Construct a Solar System in a Weekend
It is completely within your abilities to install your solar system in a weekend. The most surefire way to do this is to get used panels, especially if your experience in building your own solar panels is zero. Getting used panels will save you a ton of time.
Because you’re trying to build a solar system in a weekend, doing things in the most time efficient manner possible is the way to go. Besides getting panels that are already assembled, you can save a ton of time by planning for your solar system a to be grid-tied one.
A grid tied system feeds into your area’s electricity gird and doesn’t use any batteries. Cutting out batteries, and the associated charge controller, will make putting your system together much simpler.
At this point you know that you know that you’ll need solar panels for your grid-tied system, but what else is this plan missing?
To complete your solar system you’ll need to get an inverter, miscellaneous wires and terminal boxes, and a way to mount your panels. Using ground mounted racks to mount your panels is perhaps the most simple and straightforward method, so we’ll assume that you’re going to do that.
It’s in fact quite easy to make your own racks. It’s as simple as doing some measurements, getting some angle iron and nuts and bolts from the hardware store, and simply putting the pieces together.
While your exact rack solution will depend on your panels, using two ‘L’ shaped pieces of angle iron can mount a few panels each. Simply place the two ‘Ls’ parallel to each other, with their ends mounted to the ground. Think of it as the angle iron forming a triangle with the ground that points to the sky.
Okay, so back to actually constructing your solar system in a weekend. On Friday night make sure you’ve got your racks for your panels, the panels themselves, an inverter, the wiring needed to hook all the stuff up, and an appointment with a certified electrician to connect your system to the grid.
You need a certified electrician to connect your system to the grid because utility companies will not recognize the electricity your system generates if you don’t. The electrician will also certify that the wiring you did is satisfactory. You should make the appointment at the end of the weekend, because you’ll need some time to wire things together.
Without getting too into specifics, you can see from this post how easy it is to install your own solar system this weekend. With a little planning to have all your materials together on Friday night, a little bit of work on Saturday, and a visit from a electrician on Sunday, and your solar system is ready to start saving you money.
by Brian Bradley