Tag Archive | "santa cruz"

Large Municipal Solar Systems

If you are a city and you are thinking longterm, well why not think about solar electric?

That is exactly what the Industrial Waste in Santa Cruz, California is thinking about.  They are so interested in being around on this planet for the longterm, they decided to invest in a MASSIVE solar electric system.  You can even see pictures of the system from Google Maps satellite view.

By my guessing, it’s probably a 300-500 panel solar system.  This means that it could very easily be a 100kw system when its all said and done.  And, if that is the case, they could as well be producing about 400 kwh per day on average, somedays more, somedays less.  But either way, it something that is allowing them to take a bite out of their electric bill, and keeping the planet a bit greener.

If you too are part of a local government, and you are interested in finding out what solar can do for you.  I suggest that you take some time and speak with some of the local solar professionals in your area to understand what your options are.  The fact of the matter is this, right now, the costs of solar have come down quite considerably, and also, there are all kinds of government assistance programs that exist for local governments to get a project like this completed.

Here is a profile picture from about 500 feet away of some of the solar system installed at the Santa Cruz Industrial Waste center:

municipal solar system

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Pictures of Electric Solar Systems from Central California

There are all kinds of people who are living the solar dream in California.

On a recent trip to Santa Cruz, CA I was on a bike ride for just over two hours, and took all kinds of pictures of the locals and their home solar systems.  These are some of the pictures.

solar panels on roof in california

I really liked the solar system above because it blended in so well with the surrounding houses.  It really isn’t true what some people think about their solar electric systems being so ugly for all of their neighbors.  In fact, if you did not closely, you surely would miss this house’s solar system.  My best guess is that this is a 3kw system.

rooftop solar electric #1

Above is another picture of a nicely blended in solar system.  It looks as though this system doesn’t have any shade problems either.  My guess is that this is probably close to a 4kw solar system.

10 panel solar electric system
The solar system above is located on two seperate portions of the roof.  Sometimes space will force you to do something like this.  However, if this is you, make sure that you don’t have different amounts of shading for the different sections.  Otherwise you may find yourselves with a system that is not performing optimally.  And make sure you have  a solar installer who is very experienced installing this type of configuration.  And better yet, ask the installer if they have put in a solar electric system with this layout before.

solar hot water system on roof

This above is a solar hot water system.  You will notice that for solar hot water, the solar panels are generally much larger than the typical 3 foot by 5 foot solar electric panels.  A hot water solar system of this size is going to be able to produce plenty of water for a small apartment complex, and a swimming pool or two.  This is a pretty large system.

washing solar panels

When it comes time to wash your solar panels, take it easy on them, no need to be scrubbing too hard.  In general, for most parts of the country, there is absolutely no need to clean the solar panels on your system.  I think that since this particular house is located just a block from the Pacific Ocean, maybe they are trying to remove some of the salt that is always flying around in the area, to make sure it doesn’t mess up any of the electric connections on the panels themselves.

roof top solar electric

Above is maybe a 5 kw system as there seems to be two separate planes of solar panels all stacked together nicely in rows.

So there you have it.  Tons of different houses with many different sizes and shapes of solar electric systems.  All told, these systems together probably produce about $30-40 per day of electricity.

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