Solar Power (part 5)

Written by peterkienle on January 24, 2009

(continued from part 4)

Alright, so I’ve been a bit busy. Two weeks ago Alex came over with his friend Ken to put up the mounting brackets for the PV panels. For that they set up the scaffolding.

Here the panels are neatly laid out in our front yard. $1200 a piece! I sure hope none of my neighbors comes around the curve too fast with his truck and flattens these.

Now the electric connectors are put in.

All six panels are mounted! Even though both the brackets and the panels are not that heavy individually together it’s about 200 pounds sitting on top of the post. We didn’t know it at that time but the surface would stay horizontal for two weeks until the final inspection by the power company. Since this is a grid-tied system any electricity coming from the PV array that is not used in the house goes out, through the electric meter, onto the grid. In case of a blackout on the grid they need to be absolutely sure that the inverter will disconnect the panels from the grid so they can repair the line without having their workers fried.

The inside of the inverter while the last connections are made.

This is a pretty cool piece of engineering. It shows you how much power is produced in Watts, displays voltage, daily production (or more correctly from power-up when there is enough current from the panels to shut-down when the sun goes down). It also shows you how much carbon emissions were saved (or offset).

So now everything is ready to go. But we have to wait with the official commissioning until our electric utility people come for an inspection and some insurance stuff is cleared up. It’s like Christmas: You know where the presents are hidden, and even know what it is…..
(I did turn it on a few times just to see)

(to be continued)

Copyright © by Peter Kienle