I hate generators, or at least the cheap piece of crap made in China ones. And yet, I love made in China solar panels. I had just got done buying two more panels as back-ups at $98 with shipping each ( if anyone is charging you for shipping, a 30 watt panel is a whole five and a half pounds-so be wary of charges that seem unreasonable ) and lo and beyond the seller, Amazon, has the exact same panel now at 10% less at about $87 with free shipping. Yes, I was a bit bummed- but it also means my next batch will be cheaper than my last one. Again. Of course, this must also come with the warning that if your stupid ass doesn’t buy the needed panels now, prior to the petrodollar crash which brings a screeching halt to all goods into America, don’t say I didn’t warn you. They also are selling a 100 watt for $150 ( just beware all your eggs in one basket, or all your watts in one panel-for reasons of manufacture quality crapshoot, theft issues, a flying rock thrown by a punk ass kid, etc ). Butt I’m going with the $1.50 a watt delivered to compare to a generator. My advice is to run screaming from a gennie and wrap your arms around a stack of panels and give them a big wet sloppy kiss.
A panel lasts 20 years. A generator lasts 1,000 hours ( the Japanese one might last much longer-I’ll give you ten years worth at an hour a day to be fair ). And even if gasoline prices are frozen in time, it will still need $1,500 in juice to run it. I know a generator is supposed to be a back-up for your panels. But if you have twice the watts in panels you need every day, they do charge under cloudy conditions and that will get you through till sunny conditions return ( some places such as coastal Oregon might be the exception ). A $150 generator and $150 in gas will give you six months of 1,000 watts a day. $300 in panels, in the winter, will give you about a thousand watts a day ( six hours at 160 watts [ you don’t get the full 100 watts per panel per hour ] will allow for some clouds each day ). For twenty years. Not six months. Now, if you are building a home and use a gennie and have it left over to use, you are STILL paying more after only one year at current gas prices. I scoff at the notion that gas prices will hold after too much longer ( remember our previous talks of 2016 frack decline and the same time frame import decline of oil due to increased domestic use because of population growth at the same time of production declines averaging 8% a year? ). Solar is THE way to go, and I would not wait forever. Prices can’t remain all that low for all that much longer. And even if they do, I can easily remember when $8 was normal. That might even have been on sale. And now, even if you don’t buy the larger panel, you can still buy just under $3 a watt after shipping. You can never beat utility power rates of a nickel a kilowatt, but we are talking about energy independence here. Surely, worth a small investment now?
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