Grid-tied, Micro-inverter Solar Panels
In the spring of 2012, Andy and Susan installed solar panels on an addition to their 19th-century bank barn. As a result, much of the work that we do at ArchRec utilizes solar energy.
Andy: "Along with the dismal returns of conservative investments and CDs, the technological advances of micro-inverters and 'net metering' made me think it was time to invest in solar panels. With net metering, Duke Energy 'stores' my surplus energy when the sun is shining, by selling it to my neighbors. Because we are connected to the grid, we don't have to have batteries to store energy. But, when the power goes out, we lose power too.
So far we have been very happy with the performance of our solar panels. Between April and September of 2012, this system has produced over 3,000 kWH more electricity than we have used, but with shorter days and the shallow pitch of the roof, this rate will likely be lower through the winter.
The barn was moved in 1986. The house, built in 1982, is well-insulated and passive-solar-powered.
Total electric production from April 6 to September 29, 2012 is 5,200 kWH. A low day is less than 7 kWH. A high day is 45 kWH. One kilowatt hour is equal to ten 100 watt light bulbs operating for for 1 hour.
I have been successful in getting 'renewable energy credits' (REC's) for the power we generate without adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. One REC is equal to 1,000k WH's. This year, 1 REC is worth $97. In February, I will sell 7 REC's to Duke Energy."
To get the REC's, a homeowner needs to be certified by the Public Utility Commission of Ohio (PUCO) and GATS (Generation Attribute Tracking System).
Andy installs the solar panels