7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey

brynnerbrynner Registered Users Posts: 5
I was wondering what finalized your decision on Sharp panels? I am looking to install a 7kw system on my roof here in NJ, near Philadelphia, and thought I would go with Sharp as well, but lately I've been reading positive things about Sanyo panels. I need to go with black panels due to front southeastern exposure, see photo. I need this thing to be aesthetically pleasing for the WAF (wife acceptance factor). I am trying to go as big as possible as annual usage is 12000 kwh. However, due to roof limitations, I want to be as efficient as possible as well, getting the most power from limited square footage.

Far left roofspace is ideal, and installers stated that the left side of the dormer roof will also contain panels, as will the upper right roof space and possibly the garage. This photo was taken this week at 1:15 pm, you can see the shadows creeping on the garage.

I am also deciding if I should use Enphase micro inverters rather than one or two standard inverters due to shading on the farthest east rooftops, to the right in photo, that occurs after 1 pm in the winter/spring.

Any ideas on where to purchase these panels? Am I limited to internet? I cannot find anything in NJ on web search, except a local company selling Schott Panels.

FYI - price is not so much an issue as appearance and efficiency/power generation....I need to sell these SRECS to pay my system off in 5 years or less!!!
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Comments

  • SpartanScottSpartanScott Solar Expert Posts: 41
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan
    brynner wrote: »
    I was wondering what finalized your decision on Sharp panels?

    I don't think I am the expert on Solar Panel brand that you are looking for. I chose and stuck with Sharp because of their long history, 25 year warranty, and other recommendations. I am not too familiar with the quality of Sanyo panels. I would widen your search for Panel suppliers to the US, not just NJ.

    I suggest you start your own thread to discuss your design. I've got a few comments I'd make in it regarding your inverter choice and panel placement. Sounds like you are doing a self design/install, or are you hiring an installer?
  • brynnerbrynner Registered Users Posts: 5
    Re: 5 KW Grid-Tie PV Solar System in Mid-Michigan

    Thanks Scott, I thought that was what I would do, to avoid stealing your thread, but I wanted some input from you, and wasn't sure you would be watching.....so I've started a new thread entitled NJ Residential Solar Install - ideas??
  • brynnerbrynner Registered Users Posts: 5
    NJ Residential Solar Install...Ideas??!!!

    Location - NJ, near Philadelphia - 08096

    I am looking to install a 7kw (or larger) system on my roof here in NJ, near Philadelphia. I am trying to install as big a system as possible as annual usage is 12000 kwh. However, due to roof limitations, I want to be as efficient as possible as well, getting the most power from limited square footage. A 7 kw system should solve about 64% of my annual usage.

    I want to go with black panels due to front southeastern exposure, see photo. Due to WAF (wife acceptance factors) I need this thing to be aesthetically pleasing.

    I thought I would go with Sharp panels, but lately I've been reading positive comments about Sanyo panels. Sanyo panels are hybrids and reading more of these forums, there is some uncertainty to the lifespan of the materials within. Warranty is only 20 years vs. the typical 25 years. So, I think Sharp is the way to go, and I found the Sharp NU-U-230F3, with all black frame, seems to fit the bill. BUT, I'm not sure there aren't better options for my application.

    As to the image below, far left roof is ideal, and installers stated that the left side of the dormer roof can contain panels, as will the upper right roof space and possibly the garage. This photo was taken this week at 1:15 pm, you can see the shadows creeping on the garage. The ONLY shading issues are due to peaks/angles in the roof. No trees and sun is strong on left side of house until late afternoon.

    I am also deciding if I should use Enphase micro inverters rather than one or two standard inverters due to shading on the farthest east rooftops, to the right in photo, that occurs after 1 pm in the winter/spring. Or I could use two inverters and string the panels accordingly. In reading, I think any shaded panels should be stringed together, rather than mixing them with non-shaded units?

    Any ideas on where to purchase these panels? Am I limited to internet? I cannot find anything in NJ on web search, except a local electrical supply selling Schott Panels - just started in last couple of weeks.

    FYI - price is not so much an issue as appearance and efficiency/power generation....I need to sell these SRECS to pay my system off in 5 years or less!!!

    As for installation, I am subcontracting the work out, planning on doing some more installs for friends interested in solar energy and starting a solar business with a friend. I found trained installers who came out and did a shade analysis for me yesterday, and another coming tomorrow afternoon to verify information from more than one source.

    My business plan dictates a local supplier, that's why I am looking for a local wholesaler/distributor. I know they must exist for other local companies, but nothing to be found as yet. I have a class next week for NJ state installers and hope to learn more there.

    FYI - I received a $50k quote on a 6.9kw system using 36 Sharp panels and a 9.9 kw system for $66k using 44 Sunpower 225 panels and 2 SMA 5000 inverters.

    Thanks for any input/ideas any of you may have. I certainly appreciate them ALL!!
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,171 admin
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey

    Brynner,

    I have moved to your own thread... Have at it! :D

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • ambyamby Registered Users Posts: 13
    Re: NJ Residential Solar Install...Ideas??!!!

    Hi Brynner,
    Beautiful house front!
    If the front is South facing then sure Aesthetics need to be your primary concern. I have very similar Dormers etc situation but mine is back to south so aesthetics is smaller concern but I sure want a not-so-scattered panel placement

    you can PM me if you want my quote details (it is about $5.5 per DC watt using Suntech and Sunnyboy)
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,171 admin
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey

    Brynner,

    One of our common first step suggestions is Conservation... Spending time / money on "extreme" conservation is almost always a better return on investment than building a larger solar power system.

    Your home looks new--so it is probably better insulated / newer more efficient heating/AC system/appliances than an older homes. But it doesn't hurt to double check and make sure that you have reduced your loads as much as practicable.

    I would check the Sanyo HIT panels for their return rates--When this type of panel was first rolled out, they had some problems (I have not heard anything in the last few years one way or another).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,963 ✭✭✭
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey

    Sanyo HIT won't work with the Enphase, its to high of a voltage, I would also stay clear of any Hybird panel. Bang for the buck, nothing beats the Evergreen panels and the string ribbon have one of the best tolerances in the industry.

    If shading a panel is an issue, it means you should NOT have a panel at that placement, panels without sun don't make power, I also as an engineer doubt its the best solution to have a electronic device mounted under a panel as swinging 60C+ everyday temperature wise will effect reliability ( regardless of some paper claim Enphase makes ). Then there is the ransom Enphase wants so you know the inverters are actually working ( you pay extra for monthly monitoring ) . If you have to have some shading, run single strings for each inverter. You can go easily 5kw in a single string with the Evergreen's, if a panel gets shaded, the bypass diodes kicks in and with a single string it has no effect on the other panels as the inverter compensates automatically.

    I'm also not a fan of sharp panels, the cell wafer is one of thinnest in the industry and I would be concerned over time of cell cracking, with so many choices quality alternaives there is no incetive to use this brand
  • solarteksolartek Solar Expert Posts: 69 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey
    Sanyo HIT won't work with the Enphase, its to high of a voltage, I would also stay clear of any Hybird panel. Bang for the buck, nothing beats the Evergreen panels and the string ribbon have one of the best tolerances in the industry.

    If shading a panel is an issue, it means you should NOT have a panel at that placement, panels without sun don't make power, I also as an engineer doubt its the best solution to have a electronic device mounted under a panel as swinging 60C+ everyday temperature wise will effect reliability ( regardless of some paper claim Enphase makes ). Then there is the ransom Enphase wants so you know the inverters are actually working ( you pay extra for monthly monitoring ) . If you have to have some shading, run single strings for each inverter. You can go easily 5kw in a single string with the Evergreen's, if a panel gets shaded, the bypass diodes kicks in and with a single string it has no effect on the other panels as the inverter compensates automatically.

    I'm also not a fan of sharp panels, the cell wafer is one of thinnest in the industry and I would be concerned over time of cell cracking, with so many choices quality alternaives there is no incetive to use this brand

    Sorry, SG, but the Enphase M210 micro-inverter is compatible with the Sanyo HIT Power solar modules. See this link.

    In my mind, the larger issue with Sanyo is the shorter power output warranty (20 years at 80%) compared to most other major manufacturers. And it's relatively high price compared to others typically doesn't justify the higher cell efficiency.

    As for Evergreens, yes they are nice modules and have a good price-performance ratio. But the company itself is in deep financial trouble and I'm concerned if they will even be in business long term. I'm worried enough to stop doing quotes with them until their financial situation improves.

    Scott
  • SpartanScottSpartanScott Solar Expert Posts: 41
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey

    As Solar Guppy points out, I would not put panels on your East garage roof due to significant shading. With ~6 panels there, they would become shaded starting mid-day. If you wish to put panels there, use two inverters, each with a single string. I do not see a need for Enphase inverters, better to have a well designed string system. It would help if you let us know how many panels will fit on each roof. I see you got a quote with 44 sunpower panels...will 44 panels really fit on your South(SE) facing roof?
    -Scott
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,098 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey
    solartek wrote: »
    ....As for Evergreens,........ But the company itself is in deep financial trouble and I'm concerned if they will even be in business long term. I'm worried enough to stop doing quotes with them until their financial situation improves.
    Scott

    And if everyone buys into this, they will go bust.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,171 admin
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey

    And more than a few big/healthy companies have walked away from their solar divisions too...

    In the end, your first step is to select a good reliable product. Company warranty is nice, but hopefully never needed if you purchase a product with a history of strong performance in the first place.

    -Bill :confused:
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • newenergynewenergy Solar Expert Posts: 291 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey

    I've still been doing Evergreen quotes, but it is worrying. I guess it's likely they'd be bought before they go bust and the warranties would be honored, but maybe not if there was a big problem.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=SPWRA#chart1:symbol=spwra;range=5y;indicator=volume;charttype=line;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=on;source=undefined

    SunPower is trading at 1/6 of what they were in late 2007 so maybe they aren't that much better off?

    If a company like Sanyo sells it's solar division to SunTech or something does Sanyo still honor the warranty?

    I wish I had the answers because if the companies don't back up the products and there's a widespread problem I will be broke and out of business. The most comforting thing though is having a good quality panel that I can expect to very rarely fail within the 10 years that I warranty.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey

    "As for Evergreens, yes they are nice modules and have a good price-performance ratio. But the company itself is in deep financial trouble and I'm concerned if they will even be in business long term. I'm worried enough to stop doing quotes with them until their financial situation improves.

    Scott"

    care to back that statement and show the links too.
  • solarteksolartek Solar Expert Posts: 69 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey
    niel wrote: »
    "As for Evergreens, yes they are nice modules and have a good price-performance ratio. But the company itself is in deep financial trouble and I'm concerned if they will even be in business long term. I'm worried enough to stop doing quotes with them until their financial situation improves.

    Scott"

    care to back that statement and show the links too.

    Sure.
    Most Recent 10-Q.
    Financial Snapshot.

    Now this is just my opinion based on how I read the financial statements and SEC filings noted above. Negative cash flow from operations except for the 3rd quarter of last year, increasing long term debt, widening losses every quarter, etc. This is not the signs of a healthy company.

    I certainly wouldn't invest in this company given its financials, so I'm not sure why I would buy (or sell) their products, particularly those with long term warranties. That doesn't mean the company can't turn things around. And that doesn't mean that they don't have a good product (they do). But I certainly think that part of the decision to buy solar modules from a particular manufacturer includes the risk of the company being able to honor their warranty 5, 10, or 25 years down the road.

    Their 10K (annual filing) should be filed sometime this month so it will be interesting to see how much of these trends have changed or stayed the same for the last quarter of 2009.

    Scott.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey

    boy i wish i could read into all of that. i guess i asked for it. so i'd be curious if another like kyocera would fair by your same reconning?
  • solarteksolartek Solar Expert Posts: 69 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey
    niel wrote: »
    boy i wish i could read into all of that. i guess i asked for it. so i'd be curious if another like kyocera would fair by your same reconning?

    Kyocera would fair very well. So would Sharp, Sanyo, probably BP. But notice the trend with these choices? Solar is not their only business. So these companies will most likely survive long term even if they decide to get out of the solar module business. And that means (at least in theory) these companies will back their warranties even on products they are no longer producing or selling.

    This is my no means my only criteria for choosing solar equipment. I like Suntech modules, even though they are a one product company (and a Chinese manufacturer). But they are profitable and show positive cash flow and increasing margins on growing revenue.

    Another example: I really like the Enphase micro-inverters, having now installed about 100 of the 2nd generation versions. Being a privately held company means we have no real financial insight into the long term prospects of this company and it's 15 year warranty. So I'm taking a calculated risk selling and installing these.

    As I stated before, this is just my opinion. The choice to no longer do designs and quotes with Evergreen may end up being the wrong one long term. But for my own piece of mind I need to see them turn around their finances before considering them again.

    Scott.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,171 admin
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey
    solartek wrote: »
    Negative cash flow from operations except for the 3rd quarter of last year, increasing long term debt, widening losses every quarter, etc. This is not the signs of a healthy company.

    Not the signs of a healthy country either. :cry:

    -Bill "I will shut-up now" B.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • ambyamby Registered Users Posts: 13
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey
    solartek wrote: »

    This is my no means my only criteria for choosing solar equipment. I like Suntech modules, even though they are a one product company (and a Chinese manufacturer). But they are profitable and show positive cash flow and increasing margins on growing revenue.

    I am also getting Suntech (175W panels) quoted for the turnkey 5K install in NJ
    Just stumbled upon a site selling Suntech 270W panels which I never heard of before.
    how is the 270W panels compared to 175Watt ones?

    SunTech Power STP270-24/Vb-1, 24 Volt 270 Watt PV Module
    SunTech Power STP175S-24Ab-1 24 Volt 175 Watt PV Module





    Thanks
  • newenergynewenergy Solar Expert Posts: 291 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey

    I'd much rather install the 34.1lb 175s than the 59.5lb 270s. It shouldn't matter much at all to anyone who doesn't have to carry them.
  • ambyamby Registered Users Posts: 13
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey
    newenergy wrote: »
    I'd much rather install the 34.1lb 175s than the 59.5lb 270s. It shouldn't matter much at all to anyone who doesn't have to carry them.

    Sorry I did not get your comment so excuse me for requesting more details.
    Are you commenting simply from perspective of the actual installer who will be bolting it on the rooftop or also indicating to roof's load bearing capacity due to much heavier weight on smaller area?
  • solarteksolartek Solar Expert Posts: 69 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey
    amby wrote: »
    I am also getting Suntech (175W panels) quoted for the turnkey 5K install in NJ
    Just stumbled upon a site selling Suntech 270W panels which I never heard of before.
    how is the 270W panels compared to 175Watt ones?

    SunTech Power STP270-24/Vb-1, 24 Volt 270 Watt PV Module
    SunTech Power STP175S-24Ab-1 24 Volt 175 Watt PV Module

    Thanks

    The STP270 is a poly-Si module while the STP175 is a mono-Si module. The STP270 is physically larger than the STP175. You can also get the 175 in an all black configuration which some homeowners prefer for aesthetic reasons. I tend to use the 175 for roof mounted arrays and the 270 for ground mounted arrays.

    Scott.
  • newenergynewenergy Solar Expert Posts: 291 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey
    amby wrote: »
    Sorry I did not get your comment so excuse me for requesting more details.
    Are you commenting simply from perspective of the actual installer who will be bolting it on the rooftop or also indicating to roof's load bearing capacity due to much heavier weight on smaller area?

    Yeah, I just meant for the installer carrying them. As the homeowner I wouldn't care which panel, except perhaps one panel or the other may do a better job of filling whatever the available space is.
  • brynnerbrynner Registered Users Posts: 5
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey

    Thanks for all of the input guys! However, now we are debating the financial solvency of various panel manufacturers. So here is some additional information/questions:

    - Does Evergreen make a true black panel in wattage over 175? I'm still inclined to go Sharp due to all black modeling, long history, and availability.

    - Due to multiple levels of panels, micro inverters seem to be the way to go for installation ease. However, I'm not aware what fee Enphase charges for monthly monitoring, and if it is essential, or if "peeks" can be made quarterly to ensure proper function.

    - As to shading on the east garage roof, I went home at lunch yesterday and noticed shade creeps into that space by about 1 pm. The entire space probably shaded by 2 pm or so this time of year. However, sun hits it from 0800 until then, so are those 5ish hours worth the placement of panels there? Summer probably means slightly longer light there due to sun being higher in the sky.


    - Below are the photos (L side - R side) of the design of the system using unknown make panels. The triangular area (bottom) is the left side of the dormer, which faces south. Will each level need its own inverter if I do NOT use Enphase? As you can see, the garage could accept multiple panels, but I think 15 is not possible, more like 9. Also, the PSEG meter is on left side of the house, opposite garage. Concealing these runs may prove difficult on the roofline.

    - What about clearance from roof to panels? An installer suggested a low profile ProSolar mounting option that leaves 2.5" between roof and panel, but others suggest at least 3" clearance for cooling of the array and efficiency.

    A final note, what is going on with the Sharp 72 watt triangular panel, which would make the rooflines look much better? I am told they have been discontinued. I know they cost a LOT, but aesthetically they are SWEET! They would blend two or three sections of my roof perfectly.....

    Thanks again for all of your expertise!!!
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey
    brynner wrote: »
    Thanks for all of the input guys! However, now we are debating the financial solvency of various panel manufacturers. So here is some additional information/questions:

    - Does Evergreen make a true black panel in wattage over 175? I'm still inclined to go Sharp due to all black modeling, long history, and availability.

    - Due to multiple levels of panels, micro inverters seem to be the way to go for installation ease. However, I'm not aware what fee Enphase charges for monthly monitoring, and if it is essential, or if "peeks" can be made quarterly to ensure proper function.

    - As to shading on the east garage roof, I went home at lunch yesterday and noticed shade creeps into that space by about 1 pm. The entire space probably shaded by 2 pm or so this time of year. However, sun hits it from 0800 until then, so are those 5ish hours worth the placement of panels there? Summer probably means slightly longer light there due to sun being higher in the sky.


    - Below are the photos (L side - R side) of the design of the system using unknown make panels. The triangular area (bottom) is the left side of the dormer, which faces south. Will each level need its own inverter if I do NOT use Enphase? As you can see, the garage could accept multiple panels, but I think 15 is not possible, more like 9. Also, the PSEG meter is on left side of the house, opposite garage. Concealing these runs may prove difficult on the roofline.

    - What about clearance from roof to panels? An installer suggested a low profile ProSolar mounting option that leaves 2.5" between roof and panel, but others suggest at least 3" clearance for cooling of the array and efficiency.

    A final note, what is going on with the Sharp 72 watt triangular panel, which would make the rooflines look much better? I am told they have been discontinued. I know they cost a LOT, but aesthetically they are SWEET! They would blend two or three sections of my roof perfectly.....

    Thanks again for all of your expertise!!!

    from evergreen's website, "The ES-A silver frame panel is no longer in production. It has been replaced by the ES-A black frame panel."

    i can't say if enphase would do for you or not, but remember that the light intensity is not that strong at 8 or 9am as it would be at 2 or 3pm which is shaded to you there. differing levels may need their own inverter or may not as it needs professionally evaluated on site imo. what photos, unless it's in a differing post?

    roof clearances should be at least 6in to keep pvs cool.

    couldn't tell you what the corner pv problem is. maybe mismatched output?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,171 admin
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey

    Regarding Enphase monitoring... I think somebody posted here that they current charge $32 per two years, or something like, that for monitoring. Certainly not a huge amount (but electric power pricing from a utility is not a lot either--especially for smaller installations). It would be interesting to see if they would sign on to some maximum yearly billing limit for the web service (adjusted for inflation?).

    You can also get some data directly from their box with no web subscription. We had one user here that said that the last software upgrade removed some useful information from the direct connection... I don't know if there is enough information from the direct connection to log failed modules/panels (let us know if you find out). Data is encrypted using a Linux based application.

    -Bill

    PS: Photo in home in first post. Also has photos/scans of draft sketches in above post.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • newenergynewenergy Solar Expert Posts: 291 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey

    I've done 15-20 jobs with Sharps and never had a problem with them.

    A lot of the things you're talking about boil down to cost and you're the only one who can decide if it's worth it. Any shading from 1pm on is pretty crazy. Those kwhs will be costing 3 or 4 times as much as the kwhs from a good part of your roof.

    The triangle panels are expensive, but that's just up to you. They do make for some really nice looking systems. I see your house has some decorative shutter things, some fancy 1/2 circle windows, some nice brick veneer, nice landscaping...what's the return on investment on those things? Is the premium of those few panels worth the look to you? As far as them being discontinued, well, since you're on enphase (will they work on enphase?) if they stop working, just leave them there I guess and they won't cause any trouble.

    The lower the profile will cost you production. Again, that just boils down to money vs. aesthetics. That inch isn't always THAT big a deal though. I put my hand under a lot of arrays and it's usually not that hot under even low profile ones. It depends on a lot of things like wind direction, roof color, array size, etc.

    If you really want the array to look good, get a flush mounted rail system like Unirac Sunframe. Or, since you're using Sharp, they have the SRS racking system (I think they only work with the Sharp 198s - but, they do work with the triangle modules).
  • solarteksolartek Solar Expert Posts: 69 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey
    brynner wrote: »
    Thanks for all of the input guys! However, now we are debating the financial solvency of various panel manufacturers. So here is some additional information/questions:

    - Does Evergreen make a true black panel in wattage over 175? I'm still inclined to go Sharp due to all black modeling, long history, and availability.

    - Due to multiple levels of panels, micro inverters seem to be the way to go for installation ease. However, I'm not aware what fee Enphase charges for monthly monitoring, and if it is essential, or if "peeks" can be made quarterly to ensure proper function.

    - As to shading on the east garage roof, I went home at lunch yesterday and noticed shade creeps into that space by about 1 pm. The entire space probably shaded by 2 pm or so this time of year. However, sun hits it from 0800 until then, so are those 5ish hours worth the placement of panels there? Summer probably means slightly longer light there due to sun being higher in the sky.


    - Below are the photos (L side - R side) of the design of the system using unknown make panels. The triangular area (bottom) is the left side of the dormer, which faces south. Will each level need its own inverter if I do NOT use Enphase? As you can see, the garage could accept multiple panels, but I think 15 is not possible, more like 9. Also, the PSEG meter is on left side of the house, opposite garage. Concealing these runs may prove difficult on the roofline.

    - What about clearance from roof to panels? An installer suggested a low profile ProSolar mounting option that leaves 2.5" between roof and panel, but others suggest at least 3" clearance for cooling of the array and efficiency.

    A final note, what is going on with the Sharp 72 watt triangular panel, which would make the rooflines look much better? I am told they have been discontinued. I know they cost a LOT, but aesthetically they are SWEET! They would blend two or three sections of my roof perfectly.....

    Thanks again for all of your expertise!!!

    To the best of my knowledge only the following manufacturers make an "All-Black" module (including a black backing sheet):

    Suntech
    SunPower

    I've also seen a Kyocera prototype but don't believe that they are shipping. Most other "black" modules have black anodized frames with dark colored cells but still use a white backing sheet. Fore example, Kyocera, Sanyo, Sharp, etc. And not to pick on Evergreeen but their particular combination of black anodized frame, white backing sheet, and "blue-ish" cells is not very attractive.

    The Enphase Enlighten service can be bought directly from Enphase. The current price is $2/module for a 1 year subscription and $9/module for a 5 year subscription. You can buy multiple 5 year subscriptions that will run back to back. I have some customers with 20 years of Enlighten monitoring on their systems. And note the subscription is not required for the Enphase system to work, but the amount of data available to the end user directly from the Envoy (main monitoring) unit is limited compared to what is sent to Enphase directly.

    Finally, I cannot agree with Niel and newenergy more about needing a comprehensive shading analysis performed before deciding where to place modules even with the micro-inverters. If you think in terms of "Levelized Cost of Energy" (LCoE) then the poor placement of modules will only increase this number (which is the wrong direction). The luxury of micro-inverter based designs is that you can make that determination on a module by module basis.

    Scott.

    "Simple" LCoE: Total number of kWH generated over a system's lifetime divided by the total net cost of the system in $ including maintenance over the system's lifetime.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,171 admin
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey
    solartek wrote: »
    The Enphase Enlighten service can be bought directly from Enphase. The current price is $2/module for a 1 year subscription and $9/module for a 5 year subscription. You can buy multiple 5 year subscriptions that will run back to back. I have some customers with 20 years of Enlighten monitoring on their systems. And note the subscription is not required for the Enphase system to work, but the amount of data available to the end user directly from the Envoy (main monitoring) unit is limited compared to what is sent to Enphase directly.

    Whoa--for my "small" 3kW 20 panel system, that would be 8% of the worth of my yearly power generated.

    ~$40 monitoring cost for a $230 power brick for 20 years of use. That is an impressive rate of return because of a encrypted link back to the mother ship. Plus they charged you $340 for the network box in the first place.

    Can a person detect and diagnose a panel/inverter failure with just the local data?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • newenergynewenergy Solar Expert Posts: 291 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey

    For all the talk about economics, and of course in many cases solar saves money, most people installing aren't just doing it for the money. You gotta allow that some people are going to spend extra on aesthetics or putting panels in less than ideal places and some people are going to spend extra money (or huge amounts of time) geeking out on the data and stuff.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,963 ✭✭✭
    Re: 7-10kW Grid Tied System in New Jersey
    BB. wrote: »
    Whoa--for my "small" 3kW 20 panel system, that would be 8% of the worth of my yearly power generated.

    ~$40 monitoring cost for a $230 power brick for 20 years of use. That is an impressive rate of return because of a encrypted link back to the mother ship. Plus they charged you $340 for the network box in the first place.

    Can a person detect and diagnose a panel/inverter failure with just the local data?

    -Bill

    And why Enphase can sell the inverters below cost, just like the Cell Phone company's

    Got to give Enphase credit, the PR is convincing allot of posters to use the inverter when it has zero advantage to harvest. All the BS about partly shadowed arrays is a fix for a problem that shouldn't have PV panels installed in such locations in the first place. I guess PV has gotten big enough that its about shoveling product, not installing productive systems

    On the comments on whether a company is having financial difficulty, who cares, either the panel works or it doesn't. If PV production follows other industry's, in 5-10 years all PV will be made in China, so comparing a company in Japan vs Germany is a useless point, they all can't compete to China.

    Evergreen isn't going anywhere, The stock or bond holder may not be happy, but the company will have no issue with wiping out the stock or bonds holders and happily keep going
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