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Pros and Cons of Solar Energy: Pros and Cons of Buying Solar Panel Kits

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  • #46
    Originally posted by NABCEP Russ View Post
    You're right, wind is typically the dominant force. But if you do the calculations, you will find that attaching to every rafter is way over-designed. Saying you won't sign off on a design if every rafter isn't lagged is pretty darn ignorant. Do you do all of your engineering work over-designed with no regard for the cost?

    Also, sure, labor is expensive as well, but for roof penetrations @ $35 each, $30 is materials, $5 is labor.
    Yes, i would not sign off. Things like error and omission insurance are costly too. Solar installation problems are rapidly becoming an item of interest to insurance companies and their legal staff. State regulatory angencies have also shown as interest as city/county inspection have been impacted by staff reductions. Ignorance of liability seems a dangerous and costly enterprise.
    Vintovka
    RCE, PE
    retired environmental engineer
    _

    "the enviroment is lost, get used to it"

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    • #47
      Originally posted by vintovka View Post
      Yes, i would not sign off. Things like error and omission insurance are costly too. Solar installation problems are rapidly becoming an item of interest to insurance companies and their legal staff. State regulatory angencies have also shown as interest as city/county inspection have been impacted by staff reductions. Ignorance of liability seems a dangerous and costly enterprise.
      Do you realize you're basically saying let's throw any concept of design and structural calculations out the window? It's like saying lets design a steel structure, include a typical factor of safety of 3, and then triple that just to be safe. So then you have a structure that is over-designed by a factor of 9, with several times the amount of steel, which is then most likely cost prohibitive and wouldn't be built. If an engineer isn't competent enough to design a structure that he is confident enough to sign off on without tripling the factor of safety, then he shouldn't be a structural engineer. I understand liability and issues with insurance, but there's a limit to the insanity.
      Your single source for sustainable home improvements: [URL="www.eco-merica.com"]www.eco-merica.com[/URL]

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      • #48
        Originally posted by NABCEP Russ View Post
        Do you realize you're basically saying let's throw any concept of design and structural calculations out the window? It's like saying lets design a steel structure, include a typical factor of safety of 3, and then triple that just to be safe. So then you have a structure that is over-designed by a factor of 9, with several times the amount of steel, which is then most likely cost prohibitive and wouldn't be built. If an engineer isn't competent enough to design a structure that he is confident enough to sign off on without tripling the factor of safety, then he shouldn't be a structural engineer. I understand liability and issues with insurance, but there's a limit to the insanity.
        100% agreed - it is really wrong to suggest not following a properly engineered solution.

        Engineers generally do best when sticking to their own discipline though some with a PE feel they are qualified in all fields (except surgery maybe).

        Russ
        [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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        • #49
          Originally posted by NABCEP Russ View Post
          1. Lagging every rafter is ridiculous and a large expense.
          I agree. Most manufacturers like UNI RAC allow width spans of 2 to 3 PV modules before having a rafter lagged.
          If the job is inspected as it should be the inspector will make the decision if it is unsafe for install.
          As an example here is one of my uni rac installs. If it was clear that the install was to occur within any windshear values. An additional uni rac rail was installed per inspectors request, and would suffice beyond the manufacturers recommendations.


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          • #50
            Nice looking setup!
            [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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            • #51
              Re: Roof Attachments

              Perhaps my knowledge is dated but back in the early '80's when I was installing roof mounted solar hot water systems in Boulder Colorado--a very high wind area--we lagged unistrut to the backsides of the rafters, then attached the system mounting hardware to that unistrut via all-thread, washers and locknuts. Thus the system was bolted to the entire roof and didn't rely on screw threads in wood for sufficient grip. This system was designed by a structural engineer and we never lost one to wind damage.

              Unlike PV systems the hot water collectors were mounted at latitude +15 degrees--offering a higher wind profile. We usually "chased" them in, but some owners couldn't afford the extra for that.

              I agree that flashing plus sealant is a superior method for preventing leaks--that's the way we did it.

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              • #52
                Solar Power

                It very good tips. I think many people who want to use solar energy, will be helpful from these tips.

                Mod note - good - welcome but forget the advertising links
                Last edited by russ; 09-02-2012, 02:48 PM. Reason: removed link

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                • #53
                  I also have a Fronius 3.8.Its awesome and works great.Moreover doesn't make so much noise.yes, I completely agree with you that its not so easy to learn all about solar panel and about proper installation.Its a very critical job but very beneficial.
                  Last edited by konstant; 12-03-2012, 02:57 AM. Reason: SPELLING MISTAKE

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                  • #54
                    Solar system

                    Nice ,
                    Use a waterproof alternating such as those offered by Quick mount PV. Also, an additional reason not to triple the quantity of holes in your roof.....

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                    • #55
                      Very Useful

                      I must say, these are very useful tips..everyone should read it once..
                      [url]http://www.theadvancedgroup.co.uk[/url]

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                      • #56
                        Three years too late to review the information presented, just joined

                        I have a 10 Kwatt ground mount system installed by a PA Big Box store. I did not get anything writing but the requirements for 48 BP-Solar panels to be installed on two(2) ground mounts. The installer was from New Jersey, and on the first day the two Sunny boy inverters and the new electrical meters were installed.
                        On the second day it was obvious that a 96 foot array would (could not) be installed on a sloping ground as detailed in the plan. 96 foot straight array, would have meant the bottom would have to be 8 to ten feet OFF the level of the ground.
                        On the 65 day of the install, they showed up with a 10 inch hole digger and dug 24 holes.
                        On the 67 day a cement truck filled the cardboard forms which held the support columns.
                        On the 68 & 69 day the columns were trimmed to height, and 24 panels were installed on each array system, the electrician showed up and cursed the 1 1/4 inch conduit installed on day 2, removed it, installed 2 inch conduit and pulled 6 gauge copper back to the inverters. System on line (grid attached) August 6, 2010.
                        On September 28 we had a rain storm, twelve of the upright support columns sunk into the ground up to a half-foot. I now have a wavy solar panel arrays!!
                        In june 2012 , I advised the installer that on panel was showing bubbles and rust like appear at the output terminal and the conduit a broken the whole bottom of the DC junction box. Investigated, said would repair when summer work stopped, OK with me. In June 2013 I asked when thee repairs would be done, was told "we did that", contact Big box to get repairs. So I have been dealing with Big Box and BP-Solar since. I did get a replacement BP-solar panel shipped to me in November 2013 but that the most of any 'repairs' done.
                        I could name the contract from New Jersey and the Big Box, but it seems that this is not done on this site, if I am correct.
                        Get everything in writing, do not trust anyone!!!!!

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Ninefingers View Post
                          I have a 10 Kwatt ground mount system installed by a PA Big Box store. I did not get anything writing but the requirements for 48 BP-Solar panels to be installed on two(2) ground mounts. The installer was from New Jersey, and on the first day the two Sunny boy inverters and the new electrical meters were installed.
                          On the second day it was obvious that a 96 foot array would (could not) be installed on a sloping ground as detailed in the plan. 96 foot straight array, would have meant the bottom would have to be 8 to ten feet OFF the level of the ground.
                          On the 65 day of the install, they showed up with a 10 inch hole digger and dug 24 holes.
                          On the 67 day a cement truck filled the cardboard forms which held the support columns.
                          On the 68 & 69 day the columns were trimmed to height, and 24 panels were installed on each array system, the electrician showed up and cursed the 1 1/4 inch conduit installed on day 2, removed it, installed 2 inch conduit and pulled 6 gauge copper back to the inverters. System on line (grid attached) August 6, 2010.
                          On September 28 we had a rain storm, twelve of the upright support columns sunk into the ground up to a half-foot. I now have a wavy solar panel arrays!!
                          In june 2012 , I advised the installer that on panel was showing bubbles and rust like appear at the output terminal and the conduit a broken the whole bottom of the DC junction box. Investigated, said would repair when summer work stopped, OK with me. In June 2013 I asked when thee repairs would be done, was told "we did that", contact Big box to get repairs. So I have been dealing with Big Box and BP-Solar since. I did get a replacement BP-solar panel shipped to me in November 2013 but that the most of any 'repairs' done.
                          I could name the contract from New Jersey and the Big Box, but it seems that this is not done on this site, if I am correct.
                          Get everything in writing, do not trust anyone!!!!!
                          Why are we not allowed to name the site and the sourcing? How does this lack of transparency help the larger goal? I see vendor names constantly being mentioned so why wouldn't it apply here?

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Mr. Vegas View Post
                            Why are we not allowed to name the site and the sourcing? How does this lack of transparency help the larger goal? I see vendor names constantly being mentioned so why wouldn't it apply here?
                            Because it is one side of the story and often times people go off on a rant. Ninefingers did it well by stating the facts and leaving it at that and a name would be allowed.
                            [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by russ View Post
                              Because it is one side of the story and often times people go off on a rant. Ninefingers did it well by stating the facts and leaving it at that and a name would be allowed.
                              What about posting a review on Yelp and then linking it here then? I understand there are rules on the forums, not trying to ask you to change them, but the overall tone of this forum appears to be that the consumer is on the back foot when dealing with a lot of these solar outfits so some experiences with them would be valuable. My opinion.

                              Apologies to the OP for going OT.

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