Y not use 4 in pipe in the ground
Question. No batteries? I do not understand. What am I missing?
This is a grid tie system. No batteries are required because the grid acts like a battery by absorbing excess power during the day and feeding it back to me a night.
Very good video. Very straightforward. I'm wondering why you didn't connect your panels in parallel. You would have more current out to run that distance to the house. Very clean build at any rate.
Thanks! The two strings do connect in parallel at the inverter.
what was the cost for all the parts of your system?
You can see the total system cost breakdown here: slcd.info/drink/video/tISFtZxrq9zHsmc
Great video!!! Did you combine each string in parallel inside the junction box at the array? I saw the connection to the underground lines, but didn't quite catch where/if the 4 PV wires went down to 2.
There are two series strings that run all the way to the inverter. Two positive, two negative and one ground wire in the conduit.
That’s a long distance to run 12 volts DC. there could be a significant voltage drop at the inverter in the house.
The inverters bump the voltage to 480v.
Where did you get the post hole adapter from. I just checked my post hole borer and it has a 2 inch circular drive shaft with a locking bolt. I have a 42 horse Kubota and I think it should be able to drive the screw posts into the ground.
Ready rack sells an adaptor for a skid steer, but like you I had a tractor and a post hole digger, so I had to make the adaptor myself out of some scrap pipe.
Can u come over here and help me install it?😁 U are so genius! 👏👏👏
Thanks! I'm sure you can do it! : )
Excellent video. I have found that the white zip ties don't hold up to the UV. The black ones last longer. I like the idea of using the post hole borer. I didn't think of that.
@Projects With Everyday Dave Thanks for the link. At least it is pretty easy to replace the zip ties if they fail. I expect that they will last several years though.
Thanks! I've had the UV Zip tie suggestion before. Here is a link to UV Resistant Black Zip Ties: amzn.to/3hwENeS
Did you put an insulator in between the aluminum solar panel and the strut to prevent electrolysis?
@Projects With Everyday Dave no, I haven't done anything yet. I saw you using ground straps to connect each solar panel even though you bolted each panel to the strut, which is more than enough to connect them. Just wondering if the ground straps were required or if they were recommended by the solar panel manufacturer
Good question. I did not do that, it was not recommended by the racking manufacturer. Do you have experience with issues resulting from direct mounting?
Excellent video. Thanks for sharing!
Glad you enjoyed it!
what was the ground cover ? need it for under an rv.
@Projects With Everyday Dave Thanks just what I needed.
It is a great product, very heavy duty. There is a link in the description of the video to many of the products I used including the underlayment. You can get the ArmorLay Commercial Grade Driveway Fabric here: amzn.to/3bxjF6K
Crystal clear how to, Thank you
Thanks! Glad it was helpful!
Sure am glad I have a mute button
Thanks for the feedback.
how much kwh per month does this make?
Here is a video on sizing your solar array: slcd.info/drink/video/1ph31L6pppatqXw Even though it is targeted toward grid tie systems, it will give you some tools to plan your system.
@Projects With Everyday Dave ok. I just got some acreage in nevada and am looking at going full offgrid.
Thanks for asking! I explain the production results after one year of use in this video: slcd.info/drink/video/ppelusmL1pab2Ig
So far the best DIY solar project explanation on the web.Very educational and a great job.Thank you
Thanks! Glad it was helpful!
I didn't see batteries connected in this presentation
@Projects With Everyday Dave Appreciated
It is a grid tie system, it doesn't require batteries. Thanks!
Thanks for sharing solar is definitely the way to go very inspiring 👍
Thanks! I'm glad it was helpful!
Very good job dave thank you for sharing this video...
It looks great what you put together. But... most people make the mistake of installing the solar array to get away from the house.... The power drop of resistance is so great that you loose so much power. I have seen so many people that did that and were really sorry for installing to far away and not a large enough wire to run to the house or charge controller. Nice job But wayyyyy to far away from your home. Sorry ... just saying. I know a person that spent 27,000.00 and and did the same thing. He got to run his house for 4 hrs a day and it' was dead. He moved his array and has power 24 hrs and runs everything washer dryer, regular fridge, normal lighting etc. And used the same batteries, inverter and controller. So installation is everything for spending that kind of money.
Thanks for the feedback! Fortunately, I have very little loss because my optimizers control the voltage to 480Vdc, higher voltage results in less resistance. Thanks!
In the event of a grid power outage, will your system still feed the grid?
Yes it does.
@Projects With Everyday Dave Thank you. Does the system as described in the video provide for this protection?
No, the law currently requires immediate system shutdown to prevent back feeding and injuring line workers.
How much is the whole package? Shipping cost? Where I can order?
@Joseph C. Lee you can visit www.readyracksolar.com/ to fill out a quote request form.
@Projects With Everyday Dave Very useful cost breakdown. It give people a general idea about the whole process.
Here is the video on the total cost breakdown with links in the description for where to buy: slcd.info/drink/video/tISFtZxrq9zHsmc Thanks!
Dave, I have watched a lot of SLcd videos and I think this is one of the best. How far are your panels from the house? How do you compensate for the voltage drop in the 10 gauge wire over that distance? Thanks.
The total run is about 175 feet. I have very little voltage drop, because the optimizers hold the voltage for each string at 480v. Otherwise the voltage drop would be a bigger issue.
And the optimizer is what exactly? Most systems use a solar panel and micro inverter. Im seeing you have an optimizer and an inverter. ?
Optimizers are DC/DC controllers that manage a constant DC voltage for each string and send it to one DC/AC inverter. Micro inverters convert DC to AC at each panel. You can get more information on optimizers here: www.solaredge.com/us/products/power-optimizer#/
This Is The ONLY Video I Have Found That Shows A Comprehensive, Step By Step Of How He Installed His System. A Great Place To Start MY Research.
Was interested in how panels get installed on rack. If you ever had to replace one in the middle, I'd imagine it would be hard to replace.
The mid clamps hold down the panel to the right and left, you would simply loosen 4 bolts and it would easily slide out. Hope that helps. Thanks!
Best electronic dance music video on SLcd! Annoying talking and engine sounds were hardly noticeable.
What was your cost to install?
Here is a link to my total cost video: slcd.info/drink/video/tISFtZxrq9zHsmc
Solar is awesome. We got a 4kW system in 2015. Added another kW in 2017. I want more but I'm out of roof space hahah. I wish i had space for a ground mount system but there's no space in our tiny yard for it. You built a really nice system there. Great video.
Nice! I'm already considering expanding as well. Thanks for the feedback!
is the "optimizer" basically a micro inverter?
Optimizers are not inverters. They are DC/DC controllers that manage a constant DC voltage for each string and send it to one DC/AC inverter. Micro inverters convert DC to AC at each panel. You can get more information on optimizers here: www.solaredge.com/us/products/power-optimizer#/
This is a fantastic video. Can you give an estimate of how many hours did you put into this project in total?
It's hard to say, I didn't track it and it took a lot of extra time to film everything, but I would say around 40 hours.
ok ran the math your running about 18 amps on 10 awg wire witch should be ok might want to think about changing those breakers to 30 a though to protect your circuit.
There are two DC strings each at 480V and about 3,750 wats for a total of about 8 amps per string. The AC run is not 10 awg.
now wait a second your running 40 amps on a 10 awg wire at how many feet long... might want to think about derating for distance and possibly 8awg to handle the 40 amps.
here are two DC strings each at 480V and about 3,750 wats for a total of about 8 amps per string.
Kind of a waste of money on optimizers if you don't have any shade. Optimizers only help mitigate losses due to shade to an extent. But the general rule of thumb for solar is to avoid shade so. A standard string inverter would have been a better choice and saved you some money.
Thanks for the advice. One of the reasons I chose the optimizers, is they allow me to increase the voltage to 480V for my long run to the house, and they have the added advantage of meeting the rapid shutdown requirements.
The only thing for the 2 series wiring I would of done different...is I would of done a C of 6 on the left snd a reverse C on the other 6 so they both meet in the middle in the combiner box not needing any extra wring done.
Thanks for the suggestions, I appreciate the feedback.
And instead of running rope through while joining conduit, suck it through with a vacuum when completed
And you’re whole system is already grounded those grounding extras from panel to panel really didn’t do anything cause your whole frame of the solar and structure are all metal
Dude. You seriously need to jazz up your delivery a bit. You are BORING to listen to!!! I had to click forward through this video before I died of boredom!!!
You and my wife are on the same page. : ) I'll work on it for future videos. Thanks for the honest feedback!
How much would you say one of your panels cost?
Thanks for the question. I break down the cost of every component here: slcd.info/drink/video/tISFtZxrq9zHsmc
Love the video but why did you decide to do 12v and not 24v or even 48v since your panels are 48v and you are so far away from your house? Wouldn't the wire need be cheaper since you could use a thinner gauge? I am new to solar so I'm trying to learn.
@Projects With Everyday Dave I see it's part of the SafeDC™ feature on those optimizers. Thanks for the reply, and very nice system!
Great question! 12V would require a very large wire for that long of a run, but the 12V is just the "safety" voltage the optimizers control the panel output to until they are initialized by the inverter. The optimizers are DC-DC inverters that control the voltage to 480VDC during operation independent of the power output of each panel or the number of panels on the string. I have a string of 12 panels running 480VDC with one home run and a string of 13 panels at 480VDC for the second home run. I then have a DC-AC inverter at the house to convert to 240VAC. Hope that helps. Here is an explanation on the Solar Edge website: www.solaredge.com/us/products/power-optimizer
What was the size and type of conduit you used, and how many wires did you run through it. Thanks
I used 1" schedule 40 PVC conduit. I ran 4 #10 THHN wires and one #6 solid, however the inspector told me the #6 should have been stranded if it was to be run inside the conduit, otherwise it should be run outside. I also ran an additional empty conduit with a string to pull future wires for expansion. Hope that helps.
AWESOME VIDEO!!!!..... can u list the average prce/cost for each component.....i want to know how much $ i will need to do this myself
Thanks! Here is a link to the part by part cost: slcd.info/drink/video/tISFtZxrq9zHsmc
If you have an array without optimizers how do you assure safe voltage condition when wiring?
You could wire the combiner box before connecting the panels to each other since the panel to panel connections are made with a plug style connection.
Actually I would have used a higher mounting so I could grow plants 🌱 underneath that like less sun ☀️
That's another great solution, it also helps reduce the temperature under the panels and improves efficiency.
Awsome project. Can you clear something up for me. When you were checking the voltage for 1 volt per panel, is that a setting you select on the optimizer and then change it when actually using the system?
Projects With Everyday Dave thank you!
Good question. The optimizers automatically control the voltage to 1 volt until they are initialized by the inverter.
Only 1 problem you need to cut the ends of those zip ties..
Hey Dave, great video. How did you install mid-clamps between panels on the top rail? Any ladder gymnastics?
I used a ladder at the edge and reached over to the middle. It is a bit of a stretch. 🙂
Dave, outstanding job! This was very educational!
Thank you! Glad it was helpful!
Hello, I was wondering how did you come up with the plans to get the permits. Thank you.
Thanks for asking. I made a video on getting the permits. You can watch it here: slcd.info/drink/video/zaOaq718rbKtmnQ
How did you make the decision to use power optimizers rather than microinverters? Great video, I'm looking at Ready Rack for my install based on your experience.
Thanks, I didn't know that. I have a long run back to the inverter, it sounds like running DC is more efficient if the optimizers hold the voltage that high.
The optimizers control the voltage to 480 volts independent of the number of panels on the string. I have a string of 12 panels running 480 volts with one home run and a string of 13 panels at 480 volts for the second home run.
@Projects With Everyday Dave Since your strings come back separately to the house, isn't each string wire carrying about 200v? I had expected the combiner box to combine the two strings so the total DC voltage would have been about 400v coming back to the house. There were 2 wires from each string of 12 panels, total of 4 wires, and those got carried back to the house separately, true? tnx
I wanted the high voltage run from the array to the house, I also wanted the DC available at the house incase I wanted to charge batteries at some point, and I wanted the direct DC Electric vehicle charging capability.
Dave, bravo. Now loan me all the equipment. 😉
Very informative video. I feel like it is an easier project than I originally thought for sure. I love the attention to details you presented the viewer man.
Wish I could. 🙂
Check out the first year performance results here: slcd.info/drink/video/ppelusmL1pab2Ig See the total system cost here: slcd.info/drink/video/tISFtZxrq9zHsmc And How to size your solar system here: slcd.info/drink/video/1ph31L6pppatqXw 4 Things to Know About Solar in the Snow: slcd.info/drink/video/2o9kttme37a71Hw Ground Vs Roof Mount Solar: slcd.info/drink/video/22OaucNwyp3UnGM How to Get A Permit For Your Solar System: slcd.info/drink/video/zaOaq718rbKtmnQ How to Crimp MC4 Connectors: slcd.info/drink/video/035kstWM2pqonng 3 Solar Panel Wiring Issues Answered: slcd.info/drink/video/zW2nrqmAp5nHk4A
I have often wondered what is the maximum wind this can withstand?
The racking can be adjusted to accommodate wind loads up to 140 mph.
It is rated for more than 90mph winds.
Great video! What was the total cost for the system? Thanks
@Projects With Everyday Dave I'm sure just giving a quick number to the man's question was too much to ask from you.🙄
Thanks! I plan to post a video this Saturday with the total cost breakdown.
I was wondering how much it cost you I'm saying that kind of system would know battery backup still
I plan to post a video this Saturday with the total cost breakdown. Thanks.
All fixed mounts lose a lot of energy due to angle of incidence loss. The panels would be far more efficient if they were always aimed directly at the sun as it moves across the sky. Of course that is a more complex installation to have panels that track the sun. Also, are these panels hail proof ? What about lightning? What wind velocity can they take? What’s the total cost, including batteries ?
Thanks for your questions. In my analysis, the cost of the equipment to track the sun doesn't justify the increased output. It is better to just add more panels if you need more output. The racking system is rated for wind loads in excess of 90mph. My homeowners insurance will cover any catastrophic loss. I plan to post a video this Saturday with the total cost breakdown. Thanks.
All you need to calculate which way is North is the time. (old school watch is best) Hold the watch horizontal and point the hour hand at the sun. Halfway between that point and the twelve o'clock mark on your watch points to the south. and if you have south you have north too. Also why the weird earthing - All the frames are made of metal and you used metal bolts to secure the metal frames of the solar panels. So just connect the ground wire to the frame and you are done. No need for all that fancy stuff.
Thanks for the helpful watch solution. I have a tendency to try and make things more accurate than necessary, the watch hand is very short limiting how precise I can be with my angle. The shadow method can give me a line several feet long right on the ground. You are right, the system is probably sufficiently grounded with out the panel to panel clips. However, technically speaking, there is a coating on the AL frames that can isolate the frame of the solar panel from the rack structure, the panel to panel clips have teeth that cut through the coating to guarantee an electrical connection.
Thank you soooooo much for sharing your experience!!! I just graduated from an engineering degree focused on solar energy, and this video showed me the real stuff I didn't learn from the class.
That is awesome! Thanks for the feedback! You chose an up and coming field, I'm sure you will do well. : )
Don't buy solar, not efficient systems, maintenance intensive. Must keep clean to work efficiently, even slight rain film will reduce efficiency, dust even thin film will greatly reduce efficiency, not worth it, waste of money....
I have not found dust and rain to be a problem. Take a look at my first year performance: slcd.info/drink/video/ppelusmL1pab2Ig
I don’t have Patients ..... we paid for our off grid solar .... about 50k for our 10 acres . Water power as well
What gets me is how everyone says in 9 years , or in 5 years it will pay back. Who freaking cares your cutting cord from city and government. Off grid is the way Net metering is crazy
Some of us require baby steps, to manage the cost. : )
Full cost breakdown video coming soon.
Saved for when I get the chance to put panels on top of my shed. Legend ... this was a really good video 👍🏼
Why paying for 24 optimizers when the whole panel is installed in the free field without any optical barrier?? I also hope that your white zip-tie is UV-resistant, otherwise you will have to fix your solar cables after 5-8 years a second time.
Good question, I plan to do a future video on why I went with optimizers. Thanks for the interest.
I get that package for $6000
Here is a link to my video on the projects total cost: slcd.info/drink/video/tISFtZxrq9zHsmc
Where? The link provided shows over 12k just for panels and optimizers now! Guess COVID prices are now in affect!
Great video !
Great video. What were you overall impressions of the ready rack system and it's adjustability? I'm considering that for our system vs some others (snapnrack, ironridge, nuance osprey), but it was not clear how easy it was to get everything adjusted at equal heights and in the same plane. Thanks.
Great question. There are several holes in the connecting hardware that provide for adjustment in the angle and position. I found it to be pretty forgiving in terms of accuracy in post placement, as well as straight forward to assemble. I can't compare it to the others since I haven't used them, but I can certainly recommend the Ready Rack system. Thanks!
First things first. You didn't explain in the video how to get all of that real estate to put the solar panels on. Don't tell me that it's going to involve lots of money.
If you don't have space on the ground, a roof install may be your only option. Thanks.
I love the video and i would be very happy if you can get the manual.
The racking install manual is specific to each installation and comes with your racking order. Thanks!
@Zack Mofield yes.
Are you looking for racking installation manual?
you should separate ac and the dc in the inverter. There is a divider in the inverter for a reason.
yes this is by far the best install vid I have found to date now I know I can do this!!
I'm so glad it was helpful for you!
IS YOUR STRUCTURE WINDPROOF?
Rated for 90mph, it has seen 60mph so far with no issues.
How much were the components?
I'll make a video on that in the future, but you can get a rough idea from my 1 Year review video. slcd.info/drink/video/ppelusmL1pab2Ig
Do you get paid for providing electricity back to the grid?
If I overproduce for a month, I get paid $0.04/kWh.
Assembled in US, should like to see "manufactured in". Great videos. 👍
DID YOU RUN TWO HOMERUNS TO INVERTER EACH BEING 12 PANELS ON # 10 WIRE ?
Yes, two home runs #10. One is 12 panels and one is 13 panels.
How much you pay for it?
The video in the link below has a rough cost explanation, I'll do more detail in another video. Thanks. slcd.info/drink/video/ppelusmL1pab2Ig
The music in the background is very annoying. Good build.
I've had a lot of comments on the music, perhaps I'll fix it some day. : )
How we can get this in Liberia 🇱🇷 here
Sorry, I don't know what it takes to ship to Liberia, you could contact the distributors of solar equipment and ask for their help with that.
This is the most comprehensive DIY solar setup that is on SLcd. Thank you so much for documenting the installation step by step. Great job.
Good video you are in USA?
Thank you! Yes, I'm in the USA.
Thanks for the great video. One trick for the conduit to avoid having to put all the rope through ahead of time (which is a pain and takes forever) is to put your conduit together, glue it, trench it, and cover it up. Then when you're ready to run your cables through, tie a little plastic bag or something to your rope or pull string and suck it through with a shop vac. I did this with a long run to a new barn and it took about 30 seconds. When I pulled the wire through, I also pulled more line/rope in case I ever want to use the conduit again for something else. Now I have the wire and a piece of vinyl pull rope in the conduit. Future proof!
That's a great idea! I actually used a wad of paper on the end of a string to run the line through the conduit in the garage, except I blew it through with compressed air. It worked great. Also, I ran a separate conduit parallel to the first to allow for future expansion without trenching next time.
Working with electricity, wears a metal ring.
listen to the grunts while twisting wirenuts 42:20
thanks you sir
Glad it was helpful!
Well done Dave, you made it very easy to follow as well as wholesale solar's simple build system....I'll be doing 10-12kw off grid, thanks for all the info
Best of luck!
What the heck is an optimizer?
Optimizers are DC/DC converters, they control voltage output from each panel to balance the string voltage. This allows each panel to contribute the maximum it can regardless of the performance of the remaining panels on the string. Here is more information on the topic: www.solaredge.com/us/products/power-optimizer#/
Where is your home? What state? Much sun? Thanks!
I live in Ohio, plenty of sun in the summer, but the winter is regularly overcast. If you watch the first video in my planning series, it shows how to estimate the power you will be able to produce in your area. I found it to be very close to my actual production. Originally, I didn't think my location would be good for solar, but I was wrong, it has been profitable. Planning Your Array Episode 1 : slcd.info/drink/video/1ph31L6pppatqXw One Year Performance: slcd.info/drink/video/ppelusmL1pab2Ig
Hi David Very Impressive display of basic construction techniques, working with others, grid tie solar ground mount installation, but most of all, how to be a dad. Loved the video. I also have a SolarEdge grid tied system I installed in 2015. I had a whole house standby generator first so had to figure out how to wire them both so they would not try to work against each other. I also purchased my components from Wholesale (Unbound) Solar in Mt Shasta, CA. And like you, I didn't feel comfortable poking holes in my house roof, so mounted the panels on my barn roof instead. Thank you again for this. You, your son, chickens, and others, did outstanding work!
Timestamps: with leading zero so the columns are in alignment This is the correct way to do it: 01:17 Solar Materials 05:21 Racking Materials 07:27 Establishing Build Site/ Finding Due South 09:17 Rack Assembly/ Screw Installation 12:40 Ground Cover 16:35 Rack Assembly 23:45 Solar Panel Install 25:12 Solar Panel/Optimizer Wiring 34:17 Combiner Box Detail 36:13 Conduit from Array to Building 37:25 Trenching 40:44 Wiring Combiner Box 43:57 Installing AC Disconnect 45:17 Installing Inverter 48:35 Inverter Running
Fixed! Thanks for the feedback!
12 x 12V panels in series will give around 144V. 4500Watt (half of total) on this voltage will give over 30A of current. Isn't the 10 awg wire rated maximum 30A AC (much lower for DC) for this long run too thin? I may calculate it wrong.
@Projects With Everyday Dave got it.
The optimizer holds each panel to 1V until it is initialized by the inverter. That is the "safe" voltage for hooking things up.
@Projects With Everyday Dave 480 V will be fine. Thought it clamps the voltage when you mentioned voltage was limited by the optimizer.
The optimizers hold the voltage in each string at 480V regardless of the panel power output. That is one advantage of the optimizer solution.
Well done, thanks for the in depth description. I would suggest next time you delve into the AC connection, even if it's not supposed to be hot, you should remove your rings from your fingers.
Thanks for the tip!
Don't you get a significant drop in voltage with such a long run to the house?
@Projects With Everyday Dave Actually you size the wire to compensate for this, hire an electrician that knows what they are doing.
The voltage drop is very small since the DC voltage back to the house is 480V.
Chickens helping to. Nice video.
Yes, thanks : )
You are logical, but 1 ladder? Must have done this before. Really did not need to see the gravel placed for 4:30. Shows that the load was delivered to the wrong spot anyhow. Is your place a football camp? The panels that get 2 side could be higher and have bright ground reflector/ painted or white rock. Is a 40Amp Breaker at house disconnect undersize? Considering the distance you ran, would a heavier gauge wire have been justified?
Thanks for the suggestion on the gravel, the load couldn't be closer without damaging a drain tile. The system maximum out put is 7,600W at 240V, that is only 31.7A. I calculated the value of a heaver gauge wire, at my distance the payoff was to long to make it worthwhile. Thanks.
Good job! Thank you very much for the video.
9 years to pay it off? And warranty for 10 maybe?
Payoff looks like it will be 7 years now. The warranty is 20 to 25 years depending on the components.
Thank you for this great and informative demonstration in the best way possible
Wouldn't it be better to build a roof structure to install them on so that you could utilize the shaded dry area underneath?
@Projects With Everyday Dave Thanks for providing such a thorough tutorial. It seems like you have plenty of land to spare regardless.
I did consider that, it is certainly another good solution.