New 4.94 kW DC system up and running in Pacifica, CA

devpriusdevprius Registered Users Posts: 9
Hi, we recently had Sungevity install a 4.94 kW DC (STC) / 4.31 kW AC (CEC) system installed in lovely "sunny" Pacifica

Details:

26 Suntech STP190S-24/Adb+ 190W panels
1 Power One PVI-5000-OUTD-US 5 kW inverter
1 Locus LGate 101 solar monitor

Sungevity estimates the annual production at 6178 kWh for the first year, but PVWatts estimates it closer to 7100 kWh based on the CEC-AC rating of the system. This is supposed to eliminate 60% of our annual electric bill.

We started the process of getting solar installed in October of last year. The original size of the system was going to be only 2.47 kW DC. Early on in the process we discovered that we pretty much needed a new roof put on before we could go any further. Because of weather and other issues, a new roof couldn't be done until March of this year. As part of the re-roofing, we replaced 2 of the roof vents with low-profile ones. As a result, Sungevity was able to redesign the system completely to double the size. The actual install only took about 4 days in early June. We had to wait 6 weeks for PG&E to bless the system, swap the meter, and allow us to turn it on.

I have some pics showing before & after, but I don't appear to have enough posts yet to upload them.

Comments

  • BB.BB. admin Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,634 admin
    Re: New 4.94 kW DC system up and running in Pacifica, CA

    Hi DevP!

    Welcome to the forum--Lived my first ~29 years in Vallemar (first traffic light off the freeway south bound).

    On the coast there are many "micro climates". I Vallemar (middle of Pacifica), you could set your calendar by 4 days of overcast and 2 days of sun in the summer. Go a little north, and you can have an entire summer of overcast. Go deep into the back of Linda Mar valley--And you have warm/sunny weather that rivals San Mateo/Redwood City.

    Sounds like your home is not directly on the coast.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • devpriusdevprius Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: New 4.94 kW DC system up and running in Pacifica, CA
    BB. wrote: »
    Hi DevP!

    Welcome to the forum--Lived my first ~29 years in Vallemar (first traffic light off the freeway south bound).

    On the coast there are many "micro climates". I Vallemar (middle of Pacifica), you could set your calendar by 4 days of overcast and 2 days of sun in the summer. Go a little north, and you can have an entire summer of overcast. Go deep into the back of Linda Mar valley--And you have warm/sunny weather that rivals San Mateo/Redwood City.

    Sounds like your home is not directly on the coast.

    -Bill

    We're kinda in the back of the valley on Terra Nova Blvd, right by the high school. So yes, it's frequently sunny and warm where we are, and then we drive out to Highway 1 and get hit with fog. I have friends that live just off of Vallemar.

    We've lived here for 13 years now.
  • BB.BB. admin Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,634 admin
    Re: New 4.94 kW DC system up and running in Pacifica, CA

    Graduated in 1974 from there (I think that right:p). Go Tigers.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • devpriusdevprius Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: New 4.94 kW DC system up and running in Pacifica, CA

    Here's a message thread over on PriusChat where I was able to post a message that included the pictures of the install. And yes, I'm charging the Plug-in Prius late at night to take advantage of cheap rates.

    http://priuschat.com/threads/anyone-have-solar-panels.110004/page-5#post-1605911
  • solar_davesolar_dave ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 2,344 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: New 4.94 kW DC system up and running in Pacifica, CA

    Congrats in getting it up and operational after so much time. You must be like a bulldog.
  • devpriusdevprius Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: New 4.94 kW DC system up and running in Pacifica, CA
    solar_dave wrote: »
    Congrats in getting it up and operational after so much time. You must be like a bulldog.

    Nah, just very patient and understanding. The new roof issue was totally on us. Once the new roof was on, Sungevity came out within a week to take measurements and pictures, and had a new design to us pretty quickly. Then it was just a matter of getting the plans approved by the city, permits issued, and getting the installer scheduled. Other than taking 4 months to get a new roof put on, the biggest delay was PG&E approving the system, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about that. Sungevity was pretty good about keeping us updated on the progress of the install.
  • devpriusdevprius Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: New 4.94 kW DC system up and running in Pacifica, CA

    Pictures of the install:

    Attachment not found.
    Before, looking north

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    Before, looking south

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    After, looking north

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    After, looking south

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    Closeup of a finished area.
  • BB.BB. admin Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,634 admin
    Re: New 4.94 kW DC system up and running in Pacifica, CA

    Marine layer makes its summer pilgrimage to Pacifica. :-)

    Over here in San Mateo too right now.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • devpriusdevprius Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: New 4.94 kW DC system up and running in Pacifica, CA

    And here's some pics of when they were doing the install:

    Attachment not found.
    Install 1
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    Install 2
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    Install 2
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    Install 3
  • devpriusdevprius Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: New 4.94 kW DC system up and running in Pacifica, CA
    BB. wrote: »
    Marine layer makes its summer pilgrimage to Pacifica. :-)

    Over here in San Mateo too right now.

    -Bill

    Yesterday was great, 31 kWh for the day. Today, not so great. So far just 5 kWh. If I break 10 kWh for the day, I'll be lucky.
    Such is the joy of living by the coast...
  • snguyen4snguyen4 Registered Users Posts: 7
    Re: New 4.94 kW DC system up and running in Pacifica, CA
    devprius wrote: »
    Hi, we recently had Sungevity install a 4.94 kW DC (STC) / 4.31 kW AC (CEC) system installed in lovely "sunny" Pacifica

    Details:

    26 Suntech STP190S-24/Adb+ 190W panels
    1 Power One PVI-5000-OUTD-US 5 kW inverter
    1 Locus LGate 101 solar monitor

    Sungevity estimates the annual production at 6178 kWh for the first year, but PVWatts estimates it closer to 7100 kWh based on the CEC-AC rating of the system. This is supposed to eliminate 60% of our annual electric bill.

    We started the process of getting solar installed in October of last year. The original size of the system was going to be only 2.47 kW DC. Early on in the process we discovered that we pretty much needed a new roof put on before we could go any further. Because of weather and other issues, a new roof couldn't be done until March of this year. As part of the re-roofing, we replaced 2 of the roof vents with low-profile ones. As a result, Sungevity was able to redesign the system completely to double the size. The actual install only took about 4 days in early June. We had to wait 6 weeks for PG&E to bless the system, swap the meter, and allow us to turn it on.

    I have some pics showing before & after, but I don't appear to have enough posts yet to upload them.

    If you don't mine me asking.... Is this a lease or did you buy it. What was your total cost?
  • devpriusdevprius Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: New 4.94 kW DC system up and running in Pacifica, CA

    We did a 15-year lease. We paid $4000 upfront to buy down part of the lease. Total cost at the end of the lease will be around $22,000, including the $4000 prepay. Our monthly payments start out at around $90. Sungevity estimates that we'll cut our electric bill by roughly $170 a month, which means a net savings of roughly $80 a month to start with. Of course, some months will be higher than others due to weather, etc. It'll be a year before we know the true savings.
  • BobodudeBobodude Registered Users Posts: 11
    Re: New 4.94 kW DC system up and running in Pacifica, CA

    Hi devprius,
    I grew up across the bay in Concord but retired to Nevada in 2005. I have been through Pacifica a few times in my life. Glad to hear your system is up and running. But the fog? I just started mine up this week too. I designed and built it myself. Its a 4kw System. Naturally the clouds and thunderstorms have moved in this week but I still seem to squeeze out 24 kwh a day. So I feel your pain. Good luck.
  • devpriusdevprius Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: New 4.94 kW DC system up and running in Pacifica, CA
    Bobodude wrote: »
    Hi devprius,
    I grew up across the bay in Concord but retired to Nevada in 2005. I have been through Pacifica a few times in my life. Glad to hear your system is up and running. But the fog? I just started mine up this week too. I designed and built it myself. Its a 4kw System. Naturally the clouds and thunderstorms have moved in this week but I still seem to squeeze out 24 kwh a day. So I feel your pain. Good luck.

    We're managing to average about 25 kWh a day for the last 3 weeks. The highest I've had has been 31 kWh, and the lowest was 8 kWh. Most of it seems to be between 25 kWh and 30 kWh. I've found that while it can be foggy at the coast, if you go a mile or so inland to where we live, it tends to be sunny, or at least a lot less foggy. The real test of this system will between November and March... I have no illusions that I'll be getting the same performance then as I do now.
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