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  1. #101
    Member JeffInCO's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
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    49
    Location
    Northern Colorado
    Tractor
    1952 Ferguson TO-30

    Default Re: 25 kW Solar power project in Iowa.

    So you will have a separate meter for the PV array? Then feed from the meter into the conductors in the tombstone, which are probably on the POCO's side of things. It sounds almost like your POCO treats the PV system as a separate service, even if they don't bill it as such.

    I can't do the same... as I have overhead service to a pole, and a single net meter on the pole. I have the same problem at the pole in that the equipment there, including the meter box, are all rated at 200 amps. I probably should have taken the option to upgrade the meter box to 400 amp when we did our remodel & redid our electrical (the 400 amp box had two 200 amp lugs). I think it would be quite costly to do that now.

    Jeff

  2. #102
    Elite Member Redneck in training's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    2,737
    Location
    South Central Iowa
    Tractor
    TYM 330 HST with FEL

    Default Re: 25 kW Solar power project in Iowa.

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffInCO View Post
    So you will have a separate meter for the PV array? Then feed from the meter into the conductors in the tombstone, which are probably on the POCO's side of things. It sounds almost like your POCO treats the PV system as a separate service, even if they don't bill it as such.

    I can't do the same... as I have overhead service to a pole, and a single net meter on the pole. I have the same problem at the pole in that the equipment there, including the meter box, are all rated at 200 amps. I probably should have taken the option to upgrade the meter box to 400 amp when we did our remodel & redid our electrical (the 400 amp box had two 200 amp lugs). I think it would be quite costly to do that now.

    Jeff
    I just returned from a meeting with our Electric Coop. They decided to install bidirectional meter for my house but recommended I install another meter that I will own just for the solar system.

    Edit: I think I will not install my own meter. There is always some discrepancy. Some caused by losses over the cable between the solar and the transformer, some by accuracy of the meter. I don't want to deal with it. It is better not to know. They mentioned something about $800 one time charge for the bidirectional meter.

  3. #103
    Elite Member Redneck in training's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    South Central Iowa
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    TYM 330 HST with FEL

    Default Re: 25 kW Solar power project in Iowa.

    Quote Originally Posted by MotorSeven View Post
    Hey......there will be no "pole dancing" until the project is done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You are just jealous.

  4. #104
    Elite Member Redneck in training's Avatar
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    South Central Iowa
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    TYM 330 HST with FEL

    Default Re: 25 kW Solar power project in Iowa.

    I started building the supporting structure today. I will post more pics when there is more progress.

  5. #105
    Elite Member MotorSeven's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
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    3,850
    Location
    NE TENN (Hancock Co)
    Tractor
    Kioti DK40SE Hydro

    Default Re: 25 kW Solar power project in Iowa.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck in training View Post
    You are just jealous.
    Yes Sir I am....my wife has been on my tractor.....ONCE! There is progress though, after several requests over the years she recently asked to learn how to shoot
    2008 KIOTI DK40Se Hydro
    1978 Sling Blade/wood handle

  6. #106
    Elite Member Redneck in training's Avatar
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    South Central Iowa
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    TYM 330 HST with FEL

    Default Re: 25 kW Solar power project in Iowa.

    We have supporting structure for one bank of panels ( for 30 panels) completely built, main cable laid in the trench and main safety switch We started installing panels but found that the inverters came without mounting screws. I ordered the screws about a week ago but still didn't receive them so the effort somewhat stalled because the inverters and the grounding lugs have to be installed after first row of panels is in. So far we lucked out with the weather but it seems to me that we will be able to finish two banks (out of three) before I get sent to my next work assignment.

    -dscn2828-jpg
    Digging trench
    -dscn2838-jpg
    The boss
    -dscn2837-jpg
    Laying the cable
    -dscn2848-jpg
    First row of panels partially installed.

  7. #107
    Silver Member MtHam's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
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    130
    Location
    Northern California coastal hills
    Tractor
    Kabota B3030

    Default Re: 25 kW Solar power project in Iowa.

    From what I can see in your last photo of the rack, I would be very concerned about wind loading.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -solar-jpg  
    Last edited by MtHam; 11-22-2012 at 01:08 PM.
    Kubota B3030, BH75 BH, LA403 FEL, Tiller, Mower, Box Scraper, Wallenstein FX65 Skidding Winch, BMX32 Chipper/Shredder,
    Kubota 8kw genset, RTV900, 1983 TroyBuilt Horse tiller
    8 trailers-12' dump, 8' utility, 12' box, 25' box, 28'TTx2 (worker housing), 28' 5th wheel TT, ATV trailer
    Polaris RZR 800 SxS, Yamaha Kodiak 450 ATV, Yamaha TW200 mc
    6kw grid-tied solar PV system, DHW solar system, solar water pump, 18x36' solar heated swimming pool
    4 Stihl chainsaws, 45 acres forest and meadowland

  8. #108
    Elite Member Redneck in training's Avatar
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    South Central Iowa
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    TYM 330 HST with FEL

    Default Re: 25 kW Solar power project in Iowa.

    Quote Originally Posted by MtHam View Post
    From what I can see in your last photo of the rack, I would be very concerned about wind loading.
    Yes, wind loading is an issue here. The footings are 5ft deep poured concrete about 80" apart. The wooden structure is all braced and bolted together. I went to Unirack web site and designed the racking on their program and then made it out of wood. There is room for four landscape rows but I will install only three lower rows on each bank.

    You have very nice place. How is your system performing? Does it meet predicted and/or expected production? Are you on or off grid? Do you use industrial racking or DIY? How did you select the angle? Any technical specs you can provide?

  9. #109
    Silver Member MtHam's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
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    130
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    Northern California coastal hills
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    Kabota B3030

    Default Re: 25 kW Solar power project in Iowa.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck in training View Post
    The wooden structure is all braced and bolted together. I went to Unirack web site and designed the racking on their program and then made it out of wood.

    You have very nice place. How is your system performing? Does it meet predicted and/or expected production? Are you on or off grid? Do you use industrial racking or DIY? How did you select the angle? Any technical specs you can provide?
    The bracing and bolts were not discern-able in the photo. Perhaps a detail shot would help. If the engineering behind the Unirack design carries over to your wood version, you should be fine.

    Mine is a grid-tied system and is producing as expected. May-October, it produces 30-45kwh/day. Because of California's tiered time of use rate structure, I am selling most of that power to PG&E at their extremely high peak rates, about $0.35/kwh. In the winter (and after dark) I am buying at their lowest rates, $0.08-0.12/kwh. Thus the panel angle was chosen to maximize summer production. What used to be a $3600 annual electricity bill is now about $150.

    Twenty years ago, I put a 2 panel domestic hot water system on the roof using a commercial system which I acquired 2nd hand for $250. I estimate it has saved me over $7500 in propane over that time.
    -sp3-jpg

    Another system for the swimming pool keeps it at 80-90'F from May through October.
    -pool-fog-jpg-poolsolararray-jpg

    Obviously, I believe in solar!
    Kubota B3030, BH75 BH, LA403 FEL, Tiller, Mower, Box Scraper, Wallenstein FX65 Skidding Winch, BMX32 Chipper/Shredder,
    Kubota 8kw genset, RTV900, 1983 TroyBuilt Horse tiller
    8 trailers-12' dump, 8' utility, 12' box, 25' box, 28'TTx2 (worker housing), 28' 5th wheel TT, ATV trailer
    Polaris RZR 800 SxS, Yamaha Kodiak 450 ATV, Yamaha TW200 mc
    6kw grid-tied solar PV system, DHW solar system, solar water pump, 18x36' solar heated swimming pool
    4 Stihl chainsaws, 45 acres forest and meadowland

  10. #110
    Veteran Member
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    Mar 2010
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    1,740
    Location
    Ontario
    Tractor
    CT235

    Default Re: 25 kW Solar power project in Iowa.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck in training View Post
    Yes, wind loading is an issue here. The footings are 5ft deep poured concrete about 80" apart. The wooden structure is all braced and bolted together. I went to Unirack web site and designed the racking on their program and then made it out of wood. There is room for four landscape rows but I will install only three lower rows on each bank.
    The week after I finished mine, we had record breaking winds for our area. Not tornado force, but close. Took out one of my big maples and flattened two sheds... I called the wife from the office and told to get her ***** out there to see what was happening to the array!

    Didn't even leave witness marks in the backfill around the poles, but frig I was trippin for a while. Didn't have insurance on them at that point either....
    Tim.

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