AndyH
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Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:43 pm
Location: San Antonio

Re: Do-It-Yourself Solar System

Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:24 pm

Sigh...


Go up four posts if you care to - the questions I posed and links offered were useful to me as I move off-grid. I hope they'll be useful to you as well.
"The stupid become extinct."-Bill Mollison
2018 Outlander PHEV
2015 smart Electric Drive (lease ended Feb, 2018)
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Viktor
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:56 pm
Delivery Date: 10 Dec 2012
Location: Centennial, CO

Re: Do-It-Yourself Solar System

Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:04 pm

http://www.wind-sun.com/ForumVB/showthr ... 1KW-System" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - that's the posting of the member here - look like he just installed his own 10kwt solar system. In the process of reading ))

AndyH
Posts: 6388
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:43 pm
Location: San Antonio

Re: Do-It-Yourself Solar System

Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:07 pm

- Efficiency

- Decide how much load to offset with solar

- Size/design system to meet above goal

- Size/design mounting

If you go with a pergola or other outside structure, you might consider skipping microinverters and going with a central inverter. You'll need the panels, a combiner/disconnect near the panels, the inverter somewhat near the service panel in the house or near the service entrance, and probably a pair of disconnects near the service entrance for emergency personnel. At least get quotes for both a microinverter and central inverter system designed to your local requirements. Get separate quotes for the solar panels and the balance of system so you can shop around for deals.

Here's one example - likely smaller than you want, but it'll have all the same pieces: https://homepower.com/articles/pv-pergola

Keep in mind that it doesn't take a lot of experience to pass the solar certifications and we have a fairly quickly growing group of folks. Make sure your contractor has a clue - and preferably use one that actually uses solar. Some of the worst advice I've ever gotten came from an experienced electrician with a fresh solar test and more misinformation than experience. I spent months unleaning before I could get back on track. FWIW.

Edit... Colorado efficiency and solar incentives: http://dsireusa.org/incentives/index.cf ... te=CO&sh=1
"The stupid become extinct."-Bill Mollison
2018 Outlander PHEV
2015 smart Electric Drive (lease ended Feb, 2018)
OpenEVSE Plus DIY

Viktor
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:56 pm
Delivery Date: 10 Dec 2012
Location: Centennial, CO

Re: Do-It-Yourself Solar System

Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:11 pm

Well - I want a 10 kw system. The more I read about it - the more I like Lumos panels - here is an example of their covered patio - http://www.houzz.com/photos/1213075/Fra ... ew-orleans" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.

They do have 200 and 250 series - something wrong with their website - can't really get specs, but I assume that it would be 180 vs 240 Watts panels. This guys are literally in my back yard - I can hopefully get a good deal on the panels, but so far was only able to find 190 W for 361$ on the internet. Waiting for the quote from their office. Both series should work with M215 microinnverter - there is a consensus out there that this is the best option. Why would I go with the central invertor?

So I guess I need to decide between 200 and 250 series and start looking for a deals.

Mounting appears to be straight forward - company supplies rail for these panels - look pretty slick. They also sell tape to make connections between panels water sealed.

So as it is right now - I would probably have a contractor expand my patio and build the base for the panels. And no - I am not a DIY kind of guy - so installation of the panels would need to be outsourced also - will look around for the local installers - gonna make sure they wouldn't need food stamps :twisted:

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RegGuheert
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Re: Do-It-Yourself Solar System

Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:09 am

Viktor wrote:Both series should work with M215 microinnverter...
As mentioned the M215s only work with 60-cell panels. The brochure you linked appeared to use 72-cell panels, so it doesn't appear to be compatible.
Viktor wrote:... - there is a consensus out there that this is the best option. Why would I go with the central invertor?
Aesthetics. You won't get the look shown in the pictures you linked if you use microinverters.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

Viktor
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:56 pm
Delivery Date: 10 Dec 2012
Location: Centennial, CO

Re: Do-It-Yourself Solar System

Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:21 am

RegGuheert wrote:As mentioned the M215s only work with 60-cell panels. The brochure you linked appeared to use 72-cell panels, so it doesn't appear to be compatible
Just talked to Lumos - apparently their 250 series would work with M215 microinverter and 200 - only with M219 - but I agree - aesthetic should prevail under the circumstances. The central inverters they recommend are either SMA or PowerOne. And of course - they would not sell to the owner and their partner solarpanelstore.com don't even have 250 series listed on their website. That is annoying.

Viktor
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:56 pm
Delivery Date: 10 Dec 2012
Location: Centennial, CO

Re: Do-It-Yourself Solar System

Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:55 am

Figured - if they don't want to sell me panels - I can get another panel )) - Prizm Solar apparently just got UL certifivation for their biphasic frameless panels - but I just can't find them on sale anywhere. What online vendors do U guys use for your purchases - I'd like to at least get a ball park number for the dollar amount.
Also, from my understanding - central invertor wouldn't be too big of a drag, since I don't really have shade and planning to buy reputable panels. Its probably not goint to last as long as micro ones, but should be less expensive as well. Where should I buy it?

Viktor
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:56 pm
Delivery Date: 10 Dec 2012
Location: Centennial, CO

Re: Do-It-Yourself Solar System

Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:51 pm

Look like I just talk to myself here - well, just to summarize - did talk to Solar City people - they think I need to have 9.3 kw system and my out of pocket price would be 37k. Pay off time 14 years due to cheap energy and lack of utilities rebate :cry: given the prices on the market they want to charge me 27 k just for inverters, wires and labor - pretty steep.
Let the Quest for cheaper solar power continues - cant imaging Noone out there would do it cheaper

SSS
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Re: Do-It-Yourself Solar System

Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:03 am

I've found a guide that is very helpful to me and it includes a complete set of materials and instructions to either build a grid-tied system, or to be able to go completely off the electrical grid. Links within it show different choices to complete your project. This or something like it helps me at least, from some common mistakes.
The link to this material is: http://www.greenpowervideos.com/course%20info.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Viktor
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:56 pm
Delivery Date: 10 Dec 2012
Location: Centennial, CO

Re: Do-It-Yourself Solar System

Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:20 pm

He sells those guides - what's the point?

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