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  • Price per KW or price per KWH/year

    I have 8 quotes. They are all within 10-15 cents/KW.. The /KWH per year tells a different story, they range from 1.91 to 2.21/KWH when you take the annual estimated (or guaranteed in some cases) KWH production. Of all the vendors, I have narrowed it down to 6 of the 8 and I was just curious if anyone had feedback on on the delta. One of the reasons for the delta, is I have one company who says their 4.5KW LG system will produce 7160/year and another company says their 4.02KW LG will produce 7128, but they are using 12 of the LG335N1C-A5 panels with SolarEdge 3800A, the other company producing 7160 is using 15 of the LG-305N1K-G4 panels with Enphase M250 inverter.

  • #2
    There is a real tendency with solar companies and solar salespeople to jack up their yield (kWh of yearly production per kW of array) projections to make their proposals look more attractive and more cost effective. Most customers don't understand the first thing about solar let alone this stuff so they get away with it.
    Go to pvwatts.nrel.com (industry recognized solar calculator with data for local sites all over the U.S.) and find out for yourself what your site should be able to do. This will weed out some of lies from those remaining 6 proposals.
    BSEE, R11, NABCEP, >1200kW installed

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    • #3
      Originally posted by djrobsd View Post
      I have 8 quotes. They are all within 10-15 cents/KW.. The /KWH per year tells a different story, they range from 1.91 to 2.21/KWH when you take the annual estimated (or guaranteed in some cases) KWH production. Of all the vendors, I have narrowed it down to 6 of the 8 and I was just curious if anyone had feedback on on the delta. One of the reasons for the delta, is I have one company who says their 4.5KW LG system will produce 7160/year and another company says their 4.02KW LG will produce 7128, but they are using 12 of the LG335N1C-A5 panels with SolarEdge 3800A, the other company producing 7160 is using 15 of the LG-305N1K-G4 panels with Enphase M250 inverter.
      Like solarrix said +1 ....basically the people who have been doing this for a while tend to lower the expected yield figures a tad, otherwise customers will ring up and complain that their system produced 10kWh less than what was expected, that will be because of a more rainy than usual winter, just sayn

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      • #4
        Just ignore the price/kWh/year number. It's all based off of estimates and various weather assumptions.
        Bottom line is, a 4kW system is going to produce about the same amount no matter who installs it. Equipment differences will be minor for the most part.

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        • #5
          More of what others have written, especially Solarix.

          Add: Don't buy anything (if at all) until you get more informed and get a decent understanding of why solar can be good, but it's very easy to get conned into oversizing and also cost Ineffective systems. Download "Solar Power Your Home for Dummies", free on the net or ~ $25 for an undated version at bookstores/Amazon.

          After that, when you run PVWatts. Read the help/info screens first. You'll learn more and get more meaningful results that make more sense to you. Use about 10% system losses instead of the 14% default the model uses. Get the system orientation correct.

          Do those two things and you'll probably be as solar knowledgeable as most of the solar peddlers you've dealt with so far.

          To reconfirm what others have written: All decent quality systems of the same size, in the same location, orientation and duty will produce about equal annual output for as long as you're likely to own one. That includes Sunpower equipment - good stuff, but way overpriced for what you get, usually by 20-30% or so. Go with quality equipment, but spend as much time or more on vendor selection.

          Think long term, most bang for the buck - NOT simply low initial cost - that's false economy.

          Also, if reducing your electric bill is one goal here, rather than solar for its own sake, know that solar PV is about the most expensive way, and there the least cost effective way to reduce an electric bill. Reducing your use is always more cost effective. Think about what you want to accomplish.

          Do those two things and you'll probably be as, or more knowledgeable than most of the solar peddlers.

          Take what you want of the above. Scrap the rest.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by djrobsd View Post
            I have 8 quotes. They are all within 10-15 cents/KW.. The /KWH per year tells a different story, they range from 1.91 to 2.21/KWH when you take the annual estimated (or guaranteed in some cases) KWH production. Of all the vendors, I have narrowed it down to 6 of the 8 and I was just curious if anyone had feedback on on the delta. One of the reasons for the delta, is I have one company who says their 4.5KW LG system will produce 7160/year and another company says their 4.02KW LG will produce 7128, but they are using 12 of the LG335N1C-A5 panels with SolarEdge 3800A, the other company producing 7160 is using 15 of the LG-305N1K-G4 panels with Enphase M250 inverter.
            push the company offering the SolarEdge SE3800A to change that to an SE3800H cheaper and more efficient.

            OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ButchDeal View Post

              push the company offering the SolarEdge SE3800A to change that to an SE3800H cheaper and more efficient.
              Thanks Butch. The company that we've pretty much decided to go with is the ONLY one out of 8 companies to tell us about the new 3800H model, yes that's what we will definitely get. It's pretty amazing that we get more efficiency AND it looks much better aesthetically. Since we don't have a garage and people will be able to see it from the street, it makes sense..

              To answer the other posts, I did run PVWatts and it comes up pretty close to what most of the companies are proposing. The company with the 3800H is the one who nailed it spot on, another win for them. For the home run.. they are going to install the latest LG 335 panels, only 12 of them, instead of 14-16 like the other companies proposed, of lower wattage, less efficient ones. For $2k less then the lowest quote we got... A+ BBB, 5* on Yelp, and not tacking on any fees to our solar loan unlike most of the other companies and I'd say we have ourselves a winner!

              I did glance through the dummies book, some great reading in there.. We actually did install blown in cellulose insulation which should reduce our net heating and cooling to almost 0. It was 89 degrees today and our house stayed 75 on the inside... on a 55 degree day it stays 73 inside... So the insulation has already paid for itself! We already have low-E dual pane windows, energy star appliances, gas dryer, gas tankless WH, gas range... LED light bulbs.... And our hot tub is brand new, has all the extra insulation, cover, and variable speed pump... Hot tub actually only drops 1 degree in 24 hours with the cover on.. I'd say that is pretty efficient.

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