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My Suburban Rooftop Solar

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
9,182
13,934
United States
This is my favorite visualization of the effect of shading... snow making a cell hotter because it's shading it...

FLIR0027.jpg



0c04394a-796c-43a4-a92d-8f24cf953b5e
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
9,182
13,934
United States
What am I looking at ?
Is the snow reflecting more light on to the cell ?

That's an IR image... shade causes current output of the cell to drop but the unshaded cells are still producing. The shaded portion gets reverse biased and becomes a load. So the shaded cell heats up.

This is the visual image.

FLIR0028.jpg
 

Skotty

2014 S P85 | 2020 3 P19"
Jun 27, 2013
2,589
2,059
Kansas City, MO
Got my installer woes worked out and I'm less crabby now.

Going ahead with install this fall (moved up from next Spring so that there is no chance of increased cost from possible solar panel tariffs).

Sticking with smaller than originally desired 20 panel layout. I can always invest in more community solar stuff later.
 

Skotty

2014 S P85 | 2020 3 P19"
Jun 27, 2013
2,589
2,059
Kansas City, MO
Installation is proceeding this week. Rails are already installed. Panels and wiring will be going up starting today.

I agreed to proceed with Upsolar 290W panels and APSystems YC500A microinverters. Total system size is 5.8 kW by panel size. Would have liked it to be bigger but that's all that would fit. No battery yet, as my utility has net metering. I may add one in the future though.

I'll post some pics if anyone is interested.
 

TheTalkingMule

Distributed Energy Enthusiast
Oct 20, 2012
10,178
52,046
Philadelphia, PA
Is your system specifically set up to be "Powerwall ready"? Not sure what that would entail.

Think you got a good price?
How would you describe your process of picking an installer?
Would you have done anything different if you had it to do over?
How would you like the sales process to feel in your market?

Congratulations on getting through most of the annoying parts!
 
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nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
9,182
13,934
United States
Is your system specifically set up to be "Powerwall ready"? Not sure what that would entail.

IIRC most (ALL?) Powerwalls are now AC coupled. So they'll work seamlessly with little effort with existing PV for peak shaving and load shifting. For off-grid use you'd need some way to isolate from the grid.
 
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Skotty

2014 S P85 | 2020 3 P19"
Jun 27, 2013
2,589
2,059
Kansas City, MO
Is your system specifically set up to be "Powerwall ready"? Not sure what that would entail.

Think you got a good price?
How would you describe your process of picking an installer?
Would you have done anything different if you had it to do over?
How would you like the sales process to feel in your market?

Congratulations on getting through most of the annoying parts!

1) About $2.90 / W before tax credit. Not sure if it's a good deal, but it's a good deal compared to some of the bigger companies like US Sun Solar.
2) Challenging. Goal was to find a competent and reasonable cost installer, which for the most part seems to mean a small scale operation with quality handymen.
3) I would have started about a month sooner. I signed contact in October, but it might not be complete before end of year (going to be close, dependent on utility getting meter replaced). If it isn't finished and online by end of year, I'll have to wait until 2019 to get the tax credit. If I had started in September, there probably would have been plenty of time.
4) Less wild west.
 

Skotty

2014 S P85 | 2020 3 P19"
Jun 27, 2013
2,589
2,059
Kansas City, MO
Definitely not a bad deal especially for a system with micros. $3/w is our price target. I meet a poor woman down the street that paid $5.40/w last year. :eek:

.... AND our lovely utility is charger her ~$20/mo in standby fees :mad:

Actually, I paid for some initial work separately. Figuring that in, it comes out to about $3.10/w. Sounds like that was still pretty good though.
 

TheTalkingMule

Distributed Energy Enthusiast
Oct 20, 2012
10,178
52,046
Philadelphia, PA
Anything around $3/W if perfectly fine these days. That means you likely save money on a monthly basis, and to me that's the big thing early on.

We're aiming for $2.45/W in Philadelphia this spring/summer. I think you'll see prices take their next step downward in 2018 as markets mature and customer acquisition processes change dramatically. Tesla(of course) will be leading the way with some kind of online package you can buy just like ordering a Model 3. Tucked away in the headlines today was a NYC Tesla store marketing cars/solar/storage all in one showroom. This is the start of their next phase.

Earlier this week it was announced that residential solar installs were down 16% vs. 2016, mostly due to slowdown with leases and mostly from SolarCity(now Tesla). What were seeing isn't a slowdown, it's a shakeout. All these big companies(Vivint, Sunrun, etc) have massive expensive sales teams just like SolarCity had, and their pricing is inflated to match. Tesla has pivoted away from this sales method and will be taking over the market anew fairly soon. You'll be able to buy a rooftop array online from Telsa for $3/W no problem, and likely lease one with a very short lock-in period.

Gonna be awesome.
 
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mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
12,081
16,158
California
I just finished an add on set of solar panels on my garage roof. Nine SolarWorld 290 w panels with Enphase S280 microinverters (we have shading issues here). 2.5 kW system. Cost about $7000 for the hardware, design, engineering, permits, etc. DIY install so only my time.
Our local power company just started a solar incentive program so I'll get a check for $2266 plus the 30% tax credit so net cost will be about $1.05/W.
 

Skotty

2014 S P85 | 2020 3 P19"
Jun 27, 2013
2,589
2,059
Kansas City, MO
Pictures! A thread just isn't complete without pictures. Install isn't 100% complete yet, but it's close. 14 panels on south roof, 6 on east. Couldn't they have put an extra couple of panels on the south roof? Yes, but each "string" can only have up to 14 panels, so decided to do it this way without having to add a 3rd string for just 2 panels (or trying to put some from the east roof in the same string as the south, which also would have been awkward at best). These are Upsolar black panels with black rails, which I think looks pretty good. Can't help but wonder if they could have made the rails a little shorter, but not something that really bothers me.

wae_panels_1.jpg

wae_panels_2.jpg

wae_panels_3.jpg
 

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