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  • Bruce...I'm with J.P.M. on this....don't complicate the definition of standard terms.

    Next on your cleanup list should be the "Efficiency" calculation on the PVOutput site.
    Last edited by DanS26; 04-22-2018, 07:23 PM.

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    • Its still April, under a clear sky today, the solar brought in a new record of 151KWH. The peak power is
      always the 15KW inverter rating, but the new panels facing the rising sun extended the day and brought in
      more energy. And of course performance under clouds is respectable, its difficult to apply hard numbers.
      A MAOF of 10.07, equivalent of the inverters running at max for more than 10 hours.

      Only a couple weeks, but the latest arrangement seems to verify what the test panels indicated. If this
      continues, next year will find panels currently facing south, being moved to face the setting sun, mirroring
      the new array. The remaining S panels may get taken down, then set up again with new mounts on the old
      (rather irregular) foundation to take on the characteristics of the newest array.

      All this while I was fixing another leaking pipe. And the PoCo emailed me an ad suggesting that if I had
      some space on my roof, money could be saved by installing solar. Wonder what the latest is? Bruce Roe
      Last edited by bcroe; 04-26-2018, 12:59 PM.

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      • Finished the first full month (May) with the new array, which doubles the panels facing the rising sun to around
        80% of inverter capacity. Doing the same for the setting sun remains for another year, that is now the weakest
        performing section.

        After years of wondering how many weeks before the PoCo bill would come, or come at all, the new smart meter
        seems to have solved the problem. There is a remote reading a couple days before the end of the month, and
        the bill (with the latest figures) arrives in the mail about the 1st. This will help keeping track of energy reserve as
        winter ends, though I now have my own private bidirectional meter as well.

        Any good mid day sun keeps these inverters at capacity, the difficulty being operation near day extremes.
        Comparison to earlier years suggests the earlier increased production is an increase of about 8% overall for May.
        This is accomplished by longer running at max, the peak power does not change. There is also a contribution from
        bumping up the reduced production under clouds, don't have a way to break these apart.

        Anyway, something it couldn't do before, every sunny day produced a number of KWH more than 10 times the
        inverter KW capacity (MAOF). So, 154 KWH from 15KW of inverters. Cloudy days do relatively better too. Soon,
        I will try for another plot of power vs sun time with that nice flat top, no bell curves here. Then, estimate end of day
        power as the mirror image of rising sun, to approximate what rebuilding the west facing section might do.
        Bruce Roe
        Last edited by bcroe; 06-06-2018, 02:35 PM.

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        • Hey Bruce.....I'm posting a pic here that shows the 5 holes dug today to install a shoulder array. The new and third array will be East/West facing laying directly North/South. It will be a 24 panel array and will now create a total DC/AC ratio of 1.5.....nowhere near your 2.0 system. All three arrays will power two Fronius 7.5 string inverters ......I believe the same devices you have.

          Those arrays in the background are 36 panels each Kyocera...front 235's and rear 245's....I call them my black and blue arrays. Black array in front producing since 2011 and blue in back producing since 2013. IronRidge mounting on 3" schedule 40 pipe......self installed. Break even and total ROI next year except now with the new investment I'm pushing it out another couple of years.

          I'll post more pics as the array takes shape.


          p.s. that is a gin and tonic in the foreground......because it got too hot to work. As my old neighbor used to say.....if you are doing it yourself always save a little bit to do tomorrow.

          Shoulder Array #1.JPG

          Comment


          • Originally posted by DanS26 View Post
            Hey Bruce.....I'm posting a pic here that shows the 5 holes dug today to install a shoulder array. The new and third array will be East/West facing laying directly North/South. It will be a 24 panel array and will now create a total DC/AC ratio of 1.5.....nowhere near your 2.0 system. All three arrays will power two Fronius 7.5 string inverters ......I believe the same devices you have.

            Those arrays in the background are 36 panels each Kyocera...front 235's and rear 245's....I call them my black and blue arrays. Black array in front producing since 2011 and blue in back producing since 2013. IronRidge mounting on 3" schedule 40 pipe......self installed. Break even and total ROI next year except now with the new investment I'm pushing it out another couple of years.

            I'll post more pics as the array takes shape.
            That looks quite neat so far, I think you have much less shading issues than I do. Please keep
            pictures and design details coming. Elevation angles, connections, curves, overall expectations.

            No iron pipe here, no way to lift it. Every piece of mine is small enough that I could pick it up,
            largest is 25 foot aluminum extrusion. My installer went for standard aluminum stock custom
            drilled, and I made sure every last piece of hardware is stainless steel. There are 4 120 VAC
            outdoor outlets on mine, good for tools and sometime lights for working on wiring at night.

            After 5 years of watching and recording, there is a perhaps a final plan formed to keep the
            maximum number of panels in the sun for the maximum number of hours. And avoid any more
            massive tree removal. Stopped building with wood, am using concrete. Bought a small
            trencher to connect things. More on that later. Bruce Roe

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            • Setting posts.....my method. Five to six bags of Sackrete per hole dry then just add water.

              Rebar inserted through pipe about 20" from bottom of hole which is 48" deep.

              Post Set.JPG

              Will use a laser level to align the remaining four posts.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by DanS26 View Post
                Setting posts.....my method. Five to six bags of Sackrete per hole dry then just add water.

                Rebar inserted through pipe about 20" from bottom of hole which is 48" deep.

                Post Set.JPG

                Will use a laser level to align the remaining four posts.
                Dan:

                Any attention to external loadings with respect to design ?

                Don't forget to dome the concrete to help avoid ponding and freeze resulting freeze/spalling damage.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by DanS26 View Post
                  Setting posts.....my method. Five to six bags of Sackrete per hole dry then just add water.

                  Rebar inserted through pipe about 20" from bottom of hole which is 48" deep.

                  Post Set.JPG

                  Will use a laser level to align the remaining four posts.
                  My back aches just thinking about that. I think I would have ordered 3 yards of concrete and been done with it (yeah it probably only needs 2.5 yards based on the 5-6 backs of sackrete per hole and looks like 20 pylons from the picture.) About the same cost.

                  Comment


                  • All five posts are now set and waiting for concrete to cure....used 25 80lb bags of Sackrete...no water mixing required....just poured the dry mix in the hole then added 3 1/2 quarts of water on top of each bag.....then tamp...then repeat. Very quick and easy.

                    Shoulder Array #2.JPG

                    Posts are 3" Schedule 40 galvanized pipe set 48" deep in 12" holes with rebar. Weight capacity should be no problem. Only serious threat to the array complex would be a tornado.
                    Last edited by DanS26; 07-14-2018, 03:38 PM.

                    Comment


                    • We get tornadoes, but residential stuff isn't intended to withstand a direct hit. If that happened, the
                      panels (a quarter of the investment) might be damaged, but likely ground supports and underground
                      would still be intact. In a video of a seriously damaged area, I noted a car lift identical to mine (bolted
                      to concrete) standing intact.

                      Lets see the hardware to mount a 2 sided array. Likely the wind effects are about the same as single.
                      Bruce Roe

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by bcroe View Post
                        We get tornadoes, but residential stuff isn't intended to withstand a direct hit. If that happened, the
                        panels (a quarter of the investment) might be damaged, but likely ground supports and underground
                        would still be intact. In a video of a seriously damaged area, I noted a car lift identical to mine (bolted
                        to concrete) standing intact.

                        Lets see the hardware to mount a 2 sided array. Likely the wind effects are about the same as single.
                        Bruce Roe
                        Bruce I think you will appreciate my design for a two sided array on a single post. Detail pics coming.......

                        Comment


                        • Here are pics of the under-structure of the shoulder array......

                          IMG-2574 (1).JPGIMG-2575.JPGIMG-2576.JPG

                          I built this under-structure in my workshop this winter. First off that is 2" x 2" x 3/16" aluminum angle 6061-T6. All bolts, taps and washers are stainless steel.

                          If you look at the middle pic you will see an IronRidge 3" Top Cap.......that was the basis of the design idea. Maybe IronRidge would be interested in my re-purposing their Top Caps?

                          It will all come clear to everyone once I mount the structure. The bracing is amazingly simple, which I will show later.

                          Comment


                          • Here's a link to a GSES Technical Paper indicating a DC/AC oversizing ratio of 150% will maximize benefits. Hope they're right.

                            https://www.gses.com.au/wp-content/u...Oversizing.pdf

                            If you look closely at the middle pic....the close up of the 3" top cap.... you will see an object in the background below. Kudos to anyone who can identify the device. It is a hydraulic ram jet used to pump water without electricity. The power of water running down hill in a larger pipe was used to pump water uphill in a smaller pipe. Very popular in the farming community before electrification.

                            The device belonged to my spouse's grandfather. It pumped water from a spring a hundred yards from the house to a holding tank in the attic of their home. They had running water when all their neighbors were still using outhouses and hand powered sink pumps.
                            Last edited by DanS26; 07-17-2018, 06:39 PM.

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                            • Hung the under structure today and the array is starting to take shape......

                              IMG-2585.JPGIMG-2586.JPGIMG-2587.JPGIMG-2588.JPG

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by DanS26 View Post
                                Hung the under structure today and the array is starting to take shape......

                                IMG-2585.JPGIMG-2586.JPGIMG-2587.JPGIMG-2588.JPG
                                Dan: Why are you mounting panels in an E-W orientation ? I missed class the day you explained it.

                                Thanx.

                                J.P.M.

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