Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New Solar Power Plant Installed in Hillsboro, WV

I haven't blogged about a solar project in a little while and I think this recent installation is well worth posting.  It's a 4.8-kW PV array built with Sharp 240-watt PV modules on a ground-mounted rack.  This system is wired to net meter with the local utility.  It was designed so that its annual production approximates the homeowners annual demand.

This is the stage at which it is important to step back and take some pictures while Chris keeps working and finishes the job. 

Bill and Pat, who own the system, have a nicely constructed home which is designed to benefit from  passive solar heating, but the roof lacked the square footage to mount the twenty solar modules.  That landed us out in the pasture adjacent to the yard which turned out to be a great spot with a clear skyview.

Bill and Pat are pretty energy conscientious.  They have energy efficient fixtures, heat with wood, and use a clothesline rather than a dryer.  That keeps their energy demand low and makes it less expensive to meet their annual demand with a solar PV system.  Imagine if all your neighbors made 100% of their own electric!

In addition to making clean power, the installed system includes a battery bank for supplying backup power in the event that the utility should experience an outage.  The battery bank has storage for 14-kWh of power which can be recharged by both the solar and a portable generator.  The upshot is that these folks can ride out a protracted outage while still having power for most of their appliances, lighting, well pump, heating system, etc...