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gasstingy 06-01-15 07:58 AM

982 kWh in May. 6.81kW Array. Arab, AL

pinballlooking 06-01-15 02:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gasstingy (Post 45248)
982 kWh in May. 6.81kW Array. Arab, AL

Nice so you were over your estimated power output also.
Was that one of your best months?

gasstingy 06-01-15 03:29 PM

I have only ever done an estimate based on the yearly average. My yearly average estimate is 10,508 and I haven't hit it yet. I haven't adjusted it either.

Year one, we made 9,176 kWh. I'd had a faulty connector on the big array that took out 1/2 of the array from 4/30 until 5/15. {Solar guru fixed it at no charge, but I was still out the production amount.} I was pretty sure the array was under expectations during that time period but had yet to figure out how to check it, except to see what it's maximum output was on a sun shiny day.

Year two, last year, we made 10,441 kWh for the year. We had no real defects to point to, so.... maybe I have too high an expectation, I don't know.

FWIW, I also have a spreadsheet to let me know where I stand on getting my investment back. It helps when somebody asks what the payback time is on it. As of today, I am 46.505% paid back. 30% of that was Federal Tax Credit {expires EOY 2016} and the other was basically production credit. TVA has an annual rate increase, usually 1.5% that will alter it a bit, but I'm on course to be repaid for my initial investment in 10.5 years, excluding any rate increases since last years increase.

So, May 2013 was 750 kWh, last May and this May were both the exact same 942 kWh. Strange but true, I read the meter everyday. Something about generating my own electricity makes me feel good at the very core of my being. :D

pinballlooking 06-01-15 03:41 PM

What you are describing is exactly why I bought a product with per module monitoring. It is too hard to detect when you are having issues without it.


As you may already know. PV watts will give you a pretty good month to month est.
PVWATTS: Alabama - Huntsville
Just plug your numbers in.


I don’t think checking every day is bad I have TED monitoring and I leave it up on my computer all day every day.
http://www.powermeterstore.com/P7774/ted_5000.php

I can bring it up on my surface and android tablets and our phones. I even monitor it while I am away from home.:rolleyes:

gasstingy 06-01-15 04:33 PM

Thanks for the link to PV Watts. I just left it on Huntsville since I'm so close and it says May should be good for 810 kWh. COOL, I'm 16% over expectations for May, 7% over for YTD. Back to that warm fuzzy feeling! :thumbup:

I don't have internet at home and don't have any need to get it, yet. What I can say is that I have 1 Enphase inverter that is offline AGAIN. I am far more pleased with my Sunny Boy, especially after I figured out how to read the data log part that gives me module level performance.

I'll get to the Enphase micro inverter soon enough. Since they went to a Chinese manufactured inverter, I've not been as impressed with them as I am with the original American made inverters. They say they can do over the internet fixes for some events on both the first and second generation inverters, but it doesn't make up the expense of paying for internet to wifi it to.

pinballlooking 06-11-15 11:19 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Our system have been running 26 months and we just hit the 40 MWh mark.
Since our power cost about .10 Kwh that is $4,000 Solar power made.
We are very pleased with the system performance. We are now able to cover all our power usage and this also covered driving our Chevy Volt 38,484 EV miles.

Hot water is the only thing we have on natural gas. Everything else runs on solar. Our water bill is higher than our power bill and natural gas bill combined. Power bill and natural gas bill combined is under $30 a month.
Last month gas and power bill together was $26.25 my water only bill $40.25.
We have septic tank so this is for water only.

http://ecorenovator.org/forum/attach...1&d=1434039493
The bottom array was added later that is why those numbers are lower.

pinballlooking 06-30-15 08:10 PM

1 Attachment(s)
We were so close to having back to back 2MW months.
We had a storm today that made us miss the 2MW mark. We ended up with 1,994KWh.
In the last two months we made over $400 worth of power that is still pretty good.

We are carrying over 2/3 the power we will need this winter to heat with and drive our Volt.
We have 2009KWh carryover now and we need about 3MW carry over for the winter.

http://ecorenovator.org/forum/attach...1&d=1435712980

Others with solar tell us your number when you have them.

Robaroni 07-01-15 06:47 AM

1 Attachment(s)
PB,
We've had a really rainy month but I just checked and we still did OK. Here's the intertie stats for the last few years, with the off grid/intertie system added to this we did a little over a Meg in June but our house is running during the day on the second system and selling the excess back so it's pretty good overall.

Rob

stevehull 07-01-15 07:07 AM

PV guys - got a couple questions. I am just itching to get my self install 15 kW system up, but am doing my homework, carefully.

Will go with Enphase - for a lot of reasons not relevant here. That said, I can put in poly panels (250 watt) with M215s for a 15 kW system for a LOT less than a mono system. The poly system (lower wattage panels) requires more panels for 15 kW, so additional racking, wiring and inverter costs are in there. Even with fewer panels/racking/wiring, the mono system (M250 and 300 watt mono panels) is ~ 15% more for an equivalent size kW system. All else is the same (wiring to box, etc). The prices were checked on a variety of sites (Renvu, Wholesalesolar, etc). I have plenty of roof room for the additional poly panels, so space is not the issue.

I know about the Enphase C250 that has 72 cell compatibility, but that is three phase.

1'st question. Just go with cheapest 15 kW system, in this case poly?

Second issue. 300+ watt 72 cell panels are becoming the norm (vs 60 cell). I have heard that Enphase has a higher wattage, higher cell microinverter in the works ("M300"?). The M250 simply can't take the higher voltages that the 72 cell 300+ watt panels put out.

Question 2 Even though I can't stand it, is it worth it to wait until this newer inverter model is released? This will push down prices for M250 and certainly M215s.

I know that the system MUST be in service and utility accepted by Dec 31, 2016 to get Federal tax credit.

Waiting sucks . . . but better to plan carefully (measure twice, cut once) . . . .

Thanks in advance,


Steve

pinballlooking 07-01-15 07:32 AM

You are very much like me when I was deciding I have the space or can make more space if needed.

With using good equipment and you are. You should go with cheapest cost per watt installed. Solar is great in all but fast payback trumps everything!
There is no way I would wait for 72 cell panels. Enphase had a product for them in the past and had many issues with that product.

The M215 has proven itself in the field as dependable any new microverter will not have time to prove itself before you will install.

If you find a great deal jump on it keep in mind shipping is very expensive for the big items and combine them as much as you can.

I found that the smaller items is where the make up their margins. I bought most on the smaller items off eBay. They smaller items just push shipping even know it should not.

I got Enphase wire clips off ebay grounding clamps… it all helps faster payback time. I went to the guys I was ordering the big stuff from and said I can get the Envoy off ebay can you match and they did.

Now that you decided to get solar every day you wait is costing you money.
Don’t forget to look at the cost of waiting in your calculations.

Really now you know how much you will save each month so there is a cost to waiting and that cost is more than the small amount you will save by waiting.

I made over $400 worth of power in the last two months you will make more than that. Just missing this summer will be expensive for you.:eek:

Robaroni 07-01-15 07:42 AM

Hi Steve,

Personally, I'd go with the cheaper system. You don't know when the new inverters are coming out and they might be bullet proof but then again they might need a few revisions before Enphase gets them right. I guess you could ask Enphase when they'll be out. The other thing is that each panel is more money so if you ever need to replace a panel (storms, etc.) the poly's will probably cost less.

I just ran into this. I accidentally backed into a panel with my backhoe, it was a Sharp panel but sharp doesn't make panels any longer. I was lucky it was a poly panel because I had a lot of options to replace it, less so with mono panels. In fact my wholesaler sold me 2 USA panels for $152.00 each that came pretty close to the original specs of the Sharp.

I think it's important to take those types of things into perspective when you set up a system. The Enphase 250 will be around and replacing one (I've replaced several first gen Solaredge microinverters on my interties so far) will likely be cheaper.

Thee other thing is that you have the room for the poly's, why spend for monos that maximize space at a higher cost.

Just my two cents, others might have different approaches but I've been living with PV for a decade now.

Rob

gasstingy 07-01-15 08:00 AM

From my perspective, as long as the cost of racking and installation labor doesn't push the cost of poly over the cost of mono {and you already said space was not an issue}, there's no remaining reason to not go with poly.

pinballlooking 07-01-15 08:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robaroni (Post 45724)
PB,
We've had a really rainy month but I just checked and we still did OK. Here's the intertie stats for the last few years, with the off grid/intertie system added to this we did a little over a Meg in June but our house is running during the day on the second system and selling the excess back so it's pretty good overall.

Rob

It is interesting we have different best months.
Mine is May and yours looks like July.

Robaroni 07-01-15 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pinballlooking (Post 45732)
It is interesting we have different best months.
Mine is May and yours looks like July.

Mark,
I'm at the 42 parallel and my intertie roof is east/west, I'm wondering if that's what does it?

Rob

MN Renovator 07-01-15 01:35 PM

My last 30 days has been:
107kwh used
483kwh produced
=376kwh sold

We haven't had things as humid as they usually are and the first half of June was particularly cool at night with low dew points. I took advantage of multiple nights in the mid 50s. My billing period is currently the middle of the month but I can pull the history from my eGauge for whatever time period I need. I'm imagining that mid July to mid August will be around 300kwh usage. I thought the heat was supposed to reduce the output more significantly but I'm still getting great output on hot days. For example we had a high of 85 degrees on June 21 and the output curve was reduced less than 5% and that day was 91% the output of my absolute best day and there were some clouds that accounted for maybe a 5% daily loss too. I figure the modules would be cooking with the heat and sunlight, granted they aren't pegging my 3kw inverter at the max 3395watts like in a frigid February day but things aren't as bad as I expected in regards to hot modules.

stevehull 07-01-15 01:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robaroni (Post 45727)
Hi Steve,

Personally, I'd go with the cheaper system. The other thing is that each panel is more money so if you ever need to replace a panel (storms, etc.) the poly's will probably cost less.

I just ran into this. I accidentally backed into a panel with my backhoe, it was a Sharp panel but sharp doesn't make panels any longer. I was lucky it was a poly panel because I had a lot of options to replace it, less so with mono panels. In fact my wholesaler sold me 2 USA panels for $152.00 each that came pretty close to the original specs of the Sharp.

I think it's important to take those types of things into perspective when you set up a system.

Rob

This is REALLY good advice and something I had not considered (PV replacement). We do have hail here and sooner or later, we get hit; not if, but when. I previously thought that baseball to softball sized hail was just a myth - made up by Oklahomans just to "upstage" Texans.

We got hit two years ago with such. About $100,000 damage to barns, roofs and cars. The $1000 insurance deductible was eagerly paid . . .

Dime to nickle size hail is very common every year, ping pong ball (quarter size) once a year and every 5-8 years some golf ball sized hail. I understand that PV panels must take golf ball size metal balls dropped from some height (I have forgotten) without damage. The "softball size" is once every 15-20 years, but well within the life of such a system.

You had the infamous "backhoe incident", I may have the "dropping the PV panel off the roof while installing". Gotta just laugh at times . . .

As for Enphase and the higher power single phase unit for 72 cells, they are being very closed mouthed about it, but it is a well known industry "secret". They are developing a home ready, plug and play, "power wall" (10-40 kW) that interfaces directly to their micro inverters via cable and can be set up for time of use or utility directed energy electronic notifications. For people that must have electricity when time of use charges are $100+ per kWhr, this energy "bank" has a very rapid payoff time (< 5 years). Prototypes are already in use in Europe where $200/kWhr peak electricity is common in summer afternoons.

Musk made a big splash with his battery, but Enphase is quietly ready to put this out to the hundreds of thousands of existing Enphase installations. The stock right now is in the $7.50 range and a tremendous buy.

Thanks again, superb suggestion.

Steve

Robaroni 07-01-15 02:09 PM

Steve,
Glad to help.
I don't know if your modules will be set up to tilt, my roof ones aren't but my off grid poles ones are and when we have storms coming I can tilt them down to deflect hale or flying debris. You might want to think about roof angles when you set up stationary modules if your get that kind of hale. You might lose a little sun at some times of the year but you may make it through bad weather at other times.

I know about Musk's battery back up, it will be interesting to see what comes out of Enphase.

Rob

pinballlooking 07-14-15 10:34 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Our June was very hot but with the Mini splits cooling we were able to over produce and bank more power for the winter. They boys are in school activity’s this summer so the Volt is doing many more EV miles this summer. At least 3 times a week we charge twice a day.

Keep in mind we made 1,994 KWh so we use about 688KWh that does not show on this bill.
our total use was 1,244 KWh for the month June. Our banked power for just this month 750KWh.

Here is a great heat wave power bill.
http://ecorenovator.org/forum/attach...1&d=1436888034

We have a place on lake Hartwell and we used 543 KWh the bill is $92.61 that comes to .17 KWH I hate co-op elect their base is like $28. Even if you install solar you get a $28 bill. They have a $5 a month solar fee they are waving but have the right to start it back up anytime they want.

Robaroni 07-14-15 05:41 PM

Volt?
 
PB,
What are you going to replace the Volt with now that the lease is up?

Rob

pinballlooking 07-14-15 06:52 PM

We bought it we drive way too much for a lease. Since we are going to keep this car for a while we even bought the extended warranty. I usually don’t get the extended warranty and the car has been very reliable.

But there is so much tech in this car repair cost can get big. I shopped around and got a fair price on it. I hope I never have to use it.

Robaroni 07-15-15 07:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pinballlooking (Post 45896)
We bought it we drive way too much for a lease. Since we are going to keep this car for a while we even bought the extended warranty. I usually donít get the extended warranty and the car has been very reliable.

But there is so much tech in this car repair cost can get big. I shopped around and got a fair price on it. I hope I never have to use it.

I did the same thing when I bought the Subaru Outback in 2006. I got the extended warranty. Turns out I had a major problem and it came in handy. Here's the trouble, now the car is out of the extended warranty, what do I do? Get a new car? Keep it? It only has 65K on it in the 9 years we've had it and Nancy doesn't drive. We like the wagon as I'm always dragging stuff around or filling it with 50 lb bags of potatoes for the winter.
We get too much snow here for the Volt in the winter, the front valance is just too low and if I ever got caught in a snow storm it would be gone so the best it would be is a second car but two cars and an old pick up for 8k miles a year?

I don't know what to do.

Rob

pinballlooking 07-15-15 09:45 AM

I read on the Volt forum that the Volt does well in the snow. The battery makes it heavy and the front valance is very flexible no real issues. We do not get snow here so I have no firsthand experience.


But I think I would just keep the Subaru. All wheel and wagon hulling is a big plus. Even with free solar fulling any EV will not save any money. You don’t drive enough. There other reasons to get a car but not driving much makes it harder to do.

If you start having lost of issues with it then I would get something else. But only 65K you likely have many trouble free miles left.

stevehull 07-15-15 09:52 AM

Pinball, speaking of rails, have you looked at the "rail less" roof attachments for PV panels? I have the same kind of metal ag panel roof you have. Can't tell if you have anything underneath, but I have SIP panels that I can bolt into.

Seems like a lot cheaper. Thoughts?


Steve

pinballlooking 07-15-15 10:01 AM

Are you talking about these S-5 clips? Do you have standing seams? If you do it would be worth looking into this.
S-5! | Home | Introduction | S-5! Metal Roof Attachment Clamps and Snow Guards

With these you still get air flow under the panels. The air flow keeps the panel and microinverter cooler and producing more power.

stevehull 07-15-15 10:49 AM

Not a standing seam, just like the ag panels you seem to have. These have raised trapazoidal elements every foot or so. From your posted pictures, it looked like that is what you have.

Steve

pinballlooking 07-15-15 11:03 AM

I could not find any rackless system that still gave air flow for my AG panels. The S-5 for my panels does not anchor the solar into the timbers and requires more roof penetrations. Once you have the racks mounted to solar goes up so fast. The racks make your building stronger it is like cross hatch support over cross hatch support I think that is how the engineer I talked to described it.
He showed me picture of a hurricane took to roof off on house and not the one with their racks and solar installed because of the strength it added.

stevehull 07-15-15 11:18 AM

I have 6" thick SIPS under the metal ag roof and they are rated at more than 120 mph, so I am OK there. The entire shop is made of SIPS.

But to focus on racking, it is necessary to use IronRidge, UniRack or other of the big boys? I can purchase L brackets, that attach to the roof (EPDM pad underneath to seal for water), inexpensively. But what about rails? Just the railing costs for a 10 kW (40 panel) system look like about $3000. Yikkes!

I do like the ability to have ventilation under the panels, so that is a good idea.

Someone on the site used Simpson type materials to put up racking and now I can't find it.

Your suggestion on Renvu was superb. I am getting their weekly specials and 250 watt poly panels look like $0.65 a watt. Enphase M215's at less than $120 each.

With any luck, this fall I get up on the roof. But daughter now in medical school and tuition to pay!

Great thread, BTW. VERY helpful to read and re-read.


Steve







Steve

pinballlooking 07-15-15 11:34 AM

My first 40 panels I used ProSolar racking total cost to install 40 panels $1,351.66. (this was well worth it)
This was not even using L pad brackets.

I used L pads on the next 14 panels I installed. (this was even cheaper and the rails were on sale)
You should be able to do better on your racking pricing.

I did use IronRidge online install configurator to know what parts I would need for my racking.
The big boys were too expensive there other good quality racks out there.

stevehull 07-15-15 12:41 PM

Just called ProSolar and they have "nothing for metal roofs". I am not adverse to using mounting devices that are not "approved".

Any specific suggestions on the L pads that might mount up with their (ProSolar) racking system?

Or you (or the group) may have another system that I can use on a metal roof (not standing seam)?

Steve






Steve

pinballlooking 07-15-15 12:56 PM

3 Attachment(s)
I used these Fast Jack E- Series 3"
Professional Solar Products Inc. (Prosolar)
They donít need to be for a metal roof. You screw the lag bolts into the roof trusses.

The clamps that are designed for metal roof are not that great and they are expensive.

I did call them and talked to one of their engineers and explained what I wanted to do to them and he said that would be fine.

As long as you are putting lag bolts into roof trusses there is really not much difference between metal roof and a shingle roof. Except you donít need a metal plate to mount under the shingles.
When I drilled into the truss I injected sealant I also put sealant over the bolt head.


I just looked it up and the second racking I used was renusol VS rails
Solar Mounting Systems for Flat Roof and Pitched Roof
This racking was even cheaper and went up faster. I used there L foot bolted with lag bolts into the roof trusses

http://ecorenovator.org/forum/attach...1&d=1436985121

http://ecorenovator.org/forum/attach...1&d=1436985121

http://ecorenovator.org/forum/attach...1&d=1436985121

Here are some pictures of my racking install. As you can see you just make sure you are on a flat part of the metal and also hitting a roof support.

If you put the microinverters back to back it saves on cable. It also lest you buy portrait and not landscape engage cable witch is cheaper and has lower resistance loses.

pinballlooking 08-03-15 10:04 AM

1 Attachment(s)
July we produced 1,896 Kwh so we made 670Kwh more than we used.
Our banked solar power is 2,677Kwh so far this year.
Last winter we used 3000Kwh of our banked power for heating and charging our Chevy Volt.

We have almost enough power squired away for the winter. It is so cool to harvest extra power in the summer to help you heat in the winter.

When I was a kid I chopped wood in the summer to heat with in the winter but this is so much better. My back does not hut after collecting solar power like it does chopping wood.

So far this year we a averaging making 54.69KWh a day.

Other solar installs post your numbers for July.
http://ecorenovator.org/forum/attach...1&d=1438614212

where2 08-03-15 06:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pinballlooking (Post 46226)
Other solar installs post your numbers for July.

4.4kW array = 546kWh in July 2015. :thumbup:
Saturday marked my 2yr anniversary in full production. I've generated 12.5MWh, and had zero issues. I've still got over a dozen panels I haven't even washed since the day the system went live.

pinballlooking 08-03-15 07:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by where2 (Post 46235)
4.4kW array = 546kWh in July 2015. :thumbup:
Saturday marked my 2yr anniversary in full production. I've generated 12.5MWh, and had zero issues. I've still got over a dozen panels I haven't even washed since the day the system went live.

Nice numbers.
I have not washed one panel since the system went live. I pushed some snow off a couple panels one time. Other than that I just watch the numbers.
I have thought about washing them a couple times does that count...

pinballlooking 08-11-15 10:06 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Solar power just makes you smile.:)
This is a chart from our power company for the last 19 months.
The only month we used power we had a house guest.

Our hot water is natural gas but we power our car with solar about 16,500 miles a year with solar power.
Everything else is elect.


http://ecorenovator.org/forum/attach...1&d=1439305461

Come on other solar guy post your July numbers.

MN Renovator 08-12-15 08:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pinballlooking (Post 46359)
Solar power just makes you smile.:)
...
Come on other solar guy post your July numbers.

I figure I'm the other solar guy.

Summary for time-period
7/12/2015−8/12/2015
Energy Used 216 kWh
Energy Generated 521 kWh
Net 305 kWh sold

The natural gas bill for June was 3 therms, which is pretty much all water heater. I haven't used my stove much unless cooking eggs because I'm outside grilling often. I suppose I'll have used the $20 fill in the 20 lbs propane bottle by the end of next summer, which would be the second fill since 2010, so about 3 years $20 for outdoor grilling.

My electric provider gave me a phone call a few months saying my electric bill mid-month statement would be slowly rolled back a few days each month until it is at the beginning of the month. Before it was almost always within a few days of the 15th. ..so I'm not sure where to mark the month, so to speak.

I figured I'd be less than breaking even financially on the electric bill with the solar system but I'm doing very well so far. The end of November will be the 1 year mark of my solar net metering being commissioned. I think next year I won't be as careful with the electric usage. If I rent out a room in my house again between now and driving an electric car, all bets will be off because I'm sure the tenant would consume the entire annual solar balance.

pinballlooking 08-12-15 09:01 PM

Your number are good. July has been good I a few different parts of the country. I like to see that.

Now Rob and gassyingy post your July solar numbers

Robaroni 08-13-15 08:00 AM

July 2015
 
1 Attachment(s)
Hi Guys,
July was 781 +. I can't figure the whole month until I get my bill as it shows how much I used plus how much I sold back after usage and what I used. It gets a little convoluted as my usage gets mixed in with what I sell back from my intertie and off grid/intertie. This just shows how much my 6.44Kw made for the month. Usually a ball park is about half for the other system which should be around 1150 to 1250Kw for July of which I usually run 175 to 225KWH for the month giving me about 1Kw over what I use.

The other thing is I probably used more this month as I've been welding during the building of my electric tractors summer project.

No complaints though, I love the sun and it loves me back!

Rob

gasstingy 08-13-15 12:37 PM

For the July billing period, 6/20 - 7/19, I generated 902 kWh and I used 434 kWh. I must ad the caveat that I technically did not use any solar energy.

Since TVA is buying all my RE at a premium, then I forfeit the right to say I used it. I am a Green Energy Provider! :D

MN Renovator 08-13-15 08:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gasstingy (Post 46423)
Since TVA is buying all my RE at a premium, then I forfeit the right to say I used it. I am a Green Energy Provider! :D

For me, I have a 10 year agreement as the title owner to the solar system to sell my M-RETS (Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System) credits to my utility for 8 cents per kwh. ..this is on top of what I get with net metering and is measured for 100% of the solar output with a separate meter prior to the service panel so it counts every kwh my system produces. After the 10 years, they don't get the credits anymore and I don't get my 8 cents.

pinballlooking 08-13-15 08:53 PM

I feel blessed that our solar covers our needs and our car’s needs. But I would love to have some of deals you guys are getting.
I am amazed more people don’t install solar with some of the deals out there.


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