World Habitat Day & Solar Power

The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day. This year, World Habitat Day will be celebrated on 3 October 2011 and the Global Celebration will be hosted by the Government of Mexico. The idea is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and the basic right of all, to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat.

The United Nations chose the theme Cities and Climate Change was chosen because climate change is fast becoming the preeminent development challenge of the 21st century. Indeed, no-one today can really foresee the predicament in which a town or city will find itself in 10, 20 or 30 years time. In this new urban era with most of humanity now living in towns and cities, we must bear in mind that the greatest impacts of disasters resulting from climate change begin and end in cities. Cities too have a great influence on climate change.

So in some way it is fitting – yet sad – that today I decided to make a decision.

Would we or wouldn’t we get solar panels installed on the house roof?

I got a quote months ago, I’ve had good communication from the company and I an excited about the possibility of it all but was concerned about the pay-back time for what I was looking at as an investment.

Would the money spent on panels be best kept on our line of credit house mortgage at the moment?

After some more research I have made the easy yet disappointing decision not to go ahead with solar panels. It was eventually an easy decision because of information I found that I had stumbled on months ago but which I recently read some first hand experience of, and that is with what is loosely termed “dirty electricity”.

I should add also that the pay-back time calculations for our panels were not very exciting, despite factoring an increase in power bills in the future.

This is a comment left on Choice website for their Installing Solar PV Panels in Australia page.

I believe there are other, potentially quite substantial costs, that need to be taken into consideration when going down the solar (connected to the grid) route. My husband and I had a 1 kw system installed 13 months ago. After some months, following a lot of investigative work, we discovered that the high frequency waves coming from our inverter had effectively ‘closed’ a public gold fossicking area over the hill from us, to people using metal detectors. This was due to the high amount of interference caused by our inverter during daylight hours. The emissions extended for up to 350 metres from our house. We subsequently discovered that these high frequency waves are a by-product of the process whereby the DC wave form is changed to an AC wave form. I also found if I was at home all day, following the installation of our solar system, that I was experiencing adverse health effects, which had a significant impact on the quality of my life. The end result was we paid out over $1000 to purchase 20 filters, with capacitors in them, (plus a meter, so we could monitor the situation) to fix the problems. Incidentally, we discovered the powerboards which have inbuilt filters (sold in connection with TVs etc) didn’t do anything, as the problem with our solar inverter seemed to be caused by harmonics, rather than transients. Since then I have met a number of other people whose health has been adversely affected by the increased electromagnetic fields caused by their solar inverter.

There were further comments to this post which you can read via the link above.

For me at this time I am comfortable with the decision not to go ahead. Given that my wife is also pregnant at the current time I researched the effects that these stray emissions can have and am not surprised that the solar panel inverters behave in the same way.

Enough for me to say “No” to solar for now. Hopefully, in the not too distant future once some of the wrinkles are ironed out of it.

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