6.3 kilowatt ground mount home solar array
I did a lot of reading and research during that time.
I have seen the system on Amazon, esessolar, and Ecodirect.
After getting bids from several places, I finally purchased 4 panels and installed them on my roof.
This is my \"pilot\" project. A proof-of-
It\'s not hard to show my wife that I can do it so it saves money.
I finally convinced her that it was a worthwhile project to add 24 floors.
Install the panel at the end of autumn 2016 because 1)
The $2000 national tax credit is likely to be phased out in 2017.
I found the price of the panel and inverter very reasonable, 3)
February is coming to an end, so tax returns will receive tax credits in just a few months.
I outlined the steps I followed here in case others benefit from the lessons learned.
This kind of project can not be done by everyone.
What you are dealing with is high voltage and/or current.
Due to the risk of property and life damage, things must be designed and installed correctly.
I\'m an electrical engineer. I have a brother. in-law, co-
There is also a beekeeper friend who is an electrician.
This is not a requirement but very helpful.
The equipment used must be UL-
Meet the requirements of building codes.
A construction permit is required by the power company to ensure that everything is going on properly.
For example, the latter
The power supply inverter could have electrocuted an employee of a power company who is repairing the burned-out power line.
If you\'re DIYer, let someone who knows what you\'re doing review your plan!
Another excellent note on basic knowledge (
A little more generic than mine)
Like my project, please vote for it!
If you are interested in pursuing a project and want to talk to my \"Solar Man\", send me a private message via instructures and I will pass on his contact information.
I had considered adding more panels to my roof.
I even listed how many places my panel will go.
But there are drawbacks to filling the roof with panels (
Change wooden tile).
Advantages on the ground-mount system --
Snow removal is easy and by using a manual tilt system, my \"solar man\" says I can produce 1 MW more per year than a similar roofmounted system.
This needs to be manually changed several times a year
Summer 0 degrees, spring and autumn ~ 30 degrees, 60 degrees in winter (for Utah).
As I saw at the time, the disadvantage of the grounding installation system is the distance involved, which increases the voltage drop and requires larger wires and additional costs.
I need to dig 400 feet more.
You can find a lot of information on adjusting the size of your solar cell array online.
All I have to say is that for me there is no greater incentive than my average usage per year.
My solar man provided a report that I can expect about 11 megawatt hours per year based on my location (11,000 kWh)
Power from 24 255 W panels and 6000 W inverters.
I think the 4 panels on top of my house will be 15% more.
My power company offers a 2-
The year I used history when I created an online account.
At 2014 I used 12.
5mwh, 2015 is 11. 5 MWh.
So I\'m at the ballpark.
You have access to PVWatts, a location database that will estimate your output based on the number and output of the panel.
Regional power companies that own the power grid and supply power to my home do have a network meter program.
They need a building permit to ensure that all work is done in accordance with the building specifications.
They asked for participation in the net measurement.
The information required is very basic, including the model of the inverter and the expected output of the system.
They accepted the PDF application by email and admitted that they had received it.
After approval, they also emailed me 9 months to complete the project.
Application of network table attached.
You can find a lot of information about this on the Internet.
But the solar man convinced me through his presentation that landscape orientation works best in areas with more snowfall.
He has a small fan attached to the panel.
When he was in the longitudinal direction of the panel, put the cardboard on the panel and the fan turned off, covering only about an inch of the panel.
When he covers the panel in the landscape, the fan continues to run until the 2/3 is covered.
This is related to the way the panel is wired internally.
Long story short all 3 internal circuits open when Portrait bottom
The installed panel is covered.
But when the unit at the bottom 2/3 is covered in the landscape, 1 of the 3 internal circuits is still offPanel installed.
Yes, it only produces the potential of 1/3 or 2/3, but it is still producing something.
I think the more than 95% array installations I \'ve seen in Utah are all done in portraits.
It\'s much easier to do portraits and much faster
But it will generate less power than a landscape building.
At some point, I plan to re-
Position my existing 4 panels on the roof.
Step 2: obtain a construction permit from this city.
Although I am an electrical engineer, I do not know the building code.
With the help of \"solar man\", I got the building permit through AHJ (
Organs with jurisdiction).
This is a code expert contracted by my city to make sure my project is done properly (
At least according to him).
Because the license is very specific to the local jurisdiction, I did not provide my building permit.
I\'m sharing a single. line drawings.
It took several hours for this step.
It asked me to submit it twice to the city for two reviews, a couple of conversations with AHJ, and finally a license with a \"red line\" or a modification requested by AHJ
Need my license: Panel Specification (JA Solar JAP60-255/3BB)Inverter Specifications (Sunny Boy 6000-tl-us)
Photos of my main power panel and meter-
Line drawingA site
There is my panel layout and ground engineering location on the map-
List of labels required to install the system (
Yes, a lot of labels are needed)
A quick story
I was going to install the inverter in the garage.
AHJ told me that I need a quick shutdown system.
This is a button that can be pressed when placed in your home by a firefighter.
Once the button is pressed, there is no voltage on the PV wires so they can safely cut into the roof or wall.
This is the extra cost I would like to avoid.
Everything I read said it was for the roof.
Install the system, not the ground-mount.
AHJ told me that if I install the inverter in \"House\" or \"house\" it needs a quick turn off button.
The solar man told me that I should install the inverter on several poles next to my house.
AHJ agreed to do so.
He left for a week and when he came back I got a call from him.
I included a drawing with inverter installation.
He said he was not sure how I installed the inverter at the poles.
He told me that he thought the best thing to do was to install it into the house.
It seems like a contradiction to me.
He was pleased with the inverter installed outside the house but not in the garage.
At this point I put AHJ in control and told him it sounded like a good idea!
I would like to make a few notes.
I plan to use the ground installation system designed by my solar man.
Its structure uses Unistrut, and the panels use Tieling shelves.
I know I need to finish the project.
AHJ said in no uncertain terms, I can\'t use Unistrut.
The material does not meet the solar UL2703 grounding standard.
I did not argue with him, and did not stand on his bad side, but chose
I ended up buying a system from Snap. n-rack.
This cost is approximately $2400, of which the cost of the Unistrut system is approximately $1000.
It is disappointing that the engineering of the Unirac system will eventually cost about $800.
The other $600 will only increase the return for a few months.
It comes with documents that prove the engineering specifications.
The city is required to withstand wind speeds of 150 miles per hour and 43 miles of snow.
Most of the ground
The installation system has absurd requirements for these holes.
One of them needs 10 holes and seven.
Diameter 5 \'deep and 24 \".
Need 5 yards of concrete!
Some of them are not designed for 2x12 arrays.
I like Snapnrack because the holes in the 12 \"diameter are more reasonable.
The rear hole is 5.
5\' deep, only 3 front holes. 5\'.
It is also quite simple to assemble.
Basic design of online design tool display (PDF attachment).
It consists of vertical pipes set in concrete with 12 \"diameter holes.
Pipe fittings are used to connect these pipes to the horizontal pipes that make up the beams.
The guide rail is connected to the beam using a strap.
The panel is then attached to the guide rail with a clip.
I rented a Gouger and a gallows on a Saturday and I thought I could finish both projects.
The screw drill is-
Man-machine on wheels driven by hydraulic.
This is also a great pain.
It would be nice if I slipped. mounted auger.
I think it will take an hour or two and the result will be more than 5 hours.
But I rented the excavator.
It was a beast.
It\'s hard to control.
It\'s raining recently and all the shadow areas are wet, which makes the wheels slip.
As a result, my trench is not very straight.
I learned to play the trench at 18 inch and a half, and then hit the trench again in the rest.
I\'m done after dark.
I don\'t know if I\'m more tired.
The city needed to check the trenches and base feet and I passed the check in bright colors.
It was helpful that they didn\'t look at these holes.
It rained and everything was a mess.
The construction inspector checked my trench in several places to make sure it was over 18 inch deep and then went on his road.
I purchased concrete from the local hardware store and stirred it with my hands.
It would be nice to have a cement mixer and afterwards it seems that I should have bought one from the port freight company.
It took more than a week to cut all 12 pipes and install them manuallymixed concrete.
Snapnrack design requires you to purchase the 23\' length of 1.
5 \"galvanized pipe.
I have to get it locally.
I used a free software program I found online to optimize the use of the pipeline.
Snapnrack overstates the length, but I think it\'s moreestimating.
Finally, I have two more lengths.
As shown in the figure, the rear tube is longer than the front tube, which determines the angle of the solar panel.
I was originally planning to be able to tilt my array manually, but I lost this ability because I couldn\'t use the Unistrut design.
I hope to go back at some point and increase the ability to tilt.
But it\'s a plan for another day.
My next step is to run the line from the inverter installation location to the array location.
My inverter is a sunny boy and they have a great online design tool.
To limit my voltage loss and cost, it calculates that I need to use the No. 4 aluminum wire.
I bought 1800 feet but got 2000 feet.
I wish they could tell me.
I pulled the wires from the house to an array at a time.
I\'m afraid I don\'t have enough money and the first few wires are cutting it off.
I left the last 3 when I realized I had more.
Then I laid the pipe.
The pipe size rule states that I need 2 \"PVC pipes to install my 5 wires --
1 Ground and 4 conductors.
I think I can slide the pipe off the wire and stick the pipe together.
But the code requires the pipe to stick together and pull the cable.
I have a friend who keeps bees. He is also an electrician.
He provided me with lanyard, hemp rope and wagyu tail rope, and a \"mouse\" I sucked in with a shop vacuum cleaner \".
I use the mouse to pull the rope.
I split the tension around half the time and then had to stick a joint in the middle.
I do think it would be easier to pull apart, but it would take more time.
I\'m lucky. I guess)
As you can see in the photo, let my two boys help me.
The inverter is half the magic.
The other half of the magic is the solar panel itself.
The inverter takes the variable 300-600 V DC (
Depending on the brightness of the Sun)
And convert it to 240 v ac.
You can find a lot of discussion about whether to use a string inverter or a micro inverterinverters.
My point is micro.
Inverter is a good technology, but it is also more expensive.
Using a string inverter, the panels are connected in series and each panel adds its own voltage to the total.
This is a large inverter. With micro-
The inverter, each panel is connected with a small inverter, which is connected in parallel.
Instead of increasing the voltage, the current increases together, each Micro
Inverter with current of about 1A (
Depends on panel output).
It makes more sense for me to do string inverters because: 1)
At the distance I face, the higher the voltage, the smaller the system loss. 2)
I got a discount because the solar company turned off the old inverter before the new inverter was released.
I can\'t produce enough electricity to justify the higher cost of a microcomputer. inverters.
The design of the system requires two \"strings\", 12 panels per \"string.
This means I have two separate circuits into the inverter.
That\'s why I need 5 wires between the inverter and the array.
2 positive, 2 negative, 1 ground.
The picture above shows the color coded wires connected to the inverter.
The inverter is also disconnected, so I can turn the switch and disconnect the panel if the inverter needs maintenance.
This does leave a high voltage on the wire, so if maintenance is required on the panel or the No. 4 aluminum line, care must be taken to disconnect the circuit on the panel.
The code also requires the use of gel to prevent oxidation of aluminum.
The copper wiring will be oxidized, but the oxidized copper will still conduct electricity.
Alumina is not conductive.
Since the system will be in use for 30 or 40 years, it is better to prevent oxidation from the beginning.
Vertical pipes solidify in holes.
Horizontal pipes are connected to vertical pipes with very smooth fittings.
Support beams are also connected with pipe fittings in sufficient places to meet the engineering requirements.
The finished result is shown in the photo.
AHJ asked me to install a new sub-
Used as a panel for solar combinators.
It has two circuit breakers.
20 a of 4 roof panels and 40 A of the ground-based panels.
This will then be provided to the new 50A circuit breaker installed in my main service panel.
I asked a licensed electrician to do the job.
Because he\'s my brother. in-
By law, he did not charge me anything.
It took about 2 hours.
I have multiple spaces for my main panel, but AHJ makes sure I understand that 50A circuit breakers have to be installed in the top space, relative to the 200A circuit breaker that is available in my home.
The circuit breaker space of the 200A circuit breaker is rated 200A in total.
The top space is located on a separate bus with a rated power of 50A.
If the 50A circuit breaker is not installed in the top space, it is possible to damage and catch fire.
Many homes need to upgrade the main service panel to support solar installation.
I also need to go from the inverter to the new sub-
Panel, as shown in the figure.
I installed all the pipes and then used a tissue tied to the rope as a \"mouse\" to pull the rope, then the hemp rope and then THHN-2 cable.
I pulled the conductors of all 4 8 ad hoc working groups
2 x heat, neutral and ground-
At the same time.
The Sunshine Boy design app specifies 8 Ad Hoc Working Group conductors to keep the total voltage loss of the system below 1%.
The guide rail connected to the horizontal pipe beam has a pre-
Manufactured belt and track nut.
The NUT is stuck into the bottom of the track and the bolt enters the nut through the strap.
The nut actually bites into the track to form a ground metal-to-metal bond.
There are two straps on the railway.
One on the executive, one on the lower tube.
At this point, I am ready to start installing the panel.
Panel installation using C-
Slide into the top of the track and bite into the track again to produce a clip that is connected to the ground.
It is tightened with bolts.
They also brought a beautiful pre-
A tightening belt used to secure the clip in place when tightening.
My order was really a bit unlucky.
The web design feature has a bug for my specific configuration-2 x 12 panels.
It sent me too short track.
I should have cut one rail in half and ended up with two.
But I ended up getting the 1/2 track.
I found this on Thanksgiving weekend.
So I can only install half of the panels (
As shown in the figure).
It took them more than 2 weeks to finally receive the replacement rail due to the loss of the goods and misconceptions, causing them to send me the roof rail instead of the ground rail.
The good weather of 60 degrees turned into snow and snow.
Not a pleasant time.
Array grounding is an important step.
Lightning does not have to hit the array directly in order to cause damage.
Lightning in this area produces voltage that may cause panel failure.
I bought a 8 feet copper grounding stick and drove it to the ground under my array.
I connected a 4 KW-grid bare copper wire to the grounding bar with a convex ear.
I connect the bare copper to each of my panels with a small ground lugs that are fixed with screws on the frame of the panel.
In my special settings, it only takes once per column panel.
The track is combined with the frame electricity of the panel.
Therefore, running a bare copper wire along the length of the array can connect the two panels in the column.
I still don\'t quite understand the whole idea.
One of the requirements for my building permit is to make the PV line inaccessible.
It seems that because it\'s a standard requirement, companies like Snapnrack will have a c-like they\'re pretty-clamp straps. But they don\'t.
What I think is to use the \"hardware cloth\" of the local hardware store \".
This is a hard metal mesh.
After installing my first 12 panels, I can see more clearly what I need to do.
But I had to go back and remove the clip I had installed.
I drill holes in the mesh that needs to pass the bolt through to connect to the rail nut.
I then bend and attach the top of the mesh to the panel, which is very difficult for someone (a child)
Reach in and touch the photovoltaic line.
It doesn\'t matter because the wires are insulated and won\'t get an electric shock unless someone cuts off the insulation.
The connector itself will be stuck together and can only be disassembled using a screwdriver inserted into the slot.
So someone has to go very firmly where they shouldn\'t.
AHJ really highlighted this step, so I was concerned about whether the building inspector would approve it or not.
He has no problem at all.
I also made a \"cage\" with a hardware cloth and tied the wires entering the junction box to the No. 4 aluminum line at my house.
I originally had a check schedule on Monday after Thanksgiving weekend.
Before receiving the approval of the construction inspector, the power company will not arrange the placement of their net meter.
I hope the inspector will approve my roof panel and 12 installed panels.
But my hope is broken.
I was told that he can only finally approve it if the whole system is installed.
On the morning we planned to fly to sunny Orlando for our holiday, he checked my system and gave me final approval!
After the electricity company received the notice, it took them about 1/2 weeks to install the grid sheet.
This is a few photos of the finished product from the front and back. The snow-
The covered mountains are a good background, right?
The neighbors who got the back view were pleasantly surprised and didn\'t mind them.
They were really happy when I told them some ground --
The height of the installation system will exceed 12 feet.
The project cost a total of $11,300.
I will get a $2000 tax credit from the state, $3390 from the FBI, and the final fee is $5910.
About $1500 of electricity is expected to be produced each year.
Even the conservative $1400, the simple return is $4. 2 years.
If it does produce as expected, the return will be 3. 9 years.
My power company makes a simple net table.
The meter runs backwards when my panel produces more than the product I use.
When I use something that produces more than a panel, it runs forward.
My kwh production is subtracted from the khw used every month and I pay the difference.
If I produce more products than I use in a month, I will deposit kWh into the bank.
They reset the Bank to zero.
This makes production less motivated than I use.
I know a few people who have solar systems installed.
I question the economic benefits some of them get. Paying $25k-$30k ($15-
$18 after tax credit)
For a system, if you don\'t borrow money, it will lead to ~ 12-
Simple return for 15 years
If you borrow money, it will add another 3-5 years.
I want to know how many more people will stay at home in 20 years.
If you are thinking about such a system, gain insight into the numbers that sales people give you and fight back with a healthy skepticism.
The rental system has no economic significance at all.
Not everyone will choose to install the system from scratch like I did.
But you can rent out the works to submarines as your own general contractor, saving a lot of money.
That might be worth it.
Buying panels and inverters from my solar company also helped a lot.
His price is more than anything I can find online.
After more than 3 months of planning and hard work, I still think it is worth it to install my system.
I was able to add up to 10 or so panels on my roof using the existing cabling.
Why am I doing this?
My Solar Man heated his house with electric heating in every room.
He also drove the Chevrolet Volt.
He heated his water with an electric heat pump water heater.
Adding panels allows me to do these things.
But I can look at these things on the way.
The first thing is to install and work the panel.
The next step is the battery backup system.
The Powerwall 2 looks promising, and it has many potentially cheaper competitors.
I really like the idea of using less grid power and more selfreliant.
But one thing I realize is that I can never leave because of the temperature inversion and the constant stormy weather --
Grid unless I install the generator.
With the generator you can handle costs, fuel and noise.
So far, on my worst day, I only produced 2 KW hours.
I need a hundred + panels to fully self when using an average of about 25 KW per dayreliant.
In our country, there has been a lot of discussion due to the power company\'s proposal to charge additional fees to solar customers.
State law agencies are likely to gradually cancel state tax credits.
While this will hurt the solar industry, I question some strategies for selling systems that extend the return time.
I have a vested interest in a healthy grid because I want the juice to flow when I turn on the switch.
But balance must be maintained, and the new charges are fair, not excessive.
I bought some philosophical arguments that the solar industry is artificially supported by the government and that the solar industry is not feasible without favorable government policies.
But it\'s not enough for me not to take advantage of the tax credit.
Another problem is that the power grid is designed to deliver power, not to absorb it.
In Hawaii, many people use rooftop solar energy, and demand will decrease during the day.
The issue of basic use and peak use is outlined in this article.
These are the daily curves that show the output of my 6300 W panel in one day.
On April, the day when my panel produced the most, the output peak was close to 6000 watts.
Considering the line loss is also good.
On a cold sunny day, sometimes the output reaches 6150 Watts, which is higher than the theoretical output when the line loss is included.
This is due to the temperature curve of the panel.
The higher the temperature, the lower the panel output and vice versa.
Therefore, the output can exceed the rated output on cold sunny days.
This can be seen from the output of July 15.
The peak output is about 4600 Watts.
Interestingly, in July 15, the total output was 38 KW hours.
Total output was 45 KW hours in April 15.
My record in December 2017 was 29 KW.
The difference is the length of the day, the number of hours of the sun.
Although the maximum production in July was lower than in December, the panel production was from around eight o\'clock A. M. to eight o\'clock P. M.
But on December, they only produced from 8: 30 a. m. to 4: 30 p. m.
You can also see the effect of cloudy days-
In January 6, 2018, the peak output was only 400 watts.
They only made 1 pound. 5 kWh that day.
I have attached the chart for April 19 to show the effect of a partial cloudy day.
I hope that one day I can increase the storage capacity and finally leavegrid.
I have realized that this will not happen.
When the system produces less than 1 KW, there are too many cloudy days in winter.
This can sometimes last for a week.
It is not possible for me to install enough panels or battery capacity to do the job.
Whether it\'s a power grid or a generator, I always need a secondary power supply.
One enhancement I would like to do: I can increase the daily output by designing a way to tilt the panel.
I want to make a sleeve on the existing rear vertical pipe with holes and pins to fix them.
Another option might be some kind of Jack welded on a vertical pipe.
The tilt angle will be changed manually several times a year, ranging from 60 degrees in winter to 5 degrees in summer.
Whatever I do, I have to be able to withstand the 110 miles per hour wind we received from the canyon in 2011.
This is a project for the future.
In my first year, the system has built about 11 MW. hours. Note -
I did not install and work the monitoring system until mid-termFebruary.
But I made about 500 KW in February 2017. So add 10.
From 597 MWh to 500 KW, this is my rough total for the year.
This is very close to my original estimate.
In total, between $1400. $1500.
November and December, July, August and September, I use more than I produce.
But I paid only eight. 8 cents per kilowatt hour.
Before I paid 11.
Anything over 400 hours a month is 5 cents, 14 cents.
Usage was 5 cents at more than 1000.
So this system puts me at the bottom of the charge.
It\'s interesting to compare my best month with my worst month.
On November 2017, there were 5 days below 5 KW hours and 13 days above 20 KW hours.
There are many cloudy days.
Even at 20 KW, there is a cloud.
But in July, there were no days under 20 kWh, and there were no more than 22 days under 35 kWh.
Even a submarine.
The day of 20kWh is sunny.
The number of sunny days and cloudy days has the greatest impact on the production month-to-month.
I also included the chart for 2017.