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Ground-Mounted PV Array (Pennsylvania, USA)

This PV system has consisted of three major PV installations with the first one in 1992. The original 2.15 kW system (36 modules on three trackers, w/ battery storage) was installed by Quality Energy Systems at a cost of $36,000, and was then upgraded in 1994 to a 4.3 kW system. Atlantic Solar Products, Inc. was also involved in the design and installation of the system. This was a hybrid PV system, since inverters could not interconnect with the utility grid at that time. Everyday, dedicated loads from the house automatically switched between the utility grid and the remote PV system.

Unfortunately, by 1999, many problems began to mount mostly stemming from defective PV modules, which in turn adversely affected the rest of the system. Many hours of diagnostic evaluation, redesign and installation was carried out by Celentano Energy Services, who convinced Solarex to replace all 72 PV modules- which Solarex fully honored. While the modules were being replaced, the rest of the PV system was overhauled, including new inverters, controllers, and batteries- now the PV system is interconnected with the utility grid.

In the event of a utility power outage, the PV system will automatically continue to supply electricity to the house, with battery backup power lasting several days of overcast weather (with conservative usage), after which a backup generator will kick in. A second generator is also available to supply backup power. While the generator supplies the house with electricity, it will also charge up the batteries, thus switching back to the PV system supplying electricity to the house.