Tag: IronRidge

Install of the Month – August 2017

Install of the Month – August 2017

A Real Contender of an Installation with Rocky H.

This month’s install is a real contender, with a difficult project that took three hard, 12-hour-long days of work to complete, proving that with a little patience, anyone can be a champion.

Rocky H., the champion in question, rose to the challenge and ended up with an exceptional solar array for his home!

An “extreme DIY’er,” Rocky H. had no professional construction background but built his own house, garage, and workshop by himself.

“There was a large learning curve as I didn’t know anything about solar or DC wiring/properties, but it wasn’t anything that can’t be learned.  You don’t have to be a licensed electrician to complete a solar system.  Willingness to learn and research what you don’t know will get you there.”
– Rocky H.

Rocky had the help of a little manpower from friends and family, as well as a 60ft. man-lift to help reach the rooftop a bit easier – with an 8/12 pitched roof, a ladder wouldn’t be quite as simple!

Interview with Rocky

How long was the full installation process from receiving your equipment to flipping the switch?

I ordered my equipment in May, but didn’t start installing until June. I had some things to install on my existing electrical systems before starting on the solar system. The actual installation took 3 twelve hour days. I installed the disconnect and inverter before starting on the roof. It took about 4 hours. The electrical inspection was two days later, and the system test with my utility company was two days after the electrical inspection. I will admit I had all my i’s dotted and my t’s crossed!

How many people did it take?

The first two days, it was just my father in law and I. We installed all the anchor points for the racking and then the racking itself. The second day we installed all the optimizers, optimizer cabling, grounded the racking system and starting running wiring to the inverter. The third day I had two more friends help. Finished up wiring to the inverter first thing in the morning and then installed all the panels. The 36 panels took us about 6 hours.  It probably would have taken twice as long if we didn’t use a man-lift. I used a 60 ft. man-lift as I have an 8/12 pitched roof and the peak is about 40 ft high. I would recommend one if you can get one. It’s much easier than hauling everything on a ladder. Unless you have a big crew.

Did you have any previous construction experience?

I have never worked in construction, but I built my house, garage, and workshop.  I’ve also helped my friends with their projects, etc. I’m 37 years old. I’m an extreme DIYer. I would say my working knowledge is probably better than most. There was a large learning curve as I didn’t know anything about solar or DC wiring/properties, but it wasn’t anything that couldn’t be learned. You don’t have to be a licensed electrician to complete a solar system. Willingness to learn and research what you don’t know will get you there. Will Burlin at Wholesale Solar was a big help. I probably came in thinking I knew more than I did, but he helped me bridge the gap on things I didn’t have experience with — like derating a panel to land a large enough breaker for my system. Trying to wrap my head around that one was interesting.

“Will Burlin at wholesale solar was a big help. I probably came in thinking I knew more than I did, but he helped me bridge the gap on things I didn’t have experience with like derating a panel to land a large enough breaker for my system. Trying to wrap my head around that one was interesting.”
– Rocky H.

What was the most difficult part of the installation?

This may sound lame, but I stressed a ton about locating the center of my trusses. You can try to measure from the end of your roof, but that isn’t always accurate. I couldn’t find them using a stud finder, so I ended up doing it the old fashioned way and used a hammer and my ear just like finding a stud in the wall. It was pretty dang accurate. Within 3/8’’. Pounded a nail where the sound was more solid. If it was off, the flashing from the anchor would cover it easily. Overthought that part 100 times over. Also stressed about handling the DC wires coming from the optimizers. Was afraid of getting shocked, etc. After a little research, I found out that each panel in the string would carry approximately 1V until activated by the inverter. The system comes in many parts and seeing it sitting in my garage for a month before I attempted the install was intimidating. I just hoped it would all fall together once I began… and it did! The way they piece the system together makes it easier. I didn’t have to cut any of the rails. They come in lengths that seem to go together for any number of panel rows. All the paperwork they gave me had all the answers I would need. There were several attachments emailed to me that I had to read a couple of time before they were clear.

Were there any unforeseen additional parts or tools you needed?

There really weren’t any tools. Like I said before, I over-researched the process. I have most tools a general contractor would have, so I was ready. The one tool I’d recommend if you have a shingled roof is a Dasco shingle ripper pry bar. $20 on Amazon. It worked way better than a regular pry bar, saving me a ton of time. I found a guy using it for his panels via YouTube. You’ll have to supply the AC wiring and the breaker from the inverter to the disconnect and then to wherever you connect to the utility (meter socket, sub-panel). Any conduit needed. Metal conduit for DC/strings to inverter and metal or PVC conduit for AC wiring. I think labels now come with Wholesale Solar packages, I didn’t get any with mine (Our solar packages now come with a 55 piece pack of labels designed to meet 2017 NEC – Ed.) . I also had to supply some engraved plastic labels required from the electrical inspector and a couple from the local utility. pvlabels.com got them to me in 3 days and cheap!

How/Why did you choose to self-install?

My neighbor had a system installed by a contractor. I started asking him questions and we both thought we could install it ourselves and save a bunch of money. We were right! I have a 4,000 sq ft home and also a 2,000 sq ft home and was tired of high utility bills! Plus there are great rebates and tax savings. I’ll get 30-45% of my money back in tax credits and rebates.

“Rocky was on top of all the technical aspects of his project, he had clearly done his research and was asking all the right questions. Besides a little advice here and there, and a quick revision of the diagram, everything was smooth sailing”
– Wil Burlin, Solar Technician

What was your primary reason for adding a DIY Solar Kit to your home?

To save money.  After all my expenses it only came to $15,000. Another neighbor had a similar size system installed for over $26,000.(my system is a little larger too). I will be saving hundreds per month!

Anything else you’d like to add?

I will say I was a little skeptical to work with any solar company. I was afraid that after giving them money that I would be left in the wind if I ran into problems. Wholesale Solar really helped with everything. Everything from ordering to shipping was pretty easy. They provided all the engineering required for permitting and required by my local utility. I had a couple questions about grounding and some other minor things that were answered within a day if not the same day. At the end I needed my line diagram changed for my final inspection. My rep was on vacation, but another rep stepped in an handled it the same day. My rep came back the next day and made sure I had what I needed. There was a point were I got really frustrated with my rep because I couldn’t understand some of the technical aspect (derating I mentioned earlier) and my rep was very patient with me. I will be honest, I’m not the easiest person to deal with. My patience is really short when dealing with salespeople. But these guys aren’t pushy. They are really laid back. They don’t seem like they are pushing for a sale. They must really love solar! (We do! – Ed.) I’m now thinking about installing a system on my business office!

Components in Rocky’s 11.16 kW Grid-Tied System

Questions about Rocky’s install? Ask us in the comments below.

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Install of the Month – July 2017

Install of the Month – July 2017

A Group Effort With Great Results – Install of the Month with Matt M.

“Do It Yourself” doesn’t mean you have to go it alone: this month’s install proves that a lot of friends and a little foreknowledge can go a long way. Matt M. knew what he wanted – to offset his power bill, and he knew exactly what he needed to install to get the job done. Six friends and 20 or so hours later and Matt has a fully functional grid-tied system that looks fantastic.

“The moment I got on the phone with Matt I could tell that not only was he knowledgeable, but he also had the confidence of a do it yourself installer. He came to me with the usage he was looking to offset, and we were able to easily design a system to fit his needs. He knew he was planning to build a structure to mount the panels on which gave us nice flexibility for panel layout, and allowed for ideal panel orientation. Matt’s knowledge of construction and familiarity with solar made him an ideal customer for this DIY project. “
– Solar tech Ian S.

Matt’s install was done on his 6/12 pitch metal roof, which proved a bit fiddly, but worked extremely well for racking the system. S-5! brand racking clamps allowed him to secure his IronRidge roof racks and mount his solar panels with ease.

A union sheet metal worker for over 20 years, Matt is no stranger to hard work and hands-on projects like this. His neighbor, a professional electrician, installed a solar array 5 years ago, which inspired him to install his own solar power system now. Matt knew he had to act fast, however, as Indiana just passed a law that drastically alters their solar incentives!

Indiana’s new incentives pay back solar customers for over-wattage power (the power produced that exceeds what they use, and is then sold back to the utility companies) at wholesale rates rather than the past retail rate, drastically lowering ROI for solar-powered homeowners. For new customers, this goes into effect in 2022. For customers looking to replace or expand their systems, this goes into effect at the end of 2017. By installing his entirely new system now, Matt manages to slip in under the deadline and gets a solid 5 years of ROI before the payoff rate drops. Now, the rate lowers to an amount that’s on par with most of the rest of the country, but what Matt M. found frustrating is that Indiana already has relatively cheap electricity – so the incentive to go solar needs to be as high as it has been in the past to make renewable energy worthwhile.

Interview with Matt

How long was the full installation process receiving your equipment to flipping the switch?

It took 10 hours to install the racking and panels with 6 friends helping me, then it took another 10 hrs to pull the main feed and wire everything together with 3 friends helping me.

How many people did it take?

7 people installing the racking and panels and 3-4 people to wire up the inverter.

 Did you have any previous construction experience?

I am a union sheet metal worker with 20 years in, and my neighbor is a union electrician with 20 +years.

What was the most confusing or difficult part of the installation?

The most difficult part was installing the racking and panels on the 6/12 pitch metal roof.

Were there any unforeseen additional parts or tools you needed?

Working with Ian was great, he was very helpful and answered every question I had. Thanks Ian! The only thing I was missing were two grounding lugs for the racking which was not a big deal: I made two out of 1/4-20 s.s. bolts w/ a button head that slid in the top of the racking perfectly.

How/Why did you choose to self-install?

I installed myself because I had great friends that took the time to help me out, I couldn’t have done it without their help.

“Matt knew what he was doing, he never once called in for technical support, he already had himself an install crew and was ready to go! “
– Solar tech Ian S.

What was your primary reason for adding solar to your home?

I installed solar because our neighbors had done it 5 years ago and Indiana just passed a law to start shutting down net metering, which doesn’t make any sense to me.

Components in Matt’s 11.16 kW Grid-Tied System

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Install of the Month – April 2017

Install of the Month – April 2017

“You Don’t Have to Be An Electrical Engineer to DIY… But It Doesn’t Hurt” with Ned S.

Our April Install of the Month goes to Ned S.!

He installed his own grid-tied system in sunny Nevada, and did a beautiful job.

“Working with Ned was a joy,” shared Solar Tech Ian S. who helped him design his system, “He came to us with his electrical loads already calculated and a solid plan for where to mount his panels and inverter.” But this came as no surprise to Ian, since Ned is an electrical engineer.

Ned’s experience and problem-solving abilities became apparent very quickly, as Ned showed some impressive DIY ingenuity in his installation. Ned’s roof is flat tile, one of the more tricky kinds of roofs to install a solar array on. After some experimenting with the free trial Quick Mount tile hooks we sent him and finding they wouldn’t suit his roof, he found tile hooks that would work perfectly with the IronRidge racking system and hardware, and even came up with a plan to install them worthy of an electrical engineer. We’re grateful to Ned for teaching US a little something! After all, learning and growing is a big part of becoming the DIY solar experts: getting to hear great solutions for every solar project means we can help more people DIY.

His number one reason for installing his system was to zero out his power bill. And after assessing the current solar landscape, this analytical thinker was convinced this was the perfect time to get this safe investment with a quick ROI under way.

[Making sure Ned’s system was expandable] was no problem. It’s one of the huge draws of using the SolarEdge system’s power optimizer model: it’s cost effective and extremely adaptable, all the while increasing efficiency and output.
– Wholesale Solar Design Tech Ian S.

The second thing Ned was concerned about was being able to expand his system. He lives in Nevada after all, so he’s looking ahead to his electrical needs upping due to running AC in the summer months. He was also interested in keeping his system open to one day adding a backup power element in case of a long-term grid outage.  “This was no problem. It’s one of the huge draws of using the SolarEdge system’s power optimizer model: it’s cost effective and extremely adaptable, all the while increasing efficiency and output,” Ian pointed out, adding “And you’re able to monitor panels individually and pinpoint energy needs. And once you have your exact numbers, it’s easy to add to the system if your needs change down the line.” You can learn more about how SolarEdge works and how adaptable this kind of system is here on our website.

Check out Ned’s gallery above for some of his engineer-worthy tricks (including a simple way to get panels on your roof without the added expense of renting a boom lift!) and read his interview below for one of the best in-depth descriptions of installing a DIY grid-tied solar systems we’ve read.

Interview with Ned

How long was the full installation process from receiving your equipment to flipping the switch? How many people did it take?

I started working on installing my flat concrete tile solar roof mounts on March 8, 2017. I had to do a little experimenting on how to best remove the tiles to access my roof trusses below the plywood sheathing. It was rather slow going at first until I settled on a method that sped things up considerably. I found that, instead of attempting to slide the roof tiles up beneath the tiles above, it was easier to simply remove the tile where I needed to access the truss below. Sometimes I needed to remove two tiles in order to get full access to the truss below. I made myself a number of small wooden wedges that I could use to lift the surrounding tiles enough in order to allow me to slide the required tile(s) out. I also had to use my grinder to grind a slot in the tile so that the tile could lie back down flat on the roof surface where the SolarRoofHook extended out from beneath the tile. My trusses were located at two feet on center, and so it was fairly easy to measure from the first one, once I had its precise location. I mounted the attachments six feet apart, and staggered the second row up so as to avoid mounting all of the rails to the same trusses, so as not to load up the individual trusses more than was necessary. I attached the tile hooks using two 5/16” x 3 inch long heavy screws. I installed 40 attachment hooks – 5 hooks per row, 8 rows total. I mounted the first hook at one end of the rail row, and a second one at the far end of the row. I then stretched a string between the two end hooks and simply mounted the intervening three hooks in line with the string, making sure that the rows were parallel with the eave line. It took me about two days total to mount the 40 attachments. However, now that I know how to do it, it would probably only take me one day to do it. Also, I have a 3:12 pitch roof, which was pretty easy to work on, much steeper and it would be more difficult.

Once my roof attachments were in place, the IronRidge XR100 Rails were a piece of cake to install. It took me only about three hours to install all eight 28 ft. long rails. I made sure that they were all perfectly in line and square with each other. But again that was pretty easy considering the fact that it was simply a matter of sliding the individual rails along the mounts to square them up before tightening them into place.

My city recently raised our electric rates significantly, and I figured that it was time that I look at installing my own system to help offset some of the rate increase, and to help to lock in my savings into the future.
– Ned S.

I next attached the DC optimizers. That only took about five hours to mount them on the rack, plug them together, and secure the wiring, including the #6 Bare Copper ground wire.

I next ran the EMT thin wall conduit between the east and west facing arrays and down through the roof to the inverter down below. I mounted the inverter on the side of the garage. The AC disconnect was mounted next to the inverter and then I had to drill through the cinderblock wall of my garage and stub a piece of 3/4” EMT conduit from the disconnect into my 100 amp sub panel located inside the garage. I then had to run the #10 high voltage DC wiring from the panel arrays down to the inverter, and then the #8 copper wire from the inverter, through the AC disconnect, and then into the garage sub panel. This all took about eight hours.

At this point, I was pretty much ready to lift the panels up on my roof and secure them to the racking system. I had to wait until the upcoming Saturday until my son and three sons-in-law could give me a hand. I built a ramp by splicing some two-by-fours together to reach my eave, which was about 13 feet above my driveway below. I built the ramp out of some scrap two-by-fours and installed some light weight guide pieces on the sides of the ramp in order to keep the panels from sliding off of the ramp. We then had one person below who stood a panel up against the ramp and attached a couple of hooks into the panel side rails and then two guys pulled the panel up onto the roof with a rope. They made sure the panel was oriented in the right direction and then carried it over to me and my son where we then attached the panel to the IronRidge rails and plugged the module into the DC Optimizer. This operation took less than two hours to install all 32 panels.

I energized my system on the afternoon of March 23rd. All told, it took me a total of 15 days total from start to finish, working pretty much part time, and some days doing nothing at all. I needed to wait for some #6 Bare Copper wire, and a couple of circuit breakers to arrive from e-bay and a couple of MC4 connectors so I could finish up my DC run down to the inverter. I pretty much did everything myself, with the exception of lifting the panels up onto the roof, installing them and wiring them into the system. I had help from those four other family members to do this. I spent quite a bit of time watching YouTube videos about how to do all of the stuff.

Did you have any previous construction experience?

I am actually an electrical engineer, but I have built a couple of houses and some other things in my spare time for myself, but that is not my day job.

What was the most difficult part of the installation?

Figuring out the best way to install the roof attachments. However, as I explained, once I had come up with a system, things went pretty smoothly. The IronRidge racking system is great and the MC4 connectors on the DC Optimizers and on the modules make the wiring fairly fool-proof and pretty much “plug and play”.

Were there any unforeseen additional parts or tools you needed?

I had to come up with my own roof attachments, because I have a concrete tile roof and that is a little different from most installations. Also, I needed to drill up through my soffit and through the garage roof, in order to run my 3/4” EMT conduit to bring the DC wires from the roof down to the inverter. This was a distance of about two feet. I needed a long drill bit with an extension, and a bit of luck to get the drill bit all of the way through to the top. But things went pretty well and turned out not to be much of an issue.

How/Why did you choose to self-install?

I enjoy do-it-yourself projects. As I indicated above I am an electrical engineer and this whole deal really fascinated me. I have never been a huge fan of solar, primarily because of its high cost, the fact that it didn’t really pencil out, and the problems with the older DC system where any shading on any of the panels could degrade the output of the entire array. But the price has come down considerably, and the reliability is much better than it was before, especially using these new DC Optimizers, linked with the SolarEdge inverter.

I had never been a huge fan of solar… But the price has come down considerably, and the reliability is much better than it was before, especially using these new DC Optimizers, linked with the SolarEdge inverter.
– Ned S.

What was your primary reason for adding solar to your home?

My city recently raised our electric rates rather significantly, and I figured that it was time that I look at installing my own system to help offset some of the rate increase, and to help to lock in my savings into the future. Also, I would eventually like to be able to expand my system to provide for the possibility that I may someday be confronted with a long term extended grid outage.

Components in Ned’s 9.6 kW Grid-Tied System

Questions about Ned’s install? Ask us in the comments below.

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Community Project: Going 100% Solar with the BBCRC

Community Project: Going 100% Solar with the BBCRC

 

From Steam Engines to Solar Power

We got the chance to do one of our favorite things this past week: help bring solar to our own community!

The Black Butte Center for Railroad Culture is a local non-profit that celebrates locally historic rail cars and the hobo culture that sprung up around them. The Center features several restored cabooses and cars, an extensive library on railroad history and culture, an outdoor communal kitchen, a small music venue, and even a blacksmithing shop. With its soon to be completed solar project, the whole site will be powered by the sun.

They got in touch with sales tech Jeremy A. who helped size the system to cover all of their usage needs, and after the non-profit started a crowd-funding campaign, the project took off. When we heard it was time to install the panels, the Wholesale Solar crew stopped by to lend a hand along with the volunteers from the BBCRC to get the 30 solar panels ready to go on their ground mounted array! The BBCRC had plenty of room to position the array just right, and they plan to install the rest of the system in the next couple of weeks to get it up and running.

Check out the gallery above for shots of everything that will be solar powered and to see how the installation went.

Components in the BBCRC’s Grid-tied System

SolarEdge Grid-tied System including:

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Install of the Month – September 2016

Install of the Month – September 2016

 

Rolling the Meter Back with Joe P.

This month’s Install of the Month honor goes to Joe P., who we think completely embodies the DIY solar spirit. The self-described “tool guy,” who’s also a retired builder, aerospace engineer, and boilermaker, has always loved to build his own stuff and has been doing so since junior high. A solar ground mount array that would cover his home’s energy needs and roll his meter backwards was just the kind of project Joe was looking for.

Helping him take his project from idea to reality was sales tech Jeff B., who gives us his perspective on Joe’s install. “Joe called in May with a desire to cover his household load with a solar electric system. After discussing his household needs, which were around 1000 kilowatt hours per month, we settled on a 20 panel ground mounted system with the SMA Sunny Boy 7000 inverter.” Jeff said that to ensure all of Joe’s usage needs were covered, “A couple of extra panels would need to be added on as well.” Working together, they fleshed out the rest of the build. Jeff explains, “The SMA inverter was selected because of its high quality construction, and the fact that in the future it can be coupled with a battery based inverter so he can add battery backup in the future.”

Two months from the date of his purchase, Joe had an inspected and fully functioning PV system providing power to his house! – Sales tech Jeff B.

“Joe has plenty of construction experience,” Jeff added, “So building the ground mount was no big deal. When it came to the electrical side of the installation, Joe had a lot of questions.” But Jeff was there for him. “Through a series of phone calls and emails, we got to a place where he had everything installed and was ready for inspection. The inspector showed up at his place and could find nothing wrong with his system. Two months from the date of his purchase, Joe had an inspected and fully functioning PV system providing power to his house!”

 

Components in Joe’s System

 

Interview with Joe

What was your primary reason for adding solar to your home?

Electricity and all power isn’t getting any cheaper. I had the cash sitting in the the bank drawing low interest, and this investment pays way better than savings. And after the initial ROI where it pays for itself, it basically starts paying me.

After the initial ROI where it pays for itself, it basically starts paying me. – Joe P.

How long was the full installation process from receiving your equipment to flipping the switch? How many people did it take?

I talked with you for three to four weeks about various scenarios using different inverters and the advantages of each. My purchase was delayed due to lots of rain and bad weather. I sent payment on June 17th and the system shipped the following week. By the time it arrived the following Friday, I had the posts set for the ground mount and the inverter and disconnect mount installed. The rack and panels were installed by Saturday afternoon, as I didn’t want them sitting on the ground. I installed the conduit and wiring between the ground mount and inverter mount at my leisure.

I had one minor setback in the form of a 1965 breaker box that was in bad shape and had to be replaced in order to tie in the PV system. The rest of the work was completed over the next few weeks and actually finished by the middle of July. I contacted the co-op and they did final inspection and installed the NetMeter on August 1st. Even with the overcast and rainy weather here the last few days, the system is running right on the prediction to cover 90-95 percent of my electric bill in its first two weeks of operation.

All of the work was done by myself and my son who is on summer break from college. I had one master electrician and his apprentice available for advice, but did the actual work myself.

 Did you have any previous construction experience?

I have worked as a boilermaker working on power plants for a few years. I also built custom houses for a short while, then transitioned into aerospace engineering and retired after 29 years there.

What was the most confusing or difficult part of the installation?

The actual install and hands-on part of the project was very easy and straightforward. That’s one of the advantages of dealing with a professional company: the parts are all there, they work in unison, and there is no guesswork. The site plan for the ground mount and the wiring harness diagrams spelled everything out. The most confusing part, believe it or not, was the labeling requirements and placement. There are many, many examples and I had to pick and choose between which part of which document I used.

Were there any unforeseen additional parts or tools you needed?

I’m a tool guy. I had everything tool-wise except a crimper for  the MC4 connectors… and I probably have over a dozen different crimpers. I didn’t really need one and could have done without it, but wanted bulkhead plugs at my junction box. So I bought some connectors and a crimper to make it prettier. After having so much fun with this one, I know I will be doing more so it will come in handy down the road.

How/Why did you choose to self-install?

I’ve always built my toys since I learned to in junior high! I have been studying solar and wind for a long, long time. The ROI finally shifted in my favor and I could make it happen quicker by doing all the work myself.  I did a lot of research and even checked with your competition before I settled on Wholesale Solar. Most of the other places wanted your whole life history before they even discuss prices, and none of their prices are listed. Most of the information I wanted was listed on your site with prices and a list, so you knew what you were getting up front. Any and all questions were answered quickly and intelligently.

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Install of the Month – June 2016

Install of the Month – June 2016

Greetings Solar Fans, and welcome to the Wholesale Solar’s Install of the Month for June 2016. This incredible install is brought to you from the great state of Massachusetts. With the generous net metering policy, Solar Renewable Energy Credit incentive program, and 30% federal tax discount, Seth certainly installed at the right time!

Seth F purchased a 11.88kW Suniva/SolarEdge System utilizing 36 of the Suniva 330 Watt panels and one 11.4kW SolarEdge Inverter. (We’ve since modified that system to be an 13.6 kW Grid‑Tied Solar System with SolarEdge and 40x Suniva 340 Watt Panels) Although it’s simpler for us, and easier for you to use one of pre-packaged complete solar systems we can easily modify them to meet whatever roofing limitations, HOA requirements or permit requirements you might have.

The solar tech that helped Seth F put together his system was our very own Jeremy A. He reassured Seth that even though he was going on vacation before the install, Seth had the entire Wholesale Solar team behind him and we would be there for any questions or support he needed. They went over a number of different systems and what Seth’s requirements were and the system that was purchased was actually Jeremy’s first suggestion to the customer (What can we say, we know what we’re talking about!). Knowing that this is one of the highest value systems that we keep in stock he also knew that we have a ton of successful installs for the system under our belt and would be able to help Seth in any way he needed.

Even though it took more than a year to work out the details and ship the system to the customer, Jeremy said Seth was a real pleasure to work with and enjoyed how Seth was always looking forward to the next step.

Components In Seth F’s System

Interview with Seth F

How long was the full installation process from receiving your equipment to flipping the switch? How many people did it take?

The actual physical install took me (and two good friends) basically two weekends, with bits an bops during the week. After the install, the inspections and the meter swap took about two more weeks. The permitting and state approval took the most time, about 2 months. [Editorial: bet he wishes he’d gotten the SolarPro Pack to help with permitting!] I had two friends help me one at a time. I sat on the equipment for two months before actually starting the install.

Did you have any previous construction experience?

No professional construction experience but I’m a Ship’s Engineer by trade so I can figure most things out and I’m decent with my hands.

What was the most confusing or difficult part of the installation?

Installing the mounts and securing the panels so they were level and square.

Were there any unforeseen additional parts or tools you needed?

The electrical inspector pinged us on the labels. I had to order a much larger label kit. I purchased a pvc conduit bender to make it look clean. [Editorial: We recommend PVlabels.com for your one stop shop for labels, stickers and placards.]

How/Why did you choose to self-install?

Much cheaper than hiring someone to do it

What was your primary reason for adding solar to your home?

To reduce my electric bill and carbon foot print


Congratulations Seth on the successful install and incredible home from all of us here at Wholesale Solar!

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Our Annual Free Racking Sale Returns!

Our Annual Free Racking Sale Returns!

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Rack Up Big Savings During Our Free Racking Sale

Our biggest sale of the year is back by popular demand. Wholesale Solar is offering Free American-made IronRidge roof mount racking with purchase of complete solar systems. Upgrade to the XR1000 roof mount racks for an additional cost. Ask your sales tech if the XR1000 is right for you.

Considering a ground mount? We’ll take 1/2 Off IronRidge ground mount racking with the purchase of a compatible SGA system. Call our solar experts for their recommendation.

Solar power is a “triple bottom-line” investment that benefits your family, your pocketbook and our planet. This month Wholesale Solar is making your investment even more attractive:

Racking Special: Enjoy FREE American-Made IronRidge Roof Mount Racking and 1/2 Off IronRidge Ground Mount Racking with the purchase of any complete solar system over $5,500*.

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