What are you generating?

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  • dreesdrees ✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 481 ✭✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?

    May data:

    Total for month: 605 kWh
    Max day: 22.8 kWh
    Min day: 5.4 kWh
    Average: 19.5 kWh

    System as in sig: 3.24 kW DC
  • a0128958a0128958 ✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 316 ✭✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?

    My summary for my 8.1 KW (DC) installed system, for the past 30 days:

    34 kWh/day on average
    daily max for the period is 45 kWh

    If you look at average kWh generated each day, for the 30 period, and divide it by the installed (DC) kW, I'm at 4.2 kWh/kW. This is of course affected by length of days at the moment, weather (it's very hot in Dallas at the moment) and design (I have multiple panel orientations per string, and multiple strings going into one common inverter).

    I'm impressed with what dress is getting out of his installed capacity of 3.24 kW (DC), on average, that being 6.0 kWh/kW. My guess is it's due to 3 things:

    1. Weather isn't as hot
    2. Design is better
    3. Each Enphase unit is doing its job.

    6.0 kWh/kW is 43% more production out of installed capacity than what I can get at the moment (4.2 kWh/kW). Nice job.

    Best regards,

    Bill
  • nvysealnvyseal ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 108 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?

    IT is really interesting to see what others are generating.

    Solar Dave really is cranking out the juice, and i really find it amazing in the Arizona heat. Last couple of days its been hazy/smoggy (I can't tell) and hot, and i've noticed a 2kwh/day drop in production.

    Drees is doing quite well, i'd be interested to know if his system is providing his home with 100% plus surplus.

    a0128958 Since your panels are facing different orientations, what is your best harvest season, and what is your average daily generation throughout a Jan-Dec Period?
  • solar_davesolar_dave ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 2,344 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?
    nvyseal wrote: »
    IT is really interesting to see what others are generating.

    Solar Dave really is cranking out the juice, and i really find it amazing in the Arizona heat. Last couple of days its been hazy/smoggy (I can't tell) and hot, and i've noticed a 2kwh/day drop in production.

    Drees is doing quite well, i'd be interested to know if his system is providing his home with 100% plus surplus.

    a0128958 Since your panels are facing different orientations, what is your best harvest season, and what is your average daily generation throughout a Jan-Dec Period?

    I hear you I am down about 4kWh a day as well and the ambient temps midday are now hitting 100F+, Yesterday was a 69kWh day and the high temp was 100F. Depending on who you listen to temps are slated to hit 110F on Sunday.
  • a0128958a0128958 ✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 316 ✭✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?
    nvyseal wrote: »
    Since your panels are facing different orientations, what is your best harvest season, and what is your average daily generation throughout a Jan-Dec Period?

    My best harvest season is so far appearing to be Spring and Fall. I don't have enough data to be sure, yet, but early indications are as such. This makes sense for my climate, as the Dallas summer days get very hot, and thus the heat is offsetting the otherwise benefit of longer hours of sun availability.

    This chart shows how daily kWh output has 'slowed down' a little now that it's really hot in spite of the longest day of the year coming up (June 21st):

    DailySolarEnergyProduction2.gif

    My installation didn't start producing until mid-Feb. so I don't have a 12 monthls rolling averge generation number yet.

    Best regards,

    Bill
  • CaptTurboCaptTurbo ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 66 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?

    For the month of May:1791.25 kwh. Average per day was: 55.8 kwh. Highest day was 62.36 kwh. We had a few short power outages (one was six hours and struck at 12:00 pm) during the month during which I could not "sell" so that lowered the numbers a little.

    Power generation is down from the eleven day period which the system was running in April. The average was above 60 kwh and the highest day was about 65 kwh.

    The heat, clouds, and haze of Summer are having a clear affect on output here in SW Florida but the last bill we got a couple days ago show that I have a 257.00 credit from the utility.
  • nvysealnvyseal ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 108 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?

    I ordered my TED 5002-G today! :D It will be nice to see the data logging via the display and also be able to put my progress on the internet. I might need some help from Solar Dave on this. :roll:
  • dreesdrees ✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 481 ✭✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?
    a0128958 wrote: »
    I'm impressed with what dress is getting out of his installed capacity of 3.24 kW (DC), on average, that being 6.0 kWh/kW. My guess is it's due to 3 things:

    1. Weather isn't as hot
    Pretty mild weather here - typically 70-75*F. So that's probably about 5% bonus for me due to temperature (usually about 0.3%/degree C).
    a0128958 wrote: »
    2. Design is better
    All my panels are on one facet (not that it matters with Enphase), mounted basically flat (3* west) only slight shading in the last couple hours from trees in the west that move over the array. Output/panel is generally about 40-45W before the shade starts hitting some panels, about 800W total, I'd estimate that the shading costs me at most 1 kWh/day. Could probably get a better estimate if I tried...
    a0128958 wrote: »
    3. Each Enphase unit is doing its job.
    Seem to be - I usually see a max power output difference of nearly 5% between the highest performing and lowest performing panel. Plus I get a bit extra with the bit of shading I get late in the day.
    nvyseal wrote: »
    Drees is doing quite well, i'd be interested to know if his system is providing his home with 100% plus surplus.
    We seem to be using about 450 kWh/month right now. Generated 539 kWh in May and 605 kWh in June so we are slightly ahead now that the days are long and sun is over head. Winter time we will probably produce about half what we use.

    Designed the system to just about balance our electricity usage, but the damn heat-pump we installed a couple months before we installed the solar has a sump heater for the compressor which appears to add 50-75 kWh to our monthly usage (yeah, that's 70-100W!) even when not using the darn thing. Need to figure out how to measure the actual power draw on that thing with something that can log power draw for at least a couple weeks.
  • BB.BB. admin Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,629 admin
    Re: What are you generating?

    Regarding the heat pump--There was another thread here that discussed that many units have a small heater in the heat pump sump (or thereabouts?) to drive out the liquid refrigerant from the oil in the crankcase (as I remember--don't quote me on this).

    If the heat pump will not be used for a period of time, then cut the power to the system--and turn the power on a few hours before you intend to start the heat pump up again (check owner's manual--I am not a HVAC guy).

    Not sure otherwise if you can "play with the heater" (add a differential temp sensor--sump just has to be X degrees hotter than balance of system--shut heater down when pump is operating, etc.).

    Would be interesting to hear what the manufacturer thinks about trying to reduce standby/system power drains for conservation.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • TickTockTickTock Registered Users Posts: 16
    Re: What are you generating?

    The 10K Fronius inverter just works. No complaints there. 2 5K's should work just as well, but I picked the single 10K just from personal preference (neater install). One of the main reasons I picked the Fronius was it had the highest ambient temperature rating (it regularly hits 110F in the summers here in Phoenix and Fronius was the only inverter I found that was rated there).
  • dreesdrees ✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 481 ✭✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?
    BB. wrote: »
    Regarding the heat pump--There was another thread here that discussed that many units have a small heater in the heat pump sump
    Yep you remember correctly.. (trying not to drag this thread off-topic...
    BB. wrote: »
    If the heat pump will not be used for a period of time, then cut the power to the system--and turn the power on a few hours before you intend to start the heat pump up again (check owner's manual--I am not a HVAC guy).
    Most recommend about 24-hours before using it. Unfortunately, I use the furnace portion of the system as a fan/central air filter (draws 40w on) and pulling the disconnect on the outdoor compressor causes the thermostat to light up light a christmas tree when it figures out that the compressor isn't on (it's an advanced communicating Trane unit).
    BB. wrote: »
    Would be interesting to hear what the manufacturer thinks about trying to reduce standby/system power drains for conservation.
    Me too - I'll send them a note though my installer never responded to my email about it...
  • solar_davesolar_dave ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 2,344 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?

    We hit our first real bout of AC usage this weekend and it looks like we are into the major cooling season.
    Temps yesterday were 105F and predicted to be 108F today.
    Saturday and Sunday were down 5-6 kWh of generation per day due to panel temps.
    Net usage was in the over the generation the last 4 days with the worst being yesterday at 20kWh drawn off the grid and 68 kWh generated.
    This is very close to my predictions for my system needs on banked power of 25kWh per day for 120 days starting about now.
    I now have the higher 3 ton 17.5 seer AC unit (using 2100 watts) set to 1 degree less than 2 ton 10 seer unit (using 4000+ watts). It looks like the 17.5 seer ran at 100% duty cycle from 14:00 to 19:00 hours yesterday and the 10 seer unit supplementing it with about a 40-50% duty cycle. Man I have to get rid of that old AC unit.

    If my usage on peak grows much I will be looking for some more load shifting to off peak, like running the AC hard before start of TOU on-peak to coast a ways into the day.


    Edit:
    Looks like my change to the AC system saved 4kWh yesterday on a 4F hotter day. While not apples to apples because of other added loads yesterday (wife) I would say it was successful.
  • solar_davesolar_dave ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 2,344 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?

    Nice, Utility was here today and approved my 2160 watt panel addition, (hehe been running it for a while anyway) wish I had my camera ready, the inspectors were to hot chicks! :D Me likes eye candy when they say Yes! ;);)

    Now the wait for the rebate check. :p
  • soloronesolorone ✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 254 ✭✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?

    Very interesting thread, seems there are some very awesome setups out there.

    Just one question, what is an inexpensive meter I can use to measure production.

    I simply take an amp reading right now, but it would be nice to have a total days input starting form when the trackers turn over.
  • solar_davesolar_dave ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 2,344 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?
    solorone wrote: »
    Very interesting thread, seems there are some very awesome setups out there.

    Just one question, what is an inexpensive meter I can use to measure production.

    I simply take an amp reading right now, but it would be nice to have a total days input starting form when the trackers turn over.

    If your willing to go through the setup hassles of a TED5000 it can probably do most all your measuring.

    See my signature.
  • BB.BB. admin Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,629 admin
    Re: What are you generating?

    The Doc Wattson can measure up to 60-100 amps... And will give you Amp*Hours / Watt*Hours. $60 or so + shipping/etc. About the cheapest I have seen.

    Many of the higher end solar charge controllers have their own logging functions... However, they may not be that accurate (sometimes errors are in the 10-30% range).

    And, you can pop the meter apart and install a larger shunt if needed (voids meter warranty, also you will have to multiply the meter reading with a different shunt).

    Bring out the meter power lead and put a switch on it--and you can manually reset the meter every evening.

    You could install a shunt and use some other logging instrument (from programmable DVM's to some sort of USB or computer loggers).

    And there are battery monitors--pretty handy in their own right for monitoring battery state current, Amp*Hours, etc.

    -Bill

    Note the TED is an AC monitor (uses small current transformers to log current flow). Will not work on a DC system.

    I think you are looking for a DC logger?
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • soloronesolorone ✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 254 ✭✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?

    Thanks.
    I think the TED is TMI for me.

    Doc Wattson sounds like computer software. :<)
    I looked at the wiring setup, only battery layout shown. They state many other configurations can be used so I assume if I Wire it into the negative array input it will give me the watts. Not a bad price.
  • BB.BB. admin Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,629 admin
    Re: What are you generating?

    Doc Wattson is a stand alone meter. There is no user programming involved. If your maximum current is 60 amps--then there are no shunt modifications/manual multiplication needed.

    The shunt is in the negative lead so you can power the meter with just the positive power lead--And it also has external power connections if you wish. Very handy if your array is >60 VDC and/or you want to keep the meter alive after sundown / night.

    Here are a few ways of connecting the meter.

    I believe the meter stock wiring is only 14 awg--and they recommend 50 amps max, and 100 amp peak current.

    If your array is fairly large--I would really look at taking the meter apart and using an external 100 amp shunt with appropriate sized wiring. 14 amps is way smaller that I would use on a heavy current circuit (>>20 amps).

    I have not had one of these meters in my hands--so I cannot say how easy it would be to modify (they tell you how to pop the cases apart on the website).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • AntronXAntronX ✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 462 ✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?
    BB. wrote: »
    The shunt is in the negative lead so you can power the meter with just the positive power lead--And it also has external power connections if you wish. Very handy if your array is >60 VDC and/or you want to keep the meter alive after sundown / night.

    60V is the maximum voltage this meter can measure. External power is for measuring less than 4V and for keeping meter alive with no voltage across power leads. It may be possible to use 10:1 voltage divider made of precision temperature stable resistors (Vishay/Dale makes some). Then the meter may read up to 600V PV array DC voltage. Watts reading would have to be multiplied by 10.
  • JburgessJburgess ✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 130 ✭✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?
    solar_dave wrote: »
    If your willing to go through the setup hassles of a TED5000 it can probably do most all your measuring.

    +1 on the setup hassles and +1 on the measuring.

    I got my Ted5004 on Friday and have figured out most of the bugs. Reults are great. I produced 56 KW yesterday with one cloud event.

    Found out my house has a baseline of about 900 watts, That's my project for next weekend.

    Still need to figure out how to get the weather information to fill on the dashboard.
  • solar_davesolar_dave ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 2,344 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?
    Jburgess wrote: »
    +1 on the setup hassles and +1 on the measuring.

    I got my Ted5004 on Friday and have figured out most of the bugs. Reults are great. I produced 56 KW yesterday with one cloud event.

    Found out my house has a baseline of about 900 watts, That's my project for next weekend.

    Still need to figure out how to get the weather information to fill on the dashboard.

    Something @ weather.com changed and the TED guys are looking for an alternate for that.
    you can search here for most any issue:
    http://server17.hosting24.com/~sherlock/techforum/index.php/board,2.0.html

    I used mine to track down some vampire/steady state loads, got mine down as low as 357 watts overnight, I figure that is pretty good considering 3 ceiling fans operating with 2 MAC minis and a Macbook pro in sleep mode and one MAC mini operating 7X24, plus a fridge (needs to be replaced with energy star) and a deep freeze (just replaced with a energy star model).

    Daytime loads jump to about 1000-1200 watts with TV, lights ... and the MACs in use, Not including the AC.

    The only issue I have with the TED is getting a handle on the TOU data, and analyzing different "what if" scenarios. I am now using the API to collect the data every hour for some post processing.
  • a0128958a0128958 ✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 316 ✭✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?
    solar_dave wrote: »
    "My TED 5000 system
    Sticking it to the power company one watt at a time!
    60 Ningbo Electric 175 watt panels and 12 Canadian Solar 180 watt panels with 2 PVP 5200 Inverters"

    Solar_dave, this morning I looked at your TED produced monitoring information and charts. Nice job! I wish my monitoring system would have some of the features you have.

    Best regards,

    Bill
  • solar_davesolar_dave ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 2,344 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?
    a0128958 wrote: »
    Solar_dave, this morning I looked at your TED produced monitoring information and charts. Nice job! I wish my monitoring system would have some of the features you have.

    Best regards,

    Bill

    Yeah one nice TED feature is that it collects the data every 1 or 2 sec, so you get pretty good resolution. Another nice thing is it runs off the TED appliance consuming less that 10 watts (supposedly) so no dedicated web server host is required. The appliance loads a bunch of java into your browser and just sends data so com requirements are pretty low as well once loaded, in fact I think it is 10mbit half duplex.
  • JburgessJburgess ✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 130 ✭✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?
    solar_dave wrote: »
    The only issue I have with the TED is getting a handle on the TOU data, and analyzing different "what if" scenarios. I am now using the API to collect the data every hour for some post processing.

    If I understand right you are wanting on and off peak usage? That is on my want list too.

    Other things are total cunsumption, I have to add MTU 1 and MTU 2 to get this. Another is total production, I have to add MT 3 and MT 4 to get that.

    The other is for all the MTUs to read biderectional. They assume everything is one direction, so the nightime "vampire load" of my inverters is read as production.

    Figured out defroster is stuck on one fridge already and found a bunch of "warts" for things long gone still plugged in. Definatly need to look into a energy starr fridge, mine is 18 years old.
  • solar_davesolar_dave ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 2,344 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?
    Jburgess wrote: »
    If I understand right you are wanting on and off peak usage? That is on my want list too.

    Other things are total cunsumption, I have to add MTU 1 and MTU 2 to get this. Another is total production, I have to add MT 3 and MT 4 to get that.

    The other is for all the MTUs to read biderectional. They assume everything is one direction, so the nightime "vampire load" of my inverters is read as production.

    Figured out defroster is stuck on one fridge already and found a bunch of "warts" for things long gone still plugged in. Definatly need to look into a energy starr fridge, mine is 18 years old.

    YEah I want to analyze the different TOU options offered by my utility. I am currently grandfathered into a 9AM to 9PM Mon-Fri peak usage. If I change off that I am not able to go back, the issue is I have some off peak that I still have to pay out of pocket for since my off peak generation is not covering my costs. How ever the off peak charges per kWh are less than what the utility would pay for the excess generation at the end of the year. I will know more come the first week of July as to the impact on the bill with the night time AC usage.
  • RavsRavs Registered Users Posts: 13
    Re: What are you generating?

    Solar_Dave-

    I am on TOU with my utility, and I, too, have struggled deciding what the best route for me to go is....remain on TOU and get much lower payback rate from Xcel Energy, or switch to flat rate and pay higher all-around usage, but also much higher payback. I will be a posting fool in the next few weeks as my system gets installed here in the Twin Cities area and sharing my experience with the big utility. Stay tuned.
  • nvysealnvyseal ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 108 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?
    Ravs wrote: »
    Solar_Dave-

    I will be a posting fool in the next few weeks as my system gets installed here in the Twin Cities area and sharing my experience with the big utility. Stay tuned.

    Sweet! we're looking forward to your results. Nice to see another home not dependent on oil and coal
  • tallgirltallgirl ✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 413 ✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?

    I just made my 7th megawatt-hour yesterday.

    For peeps who want to see charts, have some charts --

    http://data.digitalgnomon.com/users/tallgirl/gmChart.php

    As regards the TED 5000, my experience is "Not ready for Prime Time (unless you have experience with them, or know people who do)".
  • AntronXAntronX ✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 462 ✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?
    tallgirl wrote: »
    For peeps who want to see charts, have some charts --

    http://data.digitalgnomon.com/users/tallgirl/gmChart.php

    Nice chart except that with bar graph, it's hard to visualize the relationship between the data. I think line graph would be much more pleasing to the eye (or brain?).
  • AntronXAntronX ✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 462 ✭✭
    Re: What are you generating?

    illustrated: original and modified versions.
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