Author: Derek Markham

Tesla Cuts Hit Close To Home

My follow-up report to my last CleanTechnica dispatch — the article in which I explained the basics of the my solar array/Powerwall/charging station installation — was supposed to be a show & tell from the Tech Talk Tesla Energy personnel. It was planned at my house for June 23. This would have been a brief presentation by our Tesla Energy Advisor as to the overall installation of our 8.125 kW array and support equipment as well as the advantages of having a Powerwall in the loop and a charging station, for those fortunate enough to have already moved to electric vehicles. I planned on giving rides in my Model S and at least one Model 3 owner was expected to attend.

Our Tesla Solar Home Update — It Just Gets Better & Better!

As I write this on a Tuesday morning, we are just beginning our 5th week of operation of our Tesla solar array + Powerwall setup. I thought it would be a good time to share the operational experiences and learning curves we’ve gone through to optimize operation and minimize our exposure to grid-supplied power. For anyone who hadn’t read my first article about the Tesla Energy experience, the short version is that we installed an 8.125 kW solar array on a predominantly south-facing roof on our 2800 sq ft colonial located in the woods 6 miles to the west of the village of Woodstock, VT. In addition to the array, we had Tesla Energy install a Powerwall 2 and a dedicated 48 amp vehicle charger.

How Efficient Will Solar PV Be In The Future? 10-Year Predictions For The Industry

If you were to walk into a solar store and purchase some of their best-selling PV panels, it is likely that their solar irradiance-to-electricity conversion efficiency would be around 17%. This is the typical efficiency (Fraunhofer ISE Photovoltaics Report, 2017) of the top-selling PV product, a multi-crystalline silicon panel. This means that for a typical panel, 17% of all incident solar energy is converted directly to usable electricity. This is quite impressive for a device that has no moving parts and can generate power at the location where the electricity is required (no transmission losses). It is no wonder that PV is already one of the cheapest power technologies available.

Packaged Solar System Concept Demonstrates An Integrated Approach

A few years ago, I constructed a “plug and play” solar system concept, which contains a 12 volt solar power input, charge controller, lead-acid battery, 120 volt inverter, and 120 volt receptacles for experimental purposes. I wanted to see if this packaged concept could be practical, so I’ve been using it to power things such as my stereo, laptop, and tablet using a 20 watt solar panel. So far, I’ve had no issues with it, as the charge controller handled everything for me.