Sunday, May 17, 2009

Renewable Generation!

Hey all-

The solar electric system finally got fired up on Monday! Yes, we are now generating energy.

Brief System Description:
  • 42 BP 4175 roof mounted modules, canted at 20 degrees, Rated Power 175 W
  • 4 Romag custom overhang modules
  • Single insulated conductor MC USE-2 cables are used to connect the modules
  • There are 3 inverter groupings
  • Total System 7.8 kilowatt solar array
  • Grid-tied
As of Friday, we generated 129 kW. For those same five days we only used 97 kW for both homes. For the previous week, when the solar was not hooked up, we used175 kW for both homes.

I look forward to charting this data and will continue to share the information.

Thank you to all the volunteers who helped make this happen! Below are pictures of the system being turned on!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Visitors from Mexico

On Friday, March 6th we had a wonderful group of students from a technical school in Mexico come visit our home. They will be participating in the 2010 International Solar Decathlon competition. Dason Whitsett, from the 2005 UT SNAP house team gave the students a tour of the home and provided first hand insight about the building design, mechanical systems, and overall experience.

The students really enjoyed the experience, as did I, since it was the first time a alumni of the SNAP house has been by to share their story. We welcome others!

Here are some images of that day.

Solar Water and PV Electrical Update- a bit of clarity

It seems that there was a blurb in communication between us and BCDC about how the new hot water system will be working. According to Blackland, "The Harden House will continue to get heated water from the Solar House tank but will have a gas heater as backup if the water is too cool. In essence, the Solar House system will act to "pre-heat" the Harden House water."

There will be no shut off valves between the two units, like we indicated in the previous post and diagram. So, essentially the the flash heater (and its high usage of electric) is still part of the equation.

As far as connecting the Solar Electrical system working the latest news from BCDC is: "The PV panels need a final inspection which requires a plaque be placed on the solar meter box. Eric Kay has the data from Aaron Cloninger and is to get the plaque made soon. But he also needs to reinstate the electric permit that lapsed Feb. 1. With those done, we can hopefuly flip the switch."