Sunday, September 6, 2009

Installing Your Own Grid-Tie PV System

Guy Marsden goes through the whole process of designing, building, and installing a grid-tie PV system for his home. 

Solar panels installed.jpg
Guy and friends finishing the install.

The system uses the new Enphase micro inverters.  In this scheme, each PV panel gets its own inverter, which is installed on the back of the PV panel.  The output from the inverter is 230VAC.  The 230 VAC outputs from the inverters are tied together and hooked to your circuit breaker box via a regular circuit breaker.  Each inverter is UL certified for a grid-tie connection, so this is basically the all there is to it.  Power generated is monitored and reported by the Enphase Envoy unit.  The Envoy monitors and reports on each microinverter, and provides troubleshooting and power output reporting on the Enphase website.

Details on Guy's PV system...

Much more information on doing your own PV system...

While this system does simplify the installation, it is still a big job, and there are serious safety issues to be understood and deal with -- so, if you plan to do your own installation -- do your homework first!



  1. I just wanted to say congratulations! Very fine job!

  2. Seems like the Enphase inverters make all the difference for people wanting to install DIY solar panels. I'm looking forward to the day when things are a little more "plug-and-play" for solar. Hopefully it will be years, not decades...

  3. Hi DIY-Solar,
    Like your website -- good stuff.
    I'm just now going through planning my PV system -- hope to get it in before winter sets in. As I look out the window, we have a couple inches of new snow on the ground, so I may be a bit late :)
    I'm comparing the Enphase approach to a conventional grid-tie, and not finding it easy to make a decision. There is a lot to like about the Enphase approach, but it does seem to end up costing more, and the regular grid-tie systems don't seem to be that much more difficult to wire these days.
    One nice thing is that prices seem to have fallen since last time I looked.


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