Can you DIY your home solar? Yes, absolutely!
People choose to go solar for several reasons. Some people desire to switch to clean, renewable energy. Others prefer the concept of minimizing their reliance on the power grid. However, the most important reason to go solar would be to save money.
Working with a professional solar firm is now completely rational for achieving big savings — after all, it is how most clients go solar. According to a Pew survey on solar, 96% of those who have installed or want to install solar do so to save money on their power bills, which is higher than any other reason stated.
However, if you want to keep your upfront expenditures as low as possible, you might choose a do-it-yourself (DIY) installation. After all, doing things yourself is less expensive than employing someone else to do it for you!
Although the DIY technique appears to be less expensive than employing an expert, DIY solar is still a significant and pricey investment. Before you get too far into the process, you should consider if DIY solar panel installation is good for you.
So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of a “Do-It-Yourself” solar installation? Here is the answer to that question.
Pros of DIY installation of solar
A DIY solar panel installation may save customers hundreds of dollars in installation charges. As of May 2021, the average cost of professional solar panel installation is roughly $2.85 per watt. That calculates up to $14,500 for a standard 5 kW solar panel setup.
A 5 kW DIY solar panel kit, on the other hand, ranges from $1.00 to $1.50 per watt. A 5 kW DIY solar setup costs between $5,000 and $7,500 if you do everything yourself. By picking DIY solar installation over professional solar installation, you might save $6,500-$9,000 in total.
The data presented above are only averages. Many factors, such as system size and eligibility for the solar tax credit, might influence these figures as well.
DIY solar installation projects need a wide range of skill sets, including the ability to manage municipal processes, financial planning, power tool expertise, electrical skills, and even tax accounting. But, if you enjoy taking on large and difficult DIY tasks, a solar installation might be precisely what you are looking for.
This project will keep you busy for a long time because it demands you to perform continual research and shopping on your own. More importantly, completing such a large project will undoubtedly provide you with a sense of accomplishment.
Cons of DIY installation of solar
Risk of roof damage or leaks
When it comes to a DIY solar installation, this is perhaps the most expensive risk. Unless you have a flat roof, this process will require a considerable number of holes to be drilled into your roof. Drilling into the wrong spot on the roof can result in structural damage, while improper sealing and flashing can lead to roof leaks and mold growth. Another thing to consider is that a DIY solar installation would likely violate your roof’s warranty, which means you will be on the hook for any necessary repairs
Height and high voltage electricity are two key risks that DIY solar installers face. And the physical dangers do not stop with the installation. If any difficulties arise throughout the panels’ 25-year lifespan, it will be your responsibility to return to the roof and fix the situation. The worse scenario is, if the wiring is not correctly connected, your rooftop may even catch fire!
Its time consuming
Installing solar panels, yourself may be satisfying — but only if you are up for a real DIY adventure. If your past DIY expertise has been confined to assembling Scandinavian flatpack furniture, you may want to avoid pursuing a solar installation project. Not only does it need extensive planning and organization, but it is also a time-consuming project: from conception to commissioning, a DIY solar installation typically takes one to four months.Read More
With the unveiling of Tesla’s solar roof shingles in 2016, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, made a huge media stir. Tesla roofs were first installed in electric cars in 2018, but only a handful was installed, making it impossible to tell whether the Tesla solar roof was as revolutionary as the company claimed.
However, Tesla announced the “Solar Roof V3” product in 2019. This upgraded version is expected to be more robust than earlier ones, with a 25-year weatherization warranty and a Class 3 hail rating. Tesla even declared it to be their greatest solar roofing product ever.
Tesla’s solar shingles have created quite a stir since their introduction. The question is whether Tesla’s solar shingles are worth investing in. Come on, let’s find out!!
What exactly is a Tesla roof?
Some of you may be wondering what a Tesla roof is. So before we get into the specifics, let’s give a brief overview of the Tesla roof.
Tesla collaborated with its subsidiary SolarCity to develop the Tesla solar roof concept. So, in essence, the Tesla solar roof seems exactly like any other roof. Except that some of the shingles are photovoltaic, which means they can produce solar electricity. Fascinating right??
What is more fascinating is that the Tesla roof has also presented a novel solution for homeowners to reap the benefits of solar energy without having to sacrifice the elegance of their property. But you cannot install a Tesla solar glass roof unless you replace your entire roof. Also, Tesla demands that all Tesla solar roofs be paired with their solar battery, the Tesla Powerwall. As a result, installing a solar roof without a Powerwall is impossible.
Is a Tesla solar roof cost-effective?
We now know how much a Tesla solar roof costs in comparison to a standard solar installation and roof replacement, but how do the savings measure up?
In California, a regular 5.7 kW solar system will generate around 11,940-kilowatt-hours (kWh) of power per year. Using Tesla’s average California electricity pricing, a typical solar system would save $52,189.33 over the course of 25 years. Tesla forecasts that the solar roof will only save you $37,800 over the course of 19 years, with a break-even point after 19 years.
This signifies that a standard solar panel installation provides superior long-term savings.
Is it worthwhile to invest in Tesla’s solar shingles?
Moving into Tesla solar is now significantly more expensive than a standard solar installation due to Tesla’s price increases. It is essential to pair the Tesla solar roofing with their solar battery. Therefore, installing a solar roof with a Powerwall is now significantly more expensive than installing a regular solar panel.
Installing the Tesla solar roof makes sense only if you have a strong desire for the Tesla product or if you enjoy the looks of the solar roof. Otherwise, it is not a financially sound investment.
To summarize, installing a regular solar panel is considerably less expensive than installing a Tesla solar roof. This is because regular solar systems do not require roof replacement. Furthermore, standard solar systems surely result in higher savings.Read More
Yes, solar panels work in the winter!!! The days are much shorter in the winter than in summer. Therefore, solar panels generate less electricity in the winter than in the summer. Since winter brings heavy snowfalls, snow would almost certainly limit or halt the operation of the solar panels during that season. However, you can still use solar to warm up your home and make it cozier in the winter.
Do solar panels work in the snow?
They obviously do not work when they are covered with snow. Solar panels use sunlight to produce electricity, but when they are covered in snow, they no longer receive enough sunlight. Yes!! Snow on solar panels will obviously reduce the array’s performance. But do not let that frighten you!
Solar panels, with their ability to absorb sunlight and heat, are more than capable of shedding snow on their own. Since solar panels are generally installed on a slope facing the sun, they can definitely shed the snow on their own. When buried in snow, solar panels will yield less power. However, overall yearly output losses continue to be quite low and they are an attractive investment for potential customers.
How to clear snow from the panels
If your solar panels are easily accessible, you can use the steps below to clear snow away from them. So, with the help of a roof rake, you can clear under the panels to leave room for snow to fall when it begins to melt. Of course, the heat of the sun will eventually reach them and cause the snow to shed on its own, but with a little extra help, you will be able to speed up the process.
You may also use a roof rake with a piece of foam pipe insulation attached to the side to carefully remove snow from the actual panels. And that technique is only applicable under some circumstances. So if you have flat plate solar hot water collectors or solar photovoltaic modules, you can use that technique.
you must proceed with caution when undertaking the above-mentioned techniques since they can damage your panel. Therefore, it is not advisable to scrape snow off the panels by yourself. So, in the winter, it is better to spend your days indoors, sipping a cup of hot chocolate and looking forward to the next sunny day.Read More
DC Electrical Characteristics
- STC Power Rating 365W
- PTC Power Rating 338.6W 1
- STC Power per unit of area 17.5W/ft2 (188.7W/m2)
- Peak Efficiency 18.87%
- Power Tolerances 0%/+1%
- Number of Cells 72
- Nominal Voltage not applicable
- Imp 9.27A
- Vmp 39.38V
- Isc 9.75A
- Voc 47.82V
- NOCT 46°C
- Temp. Coefficient of Isc 0.04%/K
- Temp. Coefficient of Power -0.38%/K
- Temp. Coefficient of Voltage -0.135V/K
- Series Fuse Rating 15A
- Maximum System Voltage 1500V
- Type Monocrystalline Silicon
- Output Terminal Type Multicontact Connector Type 4
- Output Cable Wire Gauge 12 AWG
- Output Cable Wire Type PV Wire
- Output Cable Wire Length 45.3in (1,150mm)
- Frame Color White
- Backsheet Color White
- Length 76.9in (1,954mm)
- Width 39in (990mm)
- Depth 1.6in (40mm)
- Weight 48.1lb (21.8kg)
- Installation Method Rack-Mounted
Warranty and Certifications
- 80% Power Output Warranty Period 25yrs
- 90% Power Output Warranty Period 12yrs
- Workmanship Warranty Period 10yrs
- UL 1703 Fire Classification Type 1
- Compliances UL 1703, IEC 61215, IEC 61730, TUV
- CSI Listed Yes
This web page is not the manufacturer’s official data sheet and is not endorsed by the manufacturer in any way. For an official data sheet, please go to Astronergy’s website.