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Friday, January 3, 2020

Solar Production - One Full Year

Graph of one year of solar production
  I wanted to get a post out about our year with solar power.
The first question that is always asked of us is, Was it worth it? The answer is yes.
 Our solar system has produced 16.28 megawatts of power. Or, to break that down, 16,280 kilowatts of power. If we are going to break that number over a day to day average. 16,280 divided by 365 days = 44.6 kilowatts per day.
 The average home in the United States uses around 30 kilowatts of power per day. This can change as some households use a bit more and some use less. We did get rebates for our overproduction of electricity from Xcel energy. We received energy rebates from April through August bill. Rebates ranged from $46.00 to $137.00. Xcel also used the rebates on our gas bill.
  Looking at the graph, solar collection is best in the month of June, with the longest days of sunlight. November and December are the cloudiest months of the year. February of 2019 had near record snowfall and affected the solar collection to a very poor performance. Solar panels need to be free of snow and shading by other objects to achieve their most power potential. We have been cleaning off the solar panels that are on our garage (18 panels).

We use a brush on a pole to clean off snow.
We also have 32 solar panels on our pole barn. The pole barn is too tall to effectively clean off the snow. The snow on the pole barn has been frustrating to remove and many solar owners don't even bother. The electricity production in the dead of winter is usually very low. Many solar owners feel the price of savings is not worth the effort of snow removal.
 We have put in a ground mount solar system for most of the solar panels on our pole barn. The ground mount will hold 28 solar panels. The ground mount is finished, but we are waiting for the solar company to move the panels. The ground mount will give us an easy opportunity to clean snow off the solar panels. The ground mount has an adjustable tilt. We will be able to angle the solar panels for maximum solar collection and different times of the year. This will lead to increased solar production on the 28 panels.
This ground mount is ready for solar panels. Once the panels are mounted on the aluminum rails, the attached rigging will pull the array to the top of the black pipe. The array will be clamped and rigging removed. At winter angle, the panels will be two feet off the ground at the bottom and 12 feet off the ground at the top.
This is how the ground mount will work. YouTube Video MTsolar pole mounts.