REC Solar Crew working on Superior, Colorado solar electric power installation

The REC Solar installers spent parts of five days at my home installing the solar electric power system. I am very pleased with the quality of their work and with the final installed system.

REC Electrician Adolf lining up some conduit for the AC/DC disconnects and the inverter for the solar electric power system

REC Solar electrician Adolf lines up a conduit run

The first order of business was to finalize the location of the inverter and the AC and DC disconnects. The original plans called for them all to be mounted on the side of my house adjacent to the existing electrical box. Mike, the foreman of the REC Solar installation crew, noticed that the proposed location was in sunlight (at about 10 AM) and explained that it would be better to mount the inverter in a spot that received minimal direct sunlight. He explained that the inverter’s efficiency decreases as temperature increases, and a well shaded inverter stays cooler than one that is exposed to sunlight. We ended up placing the inverter on a northeast facing wall, just around the corner from the electrical box, and shaded from above by a deck.

Photo of the Fronius IG 400 Inverter, part of the solar electric power system

Inverter (Fronius IG 400) Mounting Location

As pleased as I was with the new shaded inverter location, I was even more happy with the attention to detail that Adolf and Mike applied to the routing of the conduit from the attic to the disconnects, and from the disconnects to the inverter. The ‘disconnect to inverter’ conduit run had to go around a corner of the house, and a gutter downspout was in the way. They ended up running conduit down from the disconnects to a spot below the downspout, rounding the corner there, and then running up to the inverter location. The telephone box was in the way and had to be moved a fraction of an inch. Normally that would not have been a problem, but the telephone box was already (too?) close to the radon mitigation system’s fan body. After moving the telephone box to make room for the conduit, you can still (barely) get the door open; so I’m satisfied.

Photo of electrical box, ac disconnect, dc disconnect for solar electric power system installation

Electrical Box, DC Disconnect (top), and AC Disconnect (bottom)

Instead of taking the ‘disconnect to attic’ conduit run straight up the side of the house (which I would have been fine with), Mike decided to have the conduit follow the trim at the corner of the house, including an extra jog (2 bends) over to follow the molding at a second floor cantilever.

Once in the attic, the conduit runs over to a junction box close to the roof face where the solar panels will go, and then over to the underside of that roof.

REC Solary Installer carrying Kyocera KC200GT Solar Panel up a ladder to roof

Kyocera KC200GT Solar Panel on its way to its new home

View of installation of PV solar panels from Roof (solar panels, racking, wiring, etc.)

PV Solar Panel Installation

After connecting the wiring, the solar panels are attached to the aluminum racking (RoofTrac from ProSolar). There are four pieces of racking that run the entire width of the array, two for each row of panels. The racking is attached to the roof by a TileTrac base and screw at each and every roof truss (24 ” OC for my roof).

Solar Panels