Busy solar folks

Discussion about OutBack Inverters in Off Grid Applications

Moderators: OutBack, OutBack Moderator Team

Post Reply
JRHill
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2413
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:12 am
My RE system: 48v OB inverter and charge controller, hub and mate3s.
Location: PNW
Contact:

Busy solar folks

Post by JRHill »

All I want is 6 or 8 panels with frames mounted on a bare section of the roof. Period. But all I get are responses to set up an appointment with a 'solar specialist' to come to our place and they want a DVD or internet connection and the DW there too. I know what they are doing but I can't get by the gatekeeping lead generation reps. Frankly I was sure it would be hard to find someone to do just panels and mounts but this is just ridiculous.

I'm not allowed to get on the steel roof anymore and frankly I don't want too. But getting someone to actually do some work is really difficult. 'Solar specialists', handyman, laborer, etc.
provo
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1148
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:34 pm
My RE system: 16 Evergreen EC-120 (4 strings, total 1920W)
2 SimpliPhi 3.8-m-24V (150Ah each)
One FM80
One VFXR3524A
Hub 10
Mate3s
FNDC
Honda EU3000is generator
Location: Sierra foothills

Re: Busy solar folks

Post by provo »

JRHill wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 2:27 pm
I'm not allowed to get on the steel roof anymore and frankly I don't want too. But getting someone to actually do some work is really difficult. 'Solar specialists', handyman, laborer, etc.
When a neighbor got her grid-tied system, I was talking to the installers about the same problem. A couple of the guys said, "we work on our own and the boss doesn't mind..." So that's one way -- I suppose they're under the radar to some extent, so permitting could be a problem.
pss
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1060
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:40 am
My RE system: 8330 watts in three strings, Flexmax 60 x 3, Radian 8048A, GSLC load center, Mate 3S, Hub 10.3, FN-DC and 900 Amp, 48V Trojan T105-RE battery bank.

Re: Busy solar folks

Post by pss »

JR, you are exactly right. Every time I call a solar company about modifications and alterations/additions to my system the response is: we sell these brand of panels, install them and install Tesla powerwall. We don't do anything else.

It reminds me of when all the great small mom and pop hamburgher stands got replaced by all the burger franchises and they don't listen anymore.

You need to find a solar engineer to draw the electric out, maybe a structural engineer for the mounts and then a couple of installers to follow the plan with your iron and wire.

I feel for you because I am in the same boat.
raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 8271
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01 - Parallel Stacked, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
6 SimpliPhi 3.8-48 (48v @ 75AH. 450AH total)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
2 Midnite Solar MNPV6 combiners w/20A DC disconnects.
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator
Off-Grid

Re: Busy solar folks

Post by raysun »

Pretty much the same everywhere. Hawaii included. Engineering resources are scarce and design time expensive. Once a company has a design pattern and business model, that's it. No deviations. Especially true for pre-existing system upgrades. If the company didn't install it, they won't touch it. Debugging takes an engineer, not an installer, so the one constrained resource on the staff would be tied up in a service call, rather than mapping out a $$$$$ new installation.
JRHill
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2413
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:12 am
My RE system: 48v OB inverter and charge controller, hub and mate3s.
Location: PNW
Contact:

Re: Busy solar folks

Post by JRHill »

I am resolved to find a couple of guys who do roofing to mount the panels. I won't mind getting up there to connect and dress in the wire runs. These will not be flush mount but on a adjustable tilt frames (Tamarack 90"). Steel roof with 5/8 plywood sheathing - I'm pondering an 1/8" plate under the feet for reinforcement since these will catch a bit of wind. I thinking roofing guys would be more conscientious of mounting and sealing the roof.
User avatar
Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2825
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof (2007/2017):
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied VFXR3524A-01's series stacked, replaced GVFX's (2020)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS. Tigo ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 Talesun 275W in series (DC array input to SB inverter/charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input from 14 Talesun 275W, Enphase M215 microinverters

Battery systems operate in grid-tied, net metering w/backup mode
All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Busy solar folks

Post by Mike Curran »

JR - What style steel roof do you have? Mine on barn is standing seam over 5/8" OSB, over 2×4's on 24" centers. I used S-5! blocks clamped to the seams, no additional reinforcement.
20120728_173233.jpg
Also, no roof penetrations were needed.
https://ei.tigoenergy.com/p/pZXn7SZQyO45
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221
JRHill
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2413
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:12 am
My RE system: 48v OB inverter and charge controller, hub and mate3s.
Location: PNW
Contact:

Re: Busy solar folks

Post by JRHill »

I don't have standing rib - just the standard rib on 1' centers. I believe the standing rib stuff is thicker? The wind concern is mainly for best practices. If we had enough wind to rip the panels off there would probably be trees falling everywhere. You've got a really strong roof, Mike.
pss
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1060
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:40 am
My RE system: 8330 watts in three strings, Flexmax 60 x 3, Radian 8048A, GSLC load center, Mate 3S, Hub 10.3, FN-DC and 900 Amp, 48V Trojan T105-RE battery bank.

Re: Busy solar folks

Post by pss »

JR, my kid is 31, if you fly him to your place, house him, feed him and pay him I am sure you can get some work out of him on your roof. I have gotten him up on mine with some cajoling.
Post Reply