Electronics > Power/Renewable Energy/EV's

Solar Upgrade AGAIN

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EEVblog:
We want to upgrade our solar power system AGAIN.
Currently have:
A. 5kw Enphase system with 14x295W microinverters with 380W LG panels on north-north-west roof
B. Old 3kW system with 12x250W LG panels and 3kQ Sunnyboy inverter on a now non-ideal east-east-south roof

Mrs EEVblog has now approved more panels on the front of the house (north-north-east roof) where she previously didn't want because of looks. (You can't see either of our systems from the street)
We are going to extend our house upwards, on the roof where both existing systems are now present. So we'll have no solar at all during the building period.
Dosn't make much sense to reinstall the old 3kW system on the new extended roof once finished, so makes sense to upgrade it and move to the front roof of the house.

The old 3kW system isn't of much use now in winter time, so thinking about selling the panels and inverter and reusing the racking for a new system on the front of the house.

So options seem to be:
1) Upgrade and move the old 3kw system to the front roof. New 400W-ish panels and possibly a free 5kW+ Fronius inverter they have offered me in the past. But I'd still have two separate systems from a monitoring point of view.

2) New system on the front roof that uses Enphase micro-inverters to extend the existing Enphase system. Most expensive solution, but would now only have one Enphase system. Lower voltage is safer, and potentially better shading performance (see photo from this morning when the other systems were producing almost nothing, shading is from a tree across the road due the low morning sun angle). Peak power output is lower because of the derated microinverters.

Could also just keep the old 3kW system just because we have it and it's paid for itself.
Long term plan is a 2nd EV (not charging at the same time, so no need for more peak power there), a pool with heat pump, and switching from gas to electric hot water. Hence the need for a bigger system.

Thoughts and comments please.
I like the enphase system, but it's expensive, and I kinda don't like the limited peak power output. On the other hand, I don't like having two different systems.

Yanis:
We did an upgrade and the old racking was in place and perfectly fine. When they came to do the quote the guy (happened to be the owner) said leave the rails - they will be re-used. When the installers came they removed the old rails and used all new. It did not change the quote so I am thinking that the quote included everything including the rails. Not sure if you can get an installer to re-use old stuff and remove it form the quote.

We shopped around to get the best value for money as well. Some quotes were up to double what we paid.

EEVblog:

--- Quote from: Yanis on July 18, 2022, 01:29:38 am ---We did an upgrade and the old racking was in place and perfectly fine. When they came to do the quote the guy (happened to be the owner) said leave the rails - they will be re-used. When the installers came they removed the old rails and used all new. It did not change the quote so I am thinking that the quote included everything including the rails. Not sure if you can get an installer to re-use old stuff and remove it form the quote.
--- End quote ---

We already reused the 3kW racking when it was moved during the last upgrade. Also, the DC isolators are new.
It's only racking for 12 panels though, we can almost certanly fit more on the front roof. Haven't measured it all yet though.

floobydust:
I don't understand the lingo down under. You're adding a floor? is that what "extend our house upwards" means? Same roof slope?
The one tree branch tree looks dead, start the buzzsaw.

dmcdonald:
I'm wondering if more/upgraded panels/inverters really ought to be the next step

I know you've ruled out batteries before, but it's a constantly changing/improving environment. I have issues with lithium based batteries for home use - the fire risk concerns me (incidentally, that's an argument in favour of micro inverters as you have previously identified), but there are different chemistries becoming available - Redflow in Qld have zinc-bromide flow battery systems already available, Gelion in Sydney will soon have zinc-bromide gel cells. There are vanadium chemistry batteries too

Even if not a solution for you, there's probably a few talking points (& people to interview) for future vlogs

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