Posted by:

msmpaulson

5.5kW Sunpower Panels wired for battery back of for critical systems of house. Designed for Aquion batteries, which do not work for back up purposes for small systems. Will use Tesla Powerwall when available.

What You Need to Know

Description:

16 units of SunPower SPR-345-wht solar panels, each with Solar Edge Optimizer. One Schneider Conext XW inverter and integrated Load Center with SunPower Web-based monitoring and Revenue grade meter. System is wired for battery back-up such that critical systems will be operable for 3 days in the event of a power outage.

Other Benefits:

It's designed to be an alternative to an expensive, polluting diesel generator which must be maintained annually. The cost of the generator would've been 8,000$ with an annual maintenance contract of over $100. It also powers one electric car and one hybrid plug-in car. Estimated payback time will be 15 years, not including the back up costs. It should provide 70% of all our power needs, including the cars.

Maintenance Requirements:

No maintenance required and one year maintenance free.

Efficiency or Sustainability Improvements:

We also built a new garage, which added additional storage space and a study. Energy upgrades throughout occupancy include new gas boiler with hot water heater powered by boiler, new doors and storm windows, added insulation, energy efficient appliances, and multi-zoned spaces with programmable thermostats.

My Motivation:

This will help us to be eventually net zero, which is difficult in an existing 1920s single family residence. We will also be independent of the grid during power outages. Additionally, long-term it will pay for itself.

Advice:

The Aquion batteries are a wonderful alternative to conventional lead acid batteries. We designed the system to use 3 of them to back up the critical loads, but at the last minute, the system designer discovered that the performance characteristics of Aquion were not suited to such small loads. So now we will use a Tesla Powerwall when it's available. My advice is to either use lots of Aquion batteries or one Powerwall when designing a back up system.

Experience with Installer:

The installers were wonderful, but they did want to be the last subcontractors on the site (the driveway contractors said that they should be last bu they were wrong).

Additional Notes:

By bundling this project with the project of rebuilding my garage, I improved drainage of my property, added storage space, helped relations with my neighbors, and improved the quality of our family life immensely.

Open House Info:

Contact me through http://www.dssphilly.com/

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