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I have done some analysis of the solar potential of the roof of my shop. Removing some trees to the south west of the shop would keep the roof in sunlight from 9AM to 4PM even on the winter solstice - 7 hours. A compound tilt mechanism that tilts the entire array up 20 degrees on the west in the morning and in the east in the evening, combined with individual panel tilt of up to 15 degrees in either direction would keep the entire array in its optimal zone for five hours a day and allow the array to operate at > or = to half efficiency for another two hours per day. But the ability of the existing structure to support such a system and the durability and maintainability of such a structure over 20 years of wind and rain by myself is highly questionable, given my present age of 70. :-) But it would offer about a third more generation which would be highly significant for off grid type applications. Too bad the wind resource is not greater locally.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jul 24th, 2013 at 10:42:48 AM EST
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... "for off grid installations".

For off grid installations where the solar power is feeding a battery bank, increasing the performance of the solar panels on a marginal sun day can be a quite important benefit, since marginal sun days often come one after the other, and too many in a row can deplete the battery bank.

For on grid installations, given that wind power and possibly run-of-river hydro is likely offsetting your drop in daily solar peak supply, better to just have an UHVD line to a grid that has an independent complement of sustainable, renewable resources so that you can buy some from them when you are short ... because then you can sell to them when you have a surplus.

Which makes the simplicity of a fixed installation oriented to the average best performance for the needs of the grid quite appealing.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Jul 24th, 2013 at 11:48:28 AM EST
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