Instructables

how do you connect solar panels to power your house?

I want to build a homemade solar panel (several actually) but once it's made, how do you hook it up to your home for power/feed into the grid to reduce the utility bill?

desertdog4 years ago
We recently put a 3.2 kw system up and it is grid tied.  We used Enphase micro inverters.  They are the way to go if you can spend the money on them.  They convert the DC power to AC at the panel.  This eliminates the need for high voltage DC running to an inverter.  Also, they allow you to monitor your output via an internet site and a monitor that is in your home.  This has already paid off for us because we had one inverter that was not working properly and were able to see it and replace it. (no cost).  You also don't have the degradation of the entire system if one panel is shaded or in not putting out full power as you have with straight DC systems.    If you want to grid tie, you will have to dance through the permit process and get many inspections.  They are very thorough and require very demanding installation and safety equipment.  The power company also will make sure that your system will synch. with the sine wave of their power.  This can be sometimes difficult with cheap inverters so don't buy a "truck stop" inverter.  The upside is that they last almost forever and we no longer have to pay for power and get a check for $40-$70 per month and we are helping to reducing the need for new power plants.  
For grid connections you need panels, a power controller, and grid tied inverter.

You need to contact your power company first as they may require professional installation and a service check before installation.'

For off grid systems like mine you need panels, power controller, deep cycle batteries, and an inverter (unless you run only DC).

For complete details on off grid solar and wind power watch the videos on my website:

http://www.simplesolarhomesteading.com


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kevinhannan4 years ago
don't forget if you produce excess then some power companies will pay you for it.
Re-design4 years ago
YOu have to have an inverter that will convert the dc into ac 60 cycles. You have to have a transfer switch that will prevent the inverter from trying to power the grid outside your home.

The inverter that will power a house approx 1000 sq. ft. will cost approx. $2000. you could rewire and go all dc.

This answer has most of the info you need.
http://www.instructables.com/answers/how-do-you-set-up-a-wind-generator-like-with-the-/
There are grid-connected inverters/net flow meters that can be installed by your power supplier if they support a net metering program. Some even install them for free if you are capable of putting out a certain threshold of juice. Everything else Re-design says is correct. :)