New guy from SC.....forced into solar

ruc

New Member
I am kind of being forced into solar. I bought a tract of land to build a house, shop, barn and fence in for horses. I built the shop first, and plan was to then do the house and barn. All was fine until I contacted Duke energy to connect the power. They said I had to give them a perpetual easement to the property which gives them access to my property at any time, for any reason. I will spare you all the details, but this went back and forth for months, finally they said no easement, no power. So here I am.
I have been lurking, and watching videos......WOW. This is going to be tuff, but I have to do it.
Here is what I would like to do. Tell me if I am crazy. Since the shop is built (50x100) I have plenty of room for panels on the roof or the shop. I would like to build a system that I could power the shop for now and maybe expand to power the house when I get it built.
Thoughts?? Suggestions?? Doable??
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
Certainly doable... Many of us are Off-grid Solar and it is NOT as hard as many think it is.
Duke Energy being themselves.... I am in Canada and WE HEAR About Duke and it's Shenanigan's... That is telling on it's own. One of the least friendly power co's.

Rule 1: (most important). Do NOT buy a Darned thing until you have a plan and know what you are getting. There are no "Once in a Lifetime" deals, they constantly happen.
Rule 2: Ask questions, read materials provided and "always engage Critical Thinking".


You'll need to figure out how much power you will be using regularly, how much heavy load potentials and of course how many days of autonomous power you want stored (with no generation by solar or genset).

If building structures & contemplating solar on the roof...
- Consider the Roof Pitch (optimize for best yearly angle for most poduction)
-- Case in point, my optimal angle for year round is 45 degrees which is a 12:12 Pitch roof. *
- Orient building East to West lengthwise, providing good Southern Exposure.
- Mounting Solar to Seamless Metal or Tin roof is possible AND suggested as tin/metal will outlast and if properly prepared the solar panels will benefit. Optionally, using a White Metal Roof with Bi-Facial Panels can provide some extra power.

* Charleston SC is 57 Degrees Angle which translates into a 12:8 roof pitch.
March & September are the Avrhged months for the year.
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ruc

New Member
Hi Steve, The building is a per-engineered steel building. The roof pitch is relatively flat at 2/12 so to achieve the optimum 12/8 I will have to mount the panels on an angle. Also the building is situated facing east, which doesn't look like is the best.
 

Supervstech

Administrator
Staff member
Moderator
Keep in mind, if your house is located in a county needing inspections, the solar will need rapid shutdown provisions if mounted on a roof. If you ground mount, you merely need a disconnect at the array site.
It’s a good idea if you want fire fighter safety even if you don’t have AHJ inspections.
 

DouglasHHI

On Hilton Head Island in South Carolina
RUC , I worked for the phone company for 30 years. I understand why they want the easement access and why you do not want to give access to your property. Where in SC are you located? I am on Hilton Head. You can look at my system and discuss options if you are near. There are others on the forum in SC that are very helpful. Steve S is correct have a plan before buying anything and understand your options. My panels are ground mount (on the pool patio, with wheels, adjustable per the sun location), this is easier if you have the land and a southern exposure. Good luck.
 

ruc

New Member
RUC , I worked for the phone company for 30 years. I understand why they want the easement access and why you do not want to give access to your property. Where in SC are you located? I am on Hilton Head. You can look at my system and discuss options if you are near. There are others on the forum in SC that are very helpful. Steve S is correct have a plan before buying anything and understand your options. My panels are ground mount (on the pool patio, with wheels, adjustable per the sun location), this is easier if you have the land and a southern exposure. Good luck.
Hi DouglasHHI,
I am in the Greenville, Spartanburg area. I definitely want to have a plan before buying anything.I just thought that the roof of the building would be the best place to mount the panels, but that might not be the best option.I can see that I have a lot to learn....and I know nothing about electronics, so this will be interesting.
 
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