Micro-Fit Solar Energy Project Update

In April of this year, in a quest to continue to  “go green” as a home and Flyingbow Ministry office we undertook a Micro-Fit Solar Energy project. You can read our process, research and progress postings here:

Going Green … Decreasing our Footprint
Our Solar Energy Project began Yesterday

Solar Panel Install – Day 2

Solar Panel Update – Live and Connected to the Grid!

Many have asked Le-Anne and I how the project has been going. We are so far very happy with our decision. The panels are working well and on track in terms of production forecasts. Here are a few screen shots from this morning of the Enphase Energy Enlighten Computer Monitoring System:

This shot shows each of the 33 panels and their individual production of electrical energy in kWh. Daily, weekly, monthly and lifetime totals are on the right. It is helpful to see the individual power of each panel to make sure none are under-producing for some reason (ie. due to snow or leaf cover).

You can access all kinds of different stats and reports on energy output/production in the system. This is a month-to-date graph showing the daily production of energy. There has been a lot of rain in Guelph over the last week! It is amazing to me that the solar panels continue to produce electricity even on cloudy/rainy days (ie. June 6, 7 and 10, 2013).

This graph shows daily, minute-by-minute production of solar power. The “spikes” of power show when there is direct sun on the panels. The “valley’s” are showing cloud cover. The spaces between each “mountain” are the evenings where there is no energy being produced. Enphase Energy sends a monthly report on your solar system. Here is our report from the month of May. It is great to know that in only one month, we have offset 2020 pounds of carbon – the equivalent carbon offset of 23 trees! David Suzuki has a good article on Carbon Offsets here.

Until next time. T

Solar Panel Install … Day 2

Day 2 of the Solar Panel install looked liked this ….

The final solar panel is bolted into place …

The Waterloo Energy Products team led by Jason Grieb are:

Team Lead Hand – Mike Bolger
Second Lead –  Paul Boles
Panel Installer Labourer – Tim Wichers
Panel Installer Labourer – Mark Pfohl
Electricians – Tom Sonnenburg & Chad Gohl

They are doing a great job!

Going Green … Decreasing our Footprint

Upon moving to our newer home back in 2008, we have been on a little quest, little by little, to “go green”.

We are blessed to live in Guelph, Ontario,  a very green conscious town (with one of the best recycling programs in the country) where the popular culture is to be decreasing our footprint as a town. It is nice to know we are saving money at the same time.  “Save the earth while saving your money”  … has a nice ring to it!

Upon doing my studio renovations back in 2008-2009 it made sense to cash in on the many Ontario Government Grants (and city grants) to move our home and Flyingbow Ministry office towards being more energy efficient. We had an Ontario Ministry of Energy  Home Energy Audit completed before all of our renovations and cashed in on all the incentives the Government was providing at the time.

Upon completing the audit, we immediately replaced our 12-year old furnace for a high efficient one ($1500 rebate), traded in our old (rented) water tank for a high efficient tankless Rinnai Water Heater (a $500 rebate).  This enabled us to have a much more spacious studio entrance where the old water tank used to sit. We also replaced a couple of basement windows  (@ $40 government rebate per window). We also replaced a some toilets with low flush (water efficient) models ($65 Ontario rebate + a $50 Guelph rebate per unit). To save water, we also installed more efficient faucets and shower-heads … we also considered a Grey Water System which we decided after some research at the time would not be worth the investment.

As many others have done, to save electricity, we have moved to florescent bulbs in most light fixtures, traded in our old appliances for energy star ones. We also use timers on our washer, dryer and dishwasher to stay away from “peak hours”. Tomorrow, we will officially start the next step of going green when AAAuthentic Roofing Company from Waterloo re-shingle our roof in preparation for the installation of Solar Panels by Waterloo Energy Products. We have applied and been accepted for the Ontario Ministry of Energy microFIT Program where we will be renting the back half of our roof to the government of Ontario to feed into the electricity grid:

The Micro FIT and FIT (Feed-In Tariff) programs have made it easier for the operators of renewable energy generating facilities to participate in meeting Ontario’s electricity supply needs by supplying power through their local electricity distribution company and being paid a fair and stable price for the power they provide. The intent of the program is to help Ontario meet its renewable energy supply targets by providing a standard pricing regime and simplified eligibility, contracting and other rules for renewable energy electricity generating projects. Through the OPA microFIT and FIT program, customers are able to sign a non-revocable 20-year term of the contract to sell electricity back to the grid at a fixed rate.

More on this project later  … Until next time.  T