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  • $1.50/w for 5kw install

    Hey guys,

    I wanted to make sure I was getting decent equipment for the price quoted. The system includes the following:

    20 255w Trina triple black panels
    5kw SMA inverter with built in monitoring
    Unirac racking with front skirt in black finish
    Quick Mount PV flashings
    Permits, Labor, and BOS

    $7650 sounds like a great deal. Let me know what you guys think.

  • #2
    That is pretty much the price of just the equipment (does look like good equipment). Something sounds very fishy as $1.50/watt can't possibly include labor costs. Is this the after tax cost?
    BSEE, R11, NABCEP, >1200kW installed

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    • #3
      It's broken out like this:

      $1.13/w for solar equipment
      $0.09/w for engineering and permits
      $0.28/w for labor and BOS

      Prices before incentives.

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      • #4
        That does sound like after tax credit cost. Where are you ? Are any state/local/utility/vendor reductions reflected in the $7,650 ?

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        • #5
          Bethlehem PA, the price is before incentives. Tax credit is $2,295. Final net cost after credit is $5,355.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by zaz210 View Post
            Bethlehem PA, the price is before incentives. Tax credit is $2,295. Final net cost after credit is $5,355.
            Expect a flood of posts from folks looking for your vendor where they can buy turnkey systems in eastern PA for something like half the going rate or so.

            Something's missing/not right. I'd be careful. A price that seems too good to be true probably is (too good to be true). Look around and ask why other quotes you will get are so high.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by zaz210 View Post
              It's broken out like this:

              $1.13/w for solar equipment
              $0.09/w for engineering and permits
              $0.28/w for labor and BOS

              Prices before incentives.

              So $5763 ($1.13/w) for
              "20 255w Trina triple black panels
              5kw SMA inverter with built in monitoring
              Unirac racking with front skirt in black finish
              Quick Mount PV flashings"

              My best guess for prices:
              $2800 for 20 modules at $140/module ($.55/W)
              $1481 for SMA 5kw inverter
              $336 for 8 of 17' unirac rails @ $42 each
              $85 for mid clamps and end-clamps @ ~$2 each
              $72 for 36 L feet at $2 each
              $540 for 36 quickmount PV E-mounts at $15 each

              Adds up to $5314 so far.
              That would leave $449 to cover things not listed (ground lugs, PV wire, MC4 connectors, splices, front skirt)


              So $1.13/w seems possible.


              $459 for permits and engineering
              (reasonable I think - local permit cost can vary quite signicantly. But I'm willing to believe $459 for that.


              $1428 for labor and BOS (conduit, flashing, wire, breakers, etc)
              This seems pretty low.


              BTW - I wouldn't do a "front skirt" - I'd rather have the airflow that might cool the array - even just slightly.

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              • #8
                Nice breakdown and logic, Foo1bar! I'd think labor should be more but question is by how much. My curiosity quest: If we demystify solar install and just see them as a set of predefined roof work how much should it cost, assuming you need semi skilled workforce?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by kgvenkatesh View Post
                  Nice breakdown and logic, Foo1bar! I'd think labor should be more but question is by how much. My curiosity quest: If we demystify solar install and just see them as a set of predefined roof work how much should it cost, assuming you need semi skilled workforce?
                  Sort of like a standard cost system ?

                  Foo1bar's material pricing and breakdown seems possible and sensible, including the statement that $1,428 for BOS materials and labor seems pretty low, and that's where the questions about the unusually low price probably have most of their origin. So, maybe for a DIY job, while still quite low, perhaps that price is possible.

                  However, and as comes up with predictable regularity around here, that low price takes no account of or explains how a vendor will cover overhead costs, which are myriad and which most folks do consider, much less manage to make a profit out of the business of installing anything.

                  My 5 kW array required about 50-55 hrs. of labor by the solar vendor at my residence (3 people, 2 long 8 hr. days). There was nothing too unusual about the install. That labor figure takes no account of any design, permitting, material acquisition/handing/warehousing, or any other overhead expense - down to the person answering the phone at the company's end.

                  In the end, you will get what you pay for (or less).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by zaz210 View Post
                    $7650 sounds like a great deal. Let me know what you guys think.
                    Hi, Were you able to get the system installed. Just looking for some feedback and your experience with the whole process. Every year I keep reading and postponding, but thinking this might be the year lol. Thanks

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                    • #11
                      "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is exactly that."

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                      • #12
                        All equipment has been delivered and just waiting for the permit to be approved. Had an issue with setbacks from the roof edge since I'm trying to maximize system size. Waiting to hear back.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by zaz210 View Post
                          All equipment has been delivered and just waiting for the permit to be approved. Had an issue with setbacks from the roof edge since I'm trying to maximize system size. Waiting to hear back.

                          so you ordered equipment before getting the permit approved, and didn't account for setbacks on the design?
                          OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by zaz210 View Post
                            Bethlehem PA, the price is before incentives. Tax credit is $2,295. Final net cost after credit is $5,355.
                            I'm about 45 minutes from there. I'm very interested on how this turns out for you! I'm beginning the research for my own system.

                            I see an online price for a similar DIY kit for $7200. Contents below.


                            >>>> PARTS LIST - Trina SMA Grid-Tied PV Solar Power System
                            (20) Trina Solar 255 watt solar panels
                            (1) SMA Sunny Boy 5,000 watt inverter model SB 5.0
                            (2) x 50' PV wires with MC4 connectors
                            Rooftop rack system, 2 row X 10 column layout, portrait orientation, flush setup
                            Mounting rails, splices and grounding lugs
                            Module grounding mid-clamps and end-clamps
                            L-feet attachments with hardware
                            QuickMount PV water-tight aluminum flashing or Schletter tile roof hooks
                            NEC code compliant PV labels and placard I'm new....I had previously figured an installed system would be in the $15k range, and a DIY system in the $10k range. This would blow those prices away!
                            In keeping with the original posters context, is this a decent system for the price? Or is it worth investigating other alternatives?
                            Last edited by Walker; 11-13-2016, 08:42 PM. Reason: Mike, Sorry about leaving the live links in the post. Thanks for editing.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Walker View Post

                              .......

                              I see an online price for a similar DIY kit for $7200. Contents below.


                              >>>> PARTS LIST - Trina SMA Grid-Tied PV Solar Power System
                              (20) Trina Solar 255 watt solar panels
                              (1) SMA Sunny Boy 5,000 watt inverter model SB 5.0
                              (2) x 50' PV wires with MC4 connectors
                              Rooftop rack system, 2 row X 10 column layout, portrait orientation, flush setup
                              Mounting rails, splices and grounding lugs
                              Module grounding mid-clamps and end-clamps
                              L-feet attachments with hardware
                              QuickMount PV water-tight aluminum flashing or Schletter tile roof hooks
                              NEC code compliant PV labels and placard.........?
                              Walker - I've removed the live links in your post (not sure how it got past the auto moderation) since we can't allow blatant ads for our hosting company's competitors.
                              Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
                              || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
                              || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

                              solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                              gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

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