Our Solar SystemNovember 11, 2010
I am coming out of self-imposed exile for this important announcement: The stars have finally aligned properly. We are now the proud owners of an 18 solar panel photovoltaic system.
BEFORE and AFTER
I do not pretend to understand how photovoltaic systems work. As far as I can tell the sun shines on the solar panels which makes the silicone inside very happy and to celebrate they create DC power. This is sent to the inverter where it is changed to AC power. This is sent to the house where it lights my lights and cools my refrigerator and entertains my kids in front of the television.
Here are the inverters – we have two – one for each bank of 9 panels.
When the sun is shining and the panels are creating current the inverters have a little readout that says how much power is being produced.
Let me give a big plug for the guys who did the work, Michigan Renewable Energies. Here’s Ray Brechting, the owner, admiring his work.
and here’s Ray’s truck with the brand new lettering.
Ray picked up the pieces after one company went out of business and I was afraid we’d never get a solar system installed. He worked with the distributor to make sure we got exactly the right equipment and he and his crew drove 5.5 hours to come install the system – a two day job.
We aren’t quite ready to go yet. The utility company needs to inspect the system before they are going to allow us to generate power to go on their grid (which is where the excess will go). We may also be getting a new electric meter, but I’m not sure about that – I don’t think my state requires utilities to provide meters that go backwards, and if they aren’t required you know full well we won’t be getting them.
Meanwhile, I also need to apply for state and federal rebates. If we only get the federal rebate it will be 30%, if we get both it will cover 49%, and that will be enough to pay for the Escape Hybrid I bought this summer.
And now I go back into exile for the rest of the month. My writing project is almost complete though – then back to haranguing you with my green deeds.