I was SO CLOSE to having this all ready to go last night- which would have met my promised deadline. It's only a day late though! Without further adieu- here you go!
Aside from the basic electricity and circuitry lessons I learned in middle and high school, I had next to no knowledge of electrical systems. In 2008, I received my second round of lessons, which was more like a crash course since I had suddenly learned that the house I had bought needed to be completely gutted. I turned to reference books in the library and youtube videos to understand how to re-wire that house. What's my point? I am not a Master Electrician or trained electrical professional of any kind. I simply did several hours of research and sought out a reputable company that would walk me through the process. I want to share our efforts and how our system is put together simply to provide a stepping stone resource for anyone considering solar power. It can be done, and you can do it. What I do not want, however, is to become the "Ask Jane" of the DIY solar power world. I urge you to read through every scrap of material I provide in these posts, review all the videos, and IF at that point you still have a question, you should probably contact a professional. I am giving you my entire knowledge base- if it isn't in these materials, then I don't know the answer either.
As I mentioned in the previous post- I would be including the more detailed "how to" videos I have found that helped me to understand how certain pieces go together. The combiner box and e-panel are where most of the complicated connections live. These were the videos I found most helpful.
This is a super professional video that helped me cement some concepts in the beginning, even though we definitely did not need a combiner box of this size.
This is a college student showing a very basic combiner box setup. This helped us the most, in regards to our combiner box install.
MidNite Solar Charge Controller Install to E-Panel
This was a super helpful video. We don't have the same size e-panel and therefore didn't mount the charge controller to the side.
And now, here is our video showing a very BASIC overview of our system. I talk about a lot of core concepts and tried to remember to touch upon as much as I could- but it was cold and I was in pure business mode, so most of these clips were done in one take. I didn't touch upon the grounding that needs to be done at the "power center" or within your e-panel basically. But from the video you can clearly see the green grounding wires coming from both the inverter and charge controller, which then meet at a central grounding bus bar at the top of our e-panel. That then leads out the bottom of our utility closet and to a copper rod buried in the ground.
I really hope I explained the system in a way that most anyone will be able to follow!
Thanks for reading!
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