Solar power how to

This page will show all the details on how to install solar panels yourself and save a lot of money.

Before you start installing solar panels, contact your power company, and see what is required for you to get tied into the grid.  I eventually want to get battery backup as well, but a grid tie system is much more efficient, so as long as you have the grid, you want to use it.  For me it was not too difficult.  The requirements were basically I needed to Have a power disconnect (labeled, and within a certain number of feed from the power meter).  I also needed to submit a simple wireing plan to them for them to approve (here was my plan).  After approval, I just needed to install the system, and pass an electrical inspection.

Here are the parts you will need:

1- Solar panels:  Go here for directons on how to find them.

2- Grid tie inverter:  Go here for Directions on purchasing a grid tie inverter.

3- A power dissconnect.  I choose to do an entire house dissconect, because I didn't want to run the solar power out to the meter, and back to my electrical panel.  But you can Just us a small dissconnect if you would like to just dissconnect your panels (it would also be cheaper, since you would only need a small dissconnect).  Basically the power company wants to be able to dissconnect your panels from the grid.  I used this one, but if you only plan on dissconecting your panels, you could use this one.

4- Panel mounting system.  Basically you need to find a location that will not be shaded, and have a south facing direction.  You can mount your panels on a pole or on a roof.  If you have the room, and don't mind the look, a pole would provide several bennifits to a roof.  Having said that, I mounted mine on the roof.  For an explination of the bennifits of a pole mount, and pictures of my mounting system, go here.

5- Wireing.  This is actually very easy, but I wired mine in a unique way in order for me to easily add a battery backup.  Go here for Directions on how to wire your solar panels

6- labels.  In order to pass your electrical inspection and get your grid tie meter hooked up, you will need to label everything.  Most improtantly you will need to label your dissconnect, inverter, and ny box that contains your DC solar electical voltage.  You should check with your power provider and electrical inspector to find out specifically wht they want.


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