Monday, January 18, 2010

installation 1

Rather than purchase expensive, specially made mounting rails, I've surprise surprise, decided to wing it. A piece of angle aluminum, attached to the frame and bent up slightly by hand.
An old board screwed to house.
The angle aluminum gets screwed to the board.

This will all be painted and silicone caulked
2.72 amps at 20 volts = 50 watts. Right on target .
Scientifically angled at approx 40 degrees due south using my daughters school protractor.
I found I can get 0.20 amps more by increasing the angle to about 45 degrees, but this setting is a compromise between the best angle for summer and the best for winter.
Next, I'll drill a hole through each of the 2 standing seams, (or attach bracket/clamps to the seam )underneath the panels, that each panel rests on. Then the panels will be fastened to the seam with heavy wire. They weigh 6 kilos each and should be secure even in high winds. One more panel to go. Guess we're going to have to add a few "solar nights" to our monthly "candlenight" festivities. Hoping for about 375watt hours per day (half the rated output X available sun hours) or 1KWH per month. Not much, but enough power to light the house every night in a pinch.


  1. Hey JohnE, nice ! Before you know it you'll be off the electric grid.

    Found this place:

    ..and it kind of reminded me of yours.


  2. Nice!! I wonder if they ship to Vermont?

  3. This is wonderful to read.
    I hope to do this someday.

  4. Luke, I'm sure they'll ship to VT, but you may find as good deals in the states.

    koudou, thanks and feel free to ask any questions,but I'm a solar novice for sure.

  5. Thanks for the link (again), JohnE. It's all looking veh veh good. Can I ask how many "daylight" (unshaded) hours you get per day...? Esp. in winter...



  6. Hi KC,

    We only get 5hrs direct sunlight on the house summer and winter, which is pitiful. Add to that almost 3000mm of annual rainfall and well...I think I'll splurge on the new LED bulbs to keep the wattage down.

    They say to use 5hrs at 52%rated watts for off grid, and 70% for grid tie, when designing your system.

    Jealous of you down there in the 内海, bet you can be off grid from the get go with solar. I'm kinda reverse engineering it, trying to slowly cut the grid umbilical.

    Here is a neat solar calculator that can help you get the amount of power available for your location, click on Asia and select your nearest JPN city. Enter 1KW for smallest system size. And the above 52 or 70% for de-rating, and yen per kilowatt hr. probably 20.

  7. Thanks for the link, John, but it remains Greek to me ;( My electrical nous starts and ends with wiring plugs or jump starting cars...
    Any advice as to where a serious beginner should look for instruction?



  8. Sorry for throwing the jargon at you. When I get the book mentioned on CL I'll let you know how it is. In the meantime check out:

    for tutorials, then go to

    with questions, they'll answer anything and in a lot less technical way than in my opinion

    also some video tutorials on a more complicated system but what you would want for a very small home system, ..

    a basic off grid diagram

    It's complicated at first, but not as bad as farming :p