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Solar Panels
Solar Kit Systems Battery backup systems

Off-or Grid-Tied - Solar Panel Kits & Systems -  Backup Battery Based - Home , Cabin, Shed or She-Shed

off-grid solar systems
  • Sol-Ark, OutBack MidNite Solar Systems.
  • Solar Made Simple. off Grid Permit serviceDIY kits from Micro to Large. Advanced and proven technologies for off-grid and utility grid-tie functionality. Battery based grid interactive or off-grid systems operate from the stored energy in a battery bank. An AC inverter pulls the DC power [Direct Current] from the stored energy in the batteries and converts the electricity into AC power [Alternating Current] to use for your lights, appliances & other home or cabin electrical needs. During the daytime the battery bank is is recharged by the solar panels. At night, the inverter is pulling directly off the batteries. Your solar system has to be sized to support your daily loads and replace the stored energy pulled from the batteries on a daily basis with stored energy reserves large enough to span any "no sun" days. .

Sol Ark Hybrid Kits

Sol-Ark Hybrid Off-Grid, On-Grid, Battery or Batterless - Backup, Solar Packages

The Sol-Ark inverters can be used as a grid-tie PV inverter with or without a battery, or as an off grid inverter. The inverters feature Grid-Sell without batteries; Grid-Sell with battery backup; Grid-tied with Zero Export with or without storage.  You can even hook up your generatr to these solar kits      

Sol-Ark Solar Off Grid Kits mission solar panels
345W Panel Kit
Item # # Solar Panels Monthly Watts @
5 Sun Hours
/ Day STC*
Voltage DC (Battery)
/ AC
Price before
26% Federal
Tax Credit
or Local Incentives
3.5 kW Sol-Ark
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3.5 kW Kit SA-MI-345-3450 10 - 345 Watt 518 kW 48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
4.1 kW Sol-Ark
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4.1 kW Kit SA-MI-345-4140 12 - 345 Watt 621 kW 48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
4.8 kW Sol-Ark
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4.8 kW Kit SA-MI-345-4830 14 - 345 Watt 725 kW  48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
5.5 kW Sol-Ark
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5.5 kW Kit SA-MI-345-5520 16 - 345 Watt 828 kW  48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
6.2 kW Sol-Ark
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6.2 kW Kit SA-MI-345-6210 18 - 345 Watt 931 kW  48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
6.9 kW Sol-Ark
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6.9 kW Kit SA-MI-345-6900 20 - 345 Watt 1035 kW  48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
7.6 kW Sol-Ark
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7.6 kW Kit SA-MI-345-7590 22 - 345 Watt 1138 kW  48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
8.3 kW Sol-Ark
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8.3 kW Kit SA-MI-345-8280 24 - 345 Watt 1242 kW  48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
9 kW Sol-Ark
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9 kW Kit SA-MI-345-8970 26 - 345 Watt 1325 kW  48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
9.6 kW Sol-Ark
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9.6 kW Kit SA-MI-345-9660 28 - 345 Watt 1449 kW  48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
10.3 Sol -Ark
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10.3 kW Kit SA-MI-345-10350 30 - 345 Watt 1552 kW  48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
11 kW Sol-Ark
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11 kW Kit SA-MI-345-11040 32 - 345 Watt 1656 kW  48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
11.7 kW Sol-Ark
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11.7 kW Kit SA-MI-345-11730 34 - 345 Watt 1759 kW  48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
12.4 kW Sol-Ark
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12.4 kW Kit SA-MI-345-12420 36 - 345 Watt 1863 kW  48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
13 kW Sol-Ark
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13 kW Kit SA-MI-345-13110 38 - 345 Watt 1966 kW  48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
13.8 kW Sol-Ark
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13.8 kW Kit SA-MI-345-13800 40 - 345 Watt 2070 kW  48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
14.5 kW Sol-Ark
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14.5 kW Kit SA-MI-345-14490 42 - 345 Watt 2173 kW  48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
15 kW Sol-Ark
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15 kW Kit SA-MI-345-15180 44 - 345 Watt 2277 kW  48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
15.9 kW Sol-Ark
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15.9 kW Kit SA-MI-345-15870 46 - 345 Watt 2380 kW  48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
16.5 kW Sol-Ark
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16.5 kW Kit SA-MI-345-16560 48 - 345 Watt 2484 kW  48 VDC /
120/240 VAC


Battery Based Off or On Grid Solar Kits - MidNite Solar / Magnum Energy

Methodically engineered with advanced power electronics, every component has been specially selected to assure the highest performance in a safe and simple-to-install kit. Ideal for applications with medium power requirements such as off-grid cabins, homes and back-up power systems. Magnum Energy and MidNite Solar, American companies producing products made in America, creating American jobs. We like it... a lot!

MidNite Off Grid Kits
grid-tied mission solar
345 W Panel Kit
Item # # Solar Panels Daily Watts @
4 Sun Hours
/ Day STC*
Voltage DC (Battery)
/ AC
Price before
26% Federal
Tax Credit
or Local Incentives
1 kW MidNite Kit
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1 kW Kit MN-MI-345-1035 3 - 345 Watt 4,140 Watts 48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
2 kW MidNite Kit
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2 kW Kit MN-MI-345-2070 6- 345 Watt 8.280 Watts 48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
3.1 kW MidNite Kit
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3.1 kW Kit MN-MI-345-3105 9 - 345 Watt 12,420 Watts 48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
4.1 kW MidNite Kit
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4.1 kW Kit MN-MI-345-4140 12 - 345 Watt 16,560 Watts 48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
5.1 kW MidNite Kit
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5.1 kW Kit MN-MI-345-5157 15 - 345 Watt 20,700 Watts 48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
6.2 kW MidNite Kit
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6.2 kW Kit MN-MI-345-6210 18 - 345 Watt 24,840 Watts 48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
7.2 kW MidNite Kit
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7.2 kW Kit MN-MI-345-7245 21 - 345 Watt 28,980 Watts 48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
8.3 kW MidNite Kit
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8.3 kW Kit MN-MI-345-8280 24 - 345 Watt 33,120 Watts 48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
9.3 kW MidNite Kit
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9.3 kW Kit MN-MI-345-9315 27 - 345 Watt 37,260 Watts 48 VDC /
120/240 VAC
10.3 kW MidNite Kit
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10.3 kW Kit MN-MI-345-10350 30 - 345 Watt 41,400 Watts 48 VDC /
120/240 VAC

IMPORTANT: AC Amps Out; Define Your Needs. Single off-grid inverter/chargers continuous AC output current is limited to 30AAC (+ - ). The yellow flag here is that the combination of your normal loads (Not Surge Loads) may exceed a single inverter output current rating (Amps Out) on larger PV systems. It is critical in the design selection that you make sure the continuous AC load combination of your power requirements is at or below the 30AAC output limit of the single inverter in some of these packages. Larger systems like the OutBack Radian have the capability of parallel stacking inverters to provide up to 200 AMPS.





Primus Wind Generator and Solar Kits

Wind and Solar Together - Off-Grid Battery Based Power Systems-  Primus -Magnum Hybrid Kits

Wind Solar Kits 300W Panel Kit Item # # Solar Panels Daily Array Watts
Based on 4 Sun Hours
(*STC) Average 13 MPH Wind
Voltage DC (Battery)
/ AC
Price before
26% Federal Tax Credit
or Local Incentives
0.9 kW Hybrid Kit
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0.9 kW Hybrid Kit PRIMAGMS-48-900 3 - 300 Watt 4,500 Watts 48 / 120/240VAC
1.8 kW Hybrid Kit
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1.8 kW Hybrid Kit PRIMAGMS-48-1800 6 - 300 Watt 8,100 Watts 48 / 120/240VAC
2.7 kW Hybrid Kit
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2.7 kW Hybrid Kit PRIMAGMS-48-2700 9 - 300 Watt 11,700 Watts 48 / 120/240VAC
3.6 kW Hybrid Kit
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3.6 kW Hybrid Kit PRIMAGMS-48-3600 12 - 300 Watt 15,300 Watts 48 / 120/240VAC
4.5 kW Hybrid Kit
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4.5 kW Hybrid Kit PRIMAGMS-48-4500 15 - 300 Watt 18,900 Watts 48 / 120/240VAC
5.4 kW Hybrid Kit
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5.4kW Hybrid Kit PRIMAGMS-48-5400 18- 300 Watt 22,500 Watts 48 / 120/240VAC

Outback Flex One Hybrid Kits

Off-Grid, Backup, Off-Grid or Grid Tie Solar Packages OutBack FLEXpower™ ONE

The FLEXpower ONE is ideal for smaller applications including cabins, homes, farm buildings, remote communications sites and back-up power systems. Pre-engineered toward one goal: making system design and installation easier and faster for grid-interactive, small backup applications and off-grid or stand alone. UL1741-SA (Rule-21) Compliant

Flex Power One Solar Kits off-grid mission solar
300W Panel Kit
Item # # Solar Panels Daily Watts @
4 Sun Hours
/ Day STC*
Voltage DC (Battery)
/ AC
Price before
26% Federal
Tax Credit
or Local Incentives
0.9 kW FLEXpower Kit
Click Here for Info
0.9 kW Kit FLEX1MS-48-900 3 - 300 Watt 3,600 Watts 48 VDC /
120 VAC
1.8 kW FLEXpower Kit
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1.9 kW Kit FLEX1MS-48-1800 6 - 300 Watt 7,200 Watts 48 VDC /
120 VAC
2.7 kW FLEXpower Kit
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2.7 kW Kit FLEX1MS-48-2700 9 - 300 Watt 10,800 Watts 48 VDC /
120 VAC
3.6 kW FLEXpower Kit
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3.6 kW Kit FLEX1MS-48-3600 12 - 300 Watt 14,400 Watts 48 VDC /
120 VAC
4.5 kW FLEXpower Kit
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4.5 kW Kit FLEX1MS-48-4500 15 - 300 Watt 18,000 Watts 48 VDC /
120 VAC

What Inverter Should Your Choose?

tech notesTo determine the size of the inverter needed in your application, add up the demand from all your appliances that are likely to operate at the same time (Watts & Amps). The inverter should be sized to handle both the surge (start up) requirements as well as the continuous run or duty demand over extended times for equipment like refrigerators, well pumps and washing machines. Small appliances often times require 2X their amps to turn over the locked rotors of the motors. Deep well pumps can be 3X the continuous run amps.

Outback Radian Hybrid Kits

Solar - Off-Grid or Grid-Tie Packages OutBack Radian

The Radian Series GS8048A-01 Grid/off-grid™ with GSLC175-PV-120/240 Prewired Load Center (full-flexibility grid-interactive / off-grid) inverter/charger that is engineered toward one goal: making system design and installation easier and faster for grid-interactive and comprehensive off-grid applications. UL1741-SA (Rule-21) Compliant

Radian Inverter Solar Kits off-grid mission solar
300W Panel Kit
Item # # Solar Panels Daily Watts @
4 Sun Hours
/ Day STC*
Voltage DC (Battery)
/ AC
Price before
26% Federal
Tax Credit
or Local Incentives
3.6 kW Radian Kit
Click Here for Info
3.6 kW Kit RADMSM-3600 12 - 300 Watt 14,400 Watts 48 VDC /
240 VAC
4.5 kW Radian Kit
Click Here for Info
4.5 kW Kit RADMSM-4500 15 - 300 Watt 18,000Watts 48 VDC /
240 VAC
5.4 kW Radian Kit
Click Here for Info
5.4kW Kit RADMSM-5400 18 - 300 Watt 21,600 Watts 48 VDC /
240 VAC
6.3 kW Radian Kit
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6.3 kW Kit RADMSM-6300 21 - 300 Watt 25,200 Watts 48 VDC /
240 VAC
7.2 kW Radian Kit
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7.2 kW Kit RADMSM-7200 24 - 300 Watt 28,800Watts 48 VDC /
240 VAC
8.1 kW Radian Kit
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8.1 kW Kit RADMSM-8100 27 - 300 Watt 32,400 Watts 48 VDC /
240 VAC
9.0 kW Radian Kit
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9.0 kW Kit RADMSM-9000 30 - 300 Watt 36,000 Watts 48 VDC /
240 VAC
9.9 kW Radian Kit
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9.9 kW Kit RADMSM-9900 33 - 300 Watt 39,600 Watts 48 VDC /
240 VAC
10.8 kW Radian Kit
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10.8 kW Kit RADMSM-10800 36 - 300 Watt 43,200 Watts 48 VDC /
240 VAC
14.3 kW Radian Kit
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14.3 kW Kit RADMSM-14400 48 - 300 Watt 57,600 Watts 48 VDC /
240 VAC
Midnight Micro Kits (Optional Inverter)

Small Off-Grid Solar Kits; DIY  (Optional Inverter)

Micro off-grid living is a lifestyle where less is more. From your cabin weekend get-a-way escape or tiny houses, these tiny off-grid kits can be used for very small loads.

grid-tied mission solar
310W Panel Kit
Item # # Solar Panels Daily Watts @
4 Sun Hours
/ Day STC*
Voltage DC (Battery)
/ AC
Price before
26% Federal
Tax Credit
or Local Incentives
0.6 kW Micro Kit
Click Here for Info
0.6 kW Kit MIDMS-24-600 2 - 310 Watt 2,480 Watts 24 VDC /
(Inverter Optional)
1.2 kW Micro Kit
Click Here for Info
1.2 kW Kit MIDMS-24-1200 4 - 300 Watt 4,800 Watts 24 VDC /
(Inverter Optional)
1.8 kW Micro Kit
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1.8 kW Kit MIDMS-24-1800 6 - 300 Watt 7,200 Watts 24 VDC /
(Inverter Optional)
2.4 kW Micro Kit
Click Here for Info
2.4 kW Kit MIDMS-24-2400 8 - 300 Watt 9,600Watts 24 VDC /
(Inverter Optional)
3.0 kW Micro Kit
Click Here for Info
3.0 kW Kit MIDMS-24-3000 10 - 300 Watt 12,000 Watts 24 VDC /
(Inverter Optional)
3.6 kW Micro Kit
Click Here for Info
3.6 kW Kit MIDMS-24-3600 12 - 300 Watt 14,400 Watts 24 VDC /
(Inverter Optional)
4.2 kW Micro Kit
Click Here for Info
4.2 kW Kit MIDMS-24-4200 14 - 300 Watt 16,800 Watts 24 VDC /
(Inverter Optional)


Solar Grid-Tie Energy - Click on the links below to expand

Modules & Cells

Solar cells, also known as photovoltaic (PV) cells, capture energy from the sun and turn it into electrical current. Solar energy is clean, renewable, free and always available. This makes it a popular option for home use installing either the Enphase microinverter, SMA or SolarEdge kits. Solar cells are assembled into modules. The modules are formed into arrays that connect the sun-created electricity both to homes and to power grids. Residential solar arrays consist of solar cells, inverters, wiring, electrical panels and protection mechanisms.

Solar Array Electricity Flow

Electricity from the solar array flows through the conduit to the direct current disconnect. From the DC disconnect, it flows through the grounded inverter to the alternating current disconnect. Then, the AC current travels either to the home's electrical panel or to the utility disconnect. From the utility disconnect, the electricity enters the grounded utility service entrance and main load center.

Solar Cell Types

Solar cells generate electricity through the use of silicon semiconductors. Solar cells come in three types: single-crystalline, multi-crystalline and thin film cells. Single-crystalline cells are also referred to as mono-crystalline cells. These are the most efficient kind of photovoltaic cell. They only use one silicon wafer to generate electricity. Multi-crystalline cells, another type of photovoltaic cell, are also very efficient. They use a block formed of many small crystals to create current. They are also called poly-crystalline cells. Thin film cells, or amorphous cells, use a thin semiconductor film attached to glass or plastic. Thin film cells are cheaper, but less efficient, than mono- and multi-crystalline PV cells.

Inverters Used In Kits

Solar cells generate direct current (DC). DC flows in one direction. Enphase microinverters or SMA SolarEdge inverters turn the direct current into alternating current by mimicking the current's wave and rate. Most domestic appliances require AC current. The inverter sends the alternating current to the house or to the power grid, as needed. Inverters are placed near the structure's main electrical panel.

Wiring and Electrical Panels

PV array components are connected with wiring, which must be able to accommodate the strength (the amperage) of the electrical current. Voltage, wire type and temperature determine what size wire should be used. Wires made from copper are great conductors. This makes copper wiring a great choice for solar arrays. PV array wires should be insulated and protected against the elements. Wires can be protected with insulating material and conduit. A circuit breaker transfers electricity from the inverter to the home's electrical panel. The size of the electrical panel determines how much power it can accommodate.

Component Protection Devices

Overly strong electrical currents, electrical interference, lighting strikes and power surges can mean harmful, and even deadly, consequences for residents, service employees, first responders, homes and appliances. Over-current protection, disconnects, and grounding devices help manage electrical loads to keep homes and residents safe.

Over-current protectors safeguard wires from current too strong for the wires to carry. Circuit breakers and fuses help prevent fires caused by hot wires. Disconnects allow a home's power to be easily and quickly shut off in the case of emergency. Disconnects helps emergency responders enter a residence without risk of electrocution or fire. At least one disconnect is needed for every home. Electricity travels through the disconnect before it enters the home. In homes with Enphase, SolarEdge or SMA PV arrays, a disconnect must also be placed between the inverter and the arrays.

All solar array systems must be grounded. Grounding helps to mitigate the effects of lighting strikes and power surges. Grounding also lessens the risk of electrocution and fire. Grounding is important for both equipment and systems. In equipment grounding, exposed metal is connected to a grounding mechanism. In system grounding, the conductor is connected to the grounding electrode. Component protection devices provide big safety benefits for homes and their residents.

Maintenance

Modules have no moving parts so there is no wear and tear on components. However, panels will need cleaning once in a while to keep the surfaces clear of dust and other debris. Dust reduces the efficiency of solar panels and cuts down the amount of electricity generated by around 5 to 7 percent. You don't have to climb up on the roof to clean panels. A hose with a nozzle can be used to spray water over the solar array and cleaning it once every 2-3 months is enough. If you live in a dusty area, then you may have to hose it down more frequently.

Solar Kits creating energy with Enphase microinverters, SolarEdge and SMA DIY grid-tie panel installation packages. First do your homework with the PV information we provide then select the kit that will fit your applications and budget.

Plannning Design & Installation Tips

outback

living off-grid Utility Grid-Tie Kit Design; It All Starts With Your Utility Bills

home solarTo begin the process of sizing your solar system you first need to pull your most recent 12 months utility bills and record the kWh from each month. Then take the total of the 12 months kWh then ÷ by 365 to get your daily average usage. This number is critical to begin the process for a grid-tie system. Don't have 12 months worth of history? Then average what you do have or if you are moving into a different house use the bills from your current home to get an idea of your energy usage.

You can usually find the kWh near the top of the first page of you utility bills. An alternative method would be to go on line and down load the information or call your local utility company to find out your most recent 12 months total.

One thing to note is that at some locations around the country you are charged extra for using electricity during a specific time of the day, usually in the afternoon hours of the summertime. It may be important to understand that peak period of higher charges because that information may help you down the road when you decide on your budget for your project and how best to maximize your return on investment. A smaller solar kit positioned to harvest and create the most energy during these peak tier rate times may be where you want to start.

living off-grid Solar Insolation / Average Available “Sun-Hours Per Day”

We talk to hundreds of people a day across the country and often the first thing we hear when we say we need to see how much sun is available in their area is "we have lots of sun so that should not be a problem". The fact is that when sizing a kit, it is not how much sun you have, it is how much sun strikes the earth in your zip code which can sometimes surprise customers. Little considered factors such an high humidity and elevation can play a key role. Example; most of Texas and Florida have latitudes that are farther south than Arizona but average sunhours have less "sun-hours per day" because Texas and Florida have higher humidity levels and more cloud cover.

The 2nd step in the design process is to look and see what the average amount of solar irradiance is available near your area from our resource map. Find the nearest city to your home and write down the average "sun-hours per day".

living off-grid Get Down To It; Basic Grid-tie Formula ≈ Number of Panels Needed

    solaredge

wire guage You want to go bigger than your last 12 month kWh consumption history? Utility companies are in the business of selling power not buying power. Most local utility companies will allow you to go 10% higher than your last 12 month average with justification, but don't let someone talk you into buying more solar than you need. Even if you are allowed to do it, you will eliminate the best return on investment. Hawaii is one state that in some areas is the exception to that rule.

electricity Best Place to Locate Your Array; Key Considerationsgrid interactive

Mounting your system on the roof, ground or top of a pole; budget, roof dimensions, ground space or setbacks, shading and other site-specific factors call for careful consideration in your design. Compare the sizing results from your calculations in steps 1, 2 and 3 with the location and amount of space available to mount the solar array in order to get a rough idea of the maximum of panels. If you are planning to mount your array on a roof, decide which module best fits into the available roof space, taking into consideration obstructions such as chimneys, plumbing vents and skylights. Many local building codes will not allow a solar system to extend beyond the perimeter of the outside of the house footprint. (You may not be able to utilize your roof overhang or eaves.) A good place to start is to check with your local building department to see what their setback rules are for either a roof or ground mount array.

  • How many panels will fit? Rule of thumb; ≈ 100 sq. feet of area per 1kW of solar.
  • Check out areas available to install your PV kit. A few things to consider; array dimensions, orientation, tilt and obstructions. Panels ideally should be mounted facing true south, but that rarely is the case. It does not matter if you point your panels east, south or west as long as you have at least 6 hours of sun centered around sometime near mid day. (IE: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM)
  • Shading of array location. No well-planned installation should have a shading problem around noon. Heavily or regularly shaded panels (even when operated with a micro inverter) are NOT worth the investment! Avoid shading as much as possible. You will want to consider potential shading from trees, buildings, power lines, telephone poles, and obstructions like chimneys and vent pipes.
  • ac power TIP; Avoid Vent Pipe Shading. Keep solar panels away from objects protruding from your roof by 3X the objects height.
  • Maximum efficiency vs. maximum energy. Fixed arrays tilted to the angle of your locations latitude will generate the highest year round efficiency. However, largely because of aesthetics, most people would choose flush mount arrays slightly raised off of pitched roofs for the majority of home installations. Raising the panels off the roof about 4 - 6" will allow for ventilation behind the panels. Solar cells produce less electricity as they heat up.
  • Top-of-pole mount kits are sometimes great option when you have the ground space and additional budget because you can usually orient the panels facing true south and adjust the tilt several times a year to achieve a maximum solar energy harvest.
  • Roof type and age. If you plan on re-roofing within 5 years but are not ready yet, some homeowners will replace only the shingles located under the solar array when the panels are installed and leave the rest for later.
  • Inverter Location. Solar cells are activated by visible light not ultra-violet or infra-red. Solar panels produce electricity when exposed to sun light, but plan to keep your inverter (s) in the shade. Inverters work better when located in shaded well ventilated areas. For grid-tie inverters we sell, they can be mounted outdoors or indoors. But either location your choose, shaded well ventilated areas are best.

photovoltaics TIP; Mount your solar panels with at least a 7 degree tilt to avoid "Mud Shading". That's when dirty water washed off the solar panels accumulates across the bottom cells of the panel dammed by the panel frame. When the water dries, the dirt or mud builds up across the bottom which can shade the entire row of lower solar cells on each solar panel.

utility interconnectIn most areas of the country you will be required to enter into a "interconnect agreement" with your local utility company. This is a simple form that lets them know you will be producing some of your electricity at your location and the equpment you are proposing is UL listed and approved. Just go to your local utility website to download the document or call your local utility customer service line and have them send one to you.

living off-grid Electrical Distribution; Making the Grid Connection

How Electricity Flows

Wire carries electricity in much the same way as a garden hose carries water. When you turn on a breaker, a electron flows in one direction and knocks another electron which knocks another one until eventually an electron comes out the other end. Voltage is the electrical pressure behind the flow of current or electrons. Current, which is measured in amps, is the measure of quantity of electrons flowing through a wire. The higher the voltage the more current the source can produce. Watts are the measure of power. Volts X Amps = Watts.

Current can be increased by increasing the voltage or by lowering the resistance (IE: Size of Wire or Conductor).

Resistance is the inherent physical opposite to current flow. A good analogy would be to think of it as a dam holding back water. Resistance is created by electrons refusing to be stripped of their atoms and bumped or sent down the wire. The higher the resistance in the wire, the less current will flow. The only way to overcome that resistance, is to increase the pressure (volts) or decrease the resistance (Larger Wire).

Blade AC Disconnect

National Electrical Code (NEC) 690.64 does not specifically require an AC disconnect however, many if not most utility companies like to have a lockable blade disconnect to protect line workers and fire department officials. An AC disconnect is more likely to be required if the inverter is not close to the main service panel. If an AC disconnect is required, is should not need to be fused unless it is the primary disconnect for the line side connection.

breaker box

Main Service Panel

Arrh... power baby, make that meter turn backwards! This is where it all comes together. Your homes main service panel is the heart of your electrical system and how we connect the solar system to this panel using what option is the key to everything we have done so far in the design planning.

Solar Connections Types

Load side connection occurs on the load side of the Main Service Disconnect Breakers via a breaker on the Main Service Panel Busbar. Line side connection occurs between the Utility Meter the Main Service Disconnect Breaker.

Here is why that is important to understand the difference. Before we can go any further in the final connection or exactly where we are going to connect we need to know one rule that we call a biggie in the solar industry. National Electrical Code (NEC) Section 690.64 says that the sum of the rated current for the solar breaker and main breaker amp rating cannot exceed 120% of the bus bar’s rating of the Main Service Panel Busbar Rating

Example: The main service entrance (MSE) breaker box is listed as a 200A bus/200A Main breaker. That means if you have a 200 amp main service panel which is rated for a with a 200 amp buss bar, NEC will only allow a 20% back feed breaker to be added to a 200 amp panel or 40 amp solar breaker. If the size of your system requires a 60A OCPD, this exceeds the maximum allowable backfed current for a load side connection for the given MSE specifications (max. allowable for this service entrance = 40A). To go above that 40 amp back feed solar breaker there are several alternative

One alternative to consider without having to replace your main breaker panel would be to decrease the size of the main buss bar. By lowering a 200 amp main breaker to 150 amps may bring your in compliance if you have to go to a 60 amp backfeed breaker for your solar system. However, before you do that a careful study by a licensed electrician should be conducted to make sure you will not stress the breaker with your existing loads.

grid connectedOn a grid-tie solar system when the utility goes down, the solar system will also go down. What many homeowners fail to realize when they purchase a standard grid tied system is when the grid goes down, so does the power being produced by the solar panels. Why? The IEEE-1547 standard requires that grid-tie inverters cease to export power (Means your meter spinning backwards) if the voltage measured at the Point of Common Coupling (PCC) (That mean your homes electric service meter) exceeds +10% or -12% of nominal. If that were not the case, there could be a utility worker in front of your home who thinks the electricity is off and become injured.

Line Side Connection

Another alternative is to consider a line side connection. A line side connection or supply-side connections means the connection between the utility company meter and your main breaker box. If you have no room in your existing service panel to add your solar system, see if the number of breakers in your main breaker box can be reduced or consider upgrading the service panel. A line side connection requires a fused blade AC disconnect. If that is required and the solar kit you select states that we will supply the AC disconnect, we will provide the upgrade to a fused AC 60 amp disconnect at no additional cost to you.

Personal Solar Consultant & Line Drawing; We Have Your Back

You should not be overly concerned with how or what type of final connection, wire and breaker size because we do the heavy lifting for you. When you make a purchase over $1,000 for a kit, your order gets assigned to your own personal Solar Consultant. Our System Integrators provide polished technical advice on the design and execution of all types of installations. This single point of contact, who is already familiar with your project, is your free life line to answer your questions and help walk you through any obstacles you might incur during the process.

Line Drawing

Included with your grid tie package is a full "Instructive Three-Line Diagram of Entire DC Circuit, as Well as AC Lines to Your Metered Service Entrance". When you buy a grid-tie kit from Blue Pacific Solar, we supply a custom electrical line drawing that shows you exactly how to connect everything. We will specify on our drawing what size and type of wire and breaker you will need to be NEC code compliant. The line drawing can be used for your interconnect agreement application with your local utility company and for your permit with the local authority having jurisdiction commonly referred to as AHJ (Building Department). If you need help with your full permit documents for your local AHJ anywhere in the country, our permit document service is available to help take the hassle out of your solar purchase.

DC Wire In Attic Spaces

dc wireWe often get asked about running wiring in the attics and if it has to be in conduit. With NEC 2011 (National Electric Code), this just got easier. While the industry has rightly focused on 690.11 Arc Fault Circuit Protection, there was a lesser known change regarding running DC wiring inside the building. Section 690.31(E) changed the requirements for running DC inside of a building to enable the use of Metal-clad cable for DC solar source or output circuits. The Metal clad cable needs to comply with 250.118(10) but will enable customers installing wiring an easier alternative to bending conduit in tight spaces.

*STC - To learn more about solar panels and how they are measured you need to know what STC stands for. STC in an acronym for "Standard Test Conditions". All solar panels are rated in watts. The watt rating is how much power the panel will produce in full sunlight at 25 degrees C (77F). This is the industry standard (STC) for all PV panel ratings (PV means Photovoltaic which is a fancy word for solar). Solar panel manufactures have long used this test standard which is 1,000 watts per square meter solar irradiance, 1.5 Air Mass and a 25 degrees Celsius cell temperature.

PTC is an acronym for "PV-USA". The PV-USA test conditions were developed at the PV USA test site at the University of Davis, California for standards established by the California Energy Commission that are considered closer to real world conditions (Real World Vs. STC factory test conditions). The PTC rating test is 1,000 watts per square meter solar irradiance, 1.5 Air Mass, and 20 degrees C ambient temperature at 10 meters above ground level and wind speed of 1 meter per second. In California, solar panels manufactures must be tested and rated independently at the PV USA test facility at the University of Davis (CA) to be considered for rebates.

NOTE: Neither PTC nor STC account for "real-world" losses. Actual solar systems will produce lower outputs due to soiling, shading, module mismatch, wire losses, inverter and transformer losses, shortfalls in actual nameplate ratings, panel degradation over time, and high-temperature losses. On the inverse, solar panels may out produce their rated power in cold high altitude locations.

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    tax credit Solar Permit Document Service

    Blue Pacific Solar® permit document service is offered as a value added service for our customers only who purchase our grid-tied or off-grid packages of 18 panels [Minimum] or more. The building permit document permitting service service is available for most states to help you get through your local jurisdiction building permit process. Our team of professional designers can provide the documents, blueprints and expertise needed to work with any building department nationwide.

wind speed When a solar panel is even slightly shaded, it is severely impacted. generatorFor example, the module shown to the right has 2% of its cell area shaded. The power output of the panel is reduced by 33% – a 17:1 impact factor! Look out for even small shade factors like overhead power lines or vent pipes in roofs.

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