In February 2010, Straightup Solar completed the installation of our 2.76 kW grid-tied system. This system has supplied over half of the electricity we use. In mid February 2010, on a sunny day with some clouds and some snow on part of the panels, the system produced about 11 kilowatt hours of electricity. Then on February 24 with full sun, the system generated an impressive 15 kilowatt hours of electricity. (Go to update for more recent information on how the system is performing and information on our second installtion, giving us a total of 4.68 kW.) Unfortunately in February the weather is mostly cloudy. On cloudy days with no sun, the system produces between 0.4 and 5 kilowatt hours depending on how heavy the cloud cover is.

The photographs above show the inverter that converts direct current to alternating current. This unit is connected to our main electric panel, the photovoltaic panels and to an AC disconnect next to our electric meter outside. The outside disconnect is required by our local electric utility so that they can disconnect the panels if they need to work on the lines. The photograph on the right shows the lcd display. Here the inverter is sending 1.125 kW of AC at 241.7 volts to the main panel.
How to Pages
DC to AC Inverter
Panel Installation

photographs by bernard

Photovoltaic Panels

As we have more experience with our system, I will be updating this page with additional information. Also I would like to thank everyone at Straightup Solar for their excellent work. I highly recommend them if you are contemplating installing a photovoltaic system. Finally, in order to get the most from our system, we have made an effort to lower our use of electricity by turning off phantom loads when they are not in use, using compact fluorescent lights, and by minimizing our use of air conditioning during the summer.
Here Joe and John from Straightup Solar are in the process of installing the 12 Canadian Solar panels. Both were happy to work on a one story building with a roof pitch that isn't very steep. The 230 watt panels are being installed on the part of our roof that gets full sun between approximately 7:30 am and 4:30 pm in mid winter. As the days get longer and the sun is higher in the sky, the panels will receive direct sun for additional hours during the day.

Since our roof has a 6 / 12 pitch or about 26.5 degrees, the direction of the sun is not perpendicular to the panels except in summer. (We are at latitude 38 1/2 degrees north.) As a result, during the fall and winter the panels will average about 90% of the solar radiation of the noon day sun. From the spring through the summer, the direction of the sun will be nearly perpendicular to the panels resulting in between 97% and 100%.

4.68 Kilowatt Photovoltaic System