Mike Bullock

West Chicago, IL

System Details:

Photovoltaic (PV) System:

Phase 1

Installation: began 6/12/12

Operation: since 6/14/12

Array: 4.1 kW, 17 modules

PV Modules: Sharp ND-240QCJ 240W Polycrystalline silicon modules

Inverter(s): 17 Enphase M215 microinverters

Mounting: Iron Ridge and EcoFasten Solar hardware

Phase 2

Installation: began 3/19/15

Operation: since 4/3/15

Array: 6.7 kW, 24 modules

PV Modules: Solarworld Sunmodule Plus 280W Monocrystalline silicon modules

Inverter(s): 24 Enphase M250 microinverters

Mounting: Iron Ridge racking with integrated grounding

Monitoring: Enphase Envoy and eGauge Systems EG3000 energy meter/data logger/web server

What made you go solar?

We installed solar PV to reduce our carbon footprint, to learn more about the benefits of solar PV, and be ambassadors for the renewable energy industry.  While we still had a bi-directional meter, it was great to see our electric meter spin backwards.  Now we have a smart meter.

The array faces west at a 26.5 degree angle.  While not ideal, it gets a lot of sun in the afternoon during peak electricity demand.  After the experience with the first array, we wanted to expand the system to meet as much of our electricity needs as possible.  We added the additional 6.7kW array in 2015.  We also added a monitoring system from eGauge Systems.  The Enphase system  includes a web monitoring solution called Enlighten that allows us to see the production of the array.  The eGauge monitor can monitor up to 12 circuits in your home.  We are monitoring the three strings of the array, the input/output from/to the grid, and the furnace.  The web site for eGauge provides real-time information on usage and production.  It is another way to ‘see the meter spin backwards’, but with a lot more information.  We plan to make more efficiency improvements and this has been very helpful.

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