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Driving on Sunshine

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by dhrivnak, Oct 2, 2013.

?

Do you have solar to power your car?

  1. Yes

    242 vote(s)
    63.0%
  2. No

    49 vote(s)
    12.8%
  3. No, but hope to soon

    93 vote(s)
    24.2%
  1. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    4,376
    Location:
    Colorado
    My system is about to exit its 5th year. April 2020's high day is above April 2019's, but below April 2018 and April 2017. March 2020's high beat the March highs from prior years. It's tough to rely on averages around here given that Colorado still receives some snow in March and April. So I don't have clear evidence that the air quality has led to records, but it does seem like my typical sunny day production is certainly doing well relative to prior years, given that I should theoretically be seeing a slight decline year-over-year as the system ages.
     
    • Informative x 1
  2. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker S 100D 2020.24.6.4

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2015
    Messages:
    8,181
    Location:
    Colorado
    We hit a record 139 kWh yesterday but it's hard to say if the quarantine/shut-down made any difference, especially since it's so windy at our place and we live west of the Denver metro area (so typically no pollution compared to Denver). Also, we put in an additional 4 kW last December so it's not an apples to apples comparison. If I scale up from our production last year, we got 111 kWh vs. 139 kWh yesterday, so the ~24% increase in the size of our system could account for the entire increase in production.
     
    • Informative x 1
  3. Randy Spencer

    Randy Spencer Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    2,457
    Location:
    Alameda, CA
    Have not had a year under my belt so many days are record days still as we head into summer
     
    • Like x 1
  4. dgpcolorado

    dgpcolorado high altitude member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    2,203
    Location:
    The Western Slope, Colorado
    I've had some good days but no records. I think the good production is due to a fairly dry winter and dry spring here (fewer clouds). I'd rather have some more rain or snow! Air pollution is minimal where I live in the mountains, so not a factor in solar production. My records go back eleven and a half years.

    Code:
              Old panels (700 W)          Old + New panels (2170 W)
    2008       232 kWh (partial year)
    2009      1165
    2010      1132
    2011      1203
    2012      1227                        1409 kWh (partial year)
    2013      1179                        2148
    2014      1145                        2072
    2015      1125                        2034
    2016      1150                        2077
    2017      1109                        2168
    2018      1163                        2143
    2019      1133                        2091
    2020       248 (partial year)          701 (partial year)
    
    
     
    • Like x 1
  5. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,534
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Nope. First 4 months almost exactly the same 2.61MWh last year vs. 2.55MWh this year.
     
    • Informative x 1
  6. Owner

    Owner Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,504
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I'm running about the same net energy use vs. production. I thought very little driving would be more outflow to the grid, but I guess using more energy at home than I thought.
     
  7. dgpcolorado

    dgpcolorado high altitude member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
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    Location:
    The Western Slope, Colorado
    Turns out that April set a record for production for the month on my system, aided by the unusually sunny dry weather. I'd rather have had rain or snow. My old array (700 W) generated 108 kWh for the month; the previous high was 107 kWh in April 2012. My April 2020 total for my two arrays (2170 W) was 306 kWh.

    Add in very little driving for the month and I am building up my credit balance with my electricity co-op. We are allowed to accumulate as much as 10,000 kWh in excess production before being forced to cash out any additional production at the wholesale rate — it is a very generous program for net metering customers.
     
    • Like x 2
  8. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2020: Drain the Sewer

    Joined:
    May 7, 2015
    Messages:
    10,615
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Sounds good, but I"m surprised it is not more. That works out to ~ 5 hours of STC a day.
     
  9. dgpcolorado

    dgpcolorado high altitude member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
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    Location:
    The Western Slope, Colorado
    April is a relatively cloudy month, on average, here in the mountains, even in this dry year. Unlike desert locations, clouds are common in the mountains.

    My new array doesn't produce as well as the old array because the Solectria 1800 inverter is less efficient than the Sunny Boy 700, which is well-matched with the old array. In retrospect it would have been better to add two more Sunny Boy 700s, but I suppose the extra cost wouldn't have been covered by the additional electricity production. (My arrays were installed when prices were much higher than today and neither array was remotely cost-effective.) The old array also has more white space and stays cooler than the new array.

    My monthly average production for my old 700 watt array over the last eleven and a half years:
    Code:
              kWh average for the month
    January    82
    February   82
    March     103
    April     101
    May       110
    June      115
    July      105
    August     99
    September 100
    October    99
    November   88
    December   73 
    So, my best months are June, May, July, March. June not only has the longest days, of course, it is the sunniest month of the year here. May is helped by being cool and fairly sunny. July and August are "monsoon" (thunderstorm) season and afternoons are often cloudy.
     
    • Informative x 1
  10. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    4,376
    Location:
    Colorado
    Interestingly, May is proving to be a much more persuasive indicator of a potential assist from clearer skies, at my home at least. My older system is nearing the end of its 6th year. My top 12 highest-production months in its history are all Junes, Julys, and Augusts. This May is on pace to be my best month ever, surpassing the highest prior May by 23% and my best month ever by 3.2%. Toss in the fact that at 6 years of age my system should be suffering from a few percent of degradation and these numbers are pretty crazy to me. Now, granted that the month's not over yet and things could change. But we're still in the portion of the year where production is expected to rise slightly each day on average, so it's not out of the question that these numbers come to fruition at the end of the month.

    On a side note, this is the first month since we moved to being a 2-BEV family that our electricity bill was solidly negative. Sure is nice to get that kind of bill. :)
     
    • Like x 1
  11. David_Cary

    David_Cary Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    967
    Location:
    Cary, NC
    We live in a net metering- lose all your credits on May 31 - area. No wholesale reimbursement just a big fat zero.
    So you don't overbuild your system. Well....we didn't based on driving. But with Covid, not much driving.
    March 7-April 7 - net bill 3 kwh. Lowest by far (although only a year old). We heat with heat pump.
    April 7-May 7 - Credit of 350 kwh.
    So we will probably have $50-$80 lost because of the rules and not driving. Was thinking of inviting neighbors over to charge....
     
    • Like x 1
  12. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    Dec 11, 2012
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    4,376
    Location:
    Colorado
    To follow up on this: I did jinx it a bit by calling it early, but May did indeed set my all-time monthly record by 1.1%, beating the best-ever prior May by 14%.
     
    • Informative x 1
  13. dgpcolorado

    dgpcolorado high altitude member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
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    2,203
    Location:
    The Western Slope, Colorado
    In my twelve year solar history, my May 2020 production tied May 2012 for the best May solar production. The sun and drought continues here...
     
    • Like x 1
  14. swaltner

    swaltner Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,518
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    Not a home setup, but PlugShare - Find Electric Vehicle Charging Locations Near You is a nearby 52.5 kW solar system mounted on a carport with a pair of publicly available 48 Amp OpenEVSE charging stations on it.

    GOPR1130.JPG

    For my home system, in late 2018, I did an expansion from 5 kW to to just over 9 kW of solar panels. Since then, I've produced more electricity than I've consumed and have just been paying the base $14.50/month grid-connect service fee. For example, in April, I overproduced by 381 kWh, and in May, it was 404 kWh. I switched the HVAC in the house from Heat to Cool yesterday, so usage in the house will go up a little. With working from home for the foreseeable future, my electricity use may be a little higher this year than last year. Time will tell if the expansion was enough to go 2 whole years producing more than I consumed.
     
  15. Randy Spencer

    Randy Spencer Active Member

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    Location:
    Alameda, CA
  16. BruceInFlorida

    Joined:
    May 9, 2019
    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Spring Hill, Florida
    I would like to get some commentary on the accuracy etc of the attached image I created to convince my ICE relatives that you can indeed run EVs on sunshine.

    I read somewhere that that the M3 can travel 4.1 EPA rated miles on 1 kWh so 15,000 miles over a year will use 15,000/4.1 or 3,658 kWh.

    My 225 sqft Enphase solar array output for a year of 6,793 kWh was given to me by the installer. I haven't had it a year yet so can't totally verify that number but it looks about right based on a month of data plus taking down some branches which currently partially shade the panels.

    Thanks

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Beardley

    Beardley Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2019
    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Your photo seems to be broken, but it's very easy to offset w/ solar as long as it's sized right. I have a ~9kwh system and produced 10.4 Mega Watts in 2019. My entire house (including my M3 + my wife's Prius Prime) consumed 10.6 Mega Watts. I look to be on track to exceed last years production, but we're only 1/2 way there!

    All that said, in my case nearly all of my charging happens at night, so technically it's NOT charged by the sun, only offset.
     
  18. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    4,188
    Location:
    NE Tennessee
    Yes easy to do as I run both Tesla’s and my home from rooftop solar.

    F57F5AD1-9A0C-4DD4-B3A0-D172DF0C75FA.jpeg
     
    • Like x 4
  19. bigroccrek

    bigroccrek Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2018
    Messages:
    211
    Location:
    Southern, CA
    I have Solar and a M3 and I charged the M3 everyday and drove to work and back (~50 miles total) plus a bunch of other driving as well (around 15000 miles/year) and I still received a check from Southern California Edison at the end of my "Net Metering Year". My system produces around 16 kWh - 17 kWh per year. Crazy huh! Driving the car for free, keep the house at 72-75 degrees even when it is well over 100 degrees outside and I still get a check from SCE!

    upload_2020-6-7_8-41-14.png
     
    • Like x 1
  20. swaltner

    swaltner Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,518
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    There’s a fairly lengthy “Driving on Sunshine” thread somewhere around here...
     
    • Like x 1

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