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My solar energy system

At the end of November 2008, I placed a solar energy system on my house.
For the system I receive a subsidy from the Dutch government.

The PV system (Photo Voltaic System) has a power rating of 3500 Watt peak, and is supplied by the company Esdec .

The power is generated by 20 solar panels of 175 Watt peak of brand: Trina solar
The technical data of the panels can be found here .

The panels are mounted on the roof by means of the ClickFit mounting system.
In this system you first have to place a lot of metal hooks on the roof, this is done simply by shifting a roof tile upwards, and place the hook around the tile + lath below it.
I had to bend all hooks slightly outwards, to let them fit around the tiles.

Then support rails are clicked onto the hooks.
This was quite a difficult job, the clicking wasn't very easy to do most times.
But after 3 hours working with 2 persons, all hooks and rails where on there place.

The hooks and rails mounted on my roof.

The solar panels are screwed onto the rails.
On the backside of the panels, plastic small blocks are screwed, by which the panels can be hooked on the rails, preventing the panels from sliding downwards during mounting .
Mounting the 20 panels took about 4 hours work with 2 persons.
The panels are electrically connected via watertight plugs.


All panels are placed.
The orientation of the roof is:
Direction: south-southeast (154)
Slope: 40

No shadow of buildings or trees can reach the panels.
This is very important, a little bit of shadow on one panel, can quite reduce the power of the complete system.

The upper row of 10 panels are series connected.
The lower row of 10 panels are also series connected.
At the end of each row an electrical cable goes through the roof into the house.

The inverter.
The two rows of panels are connected to the inverter, which supplies the generated energy to the electricity grid.
Both rows of panels have a voltage of about 360 Volt

The display of the inverter.
This picture shows, at that moment 2006 Watt is supplied to the grid.
The display can also show the total generated energy (number of kWh).
This picture is taken on a sunny day in December around 11.30 AM, the sun's altitude was quite low (<15 above horizon).
When cloudy about 20 to 200 Watt is supplied at daytime in the winter, to more then 1000 Watt during the summer.

For getting the subsidy, a production meter must be installed between the PV system and the electricity grid.
Below some pictures about installing the production meter.

The cable coming from the inverter of the PV system is connected to the electricity grid.
As you see, a loop is taken up in the cable.

A meter board of placed over the loop of cable.
Until this point the preparations are done by myself.

After that, a mechanic of the grid administrator has installed the production meter.

The subsidy is given for every generated kWh, even if you are using this electricity yourself.
For the year 2009 the subsidy is 0.29 per kWh.
Besides that, you also save the cost of the electricity.

To calculate the payback time of the system, I made a excel file in which I compare the yield of the PV system with the yield of a savings account.
I tried to take as much as possible relevant factors into account.
The calculations are based on the Dutch subsidy system, and Dutch tax system.
Click here to open the Excel file

In my case the pay back time is about 13 years.
You can yourself change the yellow coloured fields, and see what happens with yields and payback time.

Since it was build in 1966, my house is wearing the Dutch name "Zonnehoek".
Which translated means "sunny corner".
After placing the solar panels, this is now an extra appropriate name.

The system is put into use on December 1, 2008.
On this this page  you find the production of electricity per month.

My solar energy system can also be found on the website: www.solar-yield.eu


Two pictures taken on March, 22  2009
Left: the system delivers over a longer period 2900 Watt.

Right: the sun is just coming from behind a cloud.
The power is now somewhat higher, because the temperature of the panels is lower




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