Viktor wrote:It appears that there are several members here over the course of the years that had researched and built their own or had ordered different solar systems.
I built our system using a kit from an online company that seems to no longer exist. My experience was a good one and we are pleased with the outcome. Our Enphase-based system is linked in my signature below.
Viktor wrote:I would be thrilled to hear from them in regards to what would they have done differently nowadays.
I would do the same thing as before, although I would now choose the new Enphase microinverters that have higher power capability and the same 25-year warranty that the panels come with. I would also move up to about 260W 60-cell panels if they are affordable.
Viktor wrote:Me personally - I am trying to figure out how to offset my carbon footprint and become as green as possible. My electric provider doesn't participate in any of the rebates programs so I am trying to built as big of a system as I can and make it financially viable.
We got the federal rebate and netmetering, nothing else.
So first - location - would like to stay away from the roof - was told in the past that I would have to remove my current concrete shingles, install asphalt ones and than put solar panels on top of them - seems irrational to me and would add additional cost to install. I do have south facing patio and was contemplating building some kind of a roof there. I had seen these - http://www.lumossolar.com/solar-product ... -carports/
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and decided to try and build similarly looking awning over my porch.
Please see below discussion about elevation angle.
Second - size of the system. My yearly consumption is around 11 000 kwh, plus my newly added Leaf at around 4 000 kwh per year - used that calculator - http://sroeco.com/solar/calculate-solar ... do_i_need/
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - should build array ranked at around 11 kwh. Now I need to match available square footage with the above mentioned production. My understanding - 100 sq feet of the panel would generate 1 kwh of energy - and some of the newest panels would go up to almost 2 kwh per 100 sq feet - but would most likely be considerably more expensive. Have construction guys coming this week to make the measurements and figure out square footage of my patio roof - and than try to figure out which panels to choose from.
Our system produces just under the 15MWh/year that you are quoting. You may be able to get away with a little smaller size due to higher elevation, but probably not much.
Third - orientation of the panels - would be nice to come up with a way to adjust the angle of the whole roof at least twice a year - for the summer at 12 degrees angle and for the winter at 60 degrees - that is based upon my location at Denver, CO and the guide here - http://www.macslab.com/optsolar.html
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. Not sure whether its' a viable solution since it would most likely increase the price of the roof significantly with unknown to me improvement in production. That's were I am at the moment.
We had a seesaw type of mount built from galvanized pipe for our off-grid system that we built 13 years ago. It allows us to change the elevation of our array twice each year, similar to what you are wanting to do. That said, that array was only 2880Wp. I do not think I would want to build and adjust a 10kW array as you will likely need due to the size, cost and amount of adjustment that will be needed twice a year. My recommendation would be to pick a fixed angle which gives you optimum year-round production and build a shed under it. 30 degrees elevation tends to work well at lattitudes like ours and cleans itself fairly well when it rains.
Viktor wrote:Fourth - choosing of the actual hardware - a lot of it going to depend on my most likely limited roof space. At the same time I woud like to hear about ranking of the panels based upon their warranty, years of production, manufacturer's reliability etc. Also - what kind of inverters, wiring, metering should we choose for the project?
I'm a little confused, as you previously said you want to stay away from the roof.
We used Sharp panels built in Kentucky and Enphase inverters built in China. We are happy with both. Roof racking is from Unirac, and this has worked well for us, also. I know nothing about concrete shingles, so I cannot comment on them. We replaced our entire roof with high-quality asphalt shingles just prior to installing our PV system.
I hope this is helpful to you. Please let me know if you would like more details or pictures, etc.