New House Construction Need Wiring For Solar - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
Advertisement


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes
Old 01-02-2010, 01:41 AM   #1
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 6
Rewards Points: 10
Default

New house construction need wiring for solar


Can anyone tell me if I would need to wire my house with 12g wire to run off grid (solar only) the same way I would to run on the grid? Thanks
SolarChick is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-02-2010, 05:57 AM   #2
Remodeling Contractor
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Sandy Hook, CT
Posts: 3,590
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default


Wiring will all be the same. The source is still brought to the main panel. From there all distribution and required wiring is the same
Bob Mariani is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-02-2010, 07:10 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 951
Rewards Points: 500
Default


You might want to run a 12v system in addition to, or in place of, a standard 110v system.
pyper is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-02-2010, 09:38 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,497
Rewards Points: 500
Default


Yes the wiring for the home electrical system would be the same. You would use the same light bulbs, the same appliances, the same TV, the same vacuum cleaner, etc.

So the wiring for all that would need to be just like a regular home so it could safely supply the proper electricity to those things.

Solar electricity is created by DC electric panels on the roof. DC is "Direct Current" like is used in a car. The wiring for this would be "special" depending on the wattage of all the panels you have installed.

Then you use a gizmo called an "inverter" to convert that DC electricity to regular house AC (Alternating Current) electricity. And feed that into your regular electrical system.

Then something of interest is it is very inefficient to make electricity and then use this to power an electric water heater. Better is to directly use the heat from the sun with a solar water heating system to "pre-heat" the water, then use electricity to heat the water further if needed.

Also with an off grid system, you need many expensive batteries to store the electricity for night use. Batteries do not last forever and are quite expensive to replace.

A better solution is called "net metering". With this you use a special inverter called a "grid-tie inverter". This connects your solar electric system to the electric company's grid. During the day you generate electricity for the electric company and your electric meter runs "backwards". Or a special electric meter records how much electricity you are "selling" to the electric company.

Then at night, you use electricity from the electric company. It all balances out and you have a minimal bill or might even be paid by the electric company! (This depends on the laws for "net metering" for your specific state.)

More on this...
http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=...c9c32d20fe6232
Billy_Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2010, 06:28 AM   #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 6
Rewards Points: 10
Default


Thank you all for your help. I'll let you know how it all turns out!
SolarChick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2010, 07:47 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default


They do make underfloor heating matts that run directly off solar
Plus you do have the option of buying DC devices & using straight power
But most people convert to AC (inverter) & tie in with the grid & feed any power used to the grid
Then the house is wired normally, 12g outlets & can be used for lights
14g can also be used with 15a breakers

So as Bob pointed out the specific setup is determined by what you want



Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2010, 05:34 PM   #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10
Default


You did not state the voltage of your solar system but if you run your house on 12 volt dc you might consider running the heaviest wire you can afford to avoid voltage drop. During the 70's while everyone was waiting in line for gas we wired several houses with 10/2 wg. The only issue is, that wire is hard to bend around the connecting terminals on the plugs and switches. If something were to happen to the "grid" you can change your house to 12 volt pretty easily.

Good Luck
Arizona History is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2010, 07:09 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 951
Rewards Points: 500
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy_Bob View Post
Yes the wiring for the home electrical system would be the same. You would use the same light bulbs, the same appliances, the same TV, the same vacuum cleaner, etc.
Unless you use 12v light bulbs, appliances, TV, vacuum, etc. (with propane water heater, stove, and probably refrigerator.) There are people with off-grid solutions that don't use 110v at all. I do it myself in the camper. It's different, but not necessarily bad.
pyper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2010, 07:38 PM   #9
Licensed Electrical Cont.
 
Speedy Petey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: NY State
Posts: 7,828
Rewards Points: 2,006
Default


I think the idea/suggestion to run a home on all 12V is absolutely ludicrous.
You CANNOT compare a camper to a house.

If you are worried about something happening to "the grid" you are better off living in a cabin, or better yet a yurt, in the middle of the wilderness somewhere. This way you won't have to worry about anything.
__________________
Sometimes I feel like if I answer any more questions it is like someone trying to climb over a fence to jump off a bridge and me giving them a boost.
Speedy Petey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2010, 08:09 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 951
Rewards Points: 500
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
I think the idea/suggestion to run a home on all 12V is absolutely ludicrous.
You CANNOT compare a camper to a house.

If you are worried about something happening to "the grid" you are better off living in a cabin, or better yet a yurt, in the middle of the wilderness somewhere. This way you won't have to worry about anything.
I'm not suggesting anyone do anything. But I subscribe to Mother Earth News, and I have found in it's pages the stories of all sorts of people, some of whom run their homes off 12v exclusively. There are many people who choose to live off grid. I don't know why they do it, but they do, and there is a small industry catering to them, producing all the appliances and accessories that a person would need in that situation.

What's the difference between a home and a camper? The home has way better insulation and costs less per square foot. Anything else?

The only thing in my house that you can't do off 12v and/or propane is the air conditioner.
pyper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2010, 12:05 AM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 48
Rewards Points: 25
Default


Just out of curiosity, how does an intertie solar panel system physically connect to your house electrical system? Say I'm building a house today, but don't feel that PV panels have reached the magical cost per watt range yet to make them feasible. I'd like to put in the rough-in to support an intertie system in the future, but buy the panels and inverter in, say, five years, when the efficiency and technology have improved.

What kind of rough in do I put in today? Just run a couple of copper wires in the studs and locate the ends close to the main panel and the location where the inverter would be? Similarly, should I run some wire between where the inverter would go, and near the point on the roof where the panels would eventually sit? Or is it more complicated than that?

I guess I'm thinking I'd like to avoid having to fish wire in later, or to rip/replace drywall in the future. It seems like the most convenient time to run any wiring would be now, during the home's construction. It's conceptually similar to doing rough-in for central vac at the framing stage, irrespective of when I plan to purchase the central vac system.

Last edited by TitaniumVT; 01-06-2010 at 12:04 PM.
TitaniumVT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2010, 04:07 AM   #12
Too Short? Cut it Again!
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 9,634
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default


Off grid systems are getting better and better. I posted an article about a turbine generator that sits somewhat disguised along the roof ridge. The company is just being venture capitalized. There are solar options that look like and blend in with clay roof tiles and are not flat panels.

Obviously you need to run some wire to your electrical panel and I would plan on a wire run to the new type of batteries that will hide in the basement and garage too. There are some major breakthroughs on the horizon for things that do not kick off tremendous heat and that will be able to store a couple days worth of reliable energy.

It might be overkill but why not a couple extra runs of 12/2 if you are buying and stringing it in open walls anyhow? I would not second guess and drop the gauge of the wire down though.

Save your money roughing in for a central vac system. I know nobody who has ever been happy with one.

Last edited by user1007; 01-06-2010 at 04:09 AM.
user1007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2010, 07:32 AM   #13
Remodeling Contractor
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Sandy Hook, CT
Posts: 3,590
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default


planning anything for the future is useless. We do not know what the future will bring. Structured wired homes for the future.... but now everything is wireless! I would still allow for future expectations. The main panel should allow for expansion. A new construction allows for an area to be structured as future access from panel/basement to attic. Then if you need wires or maybe compressed air lines to these areas you can do so. But you are not spending money for something you may or may not need.
Bob Mariani is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2010, 08:41 AM   #14
Too Short? Cut it Again!
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 9,634
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Mariani View Post
planning anything for the future is useless. We do not know what the future will bring. Structured wired homes for the future.... but now everything is wireless!
Come on Bob, you did not mean to say this. Of course you cannot plan everything for the future but when I have walls open I run another a line or two of 12/2 romex if the client can afford it. I do not think electricity is going wireless within my lifetime?
user1007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2010, 10:33 AM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,497
Rewards Points: 500
Default


Grid tie solar system...
http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/25/learn.asp
Billy_Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pole house construction plans Woolly Locust Building & Construction 4 01-02-2010 04:28 PM
Problem with wiring (really long post sorry) okacookie Electrical 10 04-21-2009 08:54 AM
DSL slow inside house - wiring options mcvane Electrical 18 07-14-2008 03:15 PM
60 year old house wiring bigp58 Electrical 1 04-21-2008 11:32 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts