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Solar Powered Sign Shop - One year later

Discussion in 'Think Green!' started by SqueeGee, May 23, 2011.

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  1. MachServTech

    MachServTech Very Active Member

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    you do know there is a NHB version of this thread? please go there to post your "opinion".
     
  2. MachServTech

    MachServTech Very Active Member

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    Squeegee, have you looked into how much a battery bank would cost for your setup? (helps in case of hurricane type month long grid outages)
     
  3. SqueeGee

    SqueeGee Active Member

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    It's hard to say. I've not yet invested in the equipment necessary to record output in real time. Right now, I have to go to the inverter to get the data and even then I can only see current output and overall output. I track the total output each month so I CAN tell you that my wintertime production is way lower than summer. Obviously some of that can be attributed to snow cover, but also to shorter days.

    Below is my output. Most are monthly but the beginning and end have partial months.

    Reading Date Electric Generated by Panels
    5/20/2010 0
    6/1/2010 739
    7/1/2010 2214
    8/1/2010 2216
    9/1/2010 2439
    10/1/2010 1665
    11/1/2010 1216
    12/1/2010 805
    1/3/2011 531
    2/4/2011 629
    3/1/2011 690
    4/1/2011 1116
    5/3/2011 1594
    5/20/2011 977
     
  4. SqueeGee

    SqueeGee Active Member

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    I didn't investigate it because "grid tie" was available to us and we don't traditionally have power outages in our area(I'm in Central Virginia). Not to say it wouldn't be beneficial but we just weren't in the position to spend anymore than we absolutely had to.
     
  5. kgirl

    kgirl Active Member

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    San Diego
    it's no "opinion"....it's "fact"....you go post there....
     
  6. MachServTech

    MachServTech Very Active Member

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    I did.... have a nice day.
     
  7. dgtlrob

    dgtlrob Member

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    Why would you get a system without getting Enphase http://enphase.com/ microinverters much more efficient than standard inverters and adds only a small cost to the overall system..
    A - You didn't do your homework
    B - You are a hypocrite
     
  8. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    why did you post twice?

    A. you are an idiot
    B. you are a hypocrite
     
  9. dgtlrob

    dgtlrob Member

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    C - The site was having a problem!
    Probably because not enough revenue is being generated to maintain properly by you cheap bastards that want something for nothing (solar, ext.) or continue to use stolen software (flexi7.x,) ext...
     
  10. night eagle

    night eagle Active Member

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    Crowley tx
    are you a butt head if you
    1. post like this
    2. post like this

    answer ... yup


    mark galoob
     
  11. night eagle

    night eagle Active Member

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    i guess that makes me a butt head too...lol:ROFLMAO:

    mark galoob
     
  12. SqueeGee

    SqueeGee Active Member

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    C - I used thin film panels. As a solar expert, I'm sure you're aware that these panels can only be put in strings of 4(sometimes 5 depending on climate) before having to be run back to the inverter or in my case, the combiner box and then the inverter. For the non solar experts out there, that means they don't play well with microconverters.

    I believe our inverters have a CEC weighted efficiency of between 95% and 96% so when you say "much more efficient", how MUCH more?
     
  13. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    A. i think it might be catchy
    B. it keeps things organized...
     
  14. dgtlrob

    dgtlrob Member

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    With an Enphase every panel gets an inverter on the roof and the output is combined there for a higher wattage less loss to final point -- but i am sure you new that.. (NOT!) The cool thing is each panel can be tracked separately as well as by the group.
     
  15. SqueeGee

    SqueeGee Active Member

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    Dude, do you need a hug? Somebody give Rob a hug, he's feeling a little cranky.

    So let's talk more about why microinverters rock but just didn't fit for my project.

    With mono-crystalline panels, the output is typically pretty high per panel. Maybe 180 watts plus. You string them bad boys together - 8, 10, 12 - however many the "conventional" inverter will allow and send the power to it so it can convert that sun juice from DC to AC. Now a pesky leaf lands on one of your panels. No big deal, right? I mean it's just one leaf on one panel. Actually, it's kind of a big deal because whichever panel is outputting the least power is what the others will be allowed to output. So instead of one leaf, it's really like 8 or 10 or 12(depending on how many panels you have in a string) leaves. The same goes for shadows, bird poop, you name it.

    Now why in the world would I dare not to use this amazing new product?

    Let's start with maintenance/reliability/convenience. The way I installed my panels, it's kind of a pain in the *** to access them. Instead of a quantity of two(2) phase converters mounted in the cozy safety of the inside of our shop like what I went with, I would have had TWO HUNDRED TWENTY (220) phase converters mounted outdoors(in a pain in the *** location). Advantage - conventional inverters.

    Now, cost. I bought two phase converters for a total of $7,500. A quick google search tells me that micro inverters are roughly $175 each. Times 220 that's $38,500. (Advantage - conventional inverters.) Whoa! What? $38,500? That makes no sense! Why so much? Which brings me to my final point.

    Thin film panels. I bought 220, 60 watt thin film panels. The $175 micro inverters I listed above are designed for 185 watts of input. Well couldn't you just run 3, 60 watt panels together you ask? Maybe with some extra adapters and such. But then that defeats the whole purpose of having a microinverter to start with(remember the leaf scenario above)? Besides, I can only string 4 of these panels together ANYWAY before they have to go back to the inverter because that's one of the characteristics of thin film panels. They run "hotter" and have to be in smaller strings. Advantage - conventional inverters.

    If you "new" me, you'd know how funny it was when I read that I hadn't done the research. My wife would argue that I need a spreadsheet to decide on what to have for lunch.

    As far as being a hypocrite, well, I'm not sure where that came from. I've been very upfront with the fact that I would NOT have done this project if it didn't make good business sense. Don't get me wrong, I like the benefits of renewable energy. But feeding my kids comes in a little higher on the list.

    So to recap:

    A) Microinverters - worth consideration with mono crystalline panels
    B) My kids gotta eat

    I hope you get your hug, Rob-o! :thumb:
     
  16. signswi

    signswi Very Active Member

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    Everyone can safely click ignore on dgtlrob all he does is troll threads and throw around words like socialism without knowing what they mean and tell people why they're wrong about X.

    Lurkmore.
     
  17. dgtlrob

    dgtlrob Member

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    The Enphase inverters will handle up to 260w per panel newest panels available (one per panel) they convert to AC on the roof independently of each other - so the problems with one panel wouldn't affect others.

    With 220 panels -- (good luck keeping that at a decent output over the next few years producing only a max 10kw) For the same money 40K you could have gotten 52 sharp 224w panels, 52 inverters installed with hardware and internet monitoring.

    Why use crappy thin cell technology? "Thin-film technologies reduce the amount of material required in creating a solar cell. Though this reduces material cost, it may also reduce energy conversion efficiency."

    Choices ?? I guess the salesman gave you a kick back on the system-- a little extra money from the taxpayers to feed the kids -- it' all good!
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2011
  18. SqueeGee

    SqueeGee Active Member

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    I'll be the first to admit that I'm no "genus" but I can do math and would at least run a spell check on any message questioning some one else's intelligence.

    I had 13,200 watts of solar panels installed with inverters, combiner boxes, cables, racking, shipping, etc for 40k COMPLETE. That's $3 per watt.

    I would be absolutely shocked(pun intended) if you could come within $10k of that.

    By the way, it didn't matter if I would have spent 40k or 400k on our system, the rebate would been for the same amount as it was based on the output of the system not how much it cost.

    Also, you're still not getting it regarding microinverters.
     
  19. dgtlrob

    dgtlrob Member

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    You didn't get the [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][FONT=verdana][FONT=verdana][FONT=verdana][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Federal Tax Credit (30%)??

    The one I can't get because I lost all my deductions-- did you loose all yours as well?

    Gota love the tax code!!
    [/FONT]
     
  20. dgtlrob

    dgtlrob Member

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