I used to work for one of the largest solar providers in Utah, seen all the ins and outs from the bottom of the top. Proof: https://imgur.com/a/hfcRq https://imgur.com/a/T0QiQ

Comments: 633 • Responses: 14  • Date: 

redraven5k147 karma

Did you ever have to deal with historic homes and what did you think of the regulation process?

Demonofz230 karma

Worked on many historic homes... and let me tell you... They were a pain! In the state of Utah, any electrical that you touch MUST be brought up to current code. This sometimes means rewiring an entire home. This doesn't even include dealing with the roof conditions. Wood shingles? Suck. Cement Shingles? Suck. It was really interesting to see the architecture that went into building these homes, but so many things were not up to code, that it was almost like building a new home in its entirety.

redraven5k65 karma

Interesting. Did you ever need to go before a history board to get approval or did the city need to approve a design or something?

Demonofz82 karma

Essentially we had a design team that would use a very intricate system that would show 3D models of the shade of the trees, the weight per square foot on the roof, and what weight rating the trusses in the home had. If everything checked out, we would get a permit from the city. If it did not, we would have to essentially go build them a new roof to make it structurally sound.

Im_Big_In_Japants97 karma

What's it like installing solar panels in Utah?

Demonofz221 karma

In the spring and the fall it is very nice! In the summer though... The shingles reach temperatures of 160 degrees and you start melting your shoes. In the winter you have to shovel a few feet of snow off of the roof, and then use a blow torch to take off the underlying ice. Usually this is a 2-3 hour process before you can even begin. I remember working in Grantsville in 2016, and it was -9 degrees outside. Just builds character ;)

kmp1190 karma

why former?

Demonofz19 karma

They hours were pretty relentless. Wasn’t surprising to work 16 hours a day - 6 days a week. Took a lot of toll on me and my wife’s relationship, as well as me never seeing my kids.

interstellarobject65 karma

In how many years do you think renewable energy completely replace fossil fuels ?Will makind wait for the depletion before making a hurried switch or are we already making huge progress?

Demonofz16 karma

With Elon Musk making the incredible advances that he has in such a short time, I think energy will completely replace fossil fuels by 2025. There, of course, will be people who don't want to conform, but for the most part, I think 7 years from now is a reasonable goal.

UterineDictator57 karma

In your experience, are we at the point yet where the "average person" (let's say, average salary in the US, being ~ $50k per annum) can afford to go completely off-grid (taking into account not just the cost of PV cells but also the wiring, battery storage, etc.)? If not, when (if ever) does this look like happening?

Demonofz114 karma

Prior to the tariffs set by trump on solar panels, I would say that you absolutely could accomplish this. The average system that we put on a "normal" sized home cost the owner ~$25k. We also offered payment plans to pay off over time. The only downside of living in Utah is that there are laws in place so you can never be totally "off grid". Always have to be tied into Rocky Mountain power meters one way or another.

rcw008 karma

What’s the deal with near beer? Do you have to drink twice as many to enjoy yourself after a long day’s work?

Demonofz2 karma

Just head over to your local pub, or buy beer from the liquor store. I never drink PBR from the gas station, so I feel no difference cause the beer is the same %

arden132 karma

Do you find it better to have solar panels power the home directly, power a battery which powers a home, or do the hybrid approach and power the home but excess goes to a battery?

Demonofz2 karma

3rd option seems to be the most efficient in my opinion

nebulight2 karma

I've watched a lot of youtube videos on solar. How difficult do you think it would be for an average home owner to install their own systems?

Demonofz2 karma

Aside from the electrical wiring to the main panel, the actual act of installing a system on a roof is dead simple

Windsork2 karma

What kind of training did you have for this job? Do you need to be an electrician?

Demonofz2 karma

No training required. They train you on the job. Technically not supposed to touch any wiring, unless you are a certified electrician. Which they will pay for you to school to become

FarmerJohnCleese2 karma

What's the upkeep like with solar panels? Is it expensive? Are they prone to damage? Expensive to replace? Need to be replaced frequently? Any other info you can throw in is welcome!

Demonofz2 karma

With a quality install on a fairly new roof, upkeep costs are very minimal. Inverters and panels are rated for ~25 years.

vandmike1 karma

I want to get in to this line of work. Any advise?

Demonofz2 karma

Apply to a company that looks like it has good morals. Don’t work for piece rate.

pasher71 karma

Where I live composite shingle roofs get replaced every 5-10 years because of hail. Does the solar panel system have to be removed & re-installed by a solar tech when a shingle roof is being replaced?

Demonofz2 karma

Absolutely. One of the biggest problems in my side of the industry. That will cost you another 30k for uninstalling/reinstalling

USCplaya1 karma

I noticed that you said it costs about $25K for a average home. Is that out of pocket for the owner or are there rebates and tax refunds that cover any of that? I live in Utah and have been curious about going solar

Demonofz2 karma

$25k is “out of pocket” but you get a federal tax refund if you do so by the end of the year. That should knock the price down quite a bit. Would also recommended financing unless you have the funds to drop immediately