Install of the Month – May 2016
Having previously worked as an electrician on residential and light commercial as well as automation design and wiring, Chris D was comfortable in wanting to install his grid-tie system.
Since I love to build things, it wasn’t even a consideration to have someone else install my system” said Chris. “I’m pretty strong in the do-it-yourself category so, although the installation was work, it felt fairly easy to me.
Working with one of our Sales Technicians, Anna H, Chris was able to get the best deal on his system.
Chris was clearly prepared when he first called, having done research into what it would take to complete a DIY solar project. He was particularly excited about the expected return on investment!
Chris’s system was purchased as a complete solar package. Utilizing 24 Astronergy 260w solar panels and SolarEdge optimizers feeding a SolarEdge SE6000A-US inverter, the array is rated at 6.24 kilowatts with a potential output of 848 kWh per month. Purchasing the system while on sale, Chris saved nearly $1,000 on shipping charges alone.
From the initial planning phases to “flipping the switch”, the entire process took approximately three months. According to Chris, the most most confusing part of the installation was creating the plans and understanding how to represent the DC circuit and SolarEdge optimizers on the one-line diagram. Through some internet searching, Chris was able to find examples on the SolarEdge website.
Unfortunately, these type of time-consuming setback aren’t unique to Chris’ installation, especially when it comes to preparing permit documentation. Recognizing these obstacles, Wholesale Solar can now produce all this documentation for you through our revolutionary new Solar ProPack™ service. (Sorry we didn’t get it out in time for your install Chris!).
After receiving his equipment, Chris installed everything in his free time over a period of five weeks. All in all, the installation went smoothly. However, mounting the back-board for his panel and inverter required setting anchor bolts in concrete.
A hammer drill was the only tool I didn’t already have but was able to borrow one for the project. Of course there was all the miscellaneous conduit, fittings and connectors, but nothing unexpected.
When asked why he decided to go the DIY route with his grid-tie system, Chris stated:
The first, last and only reason I put solar on my home is that the financial investment of self-installing solar has an internal rate of return of at least 15% over 20 years based on my personal investment and 20 year forecasted electrical costs. There’s no investment available anywhere that will earn that kind of return.
Kudos to Chris for putting together a great looking system. We think his pictures say it all, particularly the one showing his nearly obsolete power bill. =)