The day is coming! During the coming week, we’ll have our second set of solar panels installed. This will take the total size of our system to 17 kW.
Why is it necessary? During the peak of summer, our solar panels were providing about 45% of our daily power. That leaves a good chunk that can be produced sustainably while reducing our energy costs. I estimate almost 80% of our daily usage was due to the air conditioning going.
What about spring and fall? I expect we’ll generate a surplus during those months. We’ll benefit from lower temps, which is better for solar production and requires less AC.
What about winter? It seems paradoxical that we’ll use lots of electricity in winter. Part of the plan is using room heaters in common areas, and reducing the temperature our natural gas air furnaces kick in. Why not use the sun to warm our house? Longer term, we will switch to heat pump water heaters, heat pump air furnaces, and heat pump dryers. That will increase our electricity usage in the winter.
If summers last longer, and days get hotter, we’ll need all the solar we can get. We’ll see if it pays off as time goes on.
What does our featured image tell us?
Zone 5 is our current solar panels, facing West. Zone 8 and 9 will be our new solar panels facing South. We got into some back and forth with the HOA Design committee. They wanted us to remove the 2 panels in the front for Zone 8. We told them we would need a new contract, new utility approval, and to submit with the HOA again. We took our chances, and they approved! As you can see from the above, zones 8 and 9 are the most yellow portion of our roof.
If anyone in Texas is interested in solar panels from SunPower contact Mike Carey here (no spaces): mcarey at freedomsolarpower.com. He’ll set you up for a free solar evaluation.