This fall has been busy making final plans for implementing our Phase 3 solar array. As noted in my last report, Baker Renewable Energy agreed to sub-contract with SESB for local procurement and installation services, and a conference call was pending. The conference call occured about two weeks later, with good results. Various options for positioning the new array on "available" roof space were considered along with options to size the array according to the data provided by the e-gauges. Additionally, the pros and cons of micro- versus string-inverter(s) were considered for the new array. Following the call, SESB provided two quotes, one for a 6KW system and one for a 7KW system. As of that time (October time frame), the plan was to leave the Phase 1 array where it is located now (on top of the office/computer-lab roof), leave the Phase 2 array alone as well, and put the Phase 3 array on a vacant roof section somewhat farther away from the office complex--requiring a significant conduit run to the office/computer-lab breaker box. (The 7KW system was chosen in terms of best price/performance option).
However, in the meantime, the sheet-metal roofing that supports the System 1 array developed leaks and needs to be replaced. This is the array that has suffered some degradation likely due to the combination of manufacturer defects and local tropical weather conditions.
Yesterday I concluded a meeting with BRE to discuss all of the above, and a slightly modified plan was developed. The new approach will be to remove the Phase 1 array from the office/computer-lab roof; and then replace the roof. This will leave a pristine, brand new roof upon which to place the Phase 3 array. It will also prevent the need for a long conduit run. The Phase 1 panels and micro-inverters will be examined and tested and those that are not functioning will be discarded; the rest will be placed adjacent to the Phase 2 array and tied into the second breaker that support the kitchen/cafeteria and most of the classrooms. The new 7KW Phase 3 array will then be installed to support the office/computer-lab.
Our tentative schedule is as follows: (1) BRE sends skilled technician to remove Phase 1 array, assess its condition, assist with roofing replacment, and re-install working panels to augment the Phase 2 array. This will be scheduled for Jan/Feb 2018 time frame; (2) upon completion; SESB will be scheduled to install the Phase 3 array on the new roof on the office/computer-lab complex.
In addition, the HCEF Board (including myself) will hold an on-site meeting the weekend of January 26-27, 2018. While it is possible that the planned BRE visit and roof replacement could occur during that time, scheduling the BRE visit will also have to account for disruptions that might impact school days, depending upon the length of time needed to complete all of the planned work.
The next few months promises to be very busy, and we renew our thanks to one and all of you for your continuing support of the school and the children we serve.