Saturday 21 April 2012

Two New Records - and a Pigeon Nest!

Today the solar panels have passed a landmark and set a new peak production record. We have now generated over 1MWh (1000kWh) of electricity which seems incredible in 5 months that cover the worst winter period. Based on the current generation amounts it seems feasible that we could generate double this over the next 7 months. 3000kWh  from 3kWp panels would be an excellent result and give even faster payback on the panels.

We have also hit a new peak generation record today with 3.012kW being recorded at 1310 today. As today has been such a mix of sun and cloud it seems that the cooling effect of the clouds allows the generation to jump to the maximum when the sun comes back out again. It seems slightly strange that the peak recorded is above the nominal output of the inverter which is rated at 3000W.

Peak solar panel output and pigeon nests
Finally we discovered that a pigeon had decided the space under the panels would be perfect to start to build a nest. Sadly we disagreed on this and the pigeon will have to look elsewhere as sticks taped together and access to the panels via the velux window were enough to dislodge the sticks from beneath the panels. Having the velux window in the middle of the panels has proved to be very useful!

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Maximum Solar PV Power Output Achieved!

Today has been a complete mixture of weather from bright sunny spells to cloud and rain with thunder and lightning. Overall the solar panel power output hasn't been fantastic but the mix of cloud and sun has meant that we have achieved the maximum possible output from our solar panels today.

Solar PV panel peak outputs
Our panels are rated at 3010W potential (Wp or 3.01 kWp) meaning that the theoretical maximum peak output that could be obtained would be 3010W.

What is the maximum output of solar panels connected to a Sunny Boy HF3000 Inverter?

 Our panels are linked to a Sunny Boy HF3000 inverter which therefore limits the maximum power output to 3000W. This was achieved at 1230 today just after a cloudy sky had given way to sunshine. The solar panel output soon dropped as the panels warmed up but it shows that the maximum PV output from the inverter can be achieved.

Sunday 1 April 2012

March 2012 breaks Solar PV Generation records

As April begins with a new daily high, we now have a compete month of data for March 2012 which has beaten even the wildest expectations.The total generation for the month from our 3kWp panels was 314kWh so an average of over 10kWh per day. This total generation was obtained despite a very poor, cloudy start to March but the sunny days in the second half more than compensated for the slow generation at the start.

The predicted output was 210 kWh using SAP calculations and 243 kWh using PV-GIS so the actual output of 314kWh was over 50% higher than the SAP2009 estimate. This number is slightly higher than the number shown on the website link below as our inverter reads slightly lower than the generation meter.

Our solar PV installation consists of 14 x 235W Sungrid panels with Sunny Boy 3000HF inverter.

It will be interesting to see how this pattern continues over the rest of the year. The South East of England is currently suffering a drought so further sunny days may be good for Solar PV but not for water resources. I guess the ideal weather is sunshine during daylight and rain overnight.

Solar power generation during the drought
The monthly statistics for the generation of electricity from the panels is shown on the website below:

This compares the peak generation, maximum daily output and times that the panels were generating electricity by month.