Gearticks Build a Super Solar-Powered Solar Sign for Solarize LSW!

Our “IS THIS SITE GOOD FOR SOLAR?” sign, constructed by the Lincoln GearTicks robotics team, is actually measuring how much light shines on the sign over a 24-hour window, which it then uses to estimate how many kilowatt-hours (“kWH”) of electric power could be generated that day per Watt of solar panel installed there.

Next it uses a monthly table of typical “solar insolation” values for the Boston area, which tell you how much solar power to expect based on the time of year, to scale up the sign’s daily power estimate into an annual power estimate.

Finally, using the Solarize LSW price for solar PV of $2.91/Watt, and figuring in the 30% federal tax credit as well as the expected income from selling the solar renewable energy credits (or “SRECs”) that the system will earn for the first ten years of operation (assuming the system is installed by March 2018, in time to qualify for Massachusetts SREC II program), it calculates the net cost of electricity produced over a 20-year system lifetime and declares it to be a “good site” if that estimate is less than $0.12/kWH, since that is significantly less than the $0.19/kWh that Eversource currently charges.

Photo: GearTicks Team in blue, Solarize Lincoln team in yellow.

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