Solar Installation – Part 3

August 24, 2009

Alright, so with the rails up, we’re ready for Part 3…installing the panels. The panels are mounted on the aluminum frames, and connected to a DC voltage collector, which feeds into the AC-DC power inverter.

We have a total of 38 modules going on the roof, in 3 separate “strings” or “arrays” (solar guy’s terms). To those of us that are programmers:

power_t *solar1, *solar2, *solar3;
// versus
power_t solar1[16];
power_t solar2[11];
power_t solar3[11];

Heh, okay, bad joke!

A little over half are installed now. We’re waiting on the shipment of the rest. Hopefully, the rest should be installed by the end of the week. Stay tuned…

For other articles in this series, see:



4 Responses to “Solar Installation – Part 3”

  1. darwinsurvivor Says:

    I hope you have a plan for cleaning all those panels. Solar panels collect a lot of dirt from rain, dust, leaves, etc and their efficiency drops dramatically when that happens. From your photos it appears that some of those panels may be a little tricky to reach…

  2. D Says:

    So how much power will this generate and how much as a percentage of your total usage? My wife and I have been talking about this for awhile and I would be interested in any details you have.


  3. Dustin Kirkland Says:


    The plan is to get on the roof with a hose and clean it if its dirty.

    That said, it doesn’t snow in Austin, there’s no trees overhead to drop leaves, we get rain occasionally which should clean off the dust.

    I don’t foresee this as being a problem.


  4. Dustin Kirkland Says:


    I’m hoping that it provides a little over half of our power consumption. I’ll try to report back here once I have a few months worth of data.


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