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  • #16
    Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

    That's 90.76 % of what ? Most warranties have such a low bar you'll be lucky you don't trip over it. How will that number be verified ? And how will that be adjusted for weather variation ? Does the warranty state how often you need to clean the array ? Does the cleaning need verification ? How about shade clearing from shrubs/trees ? What record keeping is necessary by you for them to consider a claim on a performance warranty ? Is that 90.76 % only after 25 years or perhaps a lower % if sooner ?
    Wow, that's a lot of questions

    This is what is in my LASG contract:

    Estimated Production Warranty: First year solar production guarantee: 9647 kWh
    Note: The system production guaranteed under the terms of this contract is based on LA Solar Groups estimated
    production at the time of installation. The guaranteed production is based on a variety of factors including
    the amount of shading on the panel arrays determined at the time of installation. Customer understands that
    their actual production is subject change due to increased shading from growing trees or other obstructions
    that are installed after their solar installation and that LA Solar Group is not responsible to guarantee the original
    production unless customer removes the shading or obstruction.

    LA Solar Group Production Guarantee is based on the first year production and then follows the panel manufacturer's
    performance warranty and degradation guidelines for each of the next twenty-four years. If the Customer's system
    production does not meet the manufacturer's guidelines for yearly degradation after the first year then LA Solar Group
    will compensate Customer at a rate of $.19 per kWh based on the shortage of production not produce by the system
    in that year. Panel manufacture's degradation warranties vary.
    This what the Panasonic warranty says
    3. Limited Power Output Warranty. PANASONIC warrants the power output will be no less than 97% of the designated Maximum Power(Pmax) stated in the product data sheet for the first year from date of purchase of the Product by the Customer and the power output degradation will be no more than 0.26% per year for the following 24 years, so that, at the end of 25th year, the power output will be at least 90.76% of Pmax. The power output values under this Limited Power Output Warranty shall be those measured under PANASONIC'S Standard Test Conditions (STC) as follows: (a) Irradiance 1000 W/m2, (b) Cell Temperature of 25C, and (c) Air Mass of 1.5g. Upon receipt of a Power Output warranty claim, PANASONIC or its designated representative shall conduct measurements under STC to determine the actual power output of the Product. PANASONIC's measurement shall be the sole determination for purposes of warranty settlement. If PANASONIC measures power output levels under the warranted output levels set out above, taking into account a +-3% measurement tolerance range, and such power loss is the result of a product defect, as determined by PANASONIC in its sole and absolute discretion, PANASONIC will supplement the power output deficiency using one of the following Limited Warranty Remedies as set forth under Section 4 below.

    4. Limited Warranty Remedies. Panasonic, at is sole discretion, will take one of following remedies
    a. PANASONIC will repair or replace the Product with new or refurbished Product
    b. PANASONIC will provide additional new or refurbished Product to restore deficient output;
    c. PANASONIC will refund the Customer the original Product purchase price. Any refund may be pro-rated by the number of months
    from the date of original purchase by the Customer and/or may be calculated based on the difference between actual power output
    (Product measured under STC) and minimal guaranteed output;
    Last edited by jasonvr; 09-12-2017, 10:49 PM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by maximus96 View Post
      Jason / OP,

      I just signed the agreement with LA Solar Group myself, for a system in the Bay Area, CA. I also got quotes from the same companies as you did. Peterson Dean was the lowest with Mission Solar panels. LASG in the middle with Panasonic panels, and Semper Solaris highest with Sunpower. I got LASG to price match PD, signed the agreement, and had a site evaluation this afternoon.

      LA Solar Group is doing business here as Bay Solar Group and both have great reviews on Yelp and Solarreviews.com. Has your experience been similar? Is there anything I should particularly look out for? Thanks for your input.

      One thing I noticed was that in the agreement, LASG's stated performance warranty is much lower than Panasonic's number. My sales rep issued a change order to note they will honor Panasonic's warranty of no less than 90.76% after 25 years.
      They had good reviews, but I did have some bumps along the road. It took a bit to get the inverter replaced (but it did involve shipping from SE, so I guess it wasn't that bad. Just felt worse because the system was so new and I wasn't producing while it was down.

      When the inverter was replaced, it was done in kind of a shoddy manner and I had to get in contact with their operations manager to get them resolved (a name I got from some others in the area who went with LASG). The problems I had were:
      • Cable glands weren't reinstalled on the new inverter meaning it wasn't actually water tight.
      • Most of the screws on the inverter case weren't actually tightened down - I had to do it myself
      • When they put the system back into the SE portal, they completely messed it up and put the wrong panels in the wrong places and everything under one string instead of two.
      It also took a while to get the full access to the system I wanted in the SE Portal. They eventually just handed the system over to me so I have full admin access. I added LASG back in as a monitoring account so they can keep an eye on the system

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      • #18
        Originally posted by jasonvr View Post

        Wow, that's a lot of questions

        This is what is in my LASG contract:
        This is what the Panasonic warranty says
        Thank you.

        It looks like the LASG is a production warranty based on the estimated (warranted ?) annual output that's about 5% less than PVWatts might estimate. That's better than most.
        However, I note any verified production shortfall they can't duck out from will pay only a flat rate of $0.19/kWh yh no provision for annual p[rice increases. That $0.19/kWh is close to or less than the lowest per kWh price SCE (I'm assuming they are your POCO) is currently charging, never mind future rate increases, for any shortcoming the first year with no mention of escalation.

        As the peddler apparently correctly told you, LASG's product power warranty follows the mfg. (Panasonic) warranty.

        The Panasonic warranty is about instantaneous power output decrease, and an example of the standard Swiss cheese warranties. Read it and tell me if you think a warranty claim will have more chance than a fart in the wind.
        I'd get what the peddler told you specifically about following the Panasonic warranty in writing.

        Both warranties are pretty standard and so full of loopholes, like most such warranties, as to be pretty useless as a read of the warranties will show. The only worse production warranty I've seen is from SolarCity.

        Thank you for confirming what I wrote about the mostly uselessness of warranties.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by jasonvr View Post

          They had good reviews, but I did have some bumps along the road. It took a bit to get the inverter replaced (but it did involve shipping from SE, so I guess it wasn't that bad. Just felt worse because the system was so new and I wasn't producing while it was down.

          When the inverter was replaced, it was done in kind of a shoddy manner and I had to get in contact with their operations manager to get them resolved (a name I got from some others in the area who went with LASG). The problems I had were:
          • Cable glands weren't reinstalled on the new inverter meaning it wasn't actually water tight.
          • Most of the screws on the inverter case weren't actually tightened down - I had to do it myself
          • When they put the system back into the SE portal, they completely messed it up and put the wrong panels in the wrong places and everything under one string instead of two.
          It also took a while to get the full access to the system I wanted in the SE Portal. They eventually just handed the system over to me so I have full admin access. I added LASG back in as a monitoring account so they can keep an eye on the system
          Did you provide your own network cable to the inverter? I understand it uses cell signal by default.

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