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Solar Upgrade

May 17th, 2023 · 1 Comment

I first installed Solar panels on my roof back in 2011. 7.9 kW. It reduced my electric bill by about $130/month and has been very reliable over the past decade.

A few months ago my inverter partially failed and I was only generating about half the power I should have. Along with fixing that, I decided it was time to upgrade my system.

I chose Tesla based on quotes and reviews. They added 4.8 kW of solar panels and 27 kWh of batteries, so I now have about 12.7 kW of solar generation. Unfortunately because of space limitations on the roof 2.4 kW of panels are facing NW, which isn’t optimal for solar generation. But I ran the simulations and it turns out that although NW only generates about 1/3 the power of SW or SE (my other panels) in the winter, it is fully as good as SW or SE during the summer months because of how the sun moves in the summer. Summer is when I need the most power, so this is OK. Obviously I would like more power whenever I can get it because I am grandfathered into net-metering (where the solar company credits me for all the energy I send back to them), but this is the best that could be done under the circumstances of roof availability.

The battery is something new to me, and means that not only can I take advantage of tiered pricing by not using any utility power during peak price periods, but I will also have power during utility outages. In the fall, winter and spring I should be able to pretty much exist indefinitely without any grid power. In the summer I can probably get by for a few days if I turn up my thermostat and turn off most other power draws.

It’s a fascinating technology with real-world impact on climate, pollution and costs.

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Dale // May 17, 2023 at 10:46 am

    More power! Solar is something to feel good about.

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