- The system was in place for 368 days (29 days of which there was no production due to equipment issues, snow load prevented access to equipment repairs in Feb/Mar).
- The average system output was 330kwh/day.
- The average consumption of our operations was 295kwh/day.
- Highest daily electricity generation was May10 with 724kwh
- 112% of consumption was generated from the PV Solar System.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
An interesting thing regarding solar panels is their configuration or setup. Our 525 panel array is configured so that several panels are connected in series as a "string", and then combined with other strings to send their DC current to an inverter where the output becomes AC current.
Friday, October 15, 2010
A physical review revealed that use of hot water occurred only at end of work periods (break-time, lunch, end of day). Otherwise, the system was maintaining 50 gallons of hot water during off periods (such as evenings and weekends).
An on-demand system would not work due to the heavy load that occurs upon lunch time as an example, when all the workers are using actively washing up before a meal.
A 6 gallon tank was found to be the right size for our peak use. The tank takes up less room, and doesn't require the venting like the former natural gas fired tank.
The comparison of costs and determining payback of investment is offered via this government website.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Electric delivery vehicles are a possibility of the future, which is why we are currently testing the feasibility via the electric passenger vehicle (the only pure EV available is the Tesla Roadster).
Friday, September 24, 2010
The location of our operation in Derby, CT has had quite a history. It was a cannon factory, then a munitions factory, and just previous to our residence, a dye and print factory of fabrics. There was a fire at the location in the mid 1980's that devastated the property. You can see the canal alongside the property from which previous occupants tapped it's kinetic energy for powering machinery. In recent years, it powered a turbine to generate electricity for McCallum Enterprises, who have a similar facility on the Shelton side of the Housatonic River.
- instruction on where utilities access the property
- emergency contacts of property owners
- basics on the construction materials and layout of the structures on the site
- chemicals that are typically stored and their location on the property
Monday, September 20, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Our fleet of vehicles is primarily for delivery of finished product. Given that there is little storage on construction sites in Manhattan, our deliveries are almost daily for the material that will be installed promptly. The weight and size of materials being delivered results in diesel powered trucks proving to be the best vehicle choice.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
- Raw materials are delivered on wooden pallets that we can't re-use for shipping our product. These are made from yellow pine 2x6 and can be 20ft in length. We offer them to the public for free pick-up, and in 2009 this avoided (2) 30-yard dumpsters of waste.
- Finished curtainwall panel product can vary in size and shape but is delivered with minimal packing materials. The products are assembled in shipping boxe "cubes" which are made from galavanized steel and sheet excess which is re-used as often as possible. At times, product is shipped in wheeled carts for transport on the jobsite and these are re-used also. There has been virtually zero expenditure for packing and shipping materials.
- Scrap or "drop" waste from processing raw materials is minimized with optimization programs to efficiently cut items from raw sheet or extruded lengths. The amount of raw materials purchased for a project has thus been reduced.
- All aluminum and steel is recycled with a company located within 20miles of our operation. The revenue from recycling goes toward employee recognition of providing meals during weekend overtime work, and the food during holiday parties.
- Our storage racks were purchased at auction of a local lumber company rather than constructed from new. The savings were 50% of a new equipment purchase.
- Our engineer's desks and furniture were purchased from local office of Phillips Medical Systems when they vacated their space. The savings were 10% of a new equipment purchase.
Our photo-voltaic solar array is the largest commitment to the environment. The NYTimes has an Earth Day article about the subject of Solar Power.
These are all small items on their own, but collectively make quite a difference. We encourage everyone to make a small difference to the environment, not only on Earth Day, but every day.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
In Connecticut where our facility is located, utilities (electric, water, etc) are regulated by the Dept. of Public Utilities (DPUC). Photo-Voltaic generated electricity is considered a Class 1 Renewable Energy Resource, and the DPUC has a ruling on how generators of such energy should be dealt with.
In our region United Illuminating Co. is the electric utility. UI delivers our electricity, and in our case we also purchase our actual electricity from them as a provider (since deregulation, you can also choose to purchase electricity from other providers, re-sellers or aggregators - but everyone must deal with UI who owns the poles, transformers and "grid" infrastructure to deliver the power).
UI has a "Class 1 Renewable Net Energy Rider (NEC1)" to accompany their tarrif schedule and abide by the DPUC ruling. The rider states:
- Net energy billing shall be performed monthly, and payments for excess sales to the Company shall be made on an annual basis, for the period from April of each year to March of the following year.
- During the annual period, if energy sold to the Company in any month exceeds energy purchased, the excess sales will first be credited to the customer in the current billing period and any remaining net sales will be carried forward for crediting on a per kwh basis in the next billing period or a subsequent billing period within the annual net energy period.
- Any excess kwh remaining at the end of an annual period shall be paid at that time according to the Average hourly Connecticut ISO-NE real time locational marginal price (RT-LMP), for the hours 10am-4pm during the annual period.
In plain english: If the array generates more kwh than consumed in a month, the credit kwh carries forward to the future period. If there is a kwh credit at the end of the annual period, the value is paid to the generator. Value is determined by the peak period prices posted by the Regional Transmission Organization (Independent Systems Operator - New England) for our location within their system.
From 2009April till 2010March (billing periods) Our Photo-Voltaic array generated 8480kwh in excess of what was consumed. The ISO-NE RT-LMP for that period is .04663 per kwh. Thus we made $395.42 for the excess power generated. The true value of our PV system is deferring purchase of kwh from the utility.
To put this into relational terms, 8480kwh is approximately 6months of electricity for the typical household.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Derby, CT (March 29, 2010) - IDA International Inc. today announced the results from 1 year of operating a photo-voltaic system at its facility in Derby, CT.
You can read the unveiling "operational" announcement of the system here. Data points:
- First year operations period 2009-Mar-23 thru 2010-Mar-23.
- System size is 525 photo-voltaic panels with a 100kw DC to AC inverter.
- Generated 111,266kwh of electricity, thus providing in excess of all consumption needs for operations on-site.
- Single day record of 695kwh was set on 2009-May-19.
- Nine months had more electricity production than consumed by operations, the exceptions were Nov, Dec, Jan.
- Based on data from the EPA for our electricity provider (United Illuminating), this clean generation avoided 103,032 lbs of carbon dioxide, 263 lbs of sulfer dioxide and 96lbs of nitrogen oxide from polluting the air.
- The "credits" from our renewable energy generation (as opposed to generation from coal or gas) were sold to the Ct. Clean Energy Fund.
See how clean the electricity you consume is via this EPA webpage.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Our Photo-Voltaic Solar Array records all it's statistics on a server every 5 minutes. This data can then be analyzed, or for today's purposes graphed. If any educator / researcher would like the raw log data, please contact me via email.
PV System size: 525 panels.
Inverter capacity: 100kw DC to AC.
Date: 2010/Mar/17 (St Patrick's Day)
Weather: Clear, no clouds, high temperature in the 60's.
Begin civil twilight 6:33 a.m
Sunrise 7:01 a.m.
Sun transit 1:01 p.m.
Sunset 7:01 p.m.
End civil twilight 7:29 p.m.
Electricity Creation begin 7:04 a.m.
Peak Generation (88.8kw) 1:39 p.m.
Electricity Creation stop 7:09 p.m.
Total Electricity for day 597kwh
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
During the heavy snowstorm of late February, a disruption to our array occurred. The direct current generation was "off" and caused the inverter to trip a fuse (as it would normally do to protect it's electronics). The system as a whole has worked well with little down time since it's installation nearly a year ago. There were 8 days in 2009 where the system as whole was non-functional. Circuit boards in the inverter, or power outages from the grid caused such lack of output. Note that I don't say mis-function, as when their is a power outage, our PV Solar System will not push energy into the grid.
In 2009 electric year (2008Dec18 thru 2009Dec16):
- Our system was in place for 269 days (8 of which there was no production).
- The average system output over those days was 343kwh/day.
- The average consumption of our operations in that same period was 301kwh/day.
- Highest daily electricity generation was May19 with 695kwh.
November and December were the only months that the PV Solar System didn't generate more than our entire operations electricity consumption. Overall since operational, there has been more electricity generated from the sun than is needed to power all our lights, computers, and equipment in the entire office and manufacturing plant. Since 114% of consumption was generated from a "renewable energy" source, state regulations require that the excess kwh be carried forward as a "credit" on the utility account, to be drawn down upon in a future billing period.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
There are less daylight hours during the winter time, the angle of the sun is lower in the sky and at times there is snow covering the array. Still, we have been successful in generating significant amounts of our total electricity consumption.
In November we generated 98% of our consumption, December was 65% (due to an equipment problem), January thus far is 75%.
During the winter months, we draw down on the credit on our account due to excess generation from the summer months. In April, if there remains a credit of kilowatt hours, it is swept clean and paid to us at a "wholesale" rate based on the New England regional electrical pool's cost for electricity generation (ISO New England).
As of today, our credit, or "banked" kwh is over 10,000 which represents a month and a half of consumption. Our forecast is to easily complete a year of solar generation come mid March 2010, where we operated our entire manufacturing and office facility off the sun.