Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Sunrun installed a new solar system with sun obstruction

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Sunrun installed a new solar system with sun obstruction

    In mid September, I went with Sunrun to install a new solar system which consisted of 23 panels. The very first day my system produced 36 KWH, which is close to what I was expecting for a system of that size. Since then, my energy generation continues to drop. Now, I average around 17 KWH on a clear day. I know that in the fall / winter you should expect the numbers go down but this was an indicator that something was wrong. A 50% drop is quite extreme. I went ahead and opened a trouble ticket with Sunrun and they confirmed that something isn't right according to their monitoring. They are sending someone out to take a look later this week. Just for my own curiosity, I went ahead and looked on the roof and noticed that the sun is partially obstructed from my neighbors house. I checked every few hours during the day and the panels never got full daylight. I could only imagine how things will be in a month from now.

    Even though I am confident that Sunrun will make this right, I am still worried that they will look at it and say, "Too bad, deal with it." Has anyone had any experience with this type of issue? Will solar installers take out the panels and relocate them if something is obstructing the sun?

    Thanks,
    Randman76

  • #2
    A few notes.

    1) Look for trees. I started losing power steadily on the system on my first house, and I finally traced it back to a tree that was shading the array in the late afternoon in the neighbor's house. It was slowly getting bigger.

    2) Many solar installers do a cursory check of shading only, and can miss things like "far away" (i.e. more than 20 feet) obstructions like power poles, trees and buildings. Especially

    3) If you are getting good production in the summer (I.e. when there's the most sun) AND you have a microinverter/optimizer system, the solution may be to add panels rather than move panels. They're pretty cheap nowadays.

    4) If your neighbor's house is shading most of your roof there's really nothing you can do.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply. My neighbor's house is only shading the south end of the house, which is where all the panels are. There is plenty of sun on the west side. I am hoping they could use that space to solve the problem. I'll post again after they come out and provide an action plan.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Randman76 View Post
        Thanks for the reply. My neighbor's house is only shading the south end of the house, which is where all the panels are. There is plenty of sun on the west side. I am hoping they could use that space to solve the problem.
        OK. Keep in mind that that will likely reduce your output as well, since south is a much better orientation than west. It will be a tradeoff.

        Comment


        • #5
          Your first mistake was dealing with Sunrun.

          But that's a too-late-to-fix situation.

          I'd wait for their analysis before taking any action against them, if at all.

          In the meantime, read the agreement you signed. It'll tell you that, bottom line, in one way or another, shading is not their problem or responsibility. Also, look for production guarantees/warranties. When/where they exist, they work on yearly production, and are always a very low bar to get over for the system owner before a lost production claim will be considered. That is - bottom line - you probably won't get paid.

          Shadows from adjacent structures or trees, etc. get more problematic the closer the calendar gets to the winter solstice. Longer winter shadows are kind of a common sense thing. Sounds like that may be part of what's happening in your situation.

          Using micros or optimizers would mitigate some of the shading loss, but shading loss can never be completely restored using that method. An array in shade will lose production. Micros or optimizers cannot invent or create energy not there in the first place.

          Do you know what you have ? A string inverter or micros or optimizers ?

          If this is a PPA as is common with Sunrun, take some solace in the fact that you are only paying Sunrun for what's generated. On the other side of the equation, because of the shading, you're drawing more from the POCO and so paying the POCO more, but you'd be doing that regardless of the ownership/lease/PPA arrangement.

          FWIW, my Dec. - Jan. generation runs about 3/4 or so of my June - July generation. Depending on a lot of things, your output will probably have different summer/winter ratios, but while it reads to me like you have shade problems, depending on your location and your weather for the last month or so, and probably some other things, that ~ 50% drop in your output summer to now is not entirely due to shading.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the feedback. I'll read the contract later today to see what I have in terms of what kind of inverter I have and what action, if any they may take. Here are just some sample pictures I took from 9am to 3pm.
            Attached Files

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Randman76 View Post
              Thanks for the feedback. I'll read the contract later today to see what I have in terms of what kind of inverter I have and what action, if any they may take. Here are just some sample pictures I took from 9am to 3pm.
              You're welcome. Looks to me like you have a shading problem that any reasonably astute salesperson or installer would see as being a problem.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

                You're welcome. Looks to me like you have a shading problem that any reasonably astute salesperson or installer would see as being a problem.
                Looks like the house next door is seriously shading the lower panels and a chimney is shading upper panels. Bad install in my book.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SunEagle View Post

                  Looks like the house next door is seriously shading the lower panels and a chimney is shading upper panels. Bad install in my book.
                  +1. But given it's Sunrun - one of the solar bottom feeders - I'm not surprised.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well, Sunrun came out, looked at the system, and confirmed there appears to be a shading problem. He said he would file a report based on this on my behalf and said someone should be contacting me within the next two weeks. So, we will see what happens next. It is encouraging though that he did point out of there being a shading problem. I am just hoping they do something about it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Easy problem to solve. Nothing is wrong with your system. There is only 1-way to resolve your problem. Well 3-ways now that I think of it..

                      1. If it we me, I would just burn the neighbors house down. It is the easiest, fastest, and least expensive way. Just make it look like an accident.
                      2. Buy your neighbors house and tear it down.
                      3. Move and sell your house to a Sucker. Just do it in Summer when there are no shade issues and by the time they realize there is a problem is too late. You already have their money and CLOSED.
                      Last edited by Sunking; 11-04-2018, 08:17 PM.
                      MSEE, PE

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X