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  • bourbonbro
    started a topic New Solar Array contract signed

    New Solar Array contract signed

    After many months of research and browsing on this forum and others, creating pricing average Pivot Tables from the CSI database based on last 6 months per watt pricing for modules/inverters, modeling using PVWatts and then SAM (great suggestion per a JPM post), just snagged a Sunpower 5.44kw system/17 panels with Solaredge @ $3.15/W ($17.1k) in N Cali from a large Sunpower dealer. I declined the additional $500 for Solaredge 25 warranty upgrade. I was able to just get in the last of the E19 320W line which are still very good quality panels. My goal was to get within 5% of $3.00/W which is where I've seen most LG quotes. If I couldn't get there, I'd just go LG. This is the cheapest price by far I have seen with the E19s on the CSI database and only a handful of E20-327 installations beat it recently. Neon Rs were $3.50-$3.60/watt, Neon 2's right around $3/watt, SP E20 327 AC panels $3.50/watt, and higher end X21s were $3.80-$4.25/watt. I used my same principle for buying cell phones as I do here... right before the newest model comes up, the slightly older but still excellent model is a bit discounted before being removed from retailers line list (bought Galaxy S7 right before S8 arrived).

    Reviewed Hanwha, LG R/Neon 2 quotes as well as multiple different types of Sunpower quotes. So many installers pushing AC panels and didn't want microinverters. I am aware of risk of the Solaredge ecoystem and future replacements may be difficult but microinverters are a bit more complex and directly under the brutal heat of the roof. Couldn't go lesser efficiency as my sloped roof is all broken up and I have a lovely 40foot cedar shading a tiny portion of this a well which 1) I didn't have the heart to cut down as I love trees and 2) It's slightly on my neighbor's property line.

    I just installed a new HVAC heat pump with 7kw heat strip backup (backup turned off for now) as the older one was 25yrs young. Also have an EV that I commute 65 mi 5 days a week (18,300 miles/yr @ ~3.7mi/kwh = ~5,000 kwh) which is ~$650/yr charging off-peak exclusively. Modeling my heat pump and EV (since I've had each less than 6 months), total household use is 13,500kwh annually and about 7000kwh is off peak night time use @ 12c/kwh. General average rate on PGE EV-A rate plan is 0.19c/kwh (been on TOU plan since Nov). With the solar array showing roughly LCOE 8-9c/kwh (perfect world) to 16-18 c/kwh (worst possible parameters used), it made no financial sense to chase after the off-peak usage at a "price/kwh delta" of +/- 2-4 cents vs the modeled LCOE so I modeled mostly after daytime use which had a larger delta and then slightly sized up since wife is pregnant and will run HVAC 24/7 in the coming years being at home with kids all day as well as knowing PGE will continue to shift peak TOU later and later into day (eventually will be selling bulk of production at semi-peak rates and buying from PGE at peak rates which sucks). 5.44 kw array will produce roughly 1.5kwh/W AC (~8000kwh) which I know isn't perfect but bulk of panels face 294 azimuth with just 6 of the 17 panels able to face due south.

    My most useful thing I tinkered with was the SAM program by far. I input nearly all of my per hour green button usage to more accurately estimate bills/savings which were a bit off most installers' estimates fyi. I downloaded the entire EV-A rate plan to the program as well. Very interesting and useful. Sadly I only have 32bit computer so couldn't do exact panel/microinverter inventory item analysis (program only does fancy analysis with 64bit) but I did slightly simpler analysis with PVWatts subset in SAM and worked just fine and tinkered with system losses to 10-15% with worst case scenario of slight shading. Overall, this should offset roughly 60% of my kwh usage and slightly more than 100% of my peak/semi-peak kwh usage (in order to model for pregnant wife future kids usage at home) while cutting my bill by 2/3 annually to around $900 ($2,000 savings per year) and ~5.5-6yr payback period. I was able to calculate an Internal Rate of Return of 17% which isn't too shabby.

    Thanks again all, particularly JPM, ButchDeal, solarix for their insightful posts about sizing appropriately (not 100%) and if/when higher efficiency panels may be useful.
    Last edited by bourbonbro; 03-18-2018, 11:59 AM.

  • ButchDeal
    replied
    Originally posted by drajpupala View Post
    South Carolina Columbia
    well currently HOAs can restrict the location but there have been pushes to change that...
    http://abcnews4.com/news/local/solar...ts-legislation

    https://solarpowerrocks.com/affordable-solar/can-work-homeowners-association-approve-solar/
    Last edited by ButchDeal; 04-23-2018, 05:27 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • J.P.M.
    replied
    Originally posted by drajpupala View Post
    South Carolina Columbia
    In general, If in CA, there is some flexibility for the HOA to render some limits, but in general, the HOA would most likely, but not in all cases, not be allowed to disallow such a street facing or very visible arrangement. Check out what law may exist in SC or Columbia.

    Leave a comment:


  • drajpupala
    replied
    South Carolina Columbia

    Leave a comment:


  • ButchDeal
    replied
    Originally posted by drajpupala View Post
    Thank you for honest reply. I am a newbie and happy to listen to your advise.
    My HOA will not let me install panels in front of house and lot of trees on the back.
    What state are you in? many have Homeowners rights laws limiting HOA ability to restrict the location of install.

    Leave a comment:


  • drajpupala
    replied
    Thank you for honest reply. I am a newbie and happy to listen to your advise.
    My HOA will not let me install panels in front of house and lot of trees on the back.

    Leave a comment:


  • J.P.M.
    replied
    Originally posted by drajpupala View Post
    Thank for the reply. My house is east facing with lot of tress on west side and average electricity bill is 110-200$ . I checked all my neighbors and their bills are the same. I hope I can make some electricity with west facing panels. What are your thoughts regarding the west facing panels for 7.2kw system from Sunpower
    You're welcome.

    1.) I'd suggest disabusing yourself of the idea of superiority of Sunpower products. Sunpower products are good but no better than any other reputable mfg's panel. Most folks can get equal annual output, equal relibility and quality for a lot less up front outlay.

    2.) Any shaded panel will produce less than any non shaded panel. How much depends on the location and size of what's causing the shading.

    3.) You may possibly have been better off mounting the array facing east.

    4.) Given a choice and capability, depending on shading, south facing will usually produce more electricity than east or west facing.

    Now, might I respectfully suggest we get out of Bourbonbro's thread ? What to talk more ? How about opening your own thread ?

    Leave a comment:


  • drajpupala
    replied
    Thank for the reply. My house is east facing with lot of tress on west side and average electricity bill is 110-200$ . I checked all my neighbors and their bills are the same. I hope I can make some electricity with west facing panels. What are your thoughts regarding the west facing panels for 7.2kw system from Sunpower

    Leave a comment:


  • J.P.M.
    replied
    Originally posted by drajpupala View Post
    I signed a contract with Sunpower 360 w 20 panels24000$
    7.2 kw.
    is it a good deal?
    Since you're asking:

    Your question sort of implies that it's all about initial price. Well, that ain't all of it by a lot. Another way to think of a good deal is perhaps better defined as most bang for your long term buck. In that context, a good deal is something that's an unknown at installation. Since panels and other PV equipment are pretty much a commodity now, how much a deal represents a good value is perhaps better determined by installation quality, with that mostly dependent on vendor quality and integrity.

    So, if the question is: Could you have paid less up front per installed S.T.C. Watt by buying different (non Sunpower) equipment and got equally fit for purpose equipment that will give about the same annual output, the answer is yes. But that's a different question than did you get the most long term bang for your buck.

    Another way to look at it : If you could have used the same vendor and less overpriced panels you would have paid less and would wind up with about the same annual system output for as long as you'll own either system.

    If you're happy with your choice of equipment and more importantly the quality of the labor and professionalism that went into the installation of the equipment, then it's a good deal.

    But, my educated guess is you probably could have done as good on equipment quality for less money up front and wind up with about the same annual output.

    Leave a comment:


  • drajpupala
    replied
    I signed a contract with Sunpower 360 w 20 panels24000$
    7.2 kw.
    is it a good deal?
    Last edited by drajpupala; 04-22-2018, 09:03 AM.

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  • Mike90250
    replied
    How do you order a system and THEN do the site evaul ?


    and PM's are turned off at this site

    Leave a comment:


  • Link101ooh
    replied
    So I signed a contract this week for 16 Panasonic 330W with Solaredge inverter and optimizers. I will be getting the site eval this Friday. Cash price for the system is came is @ $3.01/W which I think is a great deal for the panels. I'm pretty confident with the company I decided to go with and glad I went through all the trouble of getting quotes from close to a dozen companies.

    Leave a comment:


  • Link101ooh
    replied
    Originally posted by bourbonbro View Post

    My quote was all cash. You should be able to get much closer to $3/watt for low 300s wattage panels that have a good warranty. My E19 320s were the very last of inventory. I wasnt stuck on Sunpower, just knew I had max of 21 panels i could fit and what kwh i wanted to offset as my sweet spot. Having an EV makes my % bill offset lower than most but i spend so little on the other kwh its a wash. Not sure if I can post the installer. I just found out this forum has a PM function... you need to activate messaging under your profile settings. Shoot me a msg.
    I'm not stuck on Sunpower either, but I am about in the same spot with roof space. It looks like my roof only has space for about 18-20 panels on the south facing portion based on the design plans and some basic measurements. I can fit a few more on a section of my roof that is east facing. As I mentioned, half of my total quotes have come from Sunpower dealers. I don't have an EV, but the wife works from home full time and I work from my home office about 2-3 days a week.

    I don't think PM's work or came back if it was available before. I turned it on in my profile but don't see a way to PM you.

    Leave a comment:


  • J.P.M.
    replied
    Originally posted by bourbonbro View Post
    I just found out this forum has a PM function... you need to activate messaging under your profile settings. Shoot me a msg.
    When did PM's come back ?

    Leave a comment:


  • bourbonbro
    replied
    Originally posted by Link101ooh View Post
    Sorry, I should have specified that I was asking bourbonbro for his installer since he said N. Cali. I've only received 6 quotes so far and did not actively pursue these companies. They reached out to me. Very first company quoted Panasonic. I didnt request those panels, that's what they were pushing. 2,3,4 were Sunpower guys. 5 was all over the phone and I requested the Panasonic to get apples to apples comparison. May go back to them and ask for other options. Last one offered CSun (economy), SilFab (standard), Solaria (premium). This was just via email and need to research that company more. The last quote was around $3.00/W but quoted monthly payment for finance was more than my cheapest sunpower quote. Need to run the numbers because don't know how their monthly is coming out higher.
    My quote was all cash. You should be able to get much closer to $3/watt for low 300s wattage panels that have a good warranty. My E19 320s were the very last of inventory. I wasnt stuck on Sunpower, just knew I had max of 21 panels i could fit and what kwh i wanted to offset as my sweet spot. Having an EV makes my % bill offset lower than most but i spend so little on the other kwh its a wash. Not sure if I can post the installer. I just found out this forum has a PM function... you need to activate messaging under your profile settings. Shoot me a msg.
    Last edited by bourbonbro; 03-19-2018, 12:03 PM.

    Leave a comment:

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