Solar Power?

Discussion in 'The Drivers Lounge' started by ABFer, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. Stimpy

    Stimpy Wingnut

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    Your roof rake won't hurt the panels?
     
  2. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That is a good question and I know that I should look into it a bit. They are made of glass so I'm thinking I should be ok. It's not really a rake, it's a little snow shovel on the end of a long handle and it is very light. My thoughts are that if I'm gentle and drag it on a diagonal across the panels I should be OK. I also figure that a scratch or two on the panel trumps the whole thing dropping in on all my stuff.
     
  3. Stimpy

    Stimpy Wingnut

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    Maybe one of those foam paddles like they use on car lots
     
  4. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Never seen one I'll have to look it up. It's not supposed to rain so nothing on these roofs is going to get heavier than it already is and it is supposed to warm up so I'm going to leave well enough alone for now (well the fact that my tractor died and the snow on the ground out there impedes my movements helps with that decision). Installer claims that two days should be all it should take for the avalanche and I'm curious to see (avalanche is another reason I don't want to go poke at it). Bummer though, I'd probably make about 60kWh today as clear as the sky is.
     
  5. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    foam paddles of the extra long squeegee which you can easily find at Home Depot/Lowes..

    then all you'll need is an extendable fiberglass pole.

    the rubber would be (i think) easier on the glass
     
  6. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Here's how they array looked Sunday AM after the 24" dumping we got.

    [​IMG]
    It cleared off for the most part around noon on Monday.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    And with the first full month coming to a close the system generated 1140kWh for the month of January, which is the third lowest month of the year with December, then November having the lowest and second lowest spots respectively. That 1140kwh would cost me $137.xx to buy from the electric company. Additionally, I had two and one half days of no production due to snow cover, I do not know what the average days lost is supposed to be.
     
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  8. Apostolic

    Apostolic Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe this type of roof rake would be better for you.
    Its called a MinnSnowta roof razor,they are a lot more expensive then the pull type,Amazon sells them.
    I have never used it myself but have thought it would be easier to use & I like the wheels that should roll over the shingles.

     
  9. joes bar and grill

    joes bar and grill Well-Known Member

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    As sunny as it has been you must be getting rich!
     
  10. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    that's slick, i can''t use one, as i have a 3 story house, but for a one family home, i'd buy one, maybe 2 as a back up should it break

    just also saw this in the next video..

     
  11. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Those look great, when I was researching mine I did find a model with wheels on it, which would keep the rake off the roof, anything scraping on shingles is not good. They walked on those panels when they installed them and they are glass so I'm not worried about scratching them.
    We've had cloudy days here, one day it rained all day and barely made anything. Today was pretty clear and as the year rolls on production improves, I'll go out tomorrow AM and download the data for the last two days and see how I did.
     
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  12. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well...so far February is off to a bad start. One great day, two good days, two bad days, and one horrible rainy day. And it's a short month so I don't expect to see great numbers unless we get a bunch of clear days. Today looks like a big winner so far though, once the frost comes off the panels. The sky is incredibly clear and if it stays that way I could get 65 kWh out of it.
     
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  13. joes bar and grill

    joes bar and grill Well-Known Member

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    So it's the end of the month, you gonna get a big royalty check from the electric company?
     
  14. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    LOL, yep, end of the month and the calculations are in. We had a really bad month, clouds and rain, and it's a short month to boot. For the calendar month of Feb. I made $120 worth of electricity. It should have been more like $150 worth for their calculations but you should see the graph and those rainy days where almost nothing was made. Then when they came out and read the meter they goofed and did it wrong. Meter was read mid month, it's a digital meter and rotates through two numbers, the one I generate and the one I use. I made $120 worth of electricity and used $.72 worth. Then there is like $16 flat rate just for having the account. So...I get a bill for $140 instead of a credit to the house account for $105 or so. :ranting2: That's OK though, I got that straightened out this AM. The other day where it was crystal clear out and low humidity so there were no thin clouds or haze the system was buzzing and the inverters were almost hot. Makes me wonder what they will be like on a hot summer day with good sun. More rain in the future so we shall see what March brings.
     
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  15. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    you say your inverters were hot.>??

    can you place an industrial cooling fan (as found at Lowes/Home Depot for about $100), near them for cooling.>???

    the fan(s) will not use up much electricity.

    ask your contractor for advice on cooling fans.
     
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  16. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have the manual on file and will peruse it and I am going to find out how hot is too hot. There is a temp gauge on the front panel that I thought was for up on the panels but it read over 100 the other day so I don't think it's reading the rooftop.
     
  17. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    yeah, i do not know if the building has ventilation, but you do. a fan (or two) will at least circulate the air as you know, but a fan near the inverters would most certainly keep the temps in check, and then too, we have humid days that add to the misery of electronics.
     
  18. Apostolic

    Apostolic Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Poking around the internet,I just stumbled on this home made solar system.
    I was in a hurry to help my wife with her horses so I only checked out the first couple of minutes.
    However I thought I'd post it here,seeing it is solar related.

     
  19. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    as soon as it mention pistons, i said to myself...maintenance.

    that tiny little engine will have to be maintained, or it'll seize up.

    i think in the end, it'll be more of a nuisance that anything else.
     
  20. EX396

    EX396 Well-Known Member

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    I have had a solar system for 11 months. It's a 7kw system facing due south with clear sight lines. We get plenty of sunshine. Today I generated 37.5kWh as of 4pm (just checked). In the summer I am generating about 50% more than that. As you know the length of daylight and the azimuth:solar panel angle matters a bit.

    I am on a grid tied system where I pay for only the difference between what I consume and what I generate (so far no bill in 11 months). I have a total surplus of 1,581kWh to date. I will receive a check if I generate more than I use upto 10% of my total consumption. Read the fine print in your contract with your power company. In other words, if I consume a total of 20,000kWh in a year my maximum refund will be limited to 2,000kWh of excess power generation, whether I generated 2000 or 1000000000000 extra kWhs.

    Lastly, your inverter is likely going to go out well before your panels. If your inverter is getting hot (mine has cooling fans AND great big aluminum heat sink with fins) it may be working harder than it's supposed to. You have a whole lot of panels, and if they are quality panels they are likely capable of generating a bunch more power than a typical 5kW or 7.5kW system is designed for. It is possible that your installer saved a few bucks and put in 12Kw worth of panels and sold you a 10kw Inverter knowing that 90+% of the time your system won't be generating 10kw, but when those panels are over 83% efficient your inverter is being taxed and will not last as long as it should. It's the expensive bit, the panels are cheap. Especially those that aren't made in the USA. Looks like yours aren't USA Union Made...I am surprised. ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
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