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Old 02-26-18, 02:12 PM   #1
arnesr
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Default DIY 16.695kw Solar Array

My public monitoring website:
https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.c...f-2900174afd6e

This was my first solar install. Most of what I learned I learned online or by doing and thinking things through. I learned a lot just from reading others posts on this website, so now it is my turn to give back to the community and share some of what I have learned.

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for your actions if you choose to follow my work and something bad happens. Although I try to be as safe as possible, letís face it working on a roof is dangerous and electricity can be dangerous. If you are not comfortable with DIY projects you may not want to tackle something like this yourself, or you may want to hire out some of the work by a professional. I, in fact, did just that for the final grid hookup. I wasnít sure of my abilities to install the revenue meter socket and line side tap, so I hired an electrician for just that part. That said, labor is an expensive component and anything you can do yourself will of course reduce your break even period.


These forum threads probably helped me the most with planning my system, there is a lot of useful information and inspiration within:
http://ecorenovator.org/forum/solar-...lar-array.html
http://ecorenovator.org/forum/solar-...orth-cost.html
http://ecorenovator.org/forum/solar-...kw-system.html


Another good source of information was found int the wholesale solar blog: https://blog.wholesalesolar.com/ I did not source any parts or materials from them, but their install of the month series has a lot of good information and pictures. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and sometimes it is true.

I also registered on the IREC website and watched some of their videos and reviewed their material. The website is aimed at code officials, but sign up is free and I found the information helpful as in installer to see what my inspector might be looking for. IREC

I ordered the bulk of my materials from Renvu as they seemed to have the best prices and I saw a lot of recommendations from others in the forum. Their Solar Kit Guide works pretty well, you just have go through the recommended materials and make sure they are a good fit for your needs and see if you can source some things locally/cheaper.

After I settled on the SolarEdge inverter system, I also registered with them online and downloaded their Site Designer software. It allows you to enter your panels, optimizers and strings and verify if your plans are solid. I am completely sold on the SolarEdge system. When I initially looked into solar, I thought I would go with Enphase micro inverters, as they seemed to be the DIY option of choice at the time. I think the pendulum has swung now in SolarEdgeís favor. My electric untility rep that performed my commissioning stated he is seeing a greater number of SolarEdge installs now as the majority. From a safety standpoint, I really like that each optimizer only outputs 1V until the inverter is up and running. It makes it easy to test that each panel is hooked up before it goes live, 11 panels in the string, should read around 11V, check! Wire costs were also cheaper than an enphase system. Of course the downside is the inverters, if they fail, you have some down time until they are replaced. I actually had one of my inverters fail after 3 days online, likely defective, so I was down for about a week before I received a replacement form SolarEdge. The warranty replacement process went without a hitch. Solar Edge just asked for a couple pictures of the unit and shipped me out a replacement. No problems since.

My PV watts estimates:
House Array 20 315W LG Panels:


Garage Array 33 315W LG Panels:

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Old 02-26-18, 02:15 PM   #2
arnesr
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Key components used:
53 LG MonoX Neon2 315W Mono 60 cell 40mm BLACK Frame Module 3 strings of 11 on 10K inverter and 2 strings of 10 on 7.6k inverter (Renvu.com)

53 P400 Solaredge Optimizers (Renvu.com)

SOLAREDGE SE10000A-US 240V Single Phase Inverter w/ AFCI (Renvu.com)

SOLAREDGE SE7600A-US-U Single Phase Grid-Tie Inverter (Renvu.com)

Dasco Pro 640 Shingle Ripper Pry Bar, 24-Inch – Essential tool for lifting up shingles and removing nails in order to install the Quickmount Flashing. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0090EO5I0

Signstek MC3 MC4 Solar Crimping Tools for 2.5-6.0mm2 Solar Panel PV Cable https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00N3PTXJS
Renvu recommended a $250 crimper. Maybe if I was an installer I might want something better, but this crimper did the job just fine for my purposes.

Heyco M8437GBK-SM https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/836-M8437GBK-SM - weather tight transition from roof conduit to pv cable.

Werner Roofing Safety System in a bucket. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Werner-R...1201/203907961
Essential for working on my rather steep roof. It is nice just to have the rope to hang onto when climbing. Just be careful not to step on the rope.

Guardian Fall Protection 10561 HitchClip, Brown, 3-Pack https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IYRT476
I ended up using 5 of these on the peak of my roof. I plan on leaving them installed as they are hardly noticeable and when I need to go back on the roof, they will be there.

Grip 4-Head Suction Cup Dent Puller https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...ct_42404_42404
Stole this idea from Pinballlooking : http://ecorenovator.org/forum/52062-post15.html
Worked excellent for hauling panels up on the roof. Worth 10X the cost.

HYCC 100pcs 11.8 Inches 304 Stainless Steel Cable Zip Ties Exhaust Wrap Coated Locking https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MYW9IB5
Ended up ordering two packs of these. Used to secure PV wire to rails and secure extra loops of wire. Along with the wire clips used on the panels, these keep all of my wires up off the roof and secure so there will be no abrasion from sagging or moving wires. I did clip off the excess tails on these and found them to be razor sharp after slicing open a finger. Before I installed the panels, I went back and rolled and crimped the ends with a pliers on each one. A bit tedious, but I didn’t want to have to worry about the sharp edges.

QUICKMOUNT Flashing E-Mount Lag 9x12 inch Mill Finish
https://www.renvu.com/QUICKMOUNT-Fla...ll-Finish-Qt-1

SQUARE-D D223NRB AC Disconnect
https://www.renvu.com/SQUARE-D-D223N...ed-Neutral-Bar

MERSEN-FERRAZ TR100R Fuse,Square D AC Disconnect,100A 250VAC
https://www.renvu.com/MERSEN-FERRAZ-...TR-100A-250VAC

SQUARE-D QO Load Center 6/12 100A 120/240VAC NEMA 3R
https://www.renvu.com/SQUARE-D-QO-Lo...-QO612L100DS_2
SQUARE-D QO240 PlugOn Breaker 40A 120/240VAC 2-Pole
https://www.renvu.com/SQUARE-D-QO240...QO-Load-Center
SQUARE-D QO260 PlugOn Breaker 60A 120/240VAC 2-Pole
https://www.renvu.com/SQUARE-D-QO260...QO-Load-Center
UNIRAC Wire Clip for Double PV Wire DCS-1307, Qty 1
https://www.renvu.com/UNIRAC-Wire-Cl...ble-Wire-Qty-1

UNIRAC Rail Light Duty 240 in. 20 Ft. Mill SolarMount SM
https://www.renvu.com/UNIRAC-SolarMo...-in-20-Ft-MILL

UNIRAC Splice Bar Clear Bonding Serrated SolarMount SM Qty.1
https://www.renvu.com/UNIRAC-SolarMo...lice-Bar-Clear

UNIRAC L-Foot Clear Serrated with T-Bolt SolarMount SM Qty.1
https://www.renvu.com/UNIRAC-SolarMo...lt-Clear-Qty-1

UNIRAC Microinverter Rail Attachment T-Bolt and Nut Clear
https://www.renvu.com/UNIRAC-Microin...-and-Nut-Clear
Get a couple extra of these, you may lose a nut like I did.

UNIRAC Mid Clamp DARK DK 38-41mm Bonding SolarMount 302029D
https://www.renvu.com/UNIRAC-SolarMo...-2-25in-T-Bolt
Get a couple extra of these, you may lose a nut like I did.

UNIRAC End Clamp DARK K 39-41 mm SolarMount SM 302026D
https://www.renvu.com/UNIRAC-SolarMo...-2-25in-T-Bolt
Get a couple extra of these, you may lose a nut like I did.

UNIRAC Grounding Weeblug-1 008002S SolarMount SM
https://www.renvu.com/UNIRAC-Groundi...-SolarMount-SM
Used to ground rails to ground wire.

SOLADECK DC Pass Thru Terminal Kit for up to 5 strings
https://www.renvu.com/SOLADECK-5-Str...t-For-SolaDeck
Ordered this by mistake. Renvu’s Solar Kit Guide added this to my order and I did not catch it and remove it before placing my order. I ended up using it, but needed a mounting rail to make it work. Could have source cheaper alternatives elsewhere.
Uxcell a15052000ux0115 2Pcs Slotted Metal 35 mm Din Mounting Rail 40 cm Long for AC Contactor https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0159JLOCE - Needed for mounting terminal block in roof junction box

TITAN PV Wire 10AWG 1000VDC BLACK Double Jacket 19STRBC
This was the wire the Renvu Solar Kit Guide specified. Renvu no longer sells this wire. It worked ok, but was thicker than expected due to the double jacket/burial rating.

Grounding Wire 6 SOL-BARE SOFT DRAWN-CU-500 Price per Ft
https://www.renvu.com/Grounding-Wire...0-Price-per-Ft
I had ordered two coils, only used one. Grounded to each rail with a weeblug then grounded to conduit connection/splice to green wire in conduit. Could have sourced locally.

MULTI-CONTACT MC4 FEMALE Cable Coupler PV-KBT4/6II-UR
https://www.renvu.com/MULTI-CONTACT-...AWG-5-5-9mm-OD
Figure out how many you need and get an extra 2 or 3. I had one crimp that did not turn out to my satisfaction, so it was nice to know I had extras to redo a connection.

MULTI-CONTACT MC4 MALE Cable Coupler PV-KST4/6II-UR
https://www.renvu.com/MULTI-CONTACT-...AWG-5-5-9mm-OD
Figure out how many you need and get and extra 2 or 3. I had one crimp that did not turn out to my satisfaction, so it was nice to know I had extras to redo a connection.

PV Safety Labels NEC 2014 label pack with 83 labels
https://www.renvu.com/PV-Safety-Labe...with-83-labels
Not knowing what labels my inspector would require, I ordered this pack. My inspector was very relaxed and did not ask my anything on the labels I have applied. The power company liked how I had things clearly labeled. In hind sight, I could have saved some money ordering just the labels I needed from elsewhere online. I think this is going to depend on your local inspector, but I can only imagine label regulations will only get stricter.

MULTI-CONTACT MC4 Assembly Tool Open-end spanner+ unlocking
https://www.renvu.com/MULTI-CONTACT-...-tool-MC4-PAIR
I recommend getting 2 of these, they are cheap and it’s nice to have an extra.

Solar Permit Service - Full
https://www.renvu.com/Solar-Products...Permit-Package

The detailed line diagram was worth the cost on this item. Even the power company rep that did the commissioning commented to me on how nicely done it was. I believe it helped with my local inspector as it showed my homework was done.

I used 1” conduit to run the wires inside from the roof to my inverters in the basement. I sourced all of my conduit, connections and non PV wire locally.

I wired everything from the panels to the inverter to the load center and outside to the AC disconnect. I hired an electrician to wire up the AC Disconnect, install a revenue meter socket and do a line side tap.

Last edited by arnesr; 05-03-18 at 11:15 AM..
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Old 02-26-18, 02:19 PM   #3
arnesr
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Some pics of my install:




























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The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to arnesr For This Useful Post:
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Old 02-27-18, 06:37 AM   #4
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Sweet setup! It looks great.
Thanks for sharing so much info. You are sure to inspire lots of people to do a DIY Solar install.
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Old 02-27-18, 08:28 AM   #5
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Agreed, very nice!

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