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 Post subject: Solar guppy software question
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 5:44 pm GMT EndGMT 
Have a small 1000 watt net metering system I installed myself about four years back using the 1500 watt Xantrex Suntie (with 12 100 watt Astropower panels) on the roof of my house. I took advantage of the upgrade for the new version of this inverter (especially after my first inverter completely failed after the first year and a half), but since then it seems I have been paying more to my electricity company than I was with the old inverter. This year I got socked with the highest bill yet, and am realizing I have no data from my inverter in which to dispute their annual "true up" bill. This is because - as you ofcourse know - the STXR 1500 only stores and displays lifetime watthour totals, and not daily, monthly, or annual amounts. In other words, I have no data to show what my system has been producing last year to make sure this has been credited against what my electric company (PG&E) is saying that I used and should be billed for. Or even to see if my system is funtioning within anticipated specs. I have increased the loads in my house in the past year to some degree, but hadn't expected such a dramatic increase over that difference between what my system should be net metering - i.e., according to my electric company.
Would this software provide that data? From what I have been reading on these boards, it seems that it does, but just want to make sure.
Thanks, hope this doesn't seem like too obvious a question -

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 6:19 pm GMT EndGMT 
Red Cobra Delta Guppy
Red Cobra Delta Guppy
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Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2002 1:01 am GMT EndGMT
Posts: 1159
Location: Lakeland Florida
If you want to see what your producing per month , just watch the unit for a minute and write down the lifetime value reported. next month do the same and you will have the new value, the difference is what you produced for the previous period.

I have a feeling your expecting allot of your PV system as a 1200 watt PV system MIGHT produce 4-5kWh day ... or about 50-60 cents of energy

Put it another way, the energy you get from the your solar is maybe 15-20 dollars a month tops ...

More than likely you have added loads in your home or have loads increasing from aging appliances.

What you should do is an energy audit of your home and fine out where the loads are. Most people recommend a Watts Up , sold by RadioShack I have read, or use google

I did a quick google , here is one hit

I'm NOT recommeding this store , but it gives you a good overview of what you need to do

What is your monthly and yearly kHr usage ?

Lastly, Sure you can run FishBowl, but it won't tell you anything more than reading the LCD display once a month to see what your produced for what your concerned about

Hope this helps!

 Post subject: Big PG&E bill
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 4:46 pm GMT ErdGMT 
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Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2002 1:01 am GMT EthGMT
Posts: 47
Location: Campbell, CA
Since I'm also in the PG&E district, and you have at most an augmenting generation system, you should as a rule be TOU netmetered. Your residential rate should be E7 (not E1) and you should have paid PG&E $277 for the privilege of installing a bidirectional "Time Of Use" meter on your abode. Assuming your house is relatively idle during the day, why all the shoulds ?

1) Between the weekday hours of 12pm-6pm April thru October ,PG&E pays you .29/KWH you send back to the grid. That is known as the on-peak rate.
2) Off-peak rates drop you down to .09/KWH, thereby tripling your effective generation yield when you burn their power off-peak
3) PG&E has a above&below baseline 5-tiered rate system. An augmenting PV system will shave off the most expensive tier rates (usually a bigger concern for commercial solar installations)
4) In the winter months, your rates are .11/.09 , on/off-peak respectively. That means, if you bank enough during the sunny days, and your PV system is currently delivering even only 40% of your annual power needs, you just may break even on a per-annum basis. Not bad for a $277 investment.

For more info on PG&E rates, go to ... index.html

I'd like to hear if other power companies have such a good deal for owners & operators of residential & commercial PV systems (perhaps we need another forum thread for this one). I believe making this kind of information very public is very important to bringing PV generation into the mainstream, where the bottom line is, well, the bottom line cost, in pure cash flow terms [aka break even], or better yet, return on investment (as in making some money over time [aka showMeTheMoney] ).


Imagine there's no oil,
It's easy if you try ...

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