09/22/22 – The Solar project starts
Today we signed a contract with A S I Hastings Heating & Air to put 28 – 235 watt solar panels on the roof. Our intent is to bring our electric usage down to zero. This project will include: Solar Panels, install 2 solar attic fans, upgrading the power panel, replacing the HVAC duct work in the house, upgrade the vent to the office, add vents to the two bathrooms, seal the house against air leaks, and upgrade the attic insulation.
I have also been attending seminars at The Center For Sustainable Energy. This is a very good place to become knowledgeable about solar energy. They do not sell or recommend contractors. They only educate.
I will be documenting this project here.
In the days since… ASI has been here to inspect the electrical panel, the money side is all set, Mark Naylor Solar Specialists (who put in the pool solar) is coming next week to move the thermal solar panels down to make room for the PV Solar Panel.
10/06/12 – SDG&E installs NetMetering Meter
SDG&E showed up today to change the meter. They installed a meter that will run backwards when the solar is generating more power than we are using. They call this NetMetering. Instead of messing with monthly bill where I own them and they owe me, we just reconcile once a year.
10/17/2012 – Mark Naylor Solar came by to move the pool solar system down to make room for the PV solar. A S I Hastings Heating & Air also called to schedule the installation of the PV solar system for 11/12/2012.
11/12/2012 – ASI showed up bright and early to start the install. Today they removed some of the roof tiles and put the posts in.
11/14/2012 – The Solar Panels are installed, the roof is patched-up like new.
11/15/2012 – Today the electrical panel was upgraded from 100 Amps to 200 Amps. This required that the power to the house was down all day. I was able to test my Doomsday Machine, a 9000 watt gas generator. It kept the office, home theater, and appliances up all day for about 3 gallons of gas.
11/28/2012 – Today is the start of the Efficient House project. ASI will be sealing the house to make it as efficient as possible. Today they removed all of the old (cheapo) duct work for the HVAC system. They also sealed all of the remaining parts to make sure that conditioned air flows only into the house not the walls.
11/29/2012 – Today the new duct work was installed. The difference in quality from the old ducts is remarkable. The new ducts have a huge amount of insulation on them. We tested the furnace and it was very quiet. In the past the sound of the airflow would wake me up in the morning.
Today ASI also installed two solar attic fans, one in the garage and one in the main part of the roof. These will automagically turn on when it gets hot and use solar power. The fan in the garage will help keep the temperature down so that the compressor on my wine cellar won’tr have to work so hard. The fan in the attic will keep the attic cooler thereby making the A/C work less.
The City of San Diego came and signed off on the solar panels. We test-fired the panels and I was able to use my browser and see what each panel was producing. This is awesome technology. Eventually I will be able to log on to a site and see a visualization of the panels. I plan on embedding it on my home page. I would then be able to go to my home page and see how the panels are functioning.
11/30/2012 – Today as part of the project to make our house properly insulated ASI blew in an additional 100 bags of ceiling insulation. They measured the house before and after they sealed it. They both pressurized and depressurized the house to find that before there was a leakage percentage of about 25%. They then sealed all of the places where air can get in or out. They installed a quiet motion detector bathroom fan in the office which will create the proper airflow in the house. As a byproduct of the fan, it will vent the hot air from the computer equipment into the attic.
After all of that, they did the pressure test again and found that the house was at 10% leakage. Apparently, the old HVAC ducts were leaking badly. We have noticed that for the two nights since the ducts were put in that the house does not change temperature. Usually, the furnace kicks on at 6:00 to start the process of warming the house up to 72 degrees. Last night when I went to be the house was 74.6 degrees. When I woke up it was 72.4 degrees. WEIRD!! The heater never came on and it was a cold, rainy night. This is really going to be an interesting experiment.
Next up? SDG&E needs to bless the solar system so that I can turn it on and start feeding daytime energy BACK to them!
12/04/2012 – Today San Diego Gas & Electric approved the system! I turned it on at about 9:15 A.M. and after about 15 minutes it was sending electricity BACK to SDG&E. I came home at about 1:00 P.M. and checked the system, it was a sunny day and even with the pool equipment running, it was still sending excess power to SDG&E.
12/14/2012 – Today I received a check from SDG&E for $1000.00 because of the Whole House Performance Work that was done!
12/26/2012 – Today I was notified that my reward from the California Solar Initiative was approved. That is another $1,163.00 in my pocket!
12/28/2012 – Uh oh! I ordered a Chevy Volt today! This is contagious!
12/29/2012 – The Volt showed up and is drinking power from the sun.
03/04/2013 – The 240 volt Volt charger was installed
03/05/2013 – the new Hayward EcoStar Pool pump was installed
03/17/2013 – I brought home a 2013 Toyota Prius C
04/08/2013 – Changed all of the ceiling lights to LEDs.
05/17/2013 – I just received a $200.00 rebate from SDG&E for the efficient pool pump. Next up is the full automation of the Pool/Spa/Heater/Solar/Lights.