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Can you run an electric motor off solar panels and in turn produce more electricity than the solar panels can??? Answered

I want to know if it is possible to run a one horse power electric motor 120 volt off a solar panel and in turn it runs a generator that would produce enough electricity to make a difference on my bill. The solar calculators say I can only save about $60 a month.... off my 3 to 4 hundred dollar bill. The motors I am talking about is the type used for turning water pumps ... they last for years...   


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8 years ago

picture a bicycle,   electricty is no different then a biclye chain and a en electric moter is no different then a bicycle wheel.

Draw a normal pedal bicycle,  with pedals, draw a chain going from the pedals to the back wheel,  now add another back wheel behind the existing back wheel and connect the additional  back wheel to the existing back wheel vai a sprocked and an additional bicle chain. 

Is this bicycle going to go twice as fast as a normal bicycle because you have an additional back wheel (electric motor) being powered by the original back wheel(solar panel) you are providing power to via pedaling(the suns energy).

Or is this bike going to go slower and be harder to pedal do to the additional friction and weight?   

Adding an electric motor behind a solar panel is like adding a third wheel to a bike.

You basically loose 10% of your power every time you convent electrical power to mechanical power and then another 10% when you convert mechanical power pack to electrical power,  so adding a motor and generator behind your solar panel would cause you to generate about 80% of the energy you would creat using the solar panel alone.

You should look into the "grid connected inverter" but unless you are getting some major government rebates adding solar will probably cost you more money then it saves you.

PS your thought pattern is one we have all been down when we first got interested in this subject,    Just think about electricity the same way you think about water or bicycle chains,  they work the same they are  just a means to store or transport work,   If it won't work with bicycle chains or water wheels it won't work with electricity.  

When you look at electricity and wires the same way you look at water in pipes or bicycle chains and wheels, it make it a lot easier to understand.  the same laws of physics apply all three.

No.  Start with conservation of energy, and work through the logic from there.  You don't even need to think about actual practical matters like resistance, friction, etc.

No. It would violate the fundamental laws of physics.

Why use the motor at all? What's wrong with the power that comes out of the solar panels?


according to the info supplied by solar companies... my house is an energy hog and solar alone will not save enough money to make a difference..

 In the event solar can't power your home directly, it's not going to operate a dynamo with sufficient output to power your home There will be loss  with using a dynamo. Your money may be better spent reducing your load. In the event your refrigerator is an older one, replacing it may pay for itself fairly quickly. Go to www.energysavers.gov as a starting point, and than use google to find other help. I know older refrigerators are energy hogs. I'm not sold on CFLs yet, be cause I'm getting the promised  from them how I use them. I read below you have newer appliance, and your refrigerator is still an energy hog. An investment in a killawatt meter may be a wise one, it well tell you how much the refrigerator is using, and if it's out of line it may need servicing or you will have to examine how your family is using it.. Those economizers read like snake oil to me.

Why is it an energy hog ? Maybe you should invest in some insulation, or window film or something else !

I have new dual pain windows ... r14 to r 30 insulation ... I have newer appliances... I do have a hot tub.. and it seems that my refrigerator uses a lot of energy... I have sut down the house and turned each breaker on at a time and can only say we have to many things running,,, edison says the same thing. This is why I was looking in to solar... only problem is that solar panels for that much energy costs around 40 to 50 thousand dollars ,,, i am looking for options...  

Insulated hot tub lid ? There are economisers that help run refrigerator motors more efficiently. These sorts of thing are more cost effective ATM than solar.


You're not going to get any more power by adding motors etc to the output. More panels, less energy consumption perhaps?
Do you have low energy lighting, use a dryer for the washing every time, what's your biggest use of hot-water, how old are the electrical appliances?


Just get an inverter a battery, and a battery controller
plug your favorite applience into the inverter. the inverter will run off the battery, and the solar panel will charge the battery
,,btw, inverters change DC into AC,,

No, but the way to do it is with what's called a grid tied inverter -then you can generate bacl to the grid (but only if your utility allows you to in the USA)

No.  You're going to have friction and resistance loses.