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Monday (2/20)

finishing up module mounting;

start connecting the modules - using anti-oxidant agent for the connectors

these mounting brackets hold the modules in place while also offering even spacing between the panels; the lowest brackets are different, as they have to resist more downward force and they only attach to one module.
In this system 12 modules make up one string; here you can start to see how the strings are connected (imagine writing 3 large 'N's or 'S's across each array)

The max. string size for the PV Powered inverter is (according to their on-line calculator) is 13 panels/modules - in which case the ratings are as below:

going by the module specs, each array should be able to put out 160Wx12x3=5760W (half of the 11.52kW). Both inverters are called 5200's - more about the calculations on the "System Overview" and "System Performance" Links.
3 String STC Watts PTC Watts CEC Watts Max Voc Max Vmp Min Vmp Max Imp
13 6240 Watts 5483 Watts 5264 Watts 405 Volts 297 Volts 246 Volts 21.06 Amps
This morning I took a picture of the shadow cast by the lower array - perfect! The distance between the two arrays is just enough to keep the shadow of the lower array from hitting the upper array on a winter morning - well laid out by David and Dave. (By the way, in case you were wondering why the roof you can see in this photograph is shredded: strong gusts of wind (>90mph)  ripped it to pieces. Thanks goodness the system is mounted on a strong rack (frame).

Tuesday 2/21

Dell's Electric finished the connection of the modules and started to pull cables through the conduits
Justin helped smooth out the divots the auger (tire tracks) left, when Dave dug the holes for the pole bases. Since it was Justin's last day, he worked until after sundown, cleaning up. Good guy!

Wednesday, 2/22

Paul and Mike (Dell's) wired up the junction boxes , put the grounding rod and wire into the ground (the rod goes 8' deep!!!!). No the system does not have a lightning rod. I think my house does, so the system should be OK. In case you're wondering: the system is covered by the home owner's insurance and/or the farm insurance, but you need to check with your insurance agent, because not all insurance policies are created equal(ly).

Thursday, 2/23

Paul and Mike connected the inverters, fuses and DC disconnects and counter  

Friday, 2/24

No work done, today. Paul and Mike got their 40h in for the week, but the county inspector kindly came out and had a look at the cable trenches, so I could close them up. We had to call the county hall the night before and they send someone out within 24h. My experience with Washington County Hall has been surprisingly good - other counties in other states can have the meanest people working in city hall and the inspectors can be the rejects from the industry that have nothing better to do than make your life miserable. Not so in Washington County: the people were friendly, helpful, responsive and efficient and didn't ask for unnecessary bureaucracy. Other city/county governments should learn from them. The price of the electrical permit (>$600.-) for the inverters, counter and the outside panel, however, seemed too high, in my humble opinion. All in all I paid more than $800.- for permits. Too high and not justified, in my opinion. I suggest: For alternative energy systems the county should wave permit costs for the next few years. We need to create this type of industry - it will bring new jobs to the area!

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