Page 2 of 5

Re: What does it cost to have a solar setup?

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:54 am
by LTLFTcomposite
Weatherman wrote: After the FPL rebate and the Federal tax credit, it only cost me a little over $12,000 when all was said and done.
Wasn't there something about you have to get real lucky to cash in on that FPL rebate, getting in within the first 30 seconds of when they open up new funding?

So 11 year payback. Not too exciting, particularly since FPL is building their new eco-friendly plant at port everglades.

Re: What does it cost to have a solar setup?

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:03 am
by Weatherman
LTLFTcomposite wrote:Wasn't there something about you have to get real lucky to cash in on that FPL rebate, getting in within the first 30 seconds of when they open up new funding?

So 11 year payback. Not too exciting, particularly since FPL is building their new eco-friendly plant at port everglades.
Yep. And, without the FPL rebate, it would have cost $26,600, making it, pretty much, not worth it, given that FPL electricity prices are so cheap. FPL does have a relatively "friendly" mix of fuels. About 25% nuclear, 50% nat gas.

Re: What does it cost to have a solar setup?

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:29 am
by mwalsh
A 7.2kW system is too big for the OP for just his car, assuming similar sunshine. I get by with a 6.2kW system and it does me for the car (60 miles a day) and all my household needs with a bit to spare.

Re: What does it cost to have a solar setup?

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:35 am
by LTLFTcomposite
Honestly the EVs are the least of my concern. It's the A/C that's the big suck.

Re: What does it cost to have a solar setup?

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:27 pm
by Petecomp1
Eastern Washington state, just paid $55K for a grid-tied 9.6KW array. That's the contractor's fee, plus I paid for concrete for the ground-mount posts ($500) and some misc. items needed ($100).
I installed the posts myself and the contractor did all the rest, including meter bases and disconnects.
My average production will be in the neighborhood of 30-35 KWh / day over the entire year (right now, July, it is ~60+ KWh/day). That is "net" AC power, not gross DC power (note: there is about 10% loss in the inverters).
So that is what it cost me, gross. BUT: State of Washington has a $.54/KWh incentive, $5K / year cap, which I will max out. It expires in 2020. That means I'll get about $30K back from that alone. Plus, of course, the $1800 or so per year for electricity I won't be paying ($10K or so). The installed system also adds about 50% of its cost to my property value and salability of my estate.
Any way you look at it, it's a good deal overall. For those who can't afford the up-front cost should explore the various options described in the various other posts on this forum. Or just call your local electric utility; most of them are happy to help and have dedicated staff just for this purpose (solar/alternative energy).
Hope this helps a bit!

Re: What does it cost to have a solar setup?

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:29 pm
by apvbguy
LTLFTcomposite wrote:Honestly the EVs are the least of my concern. It's the A/C that's the big suck.
i'd be interested in hearing the quotes that you get for a system, the last time I had a salesman here he po-poed the idea of a whole house system and tried to sell me a system to only heat hot water

Re: What does it cost to have a solar setup?

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:33 pm
by RegGuheert
apvbguy wrote:i'd be interested in hearing the quotes that you get for a system, the last time I had a salesman here he po-poed the idea of a whole house system and tried to sell me a system to only heat hot water
Frankly, water heating systems are cash cows for installers because of the recurring stream they will make from the service calls.

Here's how I see it (all numbers before tax incentives):

Solar water heating system:

$5000 if you install it yourself (you get a 1-year warranty)
$10,000 if someone else installs it (you then get a 10-year warranty)
You will likely need to repair the system every couple of years, if not more often.

Solar electric system for heating water:

Install a heat-pump water heater (which consumes about 2 MWh/year) and 6 250W PV panels with microinverters.
$4000 if you install it yourself (25-year warranty for panels and microinverters, 10-year warranty on water heater)
$8000 if someone else installs it (same warranty as I'd you install it)
BTW, if your water heater is in your garage, it will help keep it cool and dry in there.

The bottom line, IMO, is that grid-tied electricity is cheaper AND more fungible than hot water, so I tend to prefer that over a solar thermal system.

Re: What does it cost to have a solar setup?

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:16 pm
by planet4ever
doberman wrote:I honestly have no clue how to power my car using solar power. However, I would really like to - especilly since I would be able to charge the car if there was a power outage or something.
I'd like to point out that no one has actually addressed the cost of the sort of system doberman is asking about, other than to say you need batteries in addition to solar panels/inverters, and the batteries are expensive. To make the challenge harder, doberman specified 240v charging, presumably at 12A or more, which means the batteries would need to supply at least 3kW. Most people, myself included, just have a grid-tied system with no backup. Does anyone here have experience with a self-contained system?

Well, actually, come to think of it, I do have a self-contained system for our RV. It has two solar panels on the roof and four 6v deep-cycle batteries. It's great for lights, TV, and refrigerator, but I wouldn't dream of trying to charge my LEAF with it!

Ray

Re: What does it cost to have a solar setup?

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:58 pm
by KJD
planet4ever wrote:
doberman wrote:I honestly have no clue how to power my car using solar power. However, I would really like to - especilly since I would be able to charge the car if there was a power outage or something.
I'd like to point out that no one has actually addressed the cost of the sort of system doberman is asking about, other than to say you need batteries in addition to solar panels/inverters, and the batteries are expensive. To make the challenge harder, doberman specified 240v charging, presumably at 12A or more, which means the batteries would need to supply at least 3kW. Most people, myself included, just have a grid-tied system with no backup. Does anyone here have experience with a self-contained system?
OK I have a self contained off-grid PV system that I use to charge my LEAF.
IMG_0014.jpg
However there are a few things you should know about the system.
1500 watts of panels
24 volt lead acid battery storage.
120 volt inverter.

This system can run the LEAF trickle charge system. I bought it years ago and it was very expensive. You can buy larger systems for less money now. If you install the system your self you can save about 50% of the cost.

For example see this off grid system.
http://sunelec.com/index.php?main_page= ... &type=OFFG" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The other thing you should know is that Lead acid batteries fail often. They have a very short lifespan.

Too bad Nissan will not sell us a Lithium battery pack for our home systems.

Re: What does it cost to have a solar setup?

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:45 pm
by keydiver
Great link! Sun Electronics is where I send everyone who asks about my solar. A 7.5kw system cost me about $18,000 2 years ago, and they are even cheaper now. I did a build-by-owner, but used a master electrician to get the FPL rebate. After the 30% Federal tax deduction, I had hardly anything out of pocket. It makes ~1000 kwh a month, and was paid for in only a little over 1 year. Is the 30% Federal still in effect?
I also have a battery off-grid type system on my house, which has come in really handy after hurricanes. But, most of them are 120 VAC, so you need to buy 2 sets of panels, batteries, and inverters to make 240 VAC.
How many square feet of unshaded roof area do you have facing South? You would need to produce roughly 12 kWh a day to drive 40 miles, if you include charging losses. Without looking at a solar map, I would approximate a 3-4 kW solar system. That's about $10K if you do it yourself, or $20K from a solar installer.
If they allow it in your area, don't be too afraid to do-it-yourself, especially if you have friends like I do in the construction and electrical trades. The calculations to put a system together are readily available on websites. I used Unirac's racks to mount the panels, and they supply all the engineering printouts you need for the building permit. I used SMA inverters in all 5 systems I installed, and they have a program you can download with all the latest solar panels, and it will show you all the possible combinations with their inverters.
I believe the guys at Sun will also do engineering for you, and maybe even contract the installation for you in their area (South Florida/Pheonix/LA).