Helpful Installation Videos

There are a lot of great videos available to help out with your solar panel installation.  We didn’t end up making any videos ourselves during our projects, but we watched videos like these when learning how to install the mounting hardware, panels and inverters.

This one contains a detailed hardware overview along with helpful term definitions for the mounting hardware we used:

Source: Iron Ridge Mounting Hardware Video

Here is a clear and concise installation video for the Enphase Micro-inverters that we Continue reading

Let’s Talk Permits

Building a good relationship with your city’s permit office and inspectors can be very helpful when planning and executing your PV solar panel system.  Visiting the city permit office early in the process allowed us a chance to ask questions and understand what the inspectors would be looking for.

In our case, the inspectors were most concerned with Continue reading

DIY Solar Kits

An interesting article appeared in the local newspaper this week, “Solar Power For The Do-It-Yourselfer”.  The article profiled a company, SolarPod, that sells a solar kit that includes 4 PV solar panels, mounting hardware and micro-inverters.  The kit will produce about 1kW of electricity for a price tag of $4000 and are designed for flat roofs.

Solar Power for the Do-It-Yourselfer

While a bit pricey at $4/watt not including installation, it’s a great Continue reading

Solar Panel System Components

OK, so you know that your roof is situated for solar exposure and either your utility company offers a rebate or you plan to sell your SREC’s on the open market.  Great!  Now we can dig into the actual components of a rooftop PV system.

*Disclaimer:  You should know that I am not an engineer Continue reading

What If My Utility Company Doesn’t Offer A Rebate?

As discussed in previous posts here and here, the cost of installing solar panels can be greatly reduced by utility company rebates.  But, what if your utility company doesn’t have an incentive program?  Or your roof doesn’t qualify due to the direction your roof faces?  Fortunately, without the utility’s involvement you retain ownership of the SRECs and can sell them on the Continue reading

Sizing Your Solar Panel System

The amount homeowners are eligible to receive from our utility company is based on the size of their PV system.  For example, as mentioned previously, our home’s PV system has a total of 7 kW.  At the time of installation, the utility rebate was $2.25/watt*.  This resulted in a $15,750 rebate (2.25 x 7000).

After rebates and incentives, our total Continue reading

Ideal Rooftops & Utility Rebates

When considering solar panel installation, it is important to consider two questions:

1)  Is my roof exposed to sufficient sunlight?

First, analyze the direction that your home faces and its surroundings.  Is the rooftop unshaded by trees or other buildings?  An ideal rooftop for solar panels would be free of shade and south-facing for the most sun exposure.

 

Camera 507

Our home has east and west facing rooftops, which are Continue reading