Thursday, 12 April 2018

Professional design with accurate modelling = Awesome solar arrays

At Sweet Spot Solar we take pride in providing our clients with professional design and accurate modelling for your solar project. We use state-of-the-art satellite imaging techniques and powerful irradiance calculators to give you the best picture of what your solar array will look like and how it will perform.

Here's an example of a strata in Kamloops with a potential 123.6 kW array composed of 412 300W modules. This is not an actual project although we would love to do it!

If you would like your condo or apartment building, house, or place of business fully designed with as estimate, think of Sweet Spot Solar as the go-to people.


Thursday, 5 April 2018

An Exciting New Product - Titan Single Pole Ground Mount

Updated: April 11, 2018 [prices subject to change without notice; subject to availability]

Range: $13,700 - $17,000 + Shipping + GST depending on module selection, micro-inverters used, and manual or actuator adjust

* Not including installation.


Sweet Spot Solar is thrilled to offer our clients another high-quality, Made in Canada, ground mount that has many advantages. Let us introduce you to the Titan Single Pole Ground Mount.

This ground mount is designed to hold 16 60 cell (or 72 cell) solar modules in two rows of 8. It is approximately 27' wide and between 16-20' tall depending on the pole length used and the angle it is set at.

The single pole mount can be adjusted by hand or you can get an optional linear actuator kit to make changes to the angle throughout the year with the flick of a button. The actuator option is an additional $1000.00

They can also be grouped and are an excellent option for solar farms, community solar projects, or people with land that they wish to solarize.



When paired with a high quality bifacial module from LG or Silfab, these ground mounts can produce a significant amount of power. We are currently pairing the Titan Singe Pole Ground Mount with either LG 380W – 72 cell bifacial or Silfab 295W – 60 cell bifacial modules.

A bifacial module can make power on both sides. They work best on ground racks, trackers, and on some flat roof mounts where light bouncing behind the module makes energy on the flip side.


In areas where snow accumulation is an issue, they also melt the snow at a faster rate.

Let us know if you want a quote on these exciting options. This ground mount with bifacial modules and seasonal adjustment can make more than 6000 kWh/year of electricity in most parts of BC.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Everything you wanted to know about renewable energy but were afraid to ask

On March 21, 2018, Michael Mehta from Sweet Spot Solar did a radio show with Rae Kornberger on CHLY Radio in Nanaimo. It's a two hour show but filled with lots of great discussion about nuclear power, solar, wind, geothermal, marine energy, electric vehicles and the politics of the Petro State.


To listen to the show click here.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Limited Time Offer: Adjustable Ground Rack With Modules And Inverters

If you've always wanted solar but don't have a roof that will work well, why not consider a ground rack?

We are pleased to offer (while supplies last) a high-quality, adjustable ground rack with black framed monocrystalline Canadian Solar 300 Watt modules, Enphase M250 micro-inverters and cabling, and an Envoy communications gateway for realtime performance monitoring - all for the incredible price of $13,999 + GST + shipping. Installation is not included.

This rack setup is with 20 modules for a 6 kW array. When seasonally adjusted, this array can make over 7000 kWh/year depending on your location and local variables including shadowing. Adjustment can be done by one person and it is easy!

The 20 module array is approximately 34' long and is usually mounted on concrete sono tube piles. The images below are for illustration purposes only and do not represent the actual size of the 20 module setup on sale here. 



Thursday, 1 March 2018

A profile of one of our recommended installers - Amie Schellenberg

Amie is a professor of electrical at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops and she also does solar installations. She is a consummate professional with significant experience. To learn more about her, check out the following video. 


Sunday, 25 February 2018

A new solar array is coming to Salmon Arm

Congratulations to Tracey and Eric of Salmon Arm BC. They have purchased equipment from us for a small solar array composed of six 300 Watt modules, micro-inverters, and racking to mount this equipment on their shingle roof. This array can be expanded easily at any time, and they can add 10 more modules on the same circuit.

The 1.8 kW array will make approximately 2000 kWh/year.

Once the snow melts, installation will begin. They have opted to do a self-install.


Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Solar Strata In Kamloops BC

Updated: March 18, 2018

Sweet Spot Solar is thrilled to be working with Miles Pruden of Nexbuild Construction Corporation in Kamloops on the first solar multi-unit residential building in the city. Nexbuild purchased from us 64 300 Watt monocrystalline solar modules coupled with industry-leading Enphase micro-inverters and rail kits for their metal roof (19.2 kW) for $2/Watt! They will install the array. Each array is independent and has its own monitoring. This complex will have four separate solar arrays of 16 modules each, and the goal is to be net zero on each unit. No gas is used for heating or hot water purposes.Here's a rendering of the complex being built right now at 225 Schubert Drive in Kamloops.

As of today, only one unit remains available for purchase and it is located on the top floor. Asking price is $349,000. For more information, contact Miles at milesp@nexbuild.com



Here's what the building looks like currently. Occupancy of the first unit is expected in a few weeks.


Miles and his team began installation of the solar arrays this weekend. Here are some photos provided by him of their progress. With a standing seam metal roof, and the use of S5 clamps, these projects are relatively easy, quick, and put no holes in the roof.



Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Limited Time Sale On 300 Watt Monocrystalline Modules

Our supplier just told us that they have 200 of these incredible modules in stock in Calgary at the moment. These are very high quality, 300 Watt monocrystalline modules with black frames. When purchased with inverters and the rest of the system from Sweet Spot Solar, we will sell these for $260 each!


Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Another Example Of How Net Metering Allows You To Use The Grid As A Battery

A 4.5 kW solar array on Gabriola Island has been creating enough power for a 2400 square foot house to generate a surplus that is going into the month of December.

Here's a daily log of energy consumption for the house for the month of November. Going in to November this BC Hydro client had banked 1217 kWh of electricity. This is the rolling difference between what the solar array produces and what the house uses.


During the month of November the house imported 514 kWh from the grid leading to a new balance going into the December billing cycle of 702 kWh. You'll see from the bill below that the energy charge is $0.


To date, this house has used $224.22 (since February 1, 2017) with $61.00 of that being in the form of the basic daily charge, rate rider, and GST.

It's worth noting that the house uses electricity for 100% of its heating/cooling (there is no natural gas), runs two UV sterilizers for water purification (100% rain capture), operates 3 air purifiers 24 hours per day due to wood smoke from neighbouring properties, and charges an electric car.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Sweet Spot Solar Is Experimenting With Vertical Axis Wind Generators

Wind and solar might just be a match made in heaven. Sweet Spot Solar is experimenting with this technology and will adapt it with a CSA approved grid tie inverter. If it works as hoped, we'll have a new product line to go with our solar offerings. Stay tuned to our website for updates.



Canada's first solar sidewalk system is in Kamloops

Innovation in solar technology is expanding at a record pace and new applications for solar photovoltaic technologies push boundaries and open up new opportunities.

Canada's first solar sidewalk system was built this year on campus at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops BC.

The following article from the BC Sustainable Energy Association provides details about how all of this came together.



Drone footage from Dr. John Church


To learn more about this project, check out the website of the Solar Compass.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Here's What Net Metering Can Do Even During The Month Of October

One of our solar arrays managed to create credit during the month of October. This happened even with the heat pumps turned on early in the billing cycle.


Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Solar - The Future Is Here

Michael from Sweet Spot Solar is giving a talk on Wednesday night (October 25) to the Kamloops Garden Club (Heritage House, Riverside Park) at 7PM entitled "Solar Power: The Future Is Here."



Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Your Return On Investment (ROI) For Solar Can Be Up To 5.8%

With our current sale on equipment, a roof-mounted solar array composed of 16 modules (4.24 kW DC) will cost you $7999 (all-in). If the installation comes to $4000, your full installed cost is $11,999.

This can return 5.8% for you and in 25 years it would generate $45,000 worth of electricity.

Here's how this works. This array will produce around 5000 kWh/year using Kamloops as a baseline on a house with a 20 degree pitched roof facing due South.

The average house in BC consumes 11,000 kWh/year. Since BC Hydro charges a 50% premium on electricity (so-called Step 2 pricing), most of the 5000 kWh/year produced by the solar array will go toward reducing Step 2. Currently, Step 2 electricity with the 5% rate rider and GST works out to 14.19 cents/kWh.

Over the past 7 years, BC Hydro rates have increased by 50%. We don't have a crysal ball to know what rates will look like in the future, but they won't go down! Using this as an annual average rate increase, we get the following table.


This table shows in the right-hand column the annual expected saving in a cumulative way. By year 12 the array has paid for itself. Most solar arrays will last 30+ years. We did include a degradation calculation (see decreased output per year) in this model since solar modules will lose on average about 0.1% of output over time.

The following graph shows the break even point.



Of course, financials are only part of the picture. A lot of our clients also want to "do the right thing" and to show how individuals can make a difference.


Wednesday, 23 August 2017

A year in the life of a solar array on Gabriola Island

On August 23, 2016, a new solar array was commissioned on Gabriola Island. This array is composed of 28 LG310 Watt modules and Enphase M-250 micro-inverters. It was installed on this stunning garage.



Sweet Spot Solar estimated annual production for this 8.68 kW DC array at 9765 kWh/year under ideal conditions on an annualized basis.

For the year, the array generated 9290 kWh. For this year, the longer than normal winter combined with several weeks of smoke from forest fires reduced output by 4.87% from our original estimate.


Note the deep drop in production between the months of November and February. This is typical of a solar array at this latitude. During the Spring, Summer, and early Fall a solar array makes lots of extra power that gets banked as a credit with net metering through your smart meter to offset your winter bills. All without batteries!

From an environmental performance perspective, our monitoring software yielded the following calculations.


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Our big tracker is in the news!

An article in InfoNews-Kamloops today profiles the tracker owned by our clients Penny and Charles.

Even with the incredible amount of smoke in the area for more than a month, this tracker is making enough power daily to power 2-3 average homes.





The article states:
After installing the largest sun tracking solar panel in B.C. on their farm in Black Pines just north of Kamloops, Charles Hays and Penny Powers expect to never pay for power again.
If all goes according to plan, the power company will pay them.
Charles Hays and Penny Powers hope their story will inspire others.
Charles Hays and Penny Powers hope their story will inspire others.






Thursday, 3 August 2017

Get credit for being sustainable

During the month of July, one of our medium-sized solar arrays generated a credit with BC Hydro of 448 kWh! It only used extra energy from the grid on 2 days. Email info@sweetspotsolar.com to learn more about doing this yourself.



Sunday, 23 July 2017

Dual axis tracker in Black Pines BC

A big thank you to electrician Amie Schellenberg from Lodgepole Electrical and general contractor Jono Beech for getting this big and bold tracker installed and running.

This 45 module tracker follows the Sun like a sunflower and it will produce more than 25,000 kWh/year.


By 11:15AM today it had already made more than 30 kWh of electricity - enough to power the average home in BC for a day.



It is located on the outskirts of Kamloops in Black Pines and you can see how beautfully it fits into the local environment.



To see how this came together, check out our featured post here.

Monday, 17 July 2017

A quick site assessment is only a click away

Thinking about solar but not sure how many modules you need and what all this might cost? Send an email to info@sweetspotsolar.com. We can provide you with an accurate ballpark figure or setup a comprehensive, free site assessment. with a detailed quote.
Here's a snapshot of how one of our solar arrays performed on July 16. This array made a credit of 23 kWh.
If you want to know how to do the same thing, give us a buzz.


Friday, 14 July 2017

Even on extremely smoky days our solar arrays make power

Even with several very smoky days in the interior of BC from forest fires, our new tracker on the outskirts of Kamloops managed to make a whopping 1000 kWhs or (1MWh) in just 13 days! It's best day resulted in 90.9 kWh - enough to power three average houses.





Thursday, 29 June 2017

Another illustration of how net metering works

Here's another example from one of our solar arrays of how net metering works. On June 28, 2017, this array composed of 23 modules on a 2200 square foot house produced a credit of 15 kWh. In other words, it sent 15 kWh of electricity into the grid and the smart meter recorded that surplus generation.


There are some features of this graph worth noting. First, between Midnight and 7AM the house pulled electricity (consumed) from the grid. By 8AM the house's solar array began producing more electricity than the house used and it continued to do so until 6PM. Second, the magnitude of the bars going down (credit) peaked at solar Noon, and the distribution of energy production follows a normal curve shape on a sunny and clear day - assuming that electricity consumption in the house is constant.

This array has already generated a surplus of 136 kWh for the month of June that will roll into July. A surplus in July will roll to August, and so on. With net metering, and a large enough solar array relative to consumption, you can create a substantial credit to reduce your winter billing. This is why solar works well and also why batteries are not required.


Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Solar Is An Excellent Investment

If you're a resident of British Columbia, you've probably noticed that your BC Hydro bills have increased in recent years. Since 2010, residential rates for electricity have increased a whopping 50% for an average annual increase of 7.14%.


With your own solar array, you can take back the power and control future rate increases.

Here's a typical example of a solar array that Sweet Spot Solar can do for you:

* 28 solar modules rated at 305 Watts each will build an 8.54 kW DC array that should produce on average 10,191 kWh/year under ideal conditions on an annualized, multi-year basis assuming a roof pitch of at least 23 degrees [in the interior of BC].

* Sweet Spot Solar's average price for the equipment is around the $20,000 mark (all-in with delivery), and one of our recommended installers can often commission such an array for $6000.

Assuming an installation cost of $6000.00, your array from us will cost $3.03/Watt. This is more than 30% below the British Columbia average.


* Your array is an excellent investment that will generate a return on investment of 5.6%/year. The payback time for the array is 12 years, and over 25 years it will save a total of $91,992.00 on energy bills for a profit of $66,092.00 (savings-installed cost).

To arrange your own quote, contact us at info@sweetspotsolar.com