DIY net metering system for under $8,000.00 United states.

Bob The Builder

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 25, 2021
Messages
109
This is my second post here, my first post was about a Frankenstein grid tie system I was having problems with. I wasted $1,000 to find out this is not the way to go. No one commented on it! I have $8,000.00 left and don't want to make the same mistake. Im looking for a DYI small net metering system that can be expanded easily. Something with maybe micro inverters. I want to start small with my limited funs for now. I'm looking at a lithium battery backup for later, with the grid tie system as my energy company only gives $0.02 per KWH and charges $0.12. Tax credits do not apply to me as We are retired and living on investments and social security. I like the idea of a wind generator as well. I would like to get everything from one company that would walk me through everything including the perments and installation. What companies are doing this that members here have used with No problems? Im ready to get started soon.
 

Brett V

Solar Addict
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
306
I'm in Pennsylvania and net metering here is penny for penny and SREC payments have been practically non existent for that past 5 years. My average solar production is probably around 40 Kwh per day and I'm just breaking even most months. With your budget, I think you'd get more bang for the buck investing in efficiency. Some more information like where you are, what you heat and cool with, how you heat water...stuff like that will help get you some better suggestions.
 

Sanwizard

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Feb 2, 2021
Messages
1,639
This is my second post here, my first post was about a Frankenstein grid tie system I was having problems with. I wasted $1,000 to find out this is not the way to go. No one commented on it! I have $8,000.00 left and don't want to make the same mistake. Im looking for a DYI small net metering system that can be expanded easily. Something with maybe micro inverters. I want to start small with my limited funs for now. I'm looking at a lithium battery backup for later, with the grid tie system as my energy company only gives $0.02 per KWH and charges $0.12. Tax credits do not apply to me as We are retired and living on investments and social security. I like the idea of a wind generator as well. I would like to get everything from one company that would walk me through everything including the perments and installation. What companies are doing this that members here have used with No problems? Im ready to get started soon.
Get an Emporia energy monitor and find out what you need first. They are about $69, and the app is great. You will know your exact energy usage per day.
 

Sanwizard

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Feb 2, 2021
Messages
1,639
Get an Emporia energy monitor and find out what you need first. They are about $69, and the app is great. You will know your exact energy usage per day.
Once you know what your requirements are, then you should get an SMA inverter, some good Qcell or LG solar panels, and build a ground mount for the cells (cheaper, easier to clean, and better looking than roof mount). Hire an electrician to hook up the inverter.
That route can save you thousands. Hiring a solar installer is way more expensive.
Watch this also, and size it down based on your needs.
 

circus

Solar Addict
Joined
Jul 8, 2021
Messages
344
Don't know if this is relevant. 15 years ago my fridge would have cost $1000 - $250 energy star tax credit. A year later the tax credit expired and my fridge cost $650.
Twenty years ago solar and wind was a toss up but not anymore. All private turbines around here are abandoned.
 

Bob The Builder

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 25, 2021
Messages
109
Get an Emporia energy monitor and find out what you need first. They are about $69, and the app is great. You will know your exact energy usage per day.
II have a efergy e2. Home monitor. Haven't had it long and haven't hooked it up to my computer yet. It is about 1000 or so without the ACs on. I have two 2 ton units one upstairs and one downstairs. We only run one at a time. Usage goes to about 6 to 7000 watts when one is running!
 

Bob The Builder

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 25, 2021
Messages
109
I live in South Louisiana. My two story home home is well installed with 8" walls. We have two 2 tons central A/Cs one upstairs and one downstairs. We never run both together. At night we run the upstairs unit and never exceed 6000 watts. In the day we run the downstairs unit and with other things running never exceed about 7000 watts more like 1500 watts when unit kicks off. We average about 61 KWH per day. In the winter we use natural gas and not much of that. We have a central Natural gas unit , a natural gas fireplace, stove and water heater.
 

Bob The Builder

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 25, 2021
Messages
109
Once you know what your requirements are, then you should get an SMA inverter, some good Qcell or LG solar panels, and build a ground mount for the cells (cheaper, easier to clean, and better looking than roof mount). Hire an electrician to hook up the inverter.
That route can save you thousands. Hiring a solar installer is way more expensive.
Watch this also, and size it down based on your needs.
I have a big shed about 100 ft. From my home. I will mount the panels there. I have a 100 amp sub panel in the shed.the underground electrical cables are three #2 copper. And run from my 200 amp home panel.
 

Bob The Builder

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 25, 2021
Messages
109
I have a big shed about 100 ft. From my home. I will mount the panels there. I have a 100 amp sub panel in the shed.the underground electrical cables are three #2 copper. And run from my 200 amp home panel.
Will that sma inverter allow me to expand my system and add lithium batteries and a wind generator also more panels at a later date without having to change the invertor?
 

Bob The Builder

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 25, 2021
Messages
109
Once you know what your requirements are, then you should get an SMA inverter, some good Qcell or LG solar panels, and build a ground mount for the cells (cheaper, easier to clean, and better looking than roof mount). Hire an electrician to hook up the inverter.
That route can save you thousands. Hiring a solar installer is way more expensive.
Watch this also, and size it down based on your needs.
I read about the sunny boy invertors last week and like everything about them. How you can add things to the system like wind, batteries and even a Generator. Is that what you are talking about?
 

Bob The Builder

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 25, 2021
Messages
109
I live in South Louisiana. My two story home home is well installed with 8" walls. We have two 2 tons central A/Cs one upstairs and one downstairs. We never run both together. At night we run the upstairs unit and never exceed 6000 watts. In the day we run the downstairs unit and with other things running never exceed about 7000 watts more like 1500 watts when unit kicks off. We average about 61 KWH per day. In the winter we use natural gas and not much of that. We have a central Natural gas unit , a natural gas fireplace, stove and
 

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Sanwizard

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Feb 2, 2021
Messages
1,639
II have a efergy e2. Home monitor. Haven't had it long and haven't hooked it up to my computer yet. It is about 1000 or so without the ACs on. I have two 2 ton units one upstairs and one downstairs. We only run one at a time. Usage goes to about 6 to 7000 watts when one is running!
That seems like a lot. I also have 2 units, one up and one down. My two Trane 3 ton units only draw 2KW each, so 4kW when both on. Perhaps install a soft start. The Micro-Air's seem to run well on large units.
 

Hedges

I See Electromagnetic Fields!
Joined
Mar 28, 2020
Messages
10,668
A budget of $8000 should be enough for about 8kW system of panels, Sunny Boy inverter, mounting hardware, and electrical stuff. Labor not included.
You should review your annual electric consumption to see what size system would offset it (assuming net metering is available.)

See what brand & model breaker panel, and what size main breaker. That determines what size system can be installed without upgrade.

Sunny Boy will give you grid tie and batteryless backup (2kW max) while the sun shines.
You can add to it Sunny Island (48V lead-acid or lithium battery) or Sunny Boy Storage (400V lithium).
Except for some liquidation deals, Sunny Island is expensive.
Sunny Boy Storage is cheaper, by itself, but the special battery is expensive, and you don't get backup without an additional transfer switch and transformer. (Without, it serves to shave peak consumption.)

Wind isn't useful for many locations. It can be added with grid-tie inverters, or DC coupled to a 48V battery system. With Sunny Island, that can be made to export to grid.

I use Sunny Boy & Sunny Island, has worked well for grid-backup during power failures.
Anything battery will cost a premium per kWh compared to grid power. Typically $0.50/kWh or more.
Grid-tie PV can save money compared to utility rates, producing for perhaps $0.025/kWh
 

Bob The Builder

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 25, 2021
Messages
109
A budget of $8000 should be enough for about 8kW system of panels, Sunny Boy inverter, mounting hardware, and electrical stuff. Labor not included.
You should review your annual electric consumption to see what size system would offset it (assuming net metering is available.)

See what brand & model breaker panel, and what size main breaker. That determines what size system can be installed without upgrade.

Sunny Boy will give you grid tie and batteryless backup (2kW max) while the sun shines.
You can add to it Sunny Island (48V lead-acid or lithium battery) or Sunny Boy Storage (400V lithium).
Except for some liquidation deals, Sunny Island is expensive.
Sunny Boy Storage is cheaper, by itself, but the special battery is expensive, and you don't get backup without an additional transfer switch and transformer. (Without, it serves to shave peak consumption.)

Wind isn't useful for many locations. It can be added with grid-tie inverters, or DC coupled to a 48V battery system. With Sunny Island, that can be made to export to grid.

I use Sunny Boy & Sunny Island, has worked well for grid-backup during power failures.
Anything battery will cost a premium per kWh compared to grid power. Typically $0.50/kWh or more.
Grid-tie PV can save money compared to utility rates, producing for perhaps $0.025/kWh
Thanks sounds like a good system I can add to as I like. Panels would go on my Shed 100 foot away from the house. I have underground cables they are three #2 Copper cable to my 100 amp sub electrical panel in the Shed. I have two neighbors who have a solar systems leased. Does not sound like a good deal to me. Anyway so net metering is being done in the neighborhood.
 

Bob The Builder

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 25, 2021
Messages
109
That seems like a lot. I also have 2 units, one up and one down. My two Trane 3 ton units only draw 2KW each, so 4kW when both on. Perhaps install a soft start. The Micro-Air's seem to run well on large units.
Without A/C on but two refrigerators, TV, lights and fans on also outside flooded light on. Its night time.
 

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Bob The Builder

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 25, 2021
Messages
109
A budget of $8000 should be enough for about 8kW system of panels, Sunny Boy inverter, mounting hardware, and electrical stuff. Labor not included.
You should review your annual electric consumption to see what size system would offset it (assuming net metering is available.)

See what brand & model breaker panel, and what size main breaker. That determines what size system can be installed without upgrade.

Sunny Boy will give you grid tie and batteryless backup (2kW max) while the sun shines.
You can add to it Sunny Island (48V lead-acid or lithium battery) or Sunny Boy Storage (400V lithium).
Except for some liquidation deals, Sunny Island is expensive.
Sunny Boy Storage is cheaper, by itself, but the special battery is expensive, and you don't get backup without an additional transfer switch and transformer. (Without, it serves to shave peak consumption.)

Wind isn't useful for many locations. It can be added with grid-tie inverters, or DC coupled to a 48V battery system. With Sunny Island, that can be made to export to grid.

I use Sunny Boy & Sunny Island, has worked well for grid-backup during power failures.
Anything battery will cost a premium per kWh compared to grid power. Typically $0.50/kWh or more.
Grid-tie PV can save money compared to utility rates, producing for perhaps $0.025/kWh
We just had a very large hurricane IDA and we lost power for 16 days. I have a 14 kw natural gas Generator we ran. Yet to get the gas bill in. I know it will be very high. I'm thinking of a solar grid tie with battery backup to add to my system. I know batteries can run 500 to 800 dollars each. But my energy company only pays 0.02 per KWH and charge 0.12 per KWH. So I would like to store some of the power my panels produce in batteries for night time use and not sell it all for just 0.02 a KWH.
 

Mudd

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 21, 2020
Messages
107
We just had a very large hurricane IDA and we lost power for 16 days. I have a 14 kw natural gas Generator we ran. Yet to get the gas bill in. I know it will be very high. I'm thinking of a solar grid tie with battery backup to add to my system. I know batteries can run 500 to 800 dollars each. But my energy company only pays 0.02 per KWH and charge 0.12 per KWH. So I would like to store some of the power my panels produce in batteries for night time use and not sell it all for just 0.02 a KWH.
If it was me I would do an off-grid setup and just run part of your house on off grid. You could buy a split unit ac DIY batteries and some quality equipment for 8k. You can buy a bunch of second hand panels if you've got land for a ground mounted array. Anyways that's what I would do if I was in your shoes. With the right setup you wouldn't have to worry about running that generator after the next hurricane.
 
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