US64 Solar Panels & Trace SW4020

1 Posts
Jul 31, 2004 02:38 pm
US64 Solar Panels & Trace SW4020

Completely new to solar please excuse my novice questions. Smiley I was given 4 new US64 panels and a Trace SW4020. Have a large flat roof (35' x 60') in Tampa Florida that is completely exposed to the sun everyday. I was thinking of placing them on my roof to slow down my electric meter and possibly add more panels for a larger array. Approximately how many panels would I need to add to make any dent on my electric bill? I currently use 3,000 KWH per month so I don't expect to ever exceed my usage. Any advice greatly appreciated. Thank you -Scott
20 Posts
Jul 31, 2004 09:21 pm
Re: US64 Solar Panels & Trace SW4020

Well, 3000 kw a month, figure 28 days, thats 108 kw or 108,000w per day.  In FL I think you get 6 hours of sun a day (average with clouds)?  So then 108,000w by 6 to get 18,000w per hour.  Now you need to add about 20% more for conversion losses so 18,000 x 1.2 is about 22,000w.  That would be a HUGE array, typically they are 3000 to 5000 w in size.

Now your inverter can only convert 4000w max so I would suggest about 5000w max for your array.  Typical arrays cost between $4-$5 a watt, so again take $5x5000w or $25,000 for the installation and that will only get you about 1/4 of your typical usage.

I would strongly suggest you take a look at your usage and see what can be reduced, maybe switch over to compact fluorescent where ever you can, maybe upgrade you fridge, freezer, AC and any other large motor you might have.

Hope this helps

Aug 1, 2004 04:17 am
Re: US64 Solar Panels & Trace SW4020

3,000 kwh a month. If I go by the national average of $0.08 a kwh this would come to $240.00 a month electric bill. If I multiply this by a year that would be $2,880.00 wow! in a life time of paying an electric bill, say 40 years, that would be $115,200.00 I could go even further and multiply that by at least 10 million people nation wide and that would be $1,152,000,000,000.00
But wait it doesnt stop there, it just keeps going generation after generation and going and going and going.......
Eat your heart out Energizer bunny rabbit.

Our you could "just say no" but considering how deeply entrenched electricity has become in our psyc-ee its almost immpossible to walk outside and turn the main breaker off. One might try to raise there arm to do it and its as if some invisible force is pulling the arm back down. AARRGGUUHH, MUST TURN OFF, AARRGGUUHH, MAIN BREAKER, UUGGHUMPH. Even those that have the will power to move mountains and have been able to turn the main breaker off could only leave it off for a short period of time before they walked back outside with both arms raised in front of them, as if they were a zombie under the spell of a vodoo preistest, and turned it back on.

If you feel as if I have made fun of you, then, I apologize. It may make you feel better to know that I lived for over 20 years without any electricity whatsoever, and still went back to living with it. At least I am making my own for my own consumption, and its pollution free. That sort of makes me feel like that guy in the movie -The Matrix- the one that escaped from the Matrix, only I went and built my own and layed down in it. AAAAAAAHHHHH!

All kidding aside, I agree with Brock, consider reducing your kwh's. Nothing is going to reduce an electric bill more than abstainance. Have a professional licensed electrician familar with grid tied PV systems install what you have and just keep installing more PV until you run out of roof space. States as well as power producers vary with the incentives they offer. In the meantime, to learn more, check out  

20 Posts
Aug 1, 2004 10:17 am
Re: US64 Solar Panels & Trace SW4020

Scott, I was thinking, are you sure you�re using 3000KW a month.  The more I think about it that is a lot.  Is your bill in the $200+ range?  I mean I use a lot of power 99% of it at off peak rates ($.038 per kw), and I only use about 1000kw in summer (AC) and about 600kw in winter.  Almost all my on peak is supplied by solar.  That might be another approach for you to look at.

Basically most power companies will sell power at a lower rate at night, ours is less then half of the regular rate, then on peak or during the day it is about 2.5 times the going rate.  Since the sun shines during the day it is perfect for this sort of use.  The power companies do this because there is about 4 to 6 times the demand for power during the day and you basically have excess power during the night.  Sort of like empty seats on an airplane, they are better off selling it cheap rather then wasting it.

462 Posts
Aug 5, 2004 02:11 pm
Re: US64 Solar Panels & Trace SW4020

Scott, the best thing to do is set up the panels that you have and get yourself a couple or more deep cycle batteries. If you hook your panels up in parallel, assume 60  watt so, 12 Volts at 20 Amp or so, then you would need a battery charge controller rated for around 20-30 amp. Then you can use the batteries to operate 12 volt lights or get a small inverter and run lines from it to dedicated outlets in your home, tv or lights etc., to run off the batteries being recharged from the panels. Then you will be on your way to cheaper electric bills....

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