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Solar power

22 Comments

A campaign girl for Panasonic introduces the new HIT215 series household solar power generation systems that will go on sale on July 1. Panasonic is aiming for a market share of at least 35% in Japan by 2012. See related story.

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Sumimasen campaign girl.... Do you want to be a housewife?

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Solar power is the way of the future - clean and renewable. You can keep your radiaoactive waste that dangerous Nuclear power generates! With the solar innovation that Japan has made, it stuns me why they are so in love with all things Nuclear. I'm gonna look into these home power generators (if they are relatively cheap) - and I look forward to the day when I can buy a 100 percent solar powered car!

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it stuns me why they are so in love with all things Nuclear

Land of the Rising Sun - indeed.

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Not sure why they haven't bother making these panels look less like panels. It does look awful on a clean roof if you put these up so why can't more effort be made to make them 'bend in'?

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My2sense that was hilarious...

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babyshambles

not here but some make panels to look like shingles so that you can't obviously tell.

Doesn't matter though, no one is going to look at your roof. As well if they do it could hardly be condoned as anything negative anyway.

Most roof tops are useless anyway. Green roof/ white top/ would be far more useful and less dependent on the very energy these panels would produce. Ironic that.

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very good HIT215 series

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Like the sky blue dress! :-)

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You can see your roofs on Goole or Bing maps, need to clean mine.

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Wonder what my neighbours would think if I put one of these panels on the balcony instead of the roof.

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Solar power has 4 problems.

Night Clouds Output (about 20% efficient currently) Cost

I hope Panasonic is addressing the last 2 issues. The first 3 are why nuclear power will be necessary for the foreseeable future.

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They should also make TV's, DVD player..... accept direct 12V inputs - fridge will be a problem. That way, you do not need to convert the voltage back to AC, then the appliances convert the AC back to DC. Each stage wastes a portion of the energy.

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What's the life expectancy of those? and how do you dispose of them?

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nisegaijin at 10:56 PM JST - 1st June What's the life expectancy of those? and how do you dispose of them?

This. And how much is that solar system, installation included? Is it worth it?

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I checked it, they give 20 years of power output.

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So they give 20 years of power output. How many years of accumulated power input does it take to produce one?

I wouldn´t at all be surprised if the total is negative.

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Geothermal is the best alternative to nuclear & oil fior Japan. Solar can only be a supplemental form of energy.

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Should have added that I'm talking about powering homes/businesses.

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How many years of accumulated power input does it take to produce one?

It's the cost of these panels that gets me. Household solar panels start at about $1000 (unless you’re buying a tiny one which makes even less sense) and increase in cost depending on size and efficiency. A common one produces about 120 watts depending on light intensity. I don't know what everyone else gets but I pay about 8 cents per kilowatt hour where I live. Taking all of that into account it would take a couple of decades of constant sunlight to justify the cost of the solar unit.

I stand by my position that solar power is a lovely idea but until it’s made cost effective it remains a novelty and nothing more. Where I live we don't get much sun or wind and there are no tides or underground heat sources so its nuclear power or oil and we've just got a permit to build a new nuclear plant.

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I completely agree with those who say cost is the problem. As TheQuestion says, it is just not cost-effective. Spending money on insulation you will recover your costs in a year or two. It will take about ten years to recover the cost of a solar unit and then it will need replacing. For many people painting walls white and not using lights in the daytime is a much better solution than expensive solar panels which will only power a couple of light bulbs.

The white paint idea will not work for Japanese people as they seem unhappy with natural light and insist on turning lights on in the daytime, even going to the extreme of shutting out natural light with blinds on sunny days.

TheFu says Panasonic are addressing the problem of cost. I think it is the Chinese who will do that.

The most cost-effective way to utilise solar energy at the moment is for water heating, and the Chinese are leading in this market, too.

Chinese solar water heaters are much cheaper than Japanese models and many manufacturers are willing to ship just one. I wonder if any readers have imported one. I have been considering doing so.

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The most cost-effective way to utilise solar energy at the moment is for water heating, and the Chinese are leading in this market, too.

I'd add emergency battery charger as well. In case of long term blackouts having a backup power source isn't a bad idea, a gas generator is probably better for short outages but having a plan B couldn't hurt.

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Most of the new solar systems have a battery cell system and when they are at peak times, they make more than enough power for the battery system and can even put power back INTO the grid decreasing your utility costs. Combining a solar and wind system is a much better solution as you can power 70% of your home (A/C, Heat requires more power) and if you are in a sunny/windy location, you can have ZERO cost electric bills. There are systems in place in Hawaii, Okinawa, Hokkaido, etc.

A good wind system can be bought for around 700,000YEN here. We are putting 2 wind turbines in our future home combined with a Solar system for power and heating. We will also be running 12v appliances and complete 12v lighting (LED).

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