Home editor's blog on going solar Solar system sends 5,000 watts back into grid

Solar system sends 5,000 watts back into grid

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For about 15 minutes on March 30 our 5.59 kW solar system was pumping more than 5,000 extra watts back into our neighborhood grid.

editors-blog-entry3One of the greatest things about having a home solar system is the sense of satisfaction you get from producing your own energy , and sometimes then some -- as in then some additional electricity that goes out into the general electrical grid.

With our TED energy monitoring system (TED is short for The Energy Detective) we can watch what our real-time electricity use is. This takes into account both the solar electricity being produced by our 5.59 kW solar system and the electricity we’re consuming in our house.

TED showed the highest readings I’ve ever seen it flash, yesterday, March 30, 2011 a little bit after 1 p.m. here in Aurora, Colo., hitting 5,400 watts. We were probably using about 100 watts at that time, meaning our 5.59 kW system was pumping out 5,500 watts, or 5.5 kW, AC.

Peak production – in March, not June!
That is truly amazing, as the most our system can produce is 5,590 watts DC.

This means that at 1:07 p.m. today our system was hitting its peak productive capacity on a late March – not June – day.

As it turns out, yesterday wasn’t a record home solar day overall – we produced 30 kWh, 9 kWh short of our daily high of 39 kWh, which we set back in July 2010.

But, wow, was that a cool feeling to see the system hitting its peak performance and, for a short time – for about 15 minutes -- sending more than 5,000 extra watts back into the grid.

Ah, if the neighbors only knew that they, too, went solar on that late June 2010 day when we threw the on switch on our system for the very first time J

Total kWh produced since June 28, 2010 = 6,142 kWh
Total kWh used since June 28, 2010 = 2,877 kWh
Total extra kWh produced – & banked with our utility – since June 28, 2010 = 3,265 kWh
Total EV miles 3,265 kWh (4 miles/1 kWh) = 13,060 miles
Total gasoline savings of 3,265 kWh (4 miles/1 kWh, 25 mpg, $3.40 per gallon) = $1,776

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