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-   -   DIY solar array 12.5 kw (https://ecorenovator.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3053)

where2 11-24-13 12:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stevehull (Post 33488)
Secondly, what diameter (gauge) wire did you bring down from the Enphase output to your electrical panel? The smaller the wire, the greater the resistance loss, but fatter wire is more expensive. Do you have a suggestion on that trade off?

Personally, my wire run between the trunk cable and the combiner panel is #10 UF 3 conductor + gnd. I went with 10AWG to decrease my resistance/ft, because UF didn't need to be in conduit through the attic, walls, etc. and because it was readily obtainable in a coil, relatively inexpensively (actually cheaper than 12-3 UF at the orange box store for 100ft).

I have 20 panels on the roof. As a result, I have two trunk cables with 10 panels each. I transition from the two Enphase trunk cables to two 4 conductor TCER cables with sunlight + oil resistant jackets on the roof in a Hubbel-Weigmann 8x6x4 fiberglass panel. The two circuits of TCER go down through a weather head to a 6x6x4 Carlon box in the second floor attic where I transition to the twin runs of 10-3 UF. Those twin runs combine in a Square-D QO 100A panel and run via 6 gauge THWN to a 30A breaker in my service entrance panel where I ultimately feed the house or the net meter to the grid, or both.

I figured with 10AWG running from the second floor attic to the combiner panel, even if I some day in the future upgrade my panels to new more efficient designs with 2x the power output, I'll still have adequate wire for the task without serious resistance losses. :thumbup:

Just looking at my Enlighten page, I'm running 109% of PV Watts estimated on my lifetime (since August 1, 2013) using a 0.96 DC to AC derate factor.

pinballlooking 11-24-13 10:14 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Vern2 (Post 33495)
Stevehull,

What are you guy's talking about on emphase efficiency percentages? If I understand what your talking about SMA is in the high 90s.

It is the “DC to AC Derate Factor” for PVwatt.
Below is how the come up with the number.
NREL: PVWatts - How to Change Parameters

For enphase systems
http://enphase.com/global/files/Enph...lculations.pdf



I think the wire size is unique to each install requirements. My array was about 120 feet from my house.
We had existing #2 aluminum running out to the barn and I wanted to keep it. From the sub panel out to the array I ran number 8 copper. Then that goes to number 2 aluminum to the disconnect switch then number 6 copper to the main load center. I had to upgrade my load center to a 225 amp service but I still use a 200 amp main breaker in it.


I also center feed the M215 microinverter. The most M125' s before a Jbox is 5. When you are some distance for your house you really need to watch out for the voltage rise. (you need to keep voltage drop less than 2%)
If you are longer distance from your array you will need to get very familiar with this document
http://enphase.com/global/files/Enph...tions_M215.pdf
http://enphase.com/global/files/Enph...Vdrop_M215.pdf

you don’t what to put it all in to find out it will not keep running as soon as you get some good sun.

Vern2 11-24-13 10:32 PM

pinballlooking,

First thing, my wife drove a Volt and I liked it, even better then the Prius. There I said it. I can see the advantage of owning one. It seems like a bad deal to jump ship, when I own the Prius out right. Maybe some day.

My plate form, 9' tall 30' x 40', is 50' from 200 amp panel. Now the plate form is 50' long. For some reason I had to down grade my 200 amp panel to 190 amps. Two 4' x 8' plywood panels are moved in drawing, so two short flights of stairs can be seen. Pushing open trap doors allows access to walkways.
http://www.enichesoftware.com/media/solarfarm.jpg

pinballlooking 11-24-13 10:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vern2 (Post 33528)
pinballlooking,

First thing, my wife drove a Volt and I liked it, even better then the Prius. There I said it. I can see the advantage of owning one. It seems like a bad deal to jump ship, when I own the Prius out right. Maybe some day.

Very cool she tried the Volt.

“92 percent of Chevy Volt owners would buy another this year than at the same time last year, according to Consumer Reports” this says a lot.


There is something to be said for paid off and the Prius still does very well on gas.
We just hit 13,302 EV solar powered miles. It is very cool to drive on solar power.

pinballlooking 11-25-13 11:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stevehull (Post 33488)
Pinball,

You spoke of your 111% actual PV output compared to what PVWatts predicted. Was this using the performance factor of 86% vs. the default of 77%?

Steve

For enphase systems
http://enphase.com/global/files/Enph...lculations.pdf

Enphase docs
http://enphase.com/global/resources/geo_us/

Vern2 12-01-13 10:08 PM

1 Attachment(s)
pinballlooking,

I did it. :thumbup:

The solar install wont be until early 2014. I need an income tax break for 2013, so used solar money on a new Volt.

First plug-in ever. Got a green light then a beep, it's still showing green... See pic 1.

Base model with blue tooth. rear colision sensers and camera.

No more Prius.

pinballlooking 12-02-13 01:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vern2 (Post 33652)
pinballlooking,

I did it. :thumbup:

The solar install wont be until early 2014. I need an income tax break for 2013, so used solar money on a new Volt.

First plug-in ever. Got a green light then a beep, it's still showing green... See pic 1.

Base model with blue tooth. rear colision sensers and camera.

No more Prius.

Congrats! On the new Volt.
They come so loaded you really donít need many options.
If you get the 240Volt charger 4 hour charge is so nice and it uses a little less power to charge it.
I would look at this charger Creek LCP-25P.
The Volt L2 Charger; IMHO - Hands Down Clipper Creek LCP-25P
I have the cheap voltec
GM Voltec
It is not make very well and they cut your warranty to one year if you self-install. They have already had to replace my cord.
The power max looks nice but I have not seen reviews on it yet.
Power Max


Did you get a 2013 or a 2014?

Vern2 12-02-13 08:28 AM

pinballlooking,

2014. Wife drives 10k miles a year. All of her driving is done when she at work 5 miles to the job, lunch and shopping, post office, bank. Once home, that's it. So right now the 110v charger will work.

Two welder outlets in shop next to where Volt parks. Can change 50 amp outlet to 30 amp easy, plug and play. Today I'm going to find what outlet the Volt is plugged into and move hot water heater monitoring over to the Volt outlet. I'll get good numbers with TED.

Wife drove Volt twice at the dealer. When we bought it, it had 11 miles. The dealer put it on a 220 charge while we filled out paper work, not a full charge, I don't believe. Last night, left it on 8 amps charge. This morning, it had 38 miles on the odometer available for electric driving. Thought it should show 40.

Vern

pinballlooking 12-02-13 09:06 AM

That is just an estimate based on you previous driving. If you are going to use 120 volt charging make sure when you shut the car off to switch it to 12 amp charging. As long as your outlet can handle it.
You have to do this every time it does not store this setting.

If I you charge the Volt with 8 amps, a depleted battery will take in excess of 19 hours to charge when it will only take 10 to 12 hours on 12AMPs.



With 240 volt charging you don’t have to do this.
The 240 volt charging charger about 10 miles and hour really just a little better.
16 amp is all the volt needs or will use. The charger is actually in the car so going with a 30 amp charger will just help future proof you not charge the car faster.

Using the heater in the car will suck the miles right up. The AC does not affect the miles that bad.

If you want to maximize miles use cruise control and set it early bump the speed with the + paddle.

But if you know you are just going to travel say 20 miles use sport mode and have fun.

Vern2 12-02-13 10:01 AM

Thanks pinballlooking,

Can't bad mouth the Volt anymore.:( But still think it will make a great in-town electric car for us. :thumbup:

Found, not getting a full charge is common, a lot of factors there. I got up at 2AM, it was around 50 degrees with a flashing green light was on. Wife drove off at 6AM 4 hours later with a 38 mile charge for the first drive to work.

My solar company 'Sun Valley Solar' is installing a 1.7 meg watt system, maybe that's slowing them down on the installs this year, it's only around 5,000 sun power 345 watt panels. I'm hopping I can generate enough watts for the Volt with the 9.2k system.

pinballlooking, my thought is, if you can generate 95 percent of your electric needs, your getting the best out of your system. Over generating your loosing money.


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