Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Pic is of similar view after trees were cut down. We will likely get the system turned on once our local utility receives the interconnection agreement from their electric provider.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Here comes the Sun

When we started this we thought our location was ideal with no shade areas. At least in winter we now see that we will lose out on generating capacity. We are having a lot of trees removed starting today. We would have preferred to have done this prior to building but the crew could not get here fast enough. They look like they know a bit of what they are doing, should leave the building intact. This is a before photo.

Monday, December 21, 2009

All I want for christmas

We think all that is left to do is to have local inspector for final on the solar work and then for power to be turned on. It sure looks like we could flip the switch on our own. Our local utility requires some kind of an agreement from their power supplier to buy power from us also. We have full use of our garage and are grateful to our builder for the incredibly fast and efficient work.

If you have not yet, check out my father's blog about his solar PV system here: He is all set to flip the switch also.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

An Examination of the Regional Supply and Demand Balance for Renewable Electricity in the United States through 2015

51 page pdf here

Most of the panels are on. Two more have to be put up after the connections are brought through the roof. Rumor is we will get either a final solar or building inspection. Then we get in touch with the local utility for the connections to be made. Our builder suggests that since our utility purchases electricity from Progress Energy, they have to get their "permission" to buy what we generate. Once that is done they can make the connection and we can go live.

We have received our owners manual from Alternative Energy, it has a lot of information on the products being used and the users guide for our monitoring system. This system will require a regular net connection that I will have to figure out as I only have one connection. It is also located close to most of the electronics in the house, the monitoring unit suggests keeping it away from such things.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Solar calculator

We have some more hardware on the roof, no panels noted but it was dark when I checked last night. I've checked the local weather to guess the likelihood of continued work today. Our favorite site for this is Wunderground. I noted today they have a solar calculator. If the link does not work the calculator is along the left hand side of the site.

Solar Calculator
Calculate the amount of clean electricity you can generate from the Sun!
See How Much Insolation You Get

For this location and configuration, you will get about 5 kWhr/m2/day of energy from the sun.

The following is a breakdown of energy by month:

Energy generated per month (in KWhr/m2)

Average daily energy by month (in kWhr/m2/day) 126

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
United States data provided by the NREL. International data is courtesy of NASA.