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Driving on Sunshine

Do you have solar to power your car?

  • Yes

    Votes: 249 63.4%
  • No

    Votes: 50 12.7%
  • No, but hope to soon

    Votes: 94 23.9%

  • Total voters
    393

dhrivnak

Active Member
Jan 8, 2011
4,637
4,183
NE Tennessee
As many others have done my solar system is now on line. We have a 7.1 KW system that provides most of the power for the house and the car. The system has so far provided more power than I have used in the house and car. But it has only been 10 days and this is probably the best time of the year for generation.
Driving_on_Sunshine.JPG
 

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,104
1,900
Toronto, ON
I said no. We have a very good Feed In Tariff program in Ontario for solar, but my house is surrounded by trees and doesn't get very good sun exposure. I do have a rental property about 2 hours away that has the perfect roof for solar. I've toyed with the idea of installing solar there, but am not sure how long I'll hold on to that property.

Ontario's supply mix at night is pretty much all Nuclear, Hydro and Wind, so I do get pretty low carbon power from the utility anyway. We have gas peaker plants that mostly operate during the day, and coal is being phased out.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: APotatoGod

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,104
1,900
Toronto, ON
...but I'm part of a solar co-op that just got approval for 17 projects in Ontario. They are going to have a preferred share offering later this year. I'm likely going to chip in for at least 10kW worth.

That, I think, is the way to go in Ontario. Our Feed in Tariff program results in essentially a system on your roof that is separate from, and in parallel to your existing electrical service and has its own meter on which your payments are based. So, in that sense, it really doesn't matter where the panels are. I could set up a system on my rental property roof and receive payments just as if the system was on my own roof.

A large scale solar project (i.e. ground-mounted with motorized trackers) that you buy in to makes a lot of sense. If you move, for instance, you don't have to leave a large capital investment behind.
 
In case you're interested:
Investment Hamilton Association for Renewable Energy



That, I think, is the way to go in Ontario. Our Feed in Tariff program results in essentially a system on your roof that is separate from, and in parallel to your existing electrical service and has its own meter on which your payments are based. So, in that sense, it really doesn't matter where the panels are. I could set up a system on my rental property roof and receive payments just as if the system was on my own roof.

A large scale solar project (i.e. ground-mounted with motorized trackers) that you buy in to makes a lot of sense. If you move, for instance, you don't have to leave a large capital investment behind.
 
Congrats on the installation! It does feel awesome knowing we are getting free energy from the sun to power our homes & cars. Thanks for putting up the poll. I love it.

If you have time, please join the Solar tour that is this weekend across the Nation. Let others see your installation & EV.

Our house is on the DFW Solar Tour this Saturday. There are 30 homes in DFW on the tour this year.
They have asked all the homeowners to have EV cars at their events. I probably could use more Tesla's but don't want to interfere with Cars & Coffee. This is their 18th year doing this, have 165,000 people visiting 5,500 homes in the US. Here is the link: http://www.dfwsolartour.org/locations/squyres/

I will make the next Cars & Coffee. If anyone is interested in Solar but will miss this Saturday, our house is always open for tours. Just let me know.

If interested in tracking our Solar production, visit here: https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/3PJ33260
 

dhrivnak

Active Member
Jan 8, 2011
4,637
4,183
NE Tennessee
If you have time, please join the Solar tour that is this weekend across the Nation. Let others see your installation & EV.

I will see if they have a solar tour in my area. I have not heard of one but I am game. We are in a smaller town of 50,000 and not very progressive on energy matters. No other Tesla's and only a handful of solar projects. But I am working to change that. :)
 
As many others have done my solar system is now on line. We have a 7.1 KW system that provides most of the power for the house and the car. The system has so far provided more power than I have used in the house and car. But it has only been 10 days and this is probably the best time of the year for generation.

I live in NC (Close enough to you) and from what I can tell peak production has passed. The days are getting shorter and it is hitting production.

Now - usage has been very low for us because minimal a/c. If you live at elevation, I would think you would peak in June. With heat (Raleigh area), the peak is more like April (still long days but cool temps). I'm going to guess you live at some elevation because otherwise a/c makes it hard to solar away all your usage.
 

dhrivnak

Active Member
Jan 8, 2011
4,637
4,183
NE Tennessee
I had a nice surprise today. I tested the the new Sunny Boy SMA inverters which are supposed to deliver power even if the grid is down. I tested on my roadster and it charged just fine as long as I limited to 12 amps as the emergency output on the inverter is limited to 1500 watts. So in the event of a disaster and there is no grid power, I can keep the refrigerator cool and the Roadster charged.
Solar_Install_Inverter_5.jpg
 
Last edited:
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I had a nice surprise today. I tested the the new Sunny Boy SMA inverters which are supposed to deliver power even if the grid is down. I tested on my roadster and it charged just fine as long as I limited to 12 amps as the emergency output on the inverter is limited to 1500 watts. So in the event of a disaster and there is no grid power, I can keep the refrigerator cool and the Roadster charged.

Does it have a battery buffer, or do you get a brownout if it gets cloudy? Just curious how it works.
 
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This is the first I've seen of Sunny Boy's version. Very Nice. I have 6 of the SMA's running my office's 198 panels. On my house, all 132 panels are Grid-Tied with Enphase Micro-Inverters, and I wanted juice when the Grid was out also.

The only solution is an AC-Coupled Battery Backup system, when I looked 2 years ago. Our panels will stay on, because the transfer switches so fast, they believe the Grid is still active. We use 2 Magnum Pure Sine-wave Battery Backup Inverter's that output 4,400 watts each. We have 32 Trojan batteries and 16 Deep-Cycle batteries that keep us connected when there is no sun. Here is a picture:
MagnumDual.JPG
 

dhrivnak

Active Member
Jan 8, 2011
4,637
4,183
NE Tennessee
The new Sunny Boy SMA LT became available this summer. Actually they became available the day after I sent in the check for the bulk of my system. My installer was willing to swap at no extra cost. The system ONLY works if you have good sun AND you manually switch it on. It is not automatic. But for me it is a very nice option to be able to use at lest some of my power if the grid is down. It just did not seem right to have all those panels and not to be able to have any power. And to my surprise the Roadster was happy with the power it did supply.

SUNNY BOY 3000TL-US / 4000TL-US / 5000TL-US.SMA America, LLC

And to JaySquires, I am impressed, that is some serious power you have. At 28 panels I just have a micro system. But it should be enough to cover over 75% of our power usage.
 

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