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PV system at home

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Well I finally finished my new 9.2 KW solar system. Things started slowly. I was very optimistic back in March, expecting to be on line in a month or so. Well permits, approvals by the local utility and getting all of the required drawings, etc took nearly 3 months.

So I cleared some trees and had the neighbor (he has an excavating business) clear about 120' x 100'. After clearing, I waited for the final drawings of the ground mount, showing the footer locations. Once that arrived, my Kubota TLB was put into action to dig the footers. A few heavy storms later, I dug them again, and then Hurricane Irene let me dig them a third time. Finally I got to put some yards on concrete in. I also dug 120' of trench for the conduit from the house to the solar array location.

In parallel, I got all of the inside work done at night. This included mounting and wiring the inverter, watt-hour meter and external AC disconnect. The DC wiring from the array requires metal conduit in the house, and the main breaker on my service panel had to be changed to meet code requirements for max. allowable currents.

Got the outside DC wire pulled and terminated in j-boxes at the array. The panels arrived within a few days of needing them (scheduled that way). It was a long day, but I got them all mounted in one long Saturday. The last of the wiring was completed, and I got the electrical inspector out for the final inspection. Once that was done, I submitted the signed paperwork to the local utility. Finally switched on , setup the inverter and started seeing the meter spin.

After switching on, we have had only one partly sunny day. That day resulted in 39 KWH of generation. But then in the northeast US we have had weeks of rain. This delayed assembly/install process, and has limited the output since it was switched on to a low day producing 10 KWH to upwards of 30 KWH generation when things were better.  I have been impressed with the surprising amount of power on damp, totally overcast days. Outputs range from 2.5 KW to 400 watts when it is completely overcast.

Finally this week the sun finally appeared and the last three days have been 55-58 KWH total output.  We have "net metering" here so excess power goes into the utility, who is a 100% efficient storage device.  Over a year this should reduce my electric bill by about 60%.


Very nice and tidy work there. It is a nice feeling to grab some "free" energy and use it. I have been running a 1.8kW here in Chile, totally off the grid. I am installing another set of panels to bring me up to 3.2kW.

One thing I don't see in your installation is lightning protection. Do you have any lightning arrestors in your system? Also you seem to have no breakers for each bank of panels in your combiner boxes. Am I correct?

Very nice work there. :)
This is one of my ambitions, but I'm leaning towards the off grid option.

Can you share more about your system. Batteries, charge system etc


--- Quote from: shadowless on October 07, 2011, 08:17:23 pm ---Can you share more about your system. Batteries, charge system etc

--- End quote ---

Are you asking me? If so I will start another thread so as to not hijack tecman's. If you are asking tecman it appears he does not have any batteries as it looks like he is doing a grid tie sell to grid system only. I could be wrong.


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