What do you get when pool nerd meets solar nerd?

CaptainCannonball

Silver Supporter
May 18, 2016
239
Woodland, Ca
#1
I was was looking to build a structure over my equipment pad mostly to keep my Stenner pump out of blazing Sacramento afternoon sun. I've seen the video where they guy from Arizona rigged up a few panels, but it felt kind of amateurish so I went with two solarworld 295 panels and enphase micro inverters in order to match what's on my roof.

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CaptainCannonball

Silver Supporter
May 18, 2016
239
Woodland, Ca
#3
Very, very cool! What an awesome setup! Is your bleach tank the dark blue in the corner? How many gallons? So neat to see such a robust setup with room to work but also so compact.
Thanks for the kind words, the Chlorine is in a Stenner 7.5 gallon container. I keep toying with the idea of a SWG, then using the stenner pump to dose acid.
 

Manorpool

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2016
68
Manorville, NY
#5
Real nice set up I was starting to plan out building an extended roof off my shed to cover the pool equipment but I think you've inspired me to expand my houses solar energy and throw some panels on the roof and use some more as a roof over my pool equipment! Very cool.


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CaptainCannonball

Silver Supporter
May 18, 2016
239
Woodland, Ca
#7
What do you use the PV power for?


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Thanks for the positive comments.

The panels are grid tied so they push power back to the grid. I run our pool pump anywhere from 400 to 800 watts so these two panels provide enough power each sunny day to run the pump for about 4 hours of skimming or two hours of cleaning. The panels don't have an ideal angle so they are only half as productive as the other panels on the roof, but they will still pay for themselves in 6-7 years.
 

tlevy

Well-known member
Jun 3, 2015
357
Ottawa/Ontario
#8
Do you manage to run the pump directly from the panels through the inverter though? What happens if a cloud passes over and the voltage from the panels drops?


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CaptainCannonball

Silver Supporter
May 18, 2016
239
Woodland, Ca
#9
No, the pump is not powered directly by the panels.

The pump is grid powered, so it always runs as programmed if it is sunny or not. The panels send energy to the "grid" when they produce electricity. As an example, if the pump is using 800watts and the panels are producing 500 watts, then 300 watts are being used from the power company's "grid." Another example would be if the pump is using 400 watts and the panels are producing 500watts, then the extra 100watts are sent back to the power company's "grid." I then get credited for the excess and can use it later as in the first example.
 

Isaac-1

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
#10
Looks good, If they are facing south I suspect they are near optimal tilt solar angle for the spring / summer swim season see Optimum Tilt of Solar Panels Another thing to remember is optimal average annual solar tilt is not always the best solution for a given problem, for example I have a 100 watt solar panel powering a remote wifi gate camera with a deep cycle battery, the panel is mount at 45 degrees which is approximately our optimal winter panel angle, as a result the panel will under preform on those long summer days, but this does not matter as it will still provide a surplus of power. Where in the winter with less available solar and more cloudy days it needs maximum optimaization.
 

CaptainCannonball

Silver Supporter
May 18, 2016
239
Woodland, Ca
#11
That's a good example and I believe often overlooked factor in solar design. I've "traded" half of my potential production for the shelter aspect these panels provide. They are a few degrees south of west facing and are shaded for the first half of the day. They only produce half of what my other panels produce but $.39 kWh tier three energy makes the $$ work.
You_Doodle_2017-04-02T20_57_48Z.jpg
 

bmoreswim

Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 16, 2012
4,309
Central MD
#14
Elon's solar shingles are to be introduced soon. Won't be cheap I'm sure, but they attractive looking and have to make at least some financial sense I expect.
 

CaptainCannonball

Silver Supporter
May 18, 2016
239
Woodland, Ca
#15
Hopefully they get some of that Elon magic and they do better than then the Dow Corning roof tiles from a few years ago. I would be concerned about the current political climate in respect to the incentives that he heavily relies on.

I would love love to see some sort of multi-stage paint that could be used to capture energy.
 

Sammy2

Well-known member
Aug 30, 2016
378
Riverside, CA
#16
That's a good example and I believe often overlooked factor in solar design. I've "traded" half of my potential production for the shelter aspect these panels provide. They are a few degrees south of west facing and are shaded for the first half of the day. They only produce half of what my other panels produce but $.39 kWh tier three energy makes the $$ work.
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I have a 8.9kva system (33 SolarWorld 270watt panels as seen in the picture in the post here) on my roof with enphase microinverters. I get the read out of the whole system in MyEnlighten but am wondering how you pulled the readout of just these panels. I can log into the envoy via its local ip address but haven't really looked at it too much but is this where you pulled that graph from? As far as angle goes, my roof is 4:12 so it is 18ish degrees but our latitude is 33 degrees. Not optimum but the best you can do on the roof because to try to tilt them more they end up shading each other somewhat so it is better to just lay them flat. We're fortunate to have the house oriented a few degrees east of south though so that helps. We will hit transformer clipping for a few hours on a few days in April each year, proving that using 215watt microinverters on 270watt panels is a cost-effective approach because the minute extra power produced will never recover the additional cost of larger microinverters.
 

CaptainCannonball

Silver Supporter
May 18, 2016
239
Woodland, Ca
#17
I have a 8.9kva system (33 SolarWorld 270watt panels as seen in the picture in the post here) on my roof with enphase microinverters. I get the read out of the whole system in MyEnlighten but am wondering how you pulled the readout of just these panels. I can log into the envoy via its local ip address but haven't really looked at it too much but is this where you pulled that graph from? As far as angle goes, my roof is 4:12 so it is 18ish degrees but our latitude is 33 degrees. Not optimum but the best you can do on the roof because to try to tilt them more they end up shading each other somewhat so it is better to just lay them flat. We're fortunate to have the house oriented a few degrees east of south though so that helps. We will hit transformer clipping for a few hours on a few days in April each year, proving that using 215watt microinverters on 270watt panels is a cost-effective approach because the minute extra power produced will never recover the additional cost of larger microinverters.
I paid for the Enlighten Manager software (total ripoff btw) that I share with a few neighbors. It allows for individual panel monitoring and the ability to run some interesting reports. My neighbor had a golf ball strike that damaged one of his panels and he would have never known without individual panel monitoring. I mean, the panel was producing at 25% capacity so when a large system is down 150watts who would notice?

It sounds like you have a nice system! Let's hope Enphase and Solarworld stay in business. :)