Nickolas Hein – 5/17/18
It’s been a few months since Ken and Barb completed the solar PV installation on their rooftop and they’re visiting with Phil – an energy auditor – to check in on how well the system is working for them. They’ve inspected the panels on the rooftop to confirm that everything looks good. Aesthetically the panels blend in with the existing shingle pattern they had on their roof. Although roofs on older homes sometimes need reinforcing to hold the extra weight of the panels, theirs was given the OK without modification after a structural inspection (an optional, but recommended step). Since it is an older house and the roof has sagged a little, there was some minor expense for adjustable mounting feet to conform to the surface. Phil also points out the edge guards that were installed to keep out wildlife that could damage the panels and wiring.
Inside, they’ve looked at the electrical panel and inverter where the solar power comes into the house. The electrical service had been upgraded previously so they had an extra breaker slot to bring in the power. The inverter they chose is “battery-ready” meaning that in a year or two, when batteries are more available and have some reputation for dependability they can add storage without major modifications. There are simple displays on the inverter and meter to show how much electricity they are making, and when they are making more than they are using. At these times they are credited for excess production, so they can draw on it like a bank account. Through an app on their phone, they can check the numbers any time and make adjustments when necessary.
Now they’re having coffee at kitchen table and discussing their experience. Read more