diy solar

diy solar

Hoping to join this club!


New Member
Feb 12, 2022
The great Gary Larson (The Far Side) had a cartoon, the dog dodges 4 lanes of fast-moving traffic, his pals on the other side say, "OK, Rusty's in the club."

I'm hoping this club's initiation will be a bit less dangerous.

I put in 4.7kw of PV, with battery backup, back in 2008. It was a real project, I stayed up until 4 a.m. reading the NEC. I designed and pulled the permit, and got the hardware through my friend, who is an electrician. I had already bought much of the conduit, but the local inspectors wouldn't allow the conduit to also be the EGC, as the NEC said it should be allowed, so I needed twice as much conduit and upsized all the wiring.

So it seems pretty straightforward, until it comes time to start putting everything in. I had already gotten things pretty much set up, but he'd never come over. So it went on and on, the guys at the electrical supply company were saying "Fire the electrician." I kept waiting. Then I look up and see that his license is lapsed. I told him and he says, "Wow, I'll have to look into that." He is, by nature an easy-going guy, but still I'd think this was cause for concern. But no, I kept with him. Until that fateful day, when he came over, looked at the progress I'd made, and said, "Oh, it's been a long time since I bent conduit." So I was fortunate, I got an electrician to step in and take over, he did a great job. So on the roof, I needed the mountings installed, and hired a roofer. He got up there and started. I was watching, and said, "Don't you need to snap a chalk line?" He looked at me as if I was from Mars, and said, "I've been doing roofing for 20 years, I don't need a chalk line." So yes, of course it looked like a snake when he got done. I had to go back and loosen everything, then pull as much as I could trying to get it straight. He was supposed to come back and help with getting the panels up to the roof, as I'd only paid for half the job. He never comes back. So I am carrying the $1000 panel, up the ladder backward, by myself, with each 5 mph gust of wind threatening to take me and the panel airborne. Somehow I got all 21 panels up there and mounted, ran all the wiring, everything was pretty much set. I ended up one of the last group of people to get the full Florida $4/kw PV rebate, as everything had taken so long and at some point not long after Florida ran out of money for the program, which was pretty outrageous.

I had the house built for PV, as I have one subpanel with the critical loads, which includes one of the A/C (24 SEER) units, the water heater (hybrid), the microwave, and various 120V outlets throughout the house. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, 2017, when everyone here was without power for four days, we were fine, and since I despise many of the people in the neighborhood, it was pure happiness to watch them sweat (but that's another story).

I've also got the 2011 Nissan LEAF, purchased new in 2012, a 2020 Prius Prime, and now a 2022 Nissan LEAF. So we're basically all electric except for the holdover 2007 Prius. Long ago that Prius had a Hymotion kit installed, which would allow 20 - 25 miles of all electric driving if you were very nice, but sadly the kit never became popular, very high priced of course, and by the time we needed the batteries replaced Hymotion was out of business.

Many say there's nothing they can do, so they don't do anything. I say I'll try to be part of the solution, and saving money along the way is a nice bonus. Long ago they said that Prius owners were either "Greenies," "Techies," or "Cheapies." I'm trying to be all three.
Cool story! Welcome to the forum my friend :geek:

You could put an APC SURT6000XLT UPS and an APC SURT003 transformer into the trunk of your 2007 Prius, and turn it into a 5kW backup generator...

I did that on my 2018 Prius and it provides lots of portable power anywhere, I use it all the time at my storage unit since there is no power over there. I just used it tonight with my grinder to cut a bunch of bolts... (old Prius's are not EOL in the electric world yet)...
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Our initiation takes a bit of control, a touch of safety, and a bit of skill.

Now, grab the red wire, AND the black wire and bring them to your tongue… and recite after me…

I WILL NOT forget to add in the “h” when discussing battery capacity, and I WILL NOT forget to capitalize the W when abbreviating watts in any form.
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diy solar

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