solar hot water in cold, overcast Michigan [was Re: solar panels]
From: R.P. Aditya (
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2007 20:55:51 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Selwyn

On Mon, Jul 02, 2007 at 04:28:45PM -0500, Selwyn Polit wrote:
> I'm puzzled. Does anyone on cohousing have solar panels 
> (grid-connected) and do they expect a payback?  Please explain your 
> calculations.  Some very important people in our development group 
> believe that there is no way solar ever achieves a payback even with 
> a 70% rebate.  I'd also like to hear about solar hot water systems if 
> you have those.

Great Oak Cohousing in Ann Arbor, energy-poor-Michigan, has a Solar Hot Water
system installed on the Common House and we have a short blog post about it
after 1 year of operation at:

and that links to our ongoing "performance" page at:

with updated information since then (as we approach the 2nd anniversary).

In short, the state of Michigan gave us a good rebate, and we haven't been
disappointed. We also have two similar systems on residential units that are
working well (though smaller and so not as "productive").

I'm sure sunnier Austin will do even better...

Let me know if you need more detail,
Great Oak Cohousing
Ann Arbor, MI, USA

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