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15kw Solar System with Solar Hot Water?

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Racerx22b, Aug 2, 2016.

  1. Racerx22b

    Racerx22b Member

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    My wife and I have been getting quotes for going solar at our home. We live in FL and FPL (Florida Power and Light) offers net metering so we are hoping to go to zero energy costs once system is installed. We average about 2550kwh a month ($300). We are located in South Florida (East Coast).

    My question is on pricing. It's hard to determine if I am getting a good deal so I figured I would ask on the forum for some input. 1st quote is from Advance Solar.

    Here are the basics:

    49 LG 310 panels
    Solar Edge inverter with remote access via cellular link
    Apricus Solar Hot Water Heater with 80 gallon tank
    Hayward Variable speed pump for pool (to replace our energy sucking current pump)
    Everything installed, permits, racking, wiring, etc....

    $52k before any rebate. He's telling me that equates to 3.2 cents per Kw.

    I received another quote from a roofing/solar company (Bison) including the following:

    58 Centrosolar 290 panels for a 16.8kw system
    Solar Edge inverter with remote access via cellular link
    AO Smith Hybrid hot water heater
    2 Nest thermostats
    20 LED bulbs
    Hayward Variable speed pump for pool (to replace our energy sucking current pump)
    Everything installed, permits, racking, wiring, etc....

    $49k before any rebate.

    Apologies if I am using any incorrect terminology or acronyms.

    My gut says to go with Advance Solar based on their presentation and experience. Having said that, still not sure on pricing.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. AB4EJ

    AB4EJ Member

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    Be sure to check with power company to see if they require any Reserve Capacity Fees. Here in AL, there is a monthly fee of $5 per nameplate kw (this would be $84 per month in your case), and also the so-called net metering pays you at wholesale rate of electricity (about 3.5 cents/khw). Works out to about a 20 to 25 year breakeven (about the life of the equipment) even assuming no maintenance or repairs on the system over 20 years (yeah, right). Didn't stop me from doing it, but go in with your eyes open. There are reasons why Solar City isn't doing business everywhere.
     
  3. Racerx22b

    Racerx22b Member

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    They buy back at retail pricing and there is no fee that you mention. Thanks for the heads up though. The only thing they require is that I add a million dollar liability to my homeowners insurance since I will be considered a tier 2 system. Based on all the installers I spoke with everyone just cancels it once system is live. The installer needs to show the extra insurance to power company before they'll turn on the meter. Once the system is installed nobody ever checks again.

    Jason
     
  4. AB4EJ

    AB4EJ Member

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    If you can afford such a nice solar system, a million-dollar umbrella policy is something you probably should have anyway. Check with your financial advisor or attorney, but I would think twice about canceling it.
     
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  5. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    Well, he's wrong with that arithmetic. $52k/15kW is $3.20 per W. $3 per W is on the expensive side compared to a DIY installation, but with all the other stuff thrown in, turnkey, it doesn't sound too bad.
     
    • Like x 1
  6. AB4EJ

    AB4EJ Member

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    BTW, my system is also Solar Edge. The remote monitoring is nice. We are having some challenges with my system because I had it elaborately treated to be radio-quiet (I am a ham radio operator), and we think there may be mis-wiring that impedes some of the optimizers from communicating with the inverter; but when it works it is quite good. (Now working with installer company to get it straightened out)...
     
  7. AB4EJ

    AB4EJ Member

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    Seems reasonable. There is also nameplate versus actual power output. My Solar Edge system has a nameplate capacity of 10 kw (based on model of inverter), but it doesn't produce more than 7200 w even in full sun. Some of that might be due to the wiring difficulties I described in earlier post, and/or high temperatures (which reduce panel efficiency). Solar Edge systems are often used when part of the array is shaded for part of the day - the optimizers make sure the shaded panels do not act as resistors to the rest of the system. My "nameplate" cost was $2.14/kw (including federal tax credit), but about $3/kw for actual operating capacity.
     
  8. richardw0000

    richardw0000 Member

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    A couple of years ago, we had Guardian Solar do our system at our house in Orlando. We have a 10kW microinverter system and it cost $22500 before the Duke Energy rebate. We have a couple of friends who have also used them and have gotten similar or cheaper prices. Duke is no longer doing the Sunsense rebate program, which I suspect was keeping the prices artificially high, since it covered up to 10kW and $20k. We have Axitec panels and Enphase inverters.
     
  9. Ciaopec

    Ciaopec Member

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    #9 Ciaopec, Aug 4, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
    Merritt Island, 32952, Florida Power and Light. New construction (ongoing, finished by Feb/Mar 2017).
    20Kw system: 77 Solar World 260w panels; SMA SunnyBoy TL Grid-tie Inverters with built in emergency power; roof mount racks (3 per row for 150mph wind); 80 gal Hybrid Hot water; monitor system: $42000 before rebates. My installer will also buy back Renewable Energy Credit Certificates for four years @ $.40/w ($8000). I've seen his work and has excellent credentials. I doubt, however, that he would install outside Brevard County.
     
  10. GJ79

    GJ79 Member

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    That price seems way to high. I paid 2.55 Watt for my system using Canadian Solar Panels and Solar Edge inverter.
     
  11. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Installed?
     
  12. GlmnAlyAirCar

    GlmnAlyAirCar Member

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    Plus he's getting solar hot water and the pool pump
     
  13. GJ79

    GJ79 Member

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    True, instead of solar Hot water I would suggest a Heat Pump water heater anyway....
     
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  14. GlmnAlyAirCar

    GlmnAlyAirCar Member

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    You really can't get more efficient than solar hot water, as the energy is transferred directly to the water. Of course, there is the additional expense of plumbing, roof space needed for the panels, and space needed for the tank. That could tip one in favor of the heat pump.
     
  15. GJ79

    GJ79 Member

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    What is efficient in this case ? Add one extra PV panel to power the Heat pump and the Hot Water is free plus no risk of running hot-watre plumbing lines through the attic and roof that permanently extract and contract. I have seen so many of these leak that I would never put it on my/in my roof. I run a net zero at my house with a Heat Pump, and it can't get more efficient than that.
     
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  16. Alketi

    Alketi Member

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    #16 Alketi, Aug 9, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
    I paid $4.30/W in MA for SunPower 250AC panels installed, and that was the cheapest rate I could find (I wanted the SunPower all-black series). So, pricing all depends on where you're located.

    $3.20/W for LG black panels, and the other additions, is a nice deal I would think.

    One thing to note, which you probably already know. Going over 10kW puts you into Tier 2 at FPL. That means you need proof of insurance.
     
  17. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    A heat pump hot water heater is far more cost effective. Solar hot water heaters typically cost >$3k and often >$7k for climates where it regularly gets below freezing AND it will still rely on backup heat when there's not enough sun so it doesn't displace 100%. A heat pump will reduce electrical consumption by ~70% and costs ~$1k. You're generally much better off buying a heat pump hot water heater and using the difference to buy more PV.

    Grid-tied PV also keeps working if you're on vacation... you can't export hot water.
     
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  18. GJ79

    GJ79 Member

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    I am not sure how these systems are built in the US but I am pretty sure that there are two cirquits with a Heat Exchanger and that the Heat is not transferred directly to the Water. Especially in freezing climates that would cause a disaster.
     
  19. GJ79

    GJ79 Member

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    Totally agree
     
  20. Racerx22b

    Racerx22b Member

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    You are correct... Kind of. That is 10kw AC. PV provides DC power. FPL conversion is to multiply by 85% which allows you up to a 11.6KW system.

    I've since reduced the size of the system down to 11.6kw. I am replacing my AC system with a 20 SEER Lennox to hopefully get me down to a Net Zero. I don't want the hassle of the insurance requirement or all the extra panels on my roof.
     

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