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Discussion Starter #1
A big part of why I bought a Volt was that my employer has free Lev2 charging as a perk which has been very nice.

Today we got a very low-key announcement that the experimental "Solar Farm" project went live today.

The array is just shy of 3 acres of experimental fixed high efficiency PV panels and in the announcement they said the site would be looking at around producing somewhere between 15,000-20,000 KWh/day.

the neat thing is the array also provides a "roof" for some refrigerated warehousing so it also provides shade for those buildings which also increases efficiency for the location.

Also they made a point of saying that one of the items switched over to the array was the bank of EV chargers.

Now I feel even better about my car! :)
 

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A big part of why I bought a Volt was that my employer has free Lev2 charging as a perk which has been very nice.

Today we got a very low-key announcement that the experimental "Solar Farm" project went live today.

The array is just shy of 3 acres of experimental fixed high efficiency PV panels and in the announcement they said the site would be looking at around producing somewhere between 15,000-20,000 KWh/day.

the neat thing is the array also provides a "roof" for some refrigerated warehousing so it also provides shade for those buildings which also increases efficiency for the location.

Also they made a point of saying that one of the items switched over to the array was the bank of EV chargers.

Now I feel even better about my car! :)
Cool, that is very cool. Check out my profile and license plate. Many on here basically charge for free because we took the time to install solar or have it installed.
 

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That's awesome. I wish the location I worked at was more open to solar. We have a ton of roof space on 5 huge warehouses begging for solar panels, but the facilities manager tells me it's too much work to go down that whole path...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That's awesome. I wish the location I worked at was more open to solar. We have a ton of roof space on 5 huge warehouses begging for solar panels, but the facilities manager tells me it's too much work to go down that whole path...
To be fair, it's a considerable amount of weight to put on a roof. They had to add some pillars and an extra crossbeams to satisfy the site engineers here.
 

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To be fair, it's a considerable amount of weight to put on a roof. They had to add some pillars and an extra crossbeams to satisfy the site engineers here.
Many high schools and colleges around here have large parking lots. Many are covered with solar panels that generate electricity and provide shade for vehicles parked during the day. Its a win-win for everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Many high schools and colleges around here have large parking lots. Many are covered with solar panels that generate electricity and provide shade for vehicles parked during the day. Its a win-win for everyone.
That's a good idea too. I wonder if they've thought about that here for "phase 2".
I know that mostly we're a test-bed for real world use of these PV panels. I have no idea what is so special about them but they are supposedly some kind of bleeding edge prototypes.
 

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I was happy enough when they installed chargers for us at work last month. I would be ecstatic if they were solar, but first we need to establish a track record of usage by the employees.
 

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You are lucky that electric vehicles are accepted where you live. I bought my 2013 Volt primarily as a demonstration vehicle, allowing colleagues and county leadership to test drive my vehicle. Great reviews, no action. I hook-up to a 110-volt socket on a lamp post at work for 2 KwH of electricity per day. If any of my colleagues do purchase an electric vehicle, there are no more places to connect for charging during the day. No fleet purchases yet of a Volt or any other model of electric vehicle yet, either.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
UPDATE

So the whole "Solar Farm" thing has been kind of neat. Since I let them know I was interested they've been including me on some of the email chains.

Then sometime late Monday something went wrong. No charging on Tuesday, well some but very little. I came out to find my car had 6 miles of battery range :(

I contacted the guy in charge and was apparently the first person to let them know something wasn't right so they pulled the whole array offline. Today they were nice enough to switch the charger banks to the coal plant while they figure out the issue, but they are expecting to have it back on by Thursday and then I'll be Sun Powered again.

I'm learning that largish solar arrays are both more straightforward, and more complex/subtle than I ever knew before. This is a neat learning experience.
 

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Why no pics of the 3 acres of experimental fixed high efficiency PV panels!?:confused:

That would be cool if you could post some pics. Not sure if it against your work policies though. So are you the only Volt owner pluggin' into their grid thus far?
 

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So the whole "Solar Farm" thing has been kind of neat. Since I let them know I was interested they've been including me on some of the email chains.

Then sometime late Monday something went wrong. No charging on Tuesday, well some but very little. I came out to find my car had 6 miles of battery range :(

I contacted the guy in charge and was apparently the first person to let them know something wasn't right so they pulled the whole array offline. Today they were nice enough to switch the charger banks to the coal plant while they figure out the issue, but they are expecting to have it back on by Thursday and then I'll be Sun Powered again.

I'm learning that largish solar arrays are both more straightforward, and more complex/subtle than I ever knew before. This is a neat learning experience.
Be glad you drive a Volt, instead of an EV ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Yeah, no photos allowed because it's inside the fenceline.
Honestly it doesn't look all that impressive and I have no idea what is actually special about the PV panels, I was just told they are experimental.

There are 3 Volt owners, and a guy that comes onsite once in a while that has a Tesla, and someone with a Ford Fusion Energi though I haven't seen that one in a while.

EDIT: In response to my email question, the PV panels are "a type of Photovoltaic thermal hybrid solar collectors"
 

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Congratulations Dutch!

We, too, realized a shade benefit with our rooftop installation. The rooms under our southern roof stay a couple of degrees cooler year round. Our north roof used to be shaded by a mature Arizona Ash (nasty tree, but beneficial shade) from my neighbor's yard. They allowed our installer to trim it back and later decided to trim it more themselves.

So far, since it went live in November, 2012, it has provided enough power to run our home and charge our Volt for nearly 38K EV miles (a few miles from opportunity charging at relatives' homes - never sipped from a public charger, ever) except for ~800 kWh. Our net-metering plan settles up monthly so we've paid for more kWhs than that and were credited at wholesale for MANY other kWhs.

Pictures of our array and production stats (linked at the bottom) are in my signature in the Solar-Powered link.

Cheers!
 

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That's awesome. I wish the location I worked at was more open to solar. We have a ton of roof space on 5 huge warehouses begging for solar panels, but the facilities manager tells me it's too much work to go down that whole path...
That manager probably hasn't considered the panels impact on the site's power demand charges.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
UPDATE: Three Weeks of RAIN!

Here in the Shennandoah Valley we've pretty much had three solid weeks of dark, cold, rainy weather. The worst thing you could have for running a Solar Farm. But from talking to the guy in charge of the "farm", whatever these panels are they were still mostly creating enough juice to keep running the 6 EV chargers (3 in regular use), and the "golf cart" charging banks, to the tune of around 100kwh per day with only a little supplemental power from the grid here and there.

My understanding is that is pretty impressive given the staggering lack of sunlight we've had.
 

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Here in the Shennandoah Valley we've pretty much had three solid weeks of dark, cold, rainy weather. The worst thing you could have for running a Solar Farm. ...

I hear ya'.

Same around here. After 4-5 years of drought conditions, we're finally in the storm track for rain every few days. Even got golf ball-sized hail one afternoon. Our array survived just fine. I saw an array in another neighborhood that was destroyed. I have no idea what brand of panels they had. Every time I stop by to ask, no one answers the door.

Here's our production so far this month. The gray, horizontal line is the "predicted" average for this month.

 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
wow, that's quite a variation.

supposedly the array at work is capable of creating something like 15-20kw per segment at night by doing something with ground heat. I'm not sure what that totals for the whole array and I really have no idea how it works.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The array is just shy of 3 acres of experimental fixed high efficiency PV panels and in the announcement they said the site would be looking at around producing somewhere between 15,000-20,000 KWh/day.
I have to make a correction here, the array is supposed to produce between 1,500 and 2,000 KWh/day (not 15,000/20,000) and around 200 KWh/at night depending on temperature.
 
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