Installation of the Month – October 2015
Interview with Dennis R.
How long was the full installation process from receiving your equipment to flipping the switch?
The equipment shipped about the end of July and I had to do some research to determine the proper roof installation (i.e., how the rails were to be installed, distances between rails, installation of the trunk line, etc.). I have never even seen this type of equipment, much less installed it, so when it arrived, I had to inventory it, read the installation instructions, then determine the best layout.
I also had to determine whether I needed to add support to my garage, which I did. My Garage is only a tin roof supported by 2″x6″ trusses, so I had to determine the estimated weight added to the roof. After adding all that pre-installation research and support, I estimate that it took me about 2-3 months working sporadically, including research.
To add one additional clarification, I had to install the complete system in 2 phases, the first on the tin roof and the second on the attached garage roof which is similar to the house. Once I installed the system on the tin roof, installing on the second took very little time – maybe about 2 or 3 weekends. The First phase began generating about the end of September. Both phases began generating about end of October.
How many people did it take?
One. The only assistance I needed was to lift the panels to the roof once the rails were installed. I did this by leaning the panel against the ladder, attaching a tie-down strap (hook end) to the panel frame, then lifting along the ladder while my 64-year-old wife (I’m 62) pushed up from below. When it reached the top, I took the panel and attached it to the frame rails. Keep in mind, my wife goes to the Crossfit gym 3 times-per-week so I had to watch my language while installing!
This install was easier than I expected. The instructions were clear and simple, the pictures accurate, and Wholesale Solar’s customer service was impeccable.” — Dennis R., Installation of the Month Winner
Did you have any previous construction experience?
Minimal. I’ve built a deck on my house, worked on my cars, and things like that but nothing like this solar install. I also have a familiarity with electrical issues as I have previously worked in electronics, and have no issues regarding installing and/or repairing electrical devices.
What was the most confusing or difficult part of the installation?
Understanding some of the terminology relating to the parts, but after getting into it, the labels and pictures were demonstratively more illuminating.
Were there any unforeseen additional parts or tools you needed?
Yes. As I indicated earlier, I needed to purchase additional support for the roof on the detached garage. I also did not realize I needed flashing for the composite roof. That is understandable considering the variety of roofs on which this system can be installed, and you cannot be expected to put parts in a kit to cover all roofs. I did not need any additional or special tools. All tools used were common household tools.
How did you choose to self-install?
My wife was more interested in obtaining solar so she called a local company who wanted $35,000 for the same basic system (installed, in the same location), and I am very capable of performing my own tasks with very few exceptions. Also, I saw it as a challenge and my wife gave me a financial incentive to install the system (she came through). I still saved her $10,000!
What was your primary reason for adding solar to your home?
My wife wanted it. She has a nephew, Alex Hall, who is a physics professor at UCLA. Alex is addressing climate change and supports alternative energy sources such as solar, so, after investigating alternative sources, she decided to go with solar. All I did was investigate systems and pricing, and install it.
This install was easier than I expected. Instructions were clear and simple, pictures accurate, customer service impeccable. There are a lot of people who are confused about solar installations. I was one of them until I took a chance and installed this system. It is
so simple. I’ve had several comments and inquiries about the system and I tell them all how logistically simple it is. Everything fit, I had to make no changes to any piece of your equipment. Basically a plug-n-play system. If I encounter anyone looking to self-install a system, I will certainly recommend Wholesale Solar.
Thanks Dennis, and congratulations on your new solar system!
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