1. Attachments are working again! Check out this thread for more details and to report any other bugs.

I think we're going solar

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by jerrymildred, Feb 5, 2021.

  1. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    26,986
    15,333
    0
    Location:
    Huntsville AL
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    Even though the 'horse is out of the barn,' probably a good idea they hear from you.

    Bob Wilson
     
    Merkey and jerrymildred like this.
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    107,385
    48,773
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    now that i have ordered a bolt, it's time to start researching solar panels.

    I read the entire thread, good information, thanks to everyone!

    our home is about 2,800. square feet. we just removed two massive norway maples in the front yard last year due to rot, so the roof is now fairly sunny, although there are tall pines on the eastern property line (not mine) and mixed woods across the street.

    it's a cape style with two doghouse dormers on the front, and a nearly flat roofed full shed dormer on the rear.
    the roof is 19 years old and in good condition, but i think i'd like to replace it before the solar install.

    we also have a kohler 12kw propane backup generator with transfer switch.

    our yearly usage was 7,900 kwh in 2022, and the cost was $3,225. for the year. peak usage due to a/c was around 1,300 kwh in july. we are on a well for domestic water. heat is by oil, and dryer and gas fireplace by propane.
    there are just two of us in the house except for occasional overnight visitors.

    i just signed up with energy sage for a solar audit, and competing installers.
    mass is a net metering state, but idk how much they pay per kwh against our 40 cent cost.

    i would appreciate any and all advise regarding technology, warranty and purchasing. we can buy outright, finance or lease.

    thanks all!
     
    #243 bisco, Aug 12, 2023
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2023
  3. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    19,513
    7,975
    54
    Location:
    Montana & Nashville, TN
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Our system was SunPower, both inverters & panels. (8kW) Although modernly they might have Micro inverters on the back side which makes for much easier additions. In any event they've been Numero Uno for many years and I'm still made in the USA iirc. We too paid cash. Zeroing out our home electric use & 2 plug in cars basically amortized theirselves over roughly 6 years.
    Whatever you do - do NOT do a lease ... as the owners of panels have a lean on your property and that really creeps out perspective buyers. we say that from experience having brokered millions in real estate .
    .
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    107,385
    48,773
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Thanks Hill!
    Sunpower sounds great, and I will look over any lease terms carefully, I wouldn’t want that either.
     
  5. Montgomery

    Montgomery Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    2,255
    2,233
    2
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Just make sure you get two storage batteries. It makes everything worth it. You can run off storage overnight.
     
    bisco likes this.
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    107,385
    48,773
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    I just got a preliminary quote from sunpower,
    $25,000. After tax credits For 10 Kw.
    Break even at 10 years. Hmm, I’m 68, not sure how long we’ll be here.
     
    #247 bisco, Aug 12, 2023
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2023
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    107,385
    48,773
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Team sunshine, 9.7 Kw $23,000. After state and federal credits.
    Break even 10 years.
     
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    107,385
    48,773
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    They both show the same satellite shot of the house with exact same panel locations.
    Must be a program.
    I suspect when they do a site survey, the pine trees will be an issue
     
  9. Merkey

    Merkey Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    249
    226
    0
    Location:
    Birmingham, Michigan
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    What condition are the shingles in?
     
    bisco likes this.
  10. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    6,555
    6,286
    1
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    I'm starting to get some numbers from my guy. Talking around $40k for a 10kW system with an oversized hybrid inverter (can handle more panels later without changing inverter, can add battery storage later without changing inverter)

    I'm really liking the idea overall. I think I need to combine the project with adding new minisplits to part of the house and use one loan for both improvements.

    Should be some juicy tax breaks out of both later.
     
    bisco likes this.
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    107,385
    48,773
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    they look good, but at 19 years, i'm concerned long term.
     
    Merkey likes this.
  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    107,385
    48,773
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    both my quotes so far have micro inverters. i will be looking into a heat pump eventually
     
  13. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    6,555
    6,286
    1
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    I was offered micro inverters. I see a lot to like about them. But one thing I don't like is the difficulty of adding battery storage later, and we lose mains power often enough that this is of interest.

    So my electrician suggested putting in a large hybrid inverter that would maintain and make use of a battery bank to be installed in the future. The unit would be overspec'd enough to allow me to hang more panels later, as well.

    You've already got an automatic standby power system with your generator, so you're probably better off using the benefits of the micro-inverters and rolling coal (sorry) when the mains go out.
     
    bisco likes this.
  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    107,385
    48,773
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    yeah, the gen is only a few years old, and we don't lose power as much or as long as we used to, so it would be pointless to replace it in the near future unless i could make a profit on the powerwall.
     
  15. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    6,555
    6,286
    1
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    I don't know about a powerwall, but lots of batteries are going to get more common and less expensive. So my eventual battery is likely to be cheaper than any option that exists today.
     
    srellim234 likes this.
  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    107,385
    48,773
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    my time horizon isn't that long :unsure:
     
  17. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    17,012
    9,999
    90
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Absolutely replace the roof before or with the solar install! At least, if you plan to still be in this house when the roof needs replacement, or don't want any pushback from future buyers concerned about roof condition beneath that solar system.

    I don't think it makes any sense to put a long-lived solar system on top of a roof with significantly shorter life expectancy. It will cost a lot in labor to pull up any solar before roof replacement, and re-install it after. That is where metal roofing starts making a lot of sense.

    Supposedly, if you do the solar and roof replacement together, the federal solar tax credit applies to the cost of the roof portion of the project too. Though check with a tax expert to verify this, don't rely on my word. The current Inflation Reduction Act may have changed things.

    Tesla Powerwall is supposed to work with at least some (Tesla only??) microinverters. Similar, Enphase IQ battery systems are supposed to work with current and some legacy Enphase microinverter models, including mine (with a firmware re-flash).

    I used microinverters because of significant and varying tree shade interference, and so that I could easily expand my system piecemeal (in 3 groups so far). Later I did learn of per-module 'optimizers' that supposedly could allow string-type inverters to handle the variable tree shade issue with similar efficiency. Without such devices, one dark or shaded panel seriously and disproportionately degrades the output of the entire string of panels.
     
  18. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    6,555
    6,286
    1
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    Fascinating. I was looking to put my panels out in the yard because I have too much of it and figured it would be nice to mow less. On the other hand my roof doesn't have that much life left in it. The thought of combining the jobs for a combined savings...


    I feel positively motivated to avoid anything with the Tesla name on it at this point.

    Thanks, got some more reading to do. It's been tough to guess the "stretch factor" for future expansion, because I know once we have free power we'll find more uses for it...
     
    fuzzy1 and Trollbait like this.
  19. douglasjre

    douglasjre Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    1,722
    605
    0
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    ----USA----
    Keep the sliding glass. It lets in light and gives a pool view. Just get doblenpane