Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Day 8 of Solar Install

Two events on day 8. One, the Washington County inspection and two, the WebBox wiring.

The Washington County inspector came by this morning. Washington County is where we got the permit and an inspection is required. This was a curtailed inspection. By the time I got my shoes on, he was done looking at the inverter. I opened the garage so he could look at the breaker box. His only concern was that there the permit was present and signed by the supervising electrician. He didn't even open the breaker box or the gutter. He gave me a receipt and was gone. He never even looked at the panels or the combiner box.

Brad from the solar contractor called about an hour later to ask how it went. I told him and he said that is typical; the 'real' inspection is done by the Energy Trust of Oregon. The system must pass the Energy Trust's inspection before they pay the contractor the incentives. That is right, some of the incentives go directly to the installer, rather than the homeowner. Either way it reduces the cost, but that is not how I expected it to work. I'll discuss the costs and incentives in a later blog.

In the afternoon, Sarah came by to connect the WebBox. I was surprised to learn that most people do not get the monitoring option. I like technologies like solar and the Internet; something that combines them is then really cool. Since they don't do a lot of monitoring installs, this was something new for them. Sarah wired the RJ-45 receptacle below.

Here is the before and after of the Ethernet wiring to the den.

Now the WebBox (below), is wired to my home network. The WebBox has an area marked as "Antenna" but is it not used and the manual list is as "For Future Expansion". It would have been much easier if it had Wi-fi built in. Luckily it was not to hard to run the Ethernet cable.

The next step was to wire the WebBox to the inverter, unfortunately, it started raining so the inverter could not be opened up. That ends Day 8.

kWh generated: 30

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