Clean Power surprising things about people who go solar infographic

Published on March 28th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


9 Surprising Things about People Who Go Solar (Infographic)

March 28th, 2012 by  

Our good friends over at One Block Off the Grid (1BOG) have created another awesome solar power infographic. The last infographic of theirs that we shared here on CleanTechnica, on how much solar power costs in locations across the U.S., was quite popular, and I imagine this new one will be as well. The topic, as you can see from the title above, is 9 surprising things about people who go solar. There really are some surprising things in here, and just some downright cool information — my favorite point is #9. Feel free to let us know which points really surprise or excite you! Here’s the infographic (larger version can be seen on 1BOG… or by clicking on this image and then clicking on it again on the next page — you can also just hold ‘ctrl’ or ‘command’ and press the ‘+’ button):

surprising things about people who go solar infographic


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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) one letter at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of EV Obsession, Gas2, Solar Love, Planetsave, or Bikocity; or as president of Important Media. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, energy storage, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media:, .

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  • One of my favorite points is number 3. Installing solar panels and relying upon solar energy rather than nonrenewable sources of energy isn’t just for the rich. The average income maker can still profit from solar energy.

  • SirSparks

    Bob. I am the (master) electrician, like you mainly Off Grid ( very small back up cord at present)

    1,800W PV at average $1,90 per watt = $3,420
    1000 AH Trojan T105RE battery bank $900
    Aims 2,500W inverter $165 (Ebay)
    400W Pure sinewave inverter $80 (Ebay)
    $640 for TWO charge controllers.

    Total $5,125. (I only just now added it all up)

    In addition probably about $250 of marine grade wire and lugs which of course went through the company. No permit; it’s a self built out RV (Box truck).

    • Bob_Wallace

      OK, good info. $1.90/w is a good price, but someone who wanted to save even more could get at or close to $1/W purchasing from Sun Electric.

      You didn’t include rack price. For a typical roof or ground mount that might add several hundred dollars to a 1.8k installation. (I’m remembering that my 1.2k racks cost me over $500 total. Be warned about my memory…)

      I’ll have to check out the Aims inverter – is that for grid tie or for non-sensitive loads (refer, shop tools, etc.). Model?

      $80 for a 400@ pure sinewave. Got a brand/model? Regular price or an Ebay deal?

      What kind of charge controllers? Maximum power point tracking (MPPT), and if, what brand/model and where?

      (I’m really interested in this answer. I’ve got two racks of panels, ground mounted. For about two months of the year (low Sun track days) I have a tree shading part of the rack for part of the day. One solution is to drop the tree, which I’d rather not do. The other is to put my racks on separate MMPTs so that I get most of the power produced by the partially shaded rack and all from the unshaded.)


      For folks who are interested in doing their own, lots of places you’re going to have to pull a permit and you may be required to use a licensed electrician to look over your installation and make the final hookup to the grid.

      • SirSparks

        400w/600w max PSW was purchased for $66 here; eastcoast_wholesales_llc (Ebay)

        Racks were self made out of 1 1/2″ by 1/8″ aluminum angle for very little and quickly adjustable for the 4 seasons. 6 panels are a hard sun awning.

        FOUR 12V charging means;
        1) $600 80 amp) Outback MPPT. (switches at 14.8V)
        2) $40 40 amp PWM (switches at 14.4V
        3) 11 amps direct connect (does not need a controller)
        4) soon to add a 15 amp straight switching (14V) controller for last 200W of panel on order.

        Note; sometimes I bypass switch the 40 amp PWM for a quicker charge if it’s somewhat cloudy. (trees in your case)

        • SirSparks

          Sun Electric is pallet priced $1 PLUS shipping. My $1.90 was incl. shipping and per item. (normally 85W panels) The PSW inverter is working perfectly after 6 months just blew out some cobwebs from the fan once.)

          In your situation I would use a cheap PWM as the second controller and let the MPPT do all the intelligent work. Just switch off the PWM if you are away from home for an extended period.

          In practice my 4 way system works flawllessly.

  • SirSparks

    I don’t expect anyone to believe this but my self install solar cost me a bit under $5,000. My average utility bill before was $300. My average bill now (with some serious life style changes) is $3. YUP! THREE DOLLARS a month. Long live solar.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I could believe you, but I’d need more info.

      System size, price per watt for panel purchase, rack cost, inverter cost, permit (?) cost, electrician (?) cost.

      I’m off the grid, installed my own 1.2kW system with battery storage for a bit over $5k. That was ten years ago when panel prices were quite a bit higher. No permits, no outside labor cost.

  • Stan

    And, to add another nice note regarding this issue…..almost all of my customers want to be friends after all is said and done….if you aren’t in this industry, I have to tell you….I LOVE MY JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Bob_Wallace

      Stan – what’s it going to take to get the US price of installed solar from ~$6.40/W to the German average of ~$2.40?

      If there’s something that US business excels at, it’s getting stuff to customers at a low price. Where’s the system failing?

    • haha, i bet. 😀

      can only imagine.

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