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  • System Size: 8.97 kW
  • Yearly System Output: 13,006 kWh per year
  • Federal Tax Incentive: Qualifies for $3,886 Federal tax credit
  • Utility Rates: 12.7 cents/kWh

“Making it Look Easy” with Bryan W.

Sometimes installation is a breeze! With Bryan W., the recipient of our Install of the Month, it was just so. Our customer was familiar with DIY projects and decided to install a  grid-tied solar power system to save some money. After a few conversations with our techs he got set up with the right equipment and was able to install an amazing solar array in a short time frame, a high quality one that would help him get a return on investment.

“Bryan was great to work with. He came to the table with a good understanding of what he wanted, and after a few conversations we had his system designed and quoted. It took about a month from start to finish. – Solar tech Wil B.

Bryan W. built his own home and did all of the wiring himself, so a solar installation project was no problem. His past expertise came in handy with installing his grid-tied solar system, with few problems to get in the way. This kind of experience isn’t necessary for a DIY solar installation, but comes in very handy all the same. With his experience, Bryan knew how to wire his system, determine wattage requirements, and was familiar with the ins and outs of the permitting process before he got started.

“I enjoy the satisfaction of completing my own projects and, of course, there was a significant cost savings vs. having a contractor perform the installation. I did receive an estimate for having someone else perform the installation before making the decision to do it myself” – Bryan W.

The layout was among the first steps in installing Bryan’s grid-tied system. Bryan found this part slightly difficult, remarking that “a stud finder didn’t work for locating the roof rafters,” so he was forced to use different means in finding them, so he could figure out the space between rails to mount his racking on. With projects of this scale, especially on an 8/12 pitched roof, it can often be handy to have a second pair of hands in the form of a friend or neighbor to help you out.

Although we strive to provide a complete DIY kit with all of the components necessary, planned out and customized to fit each customer’s needs, Bryan W. found himself needing one additional piece – a pass-thru enclosure for bringing the wiring into his attic space. After a little research, he found a SolaDeck enclosure made by RSTC Enterprises, which flashed under the roof shingles and met all UL approvals. It made for a very clean pass-thru and Bryan was able to locate it beneath the panels.

As you can see, this installation project looks fantastic now that it’s complete, and Bryan W. is the proud owner of a working grid-tied solar power system.

Interview with Bryan W.

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

The installation took two weeks, including inspection and final approval. I installed all of the racking and wiring myself and had a friend help with setting the panels.

Did you have any previous construction experience?

I built my house and installed all of the wiring myself.

What was the most difficult part of the installation?

Laying out and snapping the chalk lines for the racking was challenging. A stud finder didn’t work for locating the roof rafters, so I used a hammer to tap along each one to make sure I was on it and figuring out the spacing between rails was a difficult task to perform by myself. I would definitely recommend having a second person. Everything is challenging when working on an 8/12 pitch!

Were there any unforeseen additional parts or tools you needed?

The only additional component that I had to research and purchase separately was the pass-thru enclosure for bringing the wiring into my attic space. I used a SolaDeck enclosure made by RSTC Enterprises, which flashed under my shingles and met all UL approvals. It made for a very clean pass-thru and I was able to locate it beneath the panels. I would definitely recommend their product.

How/Why did you choose to self-install?

I enjoy the satisfaction of completing my own projects and, of course, there was a significant cost savings vs. having a contractor perform the installation. I did receive an estimate for having someone else perform the installation before making the decision to do it myself.

“This was one of the smoothest sales and installations I have been involved with. I did not have to provide any technical support for Bryan, I am very proud of his “get r’ done” mentality.” – Wil B.

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

The primary reason was for saving money on our electric costs, but I also take pride in knowing that we are producing our own clean power and reducing our carbon footprint.

It’s Your Turn

Download your free Getting Started With Solar guide and conquer your solar project! We’ll help you navigate the permitting process, choose high-quality products, claim valuable state and federal tax incentives, and save money on installation costs.

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