Should you DIY a Solar Installation

cow_ranchercow_rancher Solar Expert Posts: 64 ✭✭✭
It appears that Mother Earth News thinks the Solar installation industry does not add much to the cost of a solar system.
What are your thoughts?

https://www.motherearthnews.com/renewable-energy/diy-solar-with-a-solar-panel-kit-zbcz1601

10%    Really?


Rancher

Comments

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,449 ✭✭✭✭
    That article really doesn't say much at all.  10% might be about right if I bought panels etc at a box store vs getting something installed, but it's really apples and oranges.  I saw $3/watt on sale at Canadian Tire recently.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • cow_ranchercow_rancher Solar Expert Posts: 64 ✭✭✭
    Tire stores install Solar Systems?

    Rancher
  • mcgivormcgivor Registered Users Posts: 1,220 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 12 #4
    They do sell tires but are actually stores like Target and Walmart, with an automotive shop attached.
      1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider 150 60 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 8×T105 GC 24V nominal 

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,449 ✭✭✭✭
    Home Depot also sells pv online.  $514CAD for a 150w panel.  $2770CAD for a 400w DIY kit.  Like CT, they don't install and mainly sell small 12v systems.  At those prices, installed prices from a solar specialist are likely close, but it's apples and oranges. 

    I priced out gear locally from a specialist when I did my system about 3 years ago.  It was  nearly double (not including labour) versus what I paid NAWS.  CAD/USD is lower now, so I expect it's still roughly the same.  On top of the extra cost for the local specialist, I wouldn't have had to do all the reading and planning I did, so there would probably also have been the cost of murdering at least one battery bank in the learning curve.

    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,258 ✭✭✭✭
    The local brick and mortar solar business is over twice my price. I unfairly compete as I teach the user how to install by text or e-mail Outback or Schneider.

    They do a great job of going to these remote rural locations and doing the work. They are great for people who do not have basic handyman skills. I require that and pass on the bid to them. They have alot of stock and a wharehouse. I have few spare 24 and 48v inverters and a cc or two. My stock all comes from two of the largest warehouses in the Americas.  I don't change the price but rather charge a flat fee anywhere in the world.

    I am what the financial guys call critical mass. I like the work and the people, but if they get weird, I go outside and enjoy my life offgrid!
    Plenty to do here for 25 years now  :)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

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