It is May 4, 2011 and the best solar day to date. It is 6 pm. We are facing North and the panels are facing due South. As you can see the house is shaded by the tree on the West. The sun's angle to the horizon is at 60 degrees. In the winter the tree shades the panels in the late afternoon as the sun angle is less. In the Summer the angle is greater and solar collection improves. Savings per month averages about $80.
As you can see there are 20- 3 foot by 5 foot photo-voltaic panels. Even though Oregon is well known for having many rainy days it is still considered a good solar energy location. The panels do work through out the year even in rain (just not nearly as much as would be desired).
This is the side of the house where the energy collected is sent to the solar converter, located on the inside of the garage. Each panel is a 190 watt panel or 3800 watts total.
This is the outside gage which is read by the Power company. When I had the older wheel, I delighted in coming out to see the wheel going backwards meaning I was making the electric energy. All of the power goes into the electric power grid. I get my bill each month along with a letter telling me how many Kilowatts of energy the panel. My bill is usually lower than my neighbors. During the Summer when air conditioning in needed my bill does not go up.
In the garage, on the left is my breaker box, next the solar power collector (on/off) switch. You can see the tube at the left top of the box bringing the power in from the panels. The large silver and blue box (Fronius IG) in the middle converts the energy. Finally the right gage tells how much power is being made.