dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
16771
share rss forum feed

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

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

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.


jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1
reply to ke4pym
said by ke4pym:

I'm ready for Duke to come out and replace the meter. Not sure when that'll happen.

Is that a strap-on energy monitor on your electric meter? Chances are your new meter will be electronic with no spinning disc for the optical pick-up to "see".
--
~Help Find a Cure for Cancer~
~Proud Member of Team Discovery ~

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

said by ke4pym:

I'm ready for Duke to come out and replace the meter. Not sure when that'll happen.

Is that a strap-on energy monitor on your electric meter? Chances are your new meter will be electronic with no spinning disc for the optical pick-up to "see".

Yes it is. And most of the electronic ones (according to the manual) have a little IR output eye that it can see. I may be giving it to the parents....

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

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

Guess what .... that run from the roof is to code (so sayuth the code inspector, anyway). I asked the inspector about it, in front of the installer.

The conduit is called Liquid (liqui??) tight. And it's approved. Now the stuff they used to run from the small roof to the attic - had that been used, then they'd have had a problem.

Interestingly enough, for all that the inspector was focused on the disconnect issue, he never looked at the load center in the garage.

I found the whole process rather interesting. And I sure thought we were sunk when I heard the inspector tell my installer "I've been reading that book for 12 years!".

I was like, he just called my installer a whipper-snapper! We're sunk! But my whipper-snapper wouldn't let go of the issue. Heh.

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·VOIPO
·ooma
·Verizon Broadban..
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable
reply to ke4pym
Sorry for all the posts this morning. I wanted this one to be an individual question.

I want to put a lock on the disconnect panel to prohibit anyone from opening it (and thus, perhaps, electrocuting themselves because wiring and fuses are exposed).

Inspector said it was okay, and highly recommended since there is exposure.

The lock hole seems kind of small. Would a master lock fit in there? Or is there a better lock suited for this?

DO note, that I'm not proposing I put a lock on the on/off switch. But on the smaller tab below the disconnect switch itself to keep anyone from opening the panel. The switch will remain fully functional.


jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1

2 edits
Click for full size
A 50# cable tie-wrap through the cover clip should make it difficult enough to open and after trimming the tail, is pretty discreet. You could also put one on the disconnect if it turns out that someone who is unauthorized to do so, decides to operate it.

As far as your "next energy monitor" is concerned, I would recommend getting a TED5000.

I have two sets of CT's, one configured for "adjusted load" on the main line breaker and the second set on the solar generation breaker.

This way I can see exactly how much power is being consumed and generated.

It's totally overcast here today, hence the low solar production.
--
~Help Find a Cure for Cancer~
~Proud Member of Team Discovery ~

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
Outdoor breakers (array strings get combined here).
Click for full size
You don't want to touch this.
Click for full size
Old meter. Kinda boring.
Click for full size
Shiny new meter! With IP address obscured.
Well ... gang. Duke came to replace the meter today. And with that, the system was commissioned.

I'm happy. And glad all is said and done. Until next year when I add the 24th panel.

Hope you found this thread helpful. Sure was an interesting journey for me. From the moment the idea popped into my head until today was about a year.


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

1 recommendation

Your posts have been excellent at describing your Solar Project. Thanks. It's been very interesting.

JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5
reply to ke4pym
I've been following this thread, lurking really, since page 1. Though I do that with a lot of these kind of threads

It's been an amazing journey that's for sure. Oh BTW, while it's a good habit to be in, you didn't need to obscure your meter's IP address. The part you left visible tells me it's local only. 10.x.x.x IP's are local only, the entire block. You would have to be on the same network as Duke to even be able to possibly access it. But still, as I said it's a good habit to be in anyway.

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

1 recommendation

reply to ke4pym
Alrighty gang.

1 week in. Out of the past 7 days, 3 of them have been overly cloudy. Go figure. We got 3 months without nary a drop of rain. I turn the array on and ... clouds and rain. Freakin' a.

Anyway, here are some stats:

As observed by the utilities' meter:

I have consumed 215kWh.
I have delivered to the grid 37kWh.
The maximum energy received at one time is 7.05kWh.
The maximum energy I have sent to the grid at one time is 2.85kWh.
I have consumed 0 Kilovar-hours.
I have delivered 86 Kilovar-hours to the grid.

Now, as observed by the inverters in the past 7 days:

I have produced 83.4kWh.
Today, I produced 14.7kWh.
Minimum produced in a day - 2.26kWh.
Maximum produced in a day - 16.3kWh.

Oddly enough, the panels you see in the pictures with tons of shade, are actually making the most energy. The 4 of them have produced 733, 726, 729, and 714wh, each.

I think, in the summer, I'll see the main roof light up like a Christmas tree. They're not tilted as much as the panels on the small roof.

If you'd like to observe what the array is doing, check it out here:
»enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/publ···XD138452

Oh yeah - what's a kilovar-hour? The book for the meter says it is how they figure the derate-factor (or some such). But in engrish, what does it mean?


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting
Volt Amps Reactive. VAR is also called "phantom power". VAR is the wasted power on an inductive (or capacitive) load that isn't doing any work. Capacitance will cause the current to lead the sine wave (voltage), Inductance will lag the sine wave.

Snake oil salesmen often use this term when selling their magical "power saving" devices. It confuses people.

Residential and most Commercial rate payers don't need to worry about VAR, as we are billed in Watts.

Some industrial and heavy commercial rate payers are billed by the utility for kVAR. Most places hire a qualified electrical engineer to come up with a solution so they don't have to pay the penalty to the utility. Not some stupid capacitor box some scammer is selling on a website.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Thanks nunya!

So, is there any reason I should pay attention to what the meter says about VAR? Or is it just a fyi only kind of thing?

Why would there be 0 inbound VAR and 86 outbound?


Var

@mycingular.net
Exporting var is a result of a lagging power factor. It's lagging PF is normal in most cases.


Var

@mycingular.net
said by Var :

Exporting var is a result of a lagging power factor. It's lagging PF is normal in most cases.

Oops! The "It's" before lagging PF should be "A". Gotta love auto correct on touch-screen devices.


EGeezer
zichrona livracha
Premium
join:2002-08-04
Midwest
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Callcentric
reply to ke4pym
This is a great topic - thanks for documenting your progress!

I'm curious - how do the panels affect the ability to replace/repair the roof, and did you have to have a rider on your homeowner's policy for coverage of damage to the panels and/or system?
--
Buckle Up. It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car.

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

1 recommendation

said by EGeezer:

This is a great topic - thanks for documenting your progress!

I'm curious - how do the panels affect the ability to replace/repair the roof, and did you have to have a rider on your homeowner's policy for coverage of damage to the panels and/or system?

You're welcome! Glad you like it!

The roof just got replaced 2 months ago, so I should be set, for awhile.

When it comes time to replace the roof, everything will have to be removed and reinstalled (except for the roof penetrations for the cabling). Kinda sucks. But that's how it is.

HOPEFULLY, with the panels keeping the sun off of most of the back roof, it should last quite awhile.

No special rider for me. According to my agent, the panels are covered under my existing policy.

I do have to provide a yearly insurance statement to the power co with a minimum of $100,000 of liability insurance. Which isn't an issue.


jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1
Interesting that the power co wants proof of liability? What the reasoning behind that, and why should they even care? You own the system, correct?

When I installed my system, I had my insurance co add the value for cost of replacement, under covered damage perils.
--
~Help Find a Cure for Cancer~
~Proud Member of Team Discovery ~

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·VOIPO
·ooma
·Verizon Broadban..
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable
Jack - Yes, I own the system.

The liability thing is just part of the power companies' requirement prior to signing off on allowing the interconnect.

It's not a big deal. I already had the proper coverage. Just have to provide on going proof.


MSauk
MSauk
Premium
join:2002-01-17
Sandy, UT
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to ke4pym
So how much do you believe you will save per month?

Our rates in Utah are 8 cents to 10 cents I believe (different tiers), so I am not sure it would ever be able to recoup the upfront cost.

I would love to do it though, maybe one day. I would love to be somewhat dependent from the grid.
--
801 Images


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

So how much do you believe you will save per month?

Our rates in Utah are 8 cents to 10 cents I believe (different tiers), so I am not sure it would ever be able to recoup the upfront cost.

I would love to do it though, maybe one day. I would love to be somewhat dependent from the grid.


Gonna answer with my results, we are just over 6 months on solar. I figure my payback in 8-12 years.
Our initial investment was over $45,000, our electric provider has 2 rebates, one they only allocate a certain amount of funding each year. I received both and will get 30% back on my federal tax return. Our out of pocket will be $11,350.
It is estimated to cover 70% of our usage each year and looks to exceed calculations. From May 1 through the end of November we spent $110 on electric, all electric, 1200 sq/ft, 2 adults, a 20 year old and 12 year old.
Our rates were 10.5 cent/kWh in the summer, and tiered in the Winter, first 750 kWh 7.5 after that 4.5...They will enact a 10.5% rate increase January 1.
--
Ofallon, Mo Weather
St. Peters, Mo Weather


MSauk
MSauk
Premium
join:2002-01-17
Sandy, UT
I guess the biggest question is, are you happy with your purchase? Do you feel it is worth it?
--
801 Images