Finally up and running

Well I finally got my system up and running. It is a 5100watt grid tied system.
I made 18kwhs the first day 16kwhs and 12 kwhs yesterday. Does that sound about right for this time of year? Any comments or questions welcome.

Comments

  • autoxsteveautoxsteve Solar Expert Posts: 114 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Finally up and running

    might be right. need your location....

    also, this thread could use some pictures.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,218 admin
    Re: Finally up and running

    It is all weather dependent as to what is good one day or the next...

    Here are a couple places that have been linked to numerous times... This first one is an average of over 20-30 years of data. I like the PDF files because they also give variance bands of the average per month and per year. It kind of makes me relax a bit when I can see a two to one ratio for winter month daily collections over multiple decades. I don't freak out over one December where my 3.5 kW (3.0 kW PTC Grid Tie rated) array generated 134 kWhr and the next year, December did 213 kWhrs.

    The second link lets you calculate your average months/year based on your panel's physics and size. For my area (SF, CA), the predictions for winter months are a bit high (i.e., 246kWr vs 134 and 213 measured for two years) and for summer months a bit low. The overall is about dead-on.

    I just keep an eye on the "local" peak days and make sure that they all sort of agree (right now, around 11-12 kWhrs on cool sunny day--although, there have been dark rainy days where I do not even get 1 kWhr). In the summer, my peak days are around 15-17 kWhr--but once in a while I can get 19 kWhrs.

    Watching/logging the peak days gives you an idea that everything is just fine (you won't make your peak days if there is a dead panel/string/failing inverter). Fretting over the lesser days with less clear skies (and/or warmer weather)--there is nothing you can really do (other than maybe washing your panels...).

    -Bill

    For LA CA, Feb. with a 5.1 kW (peak stc name plate) system, you will average 562 kWhr/FEB or ~18.7 kWhrs per day... So, I would guess your weather has been a bit cloudy for a few of those days. Or, you have some other issues (shading, site orientation, etc.) that I have not accounted for in my first guess. But, it sounds like you are off to a good start.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nigtomdawnigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705 ✭✭
    Re: Finally up and running

    John Im off grid and have got just a smidge under half your arrary size 2.4 kw 2 days ago we had a real sunny day quite cool so I checked my harvest and saw 8.1 kwhr that was a good days production Im in sunny north east Spain latitude 41 degrees which is the same angle my panels are set at more or less fixed, So just inbetween your first two figures, if that helps.

    Nigel, enjoy your system, pictures would be nice also !
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Finally up and running

    I live in Jacksonvile Florida. I will post some pics tomorrow when I get home. Thanks for the links.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,962 ✭✭✭
    Re: Finally up and running

    What is your panels, inverter type and panel mount & orientation?

    Offhand, sound reasonable. I have a 5100 watt array with a Xantrex GT5.0 and see similar kWh. Last few day have been variable with lots of clouds here in Lakeland FL.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Finally up and running

    I have 30 BP 170 watt panels with 2 2500 watt solectria inverters. It is a ground mount system.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,962 ✭✭✭
    Re: Finally up and running

    Huh, what made you go with the solectria inverters? not very impressive specs
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Finally up and running

    Solectria are the inverters the company that put the system in went with probably to save money. But, they seem to be working just fine. Here is a pic of the ground mount going together. I am up to a total of 116kwh since 3:00pm Monday afternoon.My system is not mounted true south it is more SSE because of too many trees being in the way true south.http://s203.photobucket.com/albums/aa100/rgraf/solar%20system/?action=view&current=MOV03567.flv
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,962 ✭✭✭
    Re: Finally up and running

    For our Florida weather, the more east the better. I have 5+kWh arrays both south/south east and south/south west. The east array outperform the west arrays more than 30%, lower tempatures and less clouds in the AM.

    The solectria inverters have a very limited voltage range and low efficiency compared to the major inverter manufactures. I also have no data to say how the mppt is in our florida weather ( lots of fast moving clouds ) which is the hardest condition mppt faces.

    http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/erprebate/inverter_tests/summaries/Solectria%20PVI2500-240.pdf

    http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/erprebate/inverter_tests/summaries/Xantrex%20GT5.0.pdf


    You could have done the exact panels with a single Xantrex GT5.0 and is lower cost, better efficiency and free ability to data log the system using rs232., very handy if your questioning the systems performance.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Finally up and running Pics added

    I just added some more Pics.http://s203.photobucket.com/albums/aa100/rgraf/solar%20system/?mediafilter=all
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Finally up and running

    hmmm. when were these pics taken as i see the sun setting behind the pvs?
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,962 ✭✭✭
    Re: Finally up and running

    Placing that inverter rack next to the PV might cause some shading in the summer months as we get @270 degrees of sun movement that time of year. And for your inverters, fan cooled at 2500 watts? ... also the inverter rack will be termite food ... even PT doesn't make it 10 years down here and the plywood looks untreated.


    Neil, the array is E/SE , actually a good thing for Florida
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