I'm looking to DIY some solar stuff for the house and had a bunch of questions. Based on what I've researched, it seems I'll need about 20 300W panels if I want to produce all my own power (24.39 kwh/day, 5 hours of sunlight/day assuming 80% efficiency). Now for the questions:

1. I assume I need to have an inverted capable of handling that much solar. I'm seeing a lot of inverters with 1000W, but not much higher than that. I'm assuming if I tie a 2400 W solar system into a 1000W inverter, I'll start seeing things turn to smoke. Am I right? If so, do I just wire the inverters in series as I would with the solar panels? Or do I just buy one mega-inverter capable of handling 2400W?

2. I'd like to take advantage of SRECs, net metering, rebates, and the like, but I'd also like to have a system that keeps my home electrified if the SHTF. Is it possible to have a grid-tied system that I can switch to off-grid in the event of a power outage (or grid failure)? If so, will that require a separate inverter?

3. I've heard it said that DIY solar "packages" tend to be way more expensive than just buying the products separately. What is everyone else's experience with that? Just a quick perusal, I see:

300W solar panels for around $390 (, or about $8K for all my solar panels
3000W inverters for $311 (, or about $650 for the entire setup.
cables and such ($100??)
a mounting system of some sort ($300 max if I use PT posts, plywood, and concrete--totally just making this estimate up)

So, for all that, I'd be putting in about $950. When I price out a system on, I find an equivalent system equal to just over $9k. Of course, the advantage of buying the products separately is I can build up my solar panels over time, but I'd have to buy it all at once if I invested in wholsalesolar.

So, am I missing something here? Were those youtubers and DIY wonks off their rockers?

Thanks in advance!