Posted by Richard Nelson on August 1, 2018, 1:19 pm
I would like to design and install my own 10 - 15 kW PV, grid-tied,
ground mounted, system in southern California.
Can anyone recommend some good reading material to start with?
Posted by Jim Wilkins on August 1, 2018, 2:07 pm
The solar part is simple, the electrical not so much. Do you have any
electrical engineering training or experience as an electrician?
Posted by Richard Nelson on August 1, 2018, 2:43 pm
On Wed, 1 Aug 2018 10:07:14 -0400, "Jim Wilkins"
Yes, a B.Sc.EE. I fully understand the technology, I need practical
knowledge about the actual installation process. Do you have specific
Posted by Jim Wilkins on August 1, 2018, 5:50 pm
I followed my experience as an industrial electrician and then
designer / builder of custom test equipment. My system isn't grid tied
so I didn't look for a book on that. You avoid a lot by not having to
The grid tie controller's instruction manual should be a good start,
assuming you are up to date on wiring practices and the power company
will permit a connection to non-licenced work. I watched a Solar City
grid tie installation and read the manual but it was too much to fully
absorb before they finished. The NEC and local code and the inspector
are the final determinants
If the array is on your roof it may need structural reinforcement to
return it to code requirements.
Around here the solar companies are no help to do-it-yourselfers. The
owner of one told me they don't sell used or cosmetic reject panels,
then described how he built a personal-use system like mine from them
for 1/10 of the installed system price.
This is a pretty good deal, with free home delivery:
They are 36 cell panels good for 12V or 24V lead-acids with PWM
controllers, I don't know how they would do as a high voltage series
string with an MPPT controller. They handle partial tree trunk shading
pretty well. If your array can be partially shaded there are
distributed MPPT and inverter topologies that increase output, and
The MC4 connector pin requires a barrel crimp tool, I used an Anderson
Powerpole crimper. If you solder it don't let the solder run to the
back end of the crimp or the wire will become brittle from the
concentration of bending stresses.
Posted by hubops on August 1, 2018, 6:01 pm
I guess it's not impossible .. that a ground mounted array
could be on the roof .. :-)