Last month I ordered 3 additional 210 watt Kyocera PV solar panels as part of my stage 2 upgrade.  I promptly ordered a 6 panel rack mounting system through Alt-E Solar Store but then had to wait over 4 weeks until DPW (the manufacturer) shipped it.  John and I decided to start the project first thing Saturday morning (right after a cup of coffee).


New Solar Panel Upgrade


The first action was to get to town to hit up Lowe’s for installation supplies. PVC conduit, 10 and 8 gauge wire, ground rod and clamps and of course some lunch and we were ready to finally get started around 2:00 p.m. About 4 hrs later we were covering up the trench and flipping the disconnect to “on”.

We set these panels to face South-East to gather the early morning sunlight before my main PV array even gets any sun on it. The “Rack Mount” is designed for 6 panels and soon we intend to add another 3 panel on the bottom to close-out the install. If all goes well it will happen sometime next month.



  1. Cory says:

    Very nice! If you don’t mind me asking, how much did that set you back and how much power do they provide you?

    Here in Ontario, Canada the government has started a program where they will buy the electricity created by people’s PV systems (MicroFITT program) at very good rates for a 20 year contract. Most systems would be paid off with this income in 6-10 years. Afterwards the money you get for the rest of the 20 year contract is clear profit.

    The hitch though is that for those 20 years you can’t use the electricity yourself; it just goes to the grid. After the 20 years though you can do what you want with the system.

    I’m considering this for our next house. After 20 years, right around the time when we’re ready to retire, we could be living off-grid with that system.

    Plus the 10 years or so of profit after we’ve paid off the system would be used to install a windmill generator, battery bank and other things we’d need.

    Keep up the good work, you’re an inspiration!

  2. Sonny says:

    Cory, So far my entire system has cost me around $26k. Now you also need to know that I have added 2 additional banks of batteries at $2k each (a total of 3) along with adding the new PV panels ($735 per panel and $800 for the rack). I plan to add 3 more panels and that will just about do it for the solar part. I want to do a wind survey to see if my area can support a wind generator or not

    These winter short days and low sun (along with the valleys) here in West Virginia mean about 1/2 of the daily summer average of 5.3-5.5kw gathering. That being said a wind generator on the windy overcast days would cut down on the need to charge my batteries from the generator.

    By the way, I’m off the grid because there is NO ELECTRICITY in my area. The electricity company wanted $70k to run electricity from the last pole about 1.2 miles back down the road and up to my house.

    That being said, there is no Net-Metering. I’m my own power plant.

  3. Sonny says:

    Cory, I forgot to mention that although I got a Federal tax credit, WV gives Nada in tax credits for solar. They are a coal state…. to bad for me.

  4. James Bates says:

    $70k to put up poles…then on top of that pay for the electic power used every month… Looks like you came out on TOP.
    The wind generator sounds like a great idea too.

    Looks like Pothole Farm is HIGH tech too.

  5. Sonny says:

    One of my life-long downfalls has always been gadgets. It took a while but I finally learned not to just get toys but something that will make our life easier even though sometimes the gadget toy and easy are the same thing.

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