How Many Panels?

Starting to answer the question:  "How many panels have I installed?"

Not yet photographed are the first of the panels that went in across the road.  I bought a four panel kit, about 1kw, off of eBay about 2011.  Jean and I took the new Leaf to the UPS freight terminal on  the north side of Austin to pick it up.  We had to remove packaging to get it all in the car.  Eventually, Steve Clunn installed them for me  cantilevered off the south edge of the RV building.  A bit later, Longhorn Solar did my first professional install with the blessing of my electric provider.  I believe I ended up with 37 panels on the RV building roof.  Those panels have been producing 6-8 years.  41 panels, as I count.

At the house, I first had a professional install of 26 panels on the roof of the house.  About 8kw but feeding into a 5kw inverter.  I've been adding panels in the south yard of the house.  Recent count is 29 panels.  3rd photo.

Lacking any more room in the yard, I starting installing just outside the yard in "the south field".  First, 5 panels temporarily leaning against a fence; visible in 2nd photo.  Then, 17 panels on a temporary rail (which has collapsed, 1st photo).  Finally, 25 panels on a semi-permanent rail; 2nd photo.  Two more rails are installed waiting to have panels installed.  So, the count:  26 + 29 + 47 = 103

At the big barn, pool, and guest house I first had a professional install of 39 panels on the "PV shed"; visible in 1st photo.  That's a shed over two shipping container constructed to support panels.  Then, I installed 6 panels at the edge of the pool; 5th photo.  Then, 12 panels on my first rail under the eave of the PV shed; 1st photo.  Count?  39 + 6 + 12 = 57.  The rail of 12 will soon be a rail of 13.  A new rail on the site of an old greenhouse will have 15.

Grand totals:
37 + 26 + 39 = 102 professionally installed on roof tops.
 4 + 76 + 18 = 108 self installed ground mounts
Average panel power is about 250watts.  So, 50kw altogether spread over three meters.

About 16 more panels should be installed and producing in the  next few days.  Perhaps 60 more panels in the next few  months.

The above mentioned "collapsed rail" had 18 panels, not 17.  Now installed on a permanent rail which has space for about 10-20 more panels.
The "greenhouse rail" is populated with 17 panels but not yet producing full power for reasons at this time unknown.

The totals should now be:
1) roof top professionally installed: 102 panels
2) guerrilla ground mounts:  126 panels.

I now have all in-stock panels installed and working.  Well, I THINK working.  Waiting for two more pallets of 30 panels each to arrive.
I added two panels to the previously collapsed string of 18 in the south field.  20 is too many for one string but I felt a compulsion to get the panels in production.  They may produce under all conditions but certainly except a few hours mid-day with full sun. 
I found a hook up problem with the new greenhouse string of 17 panels so they may all be producing.  The new 20 panel string in south field and the 17 panels in the greenhouse string are all on the un-monitorable SolarBridge microinverters.  I can test functioning only by putting an amp meter on the DC panel wires.
I added a panel to the string of 12 under the PV shed eve.

SO! The likely total for ground mount guerrilla panels is 129.  231 including roof top.  Heading toward 300.  Could go to 75kw.  Heading toward 400 kwh/day.  Could be worth $20/day.  $600/month.  Less ~$75/month connection fees.  On site use is down in the noise.  Am I overly optimistic?  Probably.

Time for an update.
A shipment of two pallets, 60 panels total, arrived.  Three of those panels were broken in shipping, so 57 new panels.  All of those panels are either in production or almost in production right now.
1) I populated a new rail in the south field with 28 panels.  This clearly overloads my wiring and production is lost during peak periods.
2) I completed and brought into production a 2nd greenhouse rail on the big barn meter.   So, two greenhouse rails, each with 17 panels.  13 panels under the eave and 6 next to the pool.
3) I completed a new rail about 200' south of the pool and guest house.  My last 13 in stock panels are in place on that rail.  I hope for production today.  Space for 15 more panels on that rail.
4) I reworked a temporary rail in the south yard, adding one more panel.
5) A new rail is now planned for the north part of my yard.  28 panels planned there.
Another shipment of 60 panels is on order.  I believe that puts me at 6 pallets (25-30 panels each) over the past 6 months.

The "big barn" meter should soon have 17+17+13+6+13 =  66 ground mount panels plus 39 roof top.

The new sites are served by repurposed existing 10 gauge 240vac circuits.  The green house and the  200' north of pool additions are served by wiring used for two wells.  The north yard rail will be served by an extension of 240vac service to the "old garage".

At the house, my "new" 15kva transformer is limiting my production to about 15kw.  An upgrade to a 37.5kva is in the works.  The utility may be able to supply a lower voltage transformer; that will give me more "head room" before inverters shut down due to rising voltage.

Yet another inventory.  After having installed 50 panels from the last shipment of 60 and deciding I'm at yet another stopping point.

1) "Across the Road" at RV building.  Unchanged.
41 panels       about 10kw

2) "Pool" aka "Big Barn" aka "GuestHouse"
39 roof top
13 below eave
34 old greenhouse site
14 south of guest house (with space for 14 more)
6  pool side two post mount
20 new "TwoFaced Rail Prototype"
126 total     about 30 kw

3) "House"
26 roof top
87 south field (space for 19 more)
30 south yard
14 north yard (space for 14 more)
157 total   about 37kw

Total for three meters: 324.   about 77kw

Ray has been telling people I have about 300.  I finally caught up to his estimate.

I expect my  next project will be 36 panels on my second TwoFaced Rail near the RV building.  I should have transformer capacity at that meter.  If I get my service supply issues resolved, I'll likely order just one more pair of pallets, 60 more panels.  Right now, I estimate I'm losing about 25% of my production due to two under size transformers.

Installing PV panels is just like eating potato chips.  I can't stop.  Obsessive compulsion.  And, I'm making far more rapid progress than I envisioned just 6 months ago.


I just brought two TwoFaced Rails into production "across the road".  36 panels on one rail and 38 on the other.  One of the 41 ~8 year old panels is not working.  So, total number of panels on that meter is 40 + 36 + 38 = 114.
The other two meters remain at 126 and 157.  So, total panels should now be 397.

All three meters can over produce around 100kwh on a good day.  Somewhere around $15-$20/day total.

The 114 panel meter seems not to be overloading the transformer.  Both the other transformers are being overloaded and energy is being lost.