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Chilicon Inverters ?

Alset2

Member
Supporting Member
Feb 20, 2020
120
39
Ocala. Fl
Hello all, so I have been trying to stick with Tesla for my solar but their lack of responsiveness just gets under my skin, especially when I am about to spend almost $70K on solar + PWs.

Anyway, I was about to go with another local(ish) company and then yesterday I came across a local company that has been in our town for 40 years. They already gave me a proposal and it is with in $ of the other quote I was about to go with. (BTW-both quotes are about $2K more than Tesla solar when all is said and done)

The new quote has basically same panels but the 380 watt variety (vs 340 and 350) . Once I told them I have whole home generator (Generac) they switched me from IQ7+ inverters to something called Chilicon CP-720 and claims it will sync with my generator and provide solar power even when grid is down and sun is up and help generator conserve fuel.
This company also houses an electrical contracting company and they are Generac dealer/ Installers so it seems they know what they are talking about , but I have never heard of this and I have done a lot of research . Sales guy told me not many people in this trade have heard about them...even at Trade shows.

Just looking for any thoughts/concerns, I am meeting with this rep today and will probably sign there proposal to get things going.

Thanks
Alset2
 

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cali8484

Member
Jul 8, 2018
308
186
California
I have been aware of Chilicon's claim for generator support without batteries but have not seen any real world example of it working. The claim's mechanisms (e.g. export limiting, volt-watt) to make it work with generators are available in other inverters as well but they are typically slow (on the order of a few seconds at best) compared to real world power changes. It's curious why other inverter manufacturers do not offer generator support using the same mechanisms. So, it's not clear it could work reliably in real world systems where solar inverter output can change drastically in milliseconds that could cause severe generator overload or backfeed depending on running loads at the time. There could be some serious limitations/hazards. I would ask the installer for reference customers using it with generators to verify how well it really works.
 
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dareed1

Member
Jan 15, 2021
125
119
Belmont, CA
The use case isn't clear to me. At $70K, I assume that the PV system could be 16kW of panels and 4 PWs? Is this the situation under consideration? Grid power is off and the solar panels aren't producing enough power to run the house and the PWs can't provide the rest of the energy (kWh) demand during the remaining hours of daylight? I assume that the PWs are capable of providing the requisite power (kW) until they are depleted. Seems to me that this is an edge case that is probably better handled by using the PV/PW system until it runs out of stored energy, and then switching to the generator. I believe that the switching can be automated. I suppose that is preferable to going with a product from an 11 year old company that is reputed to do less than $1M in revenue, although really finding out the stability of small privately held companies is difficult.

BTW, I'm intrigued to hear that two local companies bid with in 3% of Tesla's price. Can you share any details?
 

Alset2

Member
Supporting Member
Feb 20, 2020
120
39
Ocala. Fl
Thank you all for all your posts and sorry for my absence. I will try to address every ones questions but I am not very savvy with the "reply" and quote function

To dareed1 (post #3) - Your are correct, my Tesla solar was for 18kw system & 4 PWs .
I added 2kws to the 16kw which brought the solar price up to $37,000. I now have a pending up charge for $2,400.00 to run the conduit through the attic (to be honest, this is only verbal guess at this point, becasue I am still waiting on my revised plan).
One quote from a Tampa company was at $43K and one from Ocala was at $42K -I am not sure if I am allowed to post names, if I am I dont mind because both of them have been very responsive and accommodating and I would have no issue recommending either of them. I ended up with the one from Ocala for what its worth , they have been in the solar business locally for 40 years.
So I am a little off on the price difference , I did not mean to deceive anyone. But this is not even factoring in things like now I get Micros, I get less panels because they are using the Qcell 380 watt panels, and most of all...wait for it...THEY RESPOND TO ME!!!!

Bevo- yes the PWs were more than enough for my whole home and I was planing on using the generator as a 3rd line of back up like h20fun stated

Cali8484- we decided to hold of on battery back up for a few years to see how the tech matures. It seems to really be progressing rather quickly , besides we have invested a lot of money in the generator so its not like we will be with out power.

FlJay- I am in Ocala (actually Belleview , but no one knows where that is except they think of the mental hospital from Law & Order)

It was hard for me not to go with Tesla, it had been our plan for years, but prices being that competitive, and having local people who answer me just made it hard to stick with Tesla . And I will admit, I am a bit impatient, but Tesla's response times are really frustrating to me ...I cant help it, I do expect some sort of customer service.

I am glad to share anything I am allowed to share .
 
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h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
3,291
748
auburn, ca
Thank you all for all your posts and sorry for my absence. I will try to address every ones questions but I am not very savvy with the "reply" and quote function

To dareed1 (post #3) - Your are correct, my Tesla solar was for 18kw system & 4 PWs .
I added 2kws to the 16kw which brought the solar price up to $37,000. I now have a pending up charge for $2,400.00 to run the conduit through the attic (to be honest, this is only verbal guess at this point, becasue I am still waiting on my revised plan).
One quote from a Tampa company was at $43K and one from Ocala was at $42K -I am not sure if I am allowed to post names, if I am I dont mind because both of them have been very responsive and accommodating and I would have no issue recommending either of them. I ended up with the one from Ocala for what its worth , they have been in the solar business locally for 40 years.
So I am a little off on the price difference , I did not mean to deceive anyone. But this is not even factoring in things like now I get Micros, I get less panels because they are using the Qcell 380 watt panels, and most of all...wait for it...THEY RESPOND TO ME!!!!

Bevo- yes the PWs were more than enough for my whole home and I was planing on using the generator as a 3rd line of back up like h20fun stated

Cali8484- we decided to hold of on battery back up for a few years to see how the tech matures. It seems to really be progressing rather quickly , besides we have invested a lot of money in the generator so its not like we will be with out power.

FlJay- I am in Ocala (actually Belleview , but no one knows where that is except they think of the mental hospital from Law & Order)

It was hard for me not to go with Tesla, it had been our plan for years, but prices being that competitive, and having local people who answer me just made it hard to stick with Tesla . And I will admit, I am a bit impatient, but Tesla's response times are really frustrating to me ...I cant help it, I do expect some sort of customer service.

I am glad to share anything I am allowed to share .
I so agree. Going with a 3rd party installer, that yep, was "more" than Tesla was easy to do after seeing all the issues here. They allowed me to work hand and hand with them on the design of my system. The placement of stuff. Answer phone instantly. The only issue I am having now is trying to get some tweaks on some things they did during installation that was not 100% correct, and I missed them doing, and having some issues getting them back. I have told them that I cannot pay the 90% since the contract says installation done. And we shall see what happens once we get to the PGE stage to approve.

I LOVE having my 3 levels of backup. No matter what happens to power, I am ready. Now, I could be driving a top of the line Tesla EV for what this stuff cost, but for my family, we spent the money in the right place. Going to be over 100 the next few days and the AC is set at 72! I still am pumping tons of solar back to the grid. Is there a ROI? What is the ROI on comfort and confidence one does not need to worry it there will a power shutoff during the next few days because of the heat.

As I told a person yesterday who wanted my opinions on batteries, that unless you have money to burn, IMO, they were better off getting a whole house generator. And since now getting batteries is just about impossible, they already have the 10K solar,
 

cali8484

Member
Jul 8, 2018
308
186
California
Hello all, so I have been trying to stick with Tesla for my solar but their lack of responsiveness just gets under my skin, especially when I am about to spend almost $70K on solar + PWs.

Anyway, I was about to go with another local(ish) company and then yesterday I came across a local company that has been in our town for 40 years. They already gave me a proposal and it is with in $ of the other quote I was about to go with. (BTW-both quotes are about $2K more than Tesla solar when all is said and done)

The new quote has basically same panels but the 380 watt variety (vs 340 and 350) . Once I told them I have whole home generator (Generac) they switched me from IQ7+ inverters to something called Chilicon CP-720 and claims it will sync with my generator and provide solar power even when grid is down and sun is up and help generator conserve fuel.
This company also houses an electrical contracting company and they are Generac dealer/ Installers so it seems they know what they are talking about , but I have never heard of this and I have done a lot of research . Sales guy told me not many people in this trade have heard about them...even at Trade shows.

Just looking for any thoughts/concerns, I am meeting with this rep today and will probably sign there proposal to get things going.

Thanks
Alset2

Another reason why Generac dealers might want to use Chilicon:

 
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