Tuesday, December 22, 2015

(Dec 22) Solar Panels

Finally got started installing our solar panels. We've only got until Dec 31 to get them installed and inspected to get our rebate from the electric company. It's going to be a race!

We got 6 panels, 260 Watts each for a total potential of 1560 Watts. Our hope is that these will offset the majority of our electric use, at least while we're only here part time. We may have to add additional panels as we stay out here more. Time will tell.

Couldn't really afford to purchase a $1,500 rack system so I headed to Home Depot to start improvising. Came up with a pretty workable system for about $200. :)

First, we built a support system out of treated 4x4s. There was a little slope in the the location so one of the pole is longer than the others. I'll cut them all off trim to the same height after all the smoke has cleared. Then we mounted a support pole across the top. After we mount the panels, we'll work on the bottom bracing that will hold them up at the right angle for the season. Then comes the charge controller and batteries. Good thing I'm off work 'til after New Year! :)

Cemented in the support posts

Got all of the posts square and plumb 

Got the top rail mounted to the posts

View of the hardware on the back of the panels

1st set of panels mounted to the support rail

Front view of bank of panels

Ready to crank out some electricity. I can't wait!

Panels mounted

Inverters and cut-off installed

Enphase inverter. One for each panel. 

Moved the cut-off and installed warning labels on everything

Electric co-op came out and put in a meter for the solar panels to measure output

Final configuration after we moved the cut-off and installed the meter. Good to finally be producing some juice! :)

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