New in the World of Solar Power

:confused:Hi Everyone
I'am new as new can be. I live in the middle eastern part of Mich.I thought to start by looking to the township and making sure that permits aren't required.Their website has nothing. Should I turn to the state.I'am also concerned about my insurance and fire.
I want to call to find out but I thought to turn your expertice first. What to do?
Thanks

Comments

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: New in the World of Solar Power

    it would depend upon what it is that you want to do. for a gt (grid tied) system you would want to follow the nec or your local electrical inspector. some things don't need inspected so maybe you might want to describe what you have in mind and if you would like you can check out the nec sticky in the faqs, links, and info section.
    http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?t=848
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: New in the World of Solar Power

    Thanks Niel
    I was looking to purchase a 1700watt system.Since I've registered and visited some of the links, my first purchase is going to be a kilowatt meter. I would like to mount the panels on the roof of my gararge.Full sunlight everyday. I'll be working on it.
    Thanks
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,008 admin
    Re: New in the World of Solar Power

    Are you looking for "Grid Tied" inverter (cheapest, most reliable electric power system, no batteries--but cannot supply power if utility wires are down) or something that can supply power during power outages/emergencies too (batteries add costs and inefficiencies)?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: New in the World of Solar Power

    Pretty much 100% sure permits are required, its a major electrical system addition, go to your local building department and discuss with them. It might be as simple as a basic electrical permit or require Engineered stamped plans especially of you mount to a structures roof.

    Also, if you have any connection to the grid, the electric company will have there own rules on what they expect for permits and inspections ... do not assume because you can't find something online its not required for you home.
  • GreenPowerManiacGreenPowerManiac Solar Expert Posts: 453 ✭✭✭
    Re: New in the World of Solar Power

    Bills right. Take into consideration what exactly you wish to do then leave the difficult questions & work to an electrician. This is where you'll pay an extra price for the NEC benefit and they'll do the setup with the power company (Grid-Tie). Also, check your state's rebate program for solar power. Illinois pays 30% and Fed pays 30% totaling 60%. Depending on what they offer, may influence you to put in more panels. 1.7kw is not much, unless the size of your home is 500 square feet. I'd personally start with at least 5kw. And don't leave out the opportunity to go Solar Water heating either. If there is that much sun like you say, two collectors is more than enough to heat water.
    Nature's Design & Green Energy on FaceBook : Stop by and "Like" us anytime.. Many up-to-date articles about Renewables every day.
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  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,008 admin
    Re: New in the World of Solar Power

    1,700 watts is a pretty small grid tied system... Price wise, around 3kW systems usually end up with a better price per watt cost--plus offset more of the homes loads.

    But, conservation + kill-a-watt meter is a great place to start. It is almost always cheaper to spend your money on conservation (and simply turning unused appliances off) than to build a bigger Solar RE system to make up for wasted energy.

    Once you have a good handle on your power needs and if you need backup power--then we can help you to size the system so you can get accurate quotes and requirements for your particular needs.

    Also, from a $$$/watt price point of view--solar hot water / heating can be a good place to start. Solar Thermal systems are generally cheaper than solar electric--also can be a good project for do-it-yourself type people. The downside is that solar hot water involves lots of plumbing and maintenance (plumps and tanks go bad, probably need a freeze proof system for your area--anti-freeze loop or drain-back system).

    In the end, do your research and conservation first before you layout cash for any systems.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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