Oilpan4
Gold Member
Posts: 761
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:51 pm
Delivery Date: 10 May 2018
Leaf Number: 004270

This is how I do solar

Sun May 05, 2019 5:57 pm

The first array will be 11 or 12 panels, just depends on how degraded they are.
I ordered 7.3kw of used poly panels shipped to my work for $1,875, all 25 panels survived me forklifting them off the truck, loading them on my leafs trailer and driving down bumpy country roads.
When freight shipping buying 12 or 25 panels, costs almost the same to ship so when I order panels I getting a full pallet.
For the inverter I'm going to get it from the same guys, they have 400 used ABB made inverters of all sizes that they are just now starting to test. So I'm budgeting $600 for a used 3.8kw inverter.
The racking I'm using is 12 gauge super strut and 6 inch stand off mounts.
The standoffs are $290 for 30 of them, probably going to use all 30.
Then about $350 for super strut.
Also $40 for 100 flush panel hold downs, which I won't use all 100 of.
Most if not all the hardware comes from work. I get free partial boxes, mixed collections of stainless hardware, been focusing on getting all the 1/4, 5/16 and 3/8 nuts and bolts.
I have a whole mess of MC4 connectors, I buy partial rolls of wire still on the rolls from the scrap yard for pennies on the dollar compared to new and that's where most of the conduit came from too.
A/C disconnect switch, same story, used and got very cheap.
The grid tie in will cost around $500. So II guess I split up 500 dollars 4 ways for a rig made up of 3 more systems that will be 3 to 4kw each.


$900 for twelve 295 watt panels.
$700 for the racking and attaching
$600 for the inverter, maybe less.
$125 for this arrays portion of the grid hook up.
Total of $2,325, let's say $2,500 incase I forgot something.

I think $2,500 for a 3.5kw system is pretty good.

I hope to average about 17kwh per day through out the year. Which at 7 cents a kwh will pay back about $35 per month will be about a 71 month pay back.

I would say that's pretty good considering the average payback is 10 years to never.

Moving forward the only thing I don't like is the roof standoff mounting cost. Next array I will likely build my own out of stainless steel angle and stainless flat bar then tig weld them together.
Last edited by Oilpan4 on Sun May 05, 2019 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2011 white SL leaf with 2014 batt.
Chargers: Panasonic brick moded for 240v, duosida 16a 240v and a 10kw setec portable CHAdeMO
Location: 88103

SageBrush
Posts: 4725
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: NM

Re: This is how I do solar

Sun May 05, 2019 6:33 pm

Oilpan4 wrote: I think $2,500 for a 4.7kw system is pretty good.
Very good; too bad that is not what you have.

The group I worked with last year would install either roof or ground mount for about 10 - 30% more than you are paying but we used new, good quality parts and an inverter that could handle shade.

When you install pay attention to grounding. Those expensive bolts you are skimping on are code rated for PV.
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Two years in Colorado, now in NM
03/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/2018: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

Oilpan4
Gold Member
Posts: 761
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:51 pm
Delivery Date: 10 May 2018
Leaf Number: 004270

Re: This is how I do solar

Mon May 06, 2019 10:46 am

SageBrush wrote:
Oilpan4 wrote: I think $2,500 for a 4.7kw system is pretty good.
Very good; too bad that is not what you have.

The group I worked with last year would install either roof or ground mount for about 10 - 30% more than you are paying but we used new, good quality parts and an inverter that could handle shade.

When you install pay attention to grounding. Those expensive bolts you are skimping on are code rated for PV.
Not happening with out other people's money.
Unlike some people I don't need the government to help me pay for stuff I want.
According to DoE in 2017 around $1 per watt of what was charged for a solar install made up the companies profit, overhead and labor.
That dollar per watt doesn't do the consumer any good.
The solar installers here want just under $3 per watt for a 6kw system and just over $3 per watt for a 3kw as of April 2019.
As of today the cheapest DIY kit I can find is just under $2 per watt for a 11kw system that uses superstrut.
I'm well aware of grounding and my stainless bolts exceed code.
I'm not using the cheap grade A or grade 3 stuff I have seen on a lot of installs.
Shading will be taken care of with a chain saw and an air rifle.
To take care of shading with an inverter you need a big inverter with optimizers or micro inverters. Both options are fairly expensive with micro inverts pushing 25 to 40 cents a watt and something like a solar edge with optimizers pushing 30 to 40 cents a watt.
I guess you could always tempt fate and go with way cheaper no name chinese stuff.
Last edited by Oilpan4 on Tue May 07, 2019 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
2011 white SL leaf with 2014 batt.
Chargers: Panasonic brick moded for 240v, duosida 16a 240v and a 10kw setec portable CHAdeMO
Location: 88103

User avatar
jlv
Moderator
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Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:08 pm
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2014
Leaf Number: 424487
Location: Massachusetts

Re: This is how I do solar

Mon May 06, 2019 12:24 pm

(deleted)
Last edited by jlv on Mon May 06, 2019 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
LEAF '13 SL+Prem (mfg 12/13, leased 4/14, bought 5/17, sold 11/18) 34K mi, AHr 58, SOH 87%
Tesla S 75D (3/17)
Tesla X 100D (12/18)
82K 100% BEV miles since '14
ICE free since '18

smkettner
Posts: 7373
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:13 pm
Delivery Date: 26 Feb 2014
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: This is how I do solar

Mon May 06, 2019 12:42 pm

My Solar City payback was 5 years.... that came and went 2 years ago. Sometimes it is OK to spend a bit more and get in early.

Please post your production when up and running.
1 bar lost at 21,451 miles, 16 months.
2 bar lost at 35,339 miles, 25 months.
LEAF traded at 45,400 miles for a RAV4-EV
RAV4 traded in for I-Pace Dec 2018

SageBrush
Posts: 4725
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: NM

Re: This is how I do solar

Mon May 06, 2019 1:29 pm

Oilpan4 wrote: Not happening with out other people's money.
No ... I just pay less taxes. That IS the Repuke/Trumper line, is it not ?
To take care of shading with an inverter you need a big inverter with optimizers or micro inverters.
I'm well aware of grounding and my stainless bolts exceed code.
You better pay for an installer so that someone who knows what they are doing is involved.
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Two years in Colorado, now in NM
03/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/2018: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

GerryAZ
Gold Member
Posts: 2241
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: This is how I do solar

Mon May 06, 2019 6:58 pm

SageBrush wrote: You better pay for an installer so that someone who knows what they are doing is involved.
The difficult part is finding a good installer who provides good equipment. I agreed to an appointment with one of the big names in the industry in Phoenix, AZ. They came out to look at my house and wanted to see my existing utility bills for the past year. Then they would not give me an actual price for their system unless I was willing to change my time of use plan because they could not understand my price plan and calculate cost savings or comparisons. I wasted a Saturday morning trying to get a price out of them for an 8 to 10 kW system. Is $3.00 per watt a reasonable number for estimating system costs?
Gerry
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015; traded 8/10/2019 at 82,436 miles
White LEAF 2019 SL+ purchased 8/10/2019

SageBrush
Posts: 4725
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: NM

Re: This is how I do solar

Mon May 06, 2019 7:08 pm

GerryAZ wrote:
SageBrush wrote: Is $3.00 per watt a reasonable number for estimating system costs?
Is that a rhetorical question ?

You may may wish to try https://www.tesla.com/solarpanels. They just dropped their pricing to < $3 a watt pre-tax credit (for my area anyway.)
Last edited by SageBrush on Mon May 06, 2019 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Two years in Colorado, now in NM
03/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/2018: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

GerryAZ
Gold Member
Posts: 2241
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: This is how I do solar

Mon May 06, 2019 7:15 pm

SageBrush wrote:
GerryAZ wrote:
SageBrush wrote: Is $3.00 per watt a reasonable number for estimating system costs?
Is that a rhetorical question ?

You may may wish to try Tesla solar. They just dropped their pricing to < $3 a watt pre-tax credit (for my area anyway.)
No, it was a legitimate question because the companies I have talked to here in AZ are hard to get straight answers from (they probably don't like it when I ask technical and financial questions). I will try Tesla Solar (formerly called Solar City here, I think). At less than $3 per watt, I could certainly justify it.
Gerry
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015; traded 8/10/2019 at 82,436 miles
White LEAF 2019 SL+ purchased 8/10/2019

SageBrush
Posts: 4725
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: NM

Re: This is how I do solar

Mon May 06, 2019 7:30 pm

GerryAZ wrote:
SageBrush wrote:
GerryAZ wrote:
Is that a rhetorical question ?

You may may wish to try Tesla solar. They just dropped their pricing to < $3 a watt pre-tax credit (for my area anyway.)
No, it was a legitimate question because the companies I have talked to here in AZ are hard to get straight answers from (they probably don't like it when I ask technical and financial questions). I will try Tesla Solar (formerly called Solar City here, I think). At less than $3 per watt, I could certainly justify it.
I see $21k after tax credits for 12 kW.

Sweet !

By the way, I think the Tesla website has an error in calculating the value of generation.
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Two years in Colorado, now in NM
03/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/2018: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

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