Chuck Orwig was a very welcoming host. He did an excellent job of explaining his solar panel installation. Very detailed information on performance and benefits of system.
Installation and approval didn’t sound like an easy task. Obtaining a structural engineer to sign off after analyzing house – was no easy task – if not for a favor called in – might not have taken place.
While City Water, Light & Power ( CWLP ) and City of Springfield Illinois might finally be embracing homeowner solar and wind production – it sounds like there is still room for improvement. Although safety should never be compromised – putting unnecessary red tape in way to stop renewable energy production – is not a good way to do business.
Mr. Orwig did state he was glad home was inspected before installation. It was determined more nails were needed in roof joist and an issue at meter which could have caused a house fire was detected and fixed.
At time marker 1:27 you will see Bluetooth device that records energy production. With this you can graphically show when panels are performing at optimal level. You get historical performance data by day, month and year.
Marker 1:38 shows power inverter. In late 70’s early 80’s this would have taken up a whole room – looking more like a geothermal installation. With state of art electronics everything has shrunk down to this small unit. Solar panels produce DC power – inverter converts this to AC for household use. Sonny Boy inverter was Made in Germany.
Video moves back outside to show emergency shut off. This is mandatory for all installations. Used for power outages or emergency responders during a fire to cut off system. You can hear explanation provided by Chuck Orwig.
Unfortunately this homeowner leading by example hasn’t sparked much interest from neighbors. There were no other solar panels to be found in neighborhood. I asked – was told there hadn’t been much discussion or curiosity. In my opinion that shows how closed minded and clueless most people in our country truly are – sad state of affairs.
United States of America was one of first to commercialize solar panels many decades ago. We dropped ball and allowed other nations to take lead with this technology. Germany most recently being leader in production and usage. With entry of Chinese companies into market – panel prices dropped dramatically – trade wars erupted – that still haven’t been fully settled. Chinese producers in past year have had to consolidate, refinance debt or close up shop.
After we left this house is when things got interesting. A few blocks around corner – we had a Tesla Model S driving behind us – got video of what I’d assume is only one in Springfield Illinois – confirmed it is a local car.
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Solar power talk set for TuesdayUniversity of Illinois student team member will present a solar power program at Sustainable Springfield Inc.’s next meeting.
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