Duncan’s Digest – Solar & Battery Project Pilot
SECO Energy’s Engineering department recently embarked on a solar and battery energy storage pilot project. If you travel County Road 470 near our Sumterville headquarters, you may have noticed the new 6,000-watt solar array installed just outside the fence on the southeast corner of our Sumterville substation.
The goal of the project is to learn more about solar arrays, battery storage and how battery-stored energy feeds back into our system. This knowledge will also prepare SECO employees assisting members who are interested in solar and battery storage investments at their homes or businesses.
We contracted with local solar array vendor Solar Trek to construct the 6,000-watt ground-mounted solar array and battery storage system. The panels are positioned to face south for maximum sun exposure.
The array was built to offset the utility-supplied power that is required to serve the load in the substation’s switchgear enclosure. You can see the solar array from the road, but the energy storage batteries are housed in a cabinet outside of the substation switchgear.
Solar systems – whether installed residentially or commercially – produce energy from the sun in the form of direct current (DC). Inverters are installed on each solar panel to convert the DC power produced by the panels to alternating current (AC) that is usable in homes and businesses.
The solar panels will produce an anticipated average of 25 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per day or approximately 750 kWh per month. Each panel is connected to a micro-inverter that maximizes efficiency by converting DC to AC power at the panel. The battery storage is configured for charge by the solar system.
This stored energy is released onto SECO’s electric system twice per day, at 9 a.m. and before 6 p.m.
The pilot project offers a variety of data for SECO’s Engineering staff to collect and study. SECO will measure the amount of AC power produced by the panels and the amount of energy the battery inverters will use to convert AC to DC then back to AC voltage. Also, SECO will assess the amount of energy required to charge the batteries and how much energy the battery inverter uses to convert DC to AC voltage.
Ultimately, we will monitor the collected data to compare the costs and benefits of energy storage and the impact of possible investments in future large-scale solar enterprises.
SECO Champion – Surgeo The Surge MitiGator™
Length of Warranty: 15 Years
Power surges are sudden, powerful increases in voltage that can damage or destroy household appliances and sensitive electronics. The common cause of power surges is lightning, but small animals, trees, birds or vehicles crashing into SECO Energy poles or lines also cause surges.
For just pennies a day, SECO’s Surge MitiGator™ helps take the bite out of damaging power surges and spikes that can occur at your home. The Surge MitiGator™ is installed at the electric meter to help prevent high voltage spikes and surges from entering your home and sending voltage into your large appliances.
Sign up online before March 31 and receive $25 off installation. Lease the Surge MitiGator™ for only $5.95 per month plus tax with free installation for 200-amp residential services. For services over 200 amps, installation is reduced to $75. Or you can purchase the protection for $349 to $399 with free installation for online enrollments.
This valuable protection is “Made in the USA” and includes a beastly warranty. Sign up for the Surge MitiGator™ protection online to receive $25 off installation.
Advice from The Old Farmer’s Almanac
FEBRUARY IS THE MONTH OF LOVE! Are you planning a wedding? The Old Farmer’s Almanac has chosen the best days to get married in February 2020 are 12th and 13th just in time for Valentine’s Day on the 14th. Take your new spouse on a honeymoon camping trip on the 16th and 17th. Thinking of buying a new home? The best days to buy are the 2nd and the 7th. If you are selling a home, the best days to sell are the 28th and 29th. The best days to ask for a loan are the 11th and the 15th.
Area Light Out?
SECO Energy’s online StormCenter outage reporting and communications platform also includes LightFinder – our easy, convenient area light outage reporting tool. Use LightFinder to report area light malfunctions including a light outage, a day burner, flickering light or another issue.
LightFinder is available 24/7 at SECOEnergy.com > StormCenter. Choose the LightFinder tile. In the search bar, find the area light by entering the pole number or near address to locate. An icon represents each SECO-served area light. Click on the icon to report the light malfunction. Review the light’s details and add comments if needed. Include your email address in the submission to receive updates about the light’s repair status.
A green light icon indicates there is no known area light issue. When an area light trouble ticket is issued, the icon turns red. Lights represented by an orange icon have been repaired in the last 24 hours. Member-owned lights are shown as a blue icon and inactive lights are indicated by a gray icon.
SECO repairs most area light issues in less than 24 hours.
Are you interested in determining the energy use per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of the electronics and appliances in your home? Our online Energy Estimator calculates the amount of energy and associated cost.
With spring around the corner, are you thinking of adding a new hot tub, buying an electric golf cart/car or building a new swimming pool? Use the Energy Estimator for an estimate of how your energy usage and costs may change.
To use the Estimator, gather information about your home’s electronics’ wattage and hours per day usage. Don’t forget about water heating, refrigeration, laundry, cooking, lighting and miscellaneous electronics. The Energy Estimator will break down the energy costs for each item annually and monthly. Calculations are based on 1,000 kWh usage with SECO’s current Power Cost Adjustment (PCA/Hot Bucks) credit applied.
Explore the Energy Estimator tool online. Input the wattage and daily hours used for each electronic and appliance in your home. To receive energy-savings suggestions via email, provide your email address and submit.
Read the full February 2020 SECO News online.