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Please help an old Disabled Engineer!

Joined
Dec 8, 2023
Messages
9
Location
Clark County, Nevada
Hello, all. I'm in the las Vegas Area, actually not too far from Will!
But for whatever reason I'm having trouble finding the help I need.
What I need is, someone familiar with going up on the roof and installing the solar panels! I can't do that kind of work anymore!
I'm building a meter zero setup with a Sol-Ark 15, 30-36 panels totalling around 16.5 KW and (will change values as I find out how much I need) start out with 10.x KWH of Trophy Batteries. I will put 10 panels on my flat roof over the garage, and 20+ panels on the west facing 17 degree house roof.
Seems like everyone around here wants me to install a meter collar! They can't believe the output of the inverter feeds the load center! "This is out of my comfort zone", one local contractor stated.
Anyhow, I just need the labor. You would have no responsibilities of my system, working or not. I will supply all of the parts. I will accept suggestions for the mounts, I'm OK with 'ballasted', screwed in, or whatever you think. I will reward your creativity where warranted.
My deliverable needs are: (3) PV Circuits, what the Sol-Ark needs, (6.5 KW x 3) down an EMT to the garage. I also need a 'tap' into one of those (3) circuits of just (3) panels, around 120 volts at 1.5 or so KW, separate wires, down an EMT on the opposite side of the house. I would turn off that one circuit to the Sol-Ark, and power the Rapid Shutdown of the separate circuit separately (lol)!
So, please! Can you help me out? I attached a picture of my proposed panel placement.
Thank you so much.
Penny the Bonded Neutral and John the Wild Leg
 

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It doesn't work like that. If someone works on your system they are liable and can be sued if something goes wrong.
I'm not surprised you're getting no response, no-one is comfortable with your offer.
 
Anyhow, I just need the labor. You would have no responsibilities of my system, working or not. I will supply all of the parts. I will accept suggestions for the mounts, I'm OK with 'ballasted', screwed in, or whatever you think. I will reward your creativity where warranted.
Aren't there specific rules on what needs to be used or something?
I use struts



Scammer solar panel mounting systems somehow are more expensive than the steel struts lmao (at least here)
I use some actual solar brackets on them to hold down the panels
shoot for that kind of money I could fly over from japan stay in a nice hotel buy me some cheap gear and do the job, fly back and still make money...
I'll come too. We just gotta get paid in cash and we won't be liable, good tip @45North
 
It doesn't work like that. If someone works on your system they are liable and can be sued if something goes wrong.
I'm not surprised you're getting no response, no-one is comfortable with your offer.
I understand but unless they are asking the installer to ignore codes or do something illegal it smacks to me of an installer that will not install anything he has not sold to the customer so that he can get his chunk of sales for that as well. regardless I have my own business which has nothing to do with solar and could not take time to off if i wanted to, I was just making the comment that at that price... in other words that price is ridiculous for merely installing. its almost an insult and i would have probably thought about (not actually do, mind you), but thought about bitch slapping the idiot.
 
I'd suggest you try to find a guy that's working as a installer but also takes on "Xtra work",hard to find guys but they are out there ¡
 
That depends on your location,roof height,roof type,system type and size,etc

Ya really gotta just drop by job sites,make sure the boss isn't around and talk to the guys.some do "a sidewalk all the time,some Don't.
 
It's really a catch 22 situation. To get the permit to 'self-install' solar, you have to submit plans. If you don't know how to make the plans, you have to find someone who does. I guess here in Las Vegas, the only way to 'pick someones brain' to help with the plans is to buy their panels, buy a meter collar, put up a deposit before they will even do a site survey. I got what I think is a pretty good deal on my panels, 440 watt mSolar, 15.4 KW total, for $0.30 a watt, with another 5 cents per watt to deliver. These so called Solar Installers want around $3.40 - $5.60 a watt JUST for their panels!
I'll tell you another part of where I'm at..which NONE of the Solar guys believe. You probably noted that my husband's handle is John the Wild Leg. We actually live in a residential part of the county where the voltage is 120/208. Another name for a 'wild leg'. There are (4) wires strung between the poles, and the pole transformer 'chooses' one of those 3-phase legs, and we happen to have the 'wild leg', (bastard leg, stinger leg, orange leg, dog leg, high leg delta) therefore getting 208, whereas a neighbor 2 blocks down on a different transformer gets 120/240. And yes, the HVAC running on that 120 degree out of phase vs 180 out of phase does sound just a little bit different and runs warmer. Anyhow, one of the niceties of the Sol-Ark is that it can give you that 'out of phase' 208, perfectly synced with the grid.
I actually got to talk to a pretty smart gal at the building dept who has given me some pointers. I think we're going to be able to get plans made for us (in minnesota from my crude one-line diagrams) at a cost around $700.00 The get a permit, then DIY!
So, I thank all of the people who made an effort to read my post and give it some thought.
Wish us luck!
Thanks to all of you.
Bonded Neutral and Bastard, er, uh..Wild Leg
 
There's a few other options for getting plans. Here's a link to santansolar options. It's as cheap as $500:


There's other websites too.

There's a guy on these forums that does them. Seems to be very helpful and quick:

ncsolarelectric​



$479 and comes with support
 
And yes, the HVAC running on that 120 degree out of phase vs 180 out of phase does sound just a little bit different and runs warmer.
That's not how it works.
You either have 3-phase. Where the phases are 120 degrees apart from each other.
Or you have single phase.
Your service is split-phase. Which is single phase with a center tapped neutral. Your HVAC equipment will run warmer and possibly sound different. Than your neighbors because your voltage (208) is lower than theirs (220). And therefore is drawing more current to do the same work.

There are no 180 degrees systems.
At 180 degrees, there's only room for 2 phases. And the only 2 phase systems that ever existed were 90 degrees apart from each other.
 
In ELT-102 (oh my god, 50 years ago!) I studied this...
To this day I do not fully understand it.

All I know for CERTAIN is, here is a waveform of OUR POWER, and a NEIGHBORS power.

@timselectric, your perspective is as valid as all the others that have been talked about and debated as long as the chicken vs the egg!
 

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Since your an engineer maybe you could write the whole specification/proposal and solicit some bids. Might take some of the risk out for contractors.
 
You are absolutely right. I have done precisely that. I'm going to have to name names, again. Mr. Miguel of GVS Design & Build Construction.
He saw my specs, pictures, schematics, and even came out and did a site survey. He told me it is impossible without a meter collar, and he could do that for $70000.00
Here is a picture of the pertinent part of his bid. A picture of his 'meter collar' type of system.

And, here is our system schematic. I'm officially soliciting bids.

Thanks, people!

Bonded Leg and Wild Neutral
 

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For the solar panel mounting (if it works like it does in the south around here) you go to home depot early in the morning with a pickup truck and wait on the people wanting a job to show up. Load up your truck with able body workers and go home and tell them what to do. Pay them after they get done and drop them back off at home depot :)
 
For the solar panel mounting (if it works like it does in the south around here) you go to home depot early in the morning with a pickup truck and wait on the people wanting a job to show up. Load up your truck with able body workers and go home and tell them what to do. Pay them after they get done and drop them back off at home depot :)
It's a little different when they're drilling holes in your roof. You don't want to cause yourself more problems than you're solving
 
Is it safe to say that most of us in the DIY community are older and don't sleep much at night?
 
@timselectric, your perspective is as valid as all the others that have been talked about and debated as long as the chicken vs the egg!
I have no idea about the chicken or the egg.

But my previous statement is a fact.
And you can't debate facts. No matter what perspective you have.
Looking at something differently, doesn't change what it is. It only changes what you see.
 

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