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Comment Solar on my NJ house (Score 5, Informative) 240

I live in NJ and have a 7.8kW solar system on my roof. I purchased it through Home Dept/BP Solar. The state rebate covered about 65% of the cost. I only had to pay the other 35% of the cost up front. I applied for the system in 2005 and about 6 months later in April 2006 I had a working system on my roof. I have been extremely happy with its performance especially since my roof faces pretty much directly south. Not only do I save in electricity, I also get Solar Renewable Energy Credits that I can sell to help pay for my cost of the system. An SREC is received for every 1000kWH of electricity generated. My system generates about 9 SREC's per solar year. The solar year begins in June and ends in May. After it was installed I immediately purchased RS485 communcation boards for the two inverters and an RS232 to RS485 converter for a PC and runs the SunnyData software that continuously monitors the system. It reads various data every 8 seconds and I use ssh/rsync to push it to a linux server every minute where I wrote some scripts to parse the data and create almost real time graphs of its performance. For anyone interested, I setup my own domain where you can view all the details about the system. I also had the electric company replace my meter with a net meter, so each month on my bill I can see my exact in and out usage. The net meter has what looks like a phone jack that can be used for remote monitoring. I asked them about it because I wanted to connect it to my computer, but unfortunately they didn't give me much of an answer except that its not used, but would have been nice to monitor and graph daily statistics for that as well.

Comment Re:Performance (Score 2, Informative) 117

I just bought the linux version and started playing it and have not had any problems with performance so far. I am running kubuntu 9.04 x86_64 with an Intel core2quad 2.83G with 8G DDR1066 and dual Radeon HD 4550 in crossfirex mode using the latest ati catalyst 9.6 fglrx driver. The movement is very smooth without any hiccups with all the video options at their highest settings. I can't give you a comparison to the windows version since I have no intention on getting it, but I can tell you that it works great on my linux system.

Comment Re:This might be a dumb question (Score 1) 132

Geothermal heat transfer is a great way to do cooling (and heating if needed). The initial investment will be high, but the savings will also be high in the long run (and not just in $). Add solar panels and/or wind turbines that can power the heat pump and some of the data center equipment. I had a solar system installed on the roof of my house a few years ago. I received major incentive rebates from the state, I can sell my SREC's and I get "free" electricity; and in a few more years time the cost of the system will have paid for itself. It has been a good investment. I researched geothermal for the house earlier this year and plan to invest in that within in the next few years. I have already reduced my carbon footprint by more than 30% in the last few years and plan to reduce it further. Just think how much more they could be reducing their carbon footprint.

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