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Van Meter Employee-Owner Installs Home Solar System

September 29, 2016 | News | Energy, Company

rooftop solar installation

Hayder Salehoglu, a National Accounts Matrix Analyst for Van Meter, recently installed a solar system on his home in Cedar Rapids. Hayder says the process was simple and made sense from an environmental and financial standpoint. Check out Hayder's story about how he got started, the installation process, and how much power he expects to produce with his new home solar system.

Making the decision to go solar was easy for my family—this was an excellent opportunity to provide an impact on our environment and finances.

My wife (Katie) and I are very conscious about our carbon foot print and this was a nice milestone to help stay true to our values. We didn’t see this purchase as a financial expense, instead we saw a home solar system as an investment.

I got started by reaching out to our Van Meter energy team to help design the system. They helped me map out the largest home solar system I could put on my roof and then they provided me with a bid. From there I worked with Eagle Point Solar to help with the install of the system. Eagle Point Solar also helped me get the interconnection agreement setup with Alliant Energy. They are also helping me submit the State and Federal rebates which are 15% and 30% respectively (off total installed price).

Overall, it was a pretty simple process on my end. I am figuring about a seven year pay back by taking my “off-set” savings and applying towards the loan.

Technical Aspects of the System

Hayder's electricity meter...
going backwards

The largest home solar system I could put on my home is 7.28 kW system. This is calculated by how many panels that can fit on my roof. I could fit 26 (280 watt) SolarWorld panels on my roof.

If you’re wondering how to I got to the 7.28 kW calculation, just take the number of watts per panel (280) times the number of panels (26) – this would give you your system size in watts (26 times 280w = 7,280 watts). Next, divide that value into 1000 to find the kilowatt rating (7,280w/1000w = 7.28 kW).

The next important step is figuring out how much energy this 7.28 kW system will displace from my bill each month. There are many maps out there that help you determine how much your system will produce per your region, but they are mostly all the same and Iowa is usually in the 1600 range. I took this value times my kW value (7.28) by that region value (1600) to find how many kilowatt hours my system may produce.

iowa solar potential map

I determined that my system will produce about 11,648 kWh annually. The last step is to calculate the average energy loss which is about 22%. The energy loss is defined as any power lost from the panels in DC to the inverter back to AC to your load center in your home. This is found by taking the 11,648 kWh times .78 = 9,085.44 kWh. I can expect to achieve to offset my energy consumption by 9,000 kWh each year.

For more information about our solar energy products and services, please contact a member of our renewable energy team at 1-800-247-1410.

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