Anybody know anything about solar installations?

Strangeite

Well-known member
I know this is random, but does anyone have any experience on solar installations? My father just emailed me that he is talking tomorrow with someone about installing solar on two 150 year old three story brick office buildings. He asked if I could be there to help decide if it was a good idea because I have been researching solar for a backwoods cabin. :RpS_bored: Not quite the same league but I guess the same sport?

Looking at the quote he emailed me, my first concern is the inverters and how it would be integrated into the existing grid.
 

Mrs Darling

Well-known member
When you say “the grid” is that the buildings electrical? Or the connectivity to your utilities power grid? Your local utility should have information online regarding connectivity to their grid, and possibly information about minimum requirements for commercial buildings as well.
 

i<3riviera

Member
I know this is random, but does anyone have any experience on solar installations? My father just emailed me that he is talking tomorrow with someone about installing solar on two 150 year old three story brick office buildings. He asked if I could be there to help decide if it was a good idea because I have been researching solar for a backwoods cabin. :RpS_bored: Not quite the same league but I guess the same sport?

Looking at the quote he emailed me, my first concern is the inverters and how it would be integrated into the existing grid.
how did it go?

sorry for not responding yesterday when I first read this; I've looked into solar a bit but never went through with it because our house isn't a super great candidate; so my knowledge is more junior academic than practical

for inverters, it's basically two types:
  1. microinverters - an inverter at each panel producing A/C
  2. normal inverters - takes banks of panels, as you scale you get more inverters and they coordinate with each other
at a commercial property, you'll likely end up with normal inverters; they take the DC from the panel and convert it to A/C in sync with your local utility supply; most systems these days can back feed the grid (have to coordinate with your utility) which can help avoid the expense of batteries and still get some of the financial benefit of an oversized array (beyond your building's need); if the commercial property is three phase, I would expect the inverter cost would be quite expensive (not sure though, only ever looked into residential single phase)

microinverters are nice because they are super scalable (buy a few panels at a time) and more redundancy because you have several small inverters vs. one or a few large ones; but they're also pricey and are exposed to the elements

both micro and normal inverters monitor your grid connection to match the frequency and voltage so everything works well together

there is so much competition in the solar installer space it's probably worth just getting multiple quotes and bugging each company with questions; Tesla's systems and contractors are supposed to be pretty solid but come at a premium
 

G00fydad

Member
No experience here but I am dying to get this type of system installed at my home.

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