Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Green Thing To Do

Last month we installed 24 solar photo-voltaic panels on the roof of our house. Each panel is rated at 210 watts, so we should be able to produce 5 kilowatts of power. Integrated over a typical sunny day, that would be about 6-7 kilowatt-hours of energy/day. Our house uses an average of 10 kilowatt-hours/day. It will be interesting to see how this actually works out. In fact, since it was connected to the grid and everything started working 2 days ago, we have been generating about 2.5 kilowatt-hours/day. These have been very cloudy days.

I am anxiously awaiting a nice sunny day to see how well the system will do but the forecast doesn't look good. We seem to definitely be into a winter weather pattern in the Maritime Northwest. But every month we do get a few cold bright days. On those days the system should, well, shine.

I figure that with all the incentives for installing solar power, the payback will be about 10 years -- at today's power rates.


  1. Today (10-30-09) was very dark and wet and we still captured 1 Kwh of energy. The monitor says that 4 of our panels are not responding. Maybe the installer will have to come back. I'm glad I got that monitor.

  2. An analysis of data coming from our system monitor shows that half the panels are not getting stable AC power. That means they can't sync with the AC and convert DC to AC. Apparently one of the AC phases is not connected properly to the solar array. The company that installed the system is coming back tomorrow to troubleshoot. This should at least double our production. I'm sure glad I got that monitor.