Tracy N's posts

Posted by Tracy N on Apr 15, 2010 04:48 pm

#1 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Minimum string size for Solectria 3000w grid-tie inverter?

Thanks for the information on the 1800 at 2500 models. Like you said, I'm sure the low wattage won't "hurt" the inverter but will result in it operating at a much-reduced efficiency, much like an overcast day for a full-sized array.

Please let us know if you hear anything back from Solectria on this.

Posted by Tracy N on Apr 9, 2010 12:04 pm

#2 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Minimum string size for Solectria 3000w grid-tie inverter?
Thanks everyone for all of the help.

I've been trying for the last two months to get a definitive answer back from Solectria about this very issue. My concern is that they may attempt to void the warranty or something else if they deem this to have been running "out-of-spec". The voltages/wattages going into the unit (albeit low) would be stored in the unit so that is easy to determine.

I'm trying my best to stay within the operating parameters of the inverter so as not to damage it. On the other hand, I don't want to wait another 2 years to be able to afford the extra 2.8kw of panels to start getting some sort of payback.

Obviously, after an investment of this magnitude, it would be nice to offset at least *something*, *anything* at the git-go. My house, when idle, draws about 230 watts (wall warts, idle loads, etc).

I've emailed and called Solectria (left voice mail) and they never seem to have time for the "little guy". I wish I would have known this prior to purchasing the inverter since I would have chosen a more customer-friendly manufacturer.

I'm sure many others here might consider a similar start to PV, which would benefit AltE and Solectria right away (through increased sales) but I guess we'll be left in the dark (excuse the pun) with regard to the lower operating limits of the inverter.

On another note, the price-per-watt for the Kaneka GSA60 panels can't be beat but watch out for the cost-per-watt for the Unirac mounting solutions! I figured that the cost for mounting each module is about the same cost of the module itself when you figure the "D" clamps, railing, standoffs, etc. I've already committed to this course but something to think about if you're following a similar path.

It would be really nice if Solectria could improve their customer support and/or sizing tool.

Oh, forgot to mention; Yes, the wiring runs, etc have been designed for the final setup (3000w total).

Thanks again for the replies and hope Solectria gets back soon with some answers Wink

Posted by Tracy N on Mar 31, 2010 12:17 pm

#3 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Minimum string size for Solectria 3000w grid-tie inverter?
Hi all,

I'm starting off relatively small and and have had my Solectria 3000w grid-tie inverter hooked up. Recently my 4 Kaneka GSA-60 panels and Unirac mounting have arrived. My question is this:

Will the Solectria start producing *anything* from the 240w of PV I have? At 90vdc OC per panel this should (at 360vdc OC) be more than enough to reach the 240vdc "strike" voltage of the inverter to kick it off.

Like many today, I don't have an unlimited budget but would like to add 4-at-a-time Kaneka 60w panels as funds become available until I finally reach the 3000w capacity of the inverter.

It won't be terribly economical at the start but the major expense in this case is the inverter installation/wiring (done) so I'm looking forward to adding to the system. Obviously I'd like to get *any* payback ASAP Wink

TIA for any thoughts.

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