Like all of you, I have been using sun power from the day we were born. It has been used by all mankind and all life on Earth throughout history. It warms us, makes plants grow, and allows us to go outdoors without flashlights. It prefers to hide its face part of the day, and even when it is above us, it prefers we do not stare at it. It is a very intense body. Many cultures have considered it a God. I like to think it is pleased with those folks. Marvelous thing, this sun we often take for granted.

In July, my brother and I started a project to capture some of the sun’s energy for use in helping power my household electrical devices. We have so many such devices that our bills were over $500.00 each of the summer months from our electricity supplier. Time to ask the sun for help. Fortunately, the sun is happy to provide all the energy we wish when available. I know this because I have never received an invoice from the sun for using its light. Nor has it threatened to cut off the supply, even when I complained that it was heating us more than we wanted. The sun thinks it is doing its best since opposite complaints are received as well. I am glad our sun doesn’t have a temper and punishes us in ways we can only imagine.

Because the sun is so willing to share, we purchased 18 solar panels, rated at 420 Watts each, and all the accessories necessary to bring that power into the inverter. We spent extra to get a Fronius Primo 7.6 kW Inverter made in Austria because it has greater efficiency and doubles the service life of other brands. From the inverter, it is tied to our household electrical grid. The wiring and distribution system was more costly than the panels. Still, because we purchased the system through a wholesale supplier, our total outlay was 15-20% of what it cost to have a solar company come out and install it.

Navarro Coop replaced our old meter with a NET meter. Here is an explanation of the net meter that I have cut and pasted:

“If the home is net-metered, the electricity meter will run backward to provide a credit against what electricity is consumed at night or other periods when the electricity use exceeds the system’s output. Customers are only billed for their “net” energy use.”

Tuesday, December 6th, 2022. The date our solar system’s installation was completed, inspected, programmed, and started producing electricity. Even though we had fairly heavy cloud cover, it was feeding the house over a thousand watts of power.

I look forward to seeing what it shows when the sun is out.

Now, if I could just get the sun to feed my chickens and sheep, clean up the trash off my property, and wash my truck. Wouldn’t that be something?

All panels, rails, and boxes of installation materials except the inverter which had to be ordered.
The first step to installing the panels was bolting down treated 2X4 lumber with the rail mounting brackets.
I welded up a bracket, mounted lumber and posts to cradle the panels. This was made to secure the bracket to the bucket on my neighbor’s
It is ready to load three panels.
You will notice I am not doing the work. Well, someone has to take the photos.
In this photo, you can see the rails that the panels are mounted on. This was a three-person job. One on the tractor and one on each side of the panel.
Nine panels have been installed, and nine more to go.
The panels are installed. A little cleanup and wire to tuck in. In addition, a ground wire has yet to be connected to each rail, then down to a grounding rod.
Each set of three panels has a breaker switch before being connected to the inverter.
This is the inverter. The number showing is the watts being produced at this moment. It is very cloudy outside, but when the sun is out and high in the sky, it should produce up to 7,000 Watts.
This is the NET meter they installed.

Jerry Life Activities & Ideas

2 Replies

  1. Hi Jerry,

    Good to hear from you. Please let me know how much your electric bill was reduced by using solar panels to produce electricity.


    Don James

  2. We live in the Hartfarm also. Would love to hear how your solar experience goes! We are seriously thinking about a system.

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