dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
16534
share rss forum feed

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
reply to tstolze

Re: I've gone and done it ... solar install

What's the capacity of your panels (in individual watts)?



tstolze
Premium
join:2003-08-08
O Fallon, MO
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Charter

said by ke4pym:

What's the capacity of your panels (in individual watts)?

Manufactured by Solarworld USA, 255 watt panels
--
Ofallon, Mo Weather
St. Peters, Mo Weather


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to ke4pym

Received my electric bill today for Sept 13 through oct 12. 782 kWh. Cost $89.12 including all taxes and fees. Heat pump set to cool at 75 degrees 24/7.

I would be hard for me to "invest in a big loan for solar". At 69 I won't live long enough to even pay it off much less enjoy any savings "if any".



tstolze
Premium
join:2003-08-08
O Fallon, MO
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Charter

said by Jack_in_VA:

Received my electric bill today for Sept 13 through oct 12. 782 kWh. Cost $89.12 including all taxes and fees. Heat pump set to cool at 75 degrees 24/7.

I would be hard for me to "invest in a big loan for solar". At 69 I won't live long enough to even pay it off much less enjoy any savings "if any".

I agree at your age the gamble would not be worth it. I will be 45 late in December, the final total on my system after rebates was $11,000. Since May 1 we have not paid for $546 worth of electric not including taxes. As a matter of fact we have produced 350 kWh more than we have used since May 1. The sun is quickly getting to a lower angle and I am seeing a decent drop in production, on the best days I am producing just over 30 kWH, in the summer we were consistently over 45 with the best day at 48 kWh.
--
Ofallon, Mo Weather
St. Peters, Mo Weather

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·VOIPO
·ooma
·Verizon Broadban..
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable

2 recommendations

reply to ke4pym

Time to get the solar panels installed on the roof! I will post pictures as I can. Not sure if I should keep posting to this thread or start a new one for the pictures. Here's the schedule:

Monday - Installing all roof supports and rail systems.

Tuesday - All interior work. This will consist of roof penetrations into the attic, conduit and wire runs, mounting of disconnects, and connection into the main service panel.

Wednesday - Finish any interior work and begin installing all micro inverters.

Monday after Thanksgiving - Install all solar panels.

Tuesday- Final electrical inspection.

Wednesday- Final building inspection.



natedj
Elected
Premium
join:2001-06-06
Columbia, SC
reply to ke4pym

I vote for keeping it in this thread.


patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1
reply to fluffybunny

said by fluffybunny :

this is why you should always buy freehold never HOA. asking permission from the HOA or anyone for trivial stuff like solar panels is something to be avoided at all costs. I dont see why people *pay* someone for the privilege of asking permission and getting denied to install something in their back garden.

There is no freehold in the USA. You rent your "land" from the government at all times unless you are in a homeless shelter or prison.


workablob

join:2004-06-09
Houston, TX
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to ke4pym

This sounds damning for Solar.

»www.thestreet.com/story/11755369···ork.html

Thoughts?

Dave
--
I may have been born yesterday. But it wasn't at night.


ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·VOIPO
·ooma
·Verizon Broadban..
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable

said by workablob:

This sounds damning for Solar.

»www.thestreet.com/story/11755369···ork.html

Thoughts?

Dave

I take exception to item #4. While shade on one panel means reduced output on the other panels ... IF a string inverter is used. I'm using microinverters. So, shade on one panel means just that one panel's output is reduced.

HarryH3
Premium
join:2005-02-21
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

said by ke4pym:

said by workablob:

This sounds damning for Solar.

»www.thestreet.com/story/11755369···ork.html

Thoughts?

Dave

I take exception to item #4. While shade on one panel means reduced output on the other panels ... IF a string inverter is used. I'm using microinverters. So, shade on one panel means just that one panel's output is reduced.

Read it again, they didn't say that shade on one panel reduced the output of other panels. They said that shade on one CELL reduced the output of all the cells in that array.

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·VOIPO
·ooma
·Verizon Broadban..
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable

said by HarryH3:

Read it again, they didn't say that shade on one panel reduced the output of other panels. They said that shade on one CELL reduced the output of all the cells in that array.

"Here's a bonus reason No. 4: Shade. A shadow on a solar array not only knocks out power to that panel, it also shuts down a wide area of panels around it."

HarryH3
Premium
join:2005-02-21
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

said by ke4pym:

said by HarryH3:

Read it again, they didn't say that shade on one panel reduced the output of other panels. They said that shade on one CELL reduced the output of all the cells in that array.

"Here's a bonus reason No. 4: Shade. A shadow on a solar array not only knocks out power to that panel, it also shuts down a wide area of panels around it."

Read the NEXT line. The one you quoted appears to be from a clueless reporter "interpreting" what they think they heard. Then comes this quote from a somewhat more reliable source:

"Listen to the National Renewable Energy Laboratories: "the reduction in power from shading half of one cell is equivalent to removing a cell active area 36 times the shadow's actual size."

So yeah, the reporter with an axe to grind seems to have changed the intent of the message by changing one word.


djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO

1 edit
reply to ke4pym

I'm at my 1 year anniversary with my solar panels.

The solar company estimated my system would output 8101kWh. It actually output 9504kWh. I have a string inverter, too.

Shade does affect performance, but they do a site survey and factor in shading into your estimated output before you purchase the system.

--
AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011
Rethink Billable.

Expand your moderator at work


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to djrobx

Re: I've gone and done it ... solar install

9504kWh would be about $950 worth of electricity for me. Would not come close to paying the loan payment on the 33,000 system that would only provide at best 1/2 of my requirement.

I keep sharpening the pencil but the results are the same. Except for the wow factor for neighbors the return is just not there.


ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·VOIPO
·ooma
·Verizon Broadban..
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable

said by Jack_in_VA:

9504kWh would be about $950 worth of electricity for me. Would not come close to paying the loan payment on the 33,000 system that would only provide at best 1/2 of my requirement.

I keep sharpening the pencil but the results are the same. Except for the wow factor for neighbors the return is just not there.

Except, at the end of the day, I'm only paying back ~$12k.

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·VOIPO
·ooma
·Verizon Broadban..
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable
reply to ke4pym

Click for full size
Main roof before.
Click for full size
Secondary roof before.
Click for full size
Getting to work.
Click for full size
Wonder where the joists are?
Click for full size
Notice the flashing. Should have a nice water tight seal.
Yesterday was a slow start. Because the install crew came from Raleigh (about 2-3 hours away) they didn't get here until about 10am. Most of the roof penetration stuff was completed on the main roof. Was rather noisy in the house yesterday.

Today they should finish with the railing system and get most, if not all of the electrical work completed.


sempergoofy
Premium
join:2001-07-06
Smyrna, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T Southeast

1 edit
reply to ke4pym

US trade panel finds harm from China solar panels

In solar panel related news from November 7:
US trade panel finds harm from China solar panels

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal trade panel found China responsible Wednesday for harming the U.S. solar panel industry, clearing the final hurdle for U.S. attempts to impose steep tariffs on Chinese solar companies.

The U.S. International Trade Commission voted unanimously that Chinese companies have materially injured U.S. manufacturers, affirming its 2011 vote that launched a yearlong inquiry into low-cost Chinese products that U.S manufacturers blame for putting them on the brink of collapse. (story continues)
--
nohup rm -fr /&

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·VOIPO
·ooma
·Verizon Broadban..
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable
reply to ke4pym

Re: I've gone and done it ... solar install

Click for full size
From the j-box in the attic to the load center. Only issue with the install so far is here. Would rather have seen a gromit...
Click for full size
Ingress into the small roof. Nice and weather tight! Headed to the j-box from there.
Click for full size
Micro-inverter. Sunny side up.
Click for full size
Micro-inverter. Sunny side down.
Click for full size
Load center. From here all strings are combined and sent to the disconnect panel.
Found out my panels are made in Mexico (and already purchased). So, no Chinese tariffs for me!

Good progress on the solar install yesterday and today. Small roof has the brackets and rails installed. The rail system on the main roof is complete. Except for the upper right corner. That panel area needs its rails installed.

Interconnection conduit is installed (small roof->attic, big roof->attic, attic->coming down to the meter) and almost all external cabling is pulled.

There are 3 strings of panels. With Enphase microinverters, you can only have 17 inverters on a string. My main roof has 19 panels. So, two strings. The secondary roof is the 3rd.

They will be combined into a junction box, and then into a load center. From the load center, an external disconnect and then from there into my home's panel.

Next week will see the connection of the wiring system to my breaker panel and installation of the panels themselves. Then inspections. The city and county come out twice. Then Duke comes out. Then, eventually Duke comes out again to replace the meter. Then I'll be in business.

Asked a few questions today. Asked if they had any concerns putting about 1000 pounds of weight on the top of the main roof. Nope. They completed engineering work to verify that the roof can handle the weight and that nothing would fly away.

Asked if a surge could hurt the inverters. Fact of the matter is that it can. Though they've never seen it happen (yet). They did have a commercial customer who apparently had lightning strike close and ingressed the system through the grounding system and blew up a string inverter. Oops.

Asked if lead guy was an electrician. No. However, he is licensed by the state to install PV systems. They do have a master electrician who will be on site next week to inspect and verify that everything is connected correctly.

guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:1
reply to ke4pym

That "small" roof sure has allot of shade in the picture you posted, If that is typical your wasting money putting solar there

Also, no way that run from the roof is to code, you can't use "flex" more than 6ft to meet NEC rules


ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·VOIPO
·ooma
·Verizon Broadban..
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable

said by guppy_fish:

That "small" roof sure has allot of shade in the picture you posted, If that is typical your wasting money putting solar there

Also, no way that run from the roof is to code, you can't use "flex" more than 6ft to meet NEC rules

The small roof does get some shade during the winter. Lasts about 2 hours. I'm going to fix that problem soon enough.

If the flex tube isn't to code, then I'm sure the master electrician and the city inspector and the Duke energy field inspector will have something to say about it. If it gets past all of those folks, then I'm not going to worry about it.

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·VOIPO
·ooma
·Verizon Broadban..
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable
reply to ke4pym

Click for full size
Rails!
Click for full size
Lag side down!
Click for full size
Bolt side up to L bracket.
Couple of other pics I forgot to attach above.

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·VOIPO
·ooma
·Verizon Broadban..
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable

1 edit
reply to ke4pym

Click for full size
Click for full size
Sunny side up!
Not much to report from yesterday (and probably not a lot to report today - rain - not good). The trunk lines for the inverters were setup. The last of the rails were installed.

The inverters need to be placed, and then the panels can go up. The panels were delivered to the job site yesterday. Pretty neat.

If there's no/limited rain today, then the master electrician will be on site to install the connecting cables from the disconnect switch to my panel. Maybe some panels will get installed. We'll see.

I did ask about the shading on the cells. Apparently, it's bad news if the bottom cells of the panel get shaded. A lot of energy is lost that way. So, they're installing them in portrait orientation to limit that possiblity on the shadier roof.

The panels are about 4 feet wide. About the same long. The frame is probably 6 or 7" thick. But the panel in-and-of-itself is probably only 1-2". Weighs 35-40 pounds.

Update --- they got 5 panels in, all inverters are installed and wired up. The external circuit breakers are in. The disconnect (fused) is installed and wired to my house's electrical panel.

They should be done tomorrow.


djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO
reply to Jack_in_VA

said by Jack_in_VA:

9504kWh would be about $950 worth of electricity for me. Would not come close to paying the loan payment on the 33,000 system that would only provide at best 1/2 of my requirement.

I found an excel spreadsheet that can calculate Edison's tier prices. I entered my total usage, and it looks like I would have paid around $2143 to the utility, with solar, it was $330. So, my first year savings is around $1813.

If the cost of power remains stagnant I'd need a bit over 7 years break even, however Edison is pushing for a 20+% rate increase. CPUC decision is imminent.
--
AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011
Rethink Billable.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1

You are paying $0.23/kWh for electricity? That's double what I pay.


ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·VOIPO
·ooma
·Verizon Broadban..
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable

2 recommendations

reply to ke4pym

Click for full size
Disconnect, external load center.
Click for full size
4 panels, small roof
Click for full size
19 panels, main roof
AAAAAND DONE!

All panels in, all wiring in. Have room for 1 more panel, too!

Inspections next week (electrical, mechanical). Then Duke comes to inspect. Then they come again to change the meter. THEN I can turn the switches on (breakers outside, disconnect outside, breakers inside).


djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO
reply to Jack_in_VA

said by Jack_in_VA:

You are paying $0.23/kWh for electricity? That's double what I pay.

Or more, depending on my usage. The first 320-400kwh (depending on season) are relatively cheap, but then it escalates to over 30 cents quickly. And guess what, the CPUC just ruled - it's going up!

»www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-e···47.story

"The 5% increase for 2012 — providing the Rosemead company with $5.7 billion in revenue — is less than the 16.6% the company had sought. Rates, however, are estimated to rise an additional 6.3% for 2013 and 5.9% in 2014 under the PUC order"

I think I made the right choice buying solar!
--
AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011
Rethink Billable.

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
reply to ke4pym

Woohoo! Panels are currently ON! The little Enphase dongle is looking for inverters.

County inspector is on his way to check out the install.


ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·VOIPO
·ooma
·Verizon Broadban..
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable

2 recommendations

reply to ke4pym

Woohoo! All inverters reported correctly. Shut the system down. Got it inspected and PASSED! Yay.

Inspector said it's the nicest system he's seen in months.

There was some well, disagreement on where the disconnects should go. But the installer and inspector worked it out (read: scratched heads, consulted books) and now I'm ready for Duke to come out and replace the meter. Not sure when that'll happen.

Oh, the little reporting jobbie - it takes data from the inverters and sends it to the web. That guy didn't like being in the computer room. So, I grabbed a wireless bridge, and hooked it up to an outlet that was a straight shot to the indoor load center. Fixed it right up. Not thrilled about having to give up a bridge, but, oh well.



Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2

1 recommendation

Think of it as a bridge over troubled waters.
--
The talented hawk speaks French.