Solar Panels, Year 3

Here is another annual update on my solar production and electricity consumption. In late January, 2017, I turned on my new solar panels. I have 30 panels, 320 W each, for a total capacity of 9.6 kW (LG320 NeON2 MonoX Plus panels with microedge converters). In the first year I generated 96% of the electricity I consumed (a magical year, with near perfect weather – sunny, but not too hot). The second year was not as good since my consumption went up 6% and my generation was down 10%. The result was that my panels generated 81% of my usage for the second year. The third year is off a little more. My consumption when up 1.5%, and my generation was down 5% compared to the second year. The final result is that the panels generated 76% of my usage in the third year. The weather is the biggest variable, and I need to find an authority that measures the amount of sunshine in Austin so that I can try and determine if there are any other factors than that at play.

5 thoughts on “Solar Panels, Year 3”

  1. I’d wait for nuclear fusion (man-made) – natural nuclear fusion is so unreliable – like the weather. KInda like windmills – not enough power for EUV.

  2. You can compare peak output to see if your panels are deteriorating, assuming each year at least 1 day it’s sunny enough that your panels reach their max capacity.

  3. I was curious too for historical sources. Found multiple local sources from UT, etc, but each one I found stopped monitoring several years or more ago.
    One possibility:
    https://nsrdb.nrel.gov/

    Latest data I found there for your area was 2016.
    Maybe local solar installer companies have better ideas.

    -Dave

    1. My first post on my panels detailed the costs and first year performance: http://life.lithoguru.com/?p=549

      My net cost was $14,400. With my annual savings so far, it looks like the payback time for that cost is 10-12 years. (Note that the panels have a 30 year warranty).

      However, since the full cost of burning fossil fuels is not reflected in their price, there is a bigger benefit to me and to the world in my use of solar power generation.

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