Monday, August 1, 2016

Solar panels and sunny days

SHERYL AND I installed solar panels on our garage roof Sunday. It didn't take that long and immediately we are off the grid, at least for the garage.

We got a new garage last year after the storm of July 2015 destroyed the old one. For much less than the cost of having an electrician install power, we put up the solar panels. Sheryl did all the research and bought all the stuff, and I held the ladder. We even managed to lift the heavy solar panels via two ladders onto the roof without killing ourselves or each other.

It's a tiny solar panel but it is a beginning.
We were at one of the big box stores yesterday getting a few more supplies, and the guy helping us seemed surprised we were going the solar route. "It's too overcast for solar in Quincy," he said.

This is simply not true. According to the Illinois Solar Energy Association, Chicago gets nearly as much sunlight as Los Angeles or Atlanta. Quincy has an average of 200 sunny days a year, or about 60 percent of the time. Sure, there is less sun in the winter months, but not that much less - cold and sunny days abound around here during the winter. Is it enough to power an entire house, or maybe an old building at Fifth and Maine?

We'll do more research and think about it. "We don't have any kids sucking tons of energy. For two sort-of old people, we might be able to do it," Sheryl says.

Here comes the sun. And we don't pay electric bills in our old age? It's all right!

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