My roof was looking barren, I thought some PV panels would be nice...

Discussion in 'Environmental' started by RichXKU, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. RichXKU

    RichXKU Well-Known Member

    After two friends decided to go solar, I followed suit, and my project was finally completed today. With almost 2/3 of the cost being covered by Pennsylvania and the Federal gov't, plus yearly Solar renewable energy credits providing thousands in income, it was hard to say no.

    It is an 8.1 kW grid tied PV system, with microinverters (each PV panel gets its own computerized inverter).

    Here's a few pics.

    Solar breaker panel and meter for PA sunshine program

    Roof rails and microinverters installed

    Microinverter close up

    Inverters strung together

    180W Panels

    Almost all in place. They finished, but I wasn't able to get a pic before it started pouring

    I got to see the meter spin backwards for a bit before the sky got darker. I'm still waiting for the monitoring system to detect the rest of the inverters.

    Now to wait for an electric car....... :rolleyes:
  2. southerncannuck

    southerncannuck Well-Known Member

    Way to go. I wish Florida had a program. I got the solar water, and had hoped to get the photovoltaic, but the program funds ran out. Nevertheless, great job!
  3. Ophbalance

    Ophbalance Administrator Staff Member

    What was your total upfront cost?
  4. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

  5. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

  6. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    Sweet! Looks great!
  7. RichXKU

    RichXKU Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys.
    @Oph: approx 18k out of pocket on a 46k system.
  8. Oainac

    Oainac Well-Known Member

    That's sweet!
  9. GreenBlues

    GreenBlues Well-Known Member

    Very nice!
  10. RobertSmalls

    RobertSmalls Ecodriver

    My roof is jealous.
  11. smart-za

    smart-za Well-Known Member

    Oh, what a glorious sight! I'd love to have a setup like that. More questions:

    How does the system handle shading? It looks like some of the panels above the garage would be in shade some of the time.
    What's the expected lifespan of the system?
    Any maintenance needed? Like washing dust off the panels?

  12. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    Great move Rich! We will be anxious to hear of what the system is doing.
  13. RichXKU

    RichXKU Well-Known Member

    Because of the individual microinverters, any shaded panel won't affect the output from the others.
    The only parts of the system that get 'used up' would be the panels and microinverters. The entire system is warranted for 10 years, inverters for 15 and panels guaranteed to 80% output for 25 years.
    No maintenance required, we don't get too much dust where I am, but pollen buildup can be an issue in the spring. Fortunately it also rains often in the spring so it should all get rinsed off. Due to the dark PV cells and frames any snow should melt or slide off quickly.

    @msirach: So far today I've seen 7460W max, which isnt too bad for mid september sun angle.
    Here's a youtube of my meter spinning backwards. It hasn't been replaced by the utility with a digital one yet.

    Here is a completed pic:
  14. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Robert isn't the only one with a jealous roof!!! :D:thumbs_up:
  15. Ophbalance

    Ophbalance Administrator Staff Member

    Man... if I had 18k... heh, I don't know for sure I'd do it ;). I wonder if you can recoup any of that if/when you decide to sell the home? Does it raise your property tax?
  16. RichXKU

    RichXKU Well-Known Member

    It pays for itself in about 6 years with Energy credits alone. The money I save on electricity or sell back to the grid is just gravy. The system should increase the home's value by a minimum of what I paid out of pocket. Since Pennsylvania's credits are winding down, it will only get more expensive.
  17. Ophbalance

    Ophbalance Administrator Staff Member

    Good deal then. Personally, I'd love to have the full shebang. I'd sock in a GeoThermal heating system, PV on the roof, and a Wind Turbine in the yard. However, the turbine would likely get axed for aesthetic reasons. The only reason I can see not doing it, is our house is just too small for our family anymore, and we're likely to move before adding on. If I had a "forever" home, this would be darn attractive though.

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