So, a friend of mine recently purchased a small solar panel for about a hundred bucks. He then connected it to a deep cycle battery. And he connected THAT to an inverter. After only a little bit of sunshine he is able to power his radio, some lights and even some power tools. All for under $300.
Cool stuff! I’m all excited. But, in addition to the coolness factor I am interested in the money factor too. So I went out and picked up a Kill a Watt EZ meter. This little thingy will plug into your wall and then allow you to plug an appliance or other electrical thing into it. It begins to record how much power you are using.
‘Cause now I can figure out how long it’s gonna take me to pay back that $300 for the solar system. I couldn’t wait. I plugged it into the wall, plugged a fan into it and waited for the kW H to begin to add up.
I waited a little more.
I reset the little Kill a Watt thingy and waited more.
Alright, so, I took it to work and plugged my fan into it at the office. And let it run. And run and run. Finally, after lunch I looked at the thing and saw I had 4 hours of time measured. TONS of kW H right?
.26 kW H
At 17.01¢ per kW H, I would have to run the fan 7×24 365 for 3.09 years to save $300.
Or, I would have to run a 60 watt bulb 7×24 365 for 3.35 years to save that same $300.
Solar is getting close, but it’s not there yet.