Solar Project – Day 7

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 | Green Power | 2 Comments

It’s been a week and we are now producing solar power, real green power delivered free from the sun! The array was installed in one day. It took another 2-3 days for the electricians to mount the inverters and run the conduit from the array to the inverters to our panel. Yesterday was sunny, so it was a good day to crank up the inverters and see what we were producing. We could have started it sooner, but it was rainy on Friday and the engineers from Empower didn’t want to launch on a cloudy day because there was still more testing to go and they wanted to see the array perform at full power. We’re producing 11KW of power right now at 11:20. That’s actual  power delivered into our electrical system after any loses from the inverter.We actually have three 6KW inverters. Here’s some actual data from each inverter…

The SMA WebBox collects data from the inverters on power generated and CO2 emissions avoided. You can checkout our power production at anytime from our SunnyPortal. Right now it doesn’t show much power generated, but it will. The system isn’t real time and only gets updated every so often. Still it’s nice to be able to monitor the power generated by the system.

At this point there really isn’t much to do with the system. PV systems such as this are relatively maintenance free. Annual maintenance includes pressure washing the panels and the roof underneath the panels, as the Solyndra modules rely on the reflective surface of the white roof for 20% of their power generation. I’ll  update in the future on the system performance promised vs. delivered. -Marvin


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Solar Panel Project – Day 2

Thursday, January 21st, 2010 | Green Power | 5 Comments

Day 1 of the solar panel project was really satisfying as we were able to install all of the solar panels in one day. At the end of the day we could see what we’d accomplished. Day 2 consisted of testing each of the 9 strings to make sure the were functioning properly. The plan was to get all of the strings jumpered and connected to the splicer box on the roof, but we ran out of cabling so that will have to be finished on Friday.

While we were on the roof, the electrician ran conduit from the roof penetration to the inverters (indoors). 3 SMA SunnyBoy inverters will do the job, but they take up way more wall space than I’d hoped. I have no idea where we will mount the inverters for future arrays. We went with three inverters to save money over buying one large inverter, but there is a space penalty.

Day 3 is a bit of a wash, as it’s raining, so nothing will happen on the roof. The electricians will be able connect the inverters to our panel. This is how the power gets into our system. We also wired the sunny boy webbox to the inverters which will enable us to monitor real time power production and see exactly how much power is generated by the system via a web browser.

Day 4 – assuming it’s sunny, we should be able to run the power from the splicer box to the inverters and crank it up. That’s the plan.


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