Install The Solar Panel System
At this point, you should have successfully applied for all necessary permits and approvals, and accepted delivery of your solar equipment. Its now time to install the panels!
The actual specifics of the installation will depend on what system type and equipment youve decided upon.
The process Im describing below is for a grid-tied system that uses microinverters for the direct current to alternating current power conversion.
Task 1: Install solar panel racking and mounting
Use a chalk line to measure and mark out exactly where on your roof the racking system will be installed.
Next, look for solid bits of the roof to drill into for the installation of lag bolts. You should consider using a stud finder with AC current detection to ensure youre not drilling through a power line.
Caulk the holes and install flashing to create a waterproof seal before you screw the lag bolts in. Once the lag bolts are all ready, you can install L-feet and then lock the rails on to them.
The method Ive described here is for a system using roof mounts. If your roof isnt suitable for an installation, you may want to consider ground mounts instead.
Task 2: Connect the microinverters
On to the microinverters. These are little boxes that will modulate the output of each panel. Youll connect them to the rails using the provided bolts. Each box will have a positive and negative wire coming out of it, which you will connect together to form a series connection for each array.
Pros And Cons Of Diy Home Solar Energy Kits
ProsOverall, the main reason people choose DIY solar panel installation is the potential cost savings. There are two ways to save costs buy the solar power kit and install it yourself or buy the kit and get a professional to install it. The cost savings are pretty substantial when you think of it you might be able to reduce your purchase price of the solar panels from $4 per watt to $2 per watt. For a common 5 kW solar energy system, that could mean a cost savings of $10,000 right off the bat. Thats a 50% discount and seems pretty good, right? Well. . .maybe.
ConsIt will take a lot of your time researching the components of residential solar energy systems, equipment needed, what the equipment does, calling roofers to see if your roof can handle the weight of solar panels, calling engineers to determine the best positioning of your solar panels, calling an electrician to install the system, calling the utility company to assess the safety of connecting your solar system to the grid, and the list goes on. With a cost savings of about 10% and thats just monetary savings. . .what about your valuable time hiring professionals might be more logical.
Electrical Distribution Making The Grid Connection
How Electricity Flows
Wire carries electricity in much the same way as a garden hose carries water. When you turn on a breaker, a electron flows in one direction and knocks another electron which knocks another one until eventually an electron comes out the other end. Voltage is the electrical pressure behind the flow of current or electrons. Current, which is measuredin amps, is the measure of quantity of electrons flowing through a wire. The higher the voltage the more current the source can produce. Watts are the measure of power. Volts X Amps = Watts.
Current can be increased by increasing the voltage or by lowering the resistance .
Resistance is the inherent physical opposite to current flow. A good analogy would be to think of it as a dam holding back water. Resistance is created by electrons refusing to be strippedof their atoms and bumped or sent down the wire. The higher the resistance in the wire, the less current will flow. The only way to overcome that resistance, is to increase the pressure or decrease the resistance .
Blade AC Disconnect
Main Service Panel
Arrh… power baby, make that meter turn backwards! This is where it all comes together. Your homes main service panel is the heart of your electrical system and how we connect the solar system to this panel using what option is the key to everything we have done so far in the design planning.
Solar Connections Types
Line Side Connection
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How To Build Your Own Diy Solar System
Designing and installing a solar array for personal use can be a daunting but rewarding challenge if you know what youre doing. Find out all the pros and cons as well as the ins and outs of solar DIYing here.
Green Coast is supported by its readers. We may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you if you buy through a link on this page. Learn more.
Fully powering your home, vehicle, cabin, or boat by the sun in 2020 has never been easier. For starters, the International Energy Agency recently stated in its 2020 Outlook report that solar energy the new king of electricity is the cheapest form of electricity ever created. So, significantly reducing or even eliminating your utility bills with DIY Solar is a near certainty now.
Better yet, the cost of materials needed for home solar has plummeted in the last decade . The biggest reason for the price drop lies in the photovoltaic panels themselves: 90% reduction in price from $2/watt to a measly $0.20/watt!
On average, in the United States between 2010 and 2020, the cost of installing a residential solar system fell from $7.50/watt to $2.50/watt.
This means your upfront costs are lowered, and your payback period is shortened. In as little as 5 to 10 years if youve done everything right its reasonable to believe that your DIY solar system will begin making money for you. This is great for both you and the planet.
Start Up The Inverter
For Enphase systems, a unit called the EMU communicates with all of the inverters by sending signals via the power line. The EMU provides information on how the system is functioning, checks the status and health of the inverters, and sends the data to the Enphase server through your home Internet connection.
After the inspector approves your system and the utility provider has installed the net meter, you can turn the system on and plug the EMU into a regular power outlet. The EMU will find your inverters and start reporting. At this point, the system is generating power, and the EMU will give you the basic stats. Sit back, have a beer, and watch the power roll in.
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Learn Hub: Do It Yourself Solar
When you choose DIY solar, youre taking control of your solar project. While a DIY solar system involves some extra effort, you can act as your own project manager and save thousands when setting up your solar panels. You can build it yourself, hire local laborers to help, or do a mix of both.
Regardless of which approach you choose, our Do-It-Your-Way Solar Guide will help you learn everything you need to know about DIY solar panels, including planning, system design, set up, and more. And, you can when youre ready to get started.
Building your own solar system puts you in complete control of your solar project but requires a lot of planning and hard work. By opting to go DIY solar, you can actually cut your costs by more than $12,000 for the average home solar system. Not a bad investment.
You can go solar today for about one-third of what it would have cost ten years ago. In fact, the cost of a fully installed system went down from $7.14/watt in 2010 to $2.50/watt by 2020.
Diy Solar Pv Panel Installation Pros
Buy a kit online and solarize your home like a true Solarpunk!
A case study: my friend R. runs a small solar panel system to power lights, her cellphone and a laptop battery in Ontario, Canada. Her fresh spring water is brought to the home and she uses compost toilets, so no need for power to run pumps. When her partner died she was worried about maintaining the DIY solar system her partner had built and maintained over the years. Some days she was running around the property looking for the energy hog and she needed some battery education from some local friends. In the end she was really pleased that she could maintain the system herself and be self-reliant, all on her own.
Maybe you want a little power for your off-centered A frame cabin in the woods? This is Stedsans in Sweden.
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Diy Solar Panel Installation
The Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems is developing plug-and-play PV systems to dramatically reduce the soft costs of residential PV installations.
Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems
Preppers, survivalists and off-gridders have been cobbling together their own photovoltaic panels and set-ups from scratch for years, but as prices for factory-made PV panels have dropped and technology has improved, pre-configured arrays and kits are enabling less intrepid homeowners to install and maintain their own solar power systems and save considerable money in the process.
Thanks to a growing number of kits and online tutorials, as well as plug-in systems in development, homeowners who are handy can cut the cost of going solar by almost half by configuring and installing solar panels, inverters, and safety disconnects themselves. However, have an electrician do the wiring and metering to the house.
Start by figuring out what size and kind of system suits your budget and needs. Looking at past electrical bills and counting up all the appliances in your household, use an online calculator or worksheet to evaluate your load.
Where Do You Install The System
Depending on the size and type of residential solar system to decide to purchase, the location of installation can vary. In most cases, homeowners choose to install solar panels on the roof of their home. Its a great space saver, if you dont have a lot of land, and can receive great contact with the suns rays. But, what if you the majority of your roof is under shade from large trees? Maybe its better to mount your solar panels in the yard instead. This is also a good option when you need a larger amount of solar panels, that your roof might not be able to accommodate.
Keep in the mind the costs associated with mounting your solar energy systems. Youll need racking equipment to attach the solar panels to your roof and youll need the correct mounting system for your yard as well. And also keep in mind you need to really research the best positioning of the system to maximize the amount of sunlight you capture, taking into account the location of the sun during peak sunlight hours in addition to the location of any shade inhibiting objects . Even one panel that is blocked from the sun due to a shade tree can inhibit the efficiency of the entire solar energy system.
Also Check: How To Make A Solar Powered House
Diy Hybrid Solar Systems
Combining features from both grid-tie and off-grid solar systems, hybrid systems enjoy the best of both worlds. You can store your solar power for use at night or in power outages.
This is ideal for homeowners in certain areas who would otherwise have to pay higher peak rates for grid electricity in the evenings or at night.
However, if you have good net metering in your area and power outages are minimal, a standard grid-tie system may be your best choice.
Below is a diagram that illustrates how a hybrid system works:
As the graphic shows, a special hybrid inverter is used in this type of system. Its also important to note that if you opt for this setup, you should purchase the batteries at the time of installation. Battery technology is advancing rapidly, possibly resulting in non-compatibility with your hybrid system if you wait too long. This could mean a lot of costly upgrades for you later.
For hybrid systems, AC-coupled batteries are common. These batteries store both DC from your solar array and the grid AC as alternating current . Currently, the Tesla Powerwall is one of the most popular choices for an AC-coupled battery.
A photovoltaic system using a DC-coupled battery is more energy efficient than current AC-coupled batteries. This difference is more pronounced with a large-scale installation. So, it probably wont affect your home solar installation efficiency.
Inexpensive Diy Solar Power
- University of Ottawa
We all know that outfitting a house with solar panels is not cheap right now. Harnessing enough sun to be able to live completely off-grid costs many thousands of dollars, up to many tens of thousands depending on how much electricity is needed. But do we really need to go from 0% to 100% clean energy in one go? That’s not usually the way things are done we usually do incremental changes. The idealist will say that it’s not fast enough , but the realist will say that the mainstream has more chances of going for it if it’s not too radical and expensive, and that the power of numbers is hard to deny. So the question is: Do we really need to go 100% solar at once? What is the least you could pay and still end up with enough solar juice to run some things around the house? The Off-Grid weblog answers that question.
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Video: Battery Selection For Solar Power
There are various kind of batteries. Car and bike batteries are designed for supplying short bursts of high current and then be recharged and are not designed for a deep discharge. But the solar battery is a deep-cycle lead-acid battery that allows for partial discharge and allows for deep slow discharge. Lead acid tubular batteries are perfect for a solar system.
Ni-MH batteries and Li-Ion batteries are also used many small power application.
Gear Required For Off
The essential components of an off-grid system are similar to a grid-tie setup with the addition of:
- Charge controller
- Battery bank
- Balance of system components
The following short video from Su-Kam Solar describes the different uses for pure sine wave versus modified sine wave inverters. Not only will you see the difference in the graphical illustrations of both you will hear the contrasts, too.
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Should You Or Shouldn’t You
Jump to:The BasicsTypes of PanelsWhere to InstallSolar InvertersNet MeteringFinal HoopsPros and ConsDIY or Not?
Youve heard it on the news and youve read the latest reports. Solar power is projected to become cheaper than coal in about 10 years. Just consider the significant drops in the cost of going solar since 2009, solar prices have dropped 62%! What was once a far-reaching solution to lowering your home energy bill has now become a reality in the life of many homeowners. In fact, DIY residential solar kits are appearing on the shelves of big box stores. As a homeowner, youre ready to get in on the action! And with a DIY kit, how hard could it be to start saving money on your monthly electric bill? In this article, well cover what youll do to install a home solar energy system and the pros and cons of the DIY method versus hiring the professionals.
Mounting The Solar Panel
After design the solar system. Buy all the components with an appropriate rating as per the previous steps.
Now it is time to mount the solar panel. First, choose a suitable location on the rooftop where there is no obstruction sunlight.
Prepare the mounting stand: You can make it on your own or it is better to buy one from any store. In my case, I have taken the drawing from the solar panel company and made it at a nearby welding shop. The tilt of the stand is nearly equal to the latitude angle of your location.
I made a small wooden mounting stand for my 10 Watt solar panel. I have attached the pictures so that anyone can make it easy.
Tilting: To get the most from solar panels, you need to point them in the direction that captures the maximum sunlight. Use one of these formulas to find the best angle from the horizontal at which the panel should be tilted:
> > If your latitude is below 25°, use the latitude times 0.87.
> > If your latitude is between 25° and 50°, use the latitude, times 0.76, plus 3.1 degrees.
For more details on tilting click here
First place the stand in such a way that the face is directed towards the south.Mark the leg position over the roof.
To get the south direction use this android app compass
Then make a rough surface at each leg of the stand by using a sharp object. I made around 1Sq feet size rough surface over the roof at each leg. This is helpful for perfect bonding between the roof and concrete.
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Run Solar Panel Dc Power Into A Charge Controller
In the example above as we have shown, we had 4x 100 watt solar panels putting out 400 watts max, so we are going to match THAT with the appropriate solar charge controller.
Each 100 watt solar panel would put out MAX of 22.5 volts and around 5.29 amps. All 4 being wired into parallel, we would have 22.5 volts MAX and about 21.16 amps MAX. For this setup, we found a PWM Charge Controller with 40A and can have 12 or 24 volt input. This should cost around $30-$40 dollars. Connect the solar panel positive and negative terminals into the PV inputs on the charge controller.