Watt meter

Oldtimmer69

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Jun 20, 2020
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Im adding another 28 pannls to my existing system and would like to use a watt meter to measure pv output live to see what the angle difference is. Do they make a meter that's not $300 or more like the fluke to do this? Im trying to decide if i want to reconfigure my ground mount to take another 28 and if so can i make it less of an angel.
 

OzSolar

Whatever you did, that's what you planned.
Joined
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Southwest MO
All you need is something that will cast a shadow. A stick or piece of carboard will do. Adjust the angle until you find the longest shadow and that will be the angle where the solar is making the most power at that moment.
 

Oldtimmer69

New Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2020
Messages
65
All you need is something that will cast a shadow. A stick or piece of carboard will do. Adjust the angle until you find the longest shadow and that will be the angle where the solar is making the most power at that moment.
That was how i set up my south noon for the pannls i have now. But i wanted to be able to move a panel around to see what the % of loss is. Ill have to make a fixed mount for 52 panels. And i want to know what the best angle will be.
I move the 4 arrrays i have now and its on about 15% gain
 

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OzSolar

Whatever you did, that's what you planned.
Joined
Jan 5, 2021
Messages
1,692
Location
Southwest MO
That was how i set up my south noon for the pannls i have now. But i wanted to be able to move a panel around to see what the % of loss is. Ill have to make a fixed mount for 52 panels. And i want to know what the best angle will be.
I move the 4 arrrays i have now and its on about 15% gain
If I'm following you correctly then I suggest you spend a few minutes on NREL's PV watts. It's free and the learning curve is less than 30 seconds.

You can quickly run a simulation at any angle or azimuth then change them and re-run the simulation to see both monthly and annual energy production.
 

Oldtimmer69

New Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2020
Messages
65
If I'm following you correctly then I suggest you spend a few minutes on NREL's PV watts. It's free and the learning curve is less than 30 seconds.

You can quickly run a simulation at any angle or azimuth then change them and re-run the simulation to see both monthly and annual energy production.
Ill check that out. Ill be way over paneled for summer but man, it takes alot to cover the whole house when you have 4 or 5 days of rain and clouds.
I'll have to figure out what to do with my dump in the summer time. Maybe i can run Hot water heater and store the water in a second tank.
 

OzSolar

Whatever you did, that's what you planned.
Joined
Jan 5, 2021
Messages
1,692
Location
Southwest MO
Ill check that out. Ill be way over paneled for summer but man, it takes alot to cover the whole house when you have 4 or 5 days of rain and clouds.
I'll have to figure out what to do with my dump in the summer time. Maybe i can run Hot water heater and store the water in a second tank.
You're on track with things like that electric water heater as dump load. Also, if you're not off grid it may be worth it to grid tie/net meter in an attempt bank some credits to get you through the darker times.

It's been an exceptionally rough winter for all us.
 
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