Yay! I finally got my four new solar panels mounted on the roof.
Each panel is rated at 240 watts. I am using a cheap grid-tie inverter temporarily which is not very efficient but it is giving me 220 Watts on this cloudy day.
I plan on upgrading to micro inverters as soon as I find a good price.
In order to cover the whole story in one post I am pretty much describing the whole thing.
I started with my own DIY mounting rails built from steel rails and brackets found in the electrical aisle at Lowes.
I built my own feet by welding an L-Bracket to a piece of metal that can be slid up underneath a shingle and screwed down. This should be adequately water proof.
Getting the rails up on the roof was a piece of cake.
I screwed them down about 40 inches apart.
They are quite sturdy and should support the panels easily.
The most difficult part of the project would be getting the huge panels up on the roof all by myself. A crane would be handy and I considered building one but opted for quicker solution.
Using some scrap metal in my collection I welded up a basic hook that attaches to the top of the panel and allows me to hook it on the rungs of the ladder. Going up one or two rungs at a time I made it to the roof. Damn I’m awesome.
After heaving up four heavy panels I carefully bolted them down being careful not to fall over the side where I would lie dying on the ground for weeks before my body is discovered.
A few more trips up and down the ladder to install the temporary inverter and voila!
I’m glad this project is done for now. It was a daunting task for one person to handle all by his lonesome self.
The weather is expected to be cloudy for a few days, which always happens when one installs solar panels, so I’ll have to wait a while to see how well it works. I am actually glad for the overcast days because it is already hot and humid outside. I had to stop after every little step to come inside, take off my clothes and allow them to evaporate under the ceiling fan. Not kidding.
Stay tuned for future reports on the performance of this solar panel array.