|MadALwx's Solar Data and Research|
|Data last updated 09/24/11 00:35.|
|Solar Energy Avg (W/m2)|
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Chart courtesy of Murry Conarroe of Wildwood Weather.My Solar Energy Research
I am considering using Solar Power due to possible govt. raising of electric rates under Obama; "Under my
plan...electric rates would necessarily skyrocket." Solar Power accounts for only .1% of the renewable energy used in the US.
Hydropower accounts for 3% of the renewable energy used (US EIA 2009).
Some websites require the ft2 of your home, refer you to a "Sun hour" map, or ask for 3, 6, or 12 month electric usage. I don't see how home size can be relevant; it's how much energy you use. As for determining avg electric usage, it seems more wise to use 12 months, vice 3, or 6.
Energy Usage Reduction
Before considering solar energy, determine how you can reduce kWh usage. Start by reducing one of the biggest loads; your hot water heater. For the climate in our area, the best option seems to be a heat pump. It uses surrounding heat during summer to heat the water.The Energy Detective
The Power Save seems useful in older homes that can't compensate for initial loads made by older motor-driven appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, etc.
Solar System RequirementsFor calculating the type of system - PVWATTS
The data below is from PVWATTS. Their saying the max solar radiation for Dec is 3.27kW/m2/day.
My solar sensor (see chart above) shows avg 478W/m2/hr x about 7hrs useable daylight=3.34kW/m2/day.)
Using a 4.0kW solar system, in Dec, we could produce 308kWh. We typically use 1400kWh in Dec. To make better use of solar, we have to curb kWh. The amount saved would be $24.33. This does not include the $.12/kWh TVA pays us for selling what we generate, on top of the current electric rate. (NOTE: TVA Green Switch requires a min 500W/hr system to qualify for their incentives and program, so we would have to atleast look at a 5.0kW system.)
As you can see, you would have to purchase, atleast, a 5kW Solar System to maintain the minimum required by TVA to qualify for incentives. Right now, that cost will never be returned. Hydro-electric is financially smarter to use in North AL because hydro-electric rates are very low. However, if electric rates skyrocket the way Obama wants, it might be better to go solar.
ResourcesOne-stop pricing - Eco Business Links
State Incentives - TVA Green Power Switch
Gov't Incentives - Gov't Incentives
How Solar Energy observations are obtained.
This station's data/observations are collected by a Davis VP2 Professional Wireless Weather Station. Observations are collected every 1sec and data reduction is performed by Weather Display software. The station is comprised of an anemometer, barometer, temperature and humidity sensors, a .01" rain gauge, solar radiation sensor, soil moisture sensors, and 4 thermo-hydro sensors situated in optimal positions for highest accuracy possible. This trend is based on observations recorded at .
Accurate analysis can only be obtained by correctly sited sensors. This weather station is sited IAW the procedures outlined in the CWOP handbook. Data collected by this weather station is utilized by NOAA, CWOP, and other weather organizations.