Thursday, March 09, 2006
Solar Sightings No. 6 --Solar on House in Berkeley
Welcome to the 6th installment of "Solar Sightings," in other words, my wanderings through different neighborhoods and photos of solar-electric or solar hot water systems that have caught my eye.
The house featured in this post is in Berkeley. It's a solar-electric system(you can tell by the metallic grid-pattern on each panel, each metal string being the path for electrons to travel. [Hot water panels don't have these metallic lines; they're also thicker than pv panels and have thick plumbing pipes leading to and exiting the panels; basically black boxes with tubing inside that heats up the water.]
I liked this installation because the panels have a clean look, neatly configured at the same angle/pitch of the roofline. Most the panels(14) are facing south, the best orientation for a house in the Northern hemisphere. Also, they're hard to see, but there are 3 west-facing panels on the roof-eave to the left of the upper-floor windows. This homeowner was probably trying to use all of the available UNSHADED roofspace for the panels. Remember that even a little shade on a panel can substantially REDUCE its output.
Hard to guess the total DC watt rating of the system, but just for fun, if each panel averages 150 watts, it's probably a 2.5kW system, meeting most of the house's electricity need, and with a pricetag probably between $13,500 - $15,000.
Not bad for at least 25 years' worth of green energy, feeling good, a major carbon emission reduction and cheaper than most cars!!
Keep looking roofward,
Categories: solar, energy, green, sustainable, renewable, EconomicsOfSolar, calculations, SolarSightings