Newbie and just like to say THANKS!

autoxsteve Solar Expert Posts: 114 ✭✭✭✭
I'm a newbie here and very thankful of this forum!

I'm presently watching Roderick's DIY video and will be trying to do a make/buy choice for putting a system on our home.

We have concrete ceramic tile roof and have received quotes in the high 20k range last year for a 3kW PV system.

I think I can do much better than that and basically make my elec bill what the TOU fees and taxes are for the year (saving about $900/year).

Thanks again - this forum is most excellent!


  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie and just like to say THANKS!

    IMHO, a concrete/tile roof mounted arrray is only for the professionals .. your reported contract price doesn't seem high at all for this type of roof and I doubt you can do it yourself for less and met the required codes.

    Continue reading and researching on roof mounting hardware and liability insurance, which can easily be 30% the cost of the installation!
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie and just like to say THANKS!

    And stand by, for some changes in the the California laws regarding ToU rates vs PV hours.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    gen: ,

  • Roderick
    Roderick Solar Expert Posts: 253 ✭✭
    Re: Newbie and just like to say THANKS!

    Hi, and welcome.

    Tile, especially that curved, half-cylinder type, is one of the most difficult surfaces to install solar over, with an existing roof.  However, nothing is impossible for a handy individual that's willing to do research.  A price in the high 20's does not seem unreasonable, considering the care requierd to remove tiles to put in standoffs.  Of that, maybe $18k would be for the parts, and the rest skilled labor.  Maybe you could find a roofer to do the standoff part?

    In my local library, they have a binder in the reference section of the local building codes.  And in the same section, there's a copy of the National Electrical Code.  It's a lot of reading, but again, not impossible for a person with patience and perseverance.  You might take a look in your library, and see whether this kind of research suits you, or you'd rather just pay someone and be sure.  What is not included in the documents is local experience on what local inspectors will expect.  If you live in a highly managed community, inspectors may be finicky about an installation which is technically NEC-compliant.  In another community, they might be very lax.  An advantage of installing yourself is that you will know the details of what you did, where a marginal professional might cheat in places they know the inspector won't care about.

    If you are in California, see the recent article in the usenet forum, saying how solar sales are way down this year, on account of the new rules.  This means that solar installers may be hungry for business, and competition will drive down the price.