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DIY Off Grid Solar: Building a Renewable Energy 5.2 KW Solar Panel Array (Part 3)



We are building an off-grid solar clean energy system from scratch. In this video, we share with you how we sized and built our 5.2 KW Solar Panel Array. We discuss why we went with SolarWorld Sunmodule Plus panels and how we wired them for optimum voltage. This is Part 3 of a series on building a DIY off grid solar energy system.

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DIY Off-Grid Solar Series Playlist:

Why Are We Off Grid? Our Reasons For Off-Grid Living:

Is It Cheaper Off-Grid? Our First 5 Months Living Off The Grid:

Do You Need Internet Off-Grid? Why We Think It Is A MUST…:

Investing Money Wisely Off Grid To Remain Debt Free:

How We Found Our Off Grid Homestead Property:

Guildbrook Farm is an off grid, modern homestead located in the foothills of Appalachia. We take you along on our journey to become more self reliant by growing an organic garden, raising heritage breed chickens and pigs, improve our skills in canning and food preservation, building off the grid renewable energy systems, prepping for events such as natural disasters, and learning old time skills. Join us as we build an off-grid cabin and homestead from raw land while remaining debt-free. Follow our successes and failures as we learn to live a more simple, sustainable lifestyle.

Thanks for watching!

Jeremy, Jaime, Marina, and Ilaria ❤️

Guildbrook Farm
5181 NC Highway 90 E #374
Hiddenite, NC 28636-0374

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  1. Due to the crazy install (and even crazier weather where we considered building an Ark instead of a solar system)…these videos have been recorded out of order so we could show you the process lineally. Next video will be on how to assemble the combiner boxes. Stay tuned! More links in the description. Thanks for watching!

  2. If this is a project where cost wasn't a concern then don't read any further unless you just want a couple of laughs from some silly things I say because I'm from the southeast. LOL!!! RTR!!!

    Wouldn't it be more cost effective and sustainable short and long-term to run any 12v appliance you could possibly run, heat with wood, cool with a buried pipe air circulation system, cook with induction and mount your panels on a tracker?

    I'm American an I'm from the southeast so it was very hard for me to get out of the "shit it and get it mindset" an when I finally did, try not to fall for the what I've coined as the "Natures Head Mindset" which is when you go completely 180 degree's the opposite way an you fall for the bullshit like the Natures Head toilet. There's a place in the middle that logical people who are hunting it will eventually find, but it's usually a dump truck load of money later. LOL!

    Personally I would set my home up just as I would an off grid camper that the common man would have for himself an family. Now maybe you are going off grid for reason's other than the "save the earth bullshit" or "economic benefit". Maybe you want to be "self reliant" which will make you king of your own world aka Homestead an won't be phased by most of the rat race bullshit we all deal with daily. But you also don't want to give up the basic modern day way of life we live in the US which I must admit is awesome. If the later is the case well my friend shit it and get it! LOL!

    God Bless an Keep On Keep'in On!!!

  3. Oh man, I want to know what you are saying so bad! Just learning and I understand nothing! Are there any instructions out there with pictures and lists?

  4. solar tracker wouldn't go a miss either! good efficiency gains to be had from tracking the sun through it's daily arc! Not expensive to make one either

  5. I hope your charge controller will take well over 110V. Must take the open circuit voltage of your panels. Because when the batteries are full and no power is used that is the voltage to your charge controller will get!

  6. Hello Jeremy, your idea is right, but I do not agree with your thinking. Why do you want to put your own power plant up ? How about small independent systems dedicated for it's purpose ? It is less expensive, easier to maintain and one problem does not affect your hole setup. Already doing it. Inverters are a battery destroyer. It's fine if you use a converter to generate power from high voltage DC (panels in series) to drive power applications, but 12V is a standard, you get everything in 12V. And many applications are very suitable to work directly off a solar panel without a battery. Just a few tricks to apply.
    You're welcome to communicate. fanie at faze in the illegal British colony of Sick Africa. Always look at 10 years plus maintenance free and long term sustainable. My eyes begin to water if you talk in KW when you're supposed to talk in Amp.

  7. WHEN it snows, your modules will be covered at least as deep as the snow, which will lower your total output. Should have them at least 2-3' off the ground.

  8. Nice work. Really like your videos. Just a quick FYI on your panel racking angles…. I've got 12+kw on grid tie and find that my 5kw array at 40deg tilt is pretty much self cleaning. The 3.5 and 2.5kw arrays on my workshop at 4-12 pitch are a pain. I have to wash them twice as much as the steeper angle panels. Also, if you get into it, solar hot water is pretty good too, over 70% efficiency on evacuated tube setups. My setup works good but my 200gal storage tank isn't large enough for winter. Consider adding wood boiler heat in winter. Always go with a drainback setup vs closed loop. Hardly any maintenance with drainback. Offers both freeze and overheat protection as well as power failure protection. I've boiled over my closed loop system a few times, recently when the power authority decided to cut power 6hrs for line upgrades on my street. Combining sources for solar/wind/hydro/ etc is the way to go. BTW, here in Canada (BC) I have some 330w panels on order for $0.50cdn/watt. No excuse anymore to go green. Happy homesteading!

  9. Wow! Finally someone that knows what they're talking about. I'm single so my off grid project was very easy and inexpensive but it took me 10 years to perfect the efficiency I got. You have a quite a challenge ahead of you for living off grid with four people.

  10. Was just thinking if you have got them setup this way should they not each have there own mppt on each string as they are all operating at different voltages hooked upto a combiner box would not the lowest voltage of the string bring down the total power made (norm on housed roofs where they have 2 strings on the roof they norm use a duel mppt inverter so one side of the roof can't affect the other ) It be so good if dc to dc inverters was a thing off grid systems (micro dc to ac off grid inverters)

  11. Watching videos on solar power make me feel like a complete idiot. The learner curve for me seems extraordinarily long. Luckily, I'm not ready for solar yet, and the intimidation factor may postpone it indefinitely. But, this looks uber well done 🙂

  12. The thing I like best about your videos is that you make it all seem POSSIBLE <3
    Just took out the 70 yr old tree that shaded my house, and now I'm getting blasted by sun so I'm getting close to doing something like this. (When I say 'doing' I mean getting a solar contractor to do it.) Just waiting for the magic moment when the price is right at the same time that it isn't too late to pay itself off before I die! I really appreciate how you are explaining it in detail even if I don't understand, because if I listen enough times, I'll finally GET IT.

  13. When you said 35 volts for each string of 3 panels which would be around that 95v you said you then have an array of 9 panels wouldn't that be around 300v? which would be too much for the charge controller?

  14. May I suggest bringing the front of the racks up off the ground by 6-8 inches to make it easier to weed eat and mow around… also keep small animals and insects off the panels. You could also use a chicken wire fence around the perimeter to keep the chickens off of them.

  15. Something to consider in northern locations is the first snow will cover the bottom half of the panel and you’ll lose most of the potential output.
    Weeds have a similar effect.
    Raise them up 3’ and you’ll avoid this

  16. Excellent walk through of your solar energy project Jamie. Good DYI demo, plus folks can have an array set up by a solar company if they would prefer that option. Of course  your project will save money. I had a neighbor back in 1976 who placed an array on his roof. He heated enough hot water for his family of four.

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