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  • Grid Tie Solar Project : Bucks County, PA :

    Hello Everyone,

    I am trying to do a solar grid tie project for my home in Bucks county, PA. This is a residential project. I have some space on my property and am hoping to go for a ground mount (if township approves). I am using this thread to get a lot of advice and avoid pitfalls and also so that the next person who attempts this in my zip code benefits from my experiences going through this process.

    Local Utility: PECO.

    - I have a 400 AMP service at my home (2 panels). I am looking for an electrician who has done some solar work.If anyone has recommendations please share

    - PECO interconnection form: Any experiences which anyone has.

    System:

    - I am using one of the online suppliers for a complete kit with flexibility to add an extra string. Install larger inverters (say 10KW interters) but install fewer panels (say 7KW) to begin with. The hope is this allows from flexibility to add panels later (need and cost related) but not worry about permitting / interconnection among other things.

    - There was local concern of glare from panels (it is a 4 up in a column panel design). Any suggestion on manufacturer or panel model to use?

    Thank you for all input.

    Best
    MLC


  • #2
    Originally posted by mchhabria View Post

    - I am using one of the online suppliers for a complete kit with flexibility to add an extra string. Install larger inverters (say 10KW inverters) but install fewer panels (say 7KW) to begin with. The hope is this allows from flexibility to add panels later (need and cost related) but not worry about permitting / interconnection among other things.
    You will still have to get a new permit and adjust your interconnect if you add a string latter.

    Originally posted by mchhabria View Post
    - There was local concern of glare from panels (it is a 4 up in a column panel design). Any suggestion on manufacturer or panel model to use?
    I think you mean 4 high in landscape layout.
    who has concern of glare?
    OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you for the reply.

      A]
      "You will still have to get a new permit and adjust your interconnect if you add a string latter."

      I can understand permit but why interconnect, since i won't be changing the invertor. For eg , using solaredge invertor. Each invertor takes 2 string, but i start off with only 1 string. Then once system is on and in 6 months add another string. Is that not allowed?

      B] Yes i have 4 high in landscape layout as you suggested. I was told that neighbours might have that concern of glare and hence the question.


      Thank you
      MLC

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mchhabria View Post
        Thank you for the reply.

        A]
        "You will still have to get a new permit and adjust your interconnect if you add a string latter."

        I can understand permit but why interconnect, since i won't be changing the inverter. For eg , using solaredge inverter. Each inverter takes 2 string, but i start off with only 1 string. Then once system is on and in 6 months add another string. Is that not allowed?
        Because your interconnect lists the DC size of your system. It doesn't matter if you have one string and add another latter, your interconnect lists the capacity of the system and you will be increasing it, thus voiding your interconnect CONTRACT.


        Originally posted by mchhabria View Post
        Thank you for the reply.B] Yes i have 4 high in landscape layout as you suggested. I was told that neighbors might have that concern of glare and hence the question.
        Most module have antiglare coatings on them now. who is telling you this? an installer? Sales person? neighbor?
        OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mchhabria
          I am trying to do a solar grid tie project for my home in Bucks county, PA.

          - I am using one of the online suppliers for a complete kit with flexibility to add an extra string. Install larger inverters (say 10KW interters) but install fewer panels (say 7KW) to begin with. The hope is this allows from flexibility to add panels later (need and cost related) but not worry about permitting / interconnection among other things.

          - There was local concern of glare from panels (it is a 4 up in a column panel design). MLC
          If your operation involves snow removal, you can greatly reduce time and labor required
          by leaving a snow gap between rows of panels. Mine are spaced 6", but plan on 8".
          Bruce Roe

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you Bruce for the advice. Will keep that in mind. I am going to the local county office to see what they will allow given zoning. There are practically no ground mounts where i live. I have enough space in my front yard on the side. 80 ft clear of the road but let's see what happens.

            Comment


            • #7
              Than you for the clarification on the contract side.

              The glare is due to what neighbors mentioned as to something the county office might be concerned with.

              Thank you for the replies.
              Best
              MLC

              Comment


              • #8
                I have attached a partial plot layout. Each ground mount will occupy 26' by 16' .The ground mount panels will face south and are within 40 feet of the electric meter. As mentioned above i have 400 AMP service and enough empty space on the breaker box.

                I used Sun Surveyor App and was wondering if anyone else has used it also.

                Thanks
                MLC
                Attached Files

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ButchDeal View Post

                  Because your interconnect lists the DC size of your system. It doesn't matter if you have one string and add another latter, your interconnect lists the capacity of the system and you will be increasing it, thus voiding your interconnect CONTRACT.
                  FWIW, some POCOs' interconnect agreements allow a specified size increase (often 10%) without requiring a new agreement.

                  SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by inetdog View Post
                    FWIW, some POCOs' interconnect agreements allow a specified size increase (often 10%) without requiring a new agreement.
                    10% is the largest I have seen but OP is talking about doubling.
                    OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by inetdog View Post
                      FWIW, some POCOs' interconnect agreements allow a specified size increase (often 10%) without requiring a new agreement.
                      In CA, increases of less than 10% (or 1000 W, whichever is greater) will not invalidate an active net metering agreement, but as I understand it, the change still requires an inspection and approval by the power company.
                      CS6P-260P/SE3000 - http://tiny.cc/ed5ozx

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by sensij View Post

                        In CA, increases of less than 10% (or 1000 W, whichever is greater) will not invalidate an active net metering agreement, but as I understand it, the change still requires an inspection and approval by the power company.
                        Chances are it will also cost for a new installation permit and inspection from the local authorities. That is unless you want to sneak the additional work in under their noses which can back fire.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SunEagle View Post

                          Chances are it will also cost for a new installation permit and inspection from the local authorities. That is unless you want to sneak the additional work in under their noses which can back fire.
                          Somewhat parochial: The city of San Diego will probably whack you. Seems that the county of San Diego will not, at least at this time.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thank you everyone for the replies. Was not planning to sneak anything in was just trying to balance one time capital expenditure commitments and having to redo every little bit of paperwork.

                            Best
                            MLC

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mchhabria View Post
                              Thank you everyone for the replies. Was not planning to sneak anything in was just trying to balance one time capital expenditure commitments and having to redo every little bit of paperwork.

                              Best
                              MLC
                              Good to hear. Keep us informed on your project. Best of luck.

                              Comment

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