Solar Pergola

So, we finally decided to "Go Solar". But without having a good place to put the array on our home, we decided to build a structure to hold the panels. The best "solar window" was just in front of our garage, so the result is the Solar Pergola. I designed and built the structure with the help of many friends and colleagues. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

System Specs:
18 - 200 Watt Sanyo Bi-Facial Panels (Thats 3.6 kW or 3600 watts)
1 - 5000 Watt SMA Sunny Boy Inverter
Uni-Rac Rails and feet

Thanks to all of my friends for coming by and swinging the hammer. A big shout out to Pure Energy Solar, if anyone is thinking of going solar, please contact Wayne Irwin at Pure Energy Solar (352)-377-6527. Good people doing good things. Additional thanks go to my architect, Josh at Ricardo Cavallino & Associates (352) 377-1751‎, our structural engineer Gary Dounson (352) 375-8593, and Anne-Marie at the Alachua County Building Department...everyone did a great job.

Now for the big question...$:
All said and done, it cost us about $7 a watt or roughly $25,000. With rebates and incentives that we will get over the next year, we should be able to break even in 5 years. We did most of the work ourselves, so that really brings down the price. Plus child labor really helps to keep the cost down (just kidding Mom!). I am guessing that this system will save us $1,000 dollars a year and we should enjoy 20 plus years of savings after we break even. I will keep you posted on the actual performance.