Design Your Own Grid-Tied Solar System Posted on 13 Nov 10:14
With a grid-tied solar system, you are assured of having a reliable source of renewable energy that can handle the majority of your power needs. You will also be on your way to energy independence, as you will no longer need to rely on the utility company for all of your power.
And by installing your solar array yourself, you’ll save a significant sum of money.
Are you ready to start producing your own power? Read on to learn more about designing your own photovoltaic system, customized to meet your needs.
Gather the Necessary Information
The process of designing your system starts with gathering some basic information. First of all, you must determine how much energy you use.
Check your last few electric bills and determine your average monthly kilowatt hours usage. Multiply this average by 12 to determine your annual kilowatt hours of energy usage. Or, for greater accuracy, you can add the actual usage figures from the last 12 months of electrical bills, if this information is available.
Next, determine the pitch of your roof. Pitch refers to the angle at which your roof slopes, stated as a fraction or ratio. This ratio tells you the number of inches the roof rises vertically for every 12 horizontal inches.
If, for every 12 horizontal inches, the rise is 6 inches, your pitch is 12/6. You can find videos online that demonstrate how to measure yours, or check out this helpful how-to tutorial.
Understanding the Solar System Calculator
Next, simply plug your information into our DIY solar energy calculator. The calculator will determine the necessary number of photovoltaic panels and other system components to meet your needs.
You’ll notice three fields in the calculator that you may not recognize: the azimuth, derating factor and system losses. Although these concepts may be unfamiliar, they all affect the efficiency of your off-grid system.
Azimuth simply refers to the direction your roof faces. The derating factor is the difference between the theoretical DC output and the actual AC output. System losses are the characteristics of the components that can cause output loss, such as cable thickness, temperature and inefficiencies in the inverters or transformers.
Customized Solar Components to Meet Your Needs
The solar energy calculator will guide you through the process of designing your system and give you the optimal system size to meet your needs. Next, you’ll be presented with a variety of solar panels and the quantity you need of each one, based on your system calculations. You’ll select your inverter and related components, and finally, you will be asked for some information to determine the type of mounting hardware you need.
And just that quick, you’ll have everything you need in your cart. Check out, provide your shipping and payment information, and all the pieces and parts of your system will be on their way to you!
If you’ve considered making the switch toward energy independence and generating your own power, Solar GOODs is your DIY superstore! Check out our solar energy calculator and system design tool today, and get ready to save thousands on your own DIY on-grid solar system.