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DIY: Photovoltaic Installation Video
Anyone considering the purchase of a solar photovoltaic system should find the attached video clip and associated photos of interest. This video depicts the typical PV roof installation of a 4.7 KW system consisting of two strings of nine Suniva 260 watt modules with an SMA 4000TL string inverter. Keep in mind that there is more to a PV project than just attaching panels on a roof. This video clip is provided, however, to give you a glimpse of such an installation.
In this particular case, because of the age of the existing two layers of shingles, the roof was stripped and re-shingled prior to the PV installation. The stripping and re-shingling was accomplished in less than one day, and the PV installation, including the PV mounting rails, attachment of PV modules, electrical conduit, wiring, and string inverter was completed within two days. Thanks to the well-planned management of Central Maine Power, the applicable equipment for net-metering was established prior to the photovoltaic system installation, and the PV system was providing power to the electrical grid upon the day of system completion.
Electricity prices are on the rise. Meeting new and complex federal environmental regulations, replacing aging grid infrastructure, retiring coal-fired and nuclear power plants, mandating a reduction in the use of coal, and resisting the development of our own energy resources all play a part in the escalation of utility rates. Some regions of the country may be more affected by price increases than others, however, due to the fact that some resources, such as natural gas, can come at a higher cost due to availability and access. But be assured, that with the increase in the demand for power, the overall price of electricity will increase.
The decision to purchase a solar PV system in order to generate independent power and to reduce future utility expenses can be a difficult one. This is partly due to the abundant, yet conflicting and confusing amount of information available (refer to an earlier ‘blog’ titled “Is This Just Another Book on Solar Energy?”). Prior to purchasing an alternative energy system, you should have a basic understanding of the components involved, arrangement of solar panels, how such systems function, and the basic knowledge to analyze the various financing choices and to consider the available federal and state tax incentives.
Solar Energy, Photovoltaics and Domestic Hot Water is available for purchase on the Elsevier Store. Use discount code “STC3014” and save 30% on your very own copy!
About the Author
Russell Plante is an Engineering Physicist with a diverse engineering and academic background in Engineering Physics, Electrical Engineering, and Business Administration. He has held positions as a systems engineer with Automation Industries, Inc., a project engineer in Kalwall Corp’s Solar Division, and Department of Defense Branch Head in Control Engineering, Welding Engineering, and Quality Control Engineering Analysis.
While at the DOD, he was appointed by the University of Maine to advise and assist the Physics Department in providing an industrial perspective for quality education. A skilled technical writer, he is a previously published author and has received awards for Solar Building Engineering Design from the State of Maine Office of Energy Resources and from the U.S. Department of Energy for Energy Innovation Technologies. He is currently a member of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES).
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