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  • Two System choices

    I have received 2 bids for solar systems, third one is coming on Friday but their installs are not as clean so unless they are crazy cheap I will likely pass on them.

    Both companies ended up about the same system size, 11.4 kw vs 11.52kw

    I have a detached garage (12 foot walls 8/12 roof) with the rear of the roof facing south. The main house (2 story with 8/12 roof) Both the house and the garage have 200 amp panels, fed from one 360/400 meter.

    Company A:
    11.52 kw
    36 LG Electronics LG320E1K-A5 320w panels. (facing 183*) 16 on the house 20 on the garage.
    36 Enphase IQ6+ ACM micro inverters
    2x Siemens 120/240 Combiner Panels
    2x SolaDeck Rooftop Combiner/Junction Box
    24,701.60 after the FTC (2.15 watt)

    Company B
    11.40
    40 285W Solar World Panels (SW 285 Sunmodule Plus) 20 on the house 20 on the garage
    2 SMA Sunny Boy SB Inverters 6000TL-US-22 (put both inveters in the basement of the house to keep cooler where they will be next to the main panel/meter.
    21,378.42 after the FTC (1.88 watt)

    Payback on company A is 12.5 years, Company B is 10.5 years


    Looks like the LG Panels are better 18.6% vs 17% efficient.

    I do have a couple trees that would be 30 feet to the west of the solar panels on the garage, they were just planted this year and are only 5 foot tall currently. So in 10-12 years they might start to shade a few panels at the end of the day. There is zero shading on the roof of the house.

    My thoughts are to go with company B and run the garage on two circuits within the sunny boy so when I do get shade on the shop eventually it only effects 10 of the panels. But I want to hear what someone has to say that knows more than me and is not the sales man.

    Chris

    Attached Files
    Last edited by sleek98; 07-02-2018, 02:53 PM.

  • #2
    I would get a quote from a SolarEdge inverter designed system. You might want to try to transplant those trees now if possible. I actually took detailed pictures of my surrounding yards. In case someone decides to plant a tree that could eventually shade my panels they would have to remove them. California has pretty good laws for solar panels.

    Comment


    • #3
      The higher efficiency only means the LG's are able to do the same job with a smaller footprint. Otherwise it means nothing.

      Unless you have a current shade problem I'd skip the micros. Just more stuff to fail. Things with fewer parts fail less. Forget the nonsense about individual panel monitoring. You'll stop looking/caring about output after a couple of weeks. Then, when/if 1 micro fails, the (relatively) small amount of production lost won't be noticed for some time. If a central inverter takes a dump, you'll notice it a lot sooner. Expect more trips to the roof(s) as more micros fail over time.

      Pull the trees out and get rid of them, or trim them after it becomes necessary.

      Get and read a copy of :"Solar Power Your Home for Dummies" before you choose anything. $20 well spent.

      Spend as much time evaluating installers as you do equipment. Panels are a commodity. do a lesser degree, so are inverters and racking. A good installer that's been around before PV will probably be around after PV and most likely has enough experience to do it right and maybe a bit more appreciation for customer service and the value of a reputation. That alone is worth a (slight) premium. Think most bang for the long term buck, not necessarily low initial price. In the end you'll get what you pay for, or less if you get blinded by the first cost syndrome.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post
        The higher efficiency only means the LG's are able to do the same job with a smaller footprint. Otherwise it means nothing.

        Unless you have a current shade problem I'd skip the micros. Just more stuff to fail. Things with fewer parts fail less. Forget the nonsense about individual panel monitoring. You'll stop looking/caring about output after a couple of weeks. Then, when/if 1 micro fails, the (relatively) small amount of production lost won't be noticed for some time. If a central inverter takes a dump, you'll notice it a lot sooner. Expect more trips to the roof(s) as more micros fail over time.

        Pull the trees out and get rid of them, or trim them after it becomes necessary.

        Get and read a copy of :"Solar Power Your Home for Dummies" before you choose anything. $20 well spent.

        Spend as much time evaluating installers as you do equipment. Panels are a commodity. do a lesser degree, so are inverters and racking. A good installer that's been around before PV will probably be around after PV and most likely has enough experience to do it right and maybe a bit more appreciation for customer service and the value of a reputation. That alone is worth a (slight) premium. Think most bang for the long term buck, not necessarily low initial price. In the end you'll get what you pay for, or less if you get blinded by the first cost syndrome.
        This is the way I am leanings. Plus being able to keep the inverters in my cool basement should help them both production wise and life of the unit. Good to know that the % is really meaningless other than the size of the panel.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by sleek98 View Post

          This is the way I am leanings. Plus being able to keep the inverters in my cool basement should help them both production wise and life of the unit. Good to know that the % is really meaningless other than the size of the panel.
          Opinions vary. Those are no more than some of mine. Question everything every one says or writes until you understand what you're hearing/reading. Get the book. Evaluate vendors. Ge a couple more quotes after the read. Then, come back here and fill in knowledge gaps as necessary or for reality checks against what peddlers are handing you. Knowledge is power. Welcome to the forum of few(er) illusions.

          Good luck.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by sleek98 View Post

            This is the way I am leanings. Plus being able to keep the inverters in my cool basement should help them both production wise and life of the unit. Good to know that the % is really meaningless other than the size of the panel.
            I'd avoid the microinverters too.

            That said, putting your string inverters in your basement aren't going to help production wise, it could help life wise on units with Electrolytic Caps. like Sunny Boy, I'd stick it in the garage, or on a side of the house that doesn't get as much direct sunlight (could even make a bit of 'sun shield' if your worried about the temps to prevent the box from heating up a bit.) That said, SolarEdge HD Wave doesn't use electrolytic caps. and should not have any impact to life do to summertime heat for an outdoor install. I'd still mount it inside some place though if convenient, but wouldn't go to the effort of mounting it in the basement unless that happens to be were your electric panel is.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TAZ427 View Post

              I'd avoid the microinverters too.

              That said, putting your string inverters in your basement aren't going to help production wise, it could help life wise on units with Electrolytic Caps. like Sunny Boy, I'd stick it in the garage, or on a side of the house that doesn't get as much direct sunlight (could even make a bit of 'sun shield' if your worried about the temps to prevent the box from heating up a bit.) That said, SolarEdge HD Wave doesn't use electrolytic caps. and should not have any impact to life do to summertime heat for an outdoor install. I'd still mount it inside some place though if convenient, but wouldn't go to the effort of mounting it in the basement unless that happens to be were your electric panel is.
              Breaker panel is in the basement so one of the two inverters has to be there for the panels that are on the house. The other inverter could go in the detached garage and do a line feed tap. or run the dc through conduit 15 foot from the garage to the basement and put it there.

              One other reason we are thinking about it is the inverter has a 20 amp plug that is live when the grid goes down as long as the panels have enough sun to juice it up. So if we lose power then I can still run the fridge and power up our cell phones and such.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by sleek98 View Post

                Breaker panel is in the basement so one of the two inverters has to be there for the panels that are on the house. The other inverter could go in the detached garage and do a line feed tap. or run the dc through conduit 15 foot from the garage to the basement and put it there.

                One other reason we are thinking about it is the inverter has a 20 amp plug that is live when the grid goes down as long as the panels have enough sun to juice it up. So if we lose power then I can still run the fridge and power up our cell phones and such.
                Yeah, breaker panel in the basement would be a good reason to have the Inverter there.

                The always live plug (when sun is shinning) is a plus, but I guess how often your grid goes down, determines how desirable it is, and if you have a backup generator also makes a difference. Spent 20yrs living in Houston Area, so I've got a backup generator for the critical things. Almost 3yrs here in CA, and my grid has gone down once for 3hrs, drunk driver took on a utility pole and the both lost... I was just about to fire up the generator when the electricity came back on.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sleek98 View Post
                  I have received 2 bids for solar systems, third one is coming on Friday but their installs are not as clean so unless they are crazy cheap I will likely pass on them.

                  Both companies ended up about the same system size, 11.4 kw vs 11.52kw

                  I have a detached garage (12 foot walls 8/12 roof) with the rear of the roof facing south. The main house (2 story with 8/12 roof) Both the house and the garage have 200 amp panels, fed from one 360/400 meter.

                  Company A:
                  11.52 kw
                  36 LG Electronics LG320E1K-A5 320w panels. (facing 183*) 16 on the house 20 on the garage.
                  36 Enphase IQ6+ ACM micro inverters
                  2x Siemens 120/240 Combiner Panels
                  2x SolaDeck Rooftop Combiner/Junction Box
                  24,701.60 after the FTC (2.15 watt)

                  Company B
                  11.40
                  40 285W Solar World Panels (SW 285 Sunmodule Plus) 20 on the house 20 on the garage
                  2 SMA Sunny Boy SB Inverters 6000TL-US-22 (put both inveters in the basement of the house to keep cooler where they will be next to the main panel/meter.
                  21,378.42 after the FTC (1.88 watt)

                  Payback on company A is 12.5 years, Company B is 10.5 years


                  Looks like the LG Panels are better 18.6% vs 17% efficient.

                  I do have a couple trees that would be 30 feet to the west of the solar panels on the garage, they were just planted this year and are only 5 foot tall currently. So in 10-12 years they might start to shade a few panels at the end of the day. There is zero shading on the roof of the house.

                  My thoughts are to go with company B and run the garage on two circuits within the sunny boy so when I do get shade on the shop eventually it only effects 10 of the panels. But I want to hear what someone has to say that knows more than me and is not the sales man.

                  Chris
                  I would say that the first of these two photos has made some poor estimates of the dimensions of your garage and missed the obstructions on the main house.
                  I would avoid the solar world PV modules and also avoid the enphase system.

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

                  Comment

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