In January, 2015 we started using the solar array that we installed in our backyard. Since then, all of the electricity in our office and shop has come from solar power. This past year, we produced more power than we could use, so we are able to give the extra electricity to two of our favorite charities: The Vermont Foodbank and COTS (the Committee on Temporary Shelter).
How It Works
It is pretty cool how our solar system works. The array is “Net-Metered,” so all the power it produces goes into a power grid. We draw electricity from the grid as we need it. When we overproduce energy for the year, the extra green energy is given to the Vermont Foodbank and COTS through credits from Green Mountain Power.
The array is located in an open field behind our shop. It has four rows of panels with forty-eight 310 watt panels in each row. Its total capacity is 59kw/hour. We use accumulated credits, from especially sunny days, to balance our power usage when we under-produce energy on a day-by-day basis.Installation Video
We have two 28kw inverters that convert DC power from the solar panels to AC power that is sent to the grid. A smart meter constantly records the power we are sending to the grid. On January 13th at 3:11pm one inverter was producing 17kw – not bad for late in the afternoon! Real time reports are sent to an online monitoring system.Energy Production Reports
Prudent Living LLC designed and installed the solar system. Tim Biebel worked with with us from the start. He and his team were able to provide us with a great system in a short time frame. We filed the permit application on October 17th, and were operational on the 30th of December, 2014.Prudent Living