Solar owners in Winchester share their experiences.
 
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Do you have solar experience and ideas you’d like to share? Do you have comments on this blog?  Questions you’d like answered? Please send your thoughts to: coolwinchester@gmail.com and we can post as “Comments” per those below.
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paul@pinella.us  /  3 January 2012

I’d be interested in seeing Karl’s online TED reports. I’ve also got an Alteris system installed here and would agree with just about all his points below. Overall I’m very satisfied with the system, workmanship and results so far.

tschwartzman@hotmail.com  /  3 January 2012

Thanks for this!  My install is being done today and tomorrow, the coldest days of the last few weeks...

The monitoring bit at the bottom is very interesting for me, probably too late to change my Locus monitor to something else.  Will see how that goes.

My advice in the process so far:  if you haven't done your install, see if Travis (or whoever the foreman is for your job) will come out in advance and give you a rundown of where things will go, what size they are, and where the conduit run from the panels to the meter might be.  Fewer surprises if you can get it discussed in advance.

Panels go on tomorrow. The array won't be that uniform (i.e. not two straight rows of panels) because of shading issues with vent pipes etc.  But, I don't look at that side of the roof much anyway!  

tschwartzman@hotmail.com  /  5 January 2012

Everything that is against the plywood is new for solar --
inverter, monitoring system, production meter, cutoff switch.

philscarff@natrajmusic.com  /  4 January 2012

My equipment:

22 SunTech STP225 High Efficiency Photovoltaic Modules

22 Enphase M215 microinverters.

It would be great to figure out a way to compare our systems’ output to solar resource conditions for the purpose of monitoring the status of the system. The goal is to determine whether there is a problem with one or more panels or (micro)inverters.

For example, Alteris told me when the installed the system they simultaneously measured the light exposure on my roof and system output. Then they analyze this data and claim they expect the measured output to match prediction within 2%. They use this result to determine whether the system is functioning properly.

Is there a way to do something like this on an on-going basis to monitor the health of the system? Maybe we can find actual solar resource data somewhere to use as a basis for comparison to system.

PS. Most likely, the reason why we have different panels is because of microinverter compatibility. I suspect the microinverters are not compatible with Canadian Solar model # CS5A-195.

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