Aug09

Over the years electric bills have gotten more complicated. It is important to understand how you are being charged for your electricity, especially if you are trying to calculate your payback on installing solar. There are still some electric companies that have an old school, simple approach to billing. They add up how many kilowatt hours (kwh) you have used that month and they bill you a set amount per kwh. If this is your electric company, congratulations! Your bill is easy to understand. But on a “tiered” or “TOU” billing system things get a little trickier. If you are on a “tiered” electric rate, you will see different dollar amounts per kwh which can get a little confusing. The concept behind this type of billing is that the electric company will charge you a reasonable amount for the first kwh that you use, but as you use more, they charge more. It starts with a baseline amount of electricity which is decided by the electric company. For example, they may say that the baseline is 20 kwh/day. They will charge “Tier 1” price for this baseline electricity, in our example, we will say it is \$.15/kwh. Then the electric company will assign another amount of kwh which will be “Tier 2”, for example it could be another 30 kwh/day and those will be billed at the “Tier 2” price of \$.25/kwh. Anything above that would be considered “Tier 3” pricing which could be as high at \$.35/kwh. Sometimes there will be even more tiers than that but we will work with just three for this example. So let’s say it is summer time and on day one of the month, you weren’t home so you set the air conditioning to 80 and you only used 45 kwh. On day two, you were home and it was hot out so your air conditioning was on full blast and you used 65 kwh. Day three was cooler so you only used 55 kwh. What would the electric company charge you on the tiered system for these three days? Tier 1            Tier 2            Tier 3             Total Day one:    (20 x \$.15) + (25 x \$.25)                         =  \$9.25 Day two:    (20 x \$.15) + (30 x \$.25) + (15 x \$.35) = \$15.75 Day three: (20 x \$.15) + (30 x \$.25) + ( 5 x \$.35)   = \$12.25 Now, if you were one of the lucky people who has solar, how much do you save in a tiered billing system? The answer is a lot because the solar helps keep you out of the higher pricing tiers. Let’s look at this...

Aug26

## GoGreenSolar increases energy independence with Sonnen Batterie

GO GREEN SOLAR is proud to announce that it is now one America’s select distributors of the SONNEN BATTERIE, a smart and elegant energy storage system that allows homeowners to keep and use the excess energy their solar arrays produce.   The addition of a Sonnen Batterie to a solar home allows for greater independence from energy companies, which have unpredictable rates and charge higher prices during peak energy hours.   “Sonnen offers smart technology that allows for management of energy usage within the home, such as controlling the time to use appliances to reduce electricity.”   Recent pressure from Big Energy on state legislators to do away with net-metering incentives and raise KW per hour rates on solar homeowners has sparked nationwide controversy, stimulating many of these homeowners to look for ways to further cut ties with the conventional energy grid.   The Sonnen Batterie offers these energy producing homeowners one such solution by combining powerful lithium-iron-phosphate battery cells, smart metering technology and a friendly user interface into a well designed wall unit that  harvests energy from a solar array or grid during peak energy hours, when rates are cheapest, and uses the stored energy when the rates are more expensive.     Designed by the German-based company to look minimalistic and sleek, fitting on the wall of any conventional home, the battery can save up to an additional 75% on electrical bills.   “Sonnenbatterie has integrated smart meter technology into every unit, allowing our customers to switch to battery power automatically when they are reaching their demand charge limits,” said Boris von Bormann, Country Manager of Sonnenbatterie North America   The battery, which is immediately available for purchase in the United States from Go Green Solar, also comes with the unique benefit of tapping into the Sonnen Batterie Community. Owners of the battery automatically become members of the Sonnen Community, which connects them off-the-grid to on another, allowing them to share excess energy or purchase excess energy from members at rates that pay better and cost less than those offered by electricity providers.   The Sonnen Batterie features smart phone capabilities that track energy usage, lasts up to 10,000 charging cycles and can scale out to meet a home’s energy needs.   Go Green Solar is an affiliate of Gigawatt Inc, developing solutions like home solar distribution since 2006 to help people stay powered.   Sonnen Batterie has been the leading European manufacturer of next generation smart residential and commercial energy storage solutions since 2011.   The two companies recently joined forces to bring homeowners using solar a smarter, more economical and efficient way to step off...

Jul21

## Case Study: SolarEdge7600 Energy Production

A 10.2 kW system using the SolarEdge 7600 Inverter was evaluated to compare the actual production against the production estimates produced by the layout design tool. The system evaluated was commissioned to operate since February, so the production values were compared from February to June of the year 2016. The results show that the estimates are very close to the actual production values. The system produced about 3.5% more than the estimates show overall in the time period from February to June. The results also show that the system actually produces about 3.5% percent more overall than the estimates in the PV layouts. This shows that the estimates attained via the PVWatts government website through our design tool are indeed accurate. The case study also shows that the SolarEdge 7600 Inverter is capable of handling a 10 kW system.   Equipment: 40x Gigawatt 255W Solar Panels 40x SolarEdge P300 Power Optimizers 1x SolarEdge 7.6kW Inverter w/ Zigbee Wireless Monitoring Location: Camaloa Avenue,Lake View Terrace CA...

Jun23

## How to make more than rebate \$ off your surplus energy

In the old days, the days of the 20th century, we all used to be energy deficient and needed to rely on large companies to generate energy for us, paying them a premium for its use.   But now, at the dawn of the age of renewable energy, we’re beginning to generate our own energy, and during those times when we’re left with a surplus, there’s evolved new ways to use it.   We’re not just talking your standard Net Metering government rebates here. One company, Xcel Energy, has taken the idea of a renewable energy surplus one step further and created a program that, in essence, can be called an energy bank and pays an annual incentive.   If you’re lucky enough to live in the states of Minnesota, Colorado and New Mexico, you might know what we’re talking about.   Currently, these three states are the only ones in the US that Xcel Energy operates or, in the case of New Mexico, has operated in.   The idea is simple, a spokesperson for the company explained:   “When people produce excess electricity it gets put into solar bank. If they produce more every month, their credits will grow, and if they use more, they can draw from it.”   At the end of each year homeowners have the option to roll their saved energy hours over into the next year’s account to draw from, or can choose to get a check back for however much excess energy the have left stored in their account. Such novel performance based incentives are paying homeowners in New Mexico that use solar \$0.08 per a KW hour for the next 10 years. And that’s in addition to the normal net metering and solar government rebates being dished out, resulting in some residents producing a positive cash flow for their energy consumption!   In Colorado, Xcel’s Solar Rewards Program, works on independent contracts with homeowners with rates that vary from person to person. And in New Mexico, Excel closed is program to new users in 2014 when the state Public Utilities announced it met its solar capacity.   After reading about how the company operates it appears that its state programs have a cap of solar depositors, which, once certain megawatt capacities are reached, it no longer becomes profitable for the company to store and sell off people’s excess energy.   People who managed to get a foot in before that window of opportunity closes, however, are able to reap the benefits of the annual payments for years until their contract...

May12

## The Big Apple’s Sun Farms

2016 has seen an unprecedented surge of solar projects in New York, with federal incentives enticing entrepreneurs to lease remote sites outside the city for community solar installations that can deliver power to the urban population. The growth of solar projects in New York has been on a steady incline according the State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA). In 2011 the state saw approximately 9,000 projects producing 80 megawatts of power compared with 2015, which saw 45,000 projects producing 525 megawatts of power.   Growth in 2016 is expected to accelerate even faster in the wake of New York Governor Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard, which aims to have the state producing more than half its energy from renewable resources by 2030.   Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard includes an array of incentives for residential and commercial installations and has sparked a landrush from businesses looking to get in on supplying clean energy for the city.   While rooftop panels have been the standard for supplying solar energy and are still common, proposals like those seen in the Village of Owego’s project are looking to lease out areas to build solar farms.   The clean energy recipients of the farm-style solar projects vary: some are group projects, some serve commercial users, and some serve municipal users. According to figures from the NYSERDA over 42 applications for farmed solar projects have been submitted at the start of 2016. It remains to be seen, however how well these businesses will do since, unlike fossil fuels, solar is available to anyone who is clever enough to harness it and, currently, so are its...