How much say do I have in a 7.5kw solar install...???

BilljustBillBilljustBill Solar Expert Posts: 219 ✭✭✭
I'm experiencing some "interesting" sales approaches.  With a solar company's salesman that came to the house, the final words about the system's panel makers and inverter brands were to be discussed with the "Engineering Dept." the following week.  The salesman did say it would be a 7.5kw array, based on reviewing my year's electrical bills and it would be a Fronius (?sp) 8ks inverter.  When asked if the inverter will handle a battery bank or generator he said "that's in the Engineering Dept."

Since that time, the company rep. sent me data for the panels and in discussion of battery/generator backup, he sent an inverter data sheet for "DELTA", instead of the Fronius.  A few days ago, the vice president in charge operations called to set next as an install date.  I told him I had not gotten all the information about the equipment nor the drawings for the project.  So the next day, he and the first company rep called on a conference line.  In the discussions, the VP said the inverter was now going to be a "SMA 7kw".  I asked if that was of size rated for the 7.5kw panel array and he said yes the inverter is rated 25% over the output rating....

When asked about the Waaree panel brand, the VP said they are "Tier I" panels.  When I asked about having other panel brands like "Panasonic and Kyocera", he said "They are not Tier I manufactures." "We will be using the Waaree panels on your system." as though I had no say in this install.  I'm a bit put off with this voice tone and firmness.  There are some other issues that were attempted to be changed.  No trenching to the house, but attached to the workshop's 200 amp breaker box and 200amp disconnect unless the utility required the solar disconnect to be near their house meter base.  Because "Engineering" had no site drawings, the fact the shop is on it's own meter, which I've said would be removed by the utility, he didn't understand the rest of the issue.  Which means the 2nd meter I have is on the workshop due to it was cheaper to add a meter in 1994 than run heavy wire from the house to the shop.   Their size wire between the workshop and the house being #6 for a 70ft.-90ft run between inverter and home meter base and solar disconnect is what they planned.  It will not handle the power for the workshop, but entrance cable wiring would get power to the shop and also carry the inverter's power to the house at the same time.  And I understood I would pay for the difference for the upgrade cost of the larger run between the shop and the house.

So, I'm asking for your input as to how much final input do I have on this $22,000 project?  Is the SMA inverter sized correctly?  Does it provide for a battery bank/home generator addition if I wanted to add one of those in the future.  Is Delta a worthy brand?  Are Waaree panels better because Panosonic and Kyocera "aren't Tier I panels"???

Thanks so much for your help,


  • BilljustBillBilljustBill Solar Expert Posts: 219 ✭✭✭
    Attachments didn't follow original posting:

    2nd try for attachment of pdf files
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 3,145 ✭✭✭✭
    Hi Bill ..,

    Briefly,  just who is the customer?  Who is PAYING for the system.   Those are the folks that control.

    If the vendor cannot accommodate the customer/payer's wishes and concerns,   then  they need to find a different  vendor.

    Have never heard of "Waaree" PVs.

    It is not obvious just where you are located,   but there are standards that systems must meed for a Utility,  Feds,  and perhaps any State that are important,  as are for any Permit/Inspections,   as you know.

    Would suggest that you NOT sign anything at all,  until you understand all of the details,   and you feel that the system will meet your needs.

    IMO,   good luck,   Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,131 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2020 #4
    You can do whatever, "you" want. You can get a bid from someone else right? Just because the company has a couple truck loads of panels in their storage, that they got a great price on, does not mean you have to use that panel. China is now really low on my list for anything with a warranty. Really low on List!  You may feel different and that is fine with me.

     I know nothing about Kyocera and Tier 1.

    The ones I mentioned were LG, Sunpower, and Panasonic because I have used them. They have 25 year product warranty. This tells me they are built better or the company is willing to take a risk that they will last. I am sure there are more from China now, but not for me!

    This one below confused me about Tier ratings. As I said before though, I want to see a 25 year product warranty from a BIG company not based in China. That to me is where the pedal meets the metal.

    Good Luck!

    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

  • KenMorganKenMorgan Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭
    edited July 2020 #5
    Anybody that tries to pressure sell you needs to drink a big fat glass of STFU.  you and you alone determine what you pay for.  That fool of a VP would have been cut out of the discussion in a heartbeat.  I have heard of Fronius and its specs looked decent, but SMA sounds like sunny island or some other "up and coming chinese brand"... same goes for those generic panels.  Kyocera, Panasonic are well known Japanese brands (some admittedly are made in china, but they carry the Japanese warranty)  they also sell grid tie inverters in 50 or 60 htz 100-120 or 200-240 versions but they are pricey.  On my main house in Kanagawa I have 30, 260 watt sharp panels fed into two of the sharp 6Kw inverters, the Japanese call them power conditioners, but they are just high end grid tie inverters.  on my cabin it is a stand alone system that I designed and installed myself and the specs are in my signature.  For the main house as it is grid tie, I had to pay a licensed company to install, but I selected the panels and inverters i wanted to go with, and I went with the ones I felt I could trust.  My advice tell them to sod off until they realize that power tripping and pressure sales will get them nowhere.
    30kw LiFePo4 battery bank, 18 JA solar 200 watt panels, 20 sharp 200 watt panels,  morningstar controller(s) and a magnum 4448 inverter with all the usual junk that goes with it. 
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,601 admin
    I believe that SMA (and their "Sunny Island/etc.") products are originally out of Germany (German company).

    Of course, who knows where in the world anything is manufactured these days.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,131 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Most of the really big companies are diversified and can manufacture in multiple locations without subbing and losing control of their product.

    SMA is very respected and some is done here in the US.

    Schneider Solar for instance does engineering in Canada and the US and light manufacturing as well. The Heavy lift manufacturing for them is mainly Philippines and India lately.  Some of their China Ops have been reduced in the last few years. My guess, due the Trade issues with China.

    The key to making things in the world, I think, is having control of your product. When we did this as HP in the 80's, we had all kinds of tricks to protect the equipment from being stold&sold in the "grey" market. Some of the things we did were pretty wild "electrically" to keep our product, our product !

    Funny stories out of context here and mainly for the moderator :) Have to keep him happy  ;)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,601 admin
    edited July 2020 #8
    Funny stories "In The Weeds" (off topic) are fine.

    -Bill "The Moderator" B.  :)
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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