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Thread: Could use your thoughts on a solar electric system

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    Pahrump, NV, USA
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    132
    Quote Originally Posted by jaggedben View Post
    There you go, pretty much what I said in my first post. Congrats on figuring it out.

    Also I said this: "...it's possible that a solar thermal system might have pumps or something that increase electricity consumption." Or, is the new water heater electric, and the solar is only covering part of the heating need? I would say it's either something like that, or something totally unrelated, like their kid coming back from college.
    100% solar for the hot water. Elements could have been added, but they weren't installed.

    The circulating pump was 115V 1/12HP. So, that shouldn't cost much to run.

    They did have an RV/trailer plugged into a 240V/30AMP outlet. The trailer has nothing to do with my work. Who knows, maybe a homeless person moves in at night and has been running electric heaters. I can't imagine charging RV batteries constantly running a couple of hundred dollars a month, but again, that isn't my line of work.

    Thank you for the feedback. I have to learn somehow.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Pahrump, NV, USA
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    132
    I did promise pictures.

    I'm not familiar with seeing two 200AMP breakers in a residential main panel.
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  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Pahrump, NV, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Goodman View Post
    I did promise pictures.

    I'm not familiar with seeing two 200AMP breakers in a residential main panel.
    I found other posts on this forum about CL 320 AMP service. So, that part is starting to make sense.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Mesa Arizona
    Posts
    244
    Could it be that the solar plumbing, location of sensors, wiring, and/or operation of the solar hot water controller is such that it is causing the pump to circulate hot water to the panels at night and that the back-up heater element is coming on to keep the water hot?

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Pahrump, NV, USA
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    132
    Quote Originally Posted by BillK-AZ View Post
    Could it be that the solar plumbing, location of sensors, wiring, and/or operation of the solar hot water controller is such that it is causing the pump to circulate hot water to the panels at night and that the back-up heater element is coming on to keep the water hot?
    Now that is an interesting thought. I met the original installing contractor at the home. I thought he worked for the utility company, but he was actually with a competitor who has a contract with the POCO to install these systems.

    He stated that no elements had been installed, but I didn't pull the cover plates to confirm.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    NE Nebraska
    Posts
    31,314
    Quote Originally Posted by David Goodman View Post
    Now that is an interesting thought. I met the original installing contractor at the home. I thought he worked for the utility company, but he was actually with a competitor who has a contract with the POCO to install these systems.

    He stated that no elements had been installed, but I didn't pull the cover plates to confirm.
    No back up = no hot water if sun no shine, at least once the heat in the tank is gone.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Placerville, CA, USA
    Posts
    17,044
    I am still not clear on the original installation. If the solar was tied (heat exchanger coil?) to an existing 100 Gal heater, then the original heat source could still be active even if no backup heat was added.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    9,229
    Could it be that the new monthly bill covers installments for the capital cost of the new solar system?
    Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Huntington Beach, CA (19 Hrs. 22 Min. from Winged Horses)
    Posts
    5,600
    Quote Originally Posted by David Goodman View Post
    Part of my confusion was that the customer insisted that the solar system was photovoltaic and connected to the power grid. I didn't see anything that supported that possibility.

    It turns out that the solar panels are in fact just for a glycol heat exchanger for the water heater.

    Still no explanation of the high electric bills. The meter number on the customer's bill matches the "smart" meter outside.
    i'm guessing the real dilemma is that someone could purchase something
    of this size and scope, and not have *a single clue* what it is, what it does,
    or how it works.

    if they are that clueless, hell, maybe there is a grow room added on to the
    property that they are also unaware of.
    ~New signature under construction.~
    ~~~~Please excuse the mess.~~~~

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Pahrump, NV, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldDigger View Post
    I am still not clear on the original installation. If the solar was tied (heat exchanger coil?) to an existing 100 Gal heater, then the original heat source could still be active even if no backup heat was added.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    The nameplate conveniently concealed under the earthquake straps didn't help with identification. As the installer I spoke with described the tank, it has an internal heat exchanger. The tank was installed with the solar system, and wasn't a modification of the LPG fired tank that was originally installed in the home.

    There is a suspicious line on the plate that reads something like "Total 4500/33**". Kinda looks like it has elements in it.
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