Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Solar Power - More panels on the garage roof

The SolarCity installation team arrives.

Product specification on a panel, 210W peak output, Silicon by Kyocera made in Mexico.

Fronius inverter installed inside the garage, wired to the distribution panel shown next to it.

Mounting rails on the garage roof.

Closeup of how the rails mount on the shingles.

All the panels in place, four rows of nine panels, 36 x 210W = 7560W DC, after the inverter this works out to about 6.5KW delivered AC power.

View from the front of the garage early in the morning.

It's all wired in, we are waiting for inspection and approval before we can turn it on. The same monitoring system is used as was installed for my previous solar installation on the house roof. This time we leased the panels, there are several options, from no money down to buying the whole thing up front. I've opted for an initial payment of $10K, and $90/month fixed for the duration of the lease (20 years). I don't pay anything until its turned on.

We currently generate about two thirds of our usage of electricity. The extra panels should triple the generated capacity, so we will generate about twice what we use in the short term. That evens out when we start charging a Nissan Leaf (delivery due in April), and change out our propane furnace for a heat pump and air conditioner (hopefully in time to cool us this summer).

A useful side effect is that the garage itself will be a lot cooler inside during the summer, as the panels shade the roof.