Solar Panels on a home.

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Sharkey, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. Sharkey

    Sharkey

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    Anyone? I posed the same question on a TX forum and got zip. Looking to put panels up on a Vari-Tile roof. I have gotten about 3 bids and have someone else coming out tomorrow. 2 places don't want to mess with the roof only wanting to do composition.

    I have learned about different quality panels and use about 10500KWH a year. We are needing a cover for a Miata and hot tub and apparently if I build a pergola and put panels on it, I can get that as part of the deal and pergola will be included to get 26% federal rebate. It would be a finance deal not a cash deal.

    Feel free to share your experiences.
     
  2. RenoF250

    RenoF250

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    I would definitely go the pergola route. I do not like penetrations/wiring in roofing. Probably why 2 of them don't want to mess with it. Also, the pergola would likely be lower and easier to clean the panels if they get bird dirt on them and whatnot.
     
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  3. Ross-in-Pa

    Ross-in-Pa Western Pa

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    I agree with RenoF250. Roofs shouldn't have any extra penetrations made.

    Closer to the ground is better for maintenance and cleaning.

    A rooftop installation,.if it has leakage problems will end up being a pissing match between the solar company and the roofing company. With you paying for it in the end.
     
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  4. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    I am anti solar panels 100% scam. The scam is not the technology, the scam is the financing. These solar panel install companies could care less about solar power. Its all about locking you into the financing for the next 20-30 years.



    /
     
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  5. RenoF250

    RenoF250

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    You are allowed to buy them and pay cash you know?

    I have been considering it and would buy and install the system myself. The other deals where you pay some monthly amount and save about that much on your bill might work but they have a lien on your house until it is paid. That is no good.
     
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  6. Simi_gun_guy

    Simi_gun_guy

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    I’ve been on solar for years, ~18.5 yrs. My initial install paid for itself after about 10 yrs, although the Kalifornia govt picked up almost 50% of that project. Now my panels have degraded and parts are failing so it’s time for an upgrade.
    New panels cost $3800, another $1500 for mounts and about $1200 for some electronics upgrades, and $2000 to repair my old inverter. I’m guessing another 8-10 years to pay for this round of updates. We’re using about 7,500 kWh per year.
    And I’m doing the labor.


    YMMV


    Ed
     
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  7. Caver 60

    Caver 60

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    I haven't added it all up But I use around 15 thousand KWH a year.

    Seems to me when you add it all up, it's not worth it. And consider the process to manufacture the panels. Not exactly green if you ask me. But what do I know?
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
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  8. Batesmotel

    Batesmotel

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    The biggest problems I’ve seen are all roofing issues. The worst were panels on a roof that had very little life left. Big mess figuring out who was responsible for removing the panels in order to put a new roof on. I don’t think the panels are back on it.
     
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  9. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    I would like more total info. From existing systems.
    Total cost, energy captured over 5 yrs, averaged to value. Life span expected, maintenance, and rebuilding possibilities.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
  10. syntaxerrorsix

    syntaxerrorsix Anti-Federalist CLM

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    As a roof inspector I take a dim view of roof mounted anything. At the very least you will want to start with a new roof if it's shingles. That way the roofer is involved with the flashing and you are starting out new. PV installers are not roofers.
     
  11. dbak

    dbak

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    My friend bought a house with solar already installed... leaks everywhere.
     
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  12. cbetts1

    cbetts1

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    I just can't imagine screwing solar panels into this type of roof system. Just asking for trouble. I would be amazed if they could do it without causing damage. Silicon over a fastener will not last.
    Varitile shingle.png
     
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  13. Simi_gun_guy

    Simi_gun_guy

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    I'm not in the Solar industry so I'm no expert, but I've seen types of mount points that are claimed to work with all these roofs. If I was more curious I'd explore websites selling solar gear, then look into installation gear. I found something suitable for my comp shingle roof, far better than the old penetration seals from 2001.

    YMMV


    Ed
     
  14. Mountain10mm

    Mountain10mm

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    Unless you have no choice, I'd avoid the roof option. The optimum position of the panels varies on your latitude, climate, and time of year. I've never seen your house, but can factually state your roof is not at the optimum pitch/angle or azimuth. If you use a pole mount on the ground, you can optimize the solar input and change the pitch of the panels as necessary throughout the year. Panels in a less than optimal position can easily lose 30% or more of efficiency - which you can obviously make up with more panels (at more cost). Optimizing the pitch and azimuth is easy with a pole mount. Maintenance is easy as well. Wiring it simpler.
     
  15. ddss33

    ddss33

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    Yeah, when I did mine on my garage roof, I reroofed it before the panel install so I wouldn't have that problem. No leakage issues at all and has survived 10 Maine winters so far.

    ROI on my solar was 6 years. Healthy Fed & State rebates at the time. Maine utility company has a 12 month rolling cycle, so energy I produce in the summer gets "banked" for use in the winter. I've been net zero on electricity since the first year.
     
  16. .264 magnum

    .264 magnum CLM

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    I don't know much either but I think you know a lot - so there!
    ________

    During some college summers I worked as an industrial electrical helper. Two of those summers on LUZ Solar 1 and 2 outside Boron CA. They prattled on and on about the greatness of solar and how it would change CA etc. etc. "we're just a year or two away from MAJOR breakthroughs" - bear on mind this was 1983 and 84.....but they were quiet as church mice about the fact that the plants were co-gens natural gas as the night time, cloudy day, high demand fuel.

    Where solar can work really well are remote areas obviously. And specialty duty......like by boat/jet ski dock. My boat and ski lifts are battery+solar powered, the jet ski batteries are tended by solar (my boat charger is AC as I need to be able to top off ~400 amp hours worth of batteries ASAP). I also am working on a solar charging battery based (2x group 27 batteries) "generator."

    Solar + batteries + DC motors are a smashing combination and near bomb proof save a few things. So for gates, lifts, dragging etc. they rock.

    What I've learned is the cells need to be CLEAN - like really clean and some of them don't work worth a flip if even a small portion of the cell is covered/dirty. The second thing is with regulators the questions should not be if or how long but instead more like the next time I really need this thing it's going to say FU and die. So I keep extra regulators on hand.
     
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  17. Simi_gun_guy

    Simi_gun_guy

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    :agree:
    Words of hard earned wisdom here.
    Been there, done that. When I was more ambitious I would wash panels regularly and yielded much better results than when I’m lazy (now) & don’t clean panels regularly, as should be done. Sometimes 10-20% improvement in production immediately. And I’ve now replaced 5 charge controllers (regulators), 2 while in process of updating my panels.

    A solar power project is never done, it just moves from ice cold to boiling to a low simmer. And on a moments notice.

    My 2¢


    Ed
     
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  18. .264 magnum

    .264 magnum CLM

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    So the regulator that shipped with my boat lift does two things A). it indicates battery bank state of charge B. although not stated in percentage terms it indicates current charging "power" as 0 to 5 bars - 5 being a clean cell aimed squarely at the sun at high noon in July. I'd say your 10-20% immediately is right on and that really matters. I also see significant drop when clouds pass by.

    I'm a tinkerer by nature so solar projects for remote and specialty power are kind of fun for me.

    Have a good one.
     
  19. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed JAFO

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    Guy who works for me spent $40K on solar panels and the rest of the system. He wasn't too happy when I pointed out that $40K would buy enough electricity to last him the rest of his life, and the rest of his kids life. :rolleyes:
     
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  20. Simi_gun_guy

    Simi_gun_guy

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    But he is soooo GREEN.


    /sarc off


    Ed