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Tesla Solar - Anything protips for a new customer?

Discussion in 'Tesla Energy' started by Wubbles, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. Wubbles

    Wubbles Member

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    In a couple weeks I'll be pulling the trigger and getting solar for my new house in NJ. Going to do the 10 year $0 down loan option.

    So far I've narrowed it down to Tesla and Sunpower who are both coming in at $3.52 per watt for their latest panels.

    I'm going to try and get another quote for Tesla to match but was wondering if anyone knew the "cheapest" competitor panel they'd be willing to do a price match on. For example one installer quoted me at $3.20 a watt for Hanhwa Q cell panels.

    Also, are there any gotchas in the contract I should be aware of or things I should ensure are included in the contract and/or just general tips or tricks?
     
    • Like x 1
  2. Vinc

    Vinc Member

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    Customer service is pretty slow to respond and inefficient. Whatever they say, make sure to double check and never assume anything. Don’t hesitate to escalate. Managers tend to be more on top of things.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. r0xx0r

    r0xx0r Member

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    When you do the price match, make sure you tell them match panel generation, inverters, rebate.

    My case:
    + They matched other installers.
    + Later, I discovered their rebate does not match. Tesla rebate is from my electric company. While other company rebate is manufacturer rebate. So if I go with other company I would get manufacturer rebate+my electric company rebate.
    + They proposed to use Delta Inverters for my house because I don’t have shade on my roof. But the other does SolarEdge. I asked Tesla about the SolarEdge, it increased my total cost by few grands. They blamed I did not tell them to match all the equipments so they couldn’t matched anymore.
    + From inquiry to final design costs me 2 weeks (redesigned 3 times).
    + I had to switch to 320W panels instead of 325W panels or I have to wait 2-4 months for the installation.
    + Final design to installation day: 2 weeks.
     
  4. Wubbles

    Wubbles Member

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    How about actual panels being used? For example if I get a quote using some cheap Chinese panels but everything else matches, will they still price match?
     
  5. r0xx0r

    r0xx0r Member

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    I don’t think they will match. They only match the quote uses same panel as they are using (I asked for VBHN325SA16/330SA16).

    EnergySage is the best source for you to make any comparisons.
     
  6. patrick40363

    patrick40363 Member

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    I would go with Sunpower. Good product and warranty.
     
    • Like x 1
  7. Wubbles

    Wubbles Member

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    Just wanted to provide an update. I had provided Tesla a quote from a local installer coming in at $3 per watt using Trina panels. Tesla didn't fully price match but did come down to $3.27 per watt while keeping their 325W panels and SolarEdge inverters. I decided to move forward with them vs Sunpower.

    Tomorrow is the site survey
     
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  8. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    $3.52/w seems high for a market like NJ. I would expect ~$2.50/w.... Do you have a difficult roof?
     
  9. Wubbles

    Wubbles Member

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    Roof is straight forward. Nothing crazy with it. NJ seems to be on the pricey end for solar. All quotes I got initially were in the $3.50 range and this was a mix of quotes from both big and small companies.

    For what it's worth: 2018 Cost of Solar Panels in New Jersey | EnergySage shows $3.52 as the average.

    Meanwhile in Florida: 2018 Average Florida Solar Panel Costs & Benefits | EnergySage it's much less.

    If anyone reading this is from NJ, would love to hear what price you got your system at to compare.
     
  10. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    Keep very close tabs on them as you proceed. I had them substitute the wrong panels (not black/black like I wanted) the day before the install. I also ended up with Delta inverters when the sales person talked about solar edge. I was so frazzled about them putting the wrong panels on my roof, I didn't even think to look at the inverters until after the install. None of my design documents specified any of those details. I was able to get them to change out the panels since the power output was called out in my design, but never got anywhere with the inverters.

    I would not recommend installing with them, FYI. Getting service after the fact has been very difficult as well. You spend a long time on hold, only to talk to folks who say they will call you back and never do.
     
    • Like x 1
  11. Wubbles

    Wubbles Member

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    Good to know. I know my sales person said they use SolarEdge and Delta inverters. I specifically said I wanted SolarEdge ones and I have it in email from him that he'd ensure that's the case. I'll try and get it in formal writing too just to be safe.
     
    • Like x 1
  12. r0xx0r

    r0xx0r Member

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    The only thing that displays inverters type is the rebate form.
     
  13. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker S 90D 2018.48.12.1

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    The paperwork that I signed clearly specified the three Delta inverters that I had installed.
     
  14. Babaron

    Babaron Member

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    Is there a big difference between the Delta and Solar Edge inverters if you have no shade issues?
     
  15. VT_EE

    VT_EE Member

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    Here's my understanding: SolarEdge systems use optimizers on each panel to perform MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) and DC-DC conversion (line voltage coming off the roof is ~360 DC). The "inverter" in a SolarEdge system only performs DC-AC conversion. This setup allows each panel to operator independently of each other which is very good for roofs with some shade. It also means you can get performance metrics from each panel in the SolarEdge app. If there is a problem with 1 panel, you know exactly which one it is and it will have no effect on any other panel output. If the Delta system is using a traditional inverter (i.e. without optimizers), then the per panel granularity won't be there because the inverter is performing all three "inverter" functions: MPPT, DC-DC, DC-AC. I have SolarEdge and SunPower and find the setup works great.

    Here is a screen capture of my SolarEdge panel layout. It's pouring rain out and 0830am so the generation stats for today are less than stellar :-D
    SolarEdge.jpeg
     
  16. Wubbles

    Wubbles Member

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    Does the per panel monitoring come by default in the app or do you need to do something extra for this level of insight?
     
  17. VT_EE

    VT_EE Member

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    Default. I didn’t do anything. The installer sets it all up.
     
  18. Babaron

    Babaron Member

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    Although I don’t have the details available to me at this time, the system that is to be set up this week by Tesla is using Panasonic panels that are all black and two Delta inverters. It is a 15.1 kW system. The advisor told me that there would be no optimizer as I have no shade issues. With that in mind, should I be insisting on solar edge inverters or just let them put the Delta inverters in?
     
  19. VT_EE

    VT_EE Member

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    It’s up to you really. Sounds like you’ll get the same power out of either system with no shading issues. It boils down to how much do you want the ability to see individual panel metrics. There may be a slight difference in cost between the two also. They may have already ordered your equipment so changing this late in the game might be problematic.
     
  20. r0xx0r

    r0xx0r Member

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    If you can fix your solar system yourself, big YES to SolarEdge. Otherwise, the only difference is the price. I believe if you request to change inverters to SolarEdge, the price per watt would increase about 16-20cents per Watt.
     

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