Archive for the 'Solar Install' category

Huge So-Cal EV Charging station

Dec 20 2011 Published by under Future things, Sloar, Solar Install, Uncategorized

 

Above is a photo of the Southern California Edison demonstration electric vehicle charging station in Irwindale California . This is a huge charging station with eight SAE J1772 EVSE and four old style inductive paddle chargers.  That is twelve charging stations, each with it’s own dedicated parking space.

The twelve parking spaces are covered by very large PV solar (300 panels) array that can produce 35,000 kWh per year. Or enough electricity to drive 10,000 miles a year.

Her is a photo look up at the PV solar array.

Could not believe that all eight SAE J1772 EVSE station were unused.

 

This is all the support equipment for the L2 and L1 stations.  When I first saw all these electrical cabinets and the ladder with supplies I though they might be installing a L3 charging station, but no such luck.

The EVSe are all part of the Charge Point network so you can check the status and avaiable on-line using the Charge Point website.

Just an interesting note:

I did not realize that this Southern California Edison location, in Irwindale California, was the same location of a employee shooting were four people were injured or killed. And I’am this dumb bozo taking pictures of the Edison building, walking around like nothing happens. I was wondering why there were so many security guards around.  But no one approached me are stopped me from taking the photos. It was not until later, on the freeway going home, that I heard a news story about the shooting and they said it was the Irwindale location, where I was.

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Solar – Monitoring System

Feb 19 2011 Published by under Geek stuff, Sloar, Solar Install

What fun is a new solar co-generation facility if you do not know what your are producing. The Sunpower system come with a few bell and whistles in the monitoring area.

The first monitoring device is a small glass display panel that shows what the system is producing. It displays daily and life time production.

 

Then there is the website that Sunpower monitors hour by hour solar panel production. Pretty cool to see what your system is doing at different times through the day. The information is presented in a very elegant and simple manner. Very easy to grasp the concept.  Its is so simple that you do not realize the wealth of information.

But there was a problem in paradise. How can I manage my electrical usage only seeing what I’m producing?  Well Sunpower has a solution. They can add a device to your incomong electrical street service and add consumption to your monitoring system.

So now I get both production and usage hour by hour.  You would be surprised how aware this make you of what and when you are using  electricity. Now that I get the full picture I can start managing usage much more effectively and know if I we are using more then was produced or producing more then we were usinging.

solar panel monthly production and usage

Yearly solar panel production

Some of the additional cool stuff the website also captures is historical data. You can quickly look at the graph that runs along the bottom of the page or you can look at monthly and yearly production vs usage.

You can also go back in time and look and any given day and see all the details of production vs usage. Very nice for comparisons when you are trying different techniques of managing usage.

 

But the best and coolest monitoring is available using an iPhone application. On the iPhone you get the current day production vs usage, plus monthly and yearly history. The big ting missing on the iPhone is the ability to go back and look at previous days.

 

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Solar – Photovoltaic Panels

Dec 09 2010 Published by under Geek stuff, Sloar, Solar Install

All the panels are delivered in a small container.

Inside the container the panels are stacked on a pallet with the inverters and all the mounts.

The solar PV panels are packed two to a cardboard box.

The solar PV panels are packed two to a cardboard box.

On the  back of each PV panel is the connection modal with a male and female weather proof connector.

Here is a shot of the PV panels installed on the roof

All 32 PV panels installed on the room making power

Roof mounted photovoltaic solar panels

Next the monitoring system.

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Solar – the Electronics

Nov 15 2010 Published by under American Consumer, Sloar, Solar Install

The collection box: This device is used to collect all the power from the various photovoltaic arrays. The panels are wired up, in series, to create several groups  or arrays. each array puts out about 600 volts DC.  The connection box feeds the wires through attic to the inverters.

 

 

This system has two inverters due the number of PV panels and the desired expansions options.  The inverter take the DC power created by the  photovoltaic panels and covert it in to 240v AC power. These inverters are a little more sophisticated then the inverters you use in you car to get 110 power. These are full sign-wave inverters. A fail-safe system is built into the inverters to shut down if the street service is interrupted.   The interruption is to protect any power Company employee that is working to restoring the main grid.

Two inverter introduces a problem as both inverter takes up two slots in the electrical panel.  I was lucky and had the space in the panel. We had upgraded to a 200amp panel two years earlier in preparation and anticipation of adding solar.

There are also some advantages to having to inverters. If one inverter fails you do not loose all your power production abilities.  Half of you system will still be producing usable power. The other advantage is the cost less to replace if one fails.

Next the photovoltaic panels.

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Solar – off with the roof

Oct 15 2010 Published by under Geek stuff, Sloar, Solar Install

 

 

This is not your normal instalation of photovoltaic panels. In a normal install, on a concrete tile roof, the photovoltaic panels are install on top of the concrete tiles. The contractor walks all over your fragile concrete tiles and cuts holes in you tiles to install the mounting hardware.

 

 

The photo above is an examle of the traditional method of installing a PV panel mounting system on a concert tile roof. Select tiles are removed, a bracket is mounted to the rood sheeting, a riser post is attached to the mounting bracket, a standard sheet metal  roof flashing is placed over the post and the top edge is sealed. This whole process is tough on the existing roof, as you are walking all over the tiles, and prone to leak due to the numbers location of the mounting post. This type of install also used a rail that the panels are mounted to.

Our installation requires the concrete tile too be removed. The a New 40 year asphalt shingle is laid down, a metal flashing is placed on the roof and the SunPower smart mounts are attached to the roof.  Pre-installed on the botom of the mount is a sealing compound the is squeezed out the the bolts are tightened.  Talking about bolts there are eight. No rise post or rails are used. the panels attach directly to the SunPower Smart mount.

Next the electronics.

 

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