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System now up and running in Orange County, CA!

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  • System now up and running in Orange County, CA!

    Hey Folks,

    Just received my PTO from Edison for my 7.67 kW system. Thanks to this forum and all of you who commented to my initial questions a couple months back.

    Ended up going with the following:

    26 Canadian Solar CS6K-295MS-T4 modules and a SE7600A-US inverter w/optimizers, connected via Zigbee.

    Thanks to reading comments on this forum, I picked up a Wattnode consumption meter (the EBay seller took my offer for $20) that my installer set up a couple days ago. Production and consumption monitoring working smoothly.

    The small independent installer (Sunshine Energy) was very meticulous. We installed the inverter in the garage and he routed all the conduit very tightly through the garage interior, with only one short vertical run on the outside to the roof. I grew up in a general contractor family, so I value excellent workmanship. I couldn't be happier with the installer and the end result. Happy to producing clean energy, reducing my bill and powering my E-Golf!

    As a side note, my friend (and neighbor) just completed his install through Solar City. I tried to get him to use my installer, but he was infatuated with Elon Musk and Solar City (I sent him Yelp reviews, but he couldn't be swayed). Long story short, his blow and go 6.5kw system (that SC installed in 4 hours), is a total crap sandwich. I went over to check out the install and noticed that SC installed an undersized ABB string inverter (w/o optimizers) despite the fact that the email quotes he received from them spec out a SE inverter with optimizers. Other bad things I saw included poor routing of conduit in a visually unappealing way on the exterior, using stucco patch to fill holes they made in the interior drywall, using a stack of thick washers as spacers for the conduit and using sweeping conduit bends that should have been 90s. When my buddy called SC, he was told the sales rep resigned. After 2 weeks of run around and claiming they didn't have a record of the emails, they now are telling him "emails don't count". If he didn't feel so stupid and already admit he should have gone with my installer, I would have said, "I told you so". However, my restraint only goes so far, so I did suggest he call his boy Elon!

    Thanks again for all the feedback on this forum. I feel like I've become the solar expert in my social circle after all the time I've spent here. Cheers!

    File_000 (1).jpegFile_000 (2).jpegFile_000.jpg
    Last edited by solar pete; 05-13-2017, 01:44 AM.

  • #2
    Your neighbor's experience with SolarCity sounds pretty typical, chapter/verse, of what I've seen my neighbors who were foolish enough to use SolarCity, and also what I've encountered in my attempts at dealing w/ SolarCity as the HOA guy who reviews/recommends PV system signoff by my Arch. Rev. Comm. I don't have a poor opinion of them for no reason. They are, IMO, substandard and unprofessional. I wouldn't let them on my property.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post
      Your neighbor's experience with SolarCity sounds pretty typical, chapter/verse, of what I've seen my neighbors who were foolish enough to use SolarCity, and also what I've encountered in my attempts at dealing w/ SolarCity as the HOA guy who reviews/recommends PV system signoff by my Arch. Rev. Comm. I don't have a poor opinion of them for no reason. They are, IMO, substandard and unprofessional. I wouldn't let them on my property.
      Yep. And all for the pleasure of paying $2k more than me for a smaller system, without consumption monitoring and the EV outlet.

      When I first starting looking into solar 4 years ago, I made the mistake of meeting with a SC sales rep at my home. After 15 minutes, I asked him to leave after he couldn't formulate a sentence without puffery or half-truths (and this was before I had educated myself). I don't feel sorry for my friend as I gave him ample warning and even directed him to this site to do further research.

      Thank you for your advice a couple months back. Everything I learned was very valuable in the process to make sure I got what I wanted (and needed).

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      • #4
        Thanks for the positive feed back OCRick , glad you found this place useful, cheers mate

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        • #5
          Thanks, Pete. Cheers to you as well.

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          • #6
            Very nice. My system went around the same as you; I was really surprised how the PTO came (just 1-2 business days after signing the eDoc). Are you planning on going with a level 2 EVSE? I've been using a Clippercreek LCS-25P (4.8kW/hr) on our 500e, but will be upgrading to a Juicebox unit shortly. My wife finds the charging timers on the Fiat to be inconvenient for her, so I decided to buy an EVSE that a web-based timer schedule. If you drive less than 40 miles a day, the level 1 EVSE might be just fine.

            Your neighbor's SC experience sounds very upsetting and it's amazing how their reputation apparently does not proceed them, and that folks will overpay for under-delivered service. I can't believe they left out the optimizers and are reneging on the basis that emails don't count. If I were your neighbor, I would consider legal action to seek a remedy.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by maximizese View Post
              Your neighbor's SC experience sounds very upsetting and it's amazing how their reputation apparently does not proceed them, and that folks will overpay for under-delivered service. I can't believe they left out the optimizers and are reneging on the basis that emails don't count. If I were your neighbor, I would consider legal action to seek a remedy.
              Believe it or not as you see fit. Most of SolarCity's customers, to my experience anyway, are mostly shortsighted fools who fall for the nothing down lease while running in panic from self inflicted high electric bills and not thinking long term, or thinking at all for that matter. Those who but S.C rather than lease are little better off.

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              • #8
                Maximizese,

                My e-Golf lease is up in February and figuring out what I'm going to do next in terms of vehicle. I think we're in a gap right now where the EVs I really want (in terms of style and range) aren't quite ready for primetime or won't be available by then. At this point, I'm leaning towards doing a 36 month lease on a Volt since I can get one for about $200/month and my normal daily commute is less than 15 miles RT. We do use the EV on weekends for running around town too. I figure I'll have tons of longer range EV options by the time that lease comes up.

                If I do the Volt, I'll probably get a Juicebox for the convenience of a relatively quick charge with less advanced planning than I currently have to do now. I guess I could always go with one of those dirt cheap Fiat leases like you probably have...



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                • #9
                  Originally posted by OCRick View Post
                  Maximizese,

                  My e-Golf lease is up in February and figuring out what I'm going to do next in terms of vehicle. I think we're in a gap right now where the EVs I really want (in terms of style and range) aren't quite ready for primetime or won't be available by then. At this point, I'm leaning towards doing a 36 month lease on a Volt since I can get one for about $200/month and my normal daily commute is less than 15 miles RT. We do use the EV on weekends for running around town too. I figure I'll have tons of longer range EV options by the time that lease comes up.

                  If I do the Volt, I'll probably get a Juicebox for the convenience of a relatively quick charge with less advanced planning than I currently have to do now. I guess I could always go with one of those dirt cheap Fiat leases like you probably have...


                  I was a little too frugal to go the lease route. While the lease was very inexpensive (effectively $1,000 down and $55 per month, 10K miles per year), the mileage restriction and required insurance was a huge turn off. My wife commutes from Newport Beach to downtown LA with the 500e and will drive about 22K miles per year. While it would only cost $83 per month for the Fiat, the minimal insurance would be $115 per month and we'd have an annual $3K in excessive miles charged (that didn't sit well with me). We ended up buying an off-lease 500e at a 1-starred Yelp reviewed used car lot. The car was $7,300 out the door and has 1.3 year payback period compared to my wife's Rx400h. The car has a decent Alpine stereo and a sunroof, so we're happy; also the insurance is only $28 per month for minimal coverage.

                  I was originally looking at a used Tesla Model S, but I just wasn't willing to expose myself to a potentially high repair bill if/when something went wrong. At $7,300 we have a lot less skin in the game in a technology that is rapidly improving. Some friends of ours are leasing their 500e and are waiting for the new e-Golf with greater range. Currently the 500e can get my wife to DTLA with 20-30% battery remaining and she has her hybrid for days when she needs more range. In the last 4 months, my wife has driven the Fiat 7K miles and only needed her Lexus twice. Her Lexus is now my car of choice for local errands. Like you, our EV is just a hold-over vehicle until an affordable longer range EV with style and spunk is available.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by solar pete View Post
                    Thanks for the positive feed back OCRick , glad you found this place useful, cheers mate
                    I apologize for off topic but how do I enable PMs or contact admin around here? I checked Enable PM checkbox in my profile but still don't see Compose button.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by max2k View Post

                      I apologize for off topic but how do I enable PMs or contact admin around here? I checked Enable PM checkbox in my profile but still don't see Compose button.
                      There are no PM's. They got eliminated a couple of years ago.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

                        There are no PM's. They got eliminated a couple of years ago.
                        that's unusual... Thank you for saving me headache of trying to figure out what am I doing wrong.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by max2k View Post

                          that's unusual... Thank you for saving me headache of trying to figure out what am I doing wrong.
                          Yea, it sure is. Send it to Ripley's Believe it or Not. You're welcome.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by max2k View Post

                            that's unusual... Thank you for saving me headache of trying to figure out what am I doing wrong.
                            Unusual yes, but the PM feature was being abused to send solar equipment sales information using this forum as a launching point without any revenue being received.

                            Removing the PM is a PITA but it did stop the abuse.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SunEagle View Post

                              Unusual yes, but the PM feature was being abused to send solar equipment sales information using this forum as a launching point without any revenue being received.

                              Removing the PM is a PITA but it did stop the abuse.
                              OTOH PM removal didn't capture that revenue either and made the rest of the users life more difficult reducing value of the site in general. I just wonder if popularity of the site was affected by PM removal.

                              Comment

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