Anyone Have Solar Panels On The Roof?

Discussion in 'Home Improvement' started by Dwight Ward, Oct 30, 2022.

  1. Dwight Ward

    Dwight Ward Veteran Member
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    I'm doing my own installation and I'm learning by doing. I'm not trying to power the whole house in the event of a power outage. I just want enough battery backup to run the fridge and computer, that is, if I get adequate sun during any outage. I'm guessing at much of this.
    I'm using deep cycle lead acid batteries and an inverter. I'm hoping that the money I'm putting in will increase my property value by a corresponding amount. I'll post some pictures when I get the outside mounting of the panels mostly done.
    Anyone have any experience with this stuff?
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I wish I understood it because I'd like to power my camp up north, which is a couple of miles from the availability of conventional utilities. I bought a book on solar power once but I'm not very good at understanding that kind of thing.
     
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  3. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    I hope to learn from your efforts. I almost did this myself. I have 7 cleared acres, the roof of my house, and the roof of my 3 car garage as available space. When I moved in here in 2010, I got a quote for having a transfer switch installed (this is a professional cut-over where you switch from electric company input to solar system input, thus ensuring that you do not send solar voltage down the line while repairmen are working on it.) I think the guy quoted $1,000.

    A few things made me hesitate, mostly the massive amount of batteries that would be required, and the fact that my power company does Net Metering (will buy enough of your solar power to take your bill down to zero) but will not buy the surplus (meaning I could supply all my own power AND get a check every month.) Then there's the maintenance.

    But it would have been a great learning experience. Good for you for tackling it.
     
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  4. Dwight Ward

    Dwight Ward Veteran Member
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    If things go well with what I'm doing I could try to help you at least with some sensible learning texts. 90% of what's out there gives you either too much or too little information. The DIY approach is less expensive than I expected.
     
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  5. Dwight Ward

    Dwight Ward Veteran Member
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    Check out a company called Renogy. They are always available to answer questions and I'm pleased with them so far. The battery storage is less of a problem if you don't try to make the panels power everything. I'm not going to try to feed the grid and run my meter backwards. My system will be for emergency power in a grid outage. I'm simplifying wherever possible.

    I lucked out in that my back roof is pointed in an almost perfect direction for afternoon sun.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 30, 2022
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  6. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    Care to elaborate? Where are you getting your stuff?

    As an aside, 10 days ago I attended a Member's Council Meeting for my electric co-op. We have a couple of solar farms, and members can buy shares specifically for them. The co-op is investing in power storage technology (for various reasons) and say that the current overall best technology are lithium batteries. But I imagine that their per-amp-hour price is many times what lead acid is. I've worked with gel-cell technology, but that was over 45 years ago.
     
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  7. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    I could use something like this for my well pump.
     
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  8. Dwight Ward

    Dwight Ward Veteran Member
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    I'm buying my panels from Renogy. I'll have to hunt up where I bought my inverter. I'm trying various manufacturers of batteries to see what's best. I can keep you all up to date. I'm sure I'll make mistakes which others could avoid.

    I've not finally decided whether to make use of the power the batteries will store on a daily basis or just keep them charged up for backup. The daily charge-discharge cycle would lessen their useful life but it might be worth it. I'm learning as I go.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 30, 2022
  9. Dwight Ward

    Dwight Ward Veteran Member
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    You have a pump that can make you well? That's so cool.
     
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  10. Dwight Ward

    Dwight Ward Veteran Member
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    I don't know much about the new battery tech except that all of it is more expensive than tried and true lead-acid.
     
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  11. Teresa Levitt

    Teresa Levitt Veteran Member
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    we did portable...monocrystalline
    panels....lithium ion phosphate battery in inverters...2...2000 watt...
    2...800 watt
     
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  12. Marie Mallery

    Marie Mallery Veteran Member
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    I wish we could afford Lithium batters when we purchased out solar, I just went with the Trojan T 105. Got ours in 2016 and in the box,except the batteries we use those in the golf cart.
     
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  13. Marie Mallery

    Marie Mallery Veteran Member
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    It took me 6 years to talk hubby into getting solar and it is still not set up after spending all that money over a couple years.
    Like you don't want whole house or fancy. We were just talking about setting it up earlier today so will let you know as I'm relearning this again.

    I did go with the best when I did by.


    Trimetric 2030 battery monitor,
    Midnight MPPT Kid 30 Amp charge controller.
    Kotec SK PSW 2000 Wat Inverter,
    2 290 Suniva Mono Panels,

    4 Trojan T105 batteries, wiring, fuses lightening surge protector.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 31, 2022
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  14. Teresa Levitt

    Teresa Levitt Veteran Member
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    oh...yeah..understood...these inverters are light and easy moved...hold charge without use for almost a year..the panels are also portable...
     
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  15. Dwight Ward

    Dwight Ward Veteran Member
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    I have the monocrysyaline panels also, though with a lower power output. I'm guestimating that if I use the power generated on a daily basis that my lead-acids will last about a year. With electricity costs sure to rise they might pay for themselves quickly.
    I need to add some switches so that I can go from charging the batteries when they are full to feeding my wall current. I'm still working all that out. Surprisingly, I don't think I have to set anything special up to feed any excess to the grid and run my meter backwards. The excess wouldn't be from generating more power than I can use because I can use it all. The excess would be whatever comes after my batteries are at full charge and is just dependent on how many batteries I have. I'm getting brain strain from it all cause I'm not as sharp as I used to be.
     
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