Solar Project – Introduction

Always wanted to build a solar array for the house, but  due to cheap electric in Florida, I could not  economically justify. Being the sunshine state one would think there would be incentives to “Go Solar”… There isn’t.  🙁

One day a friend called and told me that he found a system at a very reasonable price. Long story made short. I picked up a used system consisting of 36-230Watt 60 cell panels, all racking, wiring and a SMA Sunnyboy 7000kw grid tie inverter. The price was in the 25 cent per watt range. The system was only 7 years old and spent the last 5 in a workshop.

Quick check with FPL, the local power company, to see if I would be allowed to install a grid-tie system – GOOD TO GO!  Checked the county regs on installing – GOOD TO GO!  Purchased, then spent the next 6-8 months trying to find someone to create the diagrams needed for permitting.  Gave up and decided to do it myself.  Oh, the fun of learning cad programs.  The person that came up with the user interface was on crack.  Anyway, things were going well until I hit my 1st snag…

I discovered that over the years the location where I live has became a 150MPH wind rated area.  Meaning, just about anything you want to build needs to be able to handle 150MPH winds for some predetermined period of time.  Well hell, the racking I acquired was only rated at 120MPH on a good day.

After a week or so of Googling my fingers off I found racking for my ground mount from Snap-N-Rack.  Main reasons for going with them was (1) They had Florida Engineering certifications (2) Price and (3)  They have a really nice configuration tool that accessible online.

More to come…