MSO is nearing completion on a 4.6 Kw solar PV installation at Jeremy's in-laws' home near Lewisburg, WV. This system was installed as an add-on to an existing 4.2 Kw system that was installed by a professional installer.
Enphase grid-tie micro-inverters were installed with the new system which will coincide with existing system offering detailed monitoring of energy production and notify the owner of any issues with the system; absolutely any issue - it's a very efficient and impressive system!
The install consists of two arrays of 10 panels each; totaling (20) 230 watt panels. Ground mounting, as applied with this install, is a very nice option; you don't have to worry about roof life and you can easily access the panels/inverters for repair or for general cleaning - a squeegee during a hard rain is a good way to clean these ground mount solar arrays.
The panels and inverters both carry a 25 year manufacturer warranty. The panels are manufactured by Perlight and were bought during a recently significant drop in panel prices; purchased at about $0.68/watt.
To put in perspective, these panels cost about $160 a piece and they retailed for about $550 per panel. As for other costs the install required lumber and materials for building the mounts, Iron Ridge racking to secure panels to and the inverters. The total cost for this system installed will likely end up being about $7,000-8,000; that's a quick return on investment (ROI). Again, this is the cost if you did the work yourself and really sought out good deals on the components and panels; that's not a difficult task.
We're not electricians, in fact, our degrees range from General Studies and Bachelors Degrees to a Masters Psychology. All you need is a computer and an internet connection; everything you need to know is out there! To be honest, you'd be hard pressed to get a system of this size installed professionally for under $20,000; the cost savings are obvious.
It should be noted that this total system, 8.8 Kw, is quite large. This is a modern home with average insulation, large living spaces, an indoor current pool with an attached hot tub and an electric heat pump.
By comparison, an installed 2.1 Kw system on Jeremy's home provides over half of what he requires for a family of 4. Ultimately, he'll add another 2.3 Kw to his existing system essentially generating more power than he needs. Jeremy heats with a high efficiency wood stove (biomass) and a fairly large solar air heater; this cuts his energy demands dramatically.
You can do this!