SIGforum.com    Main Page  Hop To Forum Categories  The Lounge    Solar panels on the roof, are DIY packages legit?

Moderators: Chris Orndorff, LDD
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Solar panels on the roof, are DIY packages legit? Login/Join 
Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici
Picture of ChuckFinley
posted
In getting quotes on solar panels for a stand along project, not wired into the grid I'm getting pushback from companies that do this for a living that only want to do it if it is tapped into the grid. Don't really see why that would matter to them.

Noticed the "easy self install" packages online. For someone who is both reasonably experienced and handy, and reasonably cautious, are these essentially the same thing that would result from the pros doing it or are there drawbacks and differences?




_________________________
NRA Endowment Member
_________________________
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C.S. Lewis
 
Posts: 5257 | Location: District 12 | Registered: June 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Battery based system right?
 
Posts: 3002 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici
Picture of ChuckFinley
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by offgrid:
Battery based system right?


Correct




_________________________
NRA Endowment Member
_________________________
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C.S. Lewis
 
Posts: 5257 | Location: District 12 | Registered: June 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
The install company writes a contract with you and gets paid on the power that you sell back to the power company. That is why they want to tie it into the grid. Some states it is actually illegal to not tie in.
 
Posts: 382 | Registered: February 17, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
A buddy just installed four panels on his race trailer. He said it was very strait forward as far as the install goes. He probably spent more time researching panels, inverters, and batteries that it took to do the install.


____________________
I Like Guns and stuff
 
Posts: 533 | Location: Raleigh, NC | Registered: May 15, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
The installation should be pretty straight forward if you know both mechanical and electrical. The tieing the mounting of the panels in with the roof, well that's an entirely different story altogether, but a roofer could probably do that for you pretty cheap.
 
Posts: 20886 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by ChuckFinley:
quote:
Originally posted by offgrid:
Battery based system right?


Correct


You're going to find most of the grid-tie solar company won't install offgrid systems. Not plug and play!

For your main residence?
 
Posts: 3002 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici
Picture of ChuckFinley
posted Hide Post
Good info, keep it coming!

No, not for main residence. Not convenient/feasible to tie into main residence for a number of reasons. Essentially for running a shop for light/modest use and EV charging.




_________________________
NRA Endowment Member
_________________________
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C.S. Lewis
 
Posts: 5257 | Location: District 12 | Registered: June 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Do you know what the KW use is on the shop now? Includes the EV? What's your biggest tool, HP rating? Air compressors? Shop have an air conditioner?

Do you not have room or the sun window (trees...) to ground mount?

Where do you live, state?
 
Posts: 3002 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
How's your shop fed now? It's own utility meter or from your house panel? Sub panel in shop?
 
Posts: 3002 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici
Picture of ChuckFinley
posted Hide Post
Not illegal in this state to be unconnected to the grid. Estimated to get 4.5 kWh/m2/day

I don't have free-standing consumption figures on the shop tools at present (house electric supply, so combined with everything else - but the system is maxed out and I'd like to add the EV charging and some other latitude in electric sourcing).

One woodworker, so one power tool running (no 220s, all 110v) at a time on any circuit, a couple ceiling fans (no A/C), a few lights, otherwise lots of hand tools, so fairly minimal. No large air compressors etc.

Figuring, from online info on 8 solar panels per EV charger and that the same amount again would more than cover the other uses, so guessing 18-24 panels would be plenty, if not overkill, but that is from internet reading, no personal experience with this (obviously).

No ground room for ground mounting. Great roof unobstructed Sun access.




_________________________
NRA Endowment Member
_________________________
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C.S. Lewis
 
Posts: 5257 | Location: District 12 | Registered: June 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I Deal In Lead
Picture of Flash-LB
posted Hide Post
I'm a Ham Radio operator and I set up 5 panels and a battery bank and inverter to run one room of my house 24/7/365. TV, AM/FM, 5 transceivers, antenna rotator, scanner, lights, coffee pot and a few other things.

Ran it around 25 years or so until I sold the house. I bought and installed the whole thing myself. It's not rocket surgery. Smile
 
Posts: 6418 | Location: Gilbert Arizona | Registered: March 21, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by ChuckFinley:
Not illegal in this state to be unconnected to the grid. Estimated to get 4.5 kWh/m2/day

I don't have free-standing consumption figures on the shop tools at present (house electric supply, so combined with everything else - but the system is maxed out and I'd like to add the EV charging and some other latitude in electric sourcing).

One woodworker, so one power tool running (no 220s, all 110v) at a time on any circuit, a couple ceiling fans (no A/C), a few lights, otherwise lots of hand tools, so fairly minimal. No large air compressors etc.

Figuring, from online info on 8 solar panels per EV charger and that the same amount again would more than cover the other uses, so guessing 18-24 panels would be plenty, if not overkill, but that is from internet reading, no personal experience with this (obviously).

No ground room for ground mounting. Great roof unobstructed Sun access.


8 panels for the EV, 18-24 would be plenty... doesn't tell us much. 250 watts or 420 watts panel? I'd suggest to wait until you have your EV then put a KW hour meter on the shop for a month or two. Without those numbers you're guessing at best what size array you need to cover your load as well as a battery bank size.

Re-furbished GE old school glass KW hour meters are cheap, SquareD, Seimens meter socket boxes can be found at HomeDepot or Lowes. Simple to install.

I've done quite a few offgrid solar upgrades for others, I won't touch them w/o metering their use for at least a month. I dont know how many times I've heard "we don't use much". Lets assign a number to that not use much!

To give you some numbers. We have a 3300 watt array, it'll net about 220-240KW's a month in sunny Colorado. AGM battery bank a nominal 48 volts @ 1000AH's that has been in place for 16yrs. That's a good ratio of charge current/battery capacity, C/15, charge current 1/15th of battery capacity. That bank gives us about 3 days of storage to 50% with sun or wind which is very rare. Also have a 3000 watt wind turbine.

As Flash_LB stated it's not rocket surgery. He's right, do have to get the math right though!
 
Posts: 3002 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ammoholic
posted Hide Post
When we put in our offgrid system that powers our house I learned that most of the installation companies either don’t do offgrid at all, or don’t do enough to do a good job on it. The money is in grid tie systems where Uncle Sugar helps pay for them. Another thing that turns even some folks who really know what they’re doing is that the customers are often dependent on them and don’t make the effort to educate themselves and become self sufficient.

I don’t know anything about the self install kits. They may be great or they may not.

One thing to consider is that a solar system has a lot of parts that have a useful life. Batteries are not a one time expense, nor are panels, at least theoretically. If your environment is dusty, consider going with sealed inverters, even though the vented units have higher output.
 
Posts: 5651 | Registered: February 23, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 

SIGforum.com    Main Page  Hop To Forum Categories  The Lounge    Solar panels on the roof, are DIY packages legit?

© SIGforum 2021