Project Summary

Installing a photovoltaic (PV) system on our home. Our house is 2360 square feet, built in 1999 and has both electric and natural gas utilities. Current electricity use ranges from 900 kWh to 1500 kWh per month, peaking in December… Must be the Christmas lights! The house is situated almost perfectly for solar. Our panels will be on a 33 degree roof that faces almost directly south and with no possible obstructions.

I have been researching Solar PV for our home for number of years and weighing the system costs, available incentives and taxes breaks to what I thought we could afford. With costs at $6.00 to $8.00/watt, I was struggling with REALLY wanting to do this and the practical side of family finances. This last spring I became aware, though my brother, of a Solarize Community project being sponsored by Nike Beaverton, Oregon for employees, friends and family. They had selected a contractor, set a system price of $5/watt and my brother works at Nike… so I couldn’t resist!

System Stats:

Solar System Size: 3.76 kW

2 x Strings of eight SolarWorld 235W panels

1 x 3000KW PV Powered inverter

Portland General Electric (PGE) Net Metering program

Online monitoring module to evaluate solar system output, usage, feed to the grid, etc

Monday, August 29, 2011

Initial Look at Power Production

A number of people have been asking about stats around power production, how it will offset our usage as well as how it compares to our previous usage and bills.  

Some tools are available via the online monitoring of our Inverter which are interesting and I'm studying how to use this data.  Here is a quick example of current status and a weekly production report.  The report only shows what is produced, not what we are using at the household level and whether we're over or under production from our load.  Note though, how the last week has been clear and sunny until today.

I'm also looking forward to additional detailed information that may be provide in our billing from our power provider (PGE).

We are in the final steps of completing inspections and sign-offs, after which time the solar contractor (NW Solar Solutions) will walk through the system with us and provide us with a user's manual.

So, over the next few weeks I hope to be posting more detailed data on power generation and comparisons. 

Please stay tuned!