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Should our desert communities make water from air?   The Consumer You: Marketplace

Started Jun-30 by Showtalk; 9234 views.

So far they are set on supports on the ground, but when I finish the awning / carport, there is a roughly 24x30 foot area to place them.

I am going to set them about 8 inches above the roof, and put a 12 inch walkway of space between the columns so they can be accessed easily for servicing. The roof is steel R-Panel already, so there are external fasteners with gaskets being used already. We just place rubber washers between the support skid and the R-panel, then re-install the self-drilling screws through the support skid. Then you bolt the panels onto the skids.

with the extra height, there is room for air circulation under and around the panels, and the skid structure acts like a cable tray to bring the power lines out.

the control circuitry goes in weatherproof boxes at the corners. These are phase parallel synchronizing inverters, which then add their outputs to provide more 120/240 volt power from the roughly 48 volt solar panel strings.

By using 48 volts, and multiple parallel circuits, you avoid the regulatory and safety issues of running 96 volt or 192 volt DC power from the panels, and it means you can easily take a group of only 4 panels off-line to service / repair things without having to shut down the entire array.

so far I only have a few hundred watts, ,so when the awning and carport stuff is done, this will go up to several kilowatts.

Pure grid-tied is a mistake that many people are making. You want to sell surplus power back to the grid, but when the grid goes down you want the system to disconnect from the grid and continue to feed power to the house.

So there has to be a positive disconnect where the system runs off-line and doesn't energize the utility lines in an outage, to protect utility line workers.

We use a 200 amp transfer switch for the generator. For the solar power, there is a slightly more complex grid tie switch arrangement involved, which favors off-grid operation.

WALTER784

From: WALTER784 

Jul-9

$1,661.87 in cats (ROCKETMAN_S) said...

So while the panels going up today put out about 50 watts per square meter, which is about 5% efficient (sunlight striking the earth packs about a kilowatt per square meter), by the time I get, say, 20 square meters of panels up, there will be panels that can deliver 100 watts per square meter.

Then eventually, 150 watt per square meter panels become available. Swap out a row of 50 watt per square meter with 150 watt, and re-use the less efficient ones for separate projects such as remote electronics, while the more efficient units do the heavy lifting to run the air conditioner on a very hot day.

50 Watt doesn't sound like much... mine are 250 Watt and I have 22 of them so a total of 5.5 KWatts/hr.

These are my panels while they're still boxed. There are 2 panels per box:

And this is one panel in an opened box:

FWIW

Showtalk
Host

From: Showtalk 

Jul-10

It helps to have extra space to install them.

WALTER784

From: WALTER784 

Jul-11

Do you have any hurricanes, tornadoes or other very strong winds in your area?

FWIW

More square footage too. Mine are about 1 meter x 500mm, so 50 watts for a half square meter would be about 10% efficiency.

WALTER784 said:

Do you have any hurricanes, tornadoes or other very strong winds in your area?

Occasional tornadoes but mostly straight line winds, including thunderstorms that can produce more than 74 mph (hurricane force) outflow boundary wind.

Then of course we have the kind of wind where if it has been calm for a few days, all the loose Walmart bags and trash ends up caught in all the fences..

WALTER784

From: WALTER784 

Jul-12

$1,661.87 in cats (ROCKETMAN_S) said...

Occasional tornadoes but mostly straight line winds, including thunderstorms that can produce more than 74 mph (hurricane force) outflow boundary wind.

I don't think you can tornado proof it, but with 74mph winds... wow... you would need to anchor the base into solid concrete and ensure the panels are securely bolted to the base.

FWIW

WALTER784 said:

you would need to anchor the base into solid concrete and ensure the panels are securely bolted to the base.

Yep. But out of numerous installations I see springing up all over various developments, I see clear lack of any engineering studies or workmanship. Such as one house I go past on the way to and from work every day, that has panels on the NORTH side where they will never, ever get much solar radiation.

And i suspect that any of the severe cumulonimbus type straight line wind events will turn most of those panels into deadly projectiles.

Worse, apparently there's an entire fly by night marketing industry on the loose out here. They pay homeowners a certain amount to install the things, but then the outfit is who actually owns the panels and who gets the checks from the electric company, not the person whose roof the panels are on. I think the homeowners get a small pittance, but beyond that they don't worry about maintenance or anything else like that..

So it's more of an exploitative "vulture capitalism" racket that goes on.

My solar panels however, are ones I own, as badly mis-matched and piecemeal that the setup has been done, in little 50 watt or so increments, and a rat's nest of wiring.

The bike ride went very well, and 50 watt panels are easily put in the back seat of a truck with the radio repeater hardware in the bed, hauled to sites along the way, deployed in a few minutes, then after the event is over with, they can be packed up and hauled off pretty quickly too

WALTER784

From: WALTER784 

Jul-18

$1,661.87 in cats (ROCKETMAN_S) said...

has panels on the NORTH side

ROFLMAO... where does he live? The South Pole?

South, YES, East & West... also good... but North? Unbelievable!

$1,661.87 in cats (ROCKETMAN_S) said...

fly by night marketing industry on the loose out here. They pay homeowners a certain amount to install the things, but then the outfit is who actually owns the panels

Sounds like scammers/skimmers if you ask me!

FWIW

I need to take a picture of that house. I noticed the solar panels on the north (and we are at N32 degrees latitude) which is pretty close to the slope of the roof. So around the winter solstice - actually from Halloween to ground Hog's Day - these panels are going to be in perpetual shade.

If I hadn't been preoccupied with other issues, I'd have gotten a picture of it during the Snowmageddon that started on Feb 15th and ran until Feb 19th. the panels were covered in nearly a foot of snow and it didn't really melt until maybe feb 22 or 23

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