No announcement yet.

Which is a fair contract rate per watt???

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Which is a fair contract rate per watt???

    Hello Guys,

    I am getting close to finalizing my solar panel project and need some advice on how to proceed. Here is my story:

    I am in Brooklyn, New York, doing this solar project for the first time. My goal is to get as many panels on my roof as it can possibly fit.

    I was going to go with companyA for 25 panels @ $3.25/watt.

    Then companyB came and said they can price match 25 panels @ $3.25/watt, they can even try 27-28, if they can fit 27-28 then price will be $3.62/watt. I agreed and signed the contract. I went with a solar design company which companyB suggested and that designer said I can do 28 panels with some panels reverse tilted to be more efficient. CompanyB said because this is a custom design of 28 with reverse tile, now the price is $3.70/watt. I agreed and signed a modified contract.

    When come the installation date, I was up on the roof with the installer and confirmed, we can only fit 23 panels as some vent pipe and share roof space restricted a whole second row, so instead of two rows of landscape, now we have to do one row of portrait.

    Here is the problem, the solar installer insists on $3.70/watt on 23 panels, even with 5 panels short.

    ($3.70 x 23panels x LG360)=$30,636 or $3.70/watt

    I am saying the price should be 9 reverse tilt @3.70 and 14 shingle mount @3.25.

    ($3.70 x 9panels x LG360) + ($3.25 x 14panels x LG360)=$28,368 equivalent to $3.43/watt

    Basically, the installer is saying as long as one panel is reverse tilt then the whole project is considered as a custom project, therefore, should be priced at higher rate of $3.70. The installer is not taking any responsible of panel reduction, as he said that is the designer fault. Even though the designer was recommended by the installer.

    Right now the project is at a halt because difference of $3.43/watt vs $3.70/watt. What will you do in my situation? I might just pay him 3.70 because I need them to services my system for the next 10 years as part of the contract.

    At one point during the installation, they install the rail wrong way and the whole row of iron ridge UFO clamp was not holding down the panel correct. I almost had to fight with them to convince the something was wrong with the rail. They said they been going installation for years and I don't know what I am talking about. Later on, they realized the mistake and stayed until 8 pm to fix the rails by tear down all panels and wiring they had just put up. I am glad that they fix the rail issue otherwise when strong wind blow on them, panels fall off roof and hurt people.

    So two things, please let me know:
    1. What is fair $3.43 or $3.70.
    2. Is my reverse tilt panels safe, can it withstand up to 118mph of wind. That number is on my design plan.
    Attached is a PDF file with some pictures of my panels.

    Thank you all!

    Attached Files

  • #2
    I don't know about New York City prices but those are pretty outlandish if you ask me. In my rural area, everyone is $2.00 to $2:50/watt. You should know that the wholesale cost of solar panels is currently near 50cents/watt.
    BSEE, R11, NABCEP, Chevy BoltEV, >3000kW installed


    • #3
      Look at the transition box with the plastic conduit in pic #3, Zoom into the bottom left corner of the array. For some reason it's twisted sideways to the point that it looks to be in contact with the backside of the panel, not good. The conduit is pulled/broken away from the box. This is unacceptable and can allow water into the box. Has an inspector seen this installation yet?
      2.2kw Suntech mono, Classic 200, NEW Trace SW4024


      • #4
        Originally posted by tomatoUSA
        One more thing, I have to ask installer to fix. Thanks
        Is it worth fixing, or simply rip off and abandon ?

        Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
        || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
        || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A



        • #5
          What kind of glue or compound is that at the junction of the two sweeps at the transition electrical PVC cement, where can I get some of that?


          • #6
            I think that is roofing compound that was used as an attempt to "patch" broken conduit. I haven't run into any inspectors who would accept that. I've had to use red hot super blue PVC cement (ok for water PVC but not electrical PVC) in very damp installs to get good adhesion and painted electrical grey PVC cement over it to make acceptable to inspector .The whole end of that conduit including the sweeps and transition box needs to be replaced, is that a broken terminal adapter at the transition box. Water will find its way in there and run down to where?

            I think you need to hire an outside expert to assess the installation first hand to get a real read on this installation. Your contractor is not doing his job. The stability of the racking in the wind is questionable as well.