Dodging a bullet with a "business partner"?

softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,558 ✭✭✭✭
Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems like a solar installer should be oriented towards detail, accuracy, and quality?

This experienced solar guy has invited me to be a business partner a couple times. Says business is booming. My gut steered me away. For one thing, his knowledge is less than mine in many subjects.

This mornings text:
Him: Need more panel plugs.
Me: MC4 connectors?
Him: Yes, the MC4. In need about 12 of the sets.

I arrive with a box of MC4 connectors. Turns out he needed a few feet of PV wire attached to the connectors. 

How does PV wire with MC4s become "panel plugs"?

Just wondering......
First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 150 watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries

Comments

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,280 ✭✭✭✭
    I guess he thought you would come over with a spool of wire and connectors and make him some?  Even then he didn't spec a gauge. 

    Yeah, I don't think he's someone I would want to be in business with...

    Glad to help him, perhaps teach him, support him and solar in general, but not be in business with...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,558 ✭✭✭✭
    Photowhit said:
    I guess he thought you would come over with a spool of wire and connectors and make him some?  Even then he didn't spec a gauge. 

    Yeah, I don't think he's someone I would want to be in business with...

    Glad to help him, perhaps teach him, support him and solar in general, but not be in business with...
    He has bought a few before. I'm no professor of solar...just hang out a bit here.

    Hard to support anything with the bills I am faced with. Hurricane Irma did a lot of uninsured roof damage.....tenants left.....still can't get bids.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 150 watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,616 ✭✭✭✭
    I sort of get where the "partner" is coming from.

    I doubt many installers even generally carry crimpers to use MC4 connectors alone. They likely just take MC4 cables with a M/F connector of various lengths with then cut it to suit the install. Cut, plug, send the invoice. Next.

    Wire is cheaper than labour. That said, I'd want to be sure I'm not in business with someone so incompetent or reckless that I'm going to end up getting sued for more than I could possibly ever make from the venture.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 704 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 3 #5
    It literally takes less than a minute per connector. In the field you are going to run into many situations where you need to make up cables Such as a short extension cable with male on one end, female on the other.  This guy sounds like another "Larry with a ladder" to me.

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 700 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,280 ✭✭✭✭
    softdown said:

    He has bought a few before. I'm no professor of solar...just hang out a bit here.

    Hard to support anything with the bills I am faced with. Hurricane Irma did a lot of uninsured roof damage.....tenants left.....still can't get bids.
    Helping him like showing the ideas of mapping out the needs before starting a job. Having spares and things to prevent a 2nd trip. A second trip to the job site is more expensive than having a couple 50 foot MC4 cables in your truck.

    Support, as above, comes in many forms that don't require money. I'm surprised how much more rounded my background has become from the forum interaction. You might well be able to help him trouble shoot problems with just a discussion. 
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,558 ✭✭✭✭
    To be fair, they guy has a number of good qualities. He is a "good guy" which is more than I will say for many.

    Seems to me like a solar partnership would tend to be a challenge unless one is the undisputed leader. Everything in solar is very much up for debate. Everything. Except that batteries should definitely be deep cycle. Maybe a few other things....
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 150 watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • cupcakecupcake Solar Expert Posts: 253 ✭✭
    no such thing as a "partnership" - you are either the boss or the slave...




    :)
    ~1.5Kw PV in parallel
    Morningstar MPPT-60 controllers (2) in parallel
    3 Trojan tr-1275's in parallel 450ah total
    Samlex 2,000 watt 12-volt inverter hardwired


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