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Home Solar Questions #16300129 07/31/21
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JakeBlues Online Content OP
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Looking at land to develop in the Spokane WA area, I would like to not need the grid for electricity if possible and I would likely build about an 800 square foot cabin. Money-wise, I would likely trade the expense of a bigger and more complex home for a smaller, simpler design and put that money into things like nice windows, insulation, solar, battery cell etc. Except for the bathroom, laundry and closet, I may just go with one large single room. I anticipate heating/cooling that with a ductless system and have an inline water heater. I'm probably looking at a few years out and may just park a 5th wheel on the property until building supply costs come down and I have enough funds to build.

With all that said, do people think it would be possible to supply all electric needs solely from a roof mounted solar system? Or would I need to couple it with something else? It would be me, maybe a girl friend sometimes and a dog. I know a lot of the answer depends on lifestyle. I would want to have a wall mounted flat screen and home theater system. Other than that, I would have some standard appliances.

Also, on a roof mounted system, is there a preferred roofing type? Would you need different framing or boards to support such a system?

Thanks in advance.


Progressives are the most open minded, tolerant, and inclusive people on the planet, as long as you agree with everything they say, and do exactly as you're told.
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Re: Home Solar Questions [Re: JakeBlues] #16300230 07/31/21
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NVhntr Online Content
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You might consider propane appliances wherever possible. Range, refrigerator, dryer, etc. That would take a substantial load off the solar requirement.

Re: Home Solar Questions [Re: JakeBlues] #16300332 07/31/21
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I agree.


These premises insured by a Sheltie in Training ,--- and Cooey.o
"May the Good Lord take a likin' to you"
Re: Home Solar Questions [Re: JakeBlues] #16300337 07/31/21
Joined: Jan 2010
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funshooter Offline
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I just finished building a Solar System for my property in Arizona 300 sq. ft bedroom and an additional 300 sq ft kitchen in the future.
I made some mistakes at first cutting corners with cheap inverters and mid level Charge Controllers.
My system now consists of (8) 200 Amp Hr Lithium Battery's
I did some homework after the fact and purchased the Magnum 4048 (4400Watt) (2) 30 amp 120V out lets and (1) 30 amp 240V out let in one inverter , the Magnum PT 100 MPPT Charge Controller which can put out a max. 6600 watts to the Battery's & the Magnum ME-ARTR Router
I chose Magnum because it is a Marine rated System and can be expanded fairly easily with up to (4) Inverters and (4) Charge Controllers.
At the present moment I have 1600 Watts of Solar Panels and I will add more as I use & test my System.
Everyone's power needs are different and with Solar and Wind you need to figure out what your needs are and not get caught up with what others tell you what they have.
I learned a GREAT deal from the altE Store on line.
They have a lot of YouTube Videos explaining just about question you may have about Solar.

I have a Friend up in Arizona that has an 3000 sq ft.electric home on grid. He is trying to get set up for total off grid.
He has acquired (4) Solar System trailers that were auctioned off from a company that went Bankrupt.
He is finding out that going off grid with Electric Everything in his home is costing him.
It can be done.
You will still more than likely want to have a back up generator when you do not have sun for days.
This Magnum System has a Grid Tie In (Generator Tie In) built into it so when the grid power go's out it converts over to the Battery's in a milli second according to what they say or it allows you to hook up a generator and charge the battery's with the generator while it takes some of that power to feed your electric needs.
Gas or Diesel Generators are convenient but in the long run they can get expensive to feed.
Solar is expensive up front but some what pays for itself over time.
The grid is 7 1/2 miles away from my Parcel in Arizona so it is Gas Diesel or Solar for me. The Gas and Diesel are about an hour and a half away

Good luck with what you choose to do.
Please let us know what you decide on.
There are some good company's that build good reliable systems and there are a Lot that do not build good reliable stuff at all.

Re: Home Solar Questions [Re: JakeBlues] #16300338 07/31/21
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rainshot Offline
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Those 4x8 sheets of whatever the hellitis weigh a lot. I've picked them up and moved them. I wouldn't consider it myself but you can do whatever you wish. The question is how long will it take to recover the cost of installing them and how long before you need a new roof and have to pay to take them off and reinstall? Personally if I were to get them I would install them on the yard beside the house and let the roof do it's thing unhampered. Citizens National Bank outside of Corsicana Texas has a couple of banks of them and they take up more room than the building. How much they help with the electric bill , I have no idea. They sure are ugly though.

IC-A

Re: Home Solar Questions [Re: rainshot] #16300418 07/31/21
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funshooter Offline
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Originally Posted by rainshot
Those 4x8 sheets of whatever the hellitis weigh a lot. I've picked them up and moved them. I wouldn't consider it myself but you can do whatever you wish. The question is how long will it take to recover the cost of installing them and how long before you need a new roof and have to pay to take them off and reinstall? Personally if I were to get them I would install them on the yard beside the house and let the roof do it's thing unhampered. Citizens National Bank outside of Corsicana Texas has a couple of banks of them and they take up more room than the building. How much they help with the electric bill , I have no idea. They sure are ugly though.



Good advise
When I move my System up to Arizona permanently I will be building a Carport type structure so that I can park vehicles or do work under the roof in the shade and out of the direct weather.
I already have the rack built. 1/2 at my place in Commyfornia and when I get to Arizona I will have 1/2 of it there to support the panels and get them off the ground

My System will pay for itself faster than people that have the Grid close by.
My place is remote and it will cost me just going back and forth getting Fuels for the Generator.

Like I said earlier.
Everyone's needs are different and you need to figure out what your needs are before you can make a good decision on how to fill your needs.

My Neighbor here in Commyforna just last year had a Solar System installed on the roof of his home.
He had hind sight and seen that he screwed up by not re roofing his home before the install.
The Company that Installed his System did not mention the re roof at all.
Probably so they can come back and be paid for removing the panels and re installing when he does re roof.

I asked my neighbor how many Watts he had installed and what kind of System (Inverters and Controller) he has no battery's
He gives his power to the power company (Edison) during the day and then uses the power company's power during the night.
All my neighbor could tell me about his System is that he only has to pay around $50 a month now in an Electricity Bill every month.

He has no idea of what he even has on his roof and really does not care to know.

Re: Home Solar Questions [Re: JakeBlues] #16300448 07/31/21
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Yes, you can provide all of your needs but you have to change mindset first.

First, understand power ain’t free

Live smaller

Third, IT IS A SUCKERS BET SELLING THE EXCESS TO THE POWER COMPANY UNLESS YOU ARE RIGGED FOR YOUR NEEDS FIRST.


They make units like this

https://ecoflow.com/

But the options are endless.

Last edited by JohnnyLoco; 07/31/21.
Re: Home Solar Questions [Re: JakeBlues] #16300517 07/31/21
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Rock Chuck Online Content
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I agree that roof mounted panels only have the advantage when you don't have space on the ground for them.
Also, even in dry country, you still have multiple cloudy days when the panels don't get enough sun to charge the batteries. 5 or 6 days of clouds and you'll be out of power. You need a good backup.


Sin wouldn't be so attractive if the wages were paid immediately.
,,...............
70. The age when your body gives your brain a list of things it isn't going to do anymore
Re: Home Solar Questions [Re: JakeBlues] #16300566 07/31/21
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ribka Online Sleepy
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I had solar panels mounted on steel poles. I could loosen and change angle to match angle of sun during season changes. I think much practical especially in winter with heavy snow fall.


I ran propane appliances. Stove, hot water heater. dryer, fridge. Propane fridges are expensive.

Had a separate power shed where batteries and generators where stored. I’d do at least a 1.5k watts of panels. 500 gal min propane tank
Propane generator or duel fuel


Go one big room with a set off bedroom and maybe one room for storage

Last edited by ribka; 07/31/21.

trans gender non binary transcendent mermaid queen-king
Re: Home Solar Questions [Re: JakeBlues] #16300792 07/31/21
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Maybe my experience can answer part of your questions - but it's not the same setup

I bought a house fall of 2019 with rooftop solar already professionally installed. Originally rated at 7000 watts, NO STORAGE, reversible electric meter for the grid.
System originally installed in 2011, Total cost about $48,000, final cost to homeowner after federal and state tax credits was about $20,000.
NO modifications to roof needed, but roofs here have to be built for a heavy snow load to begin with. House built in 1996.

3 bedroom, 1500 sqft finished, central air, all electric except for propane heat. Northern NY location, Jefferson County, so definitely have a heating season and winter days without much solar available. Most of the time one resident.
In any given month my meter runs backwards, taking watthours off, when I make more power than I use. I don't accumulate any credit beyond a month at a time the way my usage is calculated from the monthly meter readings. My usage from the grid for last year and a half:

ReadDate & Days Read Type Total kWh
6/30/2021 & 34 Days Actual 0
5/27/2021 & 28 Days Actual 0
4/29/2021 & 30 Days Actual 17
3/30/2021 & 32 Days Actual 0
2/26/2021 & 28 Days Actual 584
1/29/2021 & 31 Days Actual 675
12/29/2020 & 34 Days Actual 805
11/25/2020 & 29 Days Actual 650
10/27/2020 & 29 Days Actual 581
9/28/2020 & 32 Days Actual 103
8/27/2020 & 29 Days Actual 0
7/29/2020 & 29 Days Actual 85
6/30/2020 & 32 Days Actual 0
5/29/2020 & 29 Days Actual 0
4/30/2020 & 31 Days Actual 0
3/30/2020 & 28 Days Actual 0
3/2/2020 & 33 Days Actual 370
1/29/2020 & 30 Days Actual 448
12/30/2019 & 34 Days Actual 760
11/26/2019 & 28 Days Actual 179
10/29/2019 & 32 Days Actual 0
9/27/2019 & 28 Days Actual 0
8/30/2019 & 4 Days Actual 0
(excel tables get screwed up when pasting into this site)

So...in general you can see I make more than enough power from April into September. Some months I send 400-500 kWh back into the grid. A major factor during the winter is my panels will get covered with snow and ice and I can get several months with just about zero generation. I expect that if I had pole mounted panels that could be repositioned seasonally - and could get snow/ice brushed off - my Oct - Mar numbers could be a lot better. Could also reduce power from grid if I had storage so I could use my own power at night.

For completely off-grid you'll need storage (probably at least several days worth) and another source of power for extended low solar output. The off grid setups I've seen around here all have backup gas, diesel or propane generators. If you're looking at a year-round residence and want reliable electricity I think you pretty much have to include a fueled generator - a large enough battery bank to cover everything for more than a few days will get real expensive.

You could also add a small wind turbine if you location has wind potential. There are also ways of generating from low-head hydro power if you have a good stream to work with.
.
[Linked Image]

IC-B

Re: Home Solar Questions [Re: MikeL2] #16300907 07/31/21
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 7,289
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funshooter Offline
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Originally Posted by MikeL2
Maybe my experience can answer part of your questions - but it's not the same setup

I bought a house fall of 2019 with rooftop solar already professionally installed. Originally rated at 7000 watts, NO STORAGE, reversible electric meter for the grid.
System originally installed in 2011, Total cost about $48,000, final cost to homeowner after federal and state tax credits was about $20,000.
NO modifications to roof needed, but roofs here have to be built for a heavy snow load to begin with. House built in 1996.

3 bedroom, 1500 sqft finished, central air, all electric except for propane heat. Northern NY location, Jefferson County, so definitely have a heating season and winter days without much solar available. Most of the time one resident.
In any given month my meter runs backwards, taking watthours off, when I make more power than I use. I don't accumulate any credit beyond a month at a time the way my usage is calculated from the monthly meter readings. My usage from the grid for last year and a half:

ReadDate & Days Read Type Total kWh
6/30/2021 & 34 Days Actual 0
5/27/2021 & 28 Days Actual 0
4/29/2021 & 30 Days Actual 17
3/30/2021 & 32 Days Actual 0
2/26/2021 & 28 Days Actual 584
1/29/2021 & 31 Days Actual 675
12/29/2020 & 34 Days Actual 805
11/25/2020 & 29 Days Actual 650
10/27/2020 & 29 Days Actual 581
9/28/2020 & 32 Days Actual 103
8/27/2020 & 29 Days Actual 0
7/29/2020 & 29 Days Actual 85
6/30/2020 & 32 Days Actual 0
5/29/2020 & 29 Days Actual 0
4/30/2020 & 31 Days Actual 0
3/30/2020 & 28 Days Actual 0
3/2/2020 & 33 Days Actual 370
1/29/2020 & 30 Days Actual 448
12/30/2019 & 34 Days Actual 760
11/26/2019 & 28 Days Actual 179
10/29/2019 & 32 Days Actual 0
9/27/2019 & 28 Days Actual 0
8/30/2019 & 4 Days Actual 0
(excel tables get screwed up when pasting into this site)

So...in general you can see I make more than enough power from April into September. Some months I send 400-500 kWh back into the grid. A major factor during the winter is my panels will get covered with snow and ice and I can get several months with just about zero generation. I expect that if I had pole mounted panels that could be repositioned seasonally - and could get snow/ice brushed off - my Oct - Mar numbers could be a lot better. Could also reduce power from grid if I had storage so I could use my own power at night.

For completely off-grid you'll need storage (probably at least several days worth) and another source of power for extended low solar output. The off grid setups I've seen around here all have backup gas, diesel or propane generators. If you're looking at a year-round residence and want reliable electricity I think you pretty much have to include a fueled generator - a large enough battery bank to cover everything for more than a few days will get real expensive.

You could also add a small wind turbine if you location has wind potential. There are also ways of generating from low-head hydro power if you have a good stream to work with.
.
[Linked Image]



You can never beat Real world information
Thanks for posting this.

Re: Home Solar Questions [Re: JakeBlues] #16300925 07/31/21
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Burleyboy Offline
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I have a home system but mine is net metering with no battery back up. My system is a little undersized for my house and needs. This last month was lots of sun and my bill was $3. In December through February my bill can jump to $100 a month because my solar produces little on overcast days or when under snow.

You need to plan on some kind of generator back up because solar production can vary a lot due to conditions and battery storage gets expensive quickly. I just ordered a new F150 with a 7.2 Kwatt generator built in so I'm planning to use it as my back up generator. I can patch it directly into my main panel because I used a special panel when I built. It's supposed to run 30 hours on a tank of gas.

Everyone should start making contingency plans for heat and energy now that the Marxists are in charge.

Bb

Re: Home Solar Questions [Re: Burleyboy] #16301076 07/31/21
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Bend Offline
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Study the last couple years of Engineer775 vid's.
Focus on both the PV direct and the Battery powered stuff:



https://www.youtube.com/user/engineer775/videos

A primer for solar and an RV (slightly dated):

http://www.jackdanmayer.com/rv_electrical_and_solar.htm#Residential%20Refrigerators

Last edited by Bend; 08/01/21.
Re: Home Solar Questions [Re: JakeBlues] #16304382 08/01/21
Joined: Jul 2018
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JakeBlues Online Content OP
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It would be nice to get hydro power from a year round creek.


Progressives are the most open minded, tolerant, and inclusive people on the planet, as long as you agree with everything they say, and do exactly as you're told.
Re: Home Solar Questions [Re: JakeBlues] #16304576 08/02/21
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,666
JeffA Offline
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It'd have to be one helluva creek to spin very much of a water turbine generator.

Re: Home Solar Questions [Re: JakeBlues] #16304588 08/02/21
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,666
JeffA Offline
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If you wanna learn from the basics to the most advanced in solar applications view this kids videos on YouTube.

https://youtube.com/c/WillProwse

Will Prowse: Want to build an awesome off-grid solar power system? My videos will teach you everything you need, no experience necessary


Re: Home Solar Questions [Re: funshooter] #16304695 08/02/21
Joined: Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by funshooter
I just finished building a Solar System for my property in Arizona 300 sq. ft bedroom and an additional 300 sq ft kitchen in the future.
I made some mistakes at first cutting corners with cheap inverters and mid level Charge Controllers.
My system now consists of (8) 200 Amp Hr Lithium Battery's
I did some homework after the fact and purchased the Magnum 4048 (4400Watt) (2) 30 amp 120V out lets and (1) 30 amp 240V out let in one inverter , the Magnum PT 100 MPPT Charge Controller which can put out a max. 6600 watts to the Battery's & the Magnum ME-ARTR Router
I chose Magnum because it is a Marine rated System and can be expanded fairly easily with up to (4) Inverters and (4) Charge Controllers.
At the present moment I have 1600 Watts of Solar Panels and I will add more as I use & test my System.
Everyone's power needs are different and with Solar and Wind you need to figure out what your needs are and not get caught up with what others tell you what they have.
I learned a GREAT deal from the altE Store on line.
They have a lot of YouTube Videos explaining just about question you may have about Solar.

I have a Friend up in Arizona that has an 3000 sq ft.electric home on grid. He is trying to get set up for total off grid.
He has acquired (4) Solar System trailers that were auctioned off from a company that went Bankrupt.
He is finding out that going off grid with Electric Everything in his home is costing him.
It can be done.
You will still more than likely want to have a back up generator when you do not have sun for days.
This Magnum System has a Grid Tie In (Generator Tie In) built into it so when the grid power go's out it converts over to the Battery's in a milli second according to what they say or it allows you to hook up a generator and charge the battery's with the generator while it takes some of that power to feed your electric needs.
Gas or Diesel Generators are convenient but in the long run they can get expensive to feed.
Solar is expensive up front but some what pays for itself over time.
The grid is 7 1/2 miles away from my Parcel in Arizona so it is Gas Diesel or Solar for me. The Gas and Diesel are about an hour and a half away

Good luck with what you choose to do.
Please let us know what you decide on.
There are some good company's that build good reliable systems and there are a Lot that do not build good reliable stuff at all.



Good read, thanks. 👍


What you think about, you do ... what you do, you become.
In a nation where anything goes ... eventually, everything will. We're almost there.
Re: Home Solar Questions [Re: JeffA] #16304705 08/02/21
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 522
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Joined: Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by JeffA
If you wanna learn from the basics to the most advanced in solar applications view this kids videos on YouTube.

https://youtube.com/c/WillProwse

Will Prowse: Want to build an awesome off-grid solar power system? My videos will teach you everything you need, no experience necessary



I've watched all of his videos over the years ... Will Prowse is good. He used to be homeless, his youtube videos have made him a millionaire. He knows his stuff and is a good kid.


What you think about, you do ... what you do, you become.
In a nation where anything goes ... eventually, everything will. We're almost there.
Re: Home Solar Questions [Re: Bend] #16304723 08/02/21
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 522
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Originally Posted by Bend
Study the last couple years of Engineer775 vid's.
Focus on both the PV direct and the Battery powered stuff:

https://www.youtube.com/user/engineer775/videos

A primer for solar and an RV (slightly dated):

http://www.jackdanmayer.com/rv_electrical_and_solar.htm#Residential%20Refrigerators


Scott and I have known each other for a long time .... first met through The Rubicon, up in Traveler's Rest, nearly 20 years ago then he broke off to do his own thing with youtube.

I never held it against him that he is a taterhead.

All he does is system installations these days and he's good at it. We're doing a lot of solar here in SC although he seems to concentrate on the upstate of SC along with some western NC, eastern TN and northern GA.

Scott knows his stuff and, unlike Will Prowse, Scott definitely approaches his craft from an off grid prepper mentality. Last time I went up there and visited with him he had just invested in a Harvest Right feeze drier. He's got a really nice self sufficient little farm up there ... he's living the life.


What you think about, you do ... what you do, you become.
In a nation where anything goes ... eventually, everything will. We're almost there.
Re: Home Solar Questions [Re: MikeL2] #16304744 08/02/21
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,751
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cra1948 Online Content
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Originally Posted by MikeL2
Maybe my experience can answer part of your questions - but it's not the same setup

I bought a house fall of 2019 with rooftop solar already professionally installed. Originally rated at 7000 watts, NO STORAGE, reversible electric meter for the grid.
System originally installed in 2011, Total cost about $48,000, final cost to homeowner after federal and state tax credits was about $20,000.
NO modifications to roof needed, but roofs here have to be built for a heavy snow load to begin with. House built in 1996.

3 bedroom, 1500 sqft finished, central air, all electric except for propane heat. Northern NY location, Jefferson County, so definitely have a heating season and winter days without much solar available. Most of the time one resident.
In any given month my meter runs backwards, taking watthours off, when I make more power than I use. I don't accumulate any credit beyond a month at a time the way my usage is calculated from the monthly meter readings. My usage from the grid for last year and a half:

ReadDate & Days Read Type Total kWh
6/30/2021 & 34 Days Actual 0
5/27/2021 & 28 Days Actual 0
4/29/2021 & 30 Days Actual 17
3/30/2021 & 32 Days Actual 0
2/26/2021 & 28 Days Actual 584
1/29/2021 & 31 Days Actual 675
12/29/2020 & 34 Days Actual 805
11/25/2020 & 29 Days Actual 650
10/27/2020 & 29 Days Actual 581
9/28/2020 & 32 Days Actual 103
8/27/2020 & 29 Days Actual 0
7/29/2020 & 29 Days Actual 85
6/30/2020 & 32 Days Actual 0
5/29/2020 & 29 Days Actual 0
4/30/2020 & 31 Days Actual 0
3/30/2020 & 28 Days Actual 0
3/2/2020 & 33 Days Actual 370
1/29/2020 & 30 Days Actual 448
12/30/2019 & 34 Days Actual 760
11/26/2019 & 28 Days Actual 179
10/29/2019 & 32 Days Actual 0
9/27/2019 & 28 Days Actual 0
8/30/2019 & 4 Days Actual 0
(excel tables get screwed up when pasting into this site)

So...in general you can see I make more than enough power from April into September. Some months I send 400-500 kWh back into the grid. A major factor during the winter is my panels will get covered with snow and ice and I can get several months with just about zero generation. I expect that if I had pole mounted panels that could be repositioned seasonally - and could get snow/ice brushed off - my Oct - Mar numbers could be a lot better. Could also reduce power from grid if I had storage so I could use my own power at night.

For completely off-grid you'll need storage (probably at least several days worth) and another source of power for extended low solar output. The off grid setups I've seen around here all have backup gas, diesel or propane generators. If you're looking at a year-round residence and want reliable electricity I think you pretty much have to include a fueled generator - a large enough battery bank to cover everything for more than a few days will get real expensive.

You could also add a small wind turbine if you location has wind potential. There are also ways of generating from low-head hydro power if you have a good stream to work with.
.
[Linked Image]


We had much the same experience when we lived next door (in St Lawrence County.) If I were to do it again, I’d go for one of the arrays mounted on a post in the yard that is easier to keep the snow off and automatically tracks the sun’s position during the day for maximum power generation.



Mathew 22: 37-39

Happy escapee from NY

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