Being a power hog myself, I realized that I needed to make a change. I didn't have an easy way to conserve more energy, so I needed a solution to make my own clean power. I decided to install a Photo-voltaic system on my house.

The system I decided to install was from Altair Energy. They had a Federal grant that took almost $5,000 off the price of the system, and they took care of most of the work of installing the system, for a fee slightly less than the grant discount. The system was installed by Carlson Solar. They installed the system in about three days.

After the system was installed, there was the (expected) delay from SDG&E and the city inspectors... After about 60 days of delay, the system was approved for power up and selling power to SDG&E.

The system consists of 42 AstroPower 1106 panels (110 Watts at 16.667 Volts nominal.) They are wired series/parallel in groups of three. This provides 36-60VDC to the input of a Trace SW-5548-PV inverter. The inverter power-tracks the array for optimum power output by looking for the optimum current:potential ratio.

Most days I see 26 Amps at 122 VAC. I have seen as high as 40 Amps. Generally the DC side is arount 44-48VDC.

I am seeing production of about 700 kW/Hr/Mo, during the winter, about 1 MW/Hr/Mo during the summer.


I recently moved to a new house, and installed a new PV system. This time, I used Carlson Solar.

The largest system that the roof could handle consists of 60 Sharp NE170U1 - 170 Watt panels, and three Xantrex GT-3000 inverters. Each inverter has a series string of 20 panels. Ironically, this system cost me only slightly more than the previous system at my last house.

If you have any questions, please email me at the address below.

Copyright 2000-2006 Jonathan Knepher, All Rights Reserved.
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