Author Topic: DIY Solar  (Read 1025 times)

coopdog

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DIY Solar
« on: February 09, 2018, 05:26:46 AM »
I got a quote in late 2016 for 13KW DC (16.8KW AC) for $23,600 after tax credit. That's about $1.81/installed watt with an estimated solar generation is $1,500/year. That's a 6.3% return not including depreciation of the panels. I don't really need to pencil further to figure that's just not a good investment for me, yet. 

So I was happy to see the post on DIY solar. I was astonished at his cost per watt, but a quick search on the internet reveals 300W panels are close to 3 times the cost of what MMM was able to purchase them. I'm guessing I can't come close to that. I've still got a lot of questions.

Is this 3x price difference a reflection of the the Trump tariffs or is MMM just getting better than wholesale pricing?

I'm curious what the installed watt price for other DIY'ers is?

What are good online providers of solar array equipment?


Lan Mandragoran

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Re: DIY Solar
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2018, 07:14:58 AM »
I know the tariff was "only" 30% so thats certainly not the entire 300% increase your seeing.
“Tell them they can be great someday, like us. Tell them they belong among us, no matter how we treat them. Tell them they must earn the respect which everyone else receives by default. Tell them there is a standard for acceptance; that standard is simply perfection. Kill those who scoff at these contradictions, and tell the rest that the dead deserved annihilation for their weakness and doubt. Then they’ll break themselves trying for what they’ll never achieve.”

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b4u2

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Re: DIY Solar
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2018, 09:21:16 AM »
Yeah I got excited about solar again after reading his blog but my costs are coming out way higher than his as well. The kit that he links seems decent and might be enough to generate what I need. Last month my power company said we used 841 kw and my average for the last year is 1,055 kw. Trying to size a system for 100% but that may not be necessary since I can't produce at night??? So would a 7kw system do the job?

My budget billing is $130 a month and I am at a surplus currently.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 10:01:51 AM by b4u2 »

MustachianAccountant

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Re: DIY Solar
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2018, 03:52:03 AM »
I know the tariff was "only" 30% so thats certainly not the entire 300% increase your seeing.

The tariff is also only for imported panels, so panels sourced from an American manufacturer wouldn't have that extra 30%.

I'd have to re-read the article, but MMM might have been including tax incentives and other "payback" type incentives into his calculation of cost per watt.
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sherr

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Re: DIY Solar
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2018, 07:40:23 AM »
I know the tariff was "only" 30% so thats certainly not the entire 300% increase your seeing.

The tariff is also only for imported panels, so panels sourced from an American manufacturer wouldn't have that extra 30%.

I'd have to re-read the article, but MMM might have been including tax incentives and other "payback" type incentives into his calculation of cost per watt.

Right, but panels from American manufacturers are also uncompetitively expensive, which was the justification for the 30% tariff in the first place. So if the problem is that they're too expensive then that doesn't help.

Cadman

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Re: DIY Solar
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2018, 08:29:10 AM »

Right, but panels from American manufacturers are also uncompetitively expensive, which was the justification for the 30% tariff in the first place. So if the problem is that they're too expensive then that doesn't help.

I'm not sure that's a universally true statement. Both Suniva and Solarworld are US made and just as competitively priced as LG and other off-shore manufacturers. I've been very satisfied with my OPT-285's at roughly $1/watt.

Some members here are 'lucky' to live in states where there are heavy incentives on buying US, or in-state made panels. Not sure about the OP's situation.

Livethedream

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Re: DIY Solar
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2018, 08:20:14 PM »
We did a DIY system in California. Shopped around for panels and found there is a couple great resellers that go the extra mile for the DIY crowd and have great prices.

320w panels with optimizers 7.2kw system $14,000 before federal rebate.

MasterStache

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Re: DIY Solar
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2018, 12:00:08 PM »
I got a quote in late 2016 for 13KW DC (16.8KW AC) for $23,600 after tax credit. That's about $1.81/installed watt with an estimated solar generation is $1,500/year. That's a 6.3% return not including depreciation of the panels. I don't really need to pencil further to figure that's just not a good investment for me, yet. 

So I was happy to see the post on DIY solar. I was astonished at his cost per watt, but a quick search on the internet reveals 300W panels are close to 3 times the cost of what MMM was able to purchase them. I'm guessing I can't come close to that. I've still got a lot of questions.

Is this 3x price difference a reflection of the the Trump tariffs or is MMM just getting better than wholesale pricing?

I'm curious what the installed watt price for other DIY'ers is?

What are good online providers of solar array equipment?

Your post doesn't make much sense.
1. DC -> AC conversion typically experiences some power loss, not power gain.
2. A 13kW solar array is gigantic. Even at 300W/panel you need 44 panels.
3. Solar generation is typically measured in power produced (kWh), not monetary return. $1,500/year is considerably low. Where do you live? I live in the midwest with average solar insolation and our self installed 5.74kW system still saved us roughly $1K every year.