My 4.5kW grid connected PV solar installation got "turned on" by the power company yesterday.
It took four hours for the guys to install the panels, and eight weeks for the power company to come and change the meter over, during which time, the panels were just sitting there doing nothing
At 5pm yesterday when I came home (sunset is about 8:30 here at the moment) it was still generating 1100w. The meter tells me it had exported 4.4kWhrs to the grid already, so I'm guessing it was only turned on mid-to-late afternoon.
Nice! Congratulations. I was recently speaking to a friend of mine who just purchased a home in San Diego where solar insolation is high, there is little need for air conditioning, and where electricity rates are fairly high. This is perfect recipe for solar power, and he is looking into getting a system like yours. Unfortunately, my friend was under the false impression that a grid connected solar would provide power if grid power were lost. I'm sure you haven't concluded the same, but I wonder if you have considered getting additional components that will give you power if you lose grid power? If so, then have you determined if the company that installed your system can also configure it with a battery backup and the additional components (separate controller, inverter, and transfer switch) to provide power if grid power is lost?
posted 5 years ago
Correct, it is no use if the grid is down.
I am considering building another solar array on my own on one of the outbuildings that would be off grid and perhaps used to power chest freezers and the like, which would mean less draw on the grid connection, and more income from the power company. I am also interested in getting an electric golf cart to use for some of the farming jobs that I currently use the tractor for. This could also be charged from solar.
Very nice system, Phil! How much was it cost to you to buy and install this system? It seems eight weeks for the power company is too much time. You may add to your existing system functionality of off the grid (add batteries, etc.) for the cases when grid will be down, such form of hybrid system.
posted 5 years ago
The total cost to me was just shy of $10,000. The Australian Government paid an additional $4000 as part of some sort of renewable energyscam scheme.
We get paid 31c for every excess kilowatt hour we put back into the grid (we pay 33c per kilowatt hour down here!). On a sunny day, it seems to do about 25kW/Hrs. We seem to be putting back in about double what we consume, which is good.
For anyone interested in off-grid solutions, I strongly recommend that you check out the recent pair of shows Steven Harris did on The Survival Podcast. He created a website for the project (including links to the two podcast episodes): battery1234.com. Whilst he is not an advocate of solar power, this still gives a very good grounding in batteries, chargers, regulators, and inverters. He also lists a bunch of the products he uses on Amazon, which is no use to me, but any of you Americans should revel in how cheap this stuff is for you! We pay approximately twice as much for batteries, for example.
posted 5 years ago
Wow, it's really not much money! At the end you've payed 6000$ for this system. This scheme is real passive income if you're putting back for about double what you're consume.
I'll sure check your recommended videos. Thank you very much! I'm interested mostly in off grid solution. It seems on grid systems may be installed only by professional electricians. Am I right?
^^In the usa grid-tie must be installed by an electrician and have a special inverter that shuts the system off if the grid loses power. This is so the linemen aren't electrocuted by the solar panels while fixing the grid.