Solar carport almost finished

Sunnyboy grid-tie inverter. This converts the direct current (DC) generated by the solar panels into alternating current (AC) that can be sent to our house or to the electric grid. On days were we generate more power than we use, this “green” energy will be fed into the grid and used by our neighbors.

View from underside. The panels are stunning and allow natural light to pass through. You can also see the blue sky through the panels.

The panels are installed and connected to the inverter, but the whole system is not connected to our power meter.  The power company first has to install the net meter (one that runs forward and backwards).  Also, waiting for our builder to install a gutter to collect water runoff from the panels.  Rain barrels may be in our future.

Everyone who’s seen the solar carport asks the same question.  What is the payoff period?

Answer:

12 years (if you factor in everything except the cost to build carport structure).

17 years (for everything.  Panels, inverter, solar installation, construction, painting, labor, permiting).

The way we look at it.  Regardless of what payoff period is, we now have a carport that a) protects our cars from the elements and b) should generate 106% of the electric power we use.  Two uses for the price of one.  And it looks pretty darn nice.

C-Max Hybrid

2013 Ruby Red Ford C-Max Hybrid SE

My old 1988 Chevy Nova was on it’s last legs so I needed a new car.  I test drove the new Ford C-Max hybrid and really liked it (my earlier post was about the C-Max Energi–a plug in version).

So far, I really like it.  It is very quiet and spacious.  It should get 47 mpg city / 47 mpg highway.