- Location: 22 Veevers Drive, Hamilton
- System Size: 3.6 kW (DC)
- System Composition:
- 16 Enphase Micro-inverters
- 16 Canadian Solar Solar Modules
- Surface Area: ~ 300 sqft (28 m2)
- System design & installation: Merlyn Power
- Electricity Generation: 3,650 kWh per year (~ 305 kWh per month, on average, with higher production during the early summer months).
In 2011, as part of a demonstration initiative and in alignment with the Ontario MicroFIT program, Green Venture successfully hired Merlyn Power to install a 3.6 kW solar system on the southern section of the EcoHouse roof. This particular system (one of two) was used to feed energy directly into the grid and in turn allowed Green Venture to receive money back for the energy they produced. With a keen eye for positive returns on investments the Green Venture team immediately saw the carbon reductions that were possible as well as the financial benefits of solar, so it was an easy decision to “go green”. The solar system comprises a total of 16 solar modules, each paired with an Enphase micro-inverter to optimize energy production while minimizing the impact of shading. Micro-inverters also allow the owner to closely monitor the performance of each solar module and promptly identify and address any operational issues that may arise. In addition to the technical considerations, the Green Venture team also took measures to safeguard the
solar panels by installing a critter guard, mindful of the tendency of animals to nest between and beneath the modules throughout the city and their gnawing habits. At some point in time prior to installation of the critter guard, a family of squirrels built themselves a nice condo complex up under the solar modules and dealt with teething issues by chewing through many wires. This caused the trunkline (the larger cable that all the micro-inverters plug into) to become completely destroyed by the squirrels and in need of replacement. On June 21, 2023 Merlyn Power came to the rescue and completed a full reinstall of the existing array.
The majority of the modules had these lead wires either partially or completely chewed off. Luckily, these older solar modules have serviceable junction boxes, allowing the Merlyn Power team to connect new wire assemblies to the solar module’s string of solar cells within the junction box for each affected solar module. Although this was a larger project than expected, the Green Venture team learned a few lessons that we’d love to share.
- Critter guards are important!
- Using sunshine to power your house or fuel up your car is very satisfying
- Solar systems can not only save you on energy costs but can also provide cash back
- Monitoring your system through Enphase will show you problem areas and will keep the system working efficiently
- Rebates and loans are higher than ever in Ontario right now to help with equipment and installation costs