Loading page...

Solar on a Strata - Join Us ?

Bruce Mackenzie
Monday, June 15, 2015
What you can learn from our solar panel project
Electrician connecting the solar panels
Electrician connecting the panels

Note: This is one more chapter in the blog series Solar on a Strata?

There are dozens of older residential buildings in Victoria with flat, unshaded roofs just as suitable for solar panels as Central Park Strata. If you own a condominium unit in one of these, or the whole rental building - you could do it too.

Is your building like ours ?

Warning: What made the installation 'work' for us was:

  1. A mostly empty flat roof with absolutely no shade
  2. We are paying the highest possible rate for power in our common areas - the BC Hydro Two Step Conservation rate (1101, or 1111)
  3. A roof strong enough to take the extra weight of the panels with no modification
  4. Owners with an interest in sustainability

If these don't all apply, then all the material here may be useful, but it won't bring you along the same path. Use what applies and let me know what worked for you.

What's here

This blog has several documents which show the way, from technical, financial, and political viewpoints.

If this is all new to you, start with the PowerPoint presentation I gave to our owners in February 2015 - it's a very quick overview with lots of pictures. If you're piqued, dive into the technical document which explains everything I could think of. [Suggestions welcome for more]. It's a mix of story about what we did, and a road map for others. Check for updates on this website once in a while.The template spreadsheet may be useful for the calculations, but it assumes some Excel experience.

What's not here

Experience with this system on this building. It was turned on in June 2015, and time will tell whether it works better or worse than expected, how it lasts, and whether there will be unknown unknowns. And don't make any firm decisions on any of this without checking your own sources and calculations.

July update: You can see the system's electricity production at http://bit.ly/central-park-pv     click 'Archive' to see previous days.

September update: Another blog entry: Solar on a Strata - Three Months In

December update: Showing power production to the end of 2015: Solar on a Strata - 2015 Summary

Bruce Mackenzie - bruce.mackenzie@shaw.ca

Next in the series: Three Months In