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Here's the various quotes I threw into a spreadsheet. I went with the one highlighted. The second group below was for my parent's ground mounted project, and I went with the 7800 watt one for them. They were lower income, so qualified for additional subsidy.

As I'm always saying, put whatever you are considering into a spreadsheet so you can make a rational decision. Doesn't matter if it's girlfriends or car purchases, seeing the numbers informs your decision.

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Discussion Starter #22
I can only speak for me, but my TESLA customer experience has been excellent. They installed within 3 weeks after I ordered. Took 2 days to install. Panels 1st day, Electrical boxes 2nd day. They also fixed some storm damage I had on my roof where they were going to install panels. Longest part was waiting for HOA approval. I had my neighbor who installs TESLA equipment (for a competitor) install the charger for my wife's Bolt. He said he thought the installers had done a great job.
I know I've read some positive reviews as well. Just went to their website and it says there that the install will be ready in 5-10 wks for solar system only. With Powerwall it went to 9-12 wks. With NEM 2.0 it would be better with Powerwall so you can use it during peak hours. then charge it during off peak.

Here's the various quotes I threw into a spreadsheet. I went with the one highlighted. The second group below was for my parent's ground mounted project, and I went with the 7800 watt one for them. They were lower income, so qualified for additional subsidy.

As I'm always saying, put whatever you are considering into a spreadsheet so you can make a rational decision. Doesn't matter if it's girlfriends or car purchases, seeing the numbers informs your decision.

View attachment 34293
Yes I do have it in spreadsheet as well :)

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Here's the various quotes I threw into a spreadsheet. I went with the one highlighted. The second group below was for my parent's ground mounted project, and I went with the 7800 watt one for them. They were lower income, so qualified for additional subsidy.

As I'm always saying, put whatever you are considering into a spreadsheet so you can make a rational decision. Doesn't matter if it's girlfriends or car purchases, seeing the numbers informs your decision.

View attachment 34293
 
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Yep, reason I never got solar yet. With TOU, it's break even or 1% return over 20 years at best. Not worth it for the additional risk of owning a power producing asset where that 1% can disappear and go negative. And, with the electricity rates dropping in nominal dollar (so real dollar is actually dropping even more), there is no ROI except to show off to the neighbors.

If I can buy the panels and inverters at retail price and hire an electrician to install it for less than going with a solar company, something is wrong. I think most of the rooftop solar price goes to overhead and commissioned sales. Right now, the going rate is about $3/watt here and $2/watt with Tesla. In Australia, they are below $1/watt INSTALLED!
If you are in CA and you hire “an electrician” to “owner-builder” your SP installation, and you take out a permit (knowing that your utility provider will not grant “PTO” without a permit), make sure the electrician has a CA contractor license C10. Why? Because the inspector won’t sign-off if the installer isn’t specifically C10 licensed.

I hate to tell you this but an electrician with a contractors license is a “solar company”.
 

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PPA? Just say no!

Talk to a realtor about the hassles of selling a home where the solar is not owned. It's a freakin' nightmare, and many buyers (and realtors) will simply walk away.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
I've got another quote using 25 Panasonic 340W panels with 8 of them placed on the north facing roof. I asked him if its better to put in on south facing roof on top of the garage door. The right side will have shadings in the morning and left side in late afternoon due to neighbors tree. The guy said that north facing will get better production compared to the roof on the garage door with shadings.
He said north facing panels will produce around 60% - 70% while south facing with partial shadings will produce 50%.

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I've got another quote using 25 Panasonic 340W panels with 8 of them placed on the north facing roof. I asked him if its better to put in on south facing roof on top of the garage door. The right side will have shadings in the morning and left side in late afternoon due to neighbors tree. The guy said that north facing will get better production compared to the roof on the garage door with shadings.
He said north facing panels will produce around 60% - 70% while south facing with partial shadings will produce 50%.

View attachment 34309
... but having it on the south side will keep your house cooler. Decisions, decisions...

A solar installer told me that Panasonic will stop making their own panels. They will still be in business, just not make their own panels. Cheaper to find a supplier and just put their brand on it, I guess.

 

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I've got another quote using 25 Panasonic 340W panels with 8 of them placed on the north facing roof. I asked him if its better to put in on south facing roof on top of the garage door. The right side will have shadings in the morning and left side in late afternoon due to neighbors tree. The guy said that north facing will get better production compared to the roof on the garage door with shadings.
He said north facing panels will produce around 60% - 70% while south facing with partial shadings will produce 50%.

View attachment 34309
How about the roof area below the dormers? Or don’t you want to see the panels from the windows?
 

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The guy said that north facing will get better production compared to the roof on the garage door with shadings.
I don't know if I believe that. I know utilities have been pushing for more solar to be installed on North side because that helps balance the load. Less output during the day but a little more in the evening. However, the net production for the home is lower. Angle of sun has a pretty big impact, so partial, but direct sun isn't bad and when it's out of the shade it will be significantly more. However, I haven't kept up with the technology so I don't know if significant improvements have been made to decrease the effect of poor angle on panels. Solyndra was supposed to be working on a solution to the angle issue... that didn't work out too well.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
How about the roof area below the dormers? Or don’t you want to see the panels from the windows?
That's what I suggested to him but he said that it will give me more production using the north facing roof.
 

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I believe the installer because he probably used a purpose built device that measures angle and horizon in 360 degrees. That info goes into a program that computes yearly production as the sun angle changes.

That said, I don't like the notion of placing panels in exactly the opposite angle from ideal. Can you get higher efficiency panels and install only on the south facing surfaces?

In my negotiation between installers, I asked for higher output panels to be installed only on the south facing roof rather than utilizing the west-facing roof, and they made it work.
 

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That's what I suggested to him but he said that it will give me more production using the north facing roof.
And you believed him?

Because the north facing roof will be in shade all but a couple hours during the summer and completely in shade in the winter.

I would guess that the north roof works out better for him than you. Probably something to do with a lot more wire needed for below the dormers than the north roof.

I would be asking a lot of questions until he fesses up because he is FOS.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
That said, I don't like the notion of placing panels in exactly the opposite angle from idea. Can you get higher efficiency panels and install only on the south facing surfaces?
I asked him about getting 370W panels but for some reason he keeps on insisting on using 340W. Most of the quotes I received are using 360W - 370W. There is one that is using 415W which looks like a commercial panel?
 

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Discussion Starter #35
And you believed him?

Because the north facing roof will be in shade all but a couple hours during the summer and completely in shade in the winter.

I would guess that the north roof works out better for him than you. Probably something to do with a lot more wire needed for below the dormers than the north roof.

I would be asking a lot of questions until he fesses up because he is FOS.
FOS?
Most probably cross this out from my list of possible solar installer.
I'm tempted to try Tesla solar since the quotes I'm getting are the same with Tesla and it includes Powerwall.
 

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I'd be tempted by Tesla, and was but for my unique situation in having an extra subsidy on the table that Tesla couldn't guarantee, yet the other installers could.

Commercial panels are usually larger, and less efficient per surface area. They aren't as attractive and have more void space.

Might be tough to get higher efficiency panels to make up for the loss of the panels on the north side since that represents about 25% of your production. You would need somewhere around 425 per panel to fit all of the production on your southern roof.
 

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I asked him about getting 370W panels but for some reason he keeps on insisting on using 340W. Most of the quotes I received are using 360W - 370W. There is one that is using 415W which looks like a commercial panel?
Maybe he has a bunch of 340W panels sitting around.
 

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Maybe he has a bunch of 340W panels sitting around.
340W might be last generation and cheaper. Nothing wrong with last gen, just make sure you research the specs of the different models especially the % guaranteed at the end of the 25 yr warranty.
 

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We got an EVSE equipped version of the inverter thrown in because the installer had one sitting around with no immediate prospect of utilizing it. My parents got a 2012 Leaf in December, so it's getting good use now.
Solar inverter + EVSE combo? Neat!
 
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