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Old 01-14-09, 11:34 AM   #11
Daox
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So you're averaging about 1/4 kWh per day. Not too bad for such a small setup. Do you know how much you use per day on average?

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Old 01-14-09, 12:34 PM   #12
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I'm embarassed to say that I don't know exactly how much we average . I can figure it out when I get home and look at my energy bills. I'm guessing around 26kwhrs/day in the dead of winter. Closer to 10kwhrs/day in the best of weather. I do know that it is much higher (2-3x) in the winter due to electric space heating. Fall and spring are way low and summers are pretty low unless we are hit with major heat and humidity that calls for heavy window AC use(that sounds nice right now as we are in the single digits F) .
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Old 01-14-09, 03:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwxr7 View Post
I'm embarassed to say that I don't know exactly how much we average . I can figure it out when I get home and look at my energy bills. I'm guessing around 26kwhrs/day in the dead of winter. Closer to 10kwhrs/day in the best of weather. I do know that it is much higher (2-3x) in the winter due to electric space heating. Fall and spring are way low and summers are pretty low unless we are hit with major heat and humidity that calls for heavy window AC use(that sounds nice right now as we are in the single digits F) .
26kWh/day is very little with such a low external temperature.
How much square feet do you heat ?

For 900 sq ft we are using 17kWh/day (12.5 peak hours, 4.5 off peak) in addition to summer consumption (no AC), ie +85%, but our single digit temperatures are in C, so 32-48F.

We are currently producing per week what we are consuming in one day for heating... In summer, we should produce 6 times more, ie per day the 3/4 of what we'll consume per day (too much 24x7...), but the instantaneous production should be up to 6-7 times the instantaneous consumption .

With optimized orientation and angle from horizontal, you should be able to have an average production of 4-5Wh/Wc/day, ie 40kWh/month.

Do you have an idea about your minimal instantaneous consumption in summer ?
With your low consumption it may be lower than your instantaneous production : you'll have to switch on the AC more

Denis.
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Old 01-15-09, 07:55 AM   #14
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I forgot to check my last bill, but I wouldn't be surprised if were are using more than that at the moment. It's -14F air temp right now . We heat 2500 sqft with a combo of propane, wood and electric.

In the summer there are times when the fridge isn't running when the instantaneous consumption should approach zero.
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Old 01-15-09, 08:28 AM   #15
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4 panels swapped for a scooter? That's a nice deal.

I would recommend staking the corners of your array though. You'll get a storm blowing through there at some point that'll threaten to tip those puppies over. It'd be a shame to break 'em.
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Old 01-15-09, 08:48 AM   #16
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That would literally and figuratively blow .
The photo doesn't show it, but I used some of those spiral dog stakes at each corner. Won't be enough in the spring when the ground is mush but that's all I could get in the frozen ground for now. My brother gave me a mobile home anchor (looks like an earth auger thing) that I'll put in as soon as the ground allows. Until then I could add more cement blocks at the corners to be safe.
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Old 01-15-09, 06:52 PM   #17
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Woo! Just checking.

I've already broken one panel - a small cheap grade 1 amp 12v battery trickler. I had leaned it against the side of the garage while I was charging a battery, and a gust pushed it over. Only 12 inches tall, and it still broke when it tipped and smacked the ground.
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Old 01-15-09, 07:41 PM   #18
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That's an ecobummer Metro.


I remembered to check my last three electric bills, and from mid Oct thru mid Nov we averaged 19.1kwhrs/ day. From mid Nov to mid Dec we averaged 26.9kwhrs/day, and from then to now we averaged a whopping 32.8kwhrs/day. It's been unusually cold lately though.

I managed to grab 560whrs today too .
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Old 01-15-09, 10:02 PM   #19
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560 is good. Cold & sunny, eh?

But it's sobering to realize how small a fraction of total power usage it is.

I think the general public vastly overestimates the power production capabilities of solar, if the number of people who suggest I power the electric car with PV is any indication. They need to see a thread like this to get a better idea.
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Old 01-17-09, 11:45 AM   #20
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Some of the panels I have in my setup are from the early 80s and they still generate about 90 of their rated output. I have my panels mounted on a pole so I turn them around several times a day to face the sun. this helps with a battery setup because you can get charging for a longer time rather than higher amps for a short time period. I also have to scrape/brush the snow off them (sometimes several times a day).
-James

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