My 10.1KW System

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  • mr.radonmr.radon Solar Expert Posts: 158 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    Well I have all the supports installed and all the holes predrilled for the 3" standoffs. Got all the Oatey flashings today and also got all my rails, standoffs, inverters, clips, splices, you name it today. Will do the railing installation this weekend. Have a bunch of friends coming over.

    I'm going to experiment with sawing the 2.5" rails with my miter saw.

    So glad to be out of the attic and on top of the roof now.

    Questions
    1) What is the best tool for cutting roof tabs to remove the tabs below the 3" standoffs? ...Utility knife?
    2) What is the best tool for cutting the tabs to install the flashing?

    Suggestions would great! Thanks.
  • SkiDoo55SkiDoo55 Solar Expert Posts: 414 ✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    Utility knife and lots of blades. Could try some hooked blades, they sometimes work OK. Will need a flat bar (Wonder bar) for popping the nails/staples out from underneath overlying singles so you can get the flashings in place. Use some Henerys asphalt cement to re-stick the single tabs and cover the roofing nail heads on the flashing. If you have a piece of sheet metal or even some masonite, make a cutting template for the flashing. Makes it easier to make nice round cuts in the singles.

    Good luck with your install, keep the pictures coming:D
    GT3.8 w/4600W Trina 230W, TX5000 w/5000W ET-250W, XW4024 w/1500W ET-250W, 4 L16, 5500W Gen. (never had to use) Yet!!
  • mr.radonmr.radon Solar Expert Posts: 158 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    This is the ground bar I decided to use to connect the 10AWG wire to the 6AWG rack frame ground.
    043481000725sm.jpg
    There is one spot that I need to splice (2) 10AWG wires and (1) 6AWG wire, the rest of the splices are just (1) 10AWG wire and (1) 6AWG wire. I used (5) of these.

    Last night I installed (5) junction boxes for the Enphase drop downs. Am going to use this service head to bring the ground and Enphase cables into the attic. Seal the opening with Oatey Flashing.
    a9ef8613-f39d-4ec9-b6cb-e64f29519918_100.jpg
    I tried to cut the 2.5" I SolarMount I beam with the miter saw, it works well enough. I'm cutting all the beams to length now and splicing the sections longer then 122" together to make the rack assemblies for this weekend. This weekend I have a bunch of friends coming over to help install the standoff supports.

    Unfortunately we've had rain the last few days. I have just a little bit of water coming into the roof with all the pre drilled holes. Argggh...so I threw a trap over the roof. Will have to wait till the rain stops to install the standoffs.

    I still need to make a tool to go over the stand off to cut the tabs for the flashing.
  • mr.radonmr.radon Solar Expert Posts: 158 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    I got the panel work done today. Installed the AC disconnect switch and net meter base, ran most of the wires. Need to go back and buy a bit more wire to finish the job. (Neutral wire has yet to be run from panel to panel)
    You can see the bonded 6AWG ground wire I added just to be on the safe side. Getting the siding cut was a huge pain in the neck, even though I had a great tool (air cut off wheel) it was hard to tell how deep to go and then to square off the corners, caulk and everything else.

    002DisconnectandNetmeter.jpg
    This is the DG222URB, and a standard meter base.

    003DisconnectandNetmeter.jpg

    The custom J boxes for the drop downs turned out nice. These ground bares work from 16AWG to 4AWG. Only cost about $2.90 at Lowes.
    001JBoxeswithgroundbars.jpg
  • mr.radonmr.radon Solar Expert Posts: 158 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    Well due to rain I had a delay. On track now, forecast is warm and small chance for rain.
    I got all the parts I needed, last night I was able to install four racks to the South East roof to hold (3) panels total.

    I'll try to post pictures of the installation.
    I made a tool to score the roofing tiles for the installation of flashing. The process is:
    Insert flashing tool into pre drilled hole.
    Score roofing tabs and remove tool.
    Remove roofing material to install flashing and stand off base.
    Search for roofing staples that will interfere, remove if possible.
    Pre-install flashing, trim as needed to clear staple(s) that can't be removed.
    Remove flashing, apply sealant under roofing. Install 3" stand off base with two lag bolts.
    Slide in flashing, check fit. Add sealant where needed to secure tabs.
    Insert 3" standoff, screw down tight.
    The hardest job is keeping your hands clean. I tried gloves, rip to fast and sweat. I just keep a rag to wipe off sealant. There is no way to keep your hands clean of sealant. I'm using 3M 5200 and roofing sealant.
    I was able to install (10) standoffs in about 90 minutes. This is the steepest roof pitch, so I had to take extra care not to drop anything. (or fall off) Having all the material handy helps a ton. I'm a rock climber so I'm used to heights, but a wet steep roof with a 35' drop off needs caution and organization.
    After I finished with all the bases I installed the UniRac clips.
    I've already pre-assembled all my rails; splices, grounds, end clamps, mid clamps, Enphase mounts, panel grounding clips.
    So I just grab the right rail, line up the splice (locks the rail to the clip) line up the clips twist and snap, snap, snap the rail is installed.
    Should have the building (mechanical) permit signed off Thursday and the panels up by Sunday.
  • mr.radonmr.radon Solar Expert Posts: 158 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    Finished installing the rails for the south facing panels (total of 7 panels but 8 rails).

    These are on the South East face:
    IMG_1065.jpg

    A close up of the Unirac 3" stand off:
    IMG_1066.jpg

    A close up of the Unirac 3" base:
    IMG_1070.jpg

    After cutting 27 144" Unirac rails I only had this much scrap:
    IMG_1071.jpg
    The amount of scrap was less then 4%!

    To tell the truth, once you get this down the stand offs and rail installation is super fast. So glad I predrilled all the holes. Every single lag bolt is hitting home. No pounding around looking for the stud and then missing.
    The county building permit engineer is coming over tomorrow or the day after to sign off on the permit.
  • dreesdrees Solar Expert Posts: 481 ✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    Looking good! Will be nice to get some of the roof wiring going!
  • mr.radonmr.radon Solar Expert Posts: 158 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    Yesterday I had the County Building inspector come over. I misunderstood his intent. He can't sign the permit till the L&I (electrical) inspection is done which means I have to finish the installation. However, he did say the installation looks perfect. He loved the tool which places every lag bolt near dead center in the rafter 2X4's.
    I installed the inverters on the rails. I'm using HellermannTyton 156-04602 T50ROSEC19 clips to dress the harnesses. These clip right onto the rails and have a zip tie. Saves a lot of time dressing the inverter wiring.
    Hope to drill the holes in the roof for the service entrance drop downs.
    The balance of my 3" standoffs arrive tomorrow. Should be done with all the rails this weekend and the panels installed next week. :D
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,331 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    Yeah each code department is different, mine came and signed off on the structural well before the electrical was done, and gave me the "green sticker" for the structural.
  • mr.radonmr.radon Solar Expert Posts: 158 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    Have almost all the standoffs installed now. Friends are coming over to help with the long rails this weekend. Hope to have most of the panels up in a few days.
    Some pictures from yesterday. Have a question about the 6AWG ground wire.

    SE roof with inverters. Note the zig zag ground wire. I need to ground out the rails and the inverters. Is this what others have done?

    IMG_1076.jpg

    SW roof with inverters.
    IMG_1075.jpg

    Inverter close up. I still haven't installed the clips to hold the wires at this point.
    IMG_1074.jpg

    Inverter even closer.
    IMG_1073.jpg
  • dreesdrees Solar Expert Posts: 481 ✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System
    mr.radon wrote: »
    SE roof with inverters. Note the zig zag ground wire. I need to ground out the rails and the inverters. Is this what others have done?
    Yep, pretty much. Takes a bit of planning to minimize length of wire - don't forget that far left rail that doesn't appear to be grounded yet.
  • mr.radonmr.radon Solar Expert Posts: 158 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    Yep, I ran out of cable. This was my first attempt the second had a more efficent routing. I measured the length and bought about 130' last night. Should be enough without any splices.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    if you were grounding out all of the rails then you missed one.
  • mr.radonmr.radon Solar Expert Posts: 158 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    So I had some help this morning. Managed to install (4) 162" rails and (2) 82" rails, plus the 26 standoffs and flashing, plus install (10) inverters this morning.

    Amazed how fast it went with a little help.

    Standoffs, clips, flashing and rails. Ready for inverters and panels.
    IMG_1081.jpg

    Tightening the clip bolts clips to the stand offs, box of inverters.
    IMG_1083.jpg

    Friend with the inverters and tar on his elbow.
    IMG_1084.jpg
  • AntronXAntronX Solar Expert Posts: 462 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    Excellent. You do high quality work. Waiting for pictures when system goes online.
  • mr.radonmr.radon Solar Expert Posts: 158 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    Got the flashing installed for the WN roof's (40) standoffs! Only (24) standoffs left to install. The roof tiles are SO much easier to cut when hot; but a hot roof is not fun to work on. Tomorrow I'll get some help to install the ( 8 ) 162" rails. I also made the (5) service entrance drops. I'm going to drill the holes in the roof tonight.
    I also bought a 315' roll of 6AWG ground wire. Cheaper to buy a full roll then 200'. So I'll have a lot left over. Maybe I can sell it on Craigslist. :p

    I routed the cables for the inverters I install this morning. The ties I have work great, clip right onto the I-beam. Will be another busy day tomorrow. Hope to have a bunch of panels installed tomorrow.

    2 neighbors came over and asked what I was doing. They left shaking their heads.
  • AntronXAntronX Solar Expert Posts: 462 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System
    mr.radon wrote: »
    ...2 neighbors came over and asked what I was doing. They left shaking their heads.

    Nod of disapproval?
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    maybe you should've told them you're a disgruntled nasa scientist and are trying to contact aliens. they might leave you alone.:roll::p
  • keyturbocarskeyturbocars Solar Expert Posts: 375 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    Great workmanship. Very impressive.
  • mr.radonmr.radon Solar Expert Posts: 158 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    I think the shook their heads because they had a bet. One said solar panels, the other a kick ass Christmas display.

    I got a LOT done today. A friend came over at 8AM and we worked on getting the flashing installed on the 40 standoffs. We quickly got the (8) 162" rails installed and then started to load them up with inverters. I now have 33 of the 45 inverters installed.
    After that we got the ground wire run on all the racks. I bought a 315' roll wholesale. 6 awg bare copper.
    Then we set up some 2X4's and used them to rack up the panels. Managed to get a total of (20) panels installed and bolted down. Would have had more up but had to wait for a slow moving rain storm to pass through.

    In the mean time I installed a couple of the drop downs.
    Here are the service entrance heads I need (5).
    IMG_1086.jpg

    Working on the grounding.
    IMG_1090.jpg

    Loading up the panels.
    IMG_1091.jpg

    The WN roof with (12) of (16) panels. You can see the service head.
    IMG_1092.jpg
  • mr.radonmr.radon Solar Expert Posts: 158 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    My friend sitting next to the WS roof with (5) of the (10) panels.
    IMG_1097.jpg

    Me standing on the peak of the house. SW has (3) of the (4) panels.
    IMG_1094.jpg
  • dreesdrees Solar Expert Posts: 481 ✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    Looking good! Like the love sign in the garage. ;)
  • mr.radonmr.radon Solar Expert Posts: 158 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System
    drees wrote: »
    Looking good! Like the love sign in the garage. ;)

    LOL - was my card to my wife on V-day. :p She has yet to take it down.
  • jcgee88jcgee88 Solar Expert Posts: 154 ✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    I see you are mounting near a flue and that the cap on that flue is
    pretty big. Are you going to replace your flue cap with a smaller one?

    I have a flue cap that is located similarly close to a PV panel, and I get
    shading from it until about 9:30 am in the Summer. This reduces
    the panel's output by as much as 90%. I can't replace the flue pipe
    itself, but if I could reduce the flue cap height and diameter, I think I
    could reduce the shadowing by 30-45 minutes. However, I have not
    been able to find a suitable "low profile" flue cap.

    John
  • mr.radonmr.radon Solar Expert Posts: 158 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    I did a Sketchup 12 month shade run on the current pipe and I only get bad shading in low energy production months. I'm not going to worry about it unless my Enphase report shows problems in the high production months.
    Thats the great thing about Enphase... Super flexibility in design.

    Now that I have switched to a on-demand hot water heater and I never use the furnace I've thought of re-routing the pipe out the side of the house. So that is always an option.
  • SolarseekerSolarseeker Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    Mr Radon- You do GREAT work! Those flashings look awesome.

    I have a few questions:

    1) Are those aluminum flashings or galvanized steel?

    2) I assume the black top of the flashing is rubber? If so, what is the life expectancy of the rubber before it cracks, etc?

    I guess, my point is that I thing the flashing looks beautiful, but will it last as long as your system? Did you investigate this issue beforehand? If not, can anyone else answer this? Thanks!
  • SolarseekerSolarseeker Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    THAT was freakin hilarious!!! :)
  • mr.radonmr.radon Solar Expert Posts: 158 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    They are Oatey 12920.
    1) Are those aluminum flashings or galvanized steel?

    2) I assume the black top of the flashing is rubber? If so, what is the life expectancy of the rubber before it cracks, etc?

    They are Al.

    The collars are not in direct light. I'm hoping they last 15 years when I plan on replacing the roof. My current flashings are 15 years and are still good.
  • mr.radonmr.radon Solar Expert Posts: 158 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    I finished running my 6 AWG rail grounds down my drop downs and attached them to the ground bars I made in my junction boxes. Now I need to add the 24 stand offs for the EN roof and the rails, this weekend I should be done.

    Am looking for a local trophy store to engrave a few labels for the panels and AC Disconnect switch. Hope to have L&I out Monday!
  • SolarseekerSolarseeker Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: My 10.1KW System

    Thank you for taking the time to respond and Good luck! :)
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