Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Clouds and solar power production

How well do solar arrays work on cloudy days? Today in Kamloops we had a cloudy day with lots of storm activity circling the city. In spite of this, all of our monitored solar arrays managed to produce between 60-70% of optimal output.

Monday, 22 May 2017

A new array in Kamloops

Congratulations to Adrian and Sara for their new array. This array is located in the Lower Sahali neighbourhood of Kamloops.

Adrian provided the following endorsement:
Since moving to Kamloops, a city that boasts a lot of sun, I have been interested in installing solar panels. In February I flew over a massive solar farm in the deserts of Western China and was really impressed by the potential. But it was a recent trip to England (yes, rainy England!) that showed me that progressive people are installing solar panels all over the world on their homes. Working with Sweet Spot Solar was a wonderful experience, right from the home visit for an initial assessment, to the installation, and finally to the moment I saw on my mobile phone app that I was generating my own power. 

It is composed of 15 monocrystalline Silfab 285 Watt modules coupled with Enphase M-250 micro-inverters. This is a very high quality system that will produce approximately 5100 kWh/year.

The array is mounted on rails on their shingle roof and it is split into two sections.

Our installer worked around existing vent stacks to maximize roof coverage and it looks like several more modules can be added in the future.

On it's first full day of operation (May 22, 2017), this array made an impressive 28.9 kWh.

To learn more and to book your own free quote, visit our website at www.sweetspotsolar.com

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Cooking With The Sun - Solar Cooking Workshop Today!

The Sun provides us with free energy every day. Energy to make electricity, and thermal energy to cook with.

Today at our Gabriola Island location between Noon and 3PM we are offering a free solar cooking demonstration. Come and visit us at 733 Berry Point Road where you will see different types of solar cookers in action. You will also have a chance to see the island's first grid-tie solar photovoltaic array and to learn about that technology too.

Friday, 19 May 2017

A barn can be much more than a barn

Why waste a roof when it could be used to make electricity? Here's 32 315 Watt solar modules on the roof of a barn in Chase BC that we did this week. This array is 10.08 kW DC in size and it will make around 12,000kWh/year - enough to more than power the average BC home.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Hail - You Mean Nothing To Me

How tough are solar modules? 

Tough enough to handle high winds, heavy snow loads, and major hail events. 

Check out the following review of a large (3000 module) array in Denver after a major hail storm involving golf ball sized hail fell. 

Roofs were dented and car windows were destyoed, yet only ONE of the 3000 modules were damaged.

Look up! There might be a new solar array on a roof in your neighbourhood

We started another solar project today in the Lower Sahali neighbourhood of Kamloops. Stay tuned for updates.

This beauty is being made with one of the best solar modules on the market - Silfab 285 Watt monocrystallines and Enphase M-250 micro-inverters.

Sweet Spot Solar's model is simple. We only sell the highest quality equipment at the lowest price possible. Why buy low-quality solar equipment and pay top-dollar when you could be buying premium product for almost the same price (or likely lower)?

Sunday, 14 May 2017

A new solar array in Chase BC

Congratulations Glen and Tralee of Chase BC for their purchase of a 48 module array. This array is composed of 315 Watt Canadian Solar modules and Enphase M250 micro-inverters. One of our recommended installers, Steve Wilford, mounted them over the weekend. We plan to make power tomorrow!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Plug And Play Will Make Your Day

Sweet Spot Solar primarily works with Enphase micro-inverters. These high-quality micro-inverters have a conversion efficiency of more than 96%, are plug-and-play for ease of installation and future expandability, and come with an industry-leading 25 year warranty.

They look like this and each solar module has one micro-inverter connected to it. All without batteries and nothing in your house except an extra breaker in your breaker box!

When combined with Canadian Solar 280 Watt monocrystalline modules, or equivalent, you will have a solar array that performs flawlessly with little maintenance.

We are installing a new array on Gabriola Island right now, so feel free to connect with us if you're in the area to see how all of this works first-hand.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Use the Sun to your full advantage

Sweet Spot Solar is pleased to offer our solar clients the option of adding a high-quality, Canadian-made electric car charger as part of our product line. Since electric vehicles are coming on fast and improving every year, why not add a FLO charger to your home or place of business at the same time you do solar? We can even design and scale your solar array to meet the additional load requirements of an electric vehicle.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

A sale in Chase BC

A big congratulations to our sales team in Kamloops. They sold a beautiful, high powered solar array made of a whopping 48 modules to a new client in Chase BC. This array uses 72 cell, 315 Watt modules coupled with Enphase M250 micro-inverters. It will be spread across two barn roofs. 

This is how solar works in Kamloops

Our new solar arrays in Kamloops are performing extremely well. Here are some diagnostics from an array with 16 modules from today. This array generated close to 30 kWh with around 1.9 kWh/module. To put that in perspective, 30 kWh is enough to drive an electric car 180km, to run 15 computers for 24 hours straight, or to keep lit 20 60 Watt light bulbs running for 24 hours. OR to power the average BC house for the day with everything.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Earth Day (April 22): Learn how to make and use solar cookers

Michael from Sweet Spot Solar is working with a team of volunteers to hold a special solar cooking workshop on Earth Day. This event is being held under the auspices of the Kamloops Chapter of the BC Sustainable Energy Association. To learn more and to register click here.

Talk on solar power in Kamloops on April 19, 2017

Michael from Sweet Spot Solar will be be a speaker at the Big Little Science Centre in Kamloops this Wednesday at 7PM.

Science Centre Lecture Series at the BIG Little Science Centre, free entry
Doors open at 6:30pm, lecture at 7pm. For older children and adults. Refreshments served.
Solar Power in the 21st Century: Roads, Planes, Buildings and Fields

Dr. Michael Mehta, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Thompson Rivers University

Dr. Mehta will review the current state of solar power, discuss various applications, and profile Canada’s first solar road which is being built here in Kamloops on the campus of TRU. In British Columbia we have very good solar conditions, and in the interior our 2000 hours per year of sunlight surpass solar powerhouse nations, like Germany, by 25%. Many people are surprised to learn that even coastal communities like Vancouver and Vancouver Island do indeed work well with solar. Solar power is changing the world of energy production, and people and governments are beginning to take notice.

FREE ENTRY! Everyone is invited to attend. Wheelchair accessible. The BIG Little Science Centre is a not-for-profit, registered charity, dedicated to creating a passion for science.

For more information please contact Susan Hammond: susan@blscs.org, or call 250-554-2572.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Partial and full DIY options work for us too

A new record low in installed solar made possible by Sweet Spot Solar. By doing some of the work themselves, this family saved around $2000 on the installation. The total cost they paid was $11,100. This works out to a new Sweet Spot Solar record of $2.48/Watt installed!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Sarah and Tim's new array in the North Shore area of Kamloops

Sarah and Tim finished installing their roof-mounted solar array this weekend. This powerhouse is composed of 16 280 Watt monocrystalline modules made by Canadian Solar coupled with Enphase M-250 micro-inverters.

They did most of the installation themselves and brought in one of our recommended electricians to make the final interconnection to their breaker box and to bond the rails and equipment.

Here's the happy team and their new array.

Monday, 10 April 2017

New Sweet Spot Solar ad

The following ad is appearing in Kamloops This Week on April 11, 2017.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Solar modules can be gorgeous

Solar modules like this beauty from Canadian manufacturer Silfab can be a stunning and a functional addition to any home or business. This module is a bifacial rated at 285 Watts - it makes power on both sides by taking advantage of the albedo effect. To us, this module looks like a carefully cut and polished jewel. It will adorn our big tracker in Black Pines near Kamloops. You are looking at the underside.

An all-female electrical crew on our Kamloops tracker project and another array coming together

It's been a very busy weekend for Sweet Spot Solar projects. Electrician Amie Schellenberg and her assistant Jenn got done today wiring and breaker panel work for our big tracker project in Black Pines, and our client Tim and Sarah have the rail kit up and ready for module installation.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Another new solar array in Kamloops

A new grid-tie solar array composed of 14 Canadian Solar 280 Watt monocrystalline modules and Enphase M-250 micro-inverters has been installed in the Westsyde area of Kamloops!

Friday, 7 April 2017

A slick new solar array graces the roof of this house in Rayleigh in Kamloops

Here's our newest solar array in Rayleigh (on the outskirts of Kamloops). This array is composed of 16 Canadian Solar 280 Watt black framed modules and Enphase M-250 micro-inverters.

Here's the owner Ken in the middle with Michael (left) and electrician Steve (right).

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Dual Axis Tracker Project in Kamloops

Updated: July 23, 2017

The largest dual axis solar tracker is being installed in the Kamloops region right now. This tracker will follow the Sun throughout the day and change tilt to maximize power production. A dual axis tracker can produce 40% more electricity per year than a static or fixed array. This is what are we building. It is made in Ontario by Sentinel Solar and goes by the name Sentry.

This tracker will hold 45 Silfab 280 Watt bifacial modules. These modules are made in Canada. Bifacial modules are semi-transparent and capture solar energy on the flip side too by taking advantage of the albedo effect. The nameplate rating is 12.6 kW. The array uses high-efficiency micro-inverters made by Enphase.

The project is being installed on Westsyde Road in Black Pines. It is big! Here's the truck that delivered the equipment on Monday.

The foundation work is also massive and composed of concrete and lots of rebar. Engineering of the foundation was required. This photo will give you an idea of how this tracker will be fastened onto the ground.

We estimate that this tracker will make over 25,000 kWh/year of power. To get all of that juice to the house of our client, serious wire is needed.

Assembly of the tower and supports will start soon, and a video of the process can be seen here.

The foundation work has now been poured.

Amie Schellenberg and her husband Ryan of Lodgepole Electrical finished mounting today the 45 Silfab bifacial modules and micro-inverters onto our big dual axis tracker project in Black Pines BC. A crane will lift this onto the base as one piece.

The modules and inverters are now wired and the tracker is ready for the big crane lift.

Sweet Spot Solar CEO Michael and electrician Amie Schellenberg were on-site today.

Here's what the tracker looks like when mounted. A few more adjustments are needed and some fine tuning of the communications system and this baby will begin making power.

This tracker is a powerhouse! For example, by 11:15AM on July 23 it had already produced more than 30 kWh for the day which is enough to power an average house for an entire day.

Monday, 3 April 2017

More on solar roads and "smart" infrastructure

Michael from Sweet Spot Solar is a guest this morning at 6:35AM on CBC's Daybreak South show with Chris Walker in Kelowna. He'll be talking about Canada's first solar road and "smart" infrastructure. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/programs/daybreaksouth

Friday, 31 March 2017

Sweet Spot Solar radio ads on Radio NL throughout the month of April

Sweet Spot Solar would like to thank all of our clients and prospective clients for helping us put together two 15 second radio ads to be played on Radio NL. We appreciate your feedback and suggestions on what elements to include. These ads will play throughout the month of April 2017 in Kamloops and the interior of British Columbia.

Ad #1: "It's time to go solar"

Ad #2: "Solarize your future"

Thursday, 30 March 2017

A perfect solar day in March!

Check out this almost perfect solar day from one of our arrays on Gabriola Island. A bell curve is what we like to see, and when a medium-sized residential array produces 45 kWh in one day in March, we are smiling ear-to-ear.

EcoFoot Racking For Flat Roofs

Sweet Spot Solar is excited to offer our clients another low-cost, high-quality option for mounting solar modules on flat roofs. Check out the EcoFoot!

It uses no rails, is quick to assemble, requires less ballast to hold it down, and the shipping cost is lower too. We should probably also say that it costs around 20% less than any other approach.

Here's a nice video showing it all comes together.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Sweet Spot Solar is on Radio NL on March 29

Listen to Michael, the owner of Sweet Spot Solar, talk about solar power on the Jim Harrison Show on Radio NL (Kamloops) live at 9:40AM tomorrow (Wednesday). The live stream is at http://www.radionl.com/

If you missed the live show, a podcast can be found here.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Solar modules can power directly DC fans for ventilation purposes

If you have a greenhouse or other large space and need ventilation, the most cost-effective way is to pair solar modules directly to brushless DC motor fans. There is no need for inverters, batteries, or much else other than some wire to connect together the modules and fans. Here's an example of a 16 inch fan that would work very well with a low-cost 265 Watt solar module.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

$2.75/W installed cost is a record breaker - A Kamloops project

Sweet Spot Solar has just set a new benchmark that will be very hard for others to beat. A new array being installed in Kamloops is coming together at $2.75/Watt! This 4.6 kW array is roof mounted on shingles, uses monocrystalline 280W modules by Canadian Solar, high-quality Enphase M250 micro-inverters, and an Envoy communications gateway. All of the equipment came in at $10,000 from our sales in January and February, and the installation will be $3000. The industry average in BC is still north of $4/Watt.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Would you like a solar powered carport to charge an electric car?

Updated April 4, 2017:

Would you like something similar to this to charge your electric car and to provide power to your house? We are looking for clients interested in pioneering this approach with us. Contact Michael by email at michael@sweetspotsolar.com

Solar power and electric vehicles are a match made in heaven. Why not use a solar array to send power into your house and into your car's batteries? You will be driving on sunshine!

Sweet Spot Solar is looking for a client in the Kamloops area who is interested in a novel and mutually beneficial project.

On August 12, 2017, a special night called Hot Nite in the City will be held where people showcase a range of vehicles. A group is putting together a special display of electric cars for this event.

Here's the proposal: If a client would like an electric car charging station powered by solar modules, we will work with you and local carpenters to make something beautiful and functional.

Here's the catch: Before this gets installed at your property, we would like to showcase this charging station at Hot Nites in the City.

Here's the bait: Sweet Spot Solar will sell you the photovoltaic equipment including modules and inverters at-cost!

For more information, contact Michael at michael@sweetspotsolar.com

Monday, 20 March 2017

The Downside Of Solar

Here's the only negative thing about solar. With a large enough solar array, you can neutralize your electricity bill and even create a credit. These graphs are from one of our arrays composed of 18 solar modules on a 2100 square foot house. Since mid-February, this array began to noticeably decrease the daily power consumption. Yesterday the overall consumption for the house was 2 kWh. Note how the solar array created a credit between 10-4 that was applied immediately to reduce the overall daily figure.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

A power plant installed onto your garage on Gabriola Island

Why have just a garage when you can have a solar power plant? This project used 28 high-output solar modules to produce annually around 10,000 kWh/year of electricity! Here are before and after photos.