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Old 03-07-17, 06:56 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jjackstone View Post
I had always thought that where possible the panels and racks should be assembled on the ground or in a shop and then simply lifted and mounted onto a roof. I understand that a small crane might be needed to do this. I believe it would be cost effective if used on a regular basis. Obviously the homework would still need to be done for accurate measurements, making sure the roof can handle the load, and mounting brackets and conduit runs. Same thing with whatever electronics that need to be installed. Build it on a panel in a shop and then just slap it on the wall at the installation site. I used to do this type of thing regularly on a small scale in previous jobs so I see no reason it can't be done on a residential home.

JJ
And I found someone who does it. Although he prefers pole mounts.

https://endless-sphere.com/forums/vi...p?f=41&t=86155

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Old 08-22-17, 07:25 AM   #12
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The best, easy way to save boat loads of cash on a solar panel install is to have a good plan. Way too many people start out with something small, like it, and then proceed to expand the output. Most of the time, the two (or more) phases of installed components are completely different and not compatible. A few hours of homework done up front can result in better efficiency and lower total amount spent.
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Old 08-22-17, 08:12 AM   #13
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I agree with Jeff here. I started out wanting something small prove it then grow it. Then I did research and found this would not work very well.
I even looked at making my own panels. Then I found that power companies will not let you grid connect those panels. If you shop for deals you can buy them cheaper with a bankable warranty anyway.

My power company wants a $100 for every change. The array has to be inspected by county with fees every change.
I have to the equipment shipped in by truck the fee for one pallet or two pallets is not very different. I installed 9.2kw first then went to 12.5kw it would have been cheaper to go with 12.5 right from the start.
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Old 08-22-17, 12:15 PM   #14
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Great points.

In my case I started out with a small system. And grew. Being off grid I don't have the inspection costs of course. I saved a lot of money on panels. When i started I was paying $2/w. When I upgraded I was paying .80.

I got lucky on my solar controllers also.

Inverter upgrades pretty much cost me no extra. I find that selling off older equipment usually covers the initial cost. Less handling/taxes.

Occasionally I have actually made money. Solar controller costs didn't drop until this year. So fluctuations in the value of the $C vs $US covered any losses. Again I got lucky. I bought US dollars when the $C was 1.02 and sold at .76. So in one case I netted a bit of profit even after 5 years of use.

Planning for the future is a good thing. Changes in technology though are hard to foresee. I think, perhaps, chancing an "opportunity cost" isn't necessarily a bad thing.

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