Four new solar panels

newpanelsI ordered four new solar panels from a guy on eBay.  They arrived a few weeks ago and I have been building a roof mounting frame so I can put them up on the roof.

The picture shows the four panels mounted on the frame lying on the lawn for testing purposes.  Each panel is rated at 240 watts.  I am currently using a cheap grid-tie inverter which is not giving me maximum efficiency but I am going to use it for now.

I plan on buying some Enphase m215 micro inverters that connect to each panel converting the DC power to 240V AC that I can run directly into the house.  Sweet.  Each inverter costs $140 so it will cost me close to $600 but for a hobby like this, I think it is worth it.  It would cost more per watt to buy a single String Inverter.  The micro inverter is more efficient too.

solarrail
Mock-up of solar panel mounting Rail

I’m all about the D.I.Y so I built the railing out of stuff I bought at Lowes.  It is mostly parts found in the electrical section. The rails are normally used for mounting electrical boxes and stuff to the wall.  I  took some L brackets from the same area and welded them to a metal “foot” that will slide up under the asphalt shingles for weatherproofing.

It is all ready to go and I plan on getting it up on the roof somehow over the next week.  I hope I can do it without falling to my death.  If you don’t hear from me for a while, please call the morgue to pick up my body.

Maybe I can talk someone into giving me a hand.  It is just a matter of getting them up two stories.

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2 thoughts on “Four new solar panels

  1. I like the idea! and also new to your blog I like the fact that you have a TARDIS in your back yard! you may have to excuse my ignorance here but is the final plan to not have power going to the grid but just the house?

    1. Thanks! The power does go to the grid but only if I don’t use it in my house first. The energy I don’t use goes back to the grid and the meter spins backwards. I get to use it later. It’s kind of like a big battery. The only catch with the set-up is the inverter stops working when the power goes out so if there’s an outage I’m still in the dark. That doesn’t happen very often. I have a backup generator just in case it does. You never know when the world’s going to end.

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