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  • quotes on LG vs. Panasonic vs. Qcell

    Hi guys

    I met with a bunch of solar vendors last week and here are the lowest quotes I got so far (this vendor is pretty big and been in business for about 6 years so far).

    1) LG 350watts panel - model LG350Q1C-A5 with Enphase IQ7X inverter --> $3.2/watt
    For 22 panels -> 350w x 22 = 7700 kW system = $24,640 -30% tax incentive - $500 cash back = approximately $16,748 (most expensive)

    2) Panasonic 330 watts panel - model VBHN330SA16 with Enphase IQ7X inverter --> $3.0/watt (same price if I choose SolarEdge inverter with optimizer)
    For 22 panels -> 330w x 22 = 7260 kW system = $21,780 - 30% tax incentive - $500 cash back = approximately $14,746

    3) QCell 310 watts panel - model BLK.DUO-G5-310 with Enphase IQ7 inverter --> $2.6/watt
    For 24 panels -> 310w x 24 = 7440 kW system = $19,344 -30% tax incentive - $500 cash back = approximately $13,038 (least expensive)


    So right now, i'm contemplating between the Panasonic & QCell system. So i have 3 questions:

    Question 1) What do you guys think which PV is a better choice (i'm in sunny California and I have full sun/no shade).?

    Question 2) For Panasonic PV, will the IQ7X a better choice instead of the SolarEdge inverter ?

    Question 3) For QCell PV, should I ask them to upgrade to the IQ7+ inverter (which may cost around $500 more)? Will the IQ7+ give me better performance than IQ7?


    Also, they told me the Enphase monitoring service (Enphase Envoy S with Enlighten account) will only be included for 10 yrs, after that I have to pay a subscription fee (and they not sure how much that'd be a year). Does anyone know how much is that a year ?

    Thanks
    LVB
    Last edited by Lvb; 10-07-2018, 07:04 PM.

  • #2
    You might want to correct your system sizes. They're off by 3 orders of magnitude. Example: 7,700 kW = 7,700,000 W.

    Initial price aside, if these quotes are all from one vendor, do you feel that vendor has the highest probability of giving you the highest quality installation ?

    Your after tax credit bottom line prices are off. The 30 % tax credit is taken after any mfg. rebates/kickbacks. Check with your tax advisor or the IRS for confirmation on that.

    Have you considered having the roof where the array will be located inspected and serviced ? PV can last a long time. Making sure the roof under has the highest probability of lasting as long is cheap insurance.

    If you have no shade, why are you considering micros ?

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

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post
      You might want to correct your system sizes. They're off by 3 orders of magnitude. Example: 7,700 kW = 7,700,000 W.

      Initial price aside, if these quotes are all from one vendor, do you feel that vendor has the highest probability of giving you the highest quality installation ?

      Your after tax credit bottom line prices are off. The 30 % tax credit is taken after any mfg. rebates/kickbacks. Check with your tax advisor or the IRS for confirmation on that.

      Have you considered having the roof where the array will be located inspected and serviced ? PV can last a long time. Making sure the roof under has the highest probability of lasting as long is cheap insurance.

      If you have no shade, why are you considering micros ?

      Take what you want of the above. Scrap the rest.
      LoL... so it's $3.2/kW, $3/kW and $2.6/kW (not watt)... anyway... not sure why but almost 5 out 6 vendors i quoted with, they all propose to go with Enphase IQ7 and IQ7X micro-inverters (there was only 1 vendor that quoted with SolarEdge inverter & optimizer). However, I read some people are saying that the optimizer go bad pretty quickly (within a few years). And since they said Enphase & SolarEdge cost the same, why not go with microinverter???

      Anyway, aside that, can you really give me an honest opinion on which system would you choose? Qcell or Panasonic (given the price above).

      Comment


      • #4
        It's $3.2/W, $3/W and $2.6/W (STC) (not kilowatt). The original post is correct on that.
        Last edited by Fitzefatz; 10-08-2018, 01:50 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Lvb View Post

          LoL... so it's $3.2/kW, $3/kW and $2.6/kW (not watt)... anyway... not sure why but almost 5 out 6 vendors i quoted with, they all propose to go with Enphase IQ7 and IQ7X micro-inverters (there was only 1 vendor that quoted with SolarEdge inverter & optimizer). However, I read some people are saying that the optimizer go bad pretty quickly (within a few years). And since they said Enphase & SolarEdge cost the same, why not go with microinverter???

          Anyway, aside that, can you really give me an honest opinion on which system would you choose? Qcell or Panasonic (given the price above).
          NO, it is $3.2/w, $3/w and $2.6/w all $/w

          The problem you have is :
          7700 kW system should be 7.7kW (7700 kW is really 7.7MW which is NOT a residential size)
          7260 kW system should be 7.26kW
          7440 kW system should be 7.44kW

          FYI a kW = 1,000 watts

          the solaredge optimizers are more reliable than enphase inverters.

          I would go with a solaredge system and panasonic
          OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ButchDeal View Post

            NO, it is $3.2/w, $3/w and $2.6/w all $/w

            The problem you have is :
            7700 kW system should be 7.7kW (7700 kW is really 7.7MW which is NOT a residential size)
            7260 kW system should be 7.26kW
            7440 kW system should be 7.44kW

            FYI a kW = 1,000 watts

            the solaredge optimizers are more reliable than enphase inverters.

            I would go with a solaredge system and panasonic
            Hi Butch,

            so if i go with SE and optimizer, which model of optimizer is better? P300 or P400?

            thanks

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Lvb View Post

              LoL... so it's $3.2/kW, $3/kW and $2.6/kW (not watt)... anyway... not sure why but almost 5 out 6 vendors i quoted with, they all propose to go with Enphase IQ7 and IQ7X micro-inverters (there was only 1 vendor that quoted with SolarEdge inverter & optimizer). However, I read some people are saying that the optimizer go bad pretty quickly (within a few years). And since they said Enphase & SolarEdge cost the same, why not go with microinverter???

              Anyway, aside that, can you really give me an honest opinion on which system would you choose? Qcell or Panasonic (given the price above).
              Hopefully, you've got the difference between a watt and a kilowatt squared away.

              Since you ask, I would choose none of your 3 options. I'd start fresh.

              With no shade, I'd have no need for anything more complicated than a string inverter. KISS. Less to fail.

              If I was ignorant about how all this stuff works and had no serious intention of learning about, I'd think all the extra fuss and reliability risk associated with anything more complicated than that for the sake of the only other possible benefit to micros - panel level monitoring - which I'd never understand much less use or even need, other unnecessary electronics like optimizers on a harsh, hot roof environment to be a useless waste of money.

              Then, because I'm frugal rather than a short sighted and cheap person who's easily parted from my assets by my ignorance, I'd look for a vendor who is an experienced electrical contractor who knows the value of a reputation and who sells stuff besides PV, and who has been around a long time because I know that a professional installation is much more important in the long run than low(est) initial price. I'd also get my roof inspected and serviced.

              But that's just what I'd do and why.

              Be careful what you ask for.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ButchDeal View Post

                NO, it is $3.2/w, $3/w and $2.6/w all $/w

                The problem you have is :
                7700 kW system should be 7.7kW (7700 kW is really 7.7MW which is NOT a residential size)
                7260 kW system should be 7.26kW
                7440 kW system should be 7.44kW

                FYI a kW = 1,000 watts

                the solaredge optimizers are more reliable than enphase inverters.

                I would go with a solaredge system and panasonic
                So I double checked w/ the vendor and he confirmed, Panasonic HIT 300 (VBHN330SA16) with either IQ7X or SolarEdge 7600A with P400 optimizer.

                He still tries to convince me to go with Enphase IQ7X (saying it has 25 yrs warranty) compares to SE (only 12 years)

                I decided with Panasonic PV but still not sure which to choose: IQ7X or SE7600A

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lvb View Post

                  So I double checked w/ the vendor and he confirmed, Panasonic HIT 300 (VBHN330SA16) with either IQ7X or SolarEdge 7600A with P400 optimizer.

                  He still tries to convince me to go with Enphase IQ7X (saying it has 25 yrs warranty) compares to SE (only 12 years)

                  I decided with Panasonic PV but still not sure which to choose: IQ7X or SE7600A
                  ok first your installer SHOULD be installing a SolarEdge SE7600H not the older "A" series. The new HDWaves are the ones to install.
                  The solarEdge optimizers have a 25 year warranty and lifetime monitoring free.
                  The inverter has 12 year warranty and you can very reasonably extend it to 20 or 25 years online yourself.

                  The P400 is the right version for the Panasonic 96 cell modules. though.
                  OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ButchDeal View Post

                    ok first your installer SHOULD be installing a SolarEdge SE7600H not the older "A" series. The new HDWaves are the ones to install.
                    The solarEdge optimizers have a 25 year warranty and lifetime monitoring free.
                    The inverter has 12 year warranty and you can very reasonably extend it to 20 or 25 years online yourself.

                    The P400 is the right version for the Panasonic 96 cell modules. though.
                    Cool, thanks. I told them if they can use 7600H version and they said ok and same price. I guess I'll pick SE.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      After some more readings and I've decided to go with Enphase IQ7X. Also, I was able to get my price down to $2.9/watt for Panasonic HIT 330w panels w/ Enphase IQ7X.

                      So my system size is $7.26kw @$21,054. They've submitted my permit applications already, hopefully to get approved soon and get it installed next week. I'm excited!!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What made you decide to go with Enphase?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CessnaTPA View Post
                          What made you decide to go with Enphase?
                          First, i read some posts/articles saying that the optimizer for SolarEdge usually go bad after a few years and only has a 10 or 12 yrs warranty. Where as with Enphase, the IQ7x has 25 years warranty on it.

                          Secondly when i compare price-wise, cost of Solaredge inverter + 22 optimizer is cheaper than 22 IQ7x microinverter, and since the contractor quoted me the same total price for either options. I'd rather pick one that has higher unit price.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Looks great, we have a simular setup. I went with LG panels, IQ7plus and the same enphase combiner box. I've only been up and running a week.

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