Now the hardest part of building the solar panel system, which requires increased care and seriousness in the quality of the work done, is connecting the panel to a pack of batteries and then to an inverter. You can use a computer UPS (Uninterruptible Power Source), but you’ll need more power to power your home. However, the batteries don’t have to be new, and they can be the lead-acid type, but it’s advisable that you should buy specially crafted ones for power storage and deep cycle use, since car batteries can only cope with high loads for a short time, and if they’re accidentally discharged below a certain threshold, you lose them for good. 

Because of your solar installer’s experience, they’ll also have a strong understanding of the financial incentives for solar available in your area, and might even be able to help you save more money by finding an incentive that you may have missed. Lastly, it is important to note that many equipment manufacturers will only honor their warranties if a qualified installer installed their equipment. Many installers will also offer an additional warranty on their own work too.

I don’t own, but I hope that some of the landlords that read your blog see this article! My apartment complex recently put panels up on the main office as a “test drive” for the rest of the complex. Renting makes sense for me in the big city, but I hate that renting usually equals bad environmental choices. The costs benefit analysis is probably fuzzier when utilities are paid by the renter though. I’m thinking my complex will shift their policy if they really go for solar so that they get the surplus returns!
That’s the case for Cam and Michelle Mather, who live on 150 forested acres in rural Ontario. The Mathers live in an off-grid home powered by solar panels and their micro wind turbine, a 1-kilowatt (kw) Bergey Excel 1. On such a large property, they’re nowhere near their closest neighbors, so there’s no one who might be upset about the noticeable — but not unpleasant — wind turbine noise or the very visible 100-foot tower in the couple’s yard.

Mind you, in the upper Midwest, it won't produce near the power it did in the southern desert. It produces 5-6 Amps in "full sunlight" which means no clouds, no trees, no buildings. Low angle sun in the north doesn't deliver near the illumination that high angle southern desert sun does. This is why solar doesn't pay back in Detroit, Chicago or Minneapolis. Not enough sun.
Mind you, in the upper Midwest, it won't produce near the power it did in the southern desert. It produces 5-6 Amps in "full sunlight" which means no clouds, no trees, no buildings. Low angle sun in the north doesn't deliver near the illumination that high angle southern desert sun does. This is why solar doesn't pay back in Detroit, Chicago or Minneapolis. Not enough sun.

Matched this PMA up with a Six-Pack of Air-X Blades after buying it on Ebay. The BladeSpeed was mindboggling and the Volt meter went to 110+ during one gust. Saturday, July 11th 2009 about 3:30 p.m. Mohawk Highlands N.Y. Average for the day was about 40-50v in 12-16mph winds. 11ft. Tower. I highly recommend this product. The mount is very sturdy and pivots perfectly on the (Teflon) washer. Excellent customer service, shipping, and packaging. I've been building these for about six months. I've experimented with many kinds of motor and blades.
There are a number of mapping services that have been developed by SETO awardees that will help you determine if your roof is suitable for solar and can even provide you with quotes from pre-screened solar providers in your area. In addition to those resources, an internet search can help you find local companies that install solar panels. Because you will likely have many options to choose from, it’s important to thoroughly read reviews of solar companies to make sure you are selecting the best fit for you and your home.
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Great questions….Offsite is not too bad, the inverter doesn’t have to be adjacent to the panels and depending on your climate can easily be outside. Heat is the biggest degrading factor on the inverter’s efficiency so a shaded location is perfect. To calculate the size of wire from the panels to the inverter I used the company (Alt E) that I bought the panels from. They also provided a basic wiring diagram for the permitting process. You can also do the math yourself and they (Alt E) have some very detailed videos to help. Basically, you need the percent loss your are willing to accept (I used 1%), max average temp (+10 degrees) of the site, the distance and the amperage of the array and the max voltage…..For example my Vmax was 450 at 9amps running 200′ in Florida (I think I used 31 degrees C ) and ended up with 8 AWG copper. Not cheap but easy enough.
In a normal residential application, a home is served simultaneously by the wind turbine and a local utility. If the wind speeds are low enough, the turbine will generate no electricity, and all of the electrical power must be purchased from the local utility. As the wind speed increases, the turbine’s output increases, and the homeowner’s electrical bill decreases. When the turbine produces more power than necessary, the extra power can be sold to the utility.
It was quite a trip, for much more than the acquisition of solar panels and advice. Durango is a stunning little town, and it turned out that John lives in a community of equally impressive siblings and friends – for example his brother Charles who DIY-renovated a 50,000 square foot school over a 20-year period, which has now become the jewel of Durango’s downtown.
The next factor to consider is how you are going to be harnessing the solar power that your kit generates, as there are 2 options. The first is with a grid-tied system that takes your excess electricity that has been generated and feeds it back into the electrical grid. If you live in a state with net metering, you will receive credit for this power to reduce your utility bill. This option is a better fit for the full-size home systems that have grid access.
Always, as in always, remember to take your first and most important safety precaution before you strap on your safety harness belt and take your first step up the tower: Shutdown the turbine and furl the blades before you ascend. If you leave the machine running, a sudden shift in the wind’s direction can spin the blades right into you, slicing and dicing you as if you were so much meat and cheese for a chef’s salad.
To give you an example; a simple web search for Canadian solar panels shows I can buy a Canadian Solar CS6U-320P > 320 Watt Solar Panel for $239, which is around $0.74 per watt. However, if you get a quote from a full-service solar company for a fully installed system with an inverter, racking, balance of system, installation, city permitting and inspections and utility approval and inspections then they will most likely quote around $3.00 per watt. So if we are talking about a 6kw (6000 watts) system a consumer sees that they can buy the solar panels for $4,880 but that the same system using the same number of these panels is being sold in a full-service package for $18,000.
Your solar energy system should continue to generate electricity for 20 to 30 years, so it’s crucial that you consider both the upfront costs and the relative financial benefits for all of your solar options. If you buy a home solar kit like the ones for sale at Costco or Home Depot, it may be less expensive per watt, but you aren’t getting the same quality equipment that solar installers are able to offer you. For the most part, solar installers buy from equipment distributors that don’t sell to the general public – and they’re often getting lower prices because they’re able to buy in bulk.
DIY solar is for someone capable of reading with understanding. For any DIY that does not want to take the time to study about what he is planning to do, then DIY solar is a big fire risk for the homeowner DIY. Solar is not too difficult, but it is not easy as pie either. Wire sizes, connections, and fusing have to be undersood, and contrary to most DIY experiences with electricity, DC is a very unforgiving beast; way different from AC.
So he's having to carefully conserve so much that it has changed his lifestyle. Meanwhile, with my grid tie system, I'm able to run the A/C, hairdriers, TVs, anything I want, and still spend no money for power. Looking at his roof, my system is about 1/3 of his size, physically. There is one difference: If the power goes out, I have no power, but he does. To me, having all the power I want, when I need it, for free, I can suffer through an outage once or twice a year. So even if he didn't have any battery cost whatsoever, I would never advise anyone to do what he did, unless they are just really into it. For him, it's a hobby, a labor of love, and all that. That's great for him, but it's not what most people are in this for, they just want to save money or get off the grid without understanding the ramifications. Even if there WAS a ROI, you'd have to value your time at zero to realize that.
One- to 10-kW turbines can be used in applications such as pumping water. Wind energy has been used for centuries to pump water and grind grain. Although mechanical windmills still provide a sensible, low-cost option for pumping water in low-wind areas, farmers and ranchers are finding that wind-electric pumping is more versatile and they can pump twice the volume for the same initial investment. In addition, mechanical windmills must be placed directly above the well, which may not take advantage of available wind resources. Wind-electric pumping systems can be placed where the wind resource is the best and connected to the pump motor with an electric cable. However, in areas with a low wind resource, mechanical windmills can provide more efficient water pumping.
Square wave inverters are the cheapest but not suitable for all appliances. Modified Sine Wave output is also not suitable for certain appliances, particularly those with capacitive and electromagnetic devices such as: a fridge, microwave oven and most kinds of motors. Typically modified sine wave inverters work at lower efficiency than pure sine wave inverters.
"Wholesale Solar and John Grenvik where a pleasure to do business with. I found it interesting and quite unusual that John would not let me up-size my battery bank beyond what my panels would support on my off grid system, as he said I would be destroying the batteries by their not getting a full charge. How's that for looking out for the customer even at the expense of additional sales."
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In addition to zoning issues, your neighbors might object to a wind turbine that blocks their view, or they might be concerned about the sound it produces. Most zoning and aesthetic concerns can be addressed by supplying objective data. For example, a typical 2-kilowatt wind turbine operates at a noise level of approximately 55 dB 50 feet away from the hub of the turbine.[10] At that level, the sound of the wind turbine can be picked out of surrounding noise if a conscious effort is made to hear it.
Research small wind turbine companies to be sure they offer certified turbines and that parts and service will be available when you need them. Ask for references from past customers with installations similar to the one you are considering. Ask the system owners about performance, reliability, and maintenance and repair requirements, and whether the system is meeting their expectations. Also, find out how long the warranty lasts and what it includes.
Wire the solar panel: At the back sides of the solar panel there is a small junction box with positive and negative sign for polarity. In a large size solar panel this junction box have terminal wires with MC4 connector but for small size panels you have to connect the junction box with external wires. Always try to use red and black wire for the positive and negative terminal connection. If there is provision for earth wire the use a green wire for wiring this.

Turbulence intensity—A basic measure of turbulence that is defined by the ratio of the standard deviation of the wind speed to the mean wind speed. For wind energy applications this is typically defined as a 10-minute average wind speed and standard deviation based on 1-second samples. Turbulence intensity is important for wind energy applications because it has implications for both power performance and turbine loading. Experience indicates that it can be a significant issue for small turbines because of their tower height and location around ground clutter, which puts them in the most turbulent area of the atmospheric boundary layer. The effects of turbulence on distributed wind turbines can be seen in both power production and loading
Roof mounts are especially great since they're aesthetically pleasing and don't take up any space in your actual yard. There's a lot to consider with roof mounts, however. Most importantly, you'll need to think about the actual strength of your roof. If you live in an older house, you might have to get your roof redone before you can start bolting PV panels to it. Thirty panels weighs an awful lot, and it'd be a shame to have the whole thing come crashing down into your living room. Besides the strength of your roof, you'll need to make some decisions as to whether it's the most effective location.
Well, coming to size and weight, it is obviously a bit larger and heftier. It has a rotor diameter of 5.6-feet and weight of 33 lbs respectively. However, it is easy for setting up on the rooftop of your home. It is also made of high-quality corrosion resistant materials for continuous performance anywhere. Use the link above to order a unit of the wind turbine.
If you go with crystalline modules, solar module racking (the bits and pieces that hold your panels in place) may be the most important part of your project. Here, we'll discuss a few things to keep in mind while you determine where you want your solar panels to go. If there's too many obstacles to crystalline panels, you'll definitely want to consider thin-film instead.
However, you are going to have to pay a licensed contractor to install the system and much of this savings may go to them. Because most licensed and experienced solar electricians work for solar companies they will often charge quite a lot for installation because they perceive they have lost the ability to make any margin on equipment. This may change over time but currently this is a big factor in why it is very difficult to save much money from a DIY solar project.
A Homeowner’s Guide to Solar Financing: Leases, Loans and PPAs – This guide from the Clean Energy States Alliance helps homeowners navigate the complex landscape of residential solar system financing. It describes three popular residential solar financing choices and explains the advantages and disadvantages of each, as well as how they compare to a direct cash purchase.
Great article. We just signed a contract to have panels installed but I had done a little research on a DIY setup. In the end, I felt the personal risk – shutting off the breaker panel, connect new 2-way electric meter, climbing around 2-story roof with lots of heavy materials – wasn’t worth the potential savings compared to hiring a professional contractor. What prompted you to decide that you could complete this hi-voltage, rooftop project without professional help?
Wholesale Solar’s scalable off-grid systems range from a $1,000 “Cabin” starter kit, which produces up to 43kWh/month using two to four solar panels, to a $37,000 “Ranch” system that produces up to 2,087 kWh using 45 to 54 solar panels, and which “allows you to be your own electric company,” according to their website. A mid-range “Homestead” system capable of generating enough power to run a typical American household’s worth of lights and appliances costs between $7,000 and $10,000. (Again, before tax credits and rebates.) 
Of course, there are lots of secrets you’ll find out only through practice, but the overall idea is that such a system is cheap and for 200 watts of power you’ll need solar cells worth about $200 and batteries worth about $400 to $500. If you get an inverter from ebay, or even better, buy a used UPS (handle with care), you’ll not go over $500 for the whole system. If you want to really power your entire home, you’ll need about $1,000 to become truly energy independent (as in not paying a dime to electric utilities). How does that sound?
Can I use wind energy to power my home? More people across the country are asking this question as they look for a hedge against increasing electricity rates and a way to harvest their local wind resources. Although wind turbines large enough to provide a significant portion of the electricity needed by the average U.S. home generally require 1 acre of property or more, approximately 21 million U.S. homes are built on 1-acre and larger sites, and 19.3% of the U.S. population lives in rural areas.[1] Small wind electric systems can contribute to our nation's energy needs.
I don’t think people have fully realized the consequences of prices this low. Price per kWh installed could (with appropriate automation) reach under 1 cent per kWh over 25 years (the cells themselves accounting for just a quarter of this), meaning you can install enough solar panels to still provide electricity on cloudy days and with battery backing during nighttime while still being cheaper than fossil fuels.

Solar panel conversion efficiency, typically in the 20% range, is reduced by dust, grime, pollen, and other particulates that accumulate on the solar panel. "A dirty solar panel can reduce its power capabilities by up to 30% in high dust/pollen or desert areas", says Seamus Curran, associate professor of physics at the University of Houston and director of the Institute for NanoEnergy, which specializes in the design, engineering, and assembly of nanostructures.[27]

Ensure the whole set-up matches. If you choose a 12V wind turbine then make sure you also choose a 12V inverter and controller to match it. Likewise, if you choose a 24V or 48V system make sure they are all the same voltage. The dump load must be exactly the same as the power rating of the turbine too. If you have 400W rated turbine, then the dump load must match it.
I’m working on getting the power company (which is owned by our small city) to change this policy, however, since they recently announced a goal of moving to 100% renewable power by 2030. I’m one of the few people who will make the switch even if it costs me MORE than coal-generated electricity, so I don’t actually care about the payback period. But most people require a financial incentive to make a change.
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That last one refers to net-metering, the practice by which utilities reimburse rooftop solar at the same rate as they charge users for electricity. This is politically fraught territory: some states, like Nevada, have adopted policies where utilities pay less for surplus solar, which makes it harder to recoup the cost of the installation. For a handy guide to where each state stands on this, check out this solar scorecard.
The Wind Energy Payback Period Workbook is a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet tool that can help you analyze the economics of a small wind electric system and decide whether wind energy will work for you. It asks you to provide information about how you will finance the system, the characteristics of your site, and the properties of the system you're considering. It then provides you with a simple payback estimation (assumes no increase in electricity rates) in years. If the number of years required to regain your capital investment is greater than or almost equal to the life of the system, then wind energy will not be practical for you.

What? You are still reading? If we did not talk you out of a wind turbine by now there may still be hope! There certainly are situations where a small wind turbine makes perfect sense: If you are off-grid you should definitely consider adding a wind turbine. Wind and solar tend to complement each other beautifully; the sunny days tend to be not very windy, while the windy days tend to have little sun. Wind turbines generally produce most energy in the winter, when solar panels fall short.

We're guessing you wouldn't have come here if you didn't have a hunch they probably were. But just in case, let's review when solar systems are practical for homes and when they're not. If you own home or cabin and you have (or a tiny home who can be parked such that...) a roof that roughly points south (north if south of the equator) with no shading by trees, hills, other homes from around 9AM to 3PM, then you have some prime real estate for putting a solar system on.

Fact is that in sunny places, solar has already eliminated their daytime peak (mostly from air-conditioning), and now they are complaining about the new peak that happens in the evening, when the sun has gone down and people get home from work and turn on lights and appliances. It’s important to remember that this peak is lower than the one that solar already eliminated–so they know how to handle it. And now storage technologies will help with the evening peak by diverting the excess daytime production. Pumped hydro and industrial-scale batteries are the most mature, just imagine all those old car batteries racked up next to a solar farm.
Always, as in always, remember to take your first and most important safety precaution before you strap on your safety harness belt and take your first step up the tower: Shutdown the turbine and furl the blades before you ascend. If you leave the machine running, a sudden shift in the wind’s direction can spin the blades right into you, slicing and dicing you as if you were so much meat and cheese for a chef’s salad.
12V, 110Ah UPG AGM (absorbed glass mat) batteries are shock-resistant and maintenance-free, producing higher cranking amps, extremely low (1–3%) self-discharge rate and greater vibration resistance. Non-hazardous, non-spillable battery design requires no water additions and rugged construction withstands harsh conditions. Two batteries included in this offer, providing a 12V, 220Ah system.

Photovoltaic modules use light energy (photons) from the Sun to generate electricity through the photovoltaic effect. The majority of modules use wafer-based crystalline silicon cells or thin-film cells. The structural (load carrying) member of a module can either be the top layer or the back layer. Cells must also be protected from mechanical damage and moisture. Most modules are rigid, but semi-flexible ones based on thin-film cells are also available. The cells must be connected electrically in series, one to another.

The top features of the SMA SunnyBoy TL-US Series. Secure power supply, dual mppt tracking, and opti trac global peak. Secure pOptiTrac™ Global Peak, SMA’s shadetolerant MPP tracking algorithm, quickly adjusts to changes in solar irradiation, which mitigates the effects of shade and results in higher total power output. And, with two MPP trackers, the TL-US series can ably handle complex roofs with multiple orientations.
Average pricing information divides in three pricing categories: those buying small quantities (modules of all sizes in the kilowatt range annually), mid-range buyers (typically up to 10 MWp annually), and large quantity buyers (self-explanatory—and with access to the lowest prices). Over the long term there is clearly a systematic reduction in the price of cells and modules. For example, in 2012 it was estimated that the quantity cost per watt was about US$0.60, which was 250 times lower than the cost in 1970 of US$150.[47][48] A 2015 study shows price/kWh dropping by 10% per year since 1980, and predicts that solar could contribute 20% of total electricity consumption by 2030, whereas the International Energy Agency predicts 16% by 2050.[49]

I had a very good experience ordering online with After thorough online research, I found GoGreenSolar offered the components I was looking for, available for delivery at the most affordable prices, including shipping and handling. I basically ordered the parts to put together my own energy saving solar panel system. They were not only delivered in a very timely manner, but all of the parts were quality built, nothing broken or damaged. I would definitely recommend going to their site when considering solar panels.
Nice work! I’ve been looking at panels on craigslist, and almost considered picking up an inverter you can plug in to an outlet so I could create a quick DIY portable setup – maybe around 1KW. These cheap inverters do have island protection, but poor efficiency and are not UL certified. I do still like the concept of system that can just be plugged in with an extension cord to a structure in the backyard…

Working with all my formulae and variables for wind turbines’ kW, I inadvertently, fortunately, have begun to sort my “need-to-know” list from my “wish-I-knew” list.  For example, I understand that “kilowatt” is the standard unit of measure for generating and consuming electricity; I do not really need to understand the relationship between watts and volts—at least, not yet anyway.  I must remember, though, that most of my appliances run on twelve-volt alternating current, and I cannot connect my (still imaginary) wind turbine directly to my household power without running it, first, through an inverter or transformer, converting it from direct current to alternating current.  Working-out my (still in the catalogue) wind turbine’s “kW,” I have mastered the difference between “power” and “energy”:  Oh sure, you think the two words represent the same atomic stuff surging through the wires, but “power” tells me what my (I should buy it) wind turbine can crank out in any old split-second.  “Energy,” on the other hand, tells me what my (durable, reliable, but still imaginary) wind turbine will produce over time—that kilowatt-hour deal that means so much.  Yes, I should know my wind turbine’s kW power, but I absolutely must know my wind turbine’s kW energy…first in kilowatt hours, for the sake of comparison, and then in kilowatts per month for the sake of calculating supply and demand.

The most irritating situation many consumers face after purchasing a costly wind turbine is the need of air-flow. They end up feeling that why they haven’t bought a can of wind with the turbine to see it working. To eliminate such frustrating situation, Missouri Wind and Solar has kept this kit’s cut-in speed in 6 MPH. Carries a 3 YEAR limited warranty.

The ability of solar modules to withstand damage by rain, hail, heavy snow load, and cycles of heat and cold varies by manufacturer, although most solar panels on the U.S. market are UL listed, meaning they have gone through testing to withstand hail.[21] Many crystalline silicon module manufacturers offer a limited warranty that guarantees electrical production for 10 years at 90% of rated power output and 25 years at 80%.[22]

The era of solar energy, as many would say, is upon us. From astounding new solar products like AC coupled backup systems and high efficient microinverters to banks of solar panels that provide electricity to run our homes and, eventually, even our cities, the solar revolution may well have begun in earnest. Yet too most people, how solar actually works is a mystery. How do these panels convert sunlight into energy that homeowners can use to power their appliances and their homes, a practice that ultimately protects the environment and leads to cheaper utility bills and economic freedom?
The electrical current generated by your solar array will be direct current, or DC electricity. Most electrical appliances run on alternating current, or AC electricity. A power inverter converts the DC power of your solar array into AC power that your appliances can actually use. DC electricity travels in only one direction but AC electricity alternates back and forth. Without a power inverter, you will be forced to rewire your home and to purchase expensive DC powered appliances over lower cost mass-produced appliances made for the conventional home power source. In some cases, DC powered appliances will not be available and you will have to do without certain appliances. If you intend to be off-grid, you should consider propane to power things like stoves and refrigerators. Heat with a pellet or wood burning stove but make sure they are highly efficient modules that use less fuel.

Controller – the charge controller is basically a safety feature that looks after the battery bank. It monitors the amount of energy stored in the batteries and protects the batteries from overheating when they are fully charged. When the batteries are fully charged the controller diverts the energy to the dump (see next component). We recommend MPPT charge controllers. They are a bit more expensive than PWM controllers, but they are much more efficient.
Protecting cover on it to resist the harmful effects of UV rays & other weather conditions is downright incredible. Regarding braking system, you’ll find it outstandingly versatile- both automatic and manual options are incorporated in it. So, overheating due to sudden fall of a few amps won’t burn your turbines out anymore. You can stop this system manually during a gale to lengthen its life. Necessary equipment is included and it carries a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
You start by monitoring your energy consumption. You need to have a good idea of how much energy you consume on the average day to determine how big of a solar energy system you’ll need. On top of that, you’ll also need to know how much money you have to spend – keeping in mind that the most expensive solar panels might not be the most cost effective for your needs.
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If you regularly find your lawn furniture blown over, or have to collect it from the neighbour’s yard, your house needs to be repainted every year or two because it constantly gets sand-blasted, and where the trees have funny shapes (and not because your power company has been doing the pruning), that is when you know you live in a windy place where a wind turbine is likely to make economic sense.
We decided to go with a grid-tied system, which is much more cost effective than an off-grid system. One advantage is that you don’t have to buy batteries, which are expensive and have to be replaced from time to time. You can also choose to install a smaller, less expensive system that generates just a portion of your electricity. On the downside, grid-tied systems provide no electricity when the power grid is down.
My electric company has a “green rate” where they sell you 100% solar energy for a premium. The interesting thing is you also get a discount that removes most of the premium. For myself it’s made a very small difference in my electric bill and I get to feel good knowing I’m using solar energy without owning it. They don’t actually advertise this plan at all so you might have to slueth through their website to find it.

turbine installed and running - sustained a storm last night with steady winds before the storm of up to 25 mph, then the storm hit and gusts in excess of 40 mph - the wind turbine sustained no damage and is still running this morning. My sister's house lost power for 5 hours, however, the turbine is set up to run the ice box, the ice box never lost power, everything is still... [green backup power]

Of course, the optimal situation is when you consume your own electricity during the day, for example charging an electric car, plus enough to zero your bill. Then, the cost to you of the electricity is whatever your PV installation costs were over the lifetime of the system, for example $10K for 5kW of panels generating 20 kWh per day on average makes 146 GWh (over 20 expected years) = 6.85 cents/kWh (and 0 cents for every kWh after 20 years). For this reason, electric cars and PV solar go very well together, each amplifying the savings from the other.
I normally don't write reviews but I am very pleased with the panels I got here. I purchased the first panel to keep a trailer battery and a few other things charged but I soon found more things to connect and added two more panels as needed. I'm now running my work trailer totally off solar and have three old batteries being charged to help when needed. I have a freezer and microwave, drill press and other tools plus music and the lights and no longer need to bother with finding a place to park near a power source or use a generator when I get to a job. very pleased.
Solar panels, grid-tie / off-grid kits and home backup power. The do-it-yourself (DIY) craze is hardly crazy when one considers the mind-boggling cost savings resulting from this trend nationwide. In fact, many people wouldn't call it a trend at all, merely a return to the practical know-how of yesteryear when people simply had to do it themselves and took great pride in their handiwork! Yet few DIY projects are as cost-saving and investment-rich as the installation of a solar system.
After reading this article and investigating permits and all that BS, I can finally understand why so few people in this country have solar. My son and I installed my entire system, 3 kW, for $5,000, and after the 30% tax credit, my total cost was $3,500. That’s $1.17/kW. Inverters have come down since then and I could do the same job today for under $1/kW. For people with basic DIY skills including basic electrical wiring, it IS a simple process contrary to everything you read. In my area, there are no building codes, no zoning laws, no permits, (that’s what “freedom” looks like in case you’re wondering) so we did our own research and installed it how we wanted. We did a roof-top installation. Rail mounting systems are very expensive so we made our own using composite deck boards. They are some kind of recycled synthetic material and will last 200 years and are inexpensive. The solar panels come with a positive and a negative wire. You don’t have to try to figure out any wiring with those, they come prewired with male and female fittings so you can’t screw it up even if you try. After they are all hooked together, you end up with a positive and a negative wire. Those plug into your inverter in well-marked places so it is hard to screw this part up. If you do it at night, there is zero chance of getting electrocuted. From the inverter, you have two hots, a neutral, and a ground that plug into a 220-amp breaker in your electrical panel. Those places are also well marked in the inverter and hard to mess up. If you can install a water heater, you can install solar panels. It’s that simple. The biggest problem with solar is that everybody wants to make money off you along the way. The guy I bought my panels from wouldn’t even answer any questions because he was pissed I was doing my own installation. My electric co-op requires a professional electrician to pass everything off before they let you grid-tie. It was nearly impossible to find an electrician who would pass it off. Every one of them said the same thing, “If I didn’t install it, I’m not doing the inspection.” I finally got a guy out here. It took him 8 minutes to pass me off and sign the paper. I paid him $100. How long does it take to check a two AC wires (positive and negative) and three AC wires, plus two grounds? Give me a break. I would have given the guy $200 I was just so glad to finally get someone to look at it. I had everything open and ready when he got here. I walked him through it all explaining how each section was NEC compliant. He got his equipment out and did his testing and like I said, he was done in 8 minutes.
Now you will need to attach the cells to the substrate.  Some silicone caulk will work best.  Be sure to apply just enough caulk to the middle of the back of each cell.  The wood will expand and contract with heat so using a single dot of caulk in the middle of the cell will allow the wood underneath to expand without problems.  Putting caulk at each corner, for example, wouldn’t allow the expansion to happen without damaging the bond.
The biggest reason most people opt for DIY solar is cost - a professionally-installed system can cost 10-20% more. But overall cost-savings may be eaten up with other concerns. Your whole-house solar project must be completed according to the National Electric Code, and pass state (and/or local) electrical inspections. If you're not familiar with these codes, it's easy to make a mistake which will require an adjustment. Those can be costly.

I myself have yet to get a power bill measured in watts. The measure that is used is kilo watt hours. This simply means the use of 1000 watts a load for an entire hour. This is used to calculate how much power is used and how to size renewable energy systems. In the discussion as it relates to small wind generators it would be it would give a better understanding to consider which would produce more kilo watt hours in a day.
Seeing the usual gushing over "solar" energy, a contrarian point of view is needed. "Solar" energy is, obviously, nothing but battery power. I'll stick to the grid any day rather than see a countryside littered with millions of dead batteries. Let the energy companies do what they do best. Of course, it's fun to mess with the technology but, as a practical matter of sunlight availability especially in certain parts of the country, you're going to go to the grid someday for some period of time...and it ain't gonna be cheap. The only really viable application is where there is no grid (unless we're talking about the poles!)
Designed carefully, this sleek looking model not only gives an overwhelming view to your dwelling but also complements the solar power. Plus, you can think of using it for a variety of locations- both urban and rural areas. In fact, the maker encourages you to use this device for charging batteries on your vessel, cabins, pavilion or recreational vehicle. Small nuts and screws are included with other essential segments.