Just wanted to give the actual specs of our system. It is gonna be a 4.725 kW system. Based on the calculations the solar company did they say we should produce 4,965 kWh annually and that would cover about 55% of our energy (it's listed as % of ON PEAK Energy Produced by Solar). It will be a grid-tied system with no battery backup. A battery backup would not be with it for us because we do not lose power very often (it is pretty rare for our area).
For a little idea of our energy use, it is 9,086 kWh annually. According to the rep from the company we are actually a little lower than average on the annual energy usage. So it will decrease our energy bill by about half which is nice, so I'm happy (even though it's my parents house).
After thought (since it's in the quote thingy):
Eliminate the production/emissions of:
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) 8,336 lbs/yr
Nitrous Oxide (NOX) 15.6 lbs/yr
Sulfates (SO4) 22.9 lbs/yr
Equivalent of Planting 2 acres of trees
Last edited by shark2k; 12-17-2008 at 10:54 PM.
Oh I have another 80watt panel on my EV that keeps the 12v system topped off and can run the big stereo and TV in the back as long as needed while parked. That panel is sized for RV type use where it is just over 12v so you don't really need a regulator. It has a cheap control box that just cuts out the panel if it gets over voltage.
Regarding the house panels - hours of sunlight is more important than cool panels. I would trade a long hot summer day for a cold winter day. The best would be a long day in summer with a cool breeze.
Also more important than temp is angle to the sun and any possible shading. When the sun starts to drop in the horizon do any trees or buildings cast any shadows on the panels?
I met a guy once who used to hose down his panels on hot days because cooling the panels would make his meter spin faster... but once again, me with the lazy.
However, I do have to do battery maintenance twice a year - which is a drag - so my system is not entirely maintenance free. I could have gotten maintenance free batteries, but they were like twice the price and half the capacity.
As to the cleaning, I always just figured leave it to nature to clean it off .
They are 6 volt lead acid in 3 series of 8 (3 banks of 48V). Each are 2 or 3 times the size of a normal car battery and I think they weigh about 150 lbs a piece.
There are two pieces of maintenance required. 1) because they are not sealed, you have to make sure they have enough liquid to cover the lead plates, and 2) every six months they need to be "equalized" where you pop the tops off, and flood the battery with a bunch of current for about 3 hours which boils the sulfuric acid and gets it everywhere (nasty).
Because I use "water miser" caps, I only check the water levels when I do the equalization every 6 months instead of every month like I would if I kept the standard cap.
Happy to do my part -- we were going off in the weeds a bit from the "Top Gear" topicI appreciate your initiative to make your own thread, btw. Complete with links!
Last edited by graham; 12-18-2008 at 12:02 AM.
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