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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

2013 Results -- first full year of co-generation

This blog is not dead.  2013 was almost uneventful.  The broken solar panel was replaced under warranty by Centrosolar AG.  Their Scottsdale AZ office determined that it was a warranty issue.  The panel was in stock.  They sent out an electrical contractor to install it.  No charge.

AZ electric companies asked for 50 dollars per month from each residential solar installation, and settled for a fee based on size and which will average 5 dollars per month.  Mine would be 16 dollars, but I'm in the grandfathered class of systems installed prior to the new fee schedule.  After the news of this fee, which was touted to be a way of sharing the cost of the power grid infrastructure, APS was on camera and the newscaster asked what the average cost per month was for the grid infrastructure.  They said $2.30... so they asked for more than 20 times that, and settled for a little over double.  What a bunch of criminals.  The AZ Corporation Commission should review that footage and rescind their ruling.

At the end of the year, on the date of the December meter reading by APS, the surplus power was 10,356kWh.  For this I received a billing credit of $278.  That was quite insultingly low, considering they sold that power for at least 3000 dollars.  I have written to the AZ Corporation Commissioners. I await their response, but doubt anything will change.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Well we're almost through with summer in Arizona again... officially I think we have 2 more weeks to go.  But rain and moderate temperatures have been with us for a week or more now.  Last month I did use more electricity than I produced, first time since my array went live on March 16, 2012.  The reason?  Clouds.  I was only short by 174 kWh.  That's less than two days of normal production.  But I had several days that produced half or less than the summer average.  All told it amounted to 2.35% of my banked surplus for 2013.  If you're reading this blog post first, please be advised that the really good stuff is near the earliest posts, and there's a lot of photos between January 2012 and the commissioning date -- March 16, 2012.  Before January of 2012 the blogs are mostly of my questions and speculations... being completely new to PV solar co-generation.

Monday, June 24, 2013

1 percent failure rate (1 out of 99 panels)...  It still produces electricity with inner glass layer shattered.  The top glass layer is smooth and unbroken so I don't know when it will actually need to be replaced.  No water gets into the panel when I wash it.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

For the past month (March 2013) we've been producing about 130kWh per day.  I switched from time-of-day rates to flat so that there will not be a repeat of last summer, when night-time AC usage exceeded my off-peak co-generation surplus.  That meant that I had to pay roughly 60 dollars per month extra for those off-peak kWh even though I was making and banking more on-peak than I used.  With flat rates I'll always be able to use from my surplus.  The winter rates are used to settle up at the last meter reading of the year so that means there's almost no monetary difference between on-peak, off-peak, or flat rate surplus when it comes to getting paid.

I think some of you need to see a current bill... this is from APS.com for the monthly billing cycle that ended on 3/20/2013.

Charges for electricity services

Cost of net electricity

Customer account charge $1.83

Delivery service charge $0.00

Environmental benefits surcharge $0.00

System benefits charge $0.00

Power supply adjustment* $0.00

Metering* $2.61

Meter reading* $1.80

Billing* $2.03

Generation of electricity* $0.00

Federal transmission and ancillary services* $0.00

Federal transmission cost adjustment* $0.00

LFCR adjustor $0.02

Cost of electricity you used $8.29

Taxes and fees

Regulatory assessment $0.02

State sales tax $0.56

County sales tax $0.06

City sales tax $0.25

Franchise fee $0.17

Cost of electricity with taxes and fees $9.35

Total charges for electricity services $9.35

Thursday, December 06, 2012

2012 Results -- partial year (9 months) of co-generation

Short cool days.  Now we're seeing production of 68-70 kWh per day.  I need to wash the panels, but when I inspected them last month after some rain they were not too dirty.  I think we may see only from 0-5% improvement, but I'll let you know.  It may be statistically insignificant.

Updated:  On December 19, 2012 the meter reading occurred and I was given a billing credit of $450 for the surplus of 6,877 kWh.  This was based on the winter low rate of about 6.5 cents per kWh.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Hot Summer Days

Well it has been a while.  Hot weather is offsetting the production we gain from longer days.  The highest production day was 168kWh with steady wind cooling the panels.  The stifling hot days had production down below 140kWh.  Today, July 4th, we produced only 50kWh with intermittent rain and heavy clouds all day.

The June bill was for 33 days and totaled 20.05.  This is pretty consistent and after 3 months I am paying about 65 cents per day for fixed charges like having a meter and having it read (electronically).  I'm happy with that and the bank of surplus kWh is approaching 7000 -- more than my two largest months of usage last year when the AC units needed service and the house was less insulated.  Repairs and service on the two big AC units and the small window unit, along with adding R14 of new foam on the roof, should lead to reduced consumption for this July and August.