It's finally here

Discussion in 'Energy & Electricity' started by dahur, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. dahur

    dahur Well-Known Member

    After waiting forever (it seems), we finally got our solar.
    It's a 3.6kw with 16 225w panels, each panel with an EnPhase microinverter.
    Here in southern NM, we're rated at around 6.5 sun hours per day, and 310 sun days per year. With the REC's, and net metering, we expect to be zero'd out for the year.
  2. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    Wow, that's awesome!

  3. dahur

    dahur Well-Known Member

  4. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member


    If you should decide that it's not working out for you, let me know. I'll come haul it away for you. No Charge. :D :peep:
  5. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

    Welcome to the solar club, very nice set-up. Did you do the install yourself. Are you grid-tied or off-grid. I'm actually closer than UncleJoe and can get it sooner if you decide you don't want them.:dunno::D:D

    The more I read with what he stated, it sounds like it is grid-tied do to the "net metering", and most likely batteryless.
    System Owners - More Info - Products - Enphase Energy

    Video... Enphase Energy
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  6. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    16 panels at 225 watt each!!! That just brings out the drool-factor!

    If you don't mind the question, what kind of cost did you outlay for that, are you charging batteries or are you just supplying the grid during daylight-hours and pulling from the grid during nightlight-hours?
  7. Expeditioner

    Expeditioner Well-Known Member

    :congrat: Very nice indeed!!!! I have the same questions as BunkerBob.
  8. dahur

    dahur Well-Known Member

    Bob, thanks.
    Yes grid-tied, and yes batteryless. Sunspot Solar out of Las Cruces did the install.
  9. dahur

    dahur Well-Known Member

    Since most are interested in the numbers, I don't mind.
    Upfront cost $27,400
    End cost after Fed, and NM tax credits $16,400
    The 12 year contract I signed with PNM says they pay me 13 cents for every KW I generate, I pay them 9 cents for what we use, so yes grid-tied.
    Sunspot Solar has guaranteed us to make at least 6200 AC KW per year, or they will pay us the difference. We use more KW than that, but with the REC's and net metering, we are expecting a surplus over the year.
    If we generate more than we use, up to $20 worth for the month, PNM credits our next month's bill. If we produce more than $20, on top of what we use, they send us a check and zero out the balance.
    At this time, we have no battery backup. If we start to lose power regularly, I'll have to consider it.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  10. ant00

    ant00 New Member

    WOW, great rates in NM. I have 30 KW solar and 2 wind turbines. Still grid tied until I can get my barn built and room for batteries. We have the cheapest rate to purchase back in the country I guess, .15 to buy from them and only .04 for what we send back into the grid. Texas offers nothing as rebate, most regional rebates in Texas are gone also. I did get the 30% credti back from fed rebate, except it can not be used against self employment taxes as a credti, so no w-2 wages no tax credit. Its sitting there because it rolls over, I guess as long as the gov stays open.
    I did not do it for the tax credits or to stay grid attached. It the weather will work with me and I can get my barn constructed, my plans are for battery back that powers my place for 3 days with no sun.
  11. trkarl

    trkarl Member

    Awesome Dahur!! :2thumb:

    What kind of racks are those? Can't wait to see what you are producing every day.

    You will like having a battery backup when the power goes out. Most of the time we don't even know it's out. Mine is off grid because when I built it because grid tie was not allowed at our elec. co.

    We have several outages every summer with the thunder storms so it really comes in handy.

  12. saintsfanbrian

    saintsfanbrian Liberty or Death!!!!

    That is awesome. I hope to be with you guys one day...
  13. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    I noticed that you have a fire-extinguisher in the back corner of the room. Is it easily accessable without reaching over the batteries and is it large enough to put a possible electrical fire in that room? To me (as an outsider) it just doesn't look like a good spot for it to be positioned in.

    Otherwise, I like how you have that setup! :wave:
  14. trkarl

    trkarl Member

    Actually there are several in the garage. No particular reason it is there other than I just happened to set it there when I constantly move things around but you are right, it shouldn't be setting above the batteries. :eek:oops:
  15. dahur

    dahur Well-Known Member


    Hi, and thanks.
    The ground mount system was manufactured by Unirac.
    It is galvanized pipe cemented 3 ft and good for 100 mph.

    Energy independence is very important to me-my goal is to someday be completely off of fossil fuels. This is just the first step.
    I haven't seen many talk about this, but I was thinking when we get an EV, if we have a power outage why couldn't we use the onboard battery of the EV to back feed power into the house, via an inverter, same as a battery bank would.
    Just a thought.
    Nice set up BTW.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  16. trkarl

    trkarl Member

    People have done that with the Prius.

    Tech-Savvy Prius Owner Uses Hybrid To Power House During Snow Storm
  17. dahur

    dahur Well-Known Member

    [ame=]YouTube - Our meter spinning backwards[/ame]

    It's just short of 100 degrees here right now, and the solar panels are putting out 2788 w/hr. on the 3.6 KW system.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  18. dahur

    dahur Well-Known Member

    Screen shot of our production as of 1:05 this afternoon.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010
  19. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    Rates are cheaper here in Indiana, and there are a LOT less incentives,
    Primarily we have 'Net metering' and the utility doesn't pay you a dime for any excess production you put on the grid...

    The first one I did was just to charge my little electric truck (Converted S-15 pickup),
    The second one I did was a grid inter-tied system with no batteries, 4 panels.
    Payoff should have been around 20 years.
    With rate hikes, the system paid for it's self in just over 9 years.

    Now we are out of town, I'm off grid, and with 12 tracking panels, I'm powering up the house, pumping water and keeping two electric vehicles charged.
    (Golf cart and S-15 conversion)

    I do use my 4 oldest oldest panels to power up the garden/hot tub water pumps and that seems to work OK,

    The 12 new panels do a VERY good job, but couldn't keep up with heavy usage,
    So with a little re-arrangement, I now track the sun during the day,
    Production is up about 40%, and my 12 panels do the work of what would have taken 18 to do!

    I simply could not believe the production increases I gained from Pan/Tilt to sun track for inclination & angle!
    Well worth the roughly $300 it took to make the hinges, and control motor system.

    Adding another 6 panels to achieve that 40% to 50% output would have run me about $500 a panel, or around $3,000,
    And for $300 I have maximized the output to compensate.

    I have space for 48 panels (Minus what I'm using for two 4'x8' home made solar thermal panels for hot water) so I have Plenty of expansion room,
    But making me pry loose the bucks for the expansion stuck in my craw, so I went this route thinking I would gain 10% to maybe 15%, but it's REALLY paid off!


    Dahur, what tracking program are you using!
    Wish mine looked like that, mine is older and only keeps track of total production...
    Do you have sensors at each panel for those reading inputs?
    Did the panels come with them or are they 'Add Ons' you installed?
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2010