Solar + Enphase Encharge Energy Storage
A customer in Port Orchard expressed an interest in getting solar photovoltaics (PV) combined with energy storage so our design team came up with some options and the customer selected a 7.77kW (kilowatts) solar PV system paired with two Enphase Encharge 10 batteries giving our customer 20.2kWh (kilowatt hours) of electricity when the main electrical grid goes out.
The PV system is split into two sections on two different buildings, the main home and a garage. The garage faces south but gets partially shaded from some trees to the west and the home’s roofline is east/west with dormers on the west side.
Satellite imagery combined with solar design tools allow designers to find the optimal locations for placing the modules including calculations about expected annual production levels.
Energy needs, aesthetics, shading/performance and available roof space all factor into solar design and equipment selections.
Part of the system was installed on a standing seam metal roof (the main house) and the remainder on a composition roof (on the garage) requiring two different kinds of mounting systems. With standing seam metal roof installations there are no roof penetrations as specialized clamps are used.
Skylights, fire codes, vent pipes and hip rooflines limited solar roof space on the main home.
We installed 21 Silfab Solar 370 watt solar panels and paired them with 21 Enphase IQ7A microinverters. Ten panels were placed on the main home and eleven on the garage. Because of the complexity of installing on two buildings new subpanels were installed as well as a disconnect for the garage. Electrical consumption monitoring is also part of this installation.
Panels were installed closer to the east (right) side of the garage to avoid shading by the trees to the west later in the day.
One important factor when designing energy storage systems are which electrical loads (devices) need to keep operating when the power goes out. Our team works with the homeowner to find out what is essential (typically lighting, heating, refrigeration and sometimes medical devices) and what may not be needed for short periods of time (hot tubs, washers, dryers). A critical loads panel is then installed which will direct the electricity to the preselected loads during outages from the main electrical grid.
It’s important to note that all electrical costs related to the solar project such as upgrading or adding electrical panels qualify for the Federal Tax Credit for residential solar which is 26% through the end of 2022, lowers to 22% in 2023 and is eliminated in 2024 for homeowners. (A 10% tax credit will still be available to business in 2024 and beyond.)
An energy storage (battery) system, when combined with a solar installation also qualifies for the Federal Tax Credit.
Additionally, any permits, building fees, labor costs, etc… are all eligible for the Federal Tax Credit and there is no sales tax in Washington on solar projects.
Net Metering is another Washington incentive and is the agreement between you and your Utility in which any kilowatts you overproduce, (typically in late spring, all summer and early fall) get credited to your account and then, when you need more electricity (more lighting and heating) in the wintertime, you use the credited kilowatts to power your home. Net Metering accounts are reset once per year so it’s important to not oversize a system and “donate” earned kilowatt credits to the Utility.
We break out all the financials for you with a customized solar quote so you know what to expect way before signing any kind of contracts. Check out a free solar quote example on our FAQ page.
If you’re interested in solar or solar+energy storage, please give us a call at 206-706-1931 or fill out our contact form and let us know about the goals for your project. We’ll get you a free custom solar quote with specific information about the costs, expected production plus the environmental and economic benefits. We give you detailed equipment information (brands, models, efficiencies, warranties, etc…) and our no pressure solar consultants help you decide what system configuration makes the most sense for you.