Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Pros and Cons of Solar Energy: Pros and Cons of Buying Solar Panel Kits

Collapse
This is a sticky topic.
X
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Pros and Cons of Solar Energy: Pros and Cons of Buying Solar Panel Kits

    Its been 8 months since I had my BIG BOX STORE/subcontractor system installed and have about given up fighting. Heres some tips and comments that may spare you some problems;

    Contract TIPS:

    Insist on:

    1) a firm completion date with either a price reduction or a a firm cancellation clause.

    2)a clause that ensures that YOU get the benefit of any price reductions on equipment cost. Panel Prices do go down!

    3) A fully refundable deposit. A credit card with buyer protections is good

    4) a clause that makes the Install company responsible if they exceed the rebate time limits and make up the difference which can be substancial.

    5) Check you installers license and history. Many are online

    6) Make sure Company you sign with is really who they are and not just a bigbox "contractor". If push comes to shove the BIG BOX STore with try to shift responsibilty to the contractor and vise versa. Think some Subcontractor just buy space and BIG BOX STORE name backing from to con you into a false sense of responsibily.


    Install Tips:

    LAg every rafter!! Not every 2nd or 3rd but every one with 3/8" lags. Had I not done this my panels would be gone!!

    Correctly Seal every hole! every lag, every hole, every grommet! Don't let them cheap out on sealing or you will be sorry.

    Make Installl company responsible for broken tiles or other damage like smashed gutters ect.

    Oversize your wiring. One size larger than need is good.

    Choose your inverter location carefully. Inverters put out lots of heat and noise.

    If your thinking of expanding in future now is time to add roof rails.


    Hope this helps.
    Vintovka
    RCE, PE
    retired environmental engineer
    _

    "the enviroment is lost, get used to it"

  • #2
    Choose your inverter location carefully. Inverters put out lots of heat and noise.
    What inverter makes noise ? If you are hearing 60/120hz AC hum, a little bit is expected. A lot is a problem.

    I'd also add to your list:

    a) Lien releases from all subcontractors.

    b) Tie the payment schedule to passing Structure, Electrical and Utility inspections.
    hold back 10% till final utility approval and approved selling has started

    c) Some sort of easy monitoring system, so you can be aware of performance issues.
    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

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

    Comment


    • #3
      Nice, thanks guys.

      I made this thread a sticky.

      Comment


      • #4
        Have a Fronius 3.8 and the fan does make a bit of noise but being outside under a weatherproof alcove works for me. All the holdbacks and lien stuff is good. Big box stores who are owned by the manufactures of solar panels (and oil spills) act as if laws do not apply.
        Vintovka
        RCE, PE
        retired environmental engineer
        _

        "the enviroment is lost, get used to it"

        Comment


        • #5
          Right - the big box stores are publicly owned corporations - which mean many people own a small share.

          The stores generally follow the law - ıf one does not understand the law then don't blame the stores. For them to not follow the law can get expensive.

          Your list with Mike's additions give a person a decent chance.
          [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by vintovka View Post
            Install Tips:

            LAg every rafter!! Not every 2nd or 3rd but every one with 3/8" lags. Had I not done this my panels would be gone!!

            Correctly Seal every hole! every lag, every hole, every grommet! Don't let them cheap out on sealing or you will be sorry.
            1. Lagging every rafter is ridiculous and a large expense. A properly flashed attachment point costs about $35 to install. Say a typical, code compliant install has 50 roof penetrations. Lagging every rafter would triple that number to 150, costing an extra $3,500. If you use a reputable manufacturer's mounting hardware, follow the engineering guidelines, & check to make sure every rafter was a direct hit with the lag bolt you will be fine. Every major mounting system like UniRac and Ironridge has been designed by structural engineers. You should follow their recommendations, not waste money on excessive holes in your roof.

            2. Don't rely on just a sealant. Use a waterproof flashing such as those offered by QuickmountPV. Also, another reason not to triple the amount of holes in your roof is that you then triple the likelihood of your roof leaking.
            Your single source for sustainable home improvements: [URL="www.eco-merica.com"]www.eco-merica.com[/URL]

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by NABCEP Russ View Post
              ...... Lagging every rafter is ridiculous and a large expense. A properly flashed attachment point costs about $35 to install. Say a typical, code compliant install has 50 roof penetrations. ....
              Well, this is an area where local codes prevail. While San Diego and Palm Beach share the same sort of climate, the hurricanes in Florida, require a much stronger roof attachment than Southern California does....


              One fellow drilled all the holes from inside his attic, and didn't miss a single center ! Poke a pipe cleaner through the hole, and you have a nice little flag on the outside marking each one. Sometimes shingles cover up a hole and you can't find it.
              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

              solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
              gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
                Well, this is an area where local codes prevail. While San Diego and Palm Beach share the same sort of climate, the hurricanes in Florida, require a much stronger roof attachment than Southern California
                Exactly, that's what i meant when I said to follow the manufacturers engineering recommendations.
                Your single source for sustainable home improvements: [URL="www.eco-merica.com"]www.eco-merica.com[/URL]

                Comment


                • #9
                  Nothing to do with manufacturers recommendations - local building code is the main factor.
                  [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by russ View Post
                    Nothing to do with manufacturers recommendations - local building code is the main factor.
                    Both of which are based upon the judgement of a structural PE. Show me an AHJ that requires maximum spans of 16" for any of the major mounting solutions.

                    For instance, ironridge XRL worst case 150 mph wind zone, exposure C, zone 3, 40psf snow load - maximum span =3.5ft

                    No AHJ will dispute these spans because they are backed by a PE seal. Ironridge's engineers know best how to install the products they've designed.
                    Your single source for sustainable home improvements: [URL="www.eco-merica.com"]www.eco-merica.com[/URL]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Based upon the judgment of a PE or based engineering - bit of difference.
                      [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by russ View Post
                        Based upon the judgment of a PE or based engineering - bit of difference.
                        Engineering refers to the approved judgement of a licensed PE. Anything less should not be truly and legally considered engineering.
                        Your single source for sustainable home improvements: [URL="www.eco-merica.com"]www.eco-merica.com[/URL]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wrong! Sorry fellow but are you 22 maybe?
                          [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by russ View Post
                            Wrong! Sorry fellow but are you 22 maybe?
                            No sorry, i dont know about Turkey, but in the U.S. In the civil and electrical fields, engineering only counts if it's reviewed by a PE
                            Your single source for sustainable home improvements: [URL="www.eco-merica.com"]www.eco-merica.com[/URL]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Wrong again - I still am a US citizen plus have worked in many countries around the world.

                              For certain applications you are generally correct. It gets a little flaky as a PE is allowed to review a field where their knowledge is limited. It is on the honor system (plus threat of a lawsuit) that one stays to an area where they are qualified.

                              I have been involved with blogs where some idiot thought he could sign off on environmental documents having to do with pesticides because he was a cıvıl engineer PE. This topic comes up routinely.

                              In the US companies often encourage engineers in many disciplines to get the PE certification for bragging rights.

                              The rest of the world simply asks, 'What is that'?

                              Russ
                              [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X