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  • Company experience

    So we've had a visit from 3 different companies, Atlantic Key Energy, Sunpro and Meraki. We live in NW Florida. I've looked them up on the BBB and since we've eliminated AKE I looked up the other 2. Meraki has a B+ rating while Sunpro has an A rating. They both had a similar amount of complaints for similar issues. I think the difference is that Sunpro actually resolved more of their issues than Meraki. All this said, has anyone had any experience with either of these companies that they would be willing to share? One of the biggets issues I have going forward is that these companies don't seem to want to provide specific info (panel make/model, warranty (both 10 and 25 year) unless we sign up. I'm not that excited to sign off on a $50k loan without getting to read everything fully. Thoughts, ideas???

  • #2
    Hello wgreen_71 and welcome to solar panel talk. Another place to look at solar specific companies is www.solarreviews.com (our site sponsor) It is a red flag when companies wont list the make and model of equipment, in the old days when stock would be scarce sometimes it was a necessity as you would as an installer have to buy whatever panels were available. I dont think this is generally an issue now, I would insist they provide the exact make and model of panels and inverter, if they wont keep looking for another company, cheers

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    • #3
      Sorry, I don't have any experience with any of those vendors.

      A theme we've sometimes seen here is poor designs or inappropriate designs. With a tiny amount of your own data, we can help you avoid that.

      Solar Pete gave good advice when he mentioned asking about what equipment will be installed. You shouldn't sign without a detailed proposal, listing the brand, model and specs of the panels, the number of panels, the brand and model of the inverter(s), the other electrical equipment that will be installed, connections for batteries or generator if desired, whether they will get permits from the town and the power company, etc.

      They should also give you their solar collection calculations showing how much power you will get in which months, similar to what you get with the free web tool PVWatts https://pvwatts.nrel.gov. They should also share the local net-metering terms, and how it works into your time to break even.

      Once you have all of that, bring it back to this forum along with your power usage history and we can help you judge the design(s). That won't tell you whether the installation and service will be good, but it's a huge start.

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      • #4
        Thanks Gents! I will get to work on that.

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        • #5
          Ok so here is what I have so far: Solar panels are Trina ALLMAX TSM-DD05A.05(II)-310 panels (I think waiting on the installer to confirm that), inverters are the SolarEdge SE10000A single phase inverter, Iron Ridge Flat foot 2 mounts. They are proposing 42 panels. Below is a list of my energy for all of 2019. Our house has a perfect south facing roof with no trees or shade. we live just a bit East of Pensacola FL. You'll need to save the file and remove the .txt at the end, it's an Excel file that shows our monthly usage, both $ and KWH.

          Attached Files
          Last edited by wgreen_71; 02-14-2020, 12:25 AM.

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          • #6
            I had a company offer to install 40 LG panels, don't have the model # but they are 330W panels. They are using Enphase inverters and most, if not all panels will be mounted on our southern facing roof. They may need to install some on the west side but I expect none or very few to be installed there. Our total usage in 2019 was just a shade over 25000 KWH. Total price, after tax credit which I've confirmed we qualify for and will receive, is $30,500. This seems like a good deal. I just wish I had the panel model # to provide to see if anyone had issues with them. LG does show up to be one of the top 5 panel providers so that is encouraging.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by wgreen_71 View Post
              I had a company offer to install 40 LG panels, don't have the model # but they are 330W panels. They are using Enphase inverters and most, if not all panels will be mounted on our southern facing roof. They may need to install some on the west side but I expect none or very few to be installed there. Our total usage in 2019 was just a shade over 25000 KWH. Total price, after tax credit which I've confirmed we qualify for and will receive, is $30,500. This seems like a good deal. I just wish I had the panel model # to provide to see if anyone had issues with them. LG does show up to be one of the top 5 panel providers so that is encouraging.
              Kind of high usage.
              Getting it lower will probably be more cost effective for the smaller array that will then be needed..
              Not using/paying for less electricity is usually less expensive than more PV to meet a larger load.
              Spend as much time evaluating vendors as equipment.
              Buying low buck is false economy, especially when it comes to buying turnkey residential PV.
              A quality vendor is worth a slight, but fairly negotiated premium.

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              • #8
                Ya, living in Florida and having teenagers definitely increases our energy use. Fortunately they're both getting older and not spending as much time at home, off to college and whatnot, so that will help. We have done some other things to help, installed uv blocking film on all our southern facing windows and we're switching all lights to led. Also, we're seriously contemplating moving to gas for our cooking so that will help. Right now gas is dirt cheap so it really makes sense but obviously no one knows what the future holds as far as energy prices, except we know they will go up.

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