Anyone have solar panels on the roof?

CWLONGSHOT

Residing in New England
Spoke with a company yesterday and today.
Everything appears good but two things I need clarification on.

I worry about too good to be true.

CW
 

John G

Well-Known Member
We got our grid tie system up this year. It’s producing as high as 19 KW per day. Weather dependent. My system is a the small side for our needs at 3.25 KW array.
the thing about solar is it just works without any moving parts.
so it just pays every month, you need to also consider the tax credit which I believe is 26%.
DFCB74DA-3CE3-4901-9F86-5243DB074AF9.jpeg
 

John G

Well-Known Member
Are you talking a 13 KW system? That’s huge.
the array in my picture is 26 feet long for a 3.25 KW set up.
you most have a massive roof
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
13K?
that's about 7 and a half years worth of electric bills here.
of course there's about 3 months of the year where solar would be totally useless here, so extend that out another 2 years in actual use.
 

John G

Well-Known Member
There’s very few minuses to solar. Of course you have to have the physical space. The only downside is $$$, but it pays.
 

John G

Well-Known Member
There's different things that can break down on panels depending on temperature they are subjected to, regional influences. I had a large array of ARCO solar modules from 1980 till 2011 and they were still producing about 95%. This was a off grid system, sold when we went to grid tie. I have seen problems from over heating, for instance flat on the roof of a motorhome where air circulation was almost nonexistent. They can delaminate from the back if subjected to high temperatures.
 

CWLONGSHOT

Residing in New England
The system would 90% cover my roof. Forecast is for 100% of my needs. (In normal full sun)

as it was explained to me. Electric installs a meter that runs backwards. If you think of the power coming in as turning a screw: "In"costs $$ as your consuming that energy. When the panels are producing and your needs dont meet that supply, the screw "unscrews" or feeds my unused power back into the grid. Im mot paid for this its just recorded 1:1. So that night or next cloudy day the meter will begin to screw "in" again but now its got to "thread" down over what the panels have "unthreaded" (as recorded by my meter and also monitored by any with access to my panel.

Attractive part, zero out of pocket. Zero maintaince. All upkeep on utility. 35 yr life but as there is no moving parts. As mentioned above a 35 year old system should only loose 10% os power ability at that time.

The costs Is pay are lower then the lowest month I have almost ever had here in 23 years. Yes comparing to a bill I might have had here in the 1990's.

As I said in first... If it seems too good to be true it likely is.

cw
 

Petrol & Powder

Well-Known Member
:headscratch: If it covers 95% of your roof................what are the repercussions when your roof needs to be replaced?
The panels have to come off, the roof is replaced, and after the roof is replaced the panels go back on.

The plus side is the roof will likely last longer because the panels take the brunt of the wear.
If possible, I would start with a new roof, ideally a standing seam metal roof (the panels clamp to the vertical seams)

There may be some reduction in cooling costs as well. There’s an air gap under the panels and reduced heating of the roof surface under the panels.

In systems that don’t have storage capability, there’s no battery bank to maintain but the downside is during a mains power outage: no sun = no power.

In sunny areas that seldom experience power outages, I think it’s a win-win.
Low up-front cost, tax credits, little or no maintenance, reduced power costs over the life of the system. In places where you want to be a little more self-sufficient, I would look into adding some storage capability. Batteries will add significantly to the cost and complexity of the system but allow more self-sufficiency during a long-term outage.
 

Winelover

North Central Arkansas
Sounds pretty costly to me. More than likely, would require two or more companies involved . One to remove, one to reroof and then reinstall. Up North, you better have a storage system. In Michigan, we didn't have enough sun, during the winter months. Batteries need to be replaced, periodically and are expensive.
 

Bret4207

Northern NY Dangerous extremist...???
Just my opinion, but out side of those seeking a true off grid system because of cost, location or preferences, there are a lot of downsides to solar. No one would be looking at it if the industry wasn't heavily subsidized (taxpayer$$$), if they looked at the downsides of having a "permanent" installation done over their existing roof (which has a deterioration rate of it's own), if there were "tax credits" (other people make up your share) and if solar salesmen weren't the cream of the crop of used car salesmen. And what gives anyone the confidence that the 35 year guarantee is worth the paper it was written on? Ever hear of Solyndra? These companies come and go like clothing fads.

100% solar in New England? No freakin' way that's possible friend.
 

Petrol & Powder

Well-Known Member
Sounds pretty costly to me. More than likely, would require two or more companies involved . One to remove, one to reroof and then reinstall. Up North, you better have a storage system. In Michigan, we didn't have enough sun, during the winter months. Batteries need to be replaced, periodically and are expensive.
Oh, I didn't say it would be cheap to re-roof; Just pointing out what would need to happen.
 

Petrol & Powder

Well-Known Member
Just my opinion, but out side of those seeking a true off grid system because of cost, location or preferences, there are a lot of downsides to solar. No one would be looking at it if the industry wasn't heavily subsidized (taxpayer$$$), if they looked at the downsides of having a "permanent" installation done over their existing roof (which has a deterioration rate of it's own), if there were "tax credits" (other people make up your share) and if solar salesmen weren't the cream of the crop of used car salesmen. And what gives anyone the confidence that the 35 year guarantee is worth the paper it was written on? Ever hear of Solyndra? These companies come and go like clothing fads.

100% solar in New England? No freakin' way that's possible friend.
America has enjoyed decades of cheap energy; that is changing. Is the current solar power situation where will will be in 30-40 years? probably not. But, we are headed for big changes in our energy use and production.
Solar does have some downsides but we're headed to FAR more use of solar. The tech will catch up, the equipment will improve and we will all learn as we go.
 
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CWLONGSHOT

Residing in New England
M
Oh, I didn't say it would be cheap to re-roof; Just pointing out what would need to happen.
Good point, My roof is just three years old.

The three big cryteria are. New roof, upgraded electrical system and good credit. I have all, but need to decide.

I asked the question and was told my proposed system, at this time, would be under 2000 to remove and replace. (I asked)

CW
 

Rick

Moderator
Staff member
Sounds like different states have different rules on solar from what CW said. In CA a neighbor had a huge metal shop building and covered one side in solar panels. He had to buy the system himself and extra power was fed into the grid and he got paid for it. Got paid via reduced electric bills aside from solar electric he used which also lowered his bill. With the cost of the system and installation and what he made from it he was looking at 20 years to break even.

CW did say his system was being installed free. Sounds odd to me, those systems are god awful expensive. Watched one of those building off the grid shows not long ago and they put in a solar system that cost them $50,000. They had little choice being off the rid but if your on the grid $50,000 will buy one hell of a lot of electricity. Even in CA.
 

Ian

Notorious member
I keep seeing utoob infomercials, apparently Texas is subsidizing solar like crazy, probably due to Federal tax money available and our grid management board having their balls in a vise over recent catastrophic supply and infrastructure problems. I'm loathe to take another man's tax money for my own benefit, so will never jump on the "free" bandwagon.
 

John G

Well-Known Member
Low up-front cost, tax credits, little or no maintenance, reduced power costs over the life of the system. In places where you want to be a little more self-sufficient, I would look into adding some storage capability. Batteries will add significantly to the cost and complexity of the system but allow more self-sufficiency during a long-term outage.

The cost of a battery bank for long term power outage is extremely high.
Far cheaper for a generator back up system, plus it's just sitting until you need it. Lead acid batteries will last 7 to 10 years "IF" they are maintained properly and cost as much as or more then a generator system. Plus takes up space again, but so does a generator. The automatic generator systems are great, just ask Winelover.
During a power outage the generator needs to be isolated from the panels as a generator can not take power from the solar (daytime) array like the Power Co. grid can. The automatic generator systems totally disconnect from the grid until the generator senses the return of grid power and automatically reconnects the house. The disconnect from the grid is needed to protect linemen while repairing the distribution lines in your area.
The battery plus inverter systems that work with grid tie have a problem with being flexible. I believe the system CW is talking about is a micro-inverter system. These are very efficient as if one panel is in the shade it does not effect the output of panels in the sun. The single inverter can't do this and would require panels to be on the same plane or direction. The micro inverter system allows panels to be mounted on the east slope of your roof for morning sun and panels on the west slope for afternoon sun without effecting each other. But if CW has a flat or almost flat roof then anything is possible.