Hi, I'm Steven Hong, and I'm here today to talk about our... Solar System. We have 11 panels up on the roof there, and that was installed in 2010. Those panels are 210 watt panels, each with their own 190 watt microinverter.
That system is a 2.5kw system, and yes, i know, i hear you, 210 watts (per panel) seems pretty small. But that was 2010, that was 10 years ago. And today the cost of solar has gone down at least 50% lower, if not lower than that. (i forgot to calculate that out).
But our system up there was designed to produce 60% of our needs, our household usage in electricity. Maintenance wise, I've done nothing to that system. I haven't snow raked them, I haven't even washed the panels once. And they are performing nearly identical to day one, 10 years ago. There is really little to be done once they are on the roof. And we've had snow, hail, wind, rain, whatever, it's fine, there haven't been any problems at all. I know that many people have had Enphase microinverters fail, we haven't even had one failure yet, I guess we've been lucky.
Besides that, I'm also here to talk about our second solar system you see behind me on the garage. We built the garage about 5 years ago.
When I designed it, I designed it to face south so that we could maximize the panels on it. On this roof, there are 18 panels of 325 watt panels, and this is a 5.8kw system, for roughly the same cost as that whole system up there. So it's about the same price, but more than double the output.
On the side of the garage we have several meters. The center one is the main house panel and that is fed from the utility pole (under ground) and it comes up right here (at the panel) and that backfeeds the house. There is another meter on the house, and that meter is the solar production meter for the solar that is on the house.
And this meter on the left is the solar production meter for the garage solar system.
This 3rd meter is for electric vehicle charging. What that means is.. you can see it says 9(pm) to 9(am) on there, and that means I get a lower electrical rate at that time, and it even says electric vehicle (on the meter). This meter I'm charged way less than the house meter. The house meter typically runs 12.5 cents / kwh (without taxes) and the electric vehicle meter is 4.2 cents / kwh (without taxes) so it is quite a bit lower, like 1/3 the cost.
I drive about 18,000 miles per year in my Tesla Model X, and I only need about 16 panels to generate enough power to offset 100% of my (electrical power needs) for driving annually. That means, because we have 18 panels on the garage, there is a little extra that goes to offset part of the household usage as well.
So charging my car, I just charge at night-time between the hours of 9(pm) and 9(am) to get that lower rate, and here is where the charging station is for this car, as well as the inverter (for the garage solar system) near the back of the garage.
Another point I would like to make is that if you think about the upfront cost of solar as paying your electric bill in advance, then really, you're just paying about 9 years ahead of time. Beyond that, the cost (of electricity) is lower (i.e. all the energy being generated is now free energy). If you take that and instead, count it against paying for your gasoline or fuel for your car, then the payoff point is 5 years, maybe 6 years. So you are just paying 5 or 6 years upfront of your fuel costs and beyond that is much, much cheaper because most of your fuel is being generated by your solar.
If you see in the background here, where those lights are, that family actually put on solar before we did, 10 years ago and that was our inspiration to add on solar, because they had solar on their house. And it's worked out well for them. The current family that lives in that house has even done a roofing project. They had the solar panels removed, and they reroofed the house, and they put the solar panels back on and that has gone just fine with no problems at all. Our house, we actually had a newer roof before we put the solar on so it wasn't a big deal. Thanks for tuning in.