Solar PV and Thermal Additions
Site characteristics or focus during construction or remodel:
The site has good winter sun and a good flat open lot with views to the east. The owner wanted to try PV and solar hot water for both hydronic and domestic hot water heating. A representative from Independent Solar visited the site and tracked the winter sun, noting that one tree would cast shadows on the house during the winter months. The solar pv was relocated to the shed roof to take advantage of all day sun.
The plans included building a shed for storage, and the size was increased to accommodate the extra solar PV panels.
Building Construction Type:
Stick frame with hardy plank siding. The owner is a battalion chief for USFS fire fighting crew, and wanted to make sure the home was fire safe. His extensive experience with home fires in forested areas provided valuable input.
Site Use and Protection Measures Before and During Construction (LEED Cat I):
Best Management Practices.
Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Measures Used in Project (LEED Cat III):
2000 watts PV with the capability of 4kw at full expansion mounted to roof with a Uni-rack stand-off rack.
Inverters: Sharp Sunvista; they allow for three different orientations on the same inverter. Panels can be mounted in east, west, and south orientation, equaling essentially three inputs or three inverters in one, complete with remote display.
Meter socket on the AC output of the inverter allows the homeowner to keep track of net power output of the panels.
Space & Water Heating Systems:
Solar hot water (utilizing SunEarth panels) heating and domestic hot water heating. The solar hot water system is mounted on the main house roof because there is some partial shade during the day, and a solar hot water system deals better with partial shade than a solar PV system does.
A large storage tank is used for the solar drain-back system. A solar drain-back means as long as the sun is out, the solar hot water system has circulating water in it. When the sun goes away, the water drains
back into the storage tank and the pipes have no fluid in them. A drain-back system is one type of system used to eliminate pipe breakage from freezing and it is a low maintenance system.
There are two coils in the storage tank: one is for the solar domestic hot water and the other is for the in-floor hydronics.