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Old 01-21-17, 09:27 AM   #81
bennelson
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The roofers finally made it out.

The roofing is steel, which comes manufactured already sealed and painted as a big coil of metal.

The roofers have a machine which unrolls the coil and forms it into the profile of the roofing. Each piece of roofing is made as the entire length of the roof from the peak to the bottom edge. There's no breaks, seams, or overlaps anywhere from the top to the bottom. (This process is similar to how "seamless gutters" are made.)

Side to side, each piece overlaps the previous, and covers the screws that hold down that piece. A raised lip, or "standing seam" connects the two pieces and ensures that water can't get between them. Each piece is about 16" wide.

The solar panel racks will clamp on to the standing seam (rather than to a bolt drilled through the roof,) which means that there are NO penetrations in the south side of the roof at all! Zero! It's nearly as leak-proof and permanent of a roof as can be designed.

Here's some photos.











One thing I've noticed so far is that the color of the roof seems to change, depending on the light and the weather. It can look mint green when it's overcast out. When sunny, the color stands out much more the way it should, sort of a bold teal. Please also try to imagine siding on the building, which will be sort of a light buttery yellow, instead of that awful blue-green foam!

The style of this metal roof is called "1-inch nailing strip". You can see a good view of the profile on S-5!'s web page for the N style clamp they sell.

S-5! | Clamps & Brackets | S-5!<sup></sup> Clamps | Introduction

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Old 01-21-17, 09:41 AM   #82
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That is a good looking roof.
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Old 01-21-17, 07:14 PM   #83
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How much was the install per square (100 sq feet)? Looks fantastic!

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Old 01-22-17, 08:31 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevehull View Post
How much was the install per square (100 sq feet)?
Couldn't tell you, as I don't have the final bill yet.
It IS expensive, but it should also last as long as 3 asphalt roofs, be appropriate for rainwater collection, and can attach solar panels WITHOUT penetration.
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Old 01-27-17, 11:47 AM   #85
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I started some work on the hydronic system. Besides the boiler, there's a whole lot of other parts needed - pumps, valves, supports, pump controller, thermostat, thermometers, pressure relief, etc.

I'm building my own "Integration Panel". That's all those balance of system parts mounted together on a board. I'm copying the one on display at my local Menards home improvement store. The Integration Panel at the store costs $1600! I figure I could just buy the parts and assemble it myself for about half that.

Of course, once I had the bag of parts home, it looked much more complicated!

It took a while, but I arranged all the parts, cut copper tubing to length, and dry-fit the parts. Here's what that looked like.



After that, it was quite a bit of soldering pipes and fittings. I don't have much experience doing this, so I practiced a little first on some scrap pipe and cheap fittings. After that, I attempted the pipe sweating for real.

Most of the pipe flanges and valves are designed for sweat fittings. There were numerous elbows and other locations where I could have used Shark-Bite style push on connectors, but those connectors get EXPENSIVE fast! I did end up using just a few of them because they are removable. That means that I could pull them back off later - for example to add in a connection for wood-boiler heated water.

Here's a video on what I've done so far.



Unfortunately, there's a pretty bad echo in my garage right now, and plastic sheeting doesn't do a good job of keeping the car noise out. At least I have a roof over my head keeping the rain and snow away!
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Old 01-30-17, 10:10 AM   #86
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Just got the final bill from the roofer. Total cost came to $5,400 for materials and installation. It also covered all trim, roof vent and cap, etc. This was within the range originally budgeted for the project. It also included a cost for flashing the two skylights, which was essentially negated by a credit for us doing the roofing felt. (Also the roofer make skylight flashings from scratch for HALF what the flashings cost to buy! - $300 each!)
There was also no separate charge for the man boom that was used. Had I did this myself, I likely would have needed to rent something similar for a few days.

Roof size is 27 feet wide by 18 feet to peak by 2 sides = 972 square feet.

$5,400 /972 is $5.56 per square foot. This is inline with national average costs, although on the higher side based on square footage vs a full size house.

Iv'e also seen estimates for standing seam metal roofing run $7-$13 per installed square foot. And my costs came in BELOW that.
(For an interesting comparison, $5.50 is about the cost of materials for nice pre-finished hardwood flooring at the local home improvement store.) 2017 Metal Roofing Cost Calculator - Install Cost, Metal vs Shingles

That said, the roofers did a good job. It looks nice, and it's well done. It will well outlive any asphalt roofing and NOT need all the solar pulled off to replace shingles!

I also really like that there will be ZERO penetrations in the roof due to solar.

I asked the roofer to cut a couple extra pieces of the metal roofing for me to have as samples, and I ordered a pair of the S-5! metal roofing clamps to test out. That way, I can try them AND have sort of a sample display of how my roof works for teaching events.



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Last edited by bennelson; 01-30-17 at 11:13 AM.. Reason: mostly typos
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Old 02-14-17, 01:33 PM   #87
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Here's an update on the garage.

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Old 02-14-17, 01:54 PM   #88
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You need to buy one of these to carry around the solar panels.
I used it for all 54 of my panels I installed by myself. It never released or slipped even once.
You can carry the panel like a briefcase under your arm. It makes it very easy for one person to carry a panel to install it. Just don’t do it on a windy day.

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Old 02-15-17, 02:52 PM   #89
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Great video! I also second the use of "body pannel suction cup pullers". Saved more than one panel . . . . .

On your solar install, I recommend you put the combiner up on the roof under one of the panels. Then run a single larger cable down to the lock out box. Your code may insist on a breaker for each string, in which case you need to bring each string feed down.

Another option is to put the combiner box (and associated two 20 A breakers) upstairs in the attic. Then run a single larger G cable down to the lock out box. My utility allowed me to have that inside my shop, so long as I gave them a key for the shop. This made for a very "clean" roof look with no conduit coming down the side of the building. It also minimized wire lengths.

Other utilities insist that the solar lock out disconnect be on the outside of the building adjacent to the service entrance area. They may also mandate you put the conduit on the outside. Just do what they ask for . . .

I would encourage you to do a mid feed string and not to feed from the end of the string. A mid feed is about 2-3% more efficient as there is less voltage induced resistance lossses in the trunk cable.

If I recall, you can put sixteen M250's on a 20 A string. A mid string feed would mean eight on one side and eight on the other side. The end string has all 16 in a row and you get substantial current loss compared to a mid string feed. Enphase has done a big write up on this.

In your case, with 24 (?) panels, divide up the total by four. In the case of 24 panels, you would have two strings, each with 12 inverters total, and 6 on each side of two mid string feeds. It actually is not a "feed" but a power source, however, all the voltage "drop" calculations are the same, except it is now voltage "rise". Minimize the voltage rise with mid string feed (aka source).

You will have no problems with the panels. That is the easy part. The rails, brackets, nuts/bolts, grounding, trunk cable lay out takes far more time. Then there is the AC wiring down to a combiner box or whatever. Lots of time - perhaps a couple days by yourself.

Count on one morning (or afternoon) , with two friends, to do the panel install. One person pushes them up and then there are two people on the roof. Three on the roof is too many. You can get a boom truck, but I doubt you will need it.

VERY important. Lastly, buy NEW highly lugged and very soft soled, cheap running shoes. I got some at Wal-Mart for ~$25. I only use them on metal roofs. The new shoes will be "sticky" and the soft and prominant lugs keep you in place on the roof. Do NOT wear boots, shoes or other that have any wear - as you will very soon be off the roof. . . . . Use cheap "sticky" running shoes.

Wash the roof too as only a small amount of dust (hard to even see) makes the metal roof very slippery.

With the M250, it will be best to match this up with at least a 280 W panel. Remember the PTC and the STC are different. If you don't know the diffference, it is important to look it up.

Keep at it!!


Steve

hint: the PTC (real world value) is ~ 90% of the STC value, yet panels are sold by STC (lab conditions). A 280 W panel (STC) would give you ~252 watts maximum PTC. Look for PTC wattage when buying panels. I might go as high as 300-310 W STC panels to maximize your AM and PM solar collection. Yes, you loose a bit by power clipping (at noon), but you get a LOT more kWhrs early and late in the day by slightly "oversizing" the panels.
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Old 02-15-17, 03:08 PM   #90
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Steve has lots of good advice.

I second the center feed the keeping the voltage rise low is very important.
Read this document.
https://enphase.com/sites/default/fi...Vdrop_M250.pdf

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