotent/

    A number of us who have a certain rudimentary skill level have come to the conclusion that turning to a life of cyber-crime is best attempted in the UK and Norfolk in particular. There is also a somewhat stronger consensus that the Norfolk announcement is not what it appears. -REP]

  113. Barry, may I translate? Thank you:

    “There is no evidence to suggest that anyone outside the University of East Anglia was involved in the leak.”

  114. REP,

    thanks for the link. I don’t visit WUWT every day. More like once a week, or less.

    I’ll read the thread, but I’m pretty skeptical of second-guessing the police. I know that there is a ‘strong concensus’ here to believe that this was an inside job, and I expect to find that the conversation bends every effort to highlght whatever supports that contention, and downplay anything against it – such as constructing a theory that the police are not being forthright.

    But I don’t see why there should be a problem with accepting that it was an outside job. At least we know the theft did not occur from within the university (according to the police).

    [REPLY: Barry, you are one of ten commenters who have my ID information and can do the research to begin to understand why my position is that you ALWAYS second-guess the police. Reading Bishop Hill and following the lnks there should give you an idea of the depths of corruption in the UK. -REP]

  115. barry,

    If that’s so, then cite your evidence that it was an outside hack.

    Just cite your evidence. That’s all.

    That should be very easy… if you have any evidence.

  116. Barry, you are one of ten commenters who have my ID information and can do the research to begin to understand why my position is that you ALWAYS second-guess the police.

    Either I have forgotten or you are mistaking me for someone else. I’m not sure who you are. I have had very few private exchanges with regulars at this site. Last time I can remember was when attempting to provide WUWT with documents from the American Tradition Institute. I did not take note of anyone’s identity in those exchanges.

    Most of my extended family are or have been in the police force in Australia and I don’t think i’m too naive about it. I think positing corruption on this issue would be highly speculative. There’s no angle worth their effort, and I doubt there is any solid evidence to support an alternative contention. One can construct any scenario, but without solid facts it smacks of wishful thinking.

    The 3 articles you posted and following discussions don’t offer anything sustantial against the police statement. I’ll follow the trail to Bishop Hill if you’d like to post links, but otherwise I expect ‘researching’ this discussion will be a waste of time, useful only for those who are invested in a particular narrative. I am not.

Comments are closed.