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


Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Take that BC Hydro

Solar saves you money! This 2200 square foot house in BC has a solar array composed of 18 modules. During the month of May it used only 39 kWh from the grid, and its total bill from February to June is $186. The owners will likely not purchase electricity until October or November but by then a rolling credit of surplus production can be drawn upon. This is the beauty of net metering.
This house does not have access to natural gas and heats with electric mini-split heat pumps and uses electricity for hot water. It also charges an electric car!


Saturday, 3 June 2017

Arctic Energy and Emerging Technologies Conference and Tradeshow

Sweet Spot Solar's CEO Michael is a speaker at the Arctic Energy and Emerging Technologies Conference and Tradeshow in Inuvik NWT being held between June 12 and 14. The title of his talk is "Solar power: Energy, community capacity building, and sustainability." To learn more, click here.

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.