Solar Installation - 2 Years Later (Updated)

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mervinj7
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by mervinj7 »

curmudgeon wrote: Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:37 am There is one string inverter (the older "Sunny Boy") that I'm aware of which has an option for an outlet at the inverter box which can remain powered during utility outages. If you ran an extension cord around the house, 10 hours or so of power during the day would probably be enough to at least avoid losing the contents of your fridge. I thought it was a little gimmicky, and didn't go down that route :( I suspect trying to retrofit some properly engineered/permitted solution like that to my micro-inverter system would be pretty costly.
We thought about adding a LG Chem battery pack when we did our solar install but the ROI wasn't there. Initial quotes were for $7.5k for a single Powerwall install after incentives. Unlike everything else in the system, the batteries only have a ten year warranty and the arbitrage opportunities are limited with net metering. That said, a year ago I never imagined that we would have a situation where more than 500k 800k 1M people in the state of CA would have planned blackouts that could potentially last up to 5 days. I've had 6 outages during the last two years but none were more than 4 hours and most were under 10 minutes. If battery prices drop a bit more and if easier retrofit options become available, then we'll seriously consider retrofitting our existing setup with a battery backup.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nat ... 916848002/
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baconavocado
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by baconavocado »

mervinj7 wrote: Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:36 am
baconavocado wrote: Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:12 pm We've been putting this off because our roof is older but I think we're going to need a new roof next year, so we'll probably look into solar. Do you know what the credits will be next summer?
I think I misunderstood you question but if you are talking about the Federal residential energy incentive (not the PG&E tariffs), it is stepping down over the next several years.

2019: 30%
2020: 26%
2021: 22%
2022: 0% (assuming no legislative change)

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/energy-inc ... nd-answers
Thanks, that's exactly what I was wondering about.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by TomatoTomahto »

mervinj7 wrote:That said, a year ago I never imagined that we would have a situation where more than 500k 800k 1M people in the state of CA would have planned blackouts that could potentially last up to 5 days.
That’s one thing that factored into my decision to install Sonnen butteries (in MA, not CA). Generals prepare to fight the last war, and so do homeowners. We get a fair number of outages in MA, but the longest in the time we’ve lived here has been for a day. So, even with SMART credits for a battery that gets exercised once a week, and the 30% federal tax credit, it doesn’t really make sense on a spreadsheet, UNTIL you assign a value to being able to stay warm in a polar vortex for a few days in an all electric house.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
mchampse
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by mchampse »

We live in the Bay Area and signed a contract for a solar system several months ago. They aren’t certain that they can do the installation before the end of the year. Presumably some combination of the federal credit getting lowered and the blackouts has caused demand to spike. We went with a battery to get us through any black outs.
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canon_shooter
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by canon_shooter »

My system data for the SF Bay Area (San Jose).

One unanticipated benefit on my part was the savings on gas as we purchased an EV after the solar was installed. After 25K miles I've saved about 4K on gas. This significantly reduces payback time.

I was able to deduct sales tax by getting an estimate on the materials cost (13K).
I was told (after install) and when getting solar at the same time as new roof, one can allocate to the solar cost, the area under the solar panels in terms of any rebates. It was too late for me, but something to look into.
A benefit is that I can run the air conditioner on the rare occasions I need it without worrying about cost.

Quoted Cost: 26,435
Federal Tax Credit: 7,931
Post Tax Credit Cost: 26,435 - 7,921 = 18,504

Estimated Cost Savings by installer $3,293

Breakeven: 18,504/3,293 = 5.6 years

Production Data:
Estimated by Installer: 10,594 kWh/year (883 kWh/month)
Actual: 27.48 MWh Apr 18, 2017 – Oct 12, 2019 =29 months
or 947.5 a month or 11.3 MWh/year

Extra benefit unanticipated
Not paying for gas:. (25,000/22MPG) * $3.50/gal = $3,977
jjj240
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by jjj240 »

mervinj7 wrote: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:55 am
Unfortunately, I can no longer find a link to the spreadsheet but his guide is still up.

The following was a screenshot of my analysis pre-install assuming a flat $0.29/kWh rate. However, the IRR and NPV are already incorrect since TOU rates will change substantially in five years.
Image
Could you share the spreadsheet? TIA
burgertimer
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by burgertimer »

mchampse wrote: Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:13 pm We live in the Bay Area and signed a contract for a solar system several months ago. They aren’t certain that they can do the installation before the end of the year. Presumably some combination of the federal credit getting lowered and the blackouts has caused demand to spike.
What company is delaying you 5 months?

I plan to sign a contract tomorrow with a roofer, and they claim they can do the roof and panels within 8 weeks.
Panasonic 19% efficiency panels, enphase micro inverters.
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mervinj7
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by mervinj7 »

jjj240 wrote: Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:34 am
mervinj7 wrote: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:55 am
Unfortunately, I can no longer find a link to the spreadsheet but his guide is still up.

The following was a screenshot of my analysis pre-install assuming a flat $0.29/kWh rate. However, the IRR and NPV are already incorrect since TOU rates will change substantially in five years.
Image
Could you share the spreadsheet? TIA
Here's a copy I made.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ozJZK8 ... sp=sharing
shans2000
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by shans2000 »

My solar panels were installed 5 yrs ago, and they are generating 30-50% of the originally quoted power. Does anyone know if this is common and what can be done to improve this?
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Nate79
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by Nate79 »

shans2000 wrote: Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:22 pm My solar panels were installed 5 yrs ago, and they are generating 30-50% of the originally quoted power. Does anyone know if this is common and what can be done to improve this?
Warranty?
curmudgeon
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by curmudgeon »

shans2000 wrote: Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:22 pm My solar panels were installed 5 yrs ago, and they are generating 30-50% of the originally quoted power. Does anyone know if this is common and what can be done to improve this?
A couple of basic factors: Are they reasonably clean? (not covered with soot/dirt). Have trees grown up that are doing substantial shading? Also realize that right now we are well off of peak production sunlight (June/July).

Does your monitoring allow you to check individual panel outputs? Perhaps there have been some failures.
mchampse
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by mchampse »

burgertimer wrote: Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:44 am
mchampse wrote: Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:13 pm We live in the Bay Area and signed a contract for a solar system several months ago. They aren’t certain that they can do the installation before the end of the year. Presumably some combination of the federal credit getting lowered and the blackouts has caused demand to spike.
What company is delaying you 5 months?

I plan to sign a contract tomorrow with a roofer, and they claim they can do the roof and panels within 8 weeks.
Panasonic 19% efficiency panels, enphase micro inverters.
A company called which operates in the city. They are a reseller for Solae City. To be honest I had trouble even getting companies to respond to give me a quote. I might write into the contract that they will give you a 4% discount if it’s not completed by year end.
shans2000
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by shans2000 »

curmudgeon wrote: Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:43 pm
shans2000 wrote: Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:22 pm My solar panels were installed 5 yrs ago, and they are generating 30-50% of the originally quoted power. Does anyone know if this is common and what can be done to improve this?
A couple of basic factors: Are they reasonably clean? (not covered with soot/dirt). Have trees grown up that are doing substantial shading? Also realize that right now we are well off of peak production sunlight (June/July).

Does your monitoring allow you to check individual panel outputs? Perhaps there have been some failures.
I don't have monitoring or warranty information since this was installed by previous owner, I will look into cleanliness.
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canon_shooter
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by canon_shooter »

Shans,

I have micro inverters for every one of my 22 panels. I ran an experiment last year where I left 2 of the panels uncleaned. That is, every year I get on the roof and clean the panels with a soft brush except for 2. The panels I was testing get equal solar illumination. I found a 5% difference between the clean panels and the uncleaned panels. I believe someone here posted an 8% difference, but it depends on a number of factors such as pollution, dust, soot, pollen, bird droppings, leaves etc. Based on my research 5% seems to be about normal. So, the drop in production you are seeing cannot be explained by dirt.
curmudgeon
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by curmudgeon »

shans2000 wrote: Tue Oct 15, 2019 7:03 pm
curmudgeon wrote: Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:43 pm
shans2000 wrote: Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:22 pm My solar panels were installed 5 yrs ago, and they are generating 30-50% of the originally quoted power. Does anyone know if this is common and what can be done to improve this?
A couple of basic factors: Are they reasonably clean? (not covered with soot/dirt). Have trees grown up that are doing substantial shading? Also realize that right now we are well off of peak production sunlight (June/July).

Does your monitoring allow you to check individual panel outputs? Perhaps there have been some failures.
I don't have monitoring or warranty information since this was installed by previous owner, I will look into cleanliness.
It might be worth starting a new, dedicated thread for this. It's unfortunate that you didn't get key documentation from the previous owner; your RE agent didn't handle that well. You should start by gathering what information you can find at ground level. Try to understand what type of system you have, and whether it had some built in monitoring which may now not be working because you brought in your own wifi and router. If you have to, you might be able to get copies of the detailed plans which were submitted for the building permit needed when the solar system was installed.

There are a number of variations in home solar power installations, so a few more details would help people help you.
jjj240
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by jjj240 »

canon_shooter wrote: Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:16 am My system data for the SF Bay Area (San Jose).

Production Data:
Estimated by Installer: 10,594 kWh/year (883 kWh/month)
Actual: 27.48 MWh Apr 18, 2017 – Oct 12, 2019 =29 months
or 947.5 a month or 11.3 MWh/year
It would be helpful If you could provide system details, # of panels, model, inverter model, azimuth, tilt, and installation zipcode.
LISD
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by LISD »

Mervin, did your total costs include a totally new electric panel, or did they just add a smart-solar device to your existing panel?

Thanks,
Larry
wilked
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by wilked »

I have a question

Solar installed and live since a couple months. 20 panels. Roof is dead south, pitch is 10/12, and no trees or obstructions at all.

One panel of the 20 is producing about 10% less than the others. I have a single inverter (Solaredge 5000).

My questions:
-Do you think it is shading that is causing it? The 'sister' solar panel on the other side of the dormer is spaced the same distance away from the dormer as this one is - I would think if it's shading it would affect both of those panels?
-Does one low-performer affect the others? Getting mixed messages on this via googling. The others seem to be doing fine so I think that means no, just wondering
-Anything to worry about? As long as the total system is performing to spec really doesn't matter, no? How do I determine if the 'net' is meeting the spec output? It was spec'd as a 6.2kW system with 8150 kw-h/yr production.

https://i.imgur.com/InkDrs1.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/DWSYcBy.jpg
curmudgeon
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by curmudgeon »

wilked wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:59 am I have a question

Solar installed and live since a couple months. 20 panels. Roof is dead south, pitch is 10/12, and no trees or obstructions at all.

One panel of the 20 is producing about 10% less than the others. I have a single inverter (Solaredge 5000).

My questions:
-Do you think it is shading that is causing it? The 'sister' solar panel on the other side of the dormer is spaced the same distance away from the dormer as this one is - I would think if it's shading it would affect both of those panels?
-Does one low-performer affect the others? Getting mixed messages on this via googling. The others seem to be doing fine so I think that means no, just wondering
-Anything to worry about? As long as the total system is performing to spec really doesn't matter, no? How do I determine if the 'net' is meeting the spec output? It was spec'd as a 6.2kW system with 8150 kw-h/yr production.
I suspect it is seasonal dormer shading effect. You may find that in the spring, the panel on the other side has the slightly lower production. If you can take a look at the instantaneous output at different times of the day, you may be able to see the shading effect in morning or evening.

Solaredge installs normally have an "optimizer" at each panel, which should prevent any impact to production on the other panels. It could be possible that you have a bad optimizer or panel, but since it's the one by the dormer, I'd lean towards shading as the cause.

You won't really see peak production until next June, and the annual production is somewhat subject to weather effects (cloud cover), but that should be included in the design calculations.
wilked
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by wilked »

Thanks!

Good point on spot checking different points in the day - will do
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mervinj7
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by mervinj7 »

LISD wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:43 am Mervin, did your total costs include a totally new electric panel, or did they just add a smart-solar device to your existing panel?

Thanks,
Larry
I already had a "solar ready" 200A panel. There's no smart device inside the panel. They just added a regular 40a double pole breaker that runs directly to the inverter.
jjj240
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by jjj240 »

mervinj7 wrote: Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:56 pm
System Summary:
Location: Bay Area, CA
Panels: 22 x 330W Panasonic HIT→ 7.26kW
Inverter: SolarEdge SE10000HD (Oversized for future expansion)
Warranty
  • 25 Year on Panasonic Panels
mervin7,

According to webpage below, Panasonic 25 yr warranty is applicable for system installation performed by Panasonic Authorized or Premium Installer AND registered within 60 days.

https://na.panasonic.com/us/form/produc ... solar-form

1) Does it mean DIY installation (or any non-authorized installer) won't be covered for 25yr warranty?
2) Is your warranty through Panasonic? i.e. met both conditions. Or is it warrantied though your installer?
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mervinj7
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by mervinj7 »

jjj240 wrote: Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:20 pm
mervinj7 wrote: Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:56 pm
System Summary:
Location: Bay Area, CA
Panels: 22 x 330W Panasonic HIT→ 7.26kW
Inverter: SolarEdge SE10000HD (Oversized for future expansion)
Warranty
  • 25 Year on Panasonic Panels
mervin7,

According to webpage below, Panasonic 25 yr warranty is applicable for system installation performed by Panasonic Authorized or Premium Installer AND registered within 60 days.

https://na.panasonic.com/us/form/produc ... solar-form

1) Does it mean DIY installation (or any non-authorized installer) won't be covered for 25yr warranty?
2) Is your warranty through Panasonic? i.e. met both conditions. Or is it warrantied though your installer?
I don't know about the DIY option but both conditions were met for 2. That does limit your installer choices, though.
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mervinj7
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Re: Solar Installation - 1 Year Later (Updated)

Post by mervinj7 »

Updated my post with my final True-Up Statement after 1 year.
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ray.james
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Re: Solar Installation - 1 Year Later (Updated)

Post by ray.james »

mervinj7 wrote: Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:46 pm Updated my post with my final True-Up Statement after 1 year.
Haha, I was reading it today morning as I am in bay area and thinking about Solar before federal credits dry out.
When in doubt, http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=79939
PopArt
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by PopArt »

mervinj7 wrote: Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:56 pm Errata
  • How did I get quotes?
    I used energysage to get about 5 quotes. However, in the end, I decided to go with a local well-reputed installer who matched the lowest quote I got from energysage for a comparable system (Premium Plus panels with SolarEdge optimizers). Lower quotes were available for non-Tier 1 panels with 12 year warranties but I wasn't interested for minor upfront savings.
Thanks mervinj7 for sharing this post and updating it with your results after one year. I also live in the Bay Area and am starting the process of looking for a company to install a solar system (either on roof or a free standing pergola).

Was wondering if you could share the name of the local installer that you used for your solar system. Any additional insights and/or advice that you can share would be welcomed and greatly appreciated, thank you!

Cheers,
Pop Art
"Art should be something that liberates your soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further.” | Keith Haring
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mervinj7
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Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Post by mervinj7 »

PopArt wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:48 pm
mervinj7 wrote: Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:56 pm Errata
  • How did I get quotes?
    I used energysage to get about 5 quotes. However, in the end, I decided to go with a local well-reputed installer who matched the lowest quote I got from energysage for a comparable system (Premium Plus panels with SolarEdge optimizers). Lower quotes were available for non-Tier 1 panels with 12 year warranties but I wasn't interested for minor upfront savings.
Thanks mervinj7 for sharing this post and updating it with your results after one year. I also live in the Bay Area and am starting the process of looking for a company to install a solar system (either on roof or a free standing pergola).

Was wondering if you could share the name of the local installer that you used for your solar system. Any additional insights and/or advice that you can share would be welcomed and greatly appreciated, thank you!

Cheers,
Pop Art
PM sent.
Tingting1013
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Re: Solar Installation - 1 Year Later (Updated)

Post by Tingting1013 »

OP how long did installation take, from contract signing to install completion?

I’m trying to assess how much lead time I need to budget for.

Thanks!
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mervinj7
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Re: Solar Installation - 1 Year Later (Updated)

Post by mervinj7 »

Tingting1013 wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:46 pm OP how long did installation take, from contract signing to install completion?

I’m trying to assess how much lead time I need to budget for.

Thanks!
11/16/18 - initial contract received. Some modifications suggested.
11/20/18- updated Contract received.
11/29/18 - Engineering plans approved by city. Permit issued.
12/01/18 - updated Contract signed. Change order issued.
12/19/18- Installation. One day for all roof and electrical work.
01/04/19- Inspection by city. inspector was on vacation for the holidays so slight delay here.
01/06/19 - painted conduits to match exterior paint
01/09/19- PTO issued by PG&E

If you are in a rush, I don't recommend scheduling over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. You can also speed things up by using in stock commonly used components. Because of the Inspection delay, the tax credit was delayed by a year as well.
Last edited by mervinj7 on Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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tyrion
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Re: Solar Installation - 1 Year Later (Updated)

Post by tyrion »

Tingting1013 wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:46 pm OP how long did installation take, from contract signing to install completion?

I’m trying to assess how much lead time I need to budget for.

Thanks!
I'm going through the process now. 4 weeks in. I was told to realistically expect 3 months. Demand is high due to 26% rebate decreasing to 22% at the end of the year. And Covid-related issues are delaying city inspections. We also have some roofing work that needs to be done.
curmudgeon
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Re: Solar Installation - 1 Year Later (Updated)

Post by curmudgeon »

tyrion wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 7:05 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:46 pm OP how long did installation take, from contract signing to install completion?

I’m trying to assess how much lead time I need to budget for.

Thanks!
I'm going through the process now. 4 weeks in. I was told to realistically expect 3 months. Demand is high due to 26% rebate decreasing to 22% at the end of the year. And Covid-related issues are delaying city inspections. We also have some roofing work that needs to be done.
Last summer for us, it took about four weeks *after* the county inspection for PG&E to actually enable net metering on our account. Not a critical issue, but it blew off away one of our highest production months. Overall, though, it has worked out fairly well. Our system has completed it's first year and we paid the $10 monthly minimum and another $35 at the yearly "true-up".
Tingting1013
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Re: Solar Installation - 1 Year Later (Updated)

Post by Tingting1013 »

Just started the Solar install process with Tesla. Somehow they were 25% cheaper than any other quote I got.

Fingers crossed everything is done by end of year.
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mervinj7
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Re: Solar Installation - 1 Year Later (Updated)

Post by mervinj7 »

Just an update. The recent wildfires in CA dropped a significant amount of ash and soot on our house including our solar panels. After waiting months for a little bit of rain to naturally wash it off, I hired a solar panel cleaning company that my neighbors used. The data shows a clear improvement and I wish I had them cleaned back in August. Peak daily production went from 32kWH to 42kWh after the cleaning on a similar day (temp, solar radiance). Looking into it a bit further, my September 2020 production dropped to 902kWh from 1160 kWh in Sept 2019 (no cleaning at all last year other than rain).

Image Image
squirm
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Re: Solar Installation - 1.5 Year Later (Updated)

Post by squirm »

Pg&e will be changing the l their peak rates to much later in the day. Expect pay off time to increase.
Tingting1013
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Re: Solar Installation - 1 Year Later (Updated)

Post by Tingting1013 »

mervinj7 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:54 pm Just an update. The recent wildfires in CA dropped a significant amount of ash and soot on our house including our solar panels. After waiting months for a little bit of rain to naturally wash it off, I hired a solar panel cleaning company that my neighbors used.
Just curious why you felt the need to hire a company? Doesn’t cleaning just require a ladder and a garden hose?
squirm
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Re: Solar Installation - 1 Year Later (Updated)

Post by squirm »

mervinj7 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:54 pm Just an update. The recent wildfires in CA dropped a significant amount of ash and soot on our house including our solar panels. After waiting months for a little bit of rain to naturally wash it off, I hired a solar panel cleaning company that my neighbors used. The data shows a clear improvement and I wish I had them cleaned back in August. Peak daily production went from 32kWH to 42kWh after the cleaning on a similar day (temp, solar radiance). Looking into it a bit further, my September 2020 production dropped to 902kWh from 1160 kWh in Sept 2019 (no cleaning at all last year other than rain).

Image Image
I clean mine once a month. I just do it myself.
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mervinj7
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Re: Solar Installation - 1 Year Later (Updated)

Post by mervinj7 »

Tingting1013 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:58 pm
mervinj7 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:54 pm Just an update. The recent wildfires in CA dropped a significant amount of ash and soot on our house including our solar panels. After waiting months for a little bit of rain to naturally wash it off, I hired a solar panel cleaning company that my neighbors used.
Just curious why you felt the need to hire a company? Doesn’t cleaning just require a ladder and a garden hose?
I didn't want to use our tap water since it's fairly hard and leaves water stains when I wash our cars. The cleaner uses deionized water for the whole process. It looked like a pretty straightforward setup and all equipment seems available on Amazon. That said, it's relatively inexpensive ($150) compared to my annual production ($3200/year). I may consider doing it myself next year but I don't see the need to save a few bucks. It's certainly not worth my hourly time but it could be fun to try.
Valuethinker
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Re: Solar Installation - 1 Year Later (Updated)

Post by Valuethinker »

mervinj7 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:59 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:58 pm
mervinj7 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:54 pm Just an update. The recent wildfires in CA dropped a significant amount of ash and soot on our house including our solar panels. After waiting months for a little bit of rain to naturally wash it off, I hired a solar panel cleaning company that my neighbors used.
Just curious why you felt the need to hire a company? Doesn’t cleaning just require a ladder and a garden hose?
I didn't want to use our tap water since it's fairly hard and leaves water stains when I wash our cars. The cleaner uses deionized water for the whole process. It looked like a pretty straightforward setup and all equipment seems available on Amazon. That said, it's relatively inexpensive ($150) compared to my annual production ($3200/year). I may consider doing it myself next year but I don't see the need to save a few bucks. It's certainly not worth my hourly time but it could be fun to try.
Home accidents are I believe the most common form of serious accident.

Ladders. Roofs. Shudder. I would pay someone else to take the risk.

(The guy who did our fireplace popped out an angled loft Velux window, scampered across our 30 degree roof, and fixed a couple of bricks at top of Victorian chimney. No safety gear, no scaffolding. Makes me shudder just to think of it.)
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mervinj7
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:10 pm

Re: Solar Installation - 1.5 Year Later (Updated)

Post by mervinj7 »

squirm wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:35 pm Pg&e will be changing the l their peak rates to much later in the day. Expect pay off time to increase.
Fortunately, I'm grandfathered in on the older (and more favorable) EV-A rate plan for a period of 5 years from interconnection rate. So I will break even roughly around the same time. After that, my yearly revenues will decrease and I may consider storage.
In the meantime, we have been shifting over as much of our controllable electricity usage outside of peak times. For example, our EV only charges from 11PM to 7AM unless we manually override it. Our dishwasher is timed to start 4 hours after dinner. Our washer is timed to finish by 7AM and then we start the dryer in the morning. Our radiant floor heat runs from 5AM to 7AM each morning to preheat the house while electricity is at off-peak pricing.
I thought acceptance from the family would be difficult but it was surprisingly easy once it became routine. The other thing that helped enormously is to make timing chores only a suggestion, not a rule. If for some reason during peak hours, we need to charge the car for long trip or do an extra load of laundry or dishes, we don't hesitate. That way, there's no inconvenience to anybody.

Note, the new Time-of-Use rate plans will start affecting most PG&E customers by 2022, if not earlier.
https://www.pge.com/en_US/residential/r ... transition
Topic Author
mervinj7
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:10 pm

Re: Solar Installation - 2 Years Later (Updated)

Post by mervinj7 »

2020 Numbers posted in updated original post.
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chw
Posts: 931
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 4:22 pm

Re: Solar Installation - 2 Years Later (Updated)

Post by chw »

Thanks for the update. We also installed a solar system (6.60kw) in late 2019. It has performed flawlessly thus far, and am on track to have the system cost covered in about 4.5 years. The breakeven might have been around 4 years, except having to install a wire mesh perimeter around the array to keep squirrels out. We had a colony of 5 squirrels move in this past spring after being evicted from a neighbors array (who also installed the squirrel barrier). We were a bit nervous for a bit hearing the squirrels thumping around until their eviction, and worrying about their munching on the wire harnesses under the panels, but luckily, that did not happen.
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