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Re: This is how I do solar

Posted: Tue May 07, 2019 11:48 am
by Oilpan4
I don't need an installer I'm not useless like you.
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).
Yes.
It's like talking to sagebrush.
You get a load of BS, give you a pitch, a line and can't answer basic information about the BS they are pedaling. I bet if you try taking to them long enough they will start acting childish, start name calling, ect.

Re: This is how I do solar

Posted: Tue May 07, 2019 11:59 am
by SageBrush
@GerryAZ,
Will you receive a 1:1 net metering ?
How much will a kWh not bought from the utility save, including all charges that are billed per kWh ?
Does APS charge you any fees for the connection or meter plan ?

Here is a sample residential 'saver choice plus' plan with demand charges (ouch.) https://www.aps.com/library/rates/Bill% ... lus_fl.pdf

I'm not surprised by you saying that the sales people were only able to talk about a TOU plan. The billing looks very involved. You are going to have to figure out alternative plan costs yourself with 'help' of APS. You asked the wrong people.

Addendum: This is a good read:
https://www.sunrun.com/solar-by-state/a ... s-nem-bill

Re: This is how I do solar

Posted: Tue May 07, 2019 1:01 pm
by Oilpan4
smkettner wrote: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.
I put up an illegal 200w grid tie trial system with no name cheapie micro inverter exactly where these panels are going last june.
It made 1.2kwh per day according to my kill-a-watt meter.

Re: This is how I do solar

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 9:27 pm
by Lothsahn
GerryAZ wrote:
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?
I paid less than $3/watt for my system, but it is 14kW. I would happy to send you their info, but I don't know if they install in AZ. This is a small firm who will not treat you as you describe. I don't know about AZ, but $3/watt is high for MO, unless you're doing a very small system.

I did StorEdge with DC optimizers. They typically sell APS micros.

Re: This is how I do solar

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 10:59 pm
by GerryAZ
@SageBrush,
Thanks for the information. The APS saver choice plus plan is what I have. The idiotic solar company wanted me to change to the saver choice plan because they could not comprehend the demand charges and why my bills are relatively low with a 2,700 square-foot two-story all electric house and an electric car. The secret to the saver choice plus plan is to minimize the peak demand between 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM on weekdays. The off-peak and on-peak energy costs are the lowest residential rates APS offers, but the demand charge can get REALLY expensive. I have a demand controller that sheds the hot water tank, dryer, AC#1 compressor, and AC#2 compressor when the set point is exceeded. Also, the car is programmed to not charge on peak because the 6 kW demand would add between $80 and $100 to my bill for one charge on peak during the month. My peak demand is less than 1 kW most months of the year and less than 3 kW during the hottest two or three months. My total cost for power last year averaged out to about $0.08/kWh including taxes, but I expect utility rates to increase slowly over time due to new (and what I consider excessive) reliability regulations forcing increased spending by generation, transmission, and distribution utilities (which will eventually get passed to consumers).

I am interested in solar if I can install a high-quality, long-life system and have net power costs no higher than what I presently pay (after taking tax credits and power sales back to APS into account) because I know that residential rates will increase over time. Net metering for a new installation is not 1:1, but the solar power purchase rate is reasonable and there is just a small increase to the monthly metering fee. Also, the inverter(s) would be connected to the main service panel so solar generation during peak hours would reduce the demand recorded by the meter.

@Oilpan4,
As an electrical engineer in the power industry I could certainly design and install my own system, but I would rather pay a little extra for installation of a complete system with long term warranty that will add value to the house. Also, the permitting process and utility interconnection agreement will go much smoother with a standard commercial system.

Re: This is how I do solar

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 11:02 pm
by Oilpan4
Looks like the average cost for roof top installs was $2.70 to $3.40 a watt so far in 2019.

The coop only requires a permits pulled for the AC disconnect switch, cogen meter and main panel tie in.
I am the warranty for most of my stuff.
Plus I'm drilling through the roof dropping the bolt through to a nut plate and securing the nut from the inside.

My budget installed is about 70 cents a watt.
I wouldn't consider going from juat 70 cents to $2.70 per watt a little bit.
The local installer quoted me about $12,000 juat for a 3.8kw system.
I'm doing a 3.6kw for (about the same size) for $2,500. That's only about a $10,000 difference.
Warranty?
I can only rebuild it 4 more times for what a warrantied one costs. The warranty is not worth $10,000.

Re: This is how I do solar

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 12:23 am
by SageBrush
GerryAZ wrote: I have a demand controller that sheds the ... ...
That is *outstanding*
Is that your own concoction ? Does it just shut down a sub-panel or are you controlling each load ?

I've thought for a long time that the key to solving demand charges was to improve the home envelope so that time shifting consumption worked but somehow you have done it, and in hot, hot AZ to boot. It sounds like PV will let you shave another couple kW off your demand charges while being less strict in your power rationing. I'll guess that someone in your home thinks that alone is worth the price of admission.

It is no wonder the PV salesperson was flummoxed. I'm surprised you even tried. Dump 12 months of consumption and demand charge data into a spreadsheet and compare to anticipated generation by the hour with PV.
Are you allowed to keep your plan with the PV addition ? I glanced at the APS rate schedules and thought I read that APS credits you about 12.5 cents a kWh for unused generation the first year, likely reduced by 10% yearly and done after 10 years.

Perhaps you can arbitrage APS :lol:
Quick math (and a peek at an example bill on your schedule) says you save 5.6 cents on a kWh self generated and self consumed during off-peak, 28 cents a kWh self-generated and consumed on-peak, and 12.5 cents a kWh self-generated and sent to the grid, and you reduce demand charges to one kW. You will pay about 10 cents a kWh for 10 years until the system is paid off (excluding financing.) Cash flow neutral or positive from day #1 and paid off in 10 years. In your shoes I would over-build my consumption as much as APS allows.

The deal is that good.

Re: This is how I do solar

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 1:05 pm
by Oilpan4
If I had that deal I could just become a wealthy solar farmer.
But I believe that it is unfair to make other rate payers foot an exorbitant generation rate for me to plant some solar panels.
Unless they wanted to.

Re: This is how I do solar

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 4:09 pm
by rangersac
Wow, having read this thread, whilst you guys in the states might get used Leafs on the cheap it seems like solar costs over there are extortionate. I've just signed a contract on fully installed new 5.5KW grid tied system for $5K USD.

Re: This is how I do solar

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 7:21 pm
by SageBrush
Oilpan4 wrote:If I had that deal I could just become a wealthy solar farmer.
But I believe that it is unfair to make other rate payers foot an exorbitant generation rate for me to plant some solar panels.
Unless they wanted to.
I wonder if it has occurred to you that EVERY subsidy ever offered works that way: others pay if you join in. E.g., coal subsidies. E.g., oil subsidies. E.g., externalized pollution costs. E.g., EVERY tax dollar ever collected