Solar Electric Carport 5 Year Performance Review: Kovach Inc

May 25, 2010 marked the commissioning of Royal Solar’s first solar covered parking structure – the Kovach Inc. “Smart Carport” installation.

Now that the solar carport system has been running for 5 years, let’s take a look at the solar system’s production.

The Kovach Inc. Smart Carport consists of (90) Sharp 230 watt solar panels and (90) Enphase Energy M190 micro inverters.  The resulting system is a 20.7 kWp-DC solar system installed on top of a custom steel carport structure in Chandler, Arizona.

The solar system was originally projected to produce 34,296 kWh in Year 1, with 0.5% degradation per year in expected kWh production.

Per the Enphase Energy monitoring system Enlighten, Royal Solar is able to remotely monitor and verify the solar system’s daily, weekly, monthly , and annual production on a per-panel basis.

With roughly 3 weeks until the solar system’s actual 5 year anniversary, lifetime production is reported as 169 MWh compared to the expected 167 MWh (1 MWh = 1,000 kWh).  This translates to 101% actual kWh production vs. expected over the first 5 years of system operation.

Per the below chart, you can see that the system consistently over produces electricity in the summer months while producing less then expected in the winter months.  This is due to winter shading from the nearby headquarters building and trees – but the expected and actual production are not adjusted to account for shade.  The solar system is over producing as a whole even after factoring in some winter shading.

May 2010 - May 2015 kWh production from Kovach Inc. solar carport system - "The Smart Carport" installed by Royal Solar of Arizona.

May 2010 – May 2015 kWh production from Kovach Inc. solar carport system – “The Smart Carport” installed by Royal Solar of Arizona.

One very cool note: the solar system’s production in April 2015 was an impressive 3,678 kWh – 108% of the system’s Year 1 expected April production of 3,394 kWh.

Below are a couple pictures of the solar installation to help visualize the project.

Solar Carport in Chandler, AZ by Royal Solar

Solar Carport in Chandler, AZ by Royal Solar

Solar Carport in Chandler, AZ by Royal Solar

Solar Carport in Chandler, AZ by Royal Solar

Royal Solar of Arizona is a solar covered parking design and install company headquartered in Mesa, Arizona.  Royal Solar’s product The Smart Carport is a turnkey solar product designed to provide covered parking while paying for itself with the resulting solar electric incentives and savings.

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