South Dakota experiences

otsteveotsteve Registered Users Posts: 2
I have recently escaped the insanity in Kalifornia and relocated to South Dakota.
I am shopping for an acerage and wish to put a solar system on the property. I would specifically want to explore solar trackers (a system that has several arrays that track the sun to boost output).

Since I'll have land to mount these (I am looking for 5 to 10 acre parcel), I think it would be no problem to get tracker arrays installed on the property.

Does anyone have experience with trackers and also, anyone have experience with what benefits / limitations exist in South Dakota?

Steve

Comments

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm a few hundred miles north of there. On the plus side, it tends to be pretty sunny. Late fall can get gloomy though, and snow can be a problem in winter. The east side of the state I'm more familiar with tends to be open land with relatively few trees and rolling hills - good solar terrain.

    Assuming you're looking to maximize production on a grid-tied system, you'll want to get financial details from the local utility and use a solar calculator to figure out if tracking is worth it. It won't make much difference in fall/winter when you really want max production for your own use. To maximize for own use, the money would likely be better spent on more panels.

    It's nice there. The only state I visit regularly with an 80mph limit on the interstate.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • otsteveotsteve Registered Users Posts: 2
    I am near Sioux Falls. I lived my life in Southern California and moved here in late December.
    More exploring to do....
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
    I was in Sioux City a few days ago. Folks seemed to be happy to be out and about after the nasty cold recently.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,457 ✭✭✭✭
    I have a client up near you! Is this for grid tie or offgrid? If you are interested you can e-mail-me. I am a dealer for Array technology one of the very best tracking systems ever made. I mostly no longer travel but run my business on teaching handyman skill level people to install themself. Happy hunting! 

    Speaking of cold Estragon, we just hit 30F for the first time and harvested 15lbs of tomatoes the day before. Very weird to have not got cold here at all in the month of December when we usually harvest. Nothing the real cold out there
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 7,413 ✭✭✭✭
    Generally now, the trackers are no more, since panels are much less expensive, and trackers jam, break and need maintenance.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,457 ✭✭✭✭
    mike95490 said:
    Generally now, the trackers are no more, since panels are much less expensive, and trackers jam, break and need maintenance.
    Not if you know what you are doing and have experience :) :)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
    I could make a pretty good case for trackers if I ever did grid-tie solar at my city place.

    In spring/summer, there's a pretty wide azimuth range at my lat. Although pv may be cheaper these days, real estate with viable solar certainly isn't, so more panels isn't a realistic possibility.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,457 ✭✭✭✭
    Estragon said:
    I could make a pretty good case for trackers if I ever did grid-tie solar at my city place.

    In spring/summer, there's a pretty wide azimuth range at my lat. Although pv may be cheaper these days, real estate with viable solar certainly isn't, so more panels isn't a realistic possibility.
    There are many reliable systems in commercial that are growing and so I disagree with Mike. Yes most of the amateur home brew stuff are just toys that we see out there. I don't use anything like that.

    I also like being fully charged everyday and I probably have 20 days or more days a year that the first hour or the last hour of a lousy solar day and bingo, the sun pops thru and 6KW of solar has to get to work. I love it when that happens! 

    Up on mountains I use virtual trackers (and have since the 80's for HP on my first tracker) to get above 90 knots of wind/snow loading.


    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,697 ✭✭✭✭
    Have lived in S. Dakota and loved the state. Smarter people and lower crime as a rule.

    Sunny and cool is great for solar and batteries. Hope it all works out!
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 747 ✭✭✭✭
    mike95490 said:
    Generally now, the trackers are no more, since panels are much less expensive, and trackers jam, break and need maintenance.
    Not if you know what you are doing and have experience :) :)

    My neighbor in Baja has a 20 year old Freon (I think) based tracker. It works beautifully. I was chatting with him one morning as it was resetting itself. Cool watching it flopping back to the east.  Being that we are on the beach I doubt any electronic based trackers would survive the salt conditions, The only maintenance he does on this tracker is to grease a few joints periodically.

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 700 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,457 ✭✭✭✭
    If a sailboat full of electronics can survive on the ocean 10 years, I am sure  a DC tracker can survive on a beach. (because I have done both)
    It just take design and implementation skill. B)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,697 ✭✭✭✭
    Liveaboard sailing = fixing a boat in exotic locations. Read that somewhere....a few times. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,457 ✭✭✭✭
    It is somewhat overrated the reading about boats. Much better doing it!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

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