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  • #16
    Sunking - Thank you for the warnings and concerns to be aware of. The only POCO available to me is the county co-op and they are currently charging me $0.16/KWh. I have already spoken with them about interconnecting and they actually seem incredibly laid back about all of it. They say I can install everything myself if I want, as long as there is an accessible service disconnect (for the fire dept), a minimum amount of insurance, a drawing of the system and a different meter (net-meter) that they will install. To be on the safe side I will definitely do more homework on it and talk with the POCO again. As far as home equity and selling potential go, I bought this property with the intention to build a house on it, eliminate all debts and as many bills as I can and live here for the rest of my life. I have no intention to ever sell this home.

    J.P.M. - Thanks again. The datasheet for the solar panels I'm looking at (Canadian Solar 280M) doesn't show "PVWatts". I completely agree about saving energy before attempting to make it. I have already reduced my loads as much as my (wife's) lifestyle will allow. Small home, 8" thick walls, air sealing, passive solar, vented metal roof, rainscreen siding, ductless minisplit, ERV, energy efficient appliances, LED lighting, convection microwave (no oven) switched from a desktop to laptop computer (I loved that thing), low flow faucets (well pump), rainwater collection, etc, etc. I've actually run out of ideas on ways to save energy, other than adding a wood burning stove, which may happen in the future.

    tyab - Thanks for the info. I was not familiar with the term "Rapid Shutdown", but looking at it now I will already be set because I think I'm going to go with Enphase micro-inverters, which are already rapid shutdown compliant. I have read so many dummy guides my head is tired of reading the same thing over and over... I'm at the asking questions phase. If you read above, I have already worked on energy reduction and have gone about as far as my wife will comfortably allow. Happy wife, happy life. I am out in the country on land that is 100% unrestricted. I have no building codes, permits or inspections to comply with. I will however take your advice and speak with the county to check on their building codes and policies. I prefer to er on the safe side of things and follow the codes anyway. Most of them are there for safety reasons and I would prefer not to put myself or family in harms way, unnecessarily. I will also figure out exactly what the POCO wants to see as far as interconnecting. They are the only ones I really need to please.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Animag771 View Post
      J.P.M. - Thanks again. The datasheet for the solar panels I'm looking at (Canadian Solar 280M) doesn't show "PVWatts".
      It won't show or reference on most any data sheet.

      PVWatts is a performance estimating model from NREL. Read the Solar for Dummies book and then run the model after you read the help/info screens a couple of times. You have a ways to go on the learning curve with respect to how to size/design a PV system. Look before you leap.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

        It won't show or reference on most any data sheet.

        PVWatts is a performance estimating model from NREL. Read the Solar for Dummies book and then run the model after you read the help/info screens a couple of times. You have a ways to go on the learning curve with respect to how to size/design a PV system. Look before you leap.
        Aww... But leaping is the fun part
        good info, I'll look into it

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        • #19
          Make sure you understand how the "net meter" and billing will work before you spend a bunch of money.

          It may be very different than "net metering" as I know it here in CA.

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          • #20
            Where can I get a all black solar panel that

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            • #21
              i would like to get all black solar panels that are small about 100 watts. im building a shed and would ilke to get a good company panel along with a charge controller and a inverter. i have a car battery that is charging so ill use for a while but stil need everything else.

              i basically want to use the shed to charge dewalt batteries and run a few leds but would still want aorund 100 watt panel.

              any advice is much appreciated.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Freeesun View Post
                i would like to get all black solar panels that are small about 100 watts. im building a shed and would ilke to get a good company panel along with a charge controller and a inverter. i have a car battery that is charging so ill use for a while but stil need everything else.

                i basically want to use the shed to charge dewalt batteries and run a few leds but would still want aorund 100 watt panel.

                any advice is much appreciated.
                I'd look at >100W.
                The panels will probably be cheaper.

                But first you should measure your demand.
                That's the first step for an off-grid system.
                Borrow (or buy) a kill-a-watt for your dewalt charger and measure it's usage (you'll probably need to know peak wattage it is using AND how many kwh.
                And do the same measurement for the LEDs you want to use.

                And head over to the off-grid section to get advice on what you want to do.


                Actually first, you probably want to look at just running power to your new shed - it'll often be just as cheap AND provides more convenience (Want to plug in the new battery powered weed-whacker or whatever in the shed? Not going to have issues because of limits of your off-grid system. )

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