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6

If you're in the northern hemisphere, the lower angle of the sun in the winter is probably contributing to your low numbers. (When the sun is low in the sky it passes through more atmosphere to reach the ground.) Presumably you'll do better in the summer. Also, the tilt angle of the panels should be matched to your latitude. If your panels are mounted on ...


4

Typical grid connected installs of solar panels on homes need a couple of items to get them to work (it's not just lets slap some panels up there and wire it into the house). Solar panels are DC (direct current), your house is AC (alternating current), so a inverter is needed to create the AC current. Also that AC current needs to be synced to the same ...


4

You have fifty-six 240-watt modules. They each produce 240 watts under standard test conditions (STC). STC is defined as 1000 W/m^2 of irradiance, 25ºC temperature and AM1.5G spectrum. These conditions are rarely reached outdoors. If the temperature is higher or the irradiance is lower than STC, you'll get less power. You can usually only achieve 25ºC ...


2

You can want whatever you want to want, but that won't make it practical or efficient or cost-efficent (which comes back to practical.) There are at least 2 things that might be called a "solar tube" that come immediately to mind, and they are quite dissimilar. One is an "evacuated tube solar collector" and other other is a tubular skylight. I rather ...


2

For me with a solar system in New Zealand, we've found the following quite effective: we've got a solar tank with 2 electrical elements in it, one at the bottom of the tank, plus another one about a third of the way down from the top. We run the bottom element overnight intermittently during the winter months when the whole tank is cool, the forecast is ...


2

The short answer is no. You might be able to produce a curve that will reflect an arc (spanning the days extent from east to west) all day on a given day without moving it, but only a small portion of such a mirror will be going into your window at a given time, wasting the rest of its arc. Further, (as the season changes) your north-south alignment has to ...


2

If the hot water is hooked up to your faucets, then hot water should eventually come out regardless of the re-circulation stuff. That is, unless the check valve is the wrong way or the pump isn't letting water flow. Then you would just get cold water. EDIT I see from your comment that the system was previously working and no work has been done. The check ...


1

Are the PEX hoses black and is the sun side of the re-purposed aluminum plates black? If not you may want to consider changing this so as to increase the efficiency solar energy absorption.


1

That does seem a little bit low but not crazy. I have a 3.3 kW DC array on my roof and during the peak times of the day I can get 2.7 kW AC after the inverter, or about 80% efficiency. I live in Northern CA though, where you can have cool and sunny days in the summer. Since you are in the US, one thing you should check out is the PVWatts calculator. This ...


1

Pretend your panels are a water pump connected from a nearby pond (your roof) to a water tower (the grid). The grid is a large reservoir that can simultaneously take and provide electricity. This is because there are multiple sources and destinations for the electricity. If no one else was using electricity when you were providing it, your meter would ...



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