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AstroPower, Inc. (APWRE) Message Board

  • Bman409 Bman409 Jan 24, 2000 11:35 AM Flag

    what a garbage bulletin board!

    the stock's up 40% and its dead in here..

    i'm outta here...

    no reason to throw pearls before swine

    buy and hold APWR... thats my final advice


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    • Prodigious_accumulator_of_wealth Prodigious_accumulator_of_wealth Feb 4, 2000 4:00 PM Flag

      I was just taking the information provided by
      another and expanding. One thing that I like about
      Astropower is they have the best prices. This package is the
      best that I have seen. I assume from your information
      that it does not include sun trackers. Personally, I
      might be tempted to throw the money at it for my own
      environmental contribution. Still for most, spending $29,000
      for perhaps a $1,000 a year in savings is less than
      tempting. Putting $29,500 in Astropower stock would be a
      much better return. What to do, get rich or save the

    • AstroPower's SunUPS 40, which I believe is the
      system you describe, costs $29,500 and includes 4800
      watts of PV, inverter, and 4 kWH of battery back up
      (the system is designed to be grid connected, and the
      batteries are for power outages, not full night time use).
      The only additional cost is tax, installation and
      utility fees.

    • coal is cheap and cost effective. That's where
      TVA gets 66% of their electricity.
      But is coal a
      good investment? Not for me.
      Granted PV prices need
      to and will come down. Doesn't that make this a good
      time to get in the market

      Electricity generated by photovoltaics is not cost effective
      at present compared to coal and nuclear. (Unless the
      expense of cleaning the air, restoring strip mined land
      and disposing of nuclear wastes is figured into the
      cost of the electricity.)

      There are some people
      buying solar because they like it. You don't necessarily
      get a return on investment by buying an old car, a
      new sail boat, an extra expensive car, a fancy stereo
      system etc. You might just want one for the hell of

      Another residential scenario is vacation cabin or remote
      land with no utility available.
      I know of a system
      being designed this week for someone that was quoted
      $50,000 by the utility to bring in the grid. So it's an

      There are also large rebates available in some
      states and sometimes federal money as well. This of
      course improves the viability.

    • Prodigious_accumulator_of_wealth Prodigious_accumulator_of_wealth Feb 3, 2000 6:42 PM Flag

      not much. From your information, I conclude that
      the Sunline 40 supplies around 6000 watts (~12
      watts/sqft x 500 sqft) on very sunny summer days and costs
      $28,500 ($57/sqft x 500 sqft). That 6000 watts of panel
      power provides about 30 kWhours per day without
      trackers and perhaps 45 with trackers. Since sun trackers
      usually cost as much as the panels they carry, they are
      not cost effective.

      In winter, that 30 kwhrs
      per day drops, perhaps to 10. During winter, my
      household uses 80+ kw hours per day. We have the insulated
      hotwater heater, additional insulation, geothermal heat
      pump and compact flourescents where tolerable.

      The $28,500 does not include inverters, batteries
      (for night), voltage regulators or other accessories.
      Add another $5,00 for the system and that is being
      generous. If the system averaged 20 kwhrs per day, you
      might save $1000 per year or a 3% return. I agree that
      we should do what we can for the environment and I
      can perhaps afford more than most. The cost is not
      effective at this time and most can't afford it.

    • <<"The bad news, photovoltaics generate
      only a few watts per square foot, (not kWatts like
      delivered to your powerpanel.) Thus, you need ~1000 square
      feet of solar panels at hundreds of dolars per square

      Astropowers largest residential package system, the Sunline
      40 , which supplies 100% of typical home usage takes
      up only 500 sq ft. More significantly the Sunline-8
      , which supplies approx. 20% takes up only 100 sq

      The AP120 supplies 120 watts and is about 10.5 sq ft
      at about $600 retail or $57 per sq ft.

      getting ready to add 500 watts peak of PV to my house. In
      preparation I've been cutting electric bill, that is becoming
      a more efficient consumer of electricity, by
      replacing regular light bulbs with compact flourescents (2
      yr ROI), insulating water heater and install timer
      to cut it off between 10pm and 5am etc. I'm now
      using about 75% of what I was, so a system rated at 80%
      of normal usage would supply 100% of my
      However, the point is, even by suppling 10% or even less
      of electric usage through PV
      a person is making
      an impact environmentally. This will be done
      incrementally not all at once, so for me taking a first step is
      taking the right step.
      By the way my home is all
      electric as natural gas is not available here. The house
      is also passive solar.

    • Prodigious_accumulator_of_wealth Prodigious_accumulator_of_wealth Feb 1, 2000 11:48 PM Flag

      of energy. The dominant source of energy for the
      planet as you point out is solar energy. The problem is
      that the density is so low. Even a black painted metal
      takes quite a while to heat up in full sun, at least to
      temperatures that relative to ambient temperature would
      represent a temperature differential sufficient to
      represent a significant amount of available energy for
      work. Consider that temperature versus the temperature
      of a steam engine. That black metal is far more
      efficient a phovoltaic collector.

      The bad news,
      photovoltaics generate only a few watts per square foot, (not
      kWatts like delivered to your power panel.) Thus, you
      need ~1000 square feet of solar panels at hundreds of
      dolars per square foot. And those panels use some
      relatively toxic materials during construction, cadmium for
      instance. The good news is that they last a long time, but
      not forever. At current fossil fuel prices it is far
      more cost effective to burn the fuels and destroy the
      planet than to use photovolatics. Or even burn wood as
      in many less prosperous countries which is even
      worse. Not worse because it can be replenished, but
      worse because it most often isn't due to the overdemand
      of overpopulation. Solar heat on the other hand can
      approach being cost effective due to lower cost per square
      foot and higher efficiencies. It is pretty cool
      however to use a photovoltaic driven fan to push air
      through solar heat collectors.

      I am a little
      nervous about hydrogen as a fuel. I used to live in
      Chicago and every year some building blew up due to
      natural gas leaks. At least you can smell natural gas due
      to the mercapatans added, but I would guess that
      mercapatans would poison a fuel cell. Methane also burns with
      a visible flame and hydrogen is totaly invisible.
      Also, hydrogen being the smallest molecule also has the
      ability to leak through any imperfect seal and even many
      materials. Good news is that its combustion product is not a
      green house gas and isn't toxic (except for NOx
      byproducts of the heat) Maybe the technology has or will
      improve and hydrogen can be safe.

    • Prodigious_accumulator_of_wealth Prodigious_accumulator_of_wealth Feb 1, 2000 11:26 PM Flag

      fans for the car. Pretty weak contribution. Better than nuttin!, but not much. A white car was a much more significant factor.

    • You make some good points about putting cells on
      cars. A few counter-points:

      1. If we wait for
      our employers and cities to furnish us with
      solar-powered electric car-ports, the vast majority of us may
      be waiting a very very long time.

      2. Driving
      home in the dark, if partly powered by electricity
      powered during the day, is a good example of an efficient
      use of solar energy.

      3. While acceleration may
      require a great deal of energy, powering the car once it
      has attained desired velocity is not as
      power-consuming. For those moments when a near-constant lower
      velocity is maintained, solar might make some small but
      reasonable contribution.

      For those particularly
      sunny days when air conditioning may be more a
      necessity than luxury, perhaps the sun might be taken
      advantage of to power things a bit.

      Some years ago
      I read of a real product being sold that was a
      small solar-powered fan which sat in the windows of
      parked cars, pumping out hot air so that the car might
      be slightly more comfortable upon return of the

    • that geothermal isn't solar energy based, so before someone calls me out, I'll admit that I overlooked that one...


    • Argument with regard to solar cells on cars...
      all good points..

      I for one welcome an open
      discussion of alternative energies...

      First and
      foremost, we must realize that ALL ENERGY on earth is solar
      (except fission of course), so really , we're not dealing
      with competitors here from a physical point of view,
      only a commericial one...

      that being said, I
      see the various alternative energies being quite
      complementary, as we've discussed..

      For instance, I could
      have a fuel cell that supplies electricity to my home
      and a fuel cell or hydrogen (or methanol) internal
      combustion vehicle in my garage.. of course my garage would
      have photovoltaic cells, either to charge a battery on
      my electric commuter car, or supply power to my
      energy grid, at a profit.. Or perhaps, I'd have an
      efficient home system that converts sunlight and water into
      hydrogen, which I can use to power my fuel cell or

      In addition, since I live in upstate NY, I'd want a
      windmill, since we have far more windy days here than we do
      sunny.. that too could be wired into my local grid, or
      used to power a hydrogen fuel producing machine, or
      charge an efficient zinc-air battery for my car or as
      back up to my home fuel cell....

      So as you see,
      no one energy in particular is enough.. instead, the
      home of the future will be an integration of various
      alt. energies in order to maximize our energy


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