The Way To Install Photovoltaic Panels Yourself
Hello there I’m gonna tell you a little bit about my do-it-yourself solar, solar project that I did so. First of all, a little while ago I started looking into this. I had some Vivint solar and solar city guys come by my house and quote me on what it cost to get solar up and running.
Most of them were saying about 25 grand and then after tax rebates and credits and stuff it would be like 16 grand, and I have a 3,400 square foot place. We use about twelve thousand kilowatt hours per year about a thousand a month, so that sounded pretty good, but you know, like our bills, only about a hundred hundred twenty bucks a month, so it take, you know, probably ten years to break.
Even so, I started looking at other options of doing it myself, so I’ll. Give you some details on. I decided to go that route and I’ll. Tell you about what what options I, how much it ended up costing me.
So I I need a seven kilowatt system and I mean South Jordan Utah, so we get pretty good sunlight here and stuff. So let me show you what I got so I bought all the solar gear from Sun electronics online.
There a wholesaler with shipping and everything and then also for all the materials for all the permits. I did building permit a joy approval and then talk working out with Rocky Mountain Power. I out the door, everything costs about $ 8,500 and then after tax incentives.
There’s, 30 % federal and then 25 % Utah state of Utah up to $ 2,000 so out the door total I’ll, be a little under four thousand. Oh, I have a spreadsheet that I have this all listed in a link to that.
So you can have a look and see a manifest of all the materials and then what they cost so so for, and it means my breakeven – is about three three years out. So so here are the solar panels. I got 30 of them on a pallet.
There are 235 watt, so about seven things. You know, seven thousand watts total got some conduit there that I’m. Going to put up, I’ll show you on the roof in a bit also grounding stuff. So I can ground all the panels and then another main component is this inverter to sonny-boy seven kilowatt, sending one inverter that those are the main supplies.
I bought everything from sent: electronics, Lowe’s Home Depot and then eBay. Okay, here we are up on my roof. I’m in a couple stages of the project. It’s over there, you’ll, see I have I built my own racking system instead of paying the $ 1,800 that they wanted to charge me for a racking system.
It’s, pretty simple, just using treated lumber. Some tar and rubber stuff and then just mounting it to the trusses in your roof, and it should hold up fine over 20 or 30 years, which is the expected life of the system, especially because the panels are going to be protecting all that wood from weatherization.
For the most part, so they’re there. I’m, going to put five panels over there can another five this these this five and that five will be in a string. So I’ll, have a string of ten string of ten here and then another string of ten over here on the back of my garage.
So those all connect in series. So you just put female to male to female all the way around and then out of the ends. Here you have a male and a female coming out, so that’ll. Just go right to the inverter through conduit down into the I’ll put my inverter right over there, so I’
Ll have basically a male and a female in three of those, so six total and then I’ll. Have a grounding wire that goes in from all of them, and it’ll all go down into the inverter there, and – and I went to a website that told me how to do all this.
It calculates how much power it’ Ll generate based on where you live. What equipment you’re using what, like the angles, are and everything it’s amazing. So I’ll link to that website as well. Give you a better idea on how these my racking system worked.
Basically, I just put down these feet that are about six inches long and mount them with a couple screw four inch screws into the trusses. Then I and I put tar on on the bottom of it a bunch of tar, and then I put this little rubber flap over it, so that and under the the shingle there, so that water will just come and not really be weathering.
This treated wood and you know prevent leaks and everything, and then I just put this this rail on um. That should be pretty solid. Also I have this is one of the more expensive parts, as I had to buy these special things on eBay that are for solar systems in particular, but that’s, a good idea, because that’s.
What’s pinching? This thing down, so you want to get something solid that pinches the solar panel down, so I have those all over, and I also by the way did this. All myself like. I just hoist the solar panels right up on the ladder, and so you can even do it with a one-man job.
I I probably it’s. Probably total is going to take about 60 or 70 hours of installation of my time, another 20 or 30 in buying the equipment and maybe ten and approvals and stuff. I have that broken out the spreadsheet as well, but I think about a hundred hours totals and four thousand bucks.
You can do this for how similar to mine, okay, I’m gonna give you an update now, first one I did show you this sunrise. I’ve, seen a lot of beautiful sunrises up here from my roof, so that’s, a nice little perk of doing this.
Okay. So again, I’ve got all my panels on and I’ve been wiring. Now in this conduit. I wanted to show you also I forgot to mention so I’ve got these this rubber flap it’s, prevents the water from getting under this treated lumber, but I’ve.
Also. I also put another everywhere where the solar panel contacts the treated lumber – I put another little rubber flap in there and that’s just to make it so I guess this treated lumber has some chemicals on it that can corrode its aluminum frame.
So it’s good to have that barrier there. So anyway, then I’ve got when you look here. I’ve got my my grounded wire and then my two, my positive and negative. So all these are connected. The positives two are connected: all the negatives in this all the males, two females in this big string and they all come and then the two wires that come out of it are positive one to negative and then a ground.
This grounding wire. I’ve, been I &. # 39 ve been putting these little to connect them. I have these grounding lugs that I screw on there and then just this thing connects through there, so that’s, basically to just make it.
So if the lightning hits this panel, then it’ll, go through the ground B. It’ll, go into this grounding layer which eventually will go into the ground like a grounding rod either the one from my house or a grounding rod that I put in so then it goes through this hako thing that’s, a Rubber rubber seal, then you screw that on and it makes it so no water can get into your conduit and then goes into this thing this box, and then I just have the conduit coming from all the panels down into one.
This is one inch conduit, so, as you can see there, there’s a junction there. Then it wraps around eventually all that wire there’s. So in my case I have three strings this. This five and this other five are connected in series and so really just similarly there’s, just two that come from that.
So at the end of this there are six wires, three positive, 3 negative and then a grounding wire. That’ll come down and those all go into to my inverter and then the grounding wire will go into the ground and I’m into a grounding rod.
Ok got everything up and running. Now you can see there’s, a few of the panels and then over here I’ve, got this flexible conduit coming down there, you’ll notice. They’re a sticker for to meet code. I had to have these stickers, so basically, I’d, come down and I’d conduit there and I come into my combine or sorry my DC disconnect, so that’s to turn off the panel’s.
If you need, then up here, you’ve got the inverter. You’ll, see another sticker there. That again, I had to put a bunch of these stickers on so basically the DC comes in to that switch and then into the inverter and then AC comes out an alternating current.
Then you have to have this little box here. Basically, so the power company can come turn it off if they need turn off the AC, while they’re working on it, and also you’ll notice, there’s, a lightning arrester on there.
They it provides some of those from my solar company. You don’t really need, but it’s just to slow down light if lightning hit. So then AC continues on and goes into my main power of the house, and then you’ll notice.
Here’s, my net meter. What’s cool? Is you’ve noticed this flips between so right there? It’s, saying 19, so I’ve, contributed 19 kilowatt hours today. I just turned this on yesterday and then we’ve used 25 kilowatt hours since we turned it on late last evening.
So through the night we used a bunch of kilowatt hours, but then today is it’s. Sunny we’re, producing a bunch of, hopefully will produce more of them, even if used in the last 24 hours. Also you’ll notice.
Here I’ve got I added a breaker that 30 amp Y, so that’s. What those wires come down into, they come into the 4 of them come in and you ground the neutral go into this bar thing and then the hot wires, the red and the black ones go into that fat fuse or that that circuit breaker and again add Some stickers on in there now I’m, going to show you I’m going to take apart.
Some of these other things and I’ll – show that in the next video clip, but I also wanted to show what’s cool on the on the inverter. It has this le LCD display. I don’t know if you can see it there, but basically right now we’re.
Can we’re, making 5725 watts so about 5.7 kilowatts and again my system’s rated to up to seven kilowatts. So it’s almost peaking out right now and midday. Today. It’s, produced almost 30 kilowatt hours and then total.
I’ve, produced about 200 mega kilowatt hours over over the life of this thing. I made the mistake of turning it on before I got my net meter in so I actually got billed last month for the power gets. You basically get you get billed eat whichever direction the power is going.
So even when I was contributing to the grid, I was getting billed for that. So just keep that in mind. Don’t turn on your your power, your DC stuff, for very long. Your solar panels, don’t, hook them into the grid until you really have that net meter in place.
Okay, now let’s boot it up and it’s since the DC power coming in and it started it’s early morning. So I’m only producing 69 watts that’ll, get up to almost 7,000 later today, as you can see, it totally speaks like this chart shows you that during the day, it starts out really low and Peaks way high.
So – and it also shows you, this is a sonny-boy 7000. It also shows you your lines. There see how I’ve only got a little bit of a big 1.1 amps, but two hundred seventy four volts coming in on one one side of the a side and then the B side has about the same.
So I could add panels. I could actually add a fourth line to of panels. It supports up to four lines coming in okay, so there you have it we completed the project got all approves, got our net meter in so we’re good to go.
I’m producing power. I’m excited to see how we do over the long term, like I think my bill will probably be just a few bucks a month and the main takeaways for me were that it wasn’t super hard. I mean there were some technical things to overcome, but overall you can do it.
It’s, a great do-it-yourself project and you save – probably it probably only cost you a fourth of what it cost to do it elsewhere. So good luck and let me know if you have any questions, leave comments and we’ll.
Talk to you later see ya.