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  • #46
    Originally posted by bcroe View Post
    I hope the inverters last 5 years. I view them like tires: use them till worn out, then replace.

    There is an array west of Crestview, but like mine, its nearly impossible to see from the road;
    I haven't made contact yet. There is a really massive commercial array on the south side
    of the airport, half a dozen miles to my east. Its also practically invisible from the road. The
    factory that built those panels is near by, haven't heard much about them lately.
    Bruce Roe
    Thanks for pointing out that large array south of the airport. According to the Rockford news back in Dec 2011 that is going to be a 62MW solar array when it is done. Nice to see solar making headway up in Illinois.

    Too bad the Florida Utilities have been doing just about everything they can to block it here.

    Comment


    • #47
      Originally posted by bcroe
      There is an array west of Crestview, but like mine, its nearly impossible
      to see from the road; I haven't made contact yet. Bruce Roe
      I went over to Crestview and said hi to someone in the house; got to look closely at the
      solar panels. Don't think the person operating them was home. There is also a small
      windmill behind them; it was spinning hard today. I don't think they were really serious,
      because a couple young trees were starting to grow only 6' to the south.

      The array used aluminum framing of stock metal drilled and cut; not solar specific stock.
      It looked identical to that on mine; maybe put up by the same installer. However, the
      anchors were wood posts instead of concrete. Apparently it had been expanded a couple
      of times. I saw some panels with older 5" cells (rounded corners), 6" square cells in 6 X 9
      and 6 X 10 panels, all connected up. They might be something like 2 strings of some 300
      VDC, I'll guess 4-5 KW. Did not see the inverter(s) but did spot the disconnect boxes on the
      outside of the rear building. Bruce Roe

      Comment


      • #48
        Sept

        Pretty awful sun day today, severe overcast with rain some of the time. Managed 32 KWH.

        Meantime yesterday was so cold here it set an all time record for 11 Sept. But a new
        component is up & running. My old 1978 AC had died. One week ago a new 14.5
        SEER heat pump went in, 3 ton air to air. Can't use it in the middle of winter, but today
        it is heating the house while multiplying my KWHs. Will need them; another cold winter
        predicted. Bruce Roe

        Comment


        • #49
          Well, Bruce, I just got my annual electric bill today from PG&E. Total of $508 for the year. Not too bad for only a 3kW array. It is amazing what tier shaving and TOU rates can do even with a relatively small installation.
          SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by inetdog View Post
            Well, Bruce, I just got my annual electric bill today from PG&E. Total of $508 for the year. Not too bad for only a 3kW array. It is amazing what tier shaving and TOU rates can do even with a relatively small installation.
            Yes everyone has a different problem to solve. No tiers here, but plenty of cold & clouds. Bruce

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by bcroe View Post
              Yes everyone has a different problem to solve. No tiers here, but plenty of cold & clouds. Bruce
              I could go for a little lower temperatures. Still getting days in the high 80's and no rain. Feels like summer to me.

              Comment


              • #52
                Got a surprise yesterday. Here in IL we have Citizens Utility Board, which tries to keep
                utility rates within reason. Can't rely on regulators, who are in bed with utilities in a
                state where half our governors end up in prison. CUB has deterred rate increases and
                outright fraud, to the tune of MANY 100s of millions of $ to customers.

                Anyway they ran a "I LOVE CUB" picture contest, I won $300 with this pic. Part of lawn
                has straw on it, trying to clean up some rough spots from heavy equipment. They said
                it may be use it for some publicity. Bruce Roe
                Attached Files

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by bcroe View Post
                  Got a surprise yesterday. Here in IL we have Citizens Utility Board, which tries to keep utility rates within reason. Can't rely on regulators, who are in bed with utilities in a state where half our governors end up in prison. CUB has deterred rate increases and outright fraud, to the tune of MANY 100s of millions of $ to customers.

                  Anyway they ran a "I LOVE CUB" picture contest, I won $300 with this pic. Part of lawn has straw on it, trying to clean up some rough spots from heavy equipment. They said it may be use it for some publicity. Bruce Roe
                  Congrats! Another controller? Some new panel supplies? All sorts of things come to mind for $300 USD.
                  Paul

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by bcroe View Post
                    Got a surprise yesterday. Here in IL we have Citizens Utility Board, which tries to keep
                    utility rates within reason. Can't rely on regulators, who are in bed with utilities in a
                    state where half our governors end up in prison. CUB has deterred rate increases and
                    outright fraud, to the tune of MANY 100s of millions of $ to customers.

                    Anyway they ran a "I LOVE CUB" picture contest, I won $300 with this pic. Part of lawn
                    has straw on it, trying to clean up some rough spots from heavy equipment. They said
                    it may be use it for some publicity. Bruce Roe
                    Looking good Bruce. Nice picture as well as getting some good attention.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by bcroe View Post
                      Decided to graph the level of my AC energy output over a sunny + cool day.
                      We've had east-facing, south-facing, and west-facing arrays here for many moons to flatten our solar production curve during the day and maintain a relatively steady PV input to our power system. And we have a logging system that logs PV production once a minute. Our production shows a very rapid increase to a high PV output level early in the morning with the rising sun. But it certainly doesn't have a flat top like your curve. Our PV production still peaks at solar noon.
                      off-grid in Northern Wisconsin for 14 years

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by ChrisOlson View Post
                        We've had east-facing, south-facing, and west-facing arrays here for many moons to flatten our solar production curve during the day and maintain a relatively steady PV input to our power system. And we have a logging system that logs PV production once a minute. Our production shows a very rapid increase to a high PV output level early in the morning with the rising sun. But it certainly doesn't have a flat top like your curve. Our PV production still peaks at solar noon.
                        That was the goal, get enough south facing panels for mild clipping at noon, then add enough
                        E-W to total nearly the same when the sun hits them. Probably wouldn't be so flat if there
                        wasn't mild clipping; lots of luck involved on this pass. I do have to wait for the sun to clear
                        the trees. But I can't increase the peak (without replacing EVERYTHING), so broadened it instead.

                        The prize for the picture won't push this project into the black; it WILL buy me another batch of
                        stainless steel bolts. Bruce Roe

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by bcroe View Post
                          That was the goal, get enough south facing panels for mild clipping at noon, then add enough
                          E-W to total nearly the same when the sun hits them. Probably wouldn't be so flat if there
                          wasn't mild clipping; lots of luck involved on this pass. I do have to wait for the sun to clear
                          the trees. But I can't increase the peak (without replacing EVERYTHING), so broadened it instead.

                          The prize for the picture won't push this project into the black; it WILL buy me another batch of
                          stainless steel bolts. Bruce Roe
                          Or a little more gas to run that plow to clear the snow off your array.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by bcroe
                            Pretty awful sun day today, severe overcast with rain some of the time.
                            Managed 32 KWH.

                            Meantime yesterday was so cold here it set an all time record for 11 Sept. But a new
                            component is up & running. My old 1978 AC had died. One week ago a new 14.5
                            SEER heat pump went in, 3 ton air to air. Can't use it in the middle of winter, but today
                            it is heating the house while multiplying my KWHs. Will need them; another cold winter
                            predicted. Bruce Roe
                            The heat pump has been doing a nice job conserving my KWH reserve while keeping
                            the house toasty. The KWHs about break even for clouds, make more reserve when sunny.
                            Don't have precise numbers, since the Po Co didn't bother to send me a bill for SEPT.

                            Sunny today, making max KW. But the season has come where days may be well above
                            freezing, but the nights dip below. I've been told the heat pump won't function for below
                            freezing outside air. Not sure if the efficiency drops too low, or there would be icing up
                            of the outside coil. But I'd like to maximize its use until it gets really cold.

                            What I started doing is noting nights predicted well below freezing, then running the
                            house up to around 74F in the evening. About the time outside drops below freezing,
                            shut down & try to coast through the night. Soon as outside rises above freezing, bring
                            the heat pump back on to recover in the morning & build a little reserve in the evening.
                            So far it seems to be working.

                            In 2013 at this time, my total production since the net metering reset date was 5880
                            KWH. This year its 19,700 KWH, a lot better starting point for winter. I'll know how
                            much is in reserve if they ever send me another bill. Annual production is about
                            28,400 KWH.

                            Bruce Roe

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by bcroe
                              the Po Co didn't bother to send me a bill for SEPT.

                              I've been told the heat pump won't function for below freezing outside air.

                              In 2013 at this time, my total production since the net metering reset date was 5880
                              KWH. This year its 19,700 KWH, a lot better starting point for winter. I'll know how
                              much is in reserve if they ever send me another bill. Annual production is about
                              28,400 KWH. Bruce Roe
                              The heat pump is great, keeping me toasty well into Nov. while conserving KWH.
                              I can't see any blue sky, but with the pump running, net KWH reserve for winter is
                              still increasing. Finally got an electric bill (for Oct.}, reserve had reached 12,400
                              KWH. Bruce Roe

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Reserve kwh

                                Here is a curve I plotted, of how much energy reserve (Po Co rollover) I had by date.
                                A few things of interest:
                                The system started up with south facing panels 1 Aug 13; reserve built up till cold weather
                                started 1 Oct. The east-west panels started working 1 Nov, but with shorter days and record
                                cold, reserve was gone in Jan;

                                The rest of winter 13/14 was run on energy being collected, a minimal amount of KWH
                                purchased, and some propane. I managed to conserve a single tank of propane into
                                the summer, to be refilled at the lowest price. The huge Feb propane price spike in Feb
                                was entirely avoided;

                                After reserve RESET in April, with longer days I managed to generate about as much
                                energy as was being used. In June the heat was off, and the reserve began climbing
                                at a considerably faster rate than 2013 (more panels);

                                In Oct the reserve didn't flatten like 2013, but continued to rise on a lesser slope. This
                                is because the new heat pump was conserving a lot of KWH;

                                With the unseasonably cold weather, I had to shut down the heat pump in early Nov.
                                I opened its circuit breaker, since it may have a compressor pre heater element (need
                                to check this). I am now on the reserve down slope. With 4 times the reserve of 2013,
                                it should last at least until the 1 April reserve reset date. The drop will be steeper,
                                because I'm not planning to use ANY propane for heat this year;

                                Come 1 April I'll have the struggle to collect as much energy as I use again. But if the
                                weather will allow a couple weeks use of the heat pump, it should be OK. In that case
                                the reserve built in 2015 should be even larger than 2014;

                                If I see a large surplus reserve in Feb/March 15, I'll burn some of it off with electric heat
                                in the car shop. It is normally kept around 40F except when working, with propane.

                                In another thread, someone showed a chart with (nearby) Chicago getting 3.14
                                SUN HOURS a day yearly average. That seems a little pessimistic, must be the clouds.
                                However, 90 mi west I managed 5.42 SUN HOURS for the yearly average, despite the
                                clouds & storms. Bruce Roe
                                Attached Files

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