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  • Help choosing between quotes

    Hi guys,

    I got three quotes (2 local companies and then Sunrun through Costco). All three are sort of all over the place and I am unsure of really where to proceed from here. Appreciate any thoughts/comments.

    $21,000
    18 Hanwha 305-watt panels (106% of electric)
    Inverter: SolarEdge SE-5000A-US
    Optimizers: SolarEdge P320
    Total Power: 5,490 watts
    1st Year Generation: 6,884 kilowatt-hours

    $16,400
    15 LG 320N1K-A5 (100% of electric)
    Inverters 15x Enphase Energy IQ6PLUS
    Peak power 4.8 kW
    Annual Production 6,494 kilowatt hours

    24,750 110% of electric.
    18 x LG330N1C-A5
    Inverter 1x Ginlong 1P5k-4G-US
    5.94 kW
    Annual production 7258kilowat hours

  • #2
    Do not buy or (GULP !!!) lease/PPA (God forbid) anything until you buy and read a copy of "Solar Power Your home for Dummies".

    What have you done so far to learn about what you're buying and how you are paying for how much electricity you use ? Or are you running from high bills rather than toward more cost effective use of financial resources ?

    Do you understand that offsetting => 100 % of your annual usage may not be the most cost effective thing to do ?

    Do you understand that net metering is changing all over the U.S. and your POCO (POwer COmpany) may now be making PV installations less cost effective than in the recent past by changing how you pay for power ?

    Do what you want, but getting educated will cost you little and maybe, if nothing else, just maybe keep you from getting screwed quite so badly.

    If you do nothing else, avoid the big national outfits like Sunrun, SolarCity, Vivant, etc. and never lease or PPA.

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

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi JP,

      I have read a lot of information regarding solar however I am not in the business of becoming a professional here. Hence why I have reached out to a resource like this. With three quotes being so different I was looking for some opinions on them. I have a brand new house with gas so it is quite energy efficient. My bill isn't too crazy however is always rising with rates. With my house I get maximum sun and there is no issue with solar covering all of my electric costs so why not do it? I also live in MA where it is currently one of the best states to actually get solar. I will be purchasing the system outright and not leasing.

      The sunrun quote was the most expensive but covers more electric use, I feel like the other 2 companies sort of under estimated the usage so I may go back to them and ask to quote out a larger system.

      I see there are two different LG panels.the 320 and 330, any feedback between the two? Also do the benefits of having 15 inverters vs 1?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Sunny9090 View Post
        Hi guys,

        I got three quotes (2 local companies and then Sunrun through Costco). All three are sort of all over the place and I am unsure of really where to proceed from here. Appreciate any thoughts/comments.
        Originally posted by Sunny9090 View Post
        $21,000
        18 Hanwha 305-watt panels (106% of electric)
        Inverter: SolarEdge SE-5000A-US
        Optimizers: SolarEdge P320
        Total Power: 5,490 watts
        1st Year Generation: 6,884 kilowatt-hours
        First confirm with them that this will be using the SE5000A and not the current SE5000H. You should be getting the SE5000H which is the HDWave version that has been out for almost 2 years now.

        This is 5.49kw system at $3.825/w

        Originally posted by Sunny9090 View Post
        $16,400
        15 LG 320N1K-A5 (100% of electric)
        Inverters 15x Enphase Energy IQ6PLUS
        Peak power 4.8 kW
        Annual Production 6,494 kilowatt hours
        NOTE that 4.8kw is NOT peak it is the STC rating
        4.8kW system at $3.416/w

        Originally posted by Sunny9090 View Post
        24,750 110% of electric.
        18 x LG330N1C-A5
        Inverter 1x Ginlong 1P5k-4G-US
        5.94 kW
        Annual production 7258kilowat hours
        5.94kw at $4.166/w

        All of these seem high.
        I would stay away from the Ginlong inverter, I am sure there are fans on here but it has a very small market share in the US.
        Look for quotes from other installers.
        The difference between the LG 320 and LG330 is slight and you seem to have the room for the older model

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

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Sunny9090 View Post
          Hi JP,

          I have read a lot of information regarding solar however I am not in the business of becoming a professional here. Hence why I have reached out to a resource like this. With three quotes being so different I was looking for some opinions on them. I have a brand new house with gas so it is quite energy efficient. My bill isn't too crazy however is always rising with rates. With my house I get maximum sun and there is no issue with solar covering all of my electric costs so why not do it? I also live in MA where it is currently one of the best states to actually get solar. I will be purchasing the system outright and not leasing.

          The sunrun quote was the most expensive but covers more electric use, I feel like the other 2 companies sort of under estimated the usage so I may go back to them and ask to quote out a larger system.

          I see there are two different LG panels.the 320 and 330, any feedback between the two? Also do the benefits of having 15 inverters vs 1?
          Maybe what you've read is not completely objective. Get the book and better understand what Butch is writing before you call other vendors. You'll better understand why most folks leave money on the table and in their ignorance wind up at the mercy of vendors with less than cost effective and fit for purpose systems.

          As for opinion, your prices are not only high, but inconsistent. Sizes are also inconsistent.

          So why not do it you ask? - Depends on your goal(s). If one goal is to pay the least long term $ amount for electricity, PV is but one of many tools to accomplish that goal, and rarely the most cost effective and so not the first or maybe not even on the list of tools to achieve that goal.

          Looks like after tax credit you'll spend ~~ $15K. So, compare where you'd be financially after, say, 12-15 years by either getting PV or using the $$ resources for other investments, like corp. bonds/mut. funds/etc. that seem to have some but little risk (BTW, PV is not completely risk free in terms of long term survival of net metering. Note recent changes that have reduced its cost effectiveness - more information you might want to check into if you missed it in your information gathering), with all income/savings from both/all sources reinvested.

          It's called comparison of alternatives analysis with a good dollop of time value of money considerations. Also, forget that at the end of the analysis you'll most likely get all, or at least some of your initial investment back from the alternate type investments. Don't plan on any salvage value or increased resale from having what will be a 12-15 year old black slab on your roof.

          You don't need to be a "professional" to be well informed and make good choices. Just a brain, some objectivity and a clear eye that's not looking through rose colored glasses supplied by folks with skin in the game. I'm about the biggest fan of solar energy I know of, but I know the limitations and cons/scams as well as the strengths.

          Comment


          • #6
            thanks for the feedback so far. It gives me some additional direction to look into. As I said before I don't have the time to become an expert on solar components and such.But the three different quotes being all over the place did pop some flags.

            JPM,

            You may be a big fan of solar but honestly you should re-evaluate the way you interact with people on the forum. Your writing and tone come off very poor and attacking towards someone who is new. Honestly I almost left the site and never came back after your first response but glad I did as I knew there would be some better information for me to dig into.

            Comment


            • #7
              Also I forgot to ask if Energysage is a quality site. I did fill that out and I have about 7 quotes in there I am currently reviewing along side these now. It seems like they are good starting points and if I like one I will have to reach out to get some minor more specific adjustments.

              Comment


              • #8
                I would suggest getting some quotes from our site sponsors www.solarreviews.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sunny9090 View Post
                  thanks for the feedback so far. It gives me some additional direction to look into. As I said before I don't have the time to become an expert on solar components and such.But the three different quotes being all over the place did pop some flags.

                  JPM,

                  You may be a big fan of solar but honestly you should re-evaluate the way you interact with people on the forum. Your writing and tone come off very poor and attacking towards someone who is new. Honestly I almost left the site and never came back after your first response but glad I did as I knew there would be some better information for me to dig into.
                  If you think what I wrote was an attack, perhaps you might consider re-evaluating how you interpret what you read. IMO, if you followed my advice, you'd be more and better informed, get better quotes and probably get a better product at a better price. But, not my house/choice/money and above all, NOMB.

                  I was the one who suggested a line on the SPT masthead that reads " Welcome to the forum of few(er) illusions." Don't like a post ? Ignore it.

                  I often close with "Take what you want of the above. Scrap the rest." as my first post to this thread included. That it was left off my last post to this thread was an oversight. My apologies. Consider it added.

                  Have a nice life.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sunny9090 View Post
                    Also I forgot to ask if Energysage is a quality site. I did fill that out and I have about 7 quotes in there I am currently reviewing along side these now. It seems like they are good starting points and if I like one I will have to reach out to get some minor more specific adjustments.
                    Through EnergySage I got some more competitive quotes that helped me to get some of the other local companies who I met with to significantly drop from their initial quotes. I would say use multiple sources to help evaluate the companies that you are most seriously considering.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      JPM,

                      You may be a big fan of solar but honestly you should re-evaluate the way you interact with people on the forum. Your writing and tone come off very poor and attacking towards someone who is new. Honestly I almost left the site and never came back after your first response but glad I did as I knew there would be some better information for me to dig into.

                      I agree with this . JPM you haven't been rude to me yet but I have seen you do it to others on here over and over telling them of their ignorance because they ask a question or say something you don't agree with I can only guess why you do this , are you unhappy , have depression ? , you weren't taught manners growing up ? you might want to pick up a book by Dale Carnegie " How to win friends and Influence people " because some of your comments do come off rude condescending and insulting , you are one of the leading experts here on this forum and we appreciate your vast knowledge but that attitude is a big turn off and you and I know this isn't the first time you have been called out about it and I'm wondering why you do it here on the forum I assume you would be more cordial when talking face to face with someone , can you imagine a college professor with a vast knowledge of a certain subject treating his students like this when they ask a question ? So inquiring minds want to know why the rude attitude ?
                      Last edited by Kingram; 05-04-2018, 01:06 PM.
                      9.36 grid tied, Phoenix Arizona

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sadly, all the experts here are :
                        unpaid volunteers
                        living what we preach, or were/are professionals in solar/electrical
                        trying to only give safe instructions, not endorsing unsafe or illegal practices
                        are busy with our own lives and likely don't need anymore friends
                        Are NOT sales droids and have NO NEED to influence people.

                        For every question asked twice in the same thread, ignorance or inability to comprehend the answer, falls on the querent.
                        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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kingram View Post
                          JPM,

                          You may be a big fan of solar but honestly you should re-evaluate the way you interact with people on the forum. Your writing and tone come off very poor and attacking towards someone who is new. Honestly I almost left the site and never came back after your first response but glad I did as I knew there would be some better information for me to dig into.

                          I agree with this . JPM you haven't been rude to me yet but I have seen you do it to others on here over and over telling them of their ignorance because they ask a question or say something you don't agree with I can only guess why you do this , are you unhappy , have depression ? , you weren't taught manners growing up ? you might want to pick up a book by Dale Carnegie " How to win friends and Influence people " because some of your comments do come off rude condescending and insulting , you are one of the leading experts here on this forum and we appreciate your vast knowledge but that attitude is a big turn off and you and I know this isn't the first time you have been called out about it and I'm wondering why you do it here on the forum I assume you would be more cordial when talking face to face with someone , can you imagine a college professor with a vast knowledge of a certain subject treating his students like this when they ask a question ? So inquiring minds want to know why the rude attitude ?
                          Rant mode on.

                          Opinions vary.

                          Take what you want of my writing and advice such as it is. I usually point out mistakes as I see them or different ways to look at some situations based on what I've learned over 40+ years of being around solar energy and almost as long as being a P.E. designing and engineering pretty good size power systems and energy production equipment. I try to do and give my safest and best advice based on what I think I might know, and willing to accept correction when in error, but not let feelings get in the way of honest, accurate and clear communication.

                          As for style, I don't believe anything I wrote in this thread has been directed at the OP personally. More in the way of suggestions and maybe a bit of Socratic questioning. I don't see that as rude.

                          Those who do are more than able to hit the ignore button. It matters not one whit to me.

                          Not everyone who tells you what you might not like is trying to hurt your feelings or being rude to you.

                          Besides, others may read what I bloviate about and maybe be able to get another perspective from my mental spoor about things they may not know of or have not considered.

                          Either or any way, to those snowflakes who think I'm condescending and rude: Grow up, get a sack, and stop wasting electrons bitching about what amounts to straight talk that you may feel offends your childish sensibilities.

                          I forgot to add: FWIW, ignorance is a condition and the result of not knowing something, not a pejorative statement about someone's mental capabilities. Those who think calling out someone's actions or opinions based on their ignorance to be insulting are ignorant of the meaning of the word "ignorant".

                          I'm ignorant about most everything, but that ignorance doesn't make me inferior or stupid - just uninformed.

                          Rant mode off.
                          Last edited by J.P.M.; 05-12-2018, 10:40 PM. Reason: Added add.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kingram
                            From JPM : Either or any way, to those snowflakes who thing I'm condescending and rude: Grow up, get a sack, and stop wasting electrons bitching about what amounts to straight talk that you may feel offends your childish sensibilities.
                            JPM your the Snowflake pal and your the one who needs to grow a pair and quit acting like a spolied kid who was never spanked or disciplined as a child , again we appreciate your knowledge with solar but don't let it make your head swell and think you are better than everyone else . I know this won't offend you because then that would just be childish for you, man up cowboy , anyway I tried to get you to see the error of your ways but it fell on deaf ears so back to solar talk we go.............. lol
                            Thank you for your insightful observations into my inner workings and your suggestions for possible improvements. I'll be sure to give them all the consideration they deserve.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              JPM....I've been around here for awhile. Your posts are a good balance between expert condescending and newby you gotta learn some more.

                              Keep doing what you have been doing....it seems the right mix.

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