Cheezmo wrote:I appreciate the feedback. I am going to go ahead with it. The biggest reason probably is that I have invested so much effort in the planning and everything and I just really want to.
Cheezmo wrote:So, I will look at it as a science experiment without an expected return, but doing some good for the world and teaching my kids a lot about energy usage in the process. Can't be a bad thing.
Those sound like good reasons to me! Frankly, the laws which we were counting on paying for our system over five years were changed with no grandfather clause, so our payback may now be 20 years, but we are still very glad we put in the system. Keep in mind that you are locking in a fixed price for electricity for the life of the system. If you install a reliable system which lasts, you will likely save money as well as the environment over that time. For reference, I noticed the other day that we paid $0.065/kWh for electricity back in 2006, but today we pay $0.105/kWh. I sure wish my salary would go up that rapidly!
Cheezmo wrote:The other thing is to make sure that the sub panel upgrades I need for adding car chargers will be what the solar system needs. Doing both of those at once seems to make sense.
We did *exactly* the same thing here, and I will share some information on this topic which you may find useful:
My subpanel for the 9.87-kW PV array is just inside the house right next to the garage, so the intention was to also use it for electricity for the garage and for EV charging. Connecting this panel to the main panel required a wire run about 100 feet long. I oversized and installed 2-2-2-4 wire for this panel, even though I only installed a 60-A breaker in the main panel to reduce voltage drops, thus maximizing PV efficiency.
But even though the wiring was oversized, I still ended up with a situation where there is sometimes an overvoltage condition at the PV subpanel. Why is that? Partly because we sometimes get an overvoltage condition from our electricity supplier (even without any PV generation), but even when they are within specifications, they are close to the top end and the PV produces current flow which increases the voltage within our main panel and even further increases it in the subpanel. I estimate the highest we might see is 254V at the subpanel, but that is outside of the specified range for most products, including the EVSEUpgrade. The LEAF does not give a voltage range, but I would hate to have a claim for a failed charger denied due to overvoltage.
Anyway, this may not apply to your situation at all since your power is probably near the 240V nominal value for North American power. It is also not likely that you will have any equipment fail (except perhaps incandescent lamps) even if you have an overvoltage condition. But the bottom line here is that I recommend that if your subpanel is far from your main panel like mine is that you oversize the wire to that panel quite a bit to minimize voltage drops (from the EVs charging) and voltage rises (from PV production). They definitely will occur at different times sometimes.
Enjoy your new system!