Solar Panels Online – Bringing the Electrons

Solar Connection came on Jan 3, along with two line-men from Peoples Energy Co-op to engage the solar panels with the Peoples energy grid network and essentially allow us to start using and passing excess power to the grid. They started they work around Noon and by 1:00 everything was hooked up. They had to exchange the current service meter that we had on the outside of our house with a smart meter that allowed the meter to run backwards when we excess power to send back to the grid. Here is our electricity bill/monitor for the first day after the system came online. The day was mostly sunny.

After it was installed it started producing power and made enough to cover the rest of the day and get re-reimbursed for an hour or two before hand.

The next day was 100% sunny for 8 hours (8-4) and therefore gives a reasonable estimation of how much energy a full sun mid-winter day (shortest day) can produce on our 9.8 kW system. This is a chart from our Fronious inverter, which gives a reasonable amount of information which I am still digesting.

This chart is saying that currently the system is producing 42 Watts (sunset, late in the day) with the system producing 43.8 kWH for the whole day, with a maximum output of approximately 7.5 kWH (per hour) at peak production. On a full sun day at moderate temperatures (20-40 degrees) where we can use the passive gains from the sun to heat the house instead of the mini-split this is more than twice the power we need and we will most likely receive a credit for half of that power. I imagine the opposite will occur on a cloudy day with colder temperatures, we will use 40-50 kWH of energy and we will produce only 15-20 kWH of energy.

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